61 index cards present and accounted for!

Oh my gosh.  31st July and 61 cards complete.  I am so grateful to Tammy for her hosting of this event.  I have made new connections and new ideas have been sparked and more than anything else, I am pleased to have actually completed the challenge.  For myself.  Though what I am going to do with these index cards I have no idea as yet.

This is what my pile of glorious index cards look like…

61 Index cards!LOVE!

And here are the last 11:

Icad #51:
Icad 51

I wanted to play with the ladybird prompt Tammy gave, though I was very late to actually do it. :) But done none the less, and very heavily collaged with book text and coloured tissue paper.

Icad #52:
Icad 52

The first layer was smooshing first layer of card #51, and then I got out my casein paints, and smudged. Those paints smell beautiful. I was just seeing how they blended, which was well I thought. Once the card was finished I thought it needed something else, and had that scrap on the table so I used that. :)

Icad #53:
Icad 53

I had the paint pushed through the sequin waste already on to some book text, and decided to see how the casein paints worked through stencils. When that was done I roughly went around the outside of the stencil with my white pen. I then just layered some scraps I had lying around and called it done when I was happy!

Icad #54:
Icad 54

This was another background I had ready for a while, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. The base is some ephemera scraps, covered in pattern tissue paper, and gesso or acrylics. On top of that I had twinkling h20s.

When I rediscovered the background in my icad box I saw a fish/mermaid tail so I painted that with sumi ink, and then layered on some coloured indian ink and some fluid acrylics.

Icad #55:
Icad 55

On this I was just testing my oil pastels covered in beeswax and damar resin, to see if I could limit smudging using my quilting iron and some fixative spray. I should have broken out my clear gesso to set the oil pastels first. And used a brush and heat gun for the wax rather than the iron. The smudging wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be though.

Icad #56:
Icad 56: Background 1

Icad 56: Background 2

There are two photos for this index card because I liked both the backgrounds I used. :) This was just a cut out, and then I painted the negative space shapes. I really like how this came out, though I wish I had been neater with the paint!

Icad #57:
Icad 57

This was another prepainted background using left over paint from either another card or journal page. I then covered it with some pattern tissue paper that had been painted. And then I just grabbed stuff out of my box of scraps. One of my boxes of scraps!! :)

I ripped some scrapbooking paper I had from somewhere, and grabbed a doodle that I had done on a shopping list a while ago. I had already used half the face on one of my journal pages and that half was sitting there. And then the girl is one of the first girls I drew a few years ago with my prismacolours. I had ripped her out of sketch book a while ago to use on something, so I tore her to size and stuck her on. I was very happy to be using scraps on this card and felt very virtuous. :D

Icad #58:
Icad 58

This card is a messy hodge podge. I had stuck some painted ledger paper down a while ago when I wanted to use it up. Then I smudged on some oil stick, and pushed some casein paint through a stencil. I had some green paint on the bubble wrap still so I used that. And there it sat. Not finished at all. But then I saw a tag from something we had bought for one of the children, so I threw that on. Did a bit of journaling, to remind me how I have been feeling at the moment and did a few doodles around the tag and the card.

Icad #59:
Icad 59

The background is ephemera scraps and tissue paper and paint and gesso. And when I saw it the other day I smooshed the paint from the stencil on to it (no paint wasted!) from another card. And there it sat.

I have just finished making my own damar varnish with some damar resin and turpentine, and I wanted to see how it went on cards before I try it on my oil paintings. So I put some on, and it dried well. So test number one was a pass. (Actually test number one part 2…the first test, and the first card I tried it on, did not have enough damar resin and the turpentine just soaked into the card, leaving no gloss to speak off.

Icad 59 Close up

This photo is just to show my wonderful damar varnish!

Icad #60:
Icad 60

Looking at this card as I went to write about it, I think this may have been the recipient of the first lot of damar varnish, that needed more resin. But I am not sure. It started with book text, and then I smudged a sequin waste stencil on it to clean the stencil. I may have then used some damar turpentine (not varnish at that stage!). When I grabbed this card, it was with the intention to use my oil pastels and test the damar varnish on them. So I smudged my oil pastels on, etched into them. Used a bit of acrylics and applied the damar varnish.

Icad 60 close up

The turpentine in the varnish did smudge the oil pastels a bit, but I am good with that. This morning, I would have called this test a fail. Over the oil pastels the varnish was very sticky still. Though it was less than 24 hours old at the time. But just having grabbed the card to check, it feels much drier, so maybe it will work, I just need to give it longer. Still…clear gesso and wax are much faster for an impatient soul.

