Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You won't find this little guy in the zoo!

Little bundles of happiness (EDITED)

In keeping with Na's post, I too have decided to pass a little bit of happiness on and will also make a handmade gift for the first 3 people to comment on this post and send it along to them some time over the next three months. It would be good if the recipients could then do the same on their blogs, but judging from the lack of comments on this post, perhaps people are not too keen to do so! So I won't force it, but it would be nice to pass the happiness on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

evolution of a journal

At the beginning of this year, I bought myself a gorgeous, chunky, lined and dated moleskine diary with the intention of capturing something in it each day, in a way that was different from the usual way of keeping a diary. I bought it because I loved the feel of it, the weight of it in my hand, the dark hard covers, the smooth shiny pages which pens and markers glide so beautifully across.

When I discovered mandalas, they became my way of keeping a diary. And it's the one activity (apart from keeping this blog) that I have been doing with any consistency and regularity throughout the year, so much so that it has become a natural daily practice, and it's all come about organically. It has been a true journal in so many ways, and I didn't even realise it. And just cos it's lined, and I don't paint in it, shouldn't have lessened its value as an "art" journal to me in any way.

It's not only been a personal space, my personal space, it's been a practice of spontaneity and freedom within a simple structure. I have also experimented and played instinctively with colour, design, line, character - things I love most about drawing and making drawings, free from the harsh self-criticism that I usually unleash over my other so called "proper" attempts at art. And free from expectation. So - I had already been keeping an "art" journal and I hadn't even realised it, because I thought an art journal had to be something else, something that looked different to what this looks like, something more elaborate, something more "serious", something a lot more "arty", whatever that means. In the end, I didn't really need somebody else to tell me how to do this. All I really needed to do was trust myself.

Realising this makes me both sad and happy. Sad because I didn't see the value of what I was doing until now, but happy that I finally have. And also relieved, because I don't have to try to be anything or anyone "artistically" other than who I am. I am also relieved, because it means I can let certain things go and simplify and concentrate on the things that really matter to me. I had already been trying to do far too much.

I can't wait to buy my moleskine diary for 2008. And next year, in addition to mandalas, I will perhaps aim to fill the whole page with line and colour and words. And I might just share some of them with you too. ;-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

superstition for IF

Silas distinctly remembered his mother saying that a bird's dropping on your head is good luck.

(Pen & ink on a luggage tag)

love, love, love (and some mandalas)

Thank you for the love! It must have done the trick because you know what, I feel almost normal now, which is quite a feat for me. What a relief! Thanks again. xxx

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lottie dreaming (oil pastel on board)

Before I got this horrid flu, I managed to spend some time this weekend experimenting with a technique I saw in my encyclopedia of pastel techniques. I covered a piece of art board with permanent black india ink (three layers), and then once it had dried, covered it again with a thick layer of oil pastels. Then I scratched out the image using a palette knife and nail file. It was a bit messy, but I like the textured look of it. What do you think?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

mandalas from the week

The fourth one has been photoshopped, it was originally a hand-drawn image and then altered.

Ya baby!

Further experimentation with texture, this time drawing directly with pastel onto gessoed* journal pages. My subject this time were a couple of Chinese ya pears.

(*Gesso - a primer used to prepare canvas, paper or other grounds for painting on. The one I use is a white acrylic one which looks just like white paint, but it has a different texture to it.)

Apologies for the week long absence from my blog. It's been an activity filled week!

New things that I have started this week include a new practise of dynamic yoga and the reading and following of Fearless Creating.

New things that I am soon to start include salt dough making as featured on Na's & Lesley's blogs, rubber stamp making as featured on Lesley's blog and knitting (at long last!).

This year I am not going to buy any Christmas cards or presents. Everything is going to be handmade. All I need now is a device that enables me to be in two places at the same time so that while I am at my desk at work, I can also be at home making things. I believe Hermione had one in one of the Harry Potter books, that enabled her to take two classes at once. Anyone want to share the spell with me? (I am such a geek).

Saturday, November 03, 2007

what a lovely pair

I saw these William pears on a fruit stall the other day and had to get them. I love their shapes, just lovely to draw.

These were drawn with charcoal and pastels (top photo), and then painted over with acrylic gel medium. Once the medium was dry, I dragged a dry brush lightly loaded with white gesso across the top (bottom photo).

latest mandalas