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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Acrylic Painting Course

I had the first class of my Acrylic Painting Course held just up the street from me at the Franklin Carmichael Art Group. Our class was held in the heritage house on the property which was donated to the City of Toronto by the doctor who lived there many years ago.

I wasn't as prepared as I should have been and didn't have any canvases with me but I took some melomine panels which I had gessoed white. I did take my paint and lots of subject matter. It appeared that I was the only one who was new to the class as everyone else knew each other. That has a way of making one feel a little awkward but everyone was very welcoming. All the other students already has something on the go so I had to decide what I would paint.

When the teacher saw my panel she handed me a bottle of black gesso and told me to cover the panel in it. I have never painted on a black background and was worried the paint would not cover it. The teacher said it would be a fun experience. Well, you can't argue with the teacher so I obeyed.

I decided to start on something fairly uncomplicated and had a photo of fall leaves that I figured I could do fairly quickly. It turns out I didn't have the right colours of paint with me so I was given a list of supplies to get. I used what I had and borrowed a little white paint and I found that my colours were pretty good. I was told never to use black paint as it would make the teacher angry. Instead I was to mix my own blacks with other colours which is already a practice I have whether in watercolour or acrylic. Whew!

I was able to block in the colours of my painting while I was in class (class is only 2 1/2 hours long). My plan was to do some more work on the painting today and I hope to get to it after posting this blog. I have also decided to put my art quilt on hold while I take this class so I can give as much attention to the painting as I can. The course is 8 weeks.



My drawing on black gessoed panel


Leaf colours blocked in


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Inspired by the Art on my Walls

It's a new year and I have my goals in place. All my major projects from last year are finished so I can start planning new projects. I have been approached by someone in our church asking me whether I would like to display some of my art in the church building. It was an interesting request because, in the past, people looked down on displaying art in the church for some very good reasons.  However, I think that reasoning is changing and Christians are seeing artistic talent as a gift given by God that we must use to honour Him. As artists who are Christian, we can bring our worldview to the world and our art can be a blessing to many.

I am not an artist who creates "religious" work as a rule. I have done paintings inspired by specific Bible passages that were meaningful to me but unless you read the title, you would not know what the paintings were based on. My work is not overtly religious.

I have a series that I painted of the six creation days as we find it written in Genesis. They are hanging in my studio so I see them all the time. The other day I looked more closely at them and wondered if I could recreate them as Art Quilts.

Today I sketched out the idea for the first day of creation in which God created light. The sketch is based on my painting but I may add some changes. As I sketched I decided that it would be very possible to recreate these paintings into Art Quilts. I will make them bigger (my paintings are 5 X 7 inches and framed with a wide mat that allowed me to write on it the verses that inspired the painting). It will be fun to search for fabric for these 6 Art Quilts. My goal this year is to make at least 2 Art Quilts so based on that, this may take me 3 years to complete.


Above is the last painting of the Creation Series, The Sixth Day. It shows how I have written the Bible verses around the painting on the mat. I don't think this will be something I'll include with the quilt. I might just add "Genesis" and the verse numbers.

Below are the paintings.

The First Day


The Second Day


The Third Day


The Fourth Day


The Fifth Day


The Sixth Day

Stay tuned for the progress!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Beginning my Garden Journal/Sketchbook

Keeping a Garden Journal and Sketchbook is one of my goals for 2018. I'm going to start January 1 and try to keep it for the whole year. It will be interesting to see how the garden changes over the year. I plan on sketching not only flowers and plants but creatures and insects that enjoy the garden.  I'll record what the garden looks like in different types of weather and different times of day.

I'm using a Moleskine Mixed Media Sketchbook with a hard cover. It's approximately 5 X 7 inches. I will use a variety of media and pens/pencils for the sketches.

With 2018 just around the corner, I thought I would do the Title Page today so I can start right into sketching on the first of January.



I first drew some flowers in pencil from photographs of my garden from last summer. Then, using a black Uniball Deluxe Micro pen I went over all my drawing lines.


