Friday, March 31, 2006

Life drawing class

This was my first attempt at doing a life drawing class. I need to do a lot of feet and hands and faces! I need to work out proportions better and do more on foreshortening as well.. My last two were done on full size paper and so were not able to be scanned and by then I was freeing up a bit. Our model was beautifully pregnant which also makes for a bit more of a problem I think. My arms are pretty woeful but the first one was a 5 minute sketch and you cant get much done in 5 minutes, the second was a far more challenging pose and was I think a 10 minute sketch. The hour and a half went very fast. An interesting exercise and I would like the opportunity to do more but not so easy in a small town.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Glory vine leaves

I sat outside after lunch relaxing and looking at the various colours of the leaves on the Glory vine so collected my watercolour pencils and tried to capture them. I dont think I had realised how many different shapes the leaves have as well as the tones of colour. I am afraid it isnt brilliant but it is my last weeks challenge for Everyday Matters, for those in the northern hemisphere the challenge was Spring
Great excitement today as when I went in to the Post Office to collect the mail there was a complimentary copy of the American magazine Cloth Paper and Scissors with an accompanying letter saying that I was an "artist" in this issue. Wow!! I must say I had about 4 pages of the ATC RR pages I had made in there. Incredible.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Museum window

I sketched this very quickly the other evening while waiting for John to go back to the car, probably only had about 7 minutes so it is a bit rough but I rather liked these windows, they make the building, I must go back with the camera and try to take a photo. The museum is on North Tce and there are a row of rather lovely buildings along there.
I spent many happy hours in the museum and the art gallery when I was a child, the childrens library was behind them in another lovely old building facing the armory lawns. My father was a professor at the University of Adelaide in the 1930's 40's and 50's, he died in 1959, the year I was married, but as children the university, which in those days was very small was a second home. How it has all changed now, I hardly know my way around it.
One of the things that the art class over the week end has taught me is to take more photos of our buildings, and sketches if I can find the time.
Autumn has definetly arrived this morning, moist wet earth smells, the glory vine is turning and the little Nyssa sylvatica I have been nurturing for years in the orchard is a flame of colour, I think it has finally decided to get its roots down and live.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Textile page

Unfortunatly this isnt showing up very well, I have tried to fix the shadow but it wouldnt work. This is a fabric page I am slowly getting together of memories and women, this is my mother aged 18 on her wedding day, she is now 93. The lace is a tiny piece of Honiton Lace I bought when I was in Honiton a few years ago as my mother wore a Honiton Lace veil, which has long since disapeared, the pink lace is actually some of my mother in laws stuff i found in her work basket when I married John, she had been dead for 10 years then. Wrapped up is a shrunk down copy of my mothers wedding certificate and the pearl buttons are all old ones I have collected over the years. All done on a piece of cream silk. The other button is a copy of an old one and the frame is a scrapbooking one I found.
Today has been a bit messy, made a large amount of rattatoulle to freeze and use in stews over winter. I have washed and ironed, fiddled with some textile stuff I still have to finish and had a blood test (8 am, no breakfast!)
Felt almost like winter today, cold and dark but it has suddenly cleared up so I will walk the dogs tonight before going in to beading.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Study of clouds

This was one of my cloud studies, a bit of a mess in the left hand corner but not too bad. Done on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper.
I will compare it later to the ones I did earlier in the week.
It has rained through the night and we have had over an inch so far, now the problem will be, do we start seeding or not? John has got some seed this morning, and after he left it poured again and I had trouble feeding the ponies, all done now. I think we will put a bit of seed in the lower paddocks and hope we keep getting some rain, really we wouldnt expect to start until mid April but we can do with all the feed we can get, and the earlier the better. Even on our deep sand this may be a posibility as rain and showers are forecast for the whole week, then we dont want it to get too hot! Farmers worry all over the world!
I think I have a not so full on week this week so hope to get back to some textile stuff.
I have just been told that some of the textile pages for the ATC book we did as a round robin with Patti Culea's stargazetome group have been published in the Cloth Paper and Scissors magazine and some of mine are in it. Cant wait to see the magazine. (Probably about 3 weeks or so before I do.)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Painting in shadows

