Sunday, 6 December 2015

On Line Workshops & the December Hare

I am falling behind!  Haven't spent anytime on the Dog Journal!  I had said I would try to do a page a week but it just isn't happening.  I am currently taking an online course - Monoprint Collage with Jane Davies.  This is a six week course and it is entirely up to you how much or how little you want to do.  Once a week we receive a written lesson plan and a video demonstration. You go through the weekly lesson and post your work and comment on it according to the guidelines Jane has set out. I have taken other online courses from other instructors and I would have to say that the online workshops I have taken from Jane (okay.....all that are currently offered on her website!) are heads and tails above anything else.  Jane comments on everything you post on the workshop blog (only open to participants of the workshop), offers constructive comments and answers any and all questions. Check out Jane Davies webpage for more info on her workshops and artwork - you won't be disappointed! Jane's videos' are also worth checking out, great demo's to get the creative juices going! And yes - I have learned so much from Jane and really do feel it has strengthened my art practice!

The Hare image is from a photo I took while on a week long workshop at Red Deer College (Red Deer, Alberta). She was enjoying a snack of some grass and wasn't too bothered by the clicking of the camera!  It is so nice to see them out and about, doing their thing. This is just a study. I had never used watercolour and acrylic paint together and I think it worked out okay. Not that keen on the background, so doing these smaller studies is extremely helpful. I am doing more 'studies' of images I would like to develop into larger work.  In the past I would have just gone straight to 'big'! And spent a lot of time struggling through the creative process!! Am enjoying the studies and taking the time to experiment with materials and techniques. Maybe in the New Year (hate to talk about that - seems a bit premature!) I will do a bigger picture. Want to exaggerate some of her features more - feet and ears - will have to do a few more drawings first though. 

Watercolour, Acrylic, stencils, white pencil
crayon, white gel pen and 6B graphite pencil
On Arches 140lb cold press watercolour paper

Friday, 27 November 2015


I am not much of a 'plein air' painter and even more so I do not like painting in a group! I enjoy my time in my studio alone. Workshops are a huge struggle for me - a large group of people is very stressful!! I am trying to do more painting outdoors and paint with a group.  I am very lucky to be part of a group of lovely, supportive and talented painters. This past year we have painted at each others homes and spent time this summer in K-Country painting.  I am still not that comfortable painting in a group or outdoors for that matter, but the more I do participate in these activities the more my comfort zone is starting to increase. I have posted a sampling of some of the watercolours I painted outdoors this summer. Landscapes are not my first choice of subject matter, but it is hard not to feel inspired by the area I live in.  I don't know if I would use these studies to attempt some larger finished pieces, but it certainly wasn't wasted time! My outdoor studies are not 'realistic' but I do think they capture the essence of the day and the scenery!

Elbow Falls looking west 
(was a smokey day so I wasn't able to see the mountains )
August, 2015

9 1/4"X6 1/4"
Looking east down the Elbow River valley
September, 2015

Mountains (Banded Peak) looking west from Highway 762
October, 2015

Elbow River at the old Allen Bill pond area
(Couldn't see the mountains west  - heavy smoke)
August, 2015

Monday, 16 November 2015

Journal Project 2015

I mentioned in a previous post that I was participating in a journal exchange with 6 of my wonderful and talented 'muses'.  The journals have now returned to their respective owners.  Was a great project to be a part of.  I did a lot of experimenting with materials and techniques.  Was always exciting to receive the new journals, but also a challenge.  How would I interpret the individual themes that were chosen by my friends, what materials would/could be used?  So many choices!!  Some ideas came immediately, others longer!  Most journals took a couple of weeks to complete.  I incorporated lots of different elements - flaps, tags, mini books and pockets to name a few.  I have posted photos of the final 5 journals below.  Apologies for some of the picture quality.  A few pages were hard to scan with all  the elements on them! Hope you enjoy them.

'Inspiration Journal' (9"X9")
Scrapbooking paper, stamps, stencils, computer
generated text, chalk pastels, acrylic paint and mediums

'Fairy Journal' (9"X9")
Scrapbooking paper, die cuts, stencils, rubber stamps,
computer generated text, embossing powder, paper flowers,
acrylic paint and chalk pastels

'Gratitude Journal' (9"X9")
Dry wax deli paper stencilled and glazed, rubber stamps,
handmade tags, computer generated text,
paper flowers, hand drawn birds, acrylic paint,
pan pastels and Inktense pencils

'Origami Journal' (9"X9")
Scrap book paper, hand made paper, stencils, acrylic paint, pan pastels,
rubber stamps, paper punch elements, handmade tags, yarn, oriental coin

'Buddha Journal' (9"X9")
Handmade paper, handcut and commercial stencils,
Inktense pencils, acrylic paint, 2B pencil, white pigma pen

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Dog Journal

Here is another page from the Dog Journal.  As I mentioned in a previous post, experimenting is very 'freeing'!  I would never have created a painting or print using this image in this way, but having done it in my journal I would like to do a larger one!  I am finding dog sketches in some of my older journals/sketchbooks, even on scrap pieces of paper - I guess it is a good thing that I don't tend to throw things out! (My husband might have a different opionion, but it is my studio!). The Dog Journal must have been waiting for its day!! With this image I photocopied it and cut it out and 'glued' into the journal. Then worked on it adding colour and stencilling, etc. The  more I do the more the ideas seem to come. Enjoy the day and happy creating!

