Saturday 29 April 2023

Wanderlust 2023 - Weeks nine to fifteen - Pencils

The Wanderlust course feels as though it is going very fast this year.  The focus for the next seven weeks was pencils. Above was an introduction to pencils in their many forms - graphite, watersoluble (like Stabilo Woodys or  Caran D'AcheNecolour II), watercolour, charcoal, crayons...
Week ten was focused on people. We had to paint the page,  then see the faces and characters and bring them out with pencil details.  We also had to include hands even if they looked weird (and they do!).  Chris made up quite a story about these figures.  I 'saw' the small person first, then the one on the left and the floating face.  I thought I had finished but the face on the right demanded to be included.  He looks a bit like a Disney character to me, but I added him in.
Asemic writing (which looks like writing but doesn't mean anything) was the next focus. I wrote about the week I had at work on the section at the bottom right, but then reversed the tracing paper to stick it down, so it isn't that easy to read. 
More layering and botanicals for week twelve.  I enjoyed the splodges on the right hand side where we drew the wispy bits out. 
Charcoal portraits were the next focus.  I do enjoy using charcoal.  We then used water or oil to add shading.
We should have added a selfie to this page but as I have an aversion to seeing myself in a photo, I passed on that one.  This didn't really grab me - some weeks are like that.
Using Derwent Intense pencils four ways: dry, as paint, mixed on the page and then dipped in water made for an enjoyable amount of playing for the final pencils week.  I do like the Derwent Inktense pencils - very pigmented, easy to use and versatile - my new favourite pencils! 
The final week was the 'Artful Musings' week where an art practitioner talks about what they do.  The trusty Derwent Inktense pencils came out again, to be used like watercolours for this page, which is loosely based on the water cycle.  It included lots of mark making, using the pencils wet and dry and with various brushes used like stamps.

As always, there has been lots of experimenting and some weeks are more enjoyable than others, but I have a go at them all.  Our next media to explore is Pens - I am looking forward to that!

Thursday 20 April 2023

Late Spring garden

Apart from tulips there are some other rather lovely plants to celebrate in the garden.  Above is Erythronium Pagoda - a 'dog's-tooth violet', although they aren't violets at all.  The 'Dog's-tooth' bit comes for the shape of the bulb which looks a bit like a canine tooth. I have had these in the garden for many years and have loved seeing them...
...but they have only just started to make a decent sized clump.
Epimedium x versicolor Sulphureum (I think) was another one I have had for years.  I thought I had lost it completely but it has reappeared, much to my delight.
Camellia rosthorniana Cupido is flowering down at the bottom of the garden.
I spotted a little self-sown viola in amongst some sempervivums.
This was the colour of the sky this morning, with the Magnolia Susan flowers looking (and smelling) beautiful.

Sunday 16 April 2023

Experimenting and making

I have been making some things this week and experimenting too.  Above are some polymer clay brush rests, made from scraps.   
Yes, I know they look a bit like multi-coloured slugs, but they will do the job of stopping my paintbrushes rolling around.  I made some others a while ago, (see the blog post here) but they weren't as useful as I had thought because they require more space for the brushes to lie flat across them.
Other experiments involved using shrink plastic for the first time.  I had initially wanted to make some colour swatch earrings, but these ended up a bit too big for that.  However, they would make good keyrings or bag charms.  More experimenting needed I think.
Finally, here is a paper napkin or serviette made into a textured net.  I had my sewing machine out and after watching this video on Youtube ('Distressing paper to make fabric' on Kari's Mixed Media Art), I thought I would have a go.  I shall probably use it to add texture to an art journal page or a tag.

Sunday 9 April 2023

Happy Easter


A long weekend for Easter is just what is needed at the moment!  Work has been very busy so a bit of time off is much appreciated.  To those who celebrate, I hope you have a Happy Easter.  Above is my seasonal tree with its Easter decorations and the odd few chocolate treats! 
There was a beautiful blue sky yesterday, so I had some time in the garden.  The lathyrus vernus is in flower again...this is alboroseus...
...and this is Lathyrus vernus itself.  It is a hardy, reliable plant which I am very fond of.  
Muscari Latifolium with its shades of blue - another of my favourites.
Finally, that blue sky behind the unfurling flowers of Magnolia Susan.  Beautiful!

Monday 3 April 2023

Spring flowers

Spring is one of my favourite times of year. To be more precise, the time between April and the end of May is one of my favourite times of year.  Everything looks new and fresh.  Primroses are in flower.
I bought mixed grape hyacinths last autumn and planted them in various pots in both the front and back gardens.  I do like this lighter blue one.
The shape of this one is rather fabulous too.
The scillas are flowering away now.
Another 'mixed blue' grape hyacinth.  I like the different shades of blue in this one.
My little standard cherry is in full flower now and I am really enjoying the flowers. They don't last that long, but are a beautiful sight.
Finally, these tulips are the earliest into flower in the border.  I think they must be Brown Sugar (although they may be Cairo).  There are lots of others on the way, so they will probably get a blog post to themselves.
Here's a close up of one of the flowers.  I hope we don't get a prolonged cold snap this month, like there was last year.  There is a lot more to enjoy in the next few weeks.