Friday, February 28, 2014

Donna Downey - Canvas Create 2013

I have only recently completed this canvas which measures 16" x 12" or 40cms x 30cms.

The title is the same as that used recently for week 7 of Donna Bills Downey's 48 weeks online class.

I am donating my finished piece to a good cause to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Full size 40cms x 30cm

Close up of flowers (I did not have any poppies)

 Side view (right)

Side view (left)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week 8 - 48 weeks


‘may your life together be full of love, and your love full of life’ 
(words used are from a Penny Black Stamp)

This was quite a bit of fun.  Not really into ‘abstract’ type art, but enjoyed the process immensely. I originally used the initials of my daughter and son-in-law as well as the date of their marriage.  Wasn’t happy with how the stencil worked out for the initials, so once again, used gesso to erase the problem. I know everything does not have to be perfect on this journey, but I really need to ‘like’ the finished result, especially after putting so much time and effort into it.

I wanted to add a little colour, and as my daughter is enjoying an embroidering hobby, decided to trace various sized hearts from a stencil.  I then pierced with an awl all the way around, and then backstitched using red embroidery thread.  Once finished, I still thought it needed a little something more.  I printed a photo of a flower arrangement from the wedding reception onto sticky-back natural canvas, added the initials and then inserted into large heart.


Did some shading with a Faber Castell pen and inked the edges with Green Distress ink.  The background story consists of book paper, paper pattern, patterned paper, washi tape, and a few other bits and pieces.

Double spread of finished project

Close up of large heart and 'rings'

Close up of words

Close up of one of small hearts

(for A & D)

Week 7 - 48 Weeks


‘wish you enough’

This project was quite an emotive piece for me.  My image has a sad thoughtful face which reflected my thoughts at the time.  The choice of some of the embellishments are from nature (which always helps me stay grounded and feel strong). I heated the tulle until it melted in parts which represented my scattered thoughts.  That is as far as I can go to describe how this piece came together without getting too emotional, but I am so glad I followed the path which eventually led to the finished project.

The words ‘wish you enough’ is an extract of a story I saw on the internet (sorry do not know the original author).  A mother was farewelling her daughter at the airport and said ‘I wish you enough’ which in its entirety means:

 I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright
 I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more
 I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive
 I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger
 I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye

She then began to cry and walked away. 

They say it takes a minute to find a special person.
An hour to appreciate them
A day to love them
And an entire life to forget them

Double page of project

Image page

Close up of words and texture

Close up of flowers and other embellishments

(dedicated to my brother)


Week 6 - 48 Weeks

Poppies - ‘don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams’

May I say this was a REAL challenge! I know we are utilising different techniques etc, but I just could not grasp the poppy shape and shading. The project quickly progressed to the ‘try too hard’ stage and from then on, simply went downhill.  Tried a few different techniques to save it but just did not like the outcome at all. However, I did resist throwing it away.

I put it aside and decided to prep a few pages for future projects, and every now and then took another peak.  Decided the poppies looked like sea anemones and I could not get that thought out of my head, so put the project at the bottom of the pile and commenced week 7.

I decided to start over.  I thought a bit of texture might help with the colouring phase, so traced some poppies I found on Pinterest and then added moulding paste and allowed it to completely dry.


I then painted until I was happy with the finished result.  Added a bit of interest by stamping a ‘wire’ fence around the bottom of the project.

Full double page spread of finished project


Close up from a side view

Close up of poppies and bud

Close up of words and 'wire' fence



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rolled Heart Canvas (forgot to post this one a long time ago)

This is a canvas I based on one that Christy Tomlinson taught  in her June 2011 Tutorials.  I used similar techniques but gave mine a whole different look.  I wanted more subtle colours, a change from the very bright.

Canvas size 8"x10"
 The main background is a craft paper pattern and is very 'yellow'
toned it down with some Picket Fence Distress Stain, but wanted to keep some of the vintage feel as well

The rolled paper is from an ancient Thesaurus which, once rolled, stained and sprayed and then painted
I got the ribbon hearts from my stash.  Had made for another project but didnt use, very handy to have a ready-made to add to my project

The corrugated heart is cut from a packing boxed, stripped back and then added gesso and paint.  Wrapped one corner with white 'sew easy floss' and then added the clock embellishment (not sure of the brand as I had removed the packaging some time ago)

I found this wording on a Stamp and thought it was perfect for this project


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Weeks 6, 7 and 8 all partially completed

Will post soon :)