I had a very interesting, and tiring week end in Adelaide going to the painting for travellers workshop with Peter Bok. The area he lives and has his studio in was one of the least fashionable areas in town, now transformed into modern townhouses etc but his is a lovely old bungalow with garden. Any way this was one of our exercises, using a photo (yes a photo!!) of one of our local churches this was to get angles and shadows in and I found it a very interesting exercise to do. Not that this is in any way right but it has taught me a lot more about where things should go. Again using 3 colours, although this time burnt sienna. yellow ochre and ultramarine. I am stil having trouble laying down my colours but felt much more condident as the week end went on. (And I have to say felt I had a better handle on it than at least half the class!!) I will probably get more up through the week.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Another from the watercolour class

This was the very early morning scene on the last day of our class. The Island and the Bluff seemed to be floating in the air as there was very little difference between the sea and the sky when I did this.
I am now back to getting onto the computer at all times of the day. I had a 9 am eye appointment this morning, the cataract in the good eye is thickening, hence the smeary feeling I am getting, but not bad enough to do anything about yet, wait 12 months unless it really gets worse.
Yesterday was a full day/evening in Adelaide, dentists, I am still not cleaning enough for him, oh dear I may well be dead before that happens. Very hot in Adelaide, i did get a rather lovely and quite expensive brush for my washes and some paper. Saw my mother and one of her carers who is a very slim swish young lady who teaches singing, just what I think my mother needs, filled her up with a brandy and soda!
We then went on to the reception for the Clipsal 500 car race at the Armory lawns, while waiting for John who had forgotten our entree cards I sat on North Terrace and sketched the windows in the museum, I will put them up another day. The reception was very interesting, they had some of the jugglers and acrobats from the Adelaide fringe festival performing, I made some more very quick sketches. Some lovely oysters and other nibbly food, a glass or two of bubbly and caught up with a few people we knew then drove home, still very hot until we neared home when it got cold, so a good nights sleep.
Tomorrow I head back to Adelaide for a two day sketching for travellers class.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Still on day 2 of watercolour class

I did this on day two of the class as well, it was a copy of a painting, but it helped me to get my ideas a bit straighter. yesterday was a wonderful morning and we went down by the beach but I got in an awful mess, everyone was doing wonderful things and I seem to have reverted so we practiced skies in the afternoon, under supervision I did one and then on my own another and they are not too bad, but I need to finish them off. I am stll very tired and have a busy week, Adelaide today so no time for anything, but the dentist and see my mother and then a reception for the wretched Clipsal 500 car race in the evening. I hope I can still stand on my feet by the time the day is over.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Drawing in the park

I am so tired I can hardly think, I am sunburnt and my shoulders ache! All in the persuit of art. I had to get up very early to be in the Park by 9 am as I had ponies to feed and the farm toyota to get together as John had a meeting during the day so he had the car.
Anyway these are the drawings I did in the park, the top one is of one of the town hall windows and the bottom one of a very ornate seat. I did one side, the closest and then wasnt sure where to go from there, I havent got into the habit of blocking in the whole before I start on a bit, so I was very surprised when it actually came together quite well. I tried using pencils but I find I am more confident with my pen, even tho you can see my mistakes better, like this side back piece was far too long.
I cant believe how tired I am, I hope I get it together a bit more today. It was a quite beautiful day and really nice people.
I have found that I really dont have quite the right equipment, need more brushes of a type I dont have and paper and its quality makes such a difference.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Painting class

This just goes to show how much I dont know about watercolour painting. I need to practice a lot more drawing, my trees are awful but it was an interesting but tiring day and I did learn a lot. We used three colours only, some slightly different depending on the view we decided to paint, my triad was lemon yellow, cobalt blue and alazarin crimson. I have never really mixed colours before and I couldnt believe how many colours those three would make for me. I had put trees on the Island and they looked awful so they got wiped out although you can still see some of the outlines. Today will probably be much worse, 2nd days always are.
We had a good dinner and it was lovely to see Tweetie again, but I am so tired.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Embellished textile dolls

