Thursday, April 27, 2017

Painting And Other Artwork

It's so much fun at the Logan Artists Association on Mondays - any other day or the week - the place is so quiet and the people there are all artists who do their own thing.

But Mondays are days where I'm there for art classes with Aaron Pocock with a room filled with other ladies who are painting with different mediums - be it watercolour, acrylics or oils - we are all having great fun. Then, they all found out I add books to my works and thought it was a little strange, until I told them that I have been doing that for the past 5 years or so, because I find that books are just a natural addition to artworks for me. I'm a collector of books and a writer as well, so I thought to combine the two and see how it all went in a painting - and for me, it really makes the painting look so much better. I've even got a word for what I do: Book-Art. It's yet to catch on, but it will.

Anyway, I'm working on paintings with books in them, with different mediums. But I'm currently working on a round canvas from a picture I have glued into my scrapbook I created from years ago. More recently, I've been cutting up old 'Good Reading' Magazines from over 5 years ago just for photos of books, and other magazines as well. It's all inspiration. So, while most people in the class are working from a tablet or a print-out or a photo from a calendar, I'm working from a magazine clipping from 1998 copy of 'Better Homes & Gardens'. Aaron thinks it's very cool that I'm working on new work... but then, there's my self-portrait, which looks very old-fashioned and stodgy compared to the new work. 
So, what I'm going to do is finish this new piece and then transfer what I've learned from it onto the my portrait, as I know I can change it. He's so happy that I've learned this much from the lessons I've been coming to. 

Next Monday is a public holiday, but we'll be only doing morning classes. We all love this idea. And I'll only be taking my round canvas with me. Anyway, I'm hoping to get some work on it done today. Until my next post, keep creating!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Learning So Much!

It's been a while since I last wrote here. I must apologise for not posting as much as I planned about my art classes, but I really have been learning a lot - and it's been exhausting to have other things going on at the same time.

Today, I thought to get in and take some serious photos of the class activities. Aaron Pocock has been doing some lessons for us at the beginning of the 3-hour classes on how we can use particular techniques. Last week, he showed us how to do a simple scene on canvasboard. This week, he showed us how to plan out a complex scene on paper. 

Mainly it's using the KISS method - and worry about the details later on. He also told us that a lot of people work on the details first, getting lost in them, and never finish the painting. He'd rather have the bones laid out first, then fill it all in for details at the end. Of course, he made it look so easy - but really, he's been doing this kinda thing for so long, it's second nature to him.

So, today, I got in and glazed the background of my portrait

The first thing I did was use the linseed oil on the area I was wanted to glaze. Laying the painting flat on the table, I opened the bottle of oil and grabbed a large square brush. Linseed oil has a slight smell to it and you don't really need much - as it's an oil and it will go a long way. But seeing it's going on an oil painting, make sure the painting is dry to touch before doing this otherwise the painting will smear.

Then, mix phthalo blue and burnt sienna together and then - using a fan brush - paint it onto the areas where the linseed oil has been used. For me, it got a little glucky, but I took my time and it worked out. 
I did find that I had to rub some of the paint off because it looked a little thick in some places. All I did then was reapply more oil and it thinned it out, then grabbed a smaller fan brush and used less paint.

Once the effect is done, put the painting off to one side and let it dry. Aaron helped me define some of the books and other things in the background with a tissue by pulling at the oil and making the spins look rounded. There's still work to do on the painting; and I'll keep you updated on what I'll be doing with it.

Once I put the painting down, I pulled out a large, round canvas and on that. I decided a nice garden scene from one of my scrapbooks of magazine cuttings would be nice to do. So, working in some of what I've learned from Aaron, I started to transfer the gate and garden scene onto the Mont Mart canvas and got stuck on the archway. This always happens with me as I can't always see the picture in the way it's taken properly. 
So, Aaron helped by photographing it, editing it by turning it black and white and then I could just work on the shading without worrying about the colours. He said people often have problems with how things are set out on pictures when transferring in the beginning and not to worry too much; that I'll get used to it. Then, he said he'll do a lesson on how to draw for us... seeing how bad I am at drawing. Well, that's my lesson for today (and yes I am seriously a horrible person when it comes to drawing; can't do it, but I can paint. I'm not putting myself down, I'm all stick figures in reality). Until my next post, keep creating!   

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fill The Gaps Exhibition

This coming week is the start of the 'Fill the Gaps' Exhibition at the LAA - and what a reaction Mark Davey has had towards it! 

Mark asked us if we'd like to put in pieces to put up on the walls of the Able Gallery at the Logan Artists Association; and we all pull together out our own works of art to hang. 

I took along 'Books On My Mind', 'Curved', and 'Eye of the Storm' - all three were from differing times of my life and show a range of what I have been able to do. 'Eye of the Storm' is a memory of an actual storm which passed over my parents' house when I was around 12 years old. What a huge one that was!

