Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cross-stitch hedgehog

In between other things, I have been working on a small cross-stitch. I find them very relaxing to work on. Something to do with the orderliness of them I think.

This one caught my eye in a magazine, so I bought it. They said it would only take 10 hours, so that was a plus as well.

It is a pattern by Margaret Sherry. I did another cross-stitch of hers a while ago, for my step-mother, of nine fat cats, all in different poses, very suitable for a cat lover. But I love the hedgehog.

When K. saw it finished, she said "Can you hang it in my room please?" So, I think it has found it's new home before it is even framed.

And while working on this, I had to find some other threads and got very organised (or is it too organised?) and wound all my loose/odd threads onto spools and stored them away to make them easy to find.

I am obviously in a cross-stitch frame of mind as I have started another cross-stitch of my own design, which I can't share just yet as it is a surprise for someone.

(I have to admit that I am also working on a few other creative projects - two knitted beanies, a pastel painting, a watercolour painting,  collating a local history, and scrapbooking my daughter's life so far - which seems to be a longer project than actually raising her!?!)

In a completely different creative direction, K and I did some chalk drawing...

...and had a game of hopscotch.

A nice way to end a lovely winter's day.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Winter Garden...#2

More and more bulbs are blooming everyday. It is always fun to go out and see what has unfurled its petals each day now.

The first tulip has appeared

Our third cat, Button, came out to help me weed this morning

I hope you enjoy these blooms as I much as I am.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still Life Challenge - WIP#2 - Pastels

Spent class tonight continuing to work on the still life challenge.

It is starting to come together. I'll do some more work on it next week and I think that will be it. It will be a demonstration piece for the Art group so I probably won't finish it to the same extent that I would a piece that I am going to frame.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Winter Garden and Cats - a few photos

It was a beautiful day in Sydney today - a little cold but a lovely warm sun when you could get out of the breeze. And the flowers are popping up in the garden again - not quite spring yet, but it is lovely to see the Anemones and daffodils appearing.

I can't wait to see what this bloom looks like once open

Of course, the daffy's hide their faces against the lemon tree so I can't get to see them!!

Our little stray mummy cat all growed up

One of our baby kittens, now about 18mths old and one very big cat!

Beau, a Kelpie - Pastel Painting (WIP#2)

Spent the morning getting some colour onto Beau. It is quite amazing how many colours there are in a brown dog's coat. But don't look at this as the finished colours - this is just the undercoat, a base to work from. But it still looks like a dog and that is the important thing. :)

I spent quite a bit of time on the eyes to get them started to a point where I can 'see' the dog. And I had to increase the size of his nose as I had sketched that a bit too small. And as I said, the browns in his coat are not just brown - there is olive, reds, deep browns and almost pure yellow ochres, depending on where the sun hits the coat, or if he's in shade.

I can't wait to see this one come together.

Pottery Class #4

I dropped into the Pottery on Saturday so I could fix the head and remove it from the column. I was unhappy with it after I sat down and looked at it in the photo at home.

So I now have two pieces to fire. I'll be able to use the column for something else - either fix something else I make to it or use it for stuff at home. It could be fun to have sitting around.

I hope to make it back to the Pottery Hut on Sunday afternoon, but that will depend on commitments with family this weekend.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Bree, Chinese Crested Dog - Finished and framed

I took 'Bree' to be framed today. I haven't taken a photo of her framed yet, but once it's done I'll post it here.

I've had so many generous comments about this painting. She was very easy to paint and has turned out so well.

This is the last pic I took before handing her over to be framed.

"Abandoned" framed and ready to go to LC Art Awards

Taken at The Art Scene this morning when I picked it up. They are the best. I couldn't ask for better framing or staff when it comes to getting my work framed! And it is dangerous to visit their shop - I always come home with more art supplies. I can't help it!

This painting has been entered in the Lane Cove Art Awards, which opens on August 13, closes August 22. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Still Life Challenge - WIP#1 - Pastels

With new members in our art class, we were talking about setting up some challenges in class. So tonight we had the tutor set up a still life (as long as it had no flowers was the only request) for all of us to work on in our chosen medium. Three of us took part, working in oils, acrylics and pastels. I, of course, was working in pastels.

Here is the set up from the angle at which I was painting:

So first up we each started sketching in...

I'm using an Art Spectrum Plein Air board (16" x 12").

Once the sketch was in place I started adding colour. I focussed in on the fruits when I needed to block all the colour in, but, oh well, it was fun. My detail focus kicked in, but I did stop and move on...eventually.

Still continuing to add colour, and near the end of the 2 hour class...

We all agreed that we had the most fun in class in ages. We all worked quite quickly and were really focussed, but still happy to chat a bit (and I took the time to take pics of each of our work at the same time as we progressed. We are going to put them up as a display at the Open Day at BACG coming up in September. We've decided to do a challenge like this at the beginning of each term. I love working on my own choice of painting, but this was too much fun not to do it again.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Beau, a Kelpie - Pastel Painting (WIP#1)

I started a new painting today. I am going back to the Art Spectrum Colourfix paper this time instead of velour as the last two dogs I've painted have been on velour and I want to see the difference in the way I work on it.

Already I can see a difference in the way I sketch onto the Colourfix. Velour is very unforgiving and sketching on it is pretty much a once only chance as pastel pencils leave marks in the velour. (I know of other artists who do their sketch on paper and transfer it once it is correct onto the velour). With Colourfix I can sketch and erase quite easily. So, today I found that my sketch took longer because I could correct it, than the last sketch I did on velour. Maybe because I knew it was a once only chance, the sketch on velour came together quickly.  It took me an hour and a half to complete this Kelpie sketch, whereas I sketched and blocked in colour on the Chinese Crested Dog in the same time.

It will be interesting to see if the painting comes together the same way, the Chinese Crested a looser painting and this one more detailed. I'll have to wait and see...

The photos I used for both the Chinese Crested and the kelpie here were taken at Puppies on Show, a day put on by Dogs NSW at their Erskine Park headquarters. It was a day where the general public could attend and find out about the different breeds of dog and what they are like to raise at home. I got some really good photos that day.

Both the Kelpie and the Chinese Crested were owned by the breeder, who is a member of the Kelpie Club of NSW.  She was really helpful and more than happy for me to take the pictures.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

First Spring (?) flower

Our first Anemone was spotted today - pity I didn't notice it sooner as it was almost fully blown.

But it is still beautiful, even as it is fading. Can't wait for some more to bloom!

Pottery Class #3

My mum and K. both opted out of pottery today, so I had the task of finishing painting the underglaze on all their work. That took about 1.5 hours! And then I could go back to working on Max - that's the name that I have decided to call him today.

I had to make a stand for him and Ilona suggested a column, like in ancient Greece or Rome and I had lots of fun from there. Not sure if I'm ultimately happy with it, but it was a lot of fun making it.

Max came from the idea of putting a Roman numarl date on the small plaque which would be MMX for this year, so... Max!

I still need to put a brow on him and maybe an ear or two, depending on how 'damaged' he is. Or I may get to pottery next week and remove the plinth altogether. I'll see how I feel, but it was fun working out how to do this. I used broken glass to make the broken bits on the column, which worked really well.