Spikey – in orange!

Introducing another new face in my collection of pretty ladies… Meet Spikey and today, for Theme Thursday, she is resplendent in orange! The original is a sketch that I later painted (last night, actually),  in shades of red. So, today I got to practise in Photoshop, with hues and brushes and I really like how she turned out! Thank you Theme Thursday for pushing my envelope!

I like the magic of the changes of colours when I play around In Photoshop – it’s either dramatic or subtle. Most of the time I overdo things, but I am trying to get better at subtle/soft…

Here are a couple of “before” pics:


I hope that seeing what I have been doing for the past 3 – 6 months has encouraged you to re-use your images, drawings, sketches, etc. in new ways. I have learnt some really useful skills thanks to people like Tam @ Willowing, who inspired me to get Whimsical; Strathmore artists – Pam Carriker and Linda Blinn have now given us 2 free workshops with more techniques and advice; Tammy from Daisy Yellow is a constant source of inspiration and ideas; Traci Bunkers shares her world of handcarved stamps and art journalling; and not forgetting Julie FFB, who started me believing that I could AJED (Art Journal Every Day)!

 There’s a lot out there and it’s amazing to me that I am finally discovering my own style. I like my processes and my ‘madness’ or ‘weirdosity’ because, in all honesty, it’s who I am… Interestingly enough, the fact that I have had to use what I have all the time, every day, and haven’t bought any new art supplies for ages, has, I think, helped in my development. (But don’t tell Nick, okay?!)

Good intentions!

For Crazy Amigos this week, these two are little sketches I made last night in an old “Moon Diary” which I bought a few years ago. It’s much too sweet to throw out so I decided to use it for sketching. In my bid to improve my drawing skills this year, I intend to try and draw/sketch something every day and the art journal every day; I am not doing badly so far – at least my “faces” are improving!!

Titanic 2 - booooring movie!!

She’s quite cute, but not quite there yet!! This next one, however, would make a fitting girlfriend for “What?”:

Miss Who?

I’m just using pencils and a rubber, employing the techniques I learnt from Tam at Willowing. I love her style! 🙂

Happy New Year!

I am happy today – I have finally put the last finishing touches to my canvas and will be looking for a frame for her in the New Year. “Someone to watch over me…” was born in the Art, Heart & Healing Course so many of us took part in this year. I doubt that anyone who took the course didn’t finish it feeling enriched, enlightened and encouraged. To enable people to feel that way is a very special gift and Tam is a very extraordinary person to have given us all the opportunity to share, free of charge, this wonderful online experience. Thank you Tam!

Nick took this outside at lunchtime, before it got so cold!

The canvas is approx. 18″ x 14″ (35cm x 45cm), which is pretty big for me. The only one I’ve painted bigger than that, was the recyling abstract canvas I painted last year.

 I think the background probably took me twice as long as the actual angel! Around her halo are platimum liquid pearls…

Finishing off the bottom posed quite a number of problems until I happened to spot a bandage in one of my storage pots! To make the frill along the bottom of the angel, I dragged the unrolled gauze bandage along different shades of blue and mauve ink pads – Whispers to be precise. So it’s tinted without being overpowering. I added more pearly paint dots to it after attaching it with Golden’s gloss gel medium.

I am so proud of this angel, you can’t imagine. I found out about Tam’s free workshop via Hermine’s blog, signed up and advertised it on my own blog, which prompted other blogging pals to follow suit. I discovered that grungey little me could draw, shade and paint whimsically if necessary! Something like an angel presented an enormous challenge for me… I am not really an “angel” person – I believe what I believe and have faith, but angels?  I would never have imagined that I could create this, so it has come as something of a revelation to me. Yet another step on the Learning Ladder of Life!

I look forward to the advent of 2011 and wish you all a very Happy New Year, in every sense! 🙂

Long, Tall, Skinny work…

That title describes my favourite journal to work in – which I learned to make in 2009 on JP’s Art Journal Supernova course. I can’t believe I have very nearly filled the book and will soon have to make another one! I think one of the seductive things about it is that all the pages are made from A4 sized cardstock, so I tend to think “A4” when I start to collage/paint a page. That gets me into a “framework” mode…

Anyways, I sat creating this spread on Friday, which was such a release as I have been knitting in my free time and sorting out images for the calendar too. Who knew that that would take up so much time – getting the right images for each month, etc.?

Angel, birds and flow...

I was playing with a few new things that I had ordered from Jacksons – namely some watersoluble pencils – in grey, indian ink and sepia tones – and a couple of new Neocolours to use in the Willowing coursework. I also tried mixing acrylics, watercolours and pencils, charcoal and pens – being very experimental.

