Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Mum

Today is my mother's birthday!  

Well, actually it's tomorrow in Australia right now, so her birthday was really yesterday, but today I am thinking of her.


I hope you have a wonderful, happy, love filled day Mum.

This cupcake is for you.  Happy Birthday Mum. 

I love you. xx

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Short On Time


As soon as the sun shines there seems to be so much to do in the garden.  

We're exploring a new garden in a new home, uncertain of what lives in it, so each new day of spring brings some surprises.

 Sweet little flowers popping their heads out of the ground.  Sprinklings of color appearing everywhere. The excitement of what is to come next.

Unfortunately it means little time for considered sketches, so it's times like these that I scribble and splash as quickly as I can to capture the essence of my day.  The writing comes later, in the evening when all are settled for the night and quiet has descended.

Makes art every day, even if it's messy. Capture the days of your life in a sketchbook or art journal.  You'll be so glad you did.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, April 28, 2014

Art From Inspiration

When I was in Australia recently, my father gave me a beautiful book on the art of Beatrix Potter.

I love to study the art of great illustrators and visual story tellers, it fascinates me to see how they interpret simple subjects.

Beatrix Potter was an amazing story teller and an even better illustrator. She was determined and sure of herself.  Reading the book gave me some fascinating insights into her life and her process.

I wish I could remember the name of the book, it is in my shipment and won't be here for a few more weeks. I'll let you know what it is called when it arrives.

I did this sketch by studying her illustrations. I absolutely LOVE her work and her stories were a powerful part of my childhood. She is now a part of my own children's lives.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Sketches - Week 8

Welcome to Friday Sketches.  This week I am continuing the use of my water Soluble wax pastels in my sketchbook.  As I discussed yesterday, simple scribbles and sketches can be made more exciting by the vibrancy of pastel and crayon. 

I use them a lot, especially when I am out and about.  They are simple to carry, no mess, easy to use, and can help you create some amazing intensity. Simple subjects like this fence can be made more exciting by using a vibrant color for the background.  These are simple ways to enhance your sketching habit and develop your eye for color.

I'm also sharing some lovely sketches from the participants of last weeks Friday Sketches.
In Laila's Corner

Watercolor and colored pencil in Maddie's journal.
Creative Explorations
Prachee :)

Prachee :)

Graceful Paints

What have you been sketching?  Please share your sketchbook pages by clicking the link at the end of this post. 

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for checking in. xx

It is also Paint Party Friday, so get into your Artists Play Room and get Creative Every Day in your Art Journal Every Day.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sketched Sage

When sketching in nature, it is often the color that describes the subject.

Leaves are a perfect example.  Often the variety or form of the leaf is described through color rather than shape. Let's face it, many leaves are shaped the same (more or less).

Sage is one of those amazing plants that has color, and sketching sage gives the artist a lot of room for expression.  Enhancing colors, adding more color through blends, specking are all ways to capture nature's beauty.

When out sketching, especially in the garden, I love to use watercolor pencils or watercolor pastels.  Often the colors are brighter and more vibrant, even if sometimes these mediums are a little less delicate.

The lack of delicacy in watercolor soluble pastel or crayon can actually be a good thing.  It can help loosen up your artistic style and force you to be more aggressive on your sketchbook page.

Using vibrancy can be a unique and beautiful way to capture subtlety, and watercolor pencil or crayon is a wonderful and easy alternative to paint.  I urge you to give it a try.

This sketchbook page was done in Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Water Soluble Wax Pastel and Ink.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Need For A Sketchbook

Do you keep a sketchbook? 

Have you made it a habit?

If yo don't have a sketchbook habit, then you need to develop one. 

 If you have a creative calling of any kind, then you simply must express yourself in the pages of a addition to anything else you do.  

Call it an art journal, an artist's journal, or anything else you like, but you must do it.

A sketchbook doesn't have to be pretty, or themed, or pristine, or organized, or even good.  Let's face it, practically no one will ever see your sketchbooks except for you (unless you post them online).  

Every artist needs a private place to play, it is utterly vital!

If you want to develop your artistic habit, or satisfy your creative needs, then you really must keep a fact you should keep several.

You need to learn to let go of perfection and scribble a page through to some sort of completion.  You need to learn to loosen up and express yourself in as many ways that you can.

And if you are afraid of the blank to the center of the book and scribble...just scribble, then go back. skip the first page, and start on the next.

Nothing will develop your skill and style like keeping a sketchbook. 

This vase of watercolor flowers was done in a Stillman & Birn "Beta" series sketchbook.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Art Addiction

I'm still waiting for all my art supplies to arrive in the US from Australia.  Four months is a long time to be separated from my tools of trade and I feel like my patience is wearing thin.  I can barely contain myself from browsing art stores and restocking my stash.

I am obsessed with art and creativity.  I know this because it is sometimes like an addiction...if I don't get my fix of creating, I get crabby and discombobulated.

 I have to run my hands over a sketchbook very often.  I need to roll a paintbrush over the page, or clutch my watercolor pencils and scribble or I become breathless and dizzy with frustration.  It sounds corny to many of you I know, but it is my reality, it's who I am, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Not all my art-fixes are pleasing, sometimes they are down and dirty and destined for the garbage bin.  They are nasty scribbles or splashes that are done purely to satisfy an uncontrollable, and sometimes monstrous urge.  
Thank goodness for sketchbooks, places to just privately indulge, to get a creative fix, to explore, or to express, then to hide away on a book shelf, anonymous to the onlooker.  
There is something about the pages of sketchbook, the possibilities it holds, the privacy it promises that completely consumes me.

I love cracking open a new sketchbook and sitting with the purity and innocence of it for a bit, daydreaming about my upcoming journey through it's pages, visualizing the many moments of pleasure and obsession soon to be mine.  

I live out my creative fantasies on the pages of my sketchbooks, I savor each pending rush of laying down colors and symbols that mostly mean nothing to anybody but me.

Closing a sketchbook that has been filled is bitter sweet, and happens so often for someone as obsessed as me.  I love to sneak peeks into its pages over time and view my own artistic evolution.  I honor all the experiences I have had as a result of the process, I remember the places I have been that are indelibly ingrained in the book.

But it is never the finished pages that are meaningful or important, with art there is no true destination. There is no attachment to a finished work, it is only the process of creating that holds the key to satisfaction..a satisfaction that is always short-lived and never truly attained.  

Fully embracing the process rather than the result is true artistic enlightenment.

Thanks for checking in. xx