I have had a frustrating two days trying to get blogger pictures to work. Finally they have after I have been through goodness knows what who knows what goes on in a computer!
These little dolls are something I have been playing with, using different decorations. The head dresses are of multiple layers of cloth cut and sewn and then over sewn with inbuilt stitches on my machine. The dolls are of batic and commercial fabrics but I would like to try hand dyed. They are beaded and embroidered with some wire work. They are about 7 inches tall and are designed to hang on the wall. Lots of fun to do and I would like to incorporate more of my playways knowledge on them. I actually drew up these dolls and then saw something very similar in one of the American doll magazines, I guess they are a pretty universal shape.
I have just finished one very long day at my first watercolour painting class, not very good but I think I will improve (well I hope so) two more days to go. Will get something up when I have time.
We have some people for dinner tonight and I have spent forever on this blog trying to get it together (would just like to go to bed!!)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Some Photos

We have had some rain and for this time of the year the garden is looking magnificent so I took a few photos.Even the vegetable garden still has something bright in it, the tuberous artichokes are flowering well, we thought the little native rats had eaten them all but no here they are again. I love the clashing colours by the steps and the misty look of the gaura and garlic chives in flower. The deep colour in with the gaura is a sedum.
I have done very little for the last couple of days, have been very tired. So these are to cheer me up.

Friday, March 17, 2006

sketch of mug

Not a very good day today, my joints ache, due I suppose to the first couple of cold nights we have had, autumn feels as if it is here, but realistically we will have more heat before the season has really changed. Also my eye is misbehaving so I have finally made an appointment with the optomitrist. It keeps feeling rather smeary and not changing well to the different light from sun to shade, I just hope it is something that can be fixed, at least it is my bad eye anyway.
I havent really done anything productive today so thought I would sketch my mug, even that was not very well done, looks as if it will dance off the table!!It was done with watercolour pencils and pen. I love this set of mugs, only bought three when I saw them at Woolworths, the colours are so bright and cheerful. I had nothing to put up so this was it, but I will have another go when my eyes are not quite so wonky.
Even playing with my new watercolours I couldnt seem to get the colours I was trying to acheive.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

EDM Challenge Hats

Nothing much was done today. So I drew hats with Celina.
I did re pot a few things. John off at meetings all day. I got out beds for the girls to make blingy things for handbags which kept them amused for a while.
watched the opening of the Commonwealth Games, liked the bit where our South Australian Governor Marjory Jackson Nelson (One of our most decorated women Olympians) was the second last runner with the Queen's baton. She is a great lady.She then handed it over to Victoria's Governor John Landy who was the second person to break the 4 minute Mile. I really liked the way that so many athletes, old and young were involved with this.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


This is Oscar, my large ginger cat. he is huge, bought for $1 at the hospital fete a few years ago, he just looked like any old moggie and then he started to grow and grow. He is mainly an inside cat, but is sure he should be outside however I keep him well confined during the summer snake season.
He is impossible to draw as he is very rarely still and I have tried and tried but I dont think I draw animals very well. He also tends to tuck his tail and feet under him! I am not at all pleased with the coloured pencil sketch although his face looks a bit more like it should.
I had a sick grand child yesterday and two of them today, so not much time to get anything done.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cottage at Goolwa

I played around with this for two days. Tried to take out the tree and that didnt work so left it in. This is my first attempt at a "real" watercolor. I have trouble trying to get things not too wishy washy but I think that is more or less right. The cottage is interesting in that it has all these curved lines to it.
Yesterday was much cooler, we had a nice amount of rain and I didnt have to turn the hoses on. John and I spent a couple of hours in the evening pulling more nasty weeds in the paddock. Unfortunatly I found more when I went to see where the Cob stallion had got out. Something called cowtrop, not sure if this is how you spell it, looks very pretty with long tendrils of ferny weeds and hideous nasty long spined seeds.

