Friday, December 31, 2010

Experiments - Paper mosaics and motion

Motion, paper mosaic and acrylic, approx. 480 x 370 mm.
This is what happens when you experiment. You never quite know what you're going to end up with. This one is slightly weird. I could have added more to it, but it had such a sense of motion to it that I stopped in case I spoilt it. It is also a lousy photograph. But I'm fairly happy with it. It keeps asking me for more colour variety, but I have no idea what to give it, so it stays as it is.

Can you see the movement?

(building a new blog on her own website - )

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Flying Spark

The Flying SparkDo you have trouble finding inspiration some days?

Any word, object or emotion can spark a masterpiece, but sometimes it is really hard to locate a place to start, a focus that can sharpen your mind in a productive direction. The Flying Spark offers a daily challenge to set you on a path to find the inspiration you are looking for.

Though designed primarily for visual artists and writers, the challenges can be used for anything that requires inspiration.

Starting January 1st, 2011, every day a word, an emotion, a memory, a concept, a scene, something to do, or other category will be posted via the Twitter account It can also be found on Finding Inspiration at

For example, a word challenge, 'Word: Moonlight' (First the type of challenge : then the challenge itself). A participant could quite easily draw or write about 'moonlight'. Challenge met.

But that isn't all this challenge is about. The Flying Spark is only the beginning of your path to find inspiration because not all of us will want to use a challenge like 'moonlight' so literally. The challenge is fully open, anything can be derived from 'moonlight'.

Perhaps a play on the word? 'Moonlight' becomes 'moonlighting', something that has nothing to do with earth's satellite (well, very little) and leads your mind in a completely different direction.

Or perhaps 'moonlight' makes you think of the moon shining down on a deserted beach – you could be inspired by the scene – but on that beach walks a lone woman – who is she, where did she come from? - inspired by the woman – she steps on a shell, what kind of shell? A red one, dark in the light – you begin designing using the shell as a starting point – sand is rough and wet between her toes, you can feel it on your fingers, what an interesting texture – you use texture as a starting point – a bird flies across the moon – what kind of bird, feathers, ooh, you had some feathers in your art cupboard waiting for a project – inspired by feathers (hmm, sounds like a condition :D). It goes on like that. The listed challenge is only a starting point, a place to settle your mind and start seeking.

Or, moonlight → sunlight → sunburn → pain → red → roses...a chain of thought leading you in any direction you choose until you find that inspiring thought. The result could have absolutely nothing to do with the challenge that was posted, but the important thing is the result. That is what we aiming for here. A piece of art needs inspiration to be born.

Take the offered challenge and look at it from as many angles as you can think of, let your mind wander until it hits pay dirt. (Go have a shower, it works wonders for me when I'm looking for inspiration, and take the challenge with you :D)

When practised regularly, this can become a skill that you can access automatically. It speeds up your productivity and enables you to find inspiration faster and in a more on-demand basis – something of extreme importance when you are using your art to make a living – you don't have time to wait around for inspiration, you need to find it and find it now!

And when you have a wonderful piece of work that has been ignited by the Flying Spark, please let me know. I'd love to see it.

(armed with matches)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Drawing Lab challenge #10

Speaking of eyeballing...

This is the tenth challenge post for the Drawing Lab Challenge. Grab your copy of 'Drawing lab for mixed media artists: 52 creative exercises to make drawing fun' and join us as we tackle the book together. Details of the challenge and joining can be found here.

This week the challenge is...

Lab 12 (Page 42).

I've always loved drawing these. It will be fun to explore further.

(it's great when your drawing stares back at you :D)

Drawing Lab challenge #9 results - scribbles

I thought this one would be easy, and while technically it was, I'm not sure I've actually done it the right way. I had a great deal of trouble discerning between scribble and sketching and I think pretty much all my drawings leant towards the latter.

First up I thought I'd play with my gel pens on some black paper. I like black paper :D

I had no idea what to draw and I couldn't be bothered digging a photo out of my photography files, so I drew what was in front of me - some flowers my sister brought over for KJ.

The gel pens certainly gave the exercise an interesting texture as they both lay down ink and picked it off as the lines crossed. I was as free as possible, not really caring where the lines went.

Wanting to continue to experiment I then went back to good old black pen on fineliner paper. Again I had no idea what to draw so I eyeballed what was on the table and picked a subject (I was sitting at the dining table, hence the rather odd occurrence of candles).

But they were incredibly boring, so I stopped drawing those about five seconds after I started.

Looked around for something slightly more complicated and came up with my jar of gel pens.

So is that scribble or sketch? I was as rough as I could be and it was drawn very quickly. ::shrug::

What else could I draw? Perhaps a more defined shape?

Okay, so I was getting totally lazy and lame drawing the sharpener that just happened to be there with me. After that I gave up and blamed my slightly off mood as the culprit for lack of inspiration.

