Thursday, 23 October 2014

1000 Quilt Inspirations

Above is the cover of the book some of my work is published in. It is currently at the publishers and will be released in the New Year. I'm really excited to be included in the book and will be purchasing one for myself. It will be available on

Below is a description of the book and a blurb about the book's author Sandra Sider.

Book description:

As one of the core, traditional crafts, quilting is enjoyed by countless enthusiasts around the world - and its popularity is only growing. This collection of one thousand quilt DETAILS builds upon this interest, showcasing some of today's most innovative and beautiful WORK. See how others utilize color and design elements to craft creative pieces. Gain inspiration from their variations and intricate techniques. Maybe even CONSTRUCT your own original quilts. Whether YOU ARE a quilter or a collector, a craft-lover or an art enthusiast, 1000 Quilt Inspirations is sure to inspire your admiration and appreciation of the art of quilting. It's also likely to get you itching for some fabrics of your own!

Author Bio:

Dr. Sandra Sider, a New York quilt artist and independent curator, has published articles and reviews concerning fiber art and other aspects of visual culture for three decades. Her graduate degrees include an M.A. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She was President of Studio Art Quilt Associates (2010-2013), and is Consulting Curator for the Texas Quilt Museum.

Sketchbook Skool
I also started Sketchbook Skool again last Friday and had a couple of homework assignments. I guess this course is supposed to stretch me but they have me drawing things that I don't normally draw and in a different way that normally do. I'm not too impressed with my final products but perhaps I'll learn something from them.

For our first homework assignment we were supposed to draw a piece of toast. What do you think? Does it look like toast to you?

The second assignment was called Fast and Slow. We were to paint the shape of what we were going to draw very quickly with a paint brush and then go in afterward with a pen or marker and draw the details. This was one of my orchids.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sketching Again

I usually carry a small sketch book with me in my purse just in case I have to wait somewhere or I have an opportunity to do a small sketch. This week as I was having coffee I did a sketch at the Garden Centre of the front desk. It was very challenging because the guys behind the desk kept moving or posing and customers came and went very quickly. That is the one challenging thing about sketching from life. You actually have to try to memorize positions of people to get them into your drawing. I didn't even try to get a likeness, however, those who frequent the Garden Centre might be able to figure out who they are.
It isn't very busy there at this time of year so I could do the sketch in about half an hour, however, I had to finish it at home. I had the basics in and filled in some of the details at home as well as painting it with watercolour.

 I also did a sketch of one of our employees. Some of you may know him. I didn't do this on location. It was done from a photograph I took earlier in the year.

And I have also been busy updating the journals for my grandchildren and started a new one for the latest addition to our family, Samuel. The sketches below capture some of our time at a rented cottage this summer.

The background of this sketch is a piece of a painting
that Paul did.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Art in Interesting Places

Recently my daughter sent me an advertisement for an Art Contest. I have never seen anything like it before. It made me giggle and think, why not? Art can be found in the most interesting places.

My daughter is pregnant and she said if she was living nearby, she would totally do this with me on my art day Thursdays.  I'm pretty sure this is done with face paints and that they are not tattoos.....that would just be wrong for a whole host of reasons.

Another interesting place to find art would be at the SAQA website. The Studio Art Quilts Associates (of which I am a member) is currently having an auction of 12 X 12 inch art quilts to raise funds for the organization. These small quilts have been made by members of the association and donated. Sorry, I am new to this association so I'm still learning about how it works and everything it offers so I didn't make one this year but perhaps I will put it on the agenda for next year.

As well, today, I was able to get into my studio again and am trying to finish up a painting I started some time ago and have blogged about here. I'm just about done but as I looked at it today, I wondered if perhaps it was a bit unbalanced. Do I have too much going on at one side of the piece and not enough on the other side?
To experiment, I cut a piece of paper and painted it to look like a rock and then taped it to the lower left corner of the painting. As you can see from the photos, the right of the painting is filled with trees and rocks while the lower left is just open water. I thought that I could give it more balance if I put a rock in that corner. (I have already painted the water a darker colour in that corner to try to balance but am not sure it is enough). I also have to remember that I will be putting a dark frame on it and perhaps that will help.
I've looked and looked at it and cannot come to a decision. The extra rock may balance it but I do like the look and feel of open water which creates the idea that you can just get into a canoe and paddle out into the lake. Somehow I feel the rock closes things in and I lose the free, adventurous feel.
I don't normally like to post full photos of a painting that I am doing for someone else, however, I need your help and opinion on this. Compare the photos below and let me know which one you prefer.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Creatures in The Studio

I'm a day late with my weekly blog post. I was occupied with things other than art yesterday and ran out of time to blog.
This morning I was in my studio doing some prep work for future art and I noticed a huge spider in my sink! Needless to say, I captured him quickly before he could scuttle down the drain. It got me thinking about some of the other creatures that might be lurking in my studio. I looked around and here's what I found.

Spider in the Sink

Artwork my oldest son made in school.
Bird mask

Ducky fabric from a recent project

Interesting Wine Label

Fish on a children's watercolour set.

These are some of the creatures I share my studio with. Hopefully, next week, I'll have a little more art to post.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Inspired by New Life

Some of the "other projects" I have been working on are graphite portraits of the new babies that have joined our family. With a population explosion happening within the family, this is going to keep me busy for the next little while.
I was able to finish a few and give them to the new parents this past weekend so now I can post photos of them.
The first one is the son of our nephew and niece that they named Hunter and the second is our new grandson, Samuel.

These were both done in the same way on the same paper. The reason they look different is due to the different lighting used when photographing. I frame all these portraits the same as well. I use a cream coloured mat with a border of black (the paper is creamy coloured) and the frame is a thin shiny black.
Here is yet another portrait I did this year of the daughter of another niece and nephew. Her name is Emma.
I really enjoy doing these and they also serve to keep my drawing/shading skills up. It is also my way of praising God for the new life he gives us.
There is one more still on my drawing table.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Sketchbook Skool Session #2 "Seeing"

In the winter months at the beginning of this year, I had enrolled in Sketchbook Skool and I blogged about it here. When the second session started, I was really busy with my bookkeeping due to the Spring season and I decided not to enroll at that time. Now that summer is coming to a close (boohoo) I think I'll have more time to take the course and do the required homework so I've enrolled again. The second course is titled "Seeing". As with the first course, which was "Beginnings", there will be 6 different teachers from all over the world sharing their expertise and art with us via video feed on the computer. I really enjoyed the first course and it got me sketching again.

There is actually already a third course which is called "Story Telling". It also looks interesting and it may be one I'll enroll in as well in the future.

I think it is really great to be able to take courses in your own home, however, it is a bit isolating and I think at some point it would be nice to get out with others to sketch. I don't know a lot of people who are into that so it may be a bit difficult to plan. In the Beginnings Course I was doing some sketching at our Garden Centre and that might be the compromise; scheduling sketching sessions there will give me people contact as well as practice.

Below is the latest sketch done at the Garden Centre.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Progress on the Latest Acrylic Painting

I am working on many things at once at the moment so the acrylic painting is taking a little longer to complete. I am making some progress on it, however. When I work on it, I am transported back to the place the photo was taken and that's such a nice perk of painting landscapes. As soon as I begin to paint, I become relaxed and the worries and busyness of life falls away. It is definitely true that making art is therapeutic.

Below are some of the progressions from the last few weeks.

Middle ground trees are being developed.

Details in the rocks and the weedy bay are added.

I decided to go with the white canoes although you can see
 that with the reflections of the sky light and the water,
 they are not really white.