Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Seasons greetings

I would like to wish all my readers and followers a Happy New Year and that it be be full of joy and wonderful creative endeavours.

It is swelteringly hot here and the exodus to the beaches has already started as Christmas is when most kiwis take their annual holidays.  For my virtual Christmas card I have painted the New Zealand Christmas tree - Pohutukawa.  It is festooned with gorgeous red flowers during December and January.  It is a coastal tree and adorns the beaches and sea cliffs - a wonderful sight.

See you in  the New Year.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Collages and a Tah Dah!

For the collage theme over at Art Journal Journey this week I have continued using up old scraps and failed paintings.

The above was a collage I started years ago and never finished.  I think it was at the beginning of my tea bag painting phase.  The trees are dried gum leaves.

This collage is a combination of three failed works!  I pasted them onto a large sheet of card and then added some leaves.  The tea bag in the centre I left unpainted as I thought it might get a bit too busy.

Now I don’t know if this qualifies as a collage as it is digital.

I used a watercolour of some apple blossom, a photo of my Mothers wedding day, (the two ladies with her are my grandmothers.  Christmas is a time of family and I feel the need to honour these ladies as they are no longer with us.)  I also used some bits of lace that I scanned.

Tah Dah!

For Paint Party Friday, I finished the painting from last week thanks to a suggestion from Denthe and others.  Denthe suggested that I paint the bird looking at the girl as if it was going to take it from her.  That really hit the mark for me.  I am going to call the painting The Last FlowerThe birds are upset that she has picked it as now they will be hungry and there will now be no flowers to form seeds and feed the earth.  I think the girl has realised too late what she has done in her mission to smell the beautiful scent.

People who have looked at my last post for Sunday Sketches will recognise the bird as the Tui.  There is a reason that I have been painting them a lot.  My younger brother had a stoke 3 weeks ago.  As children we were very close, but in late teenage years we became estranged.  A couple of years ago I got in touch again with him and we have been developing a relationship again.   As children we use to spend holidays with our grandmother and she still worked some mornings so we were dropped off at the National Museum in Wellington and we took turns at what we would look at.  Dave was keen on birds so I drew them and he took notes from the displays.  Then we would make a project sheet on each bird for our Grandparents.  

I think what we also like the most was when Grannie picked us up and took us to fancy restaurants for lunch.  She let us choose whatever we wanted.  I think that is where I got my love of fine food!! 
When we got in touch again Dave would send me photos of birds that live around his home in Canberra (Australia)  His favourite  NZ bird is the Tui, so I am painting a series of cards for him.  Below is a painting in gouache that I am going to frame for him.

It is so sad he is only in his fifties and his wife is dying of breast cancer.  They had just got back from Mexico where they had gone for treatment for Liz.  It is not working unfortunately; I think the stress of it all plus other family stuff caused it.  So, if could please send your prayers or healing vibes to Canberra, I would be grateful.

That’s it for today

Hope you all have a wonderful week and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Birds and teabags

Sunday Sketches

I am killing two birds with one stone so to speak today.  I have been very fortunate to have a lot of time this week to create art.

For Sunday Sketches I decided to show two of a series of NZ native birds I am doing for cards.  I am trying to use the looser style that I have for my ladies.  (My birds and flora are usually very detailed.)
These two birds are one of my favourites The Tui.  It was scarce for a number of years but now is becoming more common as it is moving into the towns and cities as people are planting more native trees and shrubs in their gardens.  It has a beautiful song and a couple wake me up every morning singing to each other.  They are a largish bird and rather clumsy, but oh how they sing and their iridescent colours just gleam in the sunlight.

The male has a beautiful white ruffle of feathers under its beak and white thin feathers behind its head.  The Tui is a nectar eater and unfortunately gets very greedy in spring when the Kowhai Tree is in flower.  They can denude the tree overnight and leave a carpet of shredded flowers for us humans to sigh over!  Sometimes it seems as they are having a drunken brawl over the flowers and is rather funny to watch.

Art Journal Journey

The theme for art Journal Journey this month is collage.   I decided to get out my plastic box full of abandoned projects and make some art from them.

Some time ago early last year I had a period of painting portraits on teabagsThe page above I pasted onto a small page of weaved strips from pages of a book that I am altering. Then I just simply washed some watercolour over the lot.

The page below I pasted the teabag onto some ripped squares from the same book and then pasted that lot over half of a spoiled watercolour of anemones.   Then did a bit of splashing!  Moral of story don’t throw anything out, it can be combined with other bits and pieces to make an okay page.

Um I still have lots of teabags and scraps and messed up paintings to use up, so no doubt I will be posting more collages before the month is out.

So that’s it for today so thanks Alexandra from Sunday Sketches

and Susi and Valerie for hosting Art Journal Journey.

Visit both as there is some wonderful art to be seen.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Caught in the Rain and WIP

Do you ever embrace the rain when out for a walk?  I did on Monday.  I got soaked, but it was wonderful.  The rain was so heavy I could have put my tongue out and had a drink!  When I got home my hair was like rat tails and water was dripping off me and made a great puddle.  But oh I felt so refreshed.  Crazy eh!  I just had to do this watercolour.  (I wish I was as lovely as this beauty when soaking wet, lol!)

The next piece is a WIP, I have had this canvas 30cm x 60cm for ages and had started to do the background in acrylic but had got no further.

On Tuesday I dragged it out and added more layers and used gesso to suggest a figure on the left.  I have been adding to it every day.  But, now I have got to the stage of not knowing where to go next.  Is it finished?  Do I add some text?

I quite like it as it is, it there is still a niggle.  The girl is meant to be holding a flower maybe I could add a flower on the right?  However, I won’t do anything to it for at least a week.  In fact I will turn it to the wall and hopefully next week when I will look at it again the answer will come to me.

I will post the finished piece I promise!

Have  a lovely week and thanks for visiting.

 I am linking as usual to Paint Party Friday, hosted by Eva and Kristin.  Head over there as there are some amazing artists taking part.