Monday, March 13, 2006

sketching in public and textile piece

John and I went out to dinner on Saturday night and while we were waitng for them to come so we could order coffee this is what I sketched, the misty figure is John across the table! Done very quickly, the wine and salad were great.The other piece is doing grids and it is felt ontop of felt on top of silk paper ontop of felt again. I feel it has a sort of japanese look to it.
It rained in the night, lovely as it had been so hot and dusty yesterday. The Welsh Cob stallion got out this morning so I have had to get him back in as he and the Welsh Mountain colt were running up and down the fence squeeling at each other and the mares were all dancing around with glee. All is quiet again now.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Me and my beaded stuff

Ok well here is what I really look like, well when I am dressed to go out. This was my new outfit for the tourism awards and also the necklace, bracelet and "bling" thingy for my bag I made to go with it.. As I said I went over the top! The necklace and bracelet are freshwater pearls and shell and the thingy is all fake and light. Decided the only way to have this photo taken was infront of the fireplace!
Actually what I really look like is dressed in a t shirt and old pair of jeans and joggers.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Drawing lesson

this is done in soft pastels, I have never used them before but rather liked them apart from the mess. We pasted a photocopy of a postcard sized photo in the centre of the board and then extended it. I didnt really know what or how to go about it and looked at it for ages before I felt game enough to do something. the sea at the top is a bit wrong but on the whole for a fist attempt I was reasonably pleased with it.
Yesterday we had to go to grandparents day at one of the schools, only one grand daughter is at this one. I love seeing what they are all doing in their classrooms.
Then last night we went to see Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins in "Mrs Henderson Presents" which we both loved. Dont go to the pictures much although we have a very nice little theatre in the town with a lovely art deco facade, actually the inside hasnt changed much either although there are now two theatres, they even have heated footwarmers in winter.
It has been such a busy week and we were going to Womadelaide but todays forecast is 37C so we are giving it a miss. Much cooler down here.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The causeway at Victor Harbor

I did this sketch while having coffee yesterday at the restaurant overlooking Encounter Bay. The power was off for most of the day so we went out and pulled weeds from the paddocks, the more we pulled the more we found. Mostly camel melons and heliotrope but we also found a nasty patch of three cornered jack, all has come in with the hay we had to buy during the drought. When we had finished we came in to town for some lunch and a coffee. We are very reliant on power these days, although I could have found something to eat it was nicer this way.
My sketch has the boat going down hill a bit, I was trying to give the impression of the cross current but didnt do very well. The causeway goes from the point at Victor across to Granite Island and a horse drawn tram goes across several times a day.
Drawing class was interesting last night and I was relatively pleased with what I did but it is too big to scan so I will see what it looks like with a photo.
I have changed my settings on this so it may be easier to put up a comment. I will see what comes through

Thursday, March 09, 2006

EDM Challenge Frame/s

Well this just proves that I cant draw straight lines! This is one wall in my sitting room and the paintings are getting smaller and heading for the ceiling. The wall isnt really this yellow but I seemed to have problems doing a sort of clotted cream colour. I also discovered i seem to like buildings, although seascapes and landscapes are next. There are a couple of small textile pieces in this collection and a Japanese doll which was a swap with cloth doll maker Angela Jarecki in America, which I love. I found trying to give an impression of paintings interesting and difficult, not many of the frames are very interesting and I had trouble indicating gold.
Last nights Tourism awards were great but I may try to download something from that a little later. I was pleased with the new outfit and I did manage to get the necklace finished, and a bracelet and a bling thing for my bag. Dont go out often so when I do I go over the top!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Another textile piece

Yesterday was not a good day, infact it was very depressing but I wont go into that. I went to Adelaide to see both my elder sister and my mother.I also thank goodness called into see my good friend Paddy who fed me and invited another friend around and I felt much better. Drove home on our notoriously awful Adelaide to Victor Harbor road and it was full of the usual fast, slow idiot drivers. I did get home in one piece. I went to beading and made a mess of the necklace i want to wear tonight, so that is the job for today.
I had been playing with some ATC's (artist trading cards) and this is what I came up with, the back ground is the same as the last textile piece, with loads of stitching and layers you cant see and shiva stick and using the heat tool but this time the slips are flowers and a paisley shape, pinched from Maggie Grey's Workshop on the web. I rather like its almost stained glass look.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

