27 April 2011

Wednesday’s Wacky Wren

Sounds like the perfect tongue-twister doesn’t it?

…it’s another from my drawing-tablet. Colour inspiration for the background came from mixed-media-artist, Ann Baldwin.

Utilized paint, pencil and charcoal, with various textural effects.

26 April 2011

Colour me Cheery

Past few nights I've been reading through Diana Trout's, Journal Spilling.

Not only do I enjoy Diana's The Hub Bub blog, but I'm also really enjoying this excellent book. It's easy reading, with tons of colourful step-by-step pictures and helpful information.

With 'colour spilling' Diana suggests to "work quickly" ... and to "not think". I get the idea, you just push yourself right into it and JUST DO IT!

Well tonight, after dinner I drifted to the computer; the washing up is still waiting for me. I "just did this" painting (forgive me, but right here at my keyboard, i.e. digitally). I just wanted to see what would become of it, and I hope it's ... brightened your day.

Dress up a shopping tote: Round 2

A recent post I showed my first tote with simple notes on putting them together.  Today I finished these two; one a colourful ocean theme with shells, coral, fishes, crabs and starfish.  The other an Oriental themed fabric with fine gold edges to the patterns, rather like a washi-paper. 

23 April 2011

Z.I.A. White on Black experiment

Thought to try tangling on a black background ... wondered how successfully I could tangle with my Bamboo drawing tablet. 

Centre is Margaret Bremners, Lilypads; you can see how to draw these at Enthusiastic Artist here.
Top left is another from Margaret; Lotus Pods
Top right is Florez by Cookie here.
Lower left is Lukiline by Mary Masi of Mary Tangles, find Mary's pattern here.
Lower right is Optus a design from Maria Thomas at Zentangle; see Maria's tutorial here.

Included in this tangle:
Shattuck/Zentangle.  For Sandy Bartholemew's tutorial, go to Beez in the Belfry here.
Fern, look to Jane Monk's Studio here.
Wist, is from Michelle Beauchamps blog here.
Carres' is from Genevieve Crabe at Zentangle Harmony here.
Flutter Pie can be found on Carole Ohl's Open Seed Arts blog here.

22 April 2011

ZIA Easter eggs

From my visual diary; yesterday I washed a page with diluted coffee, then as it was drying in the sunshine, flicked a brush laden with water at it (they're the lighter bits showing).  Then I loaded a brush with the dregs from the coffee cup and that's how came about.. the darker splashes.

I love this background, although at first, my intention for making it was to tangle the 'brown eggs' on it and cut them as separate eggs, for a plain white background.
..so it's only black micron pen for the tangles, and watercolour for the grasses.  Happy Easter!

It's Earth Day - April 22nd, 2011

My neighbour reminded me this morning, as we set off walking, that it's Earth Day today.  I'd already gone back indoors to bring my camera, with the promise of some colour in the sky today as the sun rose.
By the time we got to the water's edge by the bay though, pink was fading away...none the less, it's beautiful.
I've long enjoyed looking at the remarkable barks on trees.  A perfect post to add some I've had in my folders for several years.  I love their textural and colourful features.  These first four photos were taken in the Wollemi National Park, part of the Greater Blue Mountains, N.S.W.

to complete my Earth Day post; this image has been my screensaver for the past two years.  I find it hard to part with!
This lovely Chinese Proverb comes to mind; "one man plants a tree, another gets the shade..."

21 April 2011

Z.I.A. Easter chicken...and more

..there is more to this image than I'm going to share.  I'd tangled an egg for the background, but that flower at the top turned ugly since  I'd only drawn up four big petals, and not the golden rule, uneven numbers.  It looked very ordinary like that!  The little chicken though was o.k. and I didn't want to start all over again...

This one, was an experiment some time ago when Molly at Molly Bee's Attic, came up with a new design Pwuzzle, mimicking the pussy-willow.  Molly Doodles is a  new site for Molly's zentangle-inspired-art, but it doesn't include the original post to this design it seems.

So while we have fun getting lost in tangles, it can happen, that you draw up and experiment something that you think is somewhat original.  Normie Rowe, Aussie rock-singer from the 60's had a hit single "It Ain't Necessarily So" ........

When I'd first started tangling in February, I posted this link to a design I conjured up. 

By chance today, when looking over Linda Farmer's Tangle Patterns, there was Facets, by Nancy Pinke, CZT.  It jumped out at me; my own design is then, a variation as it happens, of Nancy's own original.  

See how to draw Facets on the official zentangle site here

19 April 2011

Dragonfly's lucky escape

Yesterday I walked into a spiders web strung between the entrance to an outdoors (garden) room.  I should've been more cautious, there's often one there, but my mind was intent on sweeping instead.  Strong sticky strands to pull from my top and hair, and then I noticed ....
oh dear!  I wasn't sure if the dragonfly was even still alive at first
then I could see a leg moving, so I tried ever so carefully to pull some web away from it.
I didn't want to pull a wing off, and doing this with my left hand ...it wasn't easy
Even had time to walk indoors and get my camera....again, to get these photos was a miracle, aiming haphazardly and clicking the button with my left hand.  Not the best of shots, but a record of the event at least. 