This exhibition goes for a month and I hope to sell any - or all three - of these pieces. There's some great work going into this gallery which is also for sale. So, do go along for a look. Until my next post, keep creating!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rainy Art Class Monday

Today, it was the day for my art class. And this time I took along my canvas I wanted to work on - unlike last week where I forgot it.

We had a great time working on our own things with Aaron walking around - or running around - helping us all out. Yep, it was a full class this week. 

And there was a man who came in asking if he could join up. I'm not sure if he decided to or not; we'll have to see next week.

My self-portrait went from blah to wow in just 3 1/2 hours. I didn't really want to leave, but I just didn't have the brushes to do the right kind of detailing work I needed to do on the hair... so I left to head off to Eckersleys at Underwood and found what I needed there. 
Once home, I set up the portrait to dry by the back door and will be packing the car for tomorrow to head off to Geoff and Vivienne's place to visit Will (a friend of mine) and drop off some paint Geoff gave me... I just haven't used it; and he can have it back.

Anyway, I arrived home well past 1pm and had a bottle of brush cleaner and detailing brushes from the art store on me... I'm really getting my art gear refined now. I don't want to be taking too much stuff with me if I don't really need it; yet I do want to make sure I have everything I need. Yep, it's a catch-22 in art classes. If you don't have enough gear, you're caught short... and yet if you have too much, you feel as though you've packed the kitchen sink. Oh well, can't win 'em all! Until my next post, keep creating!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Logan Artists Association

I've joined this wonderful local association of artists in my area. It's a great place to go and has done wonders for my self-esteem!

Thus far, I've been a part of the 'Black and White' Exhibition for International Womens' Day this month; and this week, when I pick up my work from there, I'll be dropping off my work for 'Filling the Gaps' Exhibition for next month! 

Now, this is more wall-time than I ever got with the Logan Art Gallery! And seeing I'm a financial member, my work is going to be up on those walls for free! Isn't that brilliant?

I'm also taking part in an art class and enjoying every single minute of it! Aaron Pocock started his art class this past Monday and instead of being a conventional art teacher - with a set lesson plan - he's opted for us to do our own thing and drop in on each of us and advise us on how to make our work better. 
So, some of us were doing water colours, while other sketched with charcoal, and then other worked with acrylic paints and then there were others still who were just getting into water-based oils... and we all learned something big on Monday about everything! 

How very cool was that???

So, this is why I haven't been in here. But if you look at Inside Artistic Dialogue (and if you're not currently a member of that group, do join up), you'll see more about the art classes and the Logan Artists Association. It's a brilliant place to be, as it's in such a quiet place to work at. I haven't felt so welcomed, and wanted to learn so much from so many people. Until my next post, keep creating!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Busy Little Artist!

I haven't been around and I must apologise for this... but I've been busily working on art, paintings and tapestry - not exactly in that order - but I have had my mind and hands on art equipment all the same.

This weekend, I'm taking part in an art opening at the Logan Artists Association at Coral Street, Loganlea. It's called 'Black and White' and it's a collection of art by female artists around Logan City and just in time for International Womens' Day. It starts on 4th, March and the exhibition finishes on 15th, March. I have a piece in it and hope to have a great time on Saturday.
I've also joined the Logan Artists Association this year so I can learn new things in the art world. They have lessons going on how to work with clay - something I've always wanted to know - and art lessons which cost only about $20 or so and lectures from artists from around Logan City.

This is going to be so exciting and I can't wait to attend this exhibition, seeing I have piece in it for the next week and half.

I hope it sells, and if it doesn't, at least people will get to know me as an artist. 

The Lake Como tapestry is coming along so well! The only thing that is fouling up the works is the fiddly bits of which colour is yellow, white or pale yellow... other than that, it's coming along really well in leaps and bounds! Until my next post, keep creating! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Busy New Year!

It's been a busy time this New Year and I'm looking forward to saving a lot of money this year to buy myself a gazebo for the markets.

Now, my folks would be the first to tell me that it's a waste of time. But I love doing the markets, no matter how much - or little - money I make with them. It's the connection with the community and the people I love about them. It's because I get myself out of my house and to a place where there's others like myself there setting up shop and enjoying the day, or the night, and I enjoy the time I spend selling my goods.

So, this year, I'm still going to cool my heels a little and work on new gear still. I'm also putting money away into other accounts as much as I can so I can buy what I need for the gazebo. 

Otherwise, I'm working on a tapestry of Lake Como, which is coming along well. I'm still doing up bits and pieces of furniture, and I've seriously begun decluttering my house. There is one room which has stumped me; and I've begun it - finally! I've also begun a blog about my decluttering journey called A Work In Progress which I think is quite apt. You see our lives are all a work in progress... whether we're artists or writers, or people studying to be who we want to be... we are always a work in progress; and our homes are never finishes, no matter how long we work on them.