I drew/painted on the round roses, the fat birdie and the angel; I used my own birdie stamp and the latin text from MaVinci, plus a small dragonfly stamp from Personal Impressions. The musical notes appeared because I have been trying to teach Nick’s parrot Gizmo  a Christmas Carol. She does a fair amount of random “singing” anyway, so I thought the “falalalala…lalalala” from Deck the Halls would be simple enough – considering she can sing “Food, glorious food!” from Oliver… She normally picks a new ‘thing’ up within a week or 10 days, depending on how interesting she finds it. Earlier this year I taught her to say “Yeah, baby!”, which she loves and she learnt that one within a few days, so…

***How odd: WordPress won’t let me “live-link” at the moment, so I can’t do much about that, sorry! I have been painting an angel today, as the final part of Tam’s free course which has ended now. It’s sad, but what a fabulous amount of people joined in and how we have all grown by doing this. The course isn’t closing, so if you’d like to try it yourself, then click on the badge in my lefthand side-bar to go see what it’s all about and watch the videos.

**I loved that song – Aliens want your underpants, or something like that… It made me giggle the way Tam set it to music and sings it while she’s painting!! What a lovely person she is! 🙂

Am I Whimsical???

I would have said, “No, Rosie, you aren’t whimsical.” But that was before I came under the Tam-fluence! That was before I learned how to draw a face, any face, a basic face. The more I do this, the more I enjoy it. I spent all day today with 4 characters (one of whom represents me as a girl), patiently shading and colouring and messing up and trying again!

Here come the girls...

Cue that annoying Boots advert music. I say annoying because it’s been running through my mind most of this afternoon!

Alison and me...

I’m the blonde with the bunches!

Nandini and Chris

Alison, on the far left became an auto mechanic, but in our day, finding work in that field was just too difficult so she retrained as a WP operator/secretary and earned much more! My friend Nandini was very brainy, of Indian parents and wanted to become a doctor. No idea what happened to her, sadly, but I might have a look for her on Facebook. Chris on the right was the real “blonde”, wanted to be a police officer and I simply lost touch after we left school…

None of us “fitted in” with the cool girls – we were either too geeky, or too goody-goody! That was what united us for a few years – we were each other’s coping mechanism for a while back then.

Class resumes again tomorrow and I can’t wait to see what we do this week. There are 1145 members at the time of writing this post!

Willow away, Tam!! xoxoxo  🙂

Art, heart & healing – II

There’s more! We have been bitten by the awesome Tam-bug! I cannot remember the last time I planned my day ahead to ensure I had more Art playtime… no, really! There are over 1000 people taking part in this awesome online course/workshop/life experience and it’s just amazing. We are in a fever of excitement already in anticipation of Lesson 2, starting tomorrow!

Anyways, here is a self-portrait that is nearer the mark to me as I am these days. The purple, blue and black hair is just wishful thinking because grey/blonde and highlights is harder to paint (for me!)!!

"Wannabe Me"!!

A WIP (work in progress), as I haven’t yet blended her hair in, etc. but I think it’s interesting to see how much I think it’s improved on the previous one – which was my first ever painted portrait. I’ll update this when she’s more finished too!!

Art, Heart & Healing

What a revelation this workshop has become – to me and to so many of us. When I signed up for the FREE 4-week art healing workshop with Tam, I had no idea how much I could/would learn…

Here’s my first therapeautic spread, in two pages of a spiral-bound journal I have “appropriated” from DD!

Having a restless soul...

I do have a restless soul, I am forever experimenting with new techniques, changing my mind… ah well, at least I can forgive myself for that now!

... and a curious mind"

I was so impressed by Hermine’s faces this week, that I knew I had to watch my videos and learn to do this. I’ve never actually painted a portrait before, but I am going to watch the video again, and read the notes again, before I do my next one! 🙂

Marie loves flowers…

Sunday Postcard Art “Dark Marie”… Well, she was such a ‘girly girl’, wasn’t she? Not looking her best in this wondrous collage image from Ten Two Studios, but nevertheless, she is just adorable! To make her pop a bit from the multi-blah blackground, I gave the image a coat of Golden’s Liquid Polymer Gloss. (It also protects the image!)

Marie loves flowers...

My friend Fi sent me the oversized paperclip and I have included the string for Hels’s Sunday Stampers challenge. The stamps are foam ones that I have mainly for use with paint and gesso.

Got loads to share today too – If you look at my left hand sidebar, you’ll see I have added a new badge – The heart of ART. It links to the  Willowing art group on Ning.com where Tam is offering a FREE 4-week online course for mixed media fans. If you’ve never taken a course or workshop (and let’s face it, sometimes we don’t have the budget for it, do we?), well this is a great opportunity. If you follow that link, there’s a video which explains what it’s all about and that will help you to decide if this could be good for you. I signed up after seeing the badge at Hermine’s blog. 🙂

I’m still trying art journalling, using books I made from the Kelly Kilmer course and I started a new one a couple of days ago – a journal about my Weightwatchers journey! I thought if I write down what my goals are and then journal the journey, it may help keep me on track? Well that’s  the theory – I shall be sharing how that goes on my blog and probably on Facebook too!!!