Icad #61:

The last card in the series!!

Icad 61

I saw one of those clapper boards in my head so I roughly drew one, painted black around the outside and stuck some stars I had all over the card. A card of celebration. I wanted the words at the bottom “It’s a wrap” to look like chalk, so I used one of my coloured pencils and I am happy with it, though I wish I had taken more time with the gluing! :)

Still…61 index cards are complete and on time. I feel pretty proud of myself for actually finishing and completing it this year!

And for a bit of fun, and so I could explore the mosaic app here is a mosaic of my cards.

Icad Mosaic #1Icad Mosaic #2

First set:
1. Icad #1, 2. Icad #2, 3. Icad 3, 4. Icad 4, 5. Icad 5, 6. Icad 6, 7. Icad 7, 8. Icad 8, 9. Icad 9, 10. Icad 10, 11. Icad 11, 12. Icad 12, 13. Icad 13, 14. Icad 14, 15. Icad 15 – Part 1, 16. Icad 15 – Part 2, 17. Icad 16, 18. Icad 17, 19. Icad 18, 20. Icad 19, 21. Icad 20, 22. ICAD 21, 23. ICAD 22, 24. ICAD 23, 25. ICAD 24, 26. ICAD 25, 27. ICAD 26, 28. ICAD 27, 29. ICAD 28, 30. ICAD 29, 31. ICAD 30, 32. ICAD 31, 33. Icad 32, 34. Icad 33, 35. Icad 34, 36. Icad 35

Second set:
1. Icad 36, 2. Icad 37, 3. Icad 38, 4. Icad 39, 5. Icad 40, 6. Icad #41, 7. Icad #42, 8. Icad #43, 9. Icad #44, 10. Icad #45, 11. Icad #46, 12. Icad #47, 13. Icad #48, 14. Icad #49, 15. Icad #50, 16. Icad 51, 17. Icad 52, 18. Icad 53, 19. Icad 54, 20. Icad 55, 21. Icad 56: Background 1, 22. Icad 56: Background 2, 23. Icad 57, 24. Icad 58, 25. Icad 59, 26. Icad 59 Close up, 27. Icad 60, 28. Icad 60 close up, 29. Icad 61, 30. 61 Index cards!

Pieces of the sky

Back in June Connie Hozvicka asked for photo’s of the sky that were taken with thoughts of a loved one for a project she was doing in memory of one of her loved one. For all our loved ones.

In April, I wrote about my beloved losing his grandmother, and remembered mine.

The day that my beloved’s grandmother died, we went to the retirement home to say goodbye, and for the children to see her and say goodbye. After we returned home, shell shocked, even though this had been coming for a few months. We had been given plenty of time to say goodbye. To say thank you, and our I love you’s. To prepare the children, and ourselves. But still. We returned home feeling very ungrounded. All the preparation in the world doesn’t make the actual good bye easier. It is still a good bye. For a very long time.

So after returning home, and reflecting on all the grandmothers we have lost, we decided to go to the beach. To sit and reflect and regain a semblance of balance. We walked and sat and cried and thought and reflected and saw and breathed. And the sun began setting.

I thought to myself then that this was the last sun to have seen her. The last sun that she saw and I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and took photos. To remember. And for comfort later.

But it was these photos I thought of when I first read about Connie’s project.

IMAG0554

IMAG0555

IMAG0556

IMAG0557

IMAG0559

IMAG0560

IMAG0562

IMAG0564

And it was this photo I sent.

IMAG0561

In memory of Joan Margaret Lander.

In memory of Elizabeth Ann Smith.

In memory of Jean Whakarau White.

In memory of all our grandmothers.

And our grandfathers too.

One of those unfinishing weeks

It has been one of those weeks where I wonder if me and paint are cursed.  I have worked on paintings and used up paint all to no avail.  I don’t know what it is.  If I am forcing it, or not listening enough, but in any event, nothing this week has turned out very pretty or finished.

Over on my Facebook page I spoke about my difficulty with this:

WIP

There were parts I liked, and parts I didn’t.  But I just felt really stuck about where to next. I decided to shift some energy and smudged myself, the dining room (where I make create), even the painting. I lit some incense, played some music and started something else entirely.  And then I saw lines so I did that…

WIP
…but now I am stuck again.  So it hasn’t shifted really. Still unfinished and waiting.

