Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A coral themed papercut

It was about time that I do another papercut. As much as I am really enjoying the daily sketches and loved getting into collages, I did feel guilty for neglecting the brand new scalpel and cutting mat I bought! This week I joined a group of artist for a link party (hosted by Lianne Williams on the usual twitter hashtag (#artisthour) that we use Wednesday nights (9-10pm GMT, hosted by Laura @artisthour). The coral theme was set last Wednesday and it was truly fun to see how everybody interpreted it. My goal was to do a teensy little papercut in the given hour, but I had a problem with some blunt scalpel blades and decided to complete another piece during the week. It ended up being much bigger than I planned originally. I like it though and can't wait to start a new one!

Coral - papercut - 295x210mm

Monday, 20 January 2014

Still sketching

Where has the time gone? Just as soon as I promise myself that I will get back to regular blog updates, I get so busy that time just runs away with me again. I am still sketching every day and have also had three sketches commisioned. It is great to be busy.

Here is a quick update of what I've been sketching the last few days:

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A 'sketch a day' update

I may not have slept much this week, but I still kept up with the sketch a day for January! I am seriously proud of myself, but it must be said that I love doing it, which is probably the best motivation. So, below is a quick update of what I've been up to...

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Friday, 10 January 2014

About my inspiration this week

I have done a lot of thinking again this week about inspiration and what it is that keeps us creatives going. I suspect it is very different for everyone, but one conclusion I have come to, is that whatever the source is, we need to have an outlet too...

I took most of the time over Christmas off to spend time with my family and to focus on them, but it was difficult to switch off from the creative flow I have been in for the last few months. I have been so productive over the last while, that it actually felt strange to sit back and put my feet up. I will also admit that I found myself feeling a bit on edge:) I couldn't understand it. I was sleeping more than usual. The whole family was healthy and relatively cold and winter bug free. What was wrong with me? I should be as happy as anything!

I realised that a lot of my creative energy comes from spending time with my family. From walks in the park with them and enjoying the fresh air on the occasional sunny winter days. I was getting a lot of creative input, but it got bottled up. I am, by nature, a bit of a workaholic and once I am on a roll I struggle to stop, but it is also true that once I stop for too long it is difficult to get me going again. I think that I was getting nervous. I was really worried that I will struggle to get going again.
Also, being creative is my outlet. I let go of everyday frustrations and worries when I am being creative. This may well be true for a lot of creatives. I personally need the creative time to be a nice, friendly person. (Goodness knows how much of a grump I must have been when I had months of not making any art...haha!)

I have decided that I will in future invest in a small pocket sized sketchbook and carry it around with me. At least I can then doodle a bit whenever I have a bit of time available. I think that I also need to take some time to learn new skils, perhaps do a morning course in something like ceramics or cooking.

As usual, my camera and the camera on my phone was my saving grace. I have collected loads of images and those images have been my inspiration this week. I will post the pictures I did this week for #sketchjanuary as soon as possible:)

I also have to share this photo:

I've seen the first snowdrops for 2014!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Back to school

Back to the school routine (or lack thereof....) since yesterday and I spent the morning helping out at school today. I am exhausted! Roll on the next holiday...hehe!

This January I am once again taking part in a twitter hashtag challenge. This month it is #sketchjanuary. Please look it up on Twitter. There are some really amazing artists involved in this. To me it is a bit like going back to school myself this month as I see sketching as the most important skill that an artist can develop. It underpins every other skill that you develop as an artist. So, this month is all about doing the homework and getting the skills ready for the rest of the year.
I was also kindly invited to take part in #30sketch on Instagram by the friendly MJ from Pars Caeli.

Two challenges for this month! I am really enjoying the way it stretches me to overcome the occasional 'I-am-too-tired' feeling. I have learned in the last two years that waiting for inspiration to strike is a rather fruitless method of making art. Results come from treating it with the same amount of commitment that you would bring to a regular job. That is what works for me...what works for you? I am always curious about artists' creative processes.

This is what I have sketched so far this month:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Follow up on a still life a day

I looked at the calender today (which isn't even on the wall yet, we still have 2013 up...) and I could not believe it is the 4th already! School holidays seems to make me lose track of time completely, but we're back to the normal routine (blind panic and procrastination to tell the truth) by Monday, so hopefully I'll keep better track of time by then.

We have had a crazy amount of rain since Christmas and storms almost every day or so, so it has been a challenge to keep the little ones entertained the last couple of weeks. Painting and photographing of artworks have also been slowed down by the lack of bright sunshine lately and when the sun does shine, we rush out the door to go absorb every last ray of sunshine we can. This has most definitely affected productivity. Can't wait for the long, bright summer's days. So much more light and time in the day!

For today I'll just give you an update on how the rest of my still-life-a-day turned out. Hope you enjoy these, let me know your thoughts!

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 30

It was one of the monthly challenges I have enjoyed most so far and I am definitely aiming to do more collage work in future. For now though the challenge for January is to do sketching every day and I am already off to a good start. More about that next time...have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

A Christmas update

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and are looking forward to 2014 as much as I am! 

After burning the candle at both ends in the run up to Christmas and having to complete two paintings for the weekend before Christmas, I realised that I would have to take a break from all things art and blogging till after Christmas, or else it just was not going to be the Christmas we all deserved after a busy year. My precious little girl made a request from Father Christmas a week before Christmas that only a handmade gift could deliver, so I had to wrap up all non-Christmas related tasks very quickly! I did end up behind on updating my list of daily still life artworks and also pushed pause on that project till this weekend. I hope to do a couple more still lifes before the end of the month.

I am scrolling through all of the images I took around Christmas time and I think I will be able to show you what we have been up to on the creative side of things. The time has mostly been filled with baking, sewing and crafting and the house still smells of ginger and cinnamon. Amazingly, it has also been a very creatively inspirational time, even though I haven't touched a sketchbook in over a week!

I baked my first fruit cake ever...and I was happy with the results!

We celebrated my littlest one's 2nd birthday and I baked the cake. Pure indulgence.

This Christmas was all about handmade gifts.

Our favourite family Christmas tradition. Gingerbread houses baked and decorated in time for Christmas day!
I did a bit of last minute sewing and embroidering.

And, after all of that, only the biggest cup of coffee will do...