Friday, 27 February 2015

Jar of Favourites

I'm keeping up to date with Life Book 2015 as I've just finished our lesson for this week which was by Lynn Whipple and called: "Jar of Special Favorites". I stuck pretty close to the lesson so no instructions here. You can still sign up for Life Book 2015 yourself if you are interested. All videos from that can be downloaded and saved so you can start at any time.

I had been looking through the pages I have done so far and one very noticeable thing was that almost  all the pages feature my favourite warm colours (surprise, surprise!) so for this one I started with the cool ones. But then couldn't resist making the surrounding area pink!
We were told to write words representing our favourite things in the jar and I really went to town with that, using a variety of markers in black, white, gold, blue and green as well as pink.
Sadly no deep blue sea for me today but somewhere in the jar it also says "snow" and that we do have! About 1 inch fell overnight but I suspect it will be gone by the end of the day as it is quite mild. "Studio" is also one of my jar words and today will be spend in there! I am on the cusp of finishing a quilt but am giving myself a break from it to gain some distance in order to tell if it is truly done before I put a sleeve on it. That means I can play today! Vintage books, paints, markers, washi tape etc., here I come!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Unstable Grave Monuments in Penicuik

Time has not been kind to Penicuik Graveyard and as you can tell I took my life into my hands when I ventured in. Fortunately the unstable graveyard memorials didn't get me! I shared the graveyard only with a rabbit but the signs of human disrespect were everywhere, in the form of discarded beer bottles, cans, crisp packages and more disturbing remnants. I had come in search of dereliction (for the DerelictThursday challenge on the Blipfoto site) and oh boy, did I find it!
It hasn't even been that long since I was last in this graveyard as I tend to go in every time I go to the dentist but today is the worst I have ever seen the place. Although it has to be said that there were still a few uplifting signs such as the snowdrops in flower.
Since my last visit chain fencing has been erected around some of the little mausoleum buildings and the photographs were taken sticking my lens through the fencing. As you can see there are some important grave monuments in this graveyard (this is probably part of the family vault of the Dalyell family although I'm not  100% about that!) but it won't be long now before they too fall down and are lost forever. Is it only me that thinks that the way we look after our past says a lot about who we are at present? I found it all deeply depressing whereas I used to find visiting this particular graveyard with it's fascinating stones quite uplifting.
For my blip today I will use one of these pictures translated into black and white which emphasizes the dereliction even more.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Strength Page

I was going to apologize once again for featuring art here and then I realized just how silly that is. I'm an artist and art is what I do, day in day out, for almost 8 hours a day (and yes, sometimes for far longer). So it is hardly surprising that I have a lot of art to show you, specially as this is hardly the time for gardening visits. Hence no more excuses ever for showing you lots of it.

Specially since this year I have given myself the freedom to do a lot of on-line classes. One of these is the year long Life Book 2015 class and this is the result of one of the classes. I say result but must admit that I veered wildly off course with this page (the original class features a boat!). It was by Mati Rose McDonough (you can see her book in the Now Reading column in the sidebar at the moment) and she was teaching us about gold foiling. And I definitely did that!
I took  my lead from the layering theme of The Documented Life Project. Layering, it turns out, is very much my thing and I love doing it. I started off like the class told me with one layer of paint (orange in my case) and added another (pink for me) layer on top. But after that I let go of the class instructions and added lots of other layers, such as glueing on bits of a paper napkin (with roses), stencilling with a variety of circular stencils, stamping (a map of Paris) in the background,  ink dribbling, etc. etc. Maybe one of these days I might do some step by step photography of this process if I can find the courage to have my camera anywhere near such frenetic painting activities.
Once I was happy with the result I added the gold foiling in spiral shapes as you can see, and then outlined the various shapes with markers and pens, and also used water soluble oil pastels.
The final step was to add the word STRENGTH at the left and the Strength quotation (a stamp from Donna Downey). It reads: "Strenght doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't do". It seemed to resonate with my word of this year which is: Courage.

I have already done the next class for Life Book so you will be seeing that one soon too, and it's something completely different. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

12 x 12 Exhibition in Hendaye

I'm busily working away on another folding book for which I painted the papers using the gelli plate last week, and now the folding has started as you can see above. 

Today is the opening day of the 12 x 12 exhibition in the Acces Espace Culturel Mendi Zolan in Hendaye in France. Thiis exhibition has already been shown in Spain and now it's France's turn. It will run from today till the 14th March 2015. Should you find yourself in the area (I should be so lucky!) it's open between 10 and 1, and then from 3 till 7pm. The official preview is this coming Friday evening.

As I explained in a previous post the whole idea is that all art shown is 12 x 12 cm (so quite petite!) and you can see the two pieces I entered above. More about them can be found here.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Moments Page

We woke up to about an inch or so of snow and an icy wind so after braving both on the dog walk, what better way to spend the day than to retreat to the studio and do some work. I'm just pleased I managed to get where I wanted to go over the past few days. It's snowing again now.

For The Documented Life Project 2015 we are still working with February's theme: Layers you will Love. For this week our art challenge is: Repeating Elements, and the art journalling prompt: It's worth repeating.
After last week's spread in the Dylusions journal I have reverted back to making a page to fit into my planner (sized 7.1/4 x 8.1/4") but I did use thick watercolour paper that I had gessoed beforehand. To make my many background layers I put this month's Stencilgirl Club stencils to good use. I was going to count the layers but once I get going, I lose track quickly in order to keep the momentum going. There are many layers of stencilling, one of rubber stamping (French text) and one of adding washi tape (also with French text). I dribbled ink on one layer and glued on the 3 stamps (his moment is definitely been and gone!) on yet another. My own handwriting was also added and the Moments word was added towards the end (stamped). I used a split complimentary colour scheme although even I didn't notice that till it was done!
The repeating elements came from using the same stencils over and over, the 3 postage stamps, the 3 circles, the 3 ink droppings etc. While working the words Life is a Repetition of Moments came to my mind. At first I thought it must be a quotation but I can't find it anywhere so this might even be an original thought! I knew I had the large MOMENTS stamp (from Hero Arts) so that seemed the perfect accompaniment.
The final step consisted of outlining with a variety of markers as you can see in detail above. I'm loving this working with layers and might well continue with them even when the month is over.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Luscious Lily


What better way to cheer up this cold, wet and snowy day than with the lilies from my Valentine bouquet!


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Mendick Hill

 It was a very splendid morning to drive to the monthly meeting of Thistle Quilters. Deceptively so. The sun was shining but ice was on the road, as well as a fluttering of snow on the hills as well as in our garden. I set off taking due care and attention in the lane and could feel it was slippery on some of the hills. But I also saw how beautiful the landscape looked specially Mendick Hill near West Linton.
So I stopped in a Passing Place to take a picture and somehow entirely forgot about how carefully I had been driving when I stepped out of the car and was only saved by the car door from slipping. And that despite wearing my ski boots! All was well though and I think you will agree that the pictures were worth it.


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