22 April 2014

Growing Goodness: Seedlings

I'm so happy this year to have a little garden growing inside this spring - and even happier to have a larger garden to put these precious gems out later. This was one of the major things I was super excited about when we bought our house: garden space!

Baby cucumbers

Baby brocoli plants

Tomato seedlings

Now, these pictures are quite old. My seedlings are a lot larger now, but I wanted to share these beginnings first. It's always super exciting to see your first seedlings popping out of the dirt :) I'll be back later this week with more current pictures!

26 March 2014

Getting A Little Dusty Again

 It's been a long while since I've created a true, 100%, soft pastel painting. I've had the urge to dig them out all winter, but just had no idea what to create - a complete blank slate. Also add to that, the challenge of creating with them again. I was just a newbie still when I set them aside for awhile, so picking them up again would not be a picnic at all. I decided to go with a composition of succulents. I really like them - I think they're super cute - and I've been wanting to create a colourful piece with them for some time. This would also allow me to highlight an aspect of the soft pastel medium that some people do not realize: they are rediculusly colourful!

I began by sketching the image on to ColourFix Suede pastel board - a good pastel painting begins with a good sketch. Then I continued with an underpainting using my Pan Pastels. They are just so easy to use to create a fast and effective underpainting. This is what I've called its "grizzly" phase - the ugly phase. I tried to use completmently colours here, so the final painting will look more opposite than what is displayed here. I sprayed it all with a light alcohol mist (the rubbing alcohol sort, not the vodka alcohol sort) to set the pastels, so that they wouldn't blend with the layers I will be applying on top, and therefore will not make it 'muddy'. This was the easy part. From here, it was all total concentration and complete loss of time...

I started at the top left - to work my way across and down, in an effort to not smudge the entire piece. These first two succulent "leaves" are where I sort of determined the style of this painting. I remind you, I haven't used pastels in so long - so I knew what I wanted to do, but didn't know how exactly I would achieve it, and what sort of style it would end up looking like. I know it sound silly - I'm sure there's some artists who understand this :)

 This is where it stood when I finished last night. It's not much, but it's almost four hours of work - yes, this piece is going to take ages to complete. But I'm hoping when it's all done, it will be amazing and work every second :) 

Above are the pastels I have used to date. It's just under 40 different colours and shades, and I'm sure before I'm finished, more will be added.

11 March 2014

Art Journal: Spring Flowers

I'm sharing a lovely, spring-themed flower art journal - and I video tapped it for those who wanted to follow along and recreate it themselves :) I really like how this page turned out - the delicate looking flowers against the colourful background. 


I used a lot of wonderful supplies: Aquamarkers, vintage postcards, coffee filters, paint markers, inks and Unity Stamps.

I'm also submitting this to the Unity Stamp Co. challenge, following the colour and flower theme that they presented this month, below:

Most of what I have to say about this art journal spread is said in the movie, so kick back and enjoy :)

10 March 2014

Like Icing

I've been dabbling in my oil paints, and reworking an old painting. By reworking, I really mean: taking the original 'reference photo' and redoing it in a whole new way. I tend to do this a lot. And although some might think, "don't you feel like you wasted so much time before, because you're just covering it all up?". Well, my answer is simply, no. I wouldn't have gotten to this point that I'm much happier with, if I hadn't started the way I did. Art isn't always a straight and simple route. Sometimes, you have to deviate off a little - or a lot - to get to where you feel you should be :)

My application of paint for this "rework" is nice and thick and creamy - like icing. The colours are so very vibrant, it's just so wonderful playing with the oil paints again. 

07 March 2014

Wet Paint

I really just love how watercolour paint looked when it's wet and pooling. It's just so translucently beautiful!

06 March 2014

Sassy Cupcake Birthday Card

It's been a while since I've pulled out my stamps to create a greeting card - so it was almost refreshing to work on and complete this fun Birthday greeting. Let it be know, making a card isn't always as easy as 'slapping' some things together. There are a lot of layers that come into play - and with these layers, come a lot of different materials. This usually leaves one's work area a disaster for only one little card. 

I used a bunch of different Unity Stamp Co. stamps from a variety of kits. Hopefully, I don't forget any: Cuppy Cakes, Sassy Pants Sentiments, SMAK Kit (4/13), and SMAK Kit (6/13). I used Letraset Aquamarkers to colour in the cupcake and candle, and embossing powder on all my stamping. 

I always think a card is going to be a disaster, and then I piece it all together, and it really comes together. My favourite part would have to be the black, glittered embossing powder I used. It just adds so much fun to this card!

04 March 2014

Gentle Snow Winter Watercolour Painting

"Gentle Snow" - Watercolour Painting
A new painting here to share with everyone :) "Gentle Snow" came to me one morning, while I was watching the snow fall outside. It was those gorgeous, huge flakes that fall slowly - just so pretty. The contrast of those large white flakes, against the rich evergreens in our backyard was definitely something to record in watercolour.

I apologize for the 'ugly' trademark on my upper image. I usually don't trademark the images, and just post them as a lower resolution - but I've recently has issues with people using my images without permission to create and sell products - so the trademark will be one step I'm taking to try and protect my artwork.

The original painting is available for sale, here. For those who have never shopped on Etsy before, you can get $5.00 off your order for signing up, here.