Mixed media collage, art tissue (stamped and stencilled),
Inktense pencils, acrylic paint

Monday, 2 November 2015

Dog Journal

It's official!  The Dog Journal has a 'title' page.  Okay...I didn't really think it needed a title page, but it was fun to work on it.  I started this journal in August and have just been adding a bit of this and that. Magazine clippings, post cards and cards, quotes, some of my doodles and sketches.  Purely for experimentation and to share my love of our cherished 4-legged companions.  I think one or two other favourites - flora and fauna will find their way into this journal over time.  I am becoming braver in my journals.  Have always been a bit of a perfectionist and this has held me back from just doing something - anything! It is really quite freeing to realize that this is not going to be a 'finished' work of 'art' and instead a place to enjoy the act of creating.  I am going to try and do a page a week. If not....well there is always next week!

Title Page (10"X10")
Acrylic paint and mediums, stencils, rubber stamps, panpastels,
white gel pen, pigma pen, pastel pencils.  Black andwhite
photocopy of original image that was glued in and coloured.

Acrylic paint, stencils, spray inks, pigma pen,
white gel pen and washi tape (10"X10")


Black scrapbooking paper, magazine clipping, black and
white photocopy of dog sketch, acrylic paint and stencils (10"X10")

My four-legged muse - Whimsey....our beautiful golden girl!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Journal Project 2015

Page 1   Size 9X9"
Onion skin paper, washi tape, stencilling, collaged birds & tickets
Graphitint & Inktense pencils,  2B pencil, sharpie pen

Just finished another journal!  Have been working on this for awhile - will not disclose how long though!  This theme is 'Journey'.  Struggled coming up with an idea that I wanted to create for this particular journal.  (A little background info - we started off with 7 participants and are now down to 5.  Life changes didn't allow 2 good friends to continue on but hopefully for the next go. Everyone picked a theme and the journals were passed.  A month was given for each exchange, alot of time really, but for some of us not enough.....).  I sometimes have a hard time coming up with an idea that excites me and I want to pursue, but once things start clicking I really enjoy the time spent creating the page(s).  I hope I am not the only one who goes through this!?

Page 2   Size 9X9"
Acrylic paint, collage, stencilling, washi Tape,
Sharpie pen, Graphitint Pencils, letter stickers,
gem stickers, foam tape

Page 3  9X9"
Art tissue paper, acrylic paint (lots of glazing),  stencilling, collage,
computer generated text, Tim Holtz ticket die cut,
Graphitint, Inktense pencils, Sharpie, 
2B pencil, gem stickers, foam tape

Page 4  9X9"
Handmade paper, Acrylic paint (lots of glazing), stencilling,
collage, Tim Holtz envelope die cut, gem stickers,
Graphitint & Inktense pencils, foam tape 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Unfinished Projects

I have finally finished off a piece that has been in my studio for a year.  It has been moved from table to floor and back again.  It has weighed very heavily on my mind. It was started in a workshop that I was very unprepared for.  I struggled through the 4 days, shed a few tears and came home thinking that I would never paint again.  Be careful what you think!  I didn't paint for at least 6 months.  This past month I decided that I needed to do something with that picture.  As I was working on 'her' I was thinking about how she was like an 'albatross around my neck' and that I needed to bring her to some kind of closure in order to move on.  Now that she is done I am wondering if perhaps I might have been the 'albatross' holding her back!  Best wishes and happy creating!

18" X  24"
Acrylic paint and mediums, collage, stenciling

Friday, 13 February 2015

Getting Organized

I am pretty good at using the excuse 'I need to get organized first' as a way to avoid just about anything - especially painting.  I have come to the conclusion that my studio will never be completely organized the way I want in order to create.  Besides, every time I do 'organize' then I cannot find what I really need - which then entails more procrastination and probably a trip to the local art shop for the required item.  And since I live in a rural area, the local art store is a good hour plus away. You get the picture.  Besides I do seem to work better in an atmosphere of 'organized chaos'.  So I am going to enjoy a bit of time in my messy studio this afternoon!  Have a great day!