Sunday, March 9, 2014

Life Book 2014 - Joy Of Intention

Life Book 2014 Week 8

Week 8 of Life Book 2014 is with Alena Hennessy.  Through a guided meditation, journalling and conscious language practices we are asked to come up with an affirmation that will bring what we are seeking into our lives.

As is often the case I took a completely different direction with this lesson.  Too long have I sat comfortable in the place where I nurture my artistic side.  Artists love to indulge their senses with beauty, and this includes comfortable surroundings and in my case included an excess of too much food.
This year I need to foster and feed my inner beast.  The part of me that started running.  The voice inside that knows I can run 10k and wants to push me to run further.  The part of me that is primal and physical and that has been kept quiet all these years.  My primal passion and power, my physical intensity.

Life Book 2014 The Joy of Intention

The quote that you see there on the left by Marianne Williamson was included as part of our tutorial. I listen to a motivational piece every morning before I run that includes that quote.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Life Book 2014 - Pop Up Positive

Life Book 2014 Week 7 

Week 7 of Life Book 2014 is with fellow Aussie, Jane Davenport. Using children's pop-up books as her inspiration she set out a lesson that asked us to find three positive qualities about ourselves and create a pop-up page that represented this.

Jane used three separate images within her pop-up, one for each quality.  I only used the one because it embodied what I think my three best qualities are. Ingenuity (problem solving), creativity and fearlessness! The outer page reflects my love of books, vintage ephemera and the strange, marvelous and curious things in this world.  The inner showcases my love for steampunk and old maps.

Life Book 2014 Week 7

Monday, February 10, 2014

Life Book 2014 - Spray Ink Love

Life Book 2014 - Ink Spray Love 

Six weeks of 2014 have already flown by!  I remember thinking how awesome it was that I had 6 whole weeks to do nothing but paint and play and now I have two more weeks and I am back to school!

This week's lesson was with Tamara LaPorte where she showed us how to do a side profile potrait and taught us some new techniques with ink sprays.   My ink play didn't turn out how I wanted it to, but I am happy with the effect that I got.

I loved the portrait style.  I was surprised at how quickly I was able to put my brush down and feel like she was finished.  Although Tamara spent a lot more time to achieve a stronger sense of shadow and highlights, I was content with the very minimal, soft effect that I created after very few brush strokes.  I also love how the speckles of the ink spray have come through to look like freckles!

In her hair is a celebration of our positive qualities. Still not thrilled about my handwriting but happier with this attempt at lettering than the last page.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Life Book 2014 - Sugar Sugar

Life Book 2014 Week 5 

Week 5 of Life Book 2014 is with Marieke Blokland.  Her theme was all things sweet!  Candy, chocolate, cakes and lollipops with the thought being that these represent the sweet things in your life. 

I went in a slightly different direction and used my page to highlight the struggle between making the right dietary choices, and the promise that one day the right choice will also be the easy choice.  I wish I liked my handwriting more!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Life Book 2014 - Be True To You

Life Book 2014 Week 4 

Week 4 of Life Book 2014 is with Kelly Hoernig.  She tasked us with creating a mixed media piece incorporating three things that we love and if possible including our word and colour for the year.  The three things I chose were comic books, pop art and quotes by famous people.

I was really happy with how this piece came together.  I got to incorporate my word for the year (forgiveness) and my colour (orange).  I used sprays to give the pixelated/printed look that Roy Lichtenstein is so famous for (called Ben-Day dots) and amplified that further with over sized white dots to add contrast and interest.

Life Book 2014 - Creativity and Play

Life Book 2014 Week 3

Week 3 of Life Book 2013 is with the fabulously talented Carla Sonheim.  She gave us 7 exercises that are designed to switch off our technical, logical thinking and allow our creativity and spontaneity out to play.  