I finished this one off as I well I think…finished for now anyway! :)

Changing cycles

And I worked on this. The Butterfly Effect has the topic of Star Trek this week. And I couldn’t resist. I have watched Star Trek since I was a young thing. After my parent’s split up when I was 4, I used to watch it, knowing that my Dad would be watching it at the same time as well, and it was like we were linked, in my head at least.

We have even decided what alien race our different family members would be. He was Vulcan. So when I saw the challenge, I thought Spock. Because he has been after me to do a painting for him. But the painting doesn’t look like Spock, and it was starting to get overworked so I need to leave the oils alone for a bit to dry before I come in again. But it does look Vulcan at least I think. So I have decided it can just be a random Vulcan, not Spock after all.

Also, because I know my Stepmother reads this sometimes, so Wicked Stepmother if you are reading this please, don’t mention this to him! :)

WIP

And now we get to the really ugly. I know there are people who say that they have done something ugly, and when you see it, you think to yourself, “Gosh! Really, you are calling that ugly, you should see my ugly!” Sometimes I even wonder if those people are after false compliments.

A bit like those people who tell you to “excuse the mess” when you visit and then you step into a home that looks like it was just featured in a magazine for perfect homes. Sometimes I think my idea of mess is far different from other people’s idea of mess!

But now I am delaying the showing of ugly. I have spent so much time on this. And it has been on the go since last year. It gets started and layered, and then covered and the process begins again. I decided to harness some of last weeks finishing energy, but that seemed to dissipate quite quickly. And now on this layer I am at ugly and going no where fast. And though I am hesitant to show this, I am also harnessing the “keeping it real” energy, and this mess is taking up space on my easel right now, waiting for me to see the light and find a way forward.

WIP

And yes, my easel is very overcrowded with unfinished works at the moment.

I am sharing over at Paint Party Friday as well, where you can see some much more completed work I am sure! :)

Sunday Sketches and my weekend…

We have had fine weather for the past few days.  It is still chilly out, but blue sky and sun makes everything feel alright.  I don’t know if it is because I am back in the Morning Page habit again, but I feel like I have been very productive and on top of things.  I still have a giant to-do list, but I don’t think that will ever change, if I ever have nothing to do I will probably be getting sized up for my coffin I imagine.  :)

On Saturday we went to see one of the live performances of NZ’s got talent.  Normally not my thing really, but I thought it would be a good opportunity for the children to see the live show and then be able to see how much editing goes on to get things ready for television.  Whether this will have an impact on the children is anyone’s guess, but the theater was beautiful.  Though yo weren’t allowed phones on or camera’s I couldn’t resist taking a couple of photos.  Made me think of the Muppets.

Untitled

My one main disappointment was the judges, but there were some good performances and though it went on far later than I anticipated, and we left a bit earlier, the children enjoyed themselves.

Untitled

I will say that reading an article where Rachel Hunter (one of the judges) said she thought there would definitely be sheep in some performances, because it wouldn’t be New Zealand otherwise (?!? because we have sheep running around everywhere???), and then to hear her referring to a couple of acts as “very kiwi” last night made me cringe and think to myself that if she really thinks that, then she has been out of New Zealand for a very long time (which she has).

Watching her performance last night also made me think that Rod Stewart probably didn’t marry her because of their conversations. But it was an experience and hopefully will lead to some lessons for the children on the magic of television and reflections on what is left in and what is left out and how things are pieced together. Hopefully :)

My Sunday Sketch this week is a study of Nicolae Grigorescu painting. I will be doing the sketch in my art journal again, but I wanted to try and get a sense of the dimensions before I started in my art journal.

Nicolae Grigorescu Study

Overall I am very happy with this. I imagine in the next sketch there will be much less charcoal as I will be adding paint, but I really like the feel of the charcoal on this. And the white stabilo pencil that I scribbled on where the highlights were.

Nicolae Grigorescu StudyIn other news I have just started tracking the moon and it’s travel through the astrological signs and elements making notes of different things going on for me, I have a geeky excitement at what that may reveal to me about myself.  Another level of awareness and another tool in my toolbelt.  Time will tell, but I am enjoying the tracking of the information.  The right brain analytical side of me is feeling very content at the moment with a new research project.  :D

Finally Victoria drew a picture of me as a Queen…I can’t say I was disappointed. :)  I only wish I had her hair and shoes…:)

Untitled

I also made Victoria a scrapbook so she can stick all her pictures of “Princess Kate” that she has been collecting in it. She is very fond of the new princess, because they look a bit like twins with their long brown hair, only Victoria is a wee bit prettier…according to her! Modest as well. :) I am impressed with her scrapbook so far, she has thrown a bit of paint in there and drawn a couple of pictures and written a couple of things in it. A keeper for sure when it is finished.