Once that was done and the ink had dried, I erased all my pencil lines with a kneaded eraser. Then I got out my watercolours and painted the flowers adding details with watercolour pencils. The Title was copied from my computer screen where I pulled up a font I liked.


I filled in the font with a black Uniball Vision Fine point pen. I can't wait to begin my sketches and I really hope I will give myself time each week or every couple of days to draw something in this book.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Attempting to meet 2018 Goals and Latest Projects

Well, it's not even the new year yet and I have made my first attempt to meet goals set for 2018. Since I moved to this neighbourhood, I have wanted to enroll in courses at the Franklin Carmichael Art Centre which is just up the road from me. So far I haven't because they didn't have any courses I was interested in or I didn't think I had the time for a course.

Last week I received their schedule of winter classes and workshops and saw some that I would like to take and that would also help me attain my goals. Starting in January, I'll be taking an 8 week class on Oil and Acrylic Painting for Intermediate and Advanced Painters. I should be able to attain my goal of at least 2 acrylic paintings by taking this course and also improving my skills.

I also enrolled in a Portrait Workshop in Acrylic. This is a one-day session that will give some good instruction. I'm really looking forward to these sessions.

Below are some of my recent fabric cards and other projects.
























Thursday, 14 December 2017

Assessing 2017 and Setting Goals for the 2018 Art Season

It is almost the end of the year and I like to take stock of what I actually completed as far as art goes in this year. Sometimes it feels like I haven't produced anything of worth probably because I'm always feeling I'm behind or spending too much time on one project. So it is good for me to think back on the projects that I tackled.

In 2017 I made 128 fabric cards (the most I've ever made in a year, 8 watercolour cards, 7 graphite baby portraits, 2 art quilts, Sketches for digital photobook and various other sketches.

Considering the time it takes to make fabric cards and art quilts, I've been really productive this year.

I would like to do some other art that I haven't done in a while such as acrylic paintings. In order to be able to do that I'm going to have to let something else go. That would mean doing less fabric cards because this year I usually spent most of my Thursday Art Day designing and making them and not getting to other art.

Goals for 2018

* make less fabric cards
* do more watercolour and drawn cards
* make at least 2 fabric art quilts
* make at least 2 acrylic paintings
* take an art course
* experiment with dying my own fabric
* keep a garden sketch book

I'm not sure this is all realistic but I'm going to try to grow in my ability by also drawing more. I want to keep learning and getting better at my craft.

Below is my first watercolour card for 2018. At the moment it is just the drawing on watercolour paper. I still have to add colour. It was drawn with my Deluxe Micro Uniball using one of my photographs of birds around my bird feeder.


Thursday, 7 December 2017

A Long Unfinished Project Completed

Perhaps you remember me blogging about a couple of wing-backed chairs that my daughter and I picked up off the side of the road just after Amy returned to Toronto. We were able to take the first chair apart and reupholster it fairly quickly after we claimed them. However, the second chair presented problems because it was a chair with a built in foot rest. I'm not sure this is the reason for our procrastination but probably part of it.

I finally made it a priority, and Amy and I started to take it apart. I took lots of photos of the process so I could follow them as I put the chair back together. I made notes on the old fabrics as to what side was up and where it belonged on the chair. Using the old fabric pieces as patterns, I cut the new fabric out. I found that I had to take the structure of the chair apart to get to some areas and that was a bit of a challenge to put back together. Somehow I was successful and the chair is now done! There is a real sense of satisfaction when you complete a project like this.

Chairs in the original fabric











Thursday, 30 November 2017

Inspired by The Quilted Postcard Challenge

Many weeks ago I blogged about the Quilted Postcard Challenge put on by the Canadian Quilters' Association. Postcards are to mailed to BC to be judged and then sold at Quilt Canada 2018 in support of the BC Children's Hospital.

I created 3 postcards and mailed them this week. I still have until February to create more if I want them judged and until May if I want to support the BC Children's Hospital. So, if I have time, I'll make some more.