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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Inspired by Autumn

Well, it's that time of year again. As the leaves turn red, orange and brown, the weather turns cooler and the wind picks up, we know we'll be out in our yards with the rakes. We have an abundance of trees in our yard and so I try to put off raking until everything is down. The thing with doing that is, it becomes such a big job to get the leaves off the property and into the ravine. So I was out there yesterday trying to get a jump on the job and my son was over the day before also trying to clear some of it away. When I look out my window today, it seems as if nothing was done.

After the raking, I brought in some of the curled leaves. I really like to sketch and paint these. Their shapes are unique and the colours are interesting and there is just something about trying to duplicate them on paper that I enjoy. A crumpled and curled leaf is much more interesting than a fresh flat leaf.

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.