Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Monkey Magic

I  sketched Monkey Magic at the beginning of January for the first lesson of Life Book 2014 but I am only getting around to painting it now. It was a meditation lesson to meet our inner artist guardian as part of Tamara Laporte's week 1 Life Book 2014 lesson.

There might be a couple of raised eyebrows as I introduce my inner artist guardian. While in a state of blissful meditation, I fully expected to see an ethereal being, maybe a beautiful angel with wings, like the one that Tam created. Instead, a monkey appeared on a flying carpet, surrounded by a glow of magenta and indigo. I assure you no alcohol or mind altering substances were taken before or during this process!

Out of curiosity, I decided to look up the monkey meaning and symbolism. The article made for some very interesting reading. I could relate to many of the qualities and meanings of the monkey, who knew?! Focus is definitely my word; I needed it to keep an eye on this high spirited guardian and as if by magic the monkey on the flying carpet disappeared but not without me getting this little sketch out first.

In this particular instance, I used a spray fixative on the finished background, as I didn't want the spray inks bleeding through the paint.

Since the patterned fibre paper was very thin, I thought the best course of action in not getting dark glue spots was to use a spray adhesive to adhere it to the flying carpet.

Dlyusions inks, glimmer mists, acrylic paint, caran d'ache watersoluble crayons, soft pastels, patterned fibre paper and a white paint sharpie were used on this piece. 

I had a blast working on this playful character. It brought to light many things I need to look at in my life. I guess that's why they are called inner guardians.

Who remembers the TV show Monkey Magic? I think that is why this name popped into my head. The monkey character in the TV show rides a magic cloud. It was slightly off beat but I really enjoyed it.

Until next time, Happy Creating!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Frida with Roses

Help! I didn't realise it but I am in serious danger of becoming an art supply junkie! While looking for the soft pastels for my previous two posts Pondering and Happy New Year, I found lots of art supplies that I bought or was given at one time or another. I am getting quite a stash so it seems.

Are your art and craft items spilling into other areas of your home? Need more storage? Can you resist the temptation of the latest must have art item? The newest colour? The email telling you there is a sale on in your nearest craft store? If the answer is Yes! Then I am afraid you are on your way to becoming an art supply junkie also! 

And how did this happen? Well... I am sure I am not the only one that loves the look and smell of all those scrumptious colours no matter what the art material and what about the names! Cinnamon, watermelon, cherry pie, lemon zest. Just good enough to eat, although I wouldn't recommend it!

This year I will attempt to take advantage of those supplies and incorporate them into my art. Not all at once mind, now that would be a challenge.


While I was knee deep in the art supplies, I came across unfinished art pieces. I thought I would breathe new life into them or at least attempt to finish a few. I get very easily distracted, so focus and commitment seem to be my words for this year.

Frida Kahlo sang the loudest to me, as I imagined a wall behind her with lots of texture and a perfect excuse to use the texture paste. Colours of Frida's Mexican heritage seemed fitting. I mixed a few drops of teal fluid acrylic paint into the texture paste and then spread this with a palette knife in the background. A heat gun finished the look off.

Frida was painted in acrylics and caran d'ache watersoluble crayons. Graphite pencil was used for definition. It felt good to finish Frida and I love the way she turned out, I hope you do too.

What are your tips in keeping yourself in check when it comes to art supplies and staying on track with projects?

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. 

Until next time, Happy Creating!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy 2014!! Well here we are again, the start of another New Year!

Since I had out the soft pastel pencils from my last art painting "Pondering", I thought I would do this fun New Year's illustration. I dug out my soft pastel blocks and used these alongside the pastel pencils. The last artwork and this one are on 210 x 297mm pastel tinted paper. I found that size was a bit fiddly to work with, so if you were interested in trying out pastels, I would suggest a bigger paper size.


A little night time work and getting a feel for the characters personalities. I began with the Australian animals, in hindsight I think I should have started with the background, just to make it easier for blending. Also for tonal value, to see how strong the main characters colours need to be.

Just had to share part of my Christmas gift from my very good friend Mish for whom I did an artwork of her two beautiful daughters "On Fairies Wings". I thought it was a gorgeous gesture, I waved this artwork off to its new home, it came back to me in the form of a mug. As you can see I have already put it to good use!

I thought it would be better to work from the top down. I had to remind myself constantly to lift my hand up from the paper when working, as I noticed in the last painting smudging and fingermarks can be a problem. Laying the paper flat is not exactly ideal. I read blowing the pastel dust off is not recommended as it may cause respiratory problems. An easel or desk easel would be a better option, in order for the dust to fall off.

To help with the blending of smaller areas, I tried a variety of tools, from the kneadable eraser, a blending stump and a rubber tipped tool to a cotton bud tip. Following this stage, I changed the emu's party blower to a darker blue since there was already a lot of green in the picture.

Ok this trio is ready to party! How about you? May 2014 hold many good things for you!

Until next time, happy creating!