Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Moving Forward

I want my art to move forward and in my head I know where I want that to be....but telling my hand is not so easy! I know I want to draw and paint much smaller but to still capture expression seems difficult. I've only been drawing for a few years and only began painting in 2004 so believe me this art thing doesn't come naturally to me! Having said that I absolutely love being able to create and I can recognise my progress. When I was at school you had to be gifted artistically in order for the teachers to want to guide you...if you had no artistic talent they weren't interested. I can remember an art field trip where we all went into town and had to draw architecture, my friend was busy with her pencil and very soon had an exact drawing of the building in front of her.....I had a blank page. In art classes we were never shown how to draw a face, objects were never broken down into shapes in order to grasp the basics of drawing a subject, I yearned to be able to pick up a pencil and produce a picture. So fast forward 30 odd years and I decided to fulfill my dream and I found a wonderful teacher. I began with decorative painting...no drawing skills required as you used patterns but it did teach you brush skills. Within 3 months and 3 or 4 lessons later my teacher had put me forward for a years training with Decoart a large US paint company, they were teaching a group of people in the UK to become Helping Artists in the hope of promoting decorative painting and their products in this country. The following year I had another opportunity to train with Chroma using Jo Sonja paints and a dry brushing technique programme called Creative Possibilities. So my journey began and since then I have continued to learn by taking online classes and lots of practise. I can see so many faults with the painting above.... but I can also see where I am moving forward.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

My Other Life

My other life is so rewarding. I work for a Mental Health charity and help run a service called the Wellbeing Service. Part of my work includes providing art courses which I absolutely love, they are so therapeutic and each time I plan a course it is attended by at least 10 people. I have a mixed group, some are quite artistic already but for many others it is their first experience of trying something creative. The joy I get from seeing them grow and the sense of pride they gain from producing their first piece of art work is so amazing. I remember that feeling well back in 2004 when I first decided I wanted to learn how to paint, and because of my journey I can provide the guidance and encouragement for them to believe in themselves.

The work shown here is some of the art people did in my recent Expressions in Mixed Media class. They produced three pieces of work in 3 two hour classes! Collage, plaster on canvas board, and plaster gauze.

Friday, 19 August 2011


I'm trying to capture a less defined look to my faces. I've longed to be able to paint or draw much smaller faces and yet still give them expression. I've recently taken Carla Sonheim's Faces 101 class and she guides you through exploring many different ways to achieve a face, one of those techniques was to just give an impression of an eye and yet it still creates interest and depth.

This WIP is a combination of a technique I have done previously by painting a face with a black shiva oilstik on a textured background but instead of painting a normal eye I have used Carla's guidance. I plan to create a pattern for her dress by printing my own pattern..I'm going to trial it on paper first...I learnt that lesson a long time ago :)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Jam Scented

So we visited a lovely little market town called Buckingham a while ago, it's very quaint and has a flea market and antique shops and little lanes choc a block full of little independant shops to browse, when we stumbled upon a flower stall. They had a lovely collection of plants beautifully displayed in old china cups and saucers and my eye was drawn to one in particular. Ooooh I said, and leant forward to smell the flowers.....I inhaled deeper....nothing...i tried again...ziltch, so i said to my hubby "I can't smell jam". He looked quite bemused...I'd seen that look before, "what do you mean?", "you can't smell jam" he replied..a little smirk beginning to creep across his face. "Well" I replied, "it says jam scented, and I can't smell jam". His face was a picture as he replied "Darling it says....... I am scented!!"