Monday, 31 December 2007

Festive stuff

When visiting my favorite auntie over Christmas she fed me and the kids with pickled onions, cheese, chipolatas, and chedder biscuits. She also gave me a lovely mince pie. I managed to hold off eating it long enough to make a quick study of it. I also painted the mini sock monkey my cousin made me. Terry now travels in my art bag with me at all times. Thanks again, Amy.

I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year's night tonight.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

An Evening With Vincent

Working from reproductions of paintings in books, I did these two studies, using a black brush pen to achieve a range of lines. I was interested in the brush strokes Van Gogh used, though the one on the right, from 'A Portrait of an Actor', is less successful than the study of 'An Artist On His Way to Work' on the left.

I love Van Gogh's work, and I really want to visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam again in 2008, without the kids this time.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

A night in with my books

I like sitting in the corner of the living room, with a book on my knee, and my art bag at my feet. I flick through the pages until something catches my eye, then I dip into my bag to retrieve a pencil and my journal, and start to sketch. Sometimes I'll start with a clean page. Other times I'll flick back to find a space and make a small drawing in the gap.

Friday, 28 December 2007

New Journal

I treat myself to a lovely Moleskine book whilst in Vienna, but I don't like it. The pages aren't white, but a funny yellowish-creamy colour and there's no 'tooth' to the paper which makes it poor for sketching in. As a result, I've been using it more as a notebook for Christmassy lists, and not as a daily journal & sketchbook.

So, as of Boxing Day, I've started using the one hubby got me instead, and I've filled a dozen pages already. Here are the first two.

I've also added a new list to my blog of art suppliers I use. More about them later.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

A nice suprise!

My wonderful hubby rung me a few weeks ago whilst he was working in London, sounding very excited, to say he'd visited an art store and had chosen some gifts which he thought I'd love. Being excited about Christmas, or anything else really, is most unlike my hubby in general, so I was curious to find out what he'd bought.

When Christmas day came, I could tell he was excited again as I unwrapped my parcels (taking turn with him and the kids, as is tradition for us), and I found he'd given me a great selection of quality pencils, inks and sketchbooks. I was delighted, and told him as much.

In addition, the kids had given a canvas bag for me to carry my art gear around in, with great big deep pockets to keep things safe, and hubby had also given me a very compact digital camera, as my SLR digital camera is very bulky and, as such, is left at home on most outings, which is a missed opportunity when I come across things I want to make a record of. He is so thoughtful, which I forget sometimes as he's not the most expressive of people. What a gem he is, and how he understands me.

My cousin Amy made me a teeny blue sock monkey, who's job it is now to look after my art bag at all times. I've called him Terry, after the chocolate oranges the kids and hubby got from Santa.

I also got a staple gun from my big sister, so I'm now armed and dangerous. She didn't buy me any elastoplasts or germolene, so they must think I can handle it.

My younger sister gave us a selection of family board games; a superb idea which I hope she'll continue in future years.

So I've spent Boxing Day drawing in my new journal, playing Buckaroo at my auntie & cousins house, and eating lots of cheese that smells like my hubby's feet whilst watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Gangan (my dad) arrives tomorrow, so there'll be more present-giving to be done. I hope you all had a great day and are enjoying this holiday as much as we are here in Roker.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Christ is born in Bethlehem

Haryy Clarke, Adoration of the Magi
Harry Clarke, an Irish artist, worked in stained glass. I have always found his work haunting, and here is a good and relevant example - The Adoration of the Magi. Next time I'm in Ireland I may hunt down some of his work, taking my dad along, of course.

So, here's to you all, and your family and friends. I pray that you all have a peaceful Christmas.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Pledge for 2008

Banksy's Waterlillies
I'm going to try to be a 'greener' artist. I have some simple and obvious ideas about how to start doing this, but I would welcome any suggestions you may have.

My ideas so far are;

1. Collect paper and scraps for use in my art. But also to make into sketch books and journals, rather than buying new.

2. Put a felt tip pen-lid onto the end of pencil stumps so I can use every last bit of graphite.

3. Re-use canvas frames, covering them in linen from old bedding in charity shops (my Christmas pressie from my older sister will help with this).

That's all I have for you for the time being. As I said, I'd be interested in other suggestions you may have.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Suitable Materials

Looking back through old sketch books I though how my bus stop figures would translate well into a lino cut. So here's the result.
I want to play around more with the background, and try carving out the figures and printing in greys on black paper. Often, so many possibilities come to light while I'm working, and it's hard not to jump ahead. I'm trying to discipline myself to complete the work in hand before moving to the next idea.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Christmas Crafts

And they're invisible. Not really, only I've been making them for friends & family who also read this blog, so I can't post photos here.
I've been fabric-painting on cotton sweatshirts for the kids, characters from books mostly. And I've been framing drawings for my dad. My younger sister is about the only person with a bought gift this year, though that was bought from the craft shop attached to Sunderland Library, so there's love and thought behind that one too.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Not painting

I haven't painted anything this last week. I've been spending time with my family instead.
For example, I have been meeting up with my two fantastic sisters who I miss terribly and wish we didn't live so far apart.

I've also been reading Christmas stories to my two children every night since Sunday, and enjoying every second of that cosy time with them.

And I've been watching scary, disturbing films with my hubby on an evening. Don't ask me why, but I have.
Arty wise, I've been finishing my first Journal, and starting my new moleskine one. But not a lot other than that. But that's cool. I have a great balance of family, work, and art. I'm a lucky person really.
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