Physalis and poppy heads mixed media painting.

Practising with some texture in this painting using sand mixed into acrylic paint.  This was painted using the techniques from  Alison Board’s first book ‘A beginners guide to watercolour with mixed media’.  I love this book as it it gives you lots of ideas and easy to understand instructions and I like Alison’s lively, loose painting style.  I used dried fern, fennel,  and acer leaves dropped into the wet background and left to dry.  There is also some lifting out, using a leafy stencil and a magic sponge eraser, and some messy splattering and dripping.  The camera hasn’t quite picked up on some of the subtle shading so it looks much better in real life.

Owl mixed media painting

I am a big fab of Alison Board, so whenever I get the chance I watch her demos on Artist Demo Days on facebook, or on her own web page, then sometimes I have a  go myself.  However this one is from one of her workshops on the SAA site.  I used watercolour, gouache, brusho,  conte crayons and a fine liner pen.  Alison used a photo of Boo, a little owl, which has such a lovely face, and I love the splashy loose techniques she uses.

Shimmering dragonfly on black paper.

It has been a while since I had my paints out and this is the first attempt using black watercolour paper.  Alison Board was doing a demo for SAA so I followed along with that  (more or less).  This is a mixed media piece, and I really like the shimmery Rembrandt watercolour for the wings.   You can’t really tell from this photo but the mount is quite green so it brings out the greens of the background even more.

Anchor and butterfly sketch.

Duddingston Kirk are holding an event in early January 2020 called – a time of hope and new beginnings – contemplating , poetry, prose, paintings, photographs as well as  performances of music, song and story telling.  I decided to google symbols of hope and came up with the idea of an anchor, which used to be an early Christian symbol, and a butterfly, a symbol of hope.  Using Prisma pencils I made a sketch, and I also used a few stamps.  I didn’t like the background as it was a bit scratchy looking despite me trying to smooth it using Sansador.  Anyhow I took a photo of it, cropped it, then mucked around with the image in photoshop to give it a bit of a border/vignette. This is my first version, it looks like a tattoo and I am just not sure….I may change it before I send it in to exhibit.

Mad Hatter outfit

As some of you may already know – I HATE sewing and  I don’t like fancy dress parties!  However, I needed an outfit for our good friends’ themed wedding.  I chose to go as the Mad Hatter (Tarrant Hightop – Jonny Depp’s character)  The hat, coat, and waistcoat I managed to get from ebay so I just needed to add a few bits and bobs.  The hat was soft and floppy and didn’t stay up, so that required reinforcing with cardboard on the inside.  I added embellishments of a peacock, price tag hat pin with green tassel, playing card, black feathers hat pin with an ‘Imagine’ tag, miniature cup, saucer and teapot, and some fancy binding around it.  I have loads of coloured ribbon and yarn in my stash so I added some to my little rucksack. Mixed two pairs of  bright socks. Used ribbon as laces in my boots. For the lace cuffs I just added elastic to one edge of wide lace trim.  I did have to get the dreaded sewing machine out to make material swatches that hang from one pocket (cut form one large bit of multicoloured sarong).  Also to adjust the waistcoat as it was rather large, and then to make the bow.  I found instructions on you tube on how to make the bow, but it was a bit of trial and error to get a reasonable size.  The bandolier was made from some old green suede effect material, made into a belt with some tiny reels of cotton thread laced together. I already had a chain and old fob-watch so I added an old tool, from an old singer sewing machine, as counter weight for the fob-watch. Now the hat came with just 2 wee tufts of orange fluffy fibre as hair – one at each side but sadly none down the back.  I cut this off and decided to just dye my hair for the day.  I couldn’t find orange so had to resort to red and copper.  I used face paints for the make-up but the eye-shadow was just powder so wasn’t very bright.  Overall I think I achieved the look I was aiming for except for the trousers and boots.  I couldn’t find anything I could be comfortable wearing trouser wise or boots, so I just had to put turn-ups in my stretchy black trousers.  Harry went as John Lennon (Sgt. Pepper’s lonely hearts club band cover).  I added 3 daisies to each lapel and Harry found a medal to wear too.   He couldn’t really see through the glasses though.  It is a shame it was raining on the day, but it all went to plan and every one had a good time.

Sweet pea blanket finished!

Finally!  I have finished my sweat pea blanket and I did try to finish it in time to enter into my local flower show craft section, but, I am afraid my fingers were just too sore to keep the tension in the yarn so my border went a bit wavy.  Although this one was not good enough to enter, I entered my Cosy autumn coloured stripe blanket instead.  Woo-hoo, it got first place in the crochet and knitted section.  So that, along with my paintings and a photograph of snails on a wall, got me the Handicraft trophy.  I won’t be attempting any more large blankets but I may do some smaller Granny blankets instead as they are a bit easier and won’t take quite so long to accomplish.  I will now be getting my paints out again – maybe I will just play about with art journalling to get me in that mindset and playing with pens and paints before they all dry up.

crochet sweet pea blanket