It's a nice little blog so far, and there's so much to talk about on it. But I'm still working on other things too. 

So, this year being the Year of the Fire Rooster, I'm hoping to get my butt into gear and working on many things that really need doing! Until my next post, keep creating!

Saturday, January 28, 2017


I've joined Brislets. It's a bartering market around Brisbane where I can sell and barter goods and services with people who are as like-minded as I am.

This year, I was sponsored by a great friend of mine - Jeni Lewington - and am hoping to get myself out there to work at their markets to sell, barter and work on my craft for people; as well as work on other things in my life where it will expand how I work in other fields (like my writing and gardening). 

I have yet to be invited to a market this year and so I'll see how it goes with them. I'll keep you all posted with the goings-on of this endeavour. Until my next post, keep creating! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Newish Books

Over the past week, I've acquired two second-hand books from my craft group. The community centre I went to were cleaning out their books and they dumped a whole lot of them on the table... so I pounced!

The first one is 'The New Needlework Book' and what a book it is! I perused the book and it's got a whole lot of things inside it which I'd have a go at just for presents, decorations for Christmas and just to see if I can do them.

Then, the second one I scored for next to nothing is 'Celtic Cross-Stitch' which I've always wanted to try out. A great book with simple instructions on how to do brilliant and colourful designs. I can't wait to try this style of cross-stitch out.

Well, they were the two craft books I scored in the past month. I don't buy craft books often, but when I do, I really make sure they're worthwhile. What craft books and things have you come across have made your craft days brighter and better? Feel free to leave a comment about your great finds below! Until my next post, keep creating! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Week Before A Market

I'd like to post a few advisory things to do with the markets on here - on how to prepare for the markets, how to set up your stall, work your people skills and how to make it so when you do finally get into working the weekend or boutique markets, you don't feel as though you're walking in blind. 

One of the most-often asked question I am asked is how I prepare to go to the markets and what do I take? These are really great questions; and not a lot of people tell you what you need to take... as it's not something you're advised of when you get into working the markets.

Whenever I do a market, I always make sure I have almost nothing going on the week coming up to it so I can have everything all ready and organised for that particular market.

All the stock has to be ready.

The float has to be with me and ready.

I have to have enough food at the house to make myself lunch and snacks and drinks.

I have to get enough sleep about 5 nights before the markets - nothing worse than going out sometime during the week for dinner and having to recover from a bad curry, something you're going to react to on the day.

All my boxes have to be labeled, numbered and ready to go. This is so I don't leave anything behind. And a list on my phone is handy too for the same reasons. I know this sounds petty, but really I need to make sure I have everything, so I'm not panicking about what I need on the day and finding out that I left one thing at home.

But preparing for a market is something of a skill you have to acquire. It takes time, weeks of preparation and once you've gotten yourself into it, you will never forget how to do it. Every person is different, but how I work with mine is as individual as anyone else's. Some people rush their preparation; whereas I don't. I take about two weeks to prepare my market stall, money and other things to make my experience, workings with the market stall operators and retailers as stressless as possible - and that's exactly how it's supposed to be. 

When I leave the house, I make sure I have the car packed the day - or night - before. Or if you're living in close quarters with other people (like I do), do it the afternoon before and cover the boxes in your car with blankets so nobody sees what you're carrying. 

Arrive around an hour before the market starts. You'll be battling for a parking spot along with other market retailers and working in close quarters with other people. It does pay to be firm with people when it comes to your 'spot'. I know this sounds rude, but when you have to share small spaces with others, you'll always come across some who will try to shove you out of your space. It's happened to me and best thing I've done is tell them where to get off... in the loudest voice I can muster. Not only does it embarrass them but it also shows people that you're not a person to be bullied - especially if you look like a doormat in the first place, when in truth you're not.

Don't take too much stuff. Streamline your stall into as little as possible; and yet make it stretch as far as possible... yep, this sounds like you're making your storage boxes look and feel like the Tardis, but it's not a good look to bring everything but the kitchen sink. Recently, I've had to have a good look at my stall and overhaul it (this is the 3rd time I've done this) and I think I've finally got it right! I have 3 boxes, 1 old-fashioned picnic basket, and 1 basket... and that's it! This means I will have only 2 trips to the car! That sounds great! I used to have an easel and other bits and pieces which had me running to and from the car about 5 times. But setting up still takes me an hour - pulling down takes 20 minutes. And the term for showing up and going home - as a retailer - is bumping-in and bumping-out. It takes time and you have to allow for it all... you also have to allow for travel, traffic and know at least 3 different ways to get to your market in case there's something going on during your journey - so make sure you have your GPS handy in your car with the address of where you're going. 

So, there you have it. How I prepare, how long it takes, what time to show, how long it takes to set up, pull down and the correct terms ... and yep, there's always bullying in every place - especially the markets. Wherever there is competition, you'll find bullying. Sad but true. Well, until my next post, keep creating!