Thursday, April 23, 2015

Postage People

Sound odd?'s not.  Just a wonderful ATC challenge set by Marion Bockelmann each year. It's such fun that I can't resist.  We have to make three ATCs using postage stamp 'heads'.  I did four, one is a gift for Marion....her choice.

Here are the ones I've sent:

You can see other participants on Marion's dedicated  Pinterest board.

I've done others in the past for various swaps.  These are some:

You can see why I can't resist.  What fun!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Liberated Art

Every year I join photographer Kat Sloma's postcard exchange.  She calls it 'Liberate Your Art', a perfect title, as everyone's art, or photography, in postcard form, flies in all directions around the globe.

 My submissions this year were:

In return I have so far received:

Carroll Davies

Liz Velichko
M.F.? (no other name or info provided)
Natasha Papoesek
I have two more to come, and they are running late, so I've missed joining in the Liberate Your Art Blog Hop.   If you click HERE  you will get to see the many amazing artists who've contributed to this year's exchange.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


It is THAT time of the year again.  The International Collage Exchange is up and running.  There are TWO online exhibitions open for your viewing. One is for a permanent collection at  the art department of the Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier in New Zealand; the other is a selling exhibition.

I Think I Can Fly

The Admirer

Chained To The Past

The Offering

The above are not on show, but are a few of the thirteen I sent for exchange.

The exhibitions are both worth a look, click HERE to visit.

What's In A Name?

To me, titles of paintings are very important. generally, as I'm working on a piece, the title reveals itself to me. Often it is a play on words.  I always like a little whimsy.

Such as....

A WEB OF FLIES - collage/mixed media

FETE ACCOMPLI - acrylics

FETE being a celebration or festival that, I hope, has been conveyed in paint.  If so, it is indeed a fait accompli.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Last lesson...well maybe.

Our last online lesson with Jane Davies was to construct our own lesson, then follow it through.  We were given TWO weeks to do this, so that there could be discussion with Jane about the parameters we were setting ourselves in the first week.  We then had a week to do our 10 pieces.

Above is one of my final pieces....It could do with a little tweaking here and there but, basically, I'm happy with it.

I chose to take a photo of my own, a still life, and progress it through many stages to abstraction.  Jane thought it might be a little difficult, but I was sure I wanted to do it. 
I began with one of my own photos, cropped, from a dinner party. (I have plenty of those).

Then I simplified it so that I had a better idea of shapes, textures, and colours that I wanted to use.

Keep in mind that these are EXERCISES, and done fairly quickly, though some have many layers of line, veiling, etc.

I've not included all the pieces I did...just a few.

It was a wonderful lesson in setting your own goals, and in following through on a series.  So much so, that Jane has kept the class open for a couple of weeks so that anyone else who feels inclined to have a go it this, can. 

I guess that validated my decisions for my own lesson.

For anyone with some internet and blogging skills, Jane's classes are SO worthwhile.  She really pushes you to find your own voice, and hands you the tools to use to do so.  She is thorough and constructive in her criticism. 

It is an absolute bonus to see how all your classmates progress, and how they all deal differently with the same lesson.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Well, my ten week commitment of 100 pieces is almost at an end. If I thought the previous 8 lessons were a stretch, number 9 has been a real struggle.  Using lots of layering, and varying techniques, we were to come up with a monochromatic piece with 20% of 'something else'.  This might seem to be a simple instruction... but I found it quite difficult.

I tried to keep each of the quadrants different too.  This has lots of they mostly do.

This one has fewer layers than the others. The black and white, with gestural brushstroke is definitely more 'me'.  The background is torn text painted over with a greenish white.

It was fortuitous that I had this collage piece hiding among my painted papers.  Lots of modelling paste gives great texture.

A very 'me' piece... tea-bag, stained muslin, and keyboard bits on a multi-layered background.

It is interesting that, by now, I am finding I can use my own 'voice' in these exercises. For a while I was trying to mimic Jane.

Next week will no doubt be the 'lesson to end all lessons' more ways than one.

I can highly recommend this online workshop, or indeed any of Jane's.  She is a dedicated and serious tutor.

For more info visit Jane Davies.  You'll find it worth your while, if only to see her wonderful work.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Artistic Subtlety

Am still doing Jane Davies online workshop.  It's a 10 week commitment and is getting harder each lesson.  In the past two lessons we have gone from the sublime to the gorblimey, or vice versa depending on your point of view.

In this lesson we were to use as many and varied techniques as possible, making each quadrant of the piece completely different.

On the left is a start...but we were asked to push it further, so the image on the right is the result. Similarly in those below....

In the following lesson...quite the opposite.  We were to make images with as little contrast as possible, but still make them interesting.

This was not as easy as it sounds. I really had to overcome the hurdle of thinking of them as backgrounds, but regarding them as complete works. It was a lesson in subtlety...and one that I needed.