Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Completed portrait of Carter using carbon pencils

Here is the completed drawing of Carter to go with Tayla. The photo is terrible as the lighting is so dull today and the scan was even worse. So hopefully you get the idea anyway. I tried to follow advice about making the background white but as I use Photoshop Elements I think it is slightly different in that area with the levels so I played around a bit but couldn't work it out. I would like to get the full Photoshop at same stage as I would love to learn it properly.

And here are both drawings framed. I will be packaging these up very well and couriering them this afternoon so that they arrive at Mum's house tomorrow on her birthday.
I only did Carter's one this morning as I had a horrendous headache last night and couldn't do much let alone draw. I have cut out sugary foods and drinks (again) as since Christmas my sweet tooth addiction had been getting worse and worse. So for the last two days I have had a bad headache which starts in the afternoon and I am sure it is due to my blood sugar levels having to adjust to less sugar. I am hesitant to take panadol for it as I think my body just needs to sort itself out itself so my DH gave me a good head massage last night and I have been sculling back water. I have been addicted to Just Juice Bubbles for a few months which for people outside of NZ is 50% fruit juice and 50% lemonade and exceptionally yummy especially in the heat of summer. So that is gone and no longer in the house.

Pay it Forward - Giveaway

I was reading Chavah Kinloch's blog this morning and came across this Pay it Forward giveaway. As I was the lucky 2nd person to comment, I will be looking forward to receiving my gift from her. I am lucky enough to own two small paintings that Chavah did and I love them dearly and they hang in our bedroom so I am very excited about what I might get as she is a very creative individual.

So here are the rules!

1. Be one of the first THREE bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me (yeah for handmade!).

2. If you are one of the first three to make a comment, you are a winner! And you then agree to post this challenge on your own blog, meaning that you will pay it forward, creating a handmade gift -anything!- for the first THREE bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!

3. The gift that you send to your 3 friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember it’s the spirit and the thought that count!

4. When you receive your gift, blog about it! If you are not one of the first three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Go ahead and start your own Pay It Forward chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same! It's all about paying it forward.

I can say now that I will endeavour to send these out way before the 365 days and it will be art, either a drawing or a painting. I am quite happy to do a drawing of someone that you love so if you are one of the three winners, feel free to email me a photo if that is what you want and I can draw it. Otherwise I will have to come up with something myself.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Portrait - carbon pencil and charcoal pencil

I am just having a quick break from working to post this which is done on A4 Arches HP paper and is framed and now sitting waiting for me to draw the matching one of my son so they can be couriered down to Christchurch for my Mum's birthday this Thursday. She is not consistent with logging onto the internet so I am hoping that trend will continue this week and that she won't see my blog as she doesn't know I am doing these for her.

Still haven't finished Connor and need too as there is not much left to do. I am definitely a starter and as I have drawn all the difficult interesting stuff I am not that inspired to do the finishing off and I have to be very focused to get that done.

And we are still watching LOST and are so into it. Just started season 3 last night. Our local video store has all the DVD's to rent so it is great. I don't think I could handle watching it on TV as it would move too slow for me week by week but when you watch it on DVD it is like a long long movie and I like all the unexplained stuff. I enjoy sci-fi anyway so trying to figure out what it all means is lots of fun. And I am refusing to look on the internet to find out what happens and it means I can sit and draw while watching so it's all good!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I am still here

Just a quickie to say that I still alive, just not doing much art over the past week as business has taken over and I have been working hard. I haven't touched Connor's portrait for over a week and there isn't much left to do so I need to get onto it. Will post again once I have finished this as well as a large resin piece that just needs one more coat of resin. Back soon.....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Progress on coloured pencil portrait of Connor - my black lab

Just a quick update of how Connor's portrait is going. I tried to scan it as it is too dark to photograph it (late at night you see) but because this is larger than A4 it goes off the side of the scanner pad, hence the fact he is missing part of his left ear.

I need to go back over parts of the fur to even out areas but I am enjoying working on this and pleased that I was able to attack the nose tonight. For some reason the nose scared me and I thought I might stuff it up. Because the photo reference was quite dark around the nose I kept on lying down on the floor to gaze at my dog's nose close up. It is damn useful having him around to check things like fur direction. We have had Connor for 7 years and I don't think I ever realised quite how his nostrils looked until tonight!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More resined seascapes and the start of a black lab portrait

I am seriously having so much fun with these reduced and abstracted seascapes and resin. This is the small triptych I did - each canvas is 150 x 150 x 40mm or 6"x6". I had prepared these months ago with different types of paper collaged onto the canvas and then gesso'd over. They also have gold leaf embedded in the resin. Once again it is really really hard to take a proper photo of resined artwork so here are my best attempts.