Showing signs of finishing at last…

I don’t know what it is, but I have far more half started projects than finished ones.  All of a sudden though I must have some finishing energy around because I have started on a spree of pulling out half finished projects and taking steps to finish them.

She knows

This has been sitting around for a while and I thought the finishing was going to take longer than it did. Turns out it was only a few tweaks she needed. I think sometimes it is the amount of time a job is going to take in my head that puts me off starting. I am always pleasantly surprised when it takes a lot less time, and I have cause to wonder why I put this off for so long.

This is painted in oils, and she makes me insanely happy, even more happy that she is finished and can now wait for curing and varnishing! :)

Georgette Chen Portrait

And this was painted yesterday in my art journal with acrylics and I am totally stoked with her as well. And totally stoked with her ear!! :)

And I have other projects pulled out for me to attack this weekend. I don’t know if there is some cyclical energy heading my way with the middle of winter upon us, (or maybe the iron tablets I have just started taking are kicking in) but whatever the case is I am very glad.
And I am linking to Paint Party Friday this week, which is even more exciting!!

Ahead of the game…

:)

It is not often that I feel ahead, and because of yesterday and these Icads, I am literally a day ahead.  So yay!

What is even better, is that I had a plan for today’s card already so I am going to do that later today ready for tomorrow!!

I can’t believe that I am at index card #50!!!  How did that happen??  Every day is the answer.  Consistency, not beating myself up and every day.  Which is not to say that there was a card completed every day, because some cards took multiple days, but I tried to do something everyday.

These cards are wonderful for recording new techniques or putting things into my memory to try again later.  Somethings have been really surprising as well, in the outcomes and how much I did or didn’t like it.  Overall this has just been a really successful burst of creativity that I suspect will inspire new ideas so much more than I ever expected.  And there is such a sense of accomplishment.  Like finally…I have completed something!!  :)  Because I am a finisher… :D

So for the cards…

Icad 41 and 42:

Icad #41

Icad #42

Icad 41 and Icad 42 were completed together.  My daughter had a book from the library by Marcus Pfister, that was about a little girl with a flower for a best friend and the seasonal cycle, and though I can’t find the book that I/we read, the illustrations really inspired me.  Where he had smooshed paint for the illustrations.  And he did this to the girl…so she was built up in smooshed layers and completely stunning.

As an aside, I am eternally grateful for a daughter that when she selects her books, always makes sure she has one with stunning illustrations for her geeky mother.  In fact she yells down at me from the children’s section to tell me she has found a book with good art for me.  LOVE.  That she does that for me, and that she notices.  LOVE.

So any way, I decided to do the rainbow smooshing, and because the smooshing in the illustration wasn’t blended, I assumed each smooshing layer was dry, so this took a little while, and the results are not stunning for me, but enough to remind me that I want to play with this technique some more.

My original intention was only for the first card, and then with the smooshing card I intended to smoosh those bands of colour all over the place, but I liked the way it looked, so I kept going with another rainbow.  The first card was painted black first, and so the second card does look different in person at least.  Brighter and reminded me of blue sky rather than gray sky.  :)

Icad 43:

Icad #43

This card was the biggest pain in the neck I have ever tried to get a decent photo of.  Surprisingly.  I nearly broke out the scanner before I decided this photo would do, because the scanner is also known as an object of torture.

This is another card based on an child books author.  In face I loved this guy’s illustrations so much I am going to buy the book.  Amazingness.  And he used drawings that his children had done as well and the book is full of amazingness.  Chris McKimmie, and the book was Alex and the watermelon boat.  I note it only came out in June of this year (as I just looked him up), so I am also very impressed with our library.  It is a magical, delightful imaginative story, and the illustrations just grabbed me.  So, I am going to check out his other books, and buy this book.

Icad 44:

Icad #44

I decided to paint the card for the rainbow black first, but I wanted to use a big housebrush, and after I had more paint on the brush I also painted on the backgrounds for a couple of other cards (See 43, and 44 above). And also another couple, still not used. I originally intended this would be just using up paint, and that more layers would go upon it, until maybe there was no black left to be seen, but this card and the nothingness card did not end up that way. I saw the background and instantly say no paint but doodled flowers, so I went with it. I used my new Sakura Souffle pen, and at first I thought this pen was no good because the white seemed very translucent and gray. BUT, Oh My Gosh. When this pen dries…it is stunning. I love it, and want to play some more. My previous favourite white pen has been the Uniball Signo, but this may be up there if it continues to work so well.