But! I did complete the assignment and I do plan to explore scribbling further down the track.

So how did you do? Post a link to your creations in the comments, I would love to see them.

(and now for the next challenge)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Painting experiments - Caught

Caught, acrylic, watercolour pencil and gel pen, approx. 265 x 195 mm.
Here you go. My attempt to create a painting from this. I love bits of it, other bits, not so much, but hey, it's only an experiment :D

So Christie, you scored :D It was a fish I had in mind. It would be interesting to see if it was the same fish :D

(dashing off back to all consuming motherhood - I painted this in the last hour or so while the kids were asleep, bit of a rush job)

Monday, December 13, 2010

What can you see? - painting experiments continued

Furthering on my experiments from here, here and here...what can you see?

I know what I can see and what I'm going to add to it as soon as I can, but I'm interested in what other artists might see.  This is the beauty of experimentation, you never quite know what is around the corner.

And thank you so much for all those wonderful people who commented on my last post. You certainly encouraged me and I am really excited about this new avenue I have found to play in. Exploring my art is just so much fun!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Sketches - Balloons

Dreams of Balloons, acrylic, watercolour pencil and gel pen on illustration board, approx. 250 x 200 mm
Still more experimenting with paints in line with yesterday's post. I was mesmerised by this idea the moment I saw it in the paint. It has it's faults, but I'm happy with the movement.

Since I spent a good part of today doing this, I'm submitting it to Sunday Sketches. Drop on by and see what everyone else is up to.

(crawling off to bed)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Drawing Lab challenge #9

Now for some fun...(sorry it is a day late)

This is the nineth challenge post for the Drawing Lab Challenge. Grab your copy of 'Drawing lab for mixed media artists: 52 creative exercises to make drawing fun' and join us as we tackle the book together. Details of the challenge and joining can be found here.

This week the challenge is...

Lab 24 (Page 70).

Did anyone manage to do some Drawing Lab last during last week's catch up? I know I didn't. My brain has been orbiting another planet for the last fortnight so I haven't really managed anything until the last couple of days, and that wasn't Drawing Lab. Hope you did better than I. Drop a comment here so I can go gander at your artisitc pursuits (I'm behind on my blog reading as well, so help me out by poking me in the right direction :D)

(off the rails and heading for a cliff)


Dream, Acrylic, pen and gel pen on illustration board, approx. 200mm x 250mm.

The experiment from the previous post? Now a completed painting.

The scan seems to have obliterated most of the stars. Right down the centre of the piece is a spray of stars in yellow and white.

What do you think? Not quite my normal stuff. :D


Thursday, December 9, 2010

More painting experiments

Everything seemed to come to a screeching halt when Art Every Day Month ended. There I was chuffing along churning out art, and I suddenly stopped. Didn't feel like it anymore.

So I've taken a few days, reoriented, and given myself a new target, one I had set up before the challenge started, but had put aside. I've gone back to my experiments. They are so much fun to do and even if the results don't work out, it is still a challenge to make something out of what ever mess it is I've created.

I flung a heap of paint around today to get the result above. The experiment has pretty much finished, but the painting hasn't and I intend to add to it, but as I haven't posted here in days, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment, here is today's effort.

Isn't adding stuff to a project that looks okay a little nerve wracking? One mistake and all that work goes down the drain (unless a rescue effort is viable).

(mad artist at work)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More playing with pens

I started a painting today, but it hardly got anywhere due to whining children and 38C/100F heat, so it is still sitting on my easel awaiting attention.

So driven into the lounge with the airconditioner, I found myself doodling with my new pens again.

I have a very limited pallette with these pens and the single green I have (every colour is single) is NOT a gumleaf colour, so I was challenged to try and blend the pen strokes, something not usually done with ballpoint pens. I consider the results interesting if not realistic.

I do know that I like my pens :D

(doodle, doodle, doo)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Playing with pens

This is the grand total of the art I did this week.

Spikkles, gel pen on black paper, approx. 70 x 70 mm.

Basically I bought some more gel pens and wanted to play with them. Wonky is the word.

(I think I need some more Art Every Day Month :D)

Drawing Lab Challenge #8 results and Catch Up Week #2

Okay, I managed to not even look at this week's challenge. It seems that Art Every Day Month ended and I collapsed in an art sense. haven't done a thing. Well, except for the tiny doodle I'm going to post in a minute, and that was done in a few minutes today between housework sessions.

So yes, I have no Drawing Lab Challenge results to post this week. I'll perhaps give it a go This coming week which is Catch Up Week #2 :D

Did you do better than me? Add your link to your efforts in Mr Linky below so I can go gaze at your work enviously.

Catch Up Week #2

This week is Catch Up Week, so this is your chance to either do those exercises you missed or couldn't finish or go all out on one you particularly liked and whip up a master piece.

have at it!

(in the hot part of the house...welcome Summer!)