Here they are each individually. Sorry for the glare picked up by the resin but hopefully you get the idea.
I am so enjoying these and it is such a fun break from the more realistic work I tend to do with oils. I have 3 more in process still with the turquoise but introducing my favourite Australian Gold pigment as well so once they are complete I will post them here too.

I have been full of inspiration for various seascapes and landscapes in this way and have come up with a whole pile of ideas and colours in my sketchbook. Watercolour pencils are brilliant for working this type of thing out. I'm also thinking of ways I can embed and suspend things in the resin layers.

And I also started another portrait of our beautiful black lab Connor last night. As I may have mentioned before we don't watch TV (except for the news) but if there is a series we are interested in we will watch the DVD's. I've had the first series of LOST sitting in the cupboard for months on end since I picked it up for a ridiculous price so we have started watching that. I need to keep my hands occupied when watching so I started this piece. And in terms of LOST, not sure if we will continue with it after season 1, undecided at this point as some things are annoying us but the jury will remain out until we have got further into it.
This is coloured pencil on Stonehenge and it larger than A4. Not sure what the finished size will be but it is pretty much almost the size of his head in real life.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Resin and textures again

Over the past few days I have had lots of fun playing with with acrylics, texture and then resin! I haven't done anything like this since early last year and it was a nice break from oils and I think I may continue to play for a while.

The painting is an abstracted seascape. I wanted to capture the feeling when all you see is an expanse of turquoise and the sky and sea are almost merged. I used heaps of glazes of both acrylics and acrylic ink and then rubbed gold leaf into the sea part to represent the preciousness of our oceans and its living treasures. The canvas had been quite heavily textured with various modelling pastes.

Once the first layer of resin went hard, I put more gold leaf on top and then resined again so when you see it in real life, you can see the gold suspended in the resin.

It is really really really hard to take photos of resined artworks so I have given a few options below so you can get the idea.

This one shows a bit of the interference gold that I used between glazes which gets reflected on certain angles.
And this one shows the extreme reflections that you get with resin. I love resin and it was so much fun to play with it again.
I also did 3 small ones in a similar vein that I will post later once I get some decent photos of them. I may do a bit of a series with these more abstracted landscapes, seascapes with resin, I need to do some brainstorming with my sketchbook and get some inspiration but they were so much fun to do and in this hot hot weather we have at the moment, the layers of glazing dry pretty much within minutes so you are not waiting. It works out well with looking after the munchkins as I can dash up to my studio, do a glaze and then come back and be mummy.

And speaking of the munchkins (well one of them), my gorgeous son came outside with me this morning to help me take these photos and decided to pose for me with his beloved Hairy (was a Hairy Maclary toy which has been so well loved he has lost most of his hair and half his nose and I have done numerous plastic surgery operations with a needle to keep him going). I am thinking I may have to draw this photo as I love it so much.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shave an Artist and LIFE exhibition photos

Wow, what can I say. I think the photos say it all. Last night an incredibly brave 13 people had their heads shaved to raise money for the Leukemia and Blood Foundation and over $20,000 was raised through the head shaving and the art auction!!!!

I thought that I would post some of my favourite photos from the night. Above is Jennifer Christiansen and Juliet Cryns.

Here is Marimba Powley looking stunning with a bald head.

And here is Juliet again - doesn't she have the most amazing colour hair.

Here is Sofia Minson after her shave. She is an incredibly talented artist who came up with the idea for the event and her piece of art sold for $8000!

This is Helen Sherrock looking pensive. She participated in this event to honour some memories of people very close to her.

And here is a shot from the associated LIFE exhibition in the upstairs part of the Bruce Mason Centre. The exhibition runs for a month and 20% of any proceeds go to the LBF too so the total amount raised in this event with the NZ Art Guild will exceed the $20,000 raised so far.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Escape - oil on canvas LIFE exhibition

Yesterday I helped out at the hanging of the LIFE exhibition at the Bruce Mason Centre here in Auckland. Our opening night is tonight with the auction and head shaving so it will be a fantastic evening and in a couple of hours I will be stopping work for the day (GST for our construction business - yugh) and getting all dolled up.

This is my piece which is hanging in the exhibition. 20% of the proceeds of any sale goes to the Leukemia and Blood Foundation so if it sold that would be great as it is such a worthy cause.

It is called 'Escape' and is oil on canvas 1000mm x 600mm x 40mm. It ties into LIFE by the feeling you get when you are surrounded by nature and feeling at one with the world. I called it escape as I wanted it to feel that you have escaped from the toils and dramas that we get involved with in our day to day life and have got back in touch with what life is truly about, the simplicity and beauty of our world and the role we have to do what we can to make it a wee bit better every day. So it is really an escape to authenticity.