Icad 45:

Icad #45

This card was pure laziness and serendipity. I was painting and Pmsy, and grumpy and when I pulled the masking tape of the paper I was painting, I saw the painted strips and didn’t want to waste it…like homemade washi tape (assuming that is how it is spelt, and I am too lazy to check now.) But I didn’t have anywhere for it right then and there so I stuck it on an index card, and at first I intended it would just be a background, but I liked these colours and thought it kind of worked as it was…and I was pmsy and grumpy and lazy so I called this card done! :)

Though…there is another card with the same masking tape that had less paint and did not work at all, so I covered it with gesso and used the tape as a background only.

Icad #46:

Icad #46

This card was painted with heavy bodied acrylics and I wanted to see if it would stick pattern paper that I happened to have on the table so I stuck it on, and I really liked it. I just did an embossed butterfly on it, and rubbed some walnut ink over it.

Icad 47:

Icad #47

This card used the left over masking tape that I gessoed over. I then used some heavybodied acrylics, twinkling h2os, and I drew a circle with the air brush acrylics, still not sure what I was going to do and then I saw the face, so I played with my sumi ink, practicing using the ink with a brush and with some semblance of control. :)

Icad #48:

Icad #48

I have been wanting to experiment with making stencils from photos for ages. Self portraits for my journal. And I finally decided that yesterday was the day. I spent much of the day fiddling around with taking photos of myself and fiddling in photoshop and screeching and cutting out stencils. I was originally going to try cutting a stencil out of the index card, but after two attempts, my patience wasn’t there. So I got out the wood burner (does it have a proper name??) and burnt the stencil into an old plastic file instead. I then “practiced” spraying the paint on index cards through the stencil.

I have discovered as much as I love Street Art, I would be a bad street artist. I can not wield spray paint with finesse. Also I want some adhesive spray. And even though I painted outside, I still got a massive headache, so I want to find some less chemically-ish spray paints if that is possible.

Also the first photo I turned into a stencil was terrible. After realising I needed some white “bridges” in my stencil, I added some in the hair which I am not happy with, but it was only my first stencil.

Icad #49:

Icad #49

My second stencil, that did not take nearly as long! And I am happier with it, thought there is still more I want to practice.

As I write this, I realise I have a missing index card somewhere, because one of the experiments had a stencil imprint that had some dripping hair and looked a bit vampire-ish that I began painting, and I am looking around sort of and can’t see it, so will have to locate it later.

And finally…Icad #50:

Icad #50

I had a couple of spare images from my stencil making so I used one of them on a card that some some book text on, and I attempted a transfer with Matte medium. Which actually worked well, despite the fact I rubbed too hard and I didn’t wait until it was dry. I also wanted to try Stabilo Woody pencils heated up with a heat gun…I had heard that made them extra wonderful and I concur. They almost melt and go shiny and yum.

In other exciting!! news…I have new slippers which means my toes are warm for the first time in a very long time…I detest cold toes, even after wearing three pairs of socks and wearing homemade alpaca wool socks, I still had cold toes…not anymore. :)

AND over the weekend I saw a magnolia tree in BLOOM! I got excited and declared spring was nearly here. My beloved was not nearly so supportive, reminding me were only half way through winter…but there has been sun for the past two days, so I am calling it nearly spring. And my slippers are on and I have warm toes!

Life is good! :)

Sunday sketches and Every Day Matters

I have been on a bit of an ear mission this week!  See here and here. I have always avoided ears, covered them up usually with hair, or just lightly indicated that they were there, but left it abstracty.

When I did attempt it last year, I completely stuffed it up and so I got so scared I never really tried again.  (Just looking at it now I cringe, though seeing where I have gotten to with some practice is very gratifying as well.)

Elements Water Page

But I finally decided to practice, and to stop procrastinating about it, because of fear.  Hence this week has been the week of the ear.  And it seemed somewhat appropriate that my sketch today should be the ear.  A part of me wishes I had done the sketch earlier, because having names for parts of the ear, helps me contextually with making sure those parts of the ear are there.  I think maybe my geeky, nerdy side.  :)

But here, for Sunday Sketches is my sketch page:

Ear Sketching

While I am here, I am also going to publish my two EDM drawings. I am so glad I decided to do this. And I can’t wait to see my improvement.

EDM #2: Draw a light or lamp
EDM #2

EDM #3: Draw a bag

EDM #3