 Life Book 2014 Week 3

The exercises included:

drawing an object using only one line
drawing a zebra with our eyes closed
drawing an object with our non dominant hand
imaginary collage flowers
animals in tape
found poetry
blob animals

She also included a great technique for treating the background of the page with watercolour and gesso.  Included here are my favourite four drawings from the listed exercises.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trying To Read - Altered Book

Altered Book 

I bought this fabulous digital stamp from Mo Manning titled "Trying to Read" just for the sheer joy of colouring it in, and it was after it was finished I wondered what on earth I was going to do with such a large scale image.  Then like a smack upside the head inspiration came and I knew it was meant to be put into an altered book!

The image itself is printed onto watercolour paper and I used Distress Markers and a Tombow Blender pen.  It takes several layers of colour to build up the shadows and even then it's still quite soft, but I love that about watercolour.  I have also added a layer of iridescent water colour to the bottle, glass and fireflies.

To make the book itself I cut a rectangle out of the hard cover and using a ruler and sharp exacto knife I cut a criss cross through several layers of the pages at once.  I then unceremoniously ripped these out which creates the fantastic jagged edge frame.  Once I had torn through about half the book to get the depth of layering that I wanted I placed a sheet of plastic between the pages where I wanted the image to go and used Mod Podge to adhere the inner torn edges and the outer page edges together.  When dry I brushed gold paint on the edges.

Altered Book

The front layer of the book is decorated with a branch made from paper ribbon, some silk flowers, a bit of oakmoss and some plastic toadstools torn from an unloved and gaudy Christmas decoration.

Altered Book

When all of those layers were dry I removed the sheet of plastic and slipped the finished image into the middle of the book and sealed it shut with one final layer of Mod Podge.  Doing it this way meant that none of the hot glue, paint or adhesive accidentally got on my precious image.

This book has picture hangers on the back so it can be hung on the wall, but it could also easily be displayed on a book stand.  I enjoyed this so much am already thinking about my next one!

Linking this up with:

Mo's Challenge Blog: Lots of Layers
Make it Monday:  Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp:  A is for...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Little Bird Told Me

A Little Bird Told Me

By Zeus' Beard it's hot! With temperatures forecast at over 44C (111F) everything here is a parched, with tones of pale cream to golden yellow.  That was my inspiration for this card.

A Little Bird Told Me

The image comes from A Day For Daisies and is called A Braid In My Hair.  It's printed onto Canson Watercolour Paper and coloured using Distress Markers and a Tombow Blender. I am having so much fun with these at the moment, my new favourite toy! The paper is by Graphic 45 and the flowers are by Kaisercraft.

A Little Bird Told Me

Linking this up with:

A Day For Daisies: Add Yellow
Make It Monday:  Always Anything Goes

Friday, January 10, 2014

Life Book 2014 - A Happy Affirmation

Life Book 2014 Week 2 

The theme for Life Book 2014: Week 2 is "A Happy Affirmation" with Micki Wilde and is intended to be a quick, fun representation of the things we want more of this year.  Painted on Strathmore mixed media paper with watercolour pastels, pencils and ink.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cupcake Thief Birthday Card

Cupcake Thief Birthday Card

With a month or two until University starts I'm taking advantage of the quiet time to restock my stash with some go to cards.  This little cutie is called Cupcake Thief and she comes from Mo Manning.  She is printed onto watercolour paper and coloured using Distress Markers and Yasutomo iridescent watercolour paints.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a fabulous day.  Remember, if you do eat cupcakes today, to burn off those calories afterwards, run like you stole them!

Linking up with:
Mo Manning:  Anything Goes
Make it Monday:  Always Anything Goes

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Life Book 2014 - Inner Artist Guardian

Artist Guardian

This is the first project for Life Book 2014, the Inner Artist Guardian.  She is the protector of my artistic freedom and is there to protect me from my inner critic.  Through a guided meditation we were also led to discover our colour for the year.  I was very surprised to find my colour was orange as it's not a colour I ever really use, nor wear.   I was not at all surprised to discover that my word for the year is forgiveness!

This year for Life Book I decided to do all my work in a Strathmore Mixed Media journal.  The page is prepped with gesso and then drawn with graphite and coloured with Caran d'Ache watercolour crayons. The above is a scan of the original, for the life of me I could not photograph it without the reflective elements taking over!