Saturday, October 18, 2014

New tricks

It is always a good class when I return home with some new tricks. Today I bought moulding paste and slow medium so I can try some ideas after today's interesting exercise.

We painted Waratah leaves and stems and then used moulding paste mixed with paint and slow medium to "draw" the skeleton of the Waratah flowers.

The Waratah is the floral emblem of NSW. I remember many years ago my mother bought Waratah flowers on the side of the road from some young girls near the Border Ranges National Park in northern NSW. Selling (and buying) such flowers without a permit was illegal but my mother, who was normally a law-abiding, church-going citizen was prepared to break the rules when it suited her.

Waratahs are difficult to grow and even more difficult to flower. We had a bush in our Murrumbateman garden but it has never flowered.

So today I painted one. So glorious. Acrulics with moulding paste. Yum.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

There is no animal more representative of Australia than the kangaroo. Our art teacher Margaret has been away in Iceland and Spain so to celebrate her return we painted this Australian icon.

Oils on canvas board. I have come to love painting in oils for lots of reasons, including the ability to go back to part of the work some time later and re-adjust.

I'm using that that old trick of house painters to cut an onion in half and put it with the painting to soak up the smell of the paint.

As I was leaving class Margaret suggested it would be good to do this painting entirely with a pallete knife. Never one to knock back a challenge ...

Oh, my classmate Jenny is the new teacher's pet. I told her I'm very competitive.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maggie May

To celebrate the last day of May we drew magpies in pen and coloured them with ink. We used Micron 08 archival ink pen on two types of paper. The first drawing was on 300GSM art paper and the second was on Yupo, which has a smooth, almost plastic finish.

The way the ink worked on both was quite different, so with the second picture we got a lot more of a textured feathered result.

We had a lovely group with some new faces. I love my classmates as we all share a laugh and our battle tales from the week.

It is a great way to forget the c**p that is flung about by inferior humans who need to build themselves up because of their own failings.

Long may art play such a wonderful role in my life.

Today I am making different art, by attempting to complete my latest quilt. It's luscious and a massive labour of love. Cannot wait to get it finished and on my bed.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Goodie goodie gum drops

When I was a young lass we lived at Byron Bay. That was in the '60s when few people knew where The Bay was. None of this "Byron". We used to swim at Wategoes Beach and Main Beach and at The Pass. I was always petrified walking to The Pass because there was a Banksia forest adorned with hundreds of Banskia Men.

I though of those days today at art class when we painted gum blossoms. One of the first books I read was Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by  May Gibbs. I loved that book because it brought the Australian bush to life and to a girl who could see fairies in every tree it made perfect sense.

I remember as a very young child loving to draw and paint and then in first class we had to paint people with sausages for arms and legs. That was so wrong but that was what the teachers wanted. I wish I had the confidence then that I do now to follow my path.

As my boss tells me no one else can make you act, choose, think or believe so it is up to each of us to pursue our path. He phoned me from Mumbai yesterday and said I would love to paint it. Chaos Theory in Watercolour. I could hear it in the street sounds over the phone. I've never really wanted to go to India but maybe I will.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ear, ear

Our art class did so well at an oil painting of a sunset over the sea that we decided Vincent Van Gogh would have cut his other ear off if he had been there.

Margaret loves to give us a challenge and she did.  It was an intense class, with some new people attending, but we all were fairly pleased with our efforts after 2-and-a-half-hours. I love how Margaret guides us for some of the painting then lets us lose and we have to paint on our own.

I love learning as an adult. I am enjoying art class so much.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Core business: apples

Apples have been the cause of misery for quite a few people through history. (Adam, Eve anyone?) Today they were the subject of Margaret's latest torture test.

We drew apples with oil pastels. I was so heavy-handed with the colour I thought all was lost. But it wasn't. There is always a trick and we learned the trick and I so want to have my own oil pastels. During the lesson I remembered that my mother had a set back in the 1960s and we were NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY WITH THEM.

I will buy some when I master my latest purchase: charcoal pencils.

So much to learn and master.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flower power

I've been drawing flowers this week, making my first art cards. Guess what we drew at art class yesterday? A flower. A protea.

The first drawing was in charcoal pencil and then we used coloured inks, on 300gsm watercolour paper. What a beautiful paper to use.

I love painting flowers and I'm enjoying my classes immensely.