I'd hoped the dragonfly might've fluttered onto a nearby plant where I could have taken another photo, but instead it just silently lifted off and jetset into the air; off off and away.....

Looking over the photos I'm not sure all legs are intact, but I'm sure it's fate in the spider-web would have meant a worse scenario. 
Read more from my article on Helium  (if you wish), about 'the lifespan of a dragonfly' here .

18 April 2011

Transform the same ole' shopping tote

Our NWPP (non-woven polypropolene) supermarket totes, start becoming a little ho-hum don't they? Well, I found out that you can breathe new life into them!

From this

...to this

  • Make a paper cutout that fits inside the panel, for your pattern template
  • Lay it on chosen fabric, adding turn-under allowances. cut 
  • Pin fabric onto bag 
  • Remove plastic base from inside bag if it has one 
  • THEN turn the bag inside out 
  • Machine stitch top side of panel all around

17 April 2011

Paper Cutting: Crocus

Another pattern from Claudia Hopf's Paper Cutting Pattern Book. Took the plunge (not the plunger), and used instant coffee granules and a little water to paint the cutting with. Should have taken a photo when it was finished like that, but felt compelled to continue on a little further.

Adding a little watercolour to the flowers.

16 April 2011

Paper Cutting: Bunnies

I'd reserved this book online through the regional library system some time ago, and then forgot about it. Eventually an email pops in to tell me Claudia Hopf's, Papercutting Pattern Book is ready for pick up at my local library.

Since Easter is just around the corner now, I chose to try this design.
It is at this stage, with just two tiny pieces to cut, and then the border/outline to complete, that I thought time to take a pic to show the journey.

Off to go make a cup of caffeine to celebrate the nearing of the end in sight (it can be a little tedious trimming at length, inside tight corners). I also cut with the blade knife because I find using scissors in tiny spaces, awkward to handle.
Then with some leftover batik stamped eggs (see a how-to tutorial link from this older post).

The papercutting hasn't been glued down in any places for this post; I'll be using it to make an Easter card front.

11 April 2011

Practice, practice, practice

....I keep reading the best way to teach yourself to draw, is to "keep drawing" and to "draw often". Various blogs I follow, by productive and talented artists I admire and gain so much inspiration from, have obviously done the hard-yards with repititious practice over many years perhaps, to achieve the grand status they now demonstrate. I can't help but be so rapt when I view their art and enjoy how their wonderful choice of colours blend on paper.

To my practice piece then; and I love being able to sit in the garden doing this, making out I'm an 'artist'. Made this mistake (again), by using my visual-journal to work in; and it isn't watercolour paper. I perhaps should have done 'something' in the background first, but had just jumped in and worked on my subject, which is these potted ifafa lilies, not yet in flower.

When I got to reading some on the net about these lilies before writing this, I came to believe I must've been in some warped-head mode, when it came to printing inside the label on my drawing. I hadn't realized that they're actually spelt with a single "f", and that the plural of lily is also spelt with a single "l". So I'm out to show myself up in more ways than one now.

What does that say about me? I hadn't raced inside to check before writing it in; I assumed. Never a good option. They're not a very common plant here at all, and to the botanical side, I find they belong to Cyranthus species, originating in Sth. Africa. Two of a number of artists whose art I linger over, and enjoy seeing each time they post something new:

A wonderful tutorial from Jane LaFazio , and Laure Ferlita has "it" happening too.

It might look easy, but I know it isn't...

03 April 2011

Some fun.. and uplifting, bra cards

Thanks to my friend Marg in search for bra-card sites, that I came across this pattern at all. Thought I should make some of these too! The little sentiments are just digital additions for this post; wanted to make these cards with a difference, bring a smile to your face too.

Look to Stamp Owl's Studio here for the pattern.

Zentangle Inspired Art: "the Ginkgo Girls"

It was several years back when in my days of participating lots with the Oriental Stamp Art group online, I finally got to see for myself, a wonderful Ginkgo tree. This tree is so often a part of the Oriental scene, so I was rapt to actually see one growing, up close and personal!

We had taken a holiday break to Victoria, and at Mt. Beauty, in the foothills of Falls Creek snow country, we came across Clover arboretum, to the side of the road. From memory I believe a sign had suggested this had been the site of a colonial settlement. A lovely spot to pull over and enjoy the crisp air, and scenery. ...another beautiful surprise to find this birds nest hidden under the canopy. I'd placed some leaves inside my diary, which are now ... z.i.a. ginkgo girls (maybe ballerinas), with black lilium seed eyes.