Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Ghoulishly Good Pumpkin!

A Happy Halloween to you all!

Wishing you all a ghoulishly good time. 

I am sorry not to have blogged before now but hope I am forgiven as I have been very unwell. I haven't participated on the Bloom True course; didn't get some new projects started, but I have managed to create a few things for All Hallows Eve and hope you enjoy seeing them.

First, here are a couple of Halloween cards. I created them using water- colours and coloured pencils. 

I did create quite a few cards, each one with a different personality, so all members of the family have a unique card.

Carrying on the pumpkin theme, I managed to create a pumpkin for our front door (with a bit of help from my wife). I was inspired by Alisa Burke's painted pumpkins and also an urge to watch Harry Potter. I wanted to create spooky houses, but this has been done a lot so whilst watching the Philosophers Stone this clip gave me some ideas that I could not resist.

After the Pumpkin had been massacred and gesso-ed, I got out the acrylics and some Sharpie pens and got painting. This was the final result.

Hope you like it? The shops were first drawn on paper in order to keep a record of them. I love the character of each shop and am wondering if I could use them in another project. We shall see!

I hope you are having a spooktacular time.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

Hi everyone, 

After over two weeks of marking madness and late evenings at work, I managed to meet the Postcard swap deadline for Celebration at Do What You Love. My stitched postcard is currently winging its way to New York, a place that holds wonderful memories for me of past vacations. When I registered for the swap, I had a reasonably manageable timetable at school. However, just a few weeks into the new term, it is as manic as ever! Creating this piece of artwork after school assisted me to shrug off that busy schedule and was a most enjoyable process. It was fun bringing out my partner's sewing machine. Stitching is a relatively new thing for me but I feel I achieved a first, with a little guidance. This is the first time I have been involved in an online swap; another personal goal achieved. 

Apart from the postcard, I have only been able to paint at the weekends since starting Flora's True Bloom e-course. I hope to catch up this week and post what I am up to by the weekend (fingers crossed!).

So, without further ado, here is a run down of how my postcard was put together.

First thing I did was to break out my new arty squeegee. I created a burst of colour on A4 card paper using just golden fluid acrylic primary colours. Would you like a demonstration on video?? Do let me know by leaving a comment. Along with this, I had some off cuts of fabric; it is like a burlap but a lot stiffer material. To add a background texture, I used a stamper that has an Islamic design on it. 

While the paint on the burlap was drying, I hand cut out circles of different sizes. Then I tore the fabric into strips. Time for some creative fun! I had it all spread out on the kitchen floor and moved it around for an hour of so before I felt it was right. Once I had decided on the placement, I glued it all together using PVA. 


Once that had dried, it was time to add some details. I used a series of different nibs on my Sharpie pens and a Tippex. The inspiration for my celebration themed postcard were images of fireworks, being a reference to new beginnings and friendship. The formed images looked like seed pods.

I then separated it into several pieces. It was at this point, I remembered the one rule of the swap to follow... it had to have sewing on it. Now I do not proclaim myself an excellent sewer and I decided to have a lesson on the sewing machine. I am fortunate that my wife is fantastic at textiles and she showed me how to use the machine and then I stitched into each section. Thank you wife for having the patience!

Next, l brought the pieces together and added the last details. Here is the front and back of the postcard before I stitched it together.

This is the back:

This is the front:

I have to admit to being very happy with the result. Attempting something new without letting my style of work slip was very satisfying, and I hope the recipient in New York enjoys receiving it.

As promised, I will post again soon with the beginnings of the Bloom True canvases. I am relishing the journey.

Hope everyone is having a great week.