EDM Challenge 16

The challenge was to draw a favorite tool. Well my scissors are a favorite tool, very well used with the tassel on the end cut off by a young grand daughter and now shorter than it was, but I dont lose them with the tassel on.
I have had a frantic few days and the next dont look much better so drawing has been out but I did do these while collapsed in my chair mindlessly watching tv.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Illuminated Initial

This is what I have been working on for the last few days. Very heavily textured using stretchy felt, nappy liner, vliesofix, shiva stick and more, then burnt back with the heat gun. Great fun. Initial sorked seperatly and then put on. You cant really see any beading but there is a bit. I am making more bases it was such fun.
Yesterday we moved the pony out to the herd of mares, put the net over the quince tree so that the parrots cant eat them all. I want quince paste!
We also went to a party to farewell our current local parliamentarian, elections in 2 weeks and he isnt going on. He has been the best one we have ever had in this district and we will miss him. He and his family became good friends as John became Mayor at about the same time Dean came in. I am glad John is no longer Mayor, the pressure these days is so great. 10 years was long enough for us.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The cats dinner

After all the excitement of the morning yesterday when John came back from his days fishing I asked for something to sketch and the most colourful fish was this one, a red mullet, I dont particularly like eating these, to me they are a bit soft but Oscar just loves them. I did these just with my aquarelle pencils but didnt wet them. A couple of his fins were foreward but I couldnt get them back. We had a cool change in the evening which made things much better. The black pug bitch has gone off to be mated and her male companion here has been gently howling since she left, poor fellow.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Snakes and heat

Well this is not my usual style at all, ( except in my travel sketchbooks when I am in a hurry). This morning I was told one of the foals was on the road, daughter and grand daughters at a show, husband gone fishing, as usual when a disaster it is only me to fix it. Managed to get the foal back in(after catching her unco- operative mother) and then found a mare who should have been in another paddock was in the fenced off bit between, no gate. Stinking hot, I am in shorts and runners and while investigating with bucket in one hand and halter in the other I nearly trod on a large black snake who shot off into the high grass around the dam. By now I am red in the face and not happy. The upshot is that I got her a bucket of water and left her where she was until I have some help. She couldnt get up to where the snake was thank goodness. I am still hot and bothered but at least now I can have the day to myself, I hope.

Friday, March 03, 2006

EDM Challenge Self Portrait

This was a terrible challenge, after about 3 goes none of which looked remotly like me this one is the best I could do, and I am sure those who know me wont think its me at all!! My eyes are too big but looking at them through my glasses thats the way they look to me, not enough wrinkles but how do you do that?Actually it is much too young looking. No this is NOT me but what came out of my pencil!! Ugh.
When I am brave enough I MAY revisit this but not for a while.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Goolwa again

The sketch is of some bollards along the wharf, made of river red gum goodness knows how old they are. The coot was on the page first so got into the act too, he is awfully out of proportion to the rest but he was bobbing around in the water. I was casting around to find something to sketch when I had finished the Oscar "W" and I realised how interesting the bollards were.
The figurehead is on one of the local pubs, I must find out more about her but although rather weathered is a grand old lady.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Goolwa sketches

I had a lovely afternoon today, John had a meeting over at Goolwa which is about 1/2 an hour away, known as the historic river port town of Goolwa it is the last port on the River Murray before the lakes and in the 1800's was the scene for many of the paddle steamers landing and taking off with wool from around the area. Now we have one old little paddle steamer left called the Oscar "W," She was built in the mid 1850"s and is undergoing repairs which is why she looks a bit wrong in front, there is a post set off centre on her bow. I was a tourist in one of my own towns and had a lovely time taking photos etc, I will post some photos later. I may also see what she looks like with a wash of colour.

Textile piece

I missed yesterday and I havent finished a sketch for two days. Housework, John on the computer and beading in that order get in the way. I have put up a textile piece I called "turning tide" it is silk tops on organza with chocolate frog wrappers embedded and then stitched, I had great fun doing this and quite like the way it turned out.
John and I did manage a beach walk in the morning yesterday which freshened the mind and I came back full of enthusiasm for the ironing and cleaning out an annex to the bedroom which has had all sorts of junk accumulate in it. All the stuff one wants to get out of sight when visitors arrive but doesnt have time to really find homes for. A lot of ruthless throwing out went on.