Saturday, 31 January 2015

Life Book 2015 - Week 5: Dreamcatchers and affirmation feathers

Oh good, I thought, something simple - no faces here, no need to stress.  Ha!!!

The dreamcatcher was straightforward enough and was lots of fun to make.  Thanks to Rachael Rice for this different way of creating one.  A quick trip to the local secondhand store for a doily and it was underway.   Here's the result -

Second task - the affirmation feather with Tamara Laporte ... should be a piece of cake ... nope!!

My first attempt the lines were too heavy as I had trouble finding pens that would write over my painted surface.  Attempt number two was abandoned because the pens I used to colour the feather were too dark and the whole picture ended up very dark and not at all like a feather should look.  Attempt number three however was a little more successful.  I found some pens (Faber Castell Pitt Pens) that I had used years ago - there was very little ink left in them but they sort of did the job.  Needless to say I have ordered a new set and am eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Attempt number three -

I am quite liking this - it is good to challenge myself and go outside of my comfort zone.  Now looking forward to new supplies arriving and next weeks class.  Thanks Tam, you rock!!!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Life Book 2015 - Week 4: Courage Dear Heart

Another whimsical girl, this time a ballerina on a tightrope.  I was definitely feeling a little intimidated before starting this lesson, oh my goodness.  Anyway, I decided to jump right in and start with what I was already confident doing - the collage background.  

I used scrapbook paper off-cuts and washi tape, plus I coloured and stamped some plain tissue paper and added a small piece of printed music.  Further colour was added using water soluble crayons and then toned down with gesso. I sketched in the ballerina and then using some of the techniques already taught us by Tamara I started layering paint for the body and then the dress.  

This project was presented by Patti Ballard who provided a quick video showing how to create this delightful girl on a wire.  Although there were no detailed instructions, by stopping and starting the video it was easy enough to re-create her. 
Since finishing her I have painted another one on a block canvas with lacy paper for the background - very happy with how she is progressing.  I still have a long way to go before I find my own style for creating these wee ones but it is a fun journey and I am learning every day.

Life Book 2015 - Week 3: The Artful Wordsmith

Writing is ones worst nightmare especially when it comes to decorative lettering in particular and I am no exception.  This weeks lesson was by Joanne Sharpe who is the author of "The Art of Whimsical Lettering". Joanne provided excellent instruction on how to start developing your own style of decorative lettering based on your handwriting.  She suggested getting a small exercise book and joining adjacent pages together with glue then sealing the edge with washi tape - this makes the pages slightly thicker and more resistant to inks showing through.  This book becomes a lettering journal in which to practice your lettering and start experimenting with different styles and different products, checking out what each pen type and style does.  For this lesson we learnt how to position our lettering along with our graphic to produce a cohesive and balanced project.  A simple onion flower provided an easy subject to draw - love, love, love. 
My lettering journal is also taking shape and has many pages of doodles and other creations filling up its pages.  Yet another awesome lesson.

Life Book 2015 - Week 2: Playing tag & Celebration jar

This week the challenge was to create a tag which was created under the tutelage of Roben-Marie Smith.  I made my own tag from a piece of white cardstock which I coloured using different sprays.  I used the same colours on a separate piece of card and then I stamped, doodled and added washi tape before gluing it to the tag.  I made faux stitching around the tag using a fine pen before adding the label and coloured seam-binding ribbon.

The other part of this assignment was the celebration jar.  The idea is to decorate a jar and each day write something positive or good that has happened to you and put it in the jar.  At the end of the year you take out all the pieces of paper and you can read back over your year, or if you need a pick-me-up during the year you can delve into the jar.  Here's mine -
I bought the jar from Briscoes (on sale) and decorated it using a paper serviette.  The original serviette was lime green with white spots.  The layers were separated and the plain white layers were randomly sprayed with various coloured dyes.  The serviettes were torn into pieces and all the pieces were collaged onto the jar.  Washi tape and embellishments were added and the project was complete.

Thanks Tamara Laporte for another fabulous lesson.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Life Book 2015 - Week 1: Beacon of Light

A beacon of light ... I thought aboutwhat this might look like when I went to bed that first night.  In my dreams this little faerie princess came to me and I remembered her so clearly when I woke up - she had a gold crown, pink wings shaped like hearts and she carried a wand in one hand and a heart pendant in the other.

I sat down to watch the video, to see the beautiful creature evolving from Tamaras hand, so serene and beautiful.  It was exciting, intimidating, thought provoking, daunting, terrifying almost - what if I couldn't do it.  It involves drawing faces - albeit whimsical, but faces all the same.

I decided to just bite the bullet, no use putting it off, I had signed up for the year and here I was baulking at week one. 

I did my basic sketch and was relatively happy with the concept but then came the painting and shading.  Tamara made it look so easy and my inner critic was sitting there saying, "you've wrecked it now, you can't do this, what were you thinking" and then a little voice popped into my head and said "trust the process".  I remember this from my Art Therapy days with Marnie De Wolf in Hamilton - she introduced me to the amazing Shaun McNiff who said that it isn't about the final product, it is about the process.  So I trusted the process, in fact, I loved the process, and I love my faerie princess who is going to be by my side, inspiring me throughout this course.

Here she is ... right down to her little heart shaped shoe laces
I am so happy and can't wait until Week 2.  Yay!!!

Life Book 2015

Towards the end of 2014 I started thinking about what I wanted from 2015 - as you do ...

I posted the following on Facebook "I don't like making New Years resolutions as I never seem to be able to keep them very long, but what I am going to do is re-focus. This year that is coming to a close has seen a number of changes and no doubt 2015 will see more changes, but my wish for the new year is to spend more time in my heart (exploring my arty farty side) and less time in my head (ie on my computer). This may mean that I am not as active on Facebook but it doesn't mean I will be thinking of you all any less, it just means I might not be commenting on posts as much - please don't be offended and please don't take it personally. A very wise lady once told me that I spend far too much time in my head and not enough in my heart and I have decided to take her advice and change that - thanks Aud, love you!!"

I have been participating in a couple of ATC swap groups - one a monthly calendar swap and the other on a given topic every 3-4 weeks.  I also joined a Creative Card Art group where you create a small artwork on a given topic and this is done on a weekly basis.  While I enjoyed participating in these groups I knew that this wasn't where I wanted to be this year, but exactly where I wanted to be and how I was going to achieve that, I had no idea.  Then on New Years day I opened Facebook and Donna Downey was promoting a course called Life Book 2015.  I decided to click on the link and it led me to Willowing and the lovely Tamara Laporte.    As I read through what the course had to offer it ticked all my boxes so I signed up there and then.  

I am so excited.  Every week there is a new lesson given by Tamara or one of her awesome tutors (including Donna Downey I might add).  There are videos and accompanying PDFs to download and it is the type of course that you will get out of it as much as you put into it.  It took less than 24 hours to get accepted into the group and then I was away.

The first task, after watching the intro videos, was to do a warm-up exercise using mixed media.  We had to come up with a word for the year and also write our intentions for the year on an envelope which was attached to the final artwork.  Without even thinking about it the word 'nourish' popped into my head - it's not a word I would normally use but I decided to go with it.  Funnily enough I saw a post later by Donna Downey and it is the same word that she has chosen for this year.  I am very aware of syncronicity in my life and these events all tell me that I am on the right path.

Anyway, here is my warm-up exercise

To come ... assignment for Week 1.