Sunday, 22 February 2015

Life Book 2015: Bonus lesson - Tree of Life

A little bit of fun with Tamara Laporte.  I didn't follow the lesson, I just decided to draw with my watercolour pencils and paint markers.  My 'girl' is a girl at heart but not in years as you can tell from her face and the song lyrics (Gerry & The Pacemakers - boy that's going back a bit). I love that she is so happy being back on a swing after many years of trying to act her age but now she wants to just play.
a little bit of whimsy

Life Book 2015: Week 8 - Treasure Seeking

A wee bit of an epiphany this week.  The lesson was provided by Mati Rose McDonough and involved incorporating gold and/or silver leaf somewhere into your artwork.  

Mati Rose created her background and then added a boat.  I got part way through the background and loved how it was turning out.  I dutifully carried on following her instruction but came to a point where I felt I no longer liked it.  Ready to throw it away and start again a little voice told me to "just keep working through it".  I finished the background and went to bed still not happy with how it looked.  When I looked at it again the next day I could see a tree sitting there and knew that I needed to leave the boat and go with my vision. 
The quote, "when someone you lose becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure", came to me from last weeks 'heart community' which set me thinking about those gone before.  So, the tree represents my family tree with it's gold leaves made from gold leaf. I thought about the boat, and the owl and the pussycat were there in the mix, and I could not resist a gold moon. 

I feel that, for the first time, I was really conscious of my art speaking to me.  It was an 'aha' moment.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Life Book 2015: Week 7 - Your Heart Community & Magical Mystery Tour

I struggled a little with this weeks lesson, particularly the heart community.  This lesson was presented by Jill K Berry and involved making a book shaped like people.  Each page was to represent a person who was important in your life, had supported you in some way ... and that's where my dilemma began.  I had no problem with the technical aspects of making the book, and I wasn't even worried if the resulting people didn't actually look like who they were supposed to be, after all it was just supposed to be representational.  My problem was ... who do I include? 

I thought about all the people who had been and still are important in my life.  Teachers who made an impact on me, people who guided me through my life, people who supported me through illness, stood by my side when things got rough, the counsellor who helped me deal with a major trauma, people who were right beside me when life events challenged and changed me ... so many people, and how to decide who to include.  I thank you all for the influence you have had on my life - maybe I need to make a bigger book?

Anyway, I put off starting this assignment and got on to the second part - much easier and less emotionally challenging.  I didn't initially know why I was finding it so hard but then I realised that I was concerned that if I chose just four people then someone might be offended if they were not included and I didn't want to upset anyone.  I would not be who I am today without any of these amazing people but that need to keep everyone happy was stopping me from starting the lesson.

Then, just as I was waking one morning, the image of a four generation photo, taken when I was just a baby, came to me - it was of my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and me.  My gran passed away when I was ten after being hit by a car, my nana had a major stroke when I was only seven (although she did not pass away until I was in my mid thirties) and my mum is now in her late seventies.  How awesome would it be to recreate the four as adult women together - so that is what I did.  Gran, Nana, Mum - I will love you forever.
There is a little lift up flap on their dresses under which is written something about them.  Without these women I would not be the person I am today - and I am including me in that, each time I make a decision, I am effecting some sort of change in my life.

The Magical Mystery Tour with Violette Clark was a little different.  I think I actually missed the brief on this one and totally just did the assignment by following what the tutor did.  Now having seen some of the other students work I would like to have another go at this one and own it.  Some of the students had sandcastles, castles, cottages, motorhomes etc on theirs - they had made it their own, but not me.  I am happy with what I produced but it is not mine - I love the wings on the dragonfly and I love the hearts.
I am still searching for 'my style' but I am learning what is not me if that makes any sense.  As one of my elderly residents at work keeps saying "we'll get there".  Watch this space!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Life Book 2015: Week 6 - Seeds of Love

This week is right up my alley - doodling.  My challenge however was to get the background shading done including deliberately muddied colours.  Don't think I did too badly myself although I have worked out that I am a little heavy-handed when it comes to applying paint - my collage background completely disappeared.  Never mind - I completed the assignment and I will be doing more of these in the future (once I get the correct pens for doodling with, and get the background colours mastered).

I love the way the white paint pen has picked up the colours from beneath it - it kind of accentuates the shading.  This was my first attempt at 'structured' doodling (if you can call it that) - some of which I am happy with and some I wouldn't do again.  I quite like the wee butterflies - I think I am going to add them to all my artwork in the future, sort of like my signature.  

Unfortunately when I scanned this the doodled border was outside the scan boundaries but you get the general idea. 

Now, off to play some more and start making this technique my own.

Thanks for a great lesson Tamara Laporte and roll on week 7.