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Friday, 28 March 2014

Artful Dutch Things

I haven't accomplished much art this week but I thought I'd share some photos of some Dutch artful things that I came across while in the Netherlands.

                     In Holland they have painted cows just like we have painted moose here in Canada.

We visited the large flower exhibit at the Keukenhof near Amsterdam and saw wonderful blooms. These are amaryllis blooms.

These are old smashed up bikes painted red and hung from the ceiling. I really don't know why they call this art.

This is a small watercolour painting I did of the landscape in Holland.

Some more Keukenhof displays above and below are some wonderful textured walls we found in the old city of Elburg.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Inspiration found in Gelderland, the Netherlands

I'm blogging from the Netherlands this week and am enjoying wonderful Spring weather here. What makes it even more wonderful is that I've heard they're expecting 10 cm of snow tonight back home!
While I'm here I'm always looking for inspiration. My daughter and I were out walking one evening and the sunset was just beautiful. The sky silhouetted the trees. I tried to sketch the scene when we returned to our room with my limited art supplies.

The top is a sketch I did while sitting in front of our bed and breakfast lodging. The lower photo is of my meagre art materials and the small painting I did of the sunset.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Rethinking and Revising

Do you remember my post about the Travel Journal I was making of my trip to Paris with my sister? That trip happened almost a year ago and I'm still not finished the journal.

I had bought a French hardcover book at a second hand book store in Paris to use for this journal. I brought it home and ripped some pages out of it to make room for the things I would add to the book. I gessoed the remaining pages so I could draw and paint on them and started to glue things onto the pages.

Well, the further I got, and because I was handling the book a lot, it began to fall apart. I didn't like the look of it at all. So I ripped all the remaining pages out of it, including my finished pages so that I was left with only the cover.

I decided to use the original cover because I like the look of it and I made new pages out of card stock (which will be sturdier than the book pages) and I gessoed and painted them for backgrounds to my journal items. I rescued some of my drawings and parts of the pages I had already completed and started over on my new pages.

I painted the new pages with acrylic paints by dropping dots
of paint in various spots on the page and then ran an old
plastic gift card across the page mixing the paint and creating
these marbled designs..

The Eiffel Tower was drawn on one of the old pages of the
original book so the words typed in the background are all
in French. I think it's an interesting touch.
I'm putting in all the pictures and paraphernalia first and then going in later to add some details of what we did, how we felt, things I want to remember.
When all the pages are done, I'll sew them into the cover and finally be done the journal.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Inspiring Thrift Store Fabric

I love fabric bargains so I often go to my local thrift store before I head to the fabric store to see if I can pick up economical yardage. I have often been quite successful in coming home with quite a bit of fabric for a few dollars.
While I worked on my newest landscape quilt, I realized that quite a few of these thrift store fabrics have found their way into this project. What is surprising is that at first glance these fabrics are really not that attractive and probably the reason they ended up at the thrift store. In my work, however, I don't use the fabric as one large pattern, I cut it up into little pieces which I sew together with other fabrics. Because I do that, these ugly fabrics take on a new life.
Take a look at some of these bargain fabrics.

I found this fabric that someone tie dyed and thought it
was really ugly but I managed to get 5 different colours
from it.

I've used this fabric in other art quilts and quilted cards.
They usually have a water theme for which this is suited
I can get 3 colours out of this one and it can be used for
water or forest designs.
So you see, I can make use of any type of fabric in my creations. If you have any pieces of fabric that you don't know what to do with, just send them my way. I'll use them for something.

Here is the progress so far on my Rapids Art Quilt. You can see
a gray rock in the right foreground, forest in the background
and rocks and water in between. You can also see the first
birch tree developing on the left with bits of orange on it.
(Ok, you may have to use your imagination a little)