Tuesday, 24 April 2012


I finished my lady at last. She is part of my Life Book work (www.willowing.ning.com) and represents an honouring of my past. I had to choose a person who I admired and respected so I chose Eleanor Roosevelt for all the work she did to bring about equality in so many ways. I have been passionate about this ever since I can remember. We had to somehow incorporate a bit of ourselves into the picture so I made her pale and red-haired as I was always...pale that is.....and red-haired before I started to go grey! :-) Then we had to choose three significant events in our past which we wanted to honour because they had helped make us who we are today. My three events were all painful but without doubt definitely made me who I now am. Finally we added a "flap" to show ourselves as a child and with the three events written on the inside, it stuck on skewiff much to my irritation but never mind! Here is one of my favourite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes which I was thinking of as I did my painting. “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face....we must do that which we think we cannot.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Painting in progress (4)

Played around with the hair a bit more...washed the strands back in mostly but not completely and added some highlights (hopefully) with yellow. I think this is better, I am happier anyway. Now I feel like I can go onto the hairslide etc.

Painting in progress - (2) again.....

Had to re-add this so I can compare with what I have got now in (3). If anyone happens to look at these I would REALLY appreciate your thoughts. Not sure what I like best now.

Painting in progress (3)

I should have posted this next to the second stage as I am very unsure about what I have done to the hair...whether I like it or not but now they are too far apart to compare. Never mind. I will think on about it. I added pastels to the background and intend to add some stencilling. I want to work (as best I can) a simple filgree pattern into the hairslide and try to paint a proper cameo lady onto the brooch so may be a while before I post the next stage....I need to make myself be really patient!

Background effects with image transfer onto calico

Again using heavy gel medium I transferred the background effects behind the buddha faces straight onto 140msg watercolour paper. I love these effects and something that really fascinated (and delighted me) is that the "moon" you see on the first one is actually a drop of water that fell very helpfully into just the right place! I messed up the actual calico buddha on the second by cutting it to the wrong size. If I had thought to fray the edges before I pasted it onto the background I think I could have rectified it to a certain extent. Still I like it because I still like the image but really love the background image with the little bird....it has come out perfectly....well at least to my eyes!

Paper transfer onto calico

Hard to pick a favourite but I think this is it.....transferred from ordinary photopier paper onto calico using heavy gel medium.

Some of my completed image transfer ATCs

I loved doing this and although they may not have come out completely "neat and perfect" I still love the look and feel of the sort of rustic imagery that the calico gives. I was completely fascinated at how you get a totally different outcome if you copy from photocopier paper or photographic paper, as indeed you do when transferring to calico rather than paper. Personally I actually prefer the final imagery got from ordinary copier paper as I like the haziness. You can see a good example of the difference in final image from different transfer mediums from the middle two ATCs here, which although the same original picture have given completely different results depending on whether I used copier or photographic paper. The fainter one is the copier paper. I also transferred images for the backgrounds to the buddha faces and again had such a variation in results even though all these were done from copier paper, here there were huge differences depending on original image and length of time left for the transfer to dry. I love working on the calico, the transfers come out much better(I suppose here this is a subjective comment) than on paper, even good watercolour paper. I shall have a go at a much larger one next.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Painting in progress (2)

So....next bit done. Now I want to work more on her hair putting in more variation of shades and paint in her hair slide at the top of her head. Her brooch is going to be a cameo. As part of the "Life Book" course this should be a mixed media piece so that will come later. I am still pleased with her but definitely want to work on the hair.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Eleanor Roosevelt

I wanted to add that the painting I posted below came about as I thought about a woman who I admired as part of my "Life Book" course on Tamara Laporte's "Willowing" site. She was such an incredible woman fighting for equality in all its forms. There are many great quotes attributed to her and many make you smile in their irony but this next one really resonates with me and I have really found these words ring true for me. "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Painting in progress....

Mmm.... I am working really carefully through this one and have been a lot more experimental with skin tone, which although she is pale (she is meant to be) has probably about 6 or 7 different colours in it. I thought I would record the development of this painting in stages as I am quite pleased with her at the moment and would like to see how I either improve (or not) the overall image as I add more paint......well....we will see! The sort of "weal" across heleft cheek on our right as we look at it) isn't really there....the paper was still wet when I took the photo and it is a reflection of the light where the paper has warped a little. It flattened when the paper dried out!

A painting of my grandaughter

This is a painting I tried of my little grandaughter, Rose. I painted it from a photograph so it is the first time I have tried to get a more lifelike, rather than a stylised portrait. This was from a photo I took of her when she was just about ready to go into her first ballet lesson.....I have to admit my heart melted just looking at her with all her hair tied up in a little ballerina's bun at the back of her head. She looks much too old in my painting (she is only three)and I don't know how to get that really young look yet..... and although the proportions of her head and shoulders are as they are in the photo I don't know what I need to do to get it look as if it is all "right" but there you are...a first attempt....and it was lovely to try.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

A thought ..... about thinking (too much)

I love this painting....it is by an artist called JULIA KAY. See www.studiojuliakay.com Anyway I wrote the little poem below this morning and thought this lovely painting went rather nicely with my words. I am sorry I don't know why Blogger will not publish poetry in the lines in which it is laid out so if you could just visualise a new line wherever there is a capital letter............ "In the quiet light of close of day As the sun sinks to her bed We may sit awhile and think and yet Still find we have no answers Maybe the only way is to sit And enjoy that quiet light Be thankful for the close of One more day And not worry any more About finding the answers." - Poem by me :-)

More examples of image transfers onto calico

I find it so strange that for me at least I really love the hazy imagery which I got from the ordinary copier paper. I guess of course it completely depends not just on personal taste but also on what you want to do with the transfer once you get it. I like aged, rather battered looking effects so I suppose it makes sense for me. Whatever....it has been interesting and I will certainly try out some more and also have a go at working on top of some transferred images too.

Image Transfers

I've been trying out some different ways of working with image transfers for a new ATC swap on Freeing Your Wings in the "Trading Treasures" group which Angela runs for us. I hadn't done any of this till I worked on Kylie Pepyat's project on the Willowing Life Book Course and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it as I hadn't thought I would. Anyway....I thought I would experiment a bit with trying to transfer images onto calico and have learned a lot so thought I would share it. If you look at the photo above you can see the original photocopy of an image on the left as you look at it. In the centre is a transfer from photographic paper to calico and on the right is the transfer from ordinary copier paper to calico. I used gel medium for all my transfers and they have all been transferred to a reasonably heavy calico. Below are other examples which are laid out in the same way as just described. I was really surprised as I thought I would much prefer the cleaner transfers from photographic paper but in fact I really liked the various fuzzy/faded/etc images I got from the copier paper. I also discovered that the length of time you leave the transfer before rubbing it off with water makes a huge difference to your final result. Even the ones which look almost too vague are quite interesting ..... well at least to me..... even though at first I really thought they would only be fit for the bin. I think it is a really fascinating process in terms of the huge vairety of outcomes you can get. As far as these transfers are concerned I don't want to work on top of any of them although I know that is a common practice. Anyway if you are interested I will try and add a few more to give you an idea of how much the results can vary.....I might have to add them separately though as for some reason the uploader is playing up a bit and posting them sideways so I will try and sort that out!