Week 5 - 48 Weeks

Week 5 – 48 Weeks
‘She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly’ (author unknown)
There is a tree not far from where I live. A couple of months a year a lace flower tree blooms at its base.  Last year it was in the shape of a heart.  I collected tiny branches from my yard and painted them antique white and then proceeded to sew them on to a canvas and to embroider the lace flower tree.  I didn’t get very far with this project.  As soon as I saw the tree theme for this week, I immediately thought of my unfinished project.  I cut the tree from the canvas as best as I could and applied to my journal page.  As I had sewn the twigs on to the canvas, it was difficult to do any fussy cutting.  I decided that the left-over canvas could represent the tree trunk with broken branches. Whew – that was a long explanation, but it is how my project for this week was thought out, originally.
I must say I am not happy with the outcome.  The left hand side looked out of sync, so I added a tree swing similar to that which my daughter used when small.  I was aiming for a ‘lighter’ piece, but decided to follow the background and paint splotches and drips and changed my mind many times, too many times I think – I ‘overthought’ the project towards completion.  Oh well – cant be happy with every project I suppose. 
I wasn’t going to post it, but thought that every project is a learning process, so I will concentrate on the positives i.e. the delight of seeing the ‘heart’ tree every time I drove by for a few weeks and memories of all the fun my daughter had on her log swing.

Looking forward to week 6 
PS:  I have reviewed the project (in hindsight) and have decided I quite like the outcome :)








Week 4 - 48 Weeks

Week 4 completed. This has no real resemblance to Donna's lesson, apart from drawing the girl and creating the background. I got a bit carried away and I just 'went with the flow'. It has taken a few days to complete, and it has been an amazing journey.
I have wanted to learn to draw people for some time now and have dabbled in a class here and there. I have also signed up to the Stephen Lursen video series offered by Donna - 'Eyes' and 'Nose and mouth'.
Because I wasnt feeling confident 'free drawing' and wanted to create something different, I found a photo of a model on Pinterest with the most amazing dress and head piece for inspiration (I increased the size on my photocopier). I used Graphite Transfer Paper for the basic outline and then 'went to town'.
The words on the background stencil are . . . 'Art is just another way of expressing our innermost thoughts into concrete media. Where form and function come together in beauty, color and shape. We put our feelings and experiences onto paper, canvas, surfaces of all kinds. Allowing ourselves to release and surrender to this all-encompassing force. This need to register what was today what might be tomorrow and what was yesterday and the day before that'.
I had trouble creating the hair, first it was curly and light brown and then I added moulding paste and started adding inks and allowing them to dry as I went. A few Faber Castell pens were used in the process too. I buffed with 'old silver' Inka Gold Metallic Rub to give the hair some sheen
The hair piece is a combination of star buttons and flowers and other embellishments.
the quote is 'Life is a balance of holding on and letting go' by Kumi
Without getting too philosophical, I purposely tried to create my girl with a thoughtful face. She is gazing at a closed fence gate (fear of letting go) and surrounded with a free butterflies, dragonfly, and bird (outside a cage) representing strength to create and not hold back.
All that aside, I am happy with the background textures and overall colour.
Huge thanks to Donna for continuing to encourage us to make our work 'our own' - and to keep growing and sharing support and helpful tips within the group.
I am looking forward to see how much I grow each week.






I was really happy with the end result for week 4.  Very meaningful for me, and I love the colours, textures, and especially my attempt at creating a 'girl'.  :)


48 Weeks - Week 3

I finally finished Week 3, which stalled due to other commitments.
I have called my piece 'be still . . . and listen' - but had not added title when I took photos.
A little background - I used a very old doily which I cut up (as I  did not have any large mesh ribbon) and also used white muslin for the base. 
Overall,  I used paints, inks, sprays, mediums, paper flowers (with centers removed), fringe from an old scarf for the 'stems', ephemera cards for the 'leaves', faber castell pens, iridescent medium etc.
The textures are truly amazing. I am happy with the overall outcome, but could not obtain a really good photo of the full spread.
Am looking forward to commencing week 4 




I really enjoyed this week and am thrilled with the final outcome :)



48 weeks - Week 2

Well Week 2 was well outside my 'normal' comfort zone - so many random splashes of colour.
Decided when close to completion that it was just plain fun, so decided to make it more so with a few roller stamps over the top. Looking forward to next week.
I really did not like the end result of this one.  The process was fun, but for me, the project wasn't very meaningful.  The positive side is that I learnt techniques, and pushed my 'comfort zone' to the limits.  
The finger painting was fun and very messy.




I was in two minds as to whether to post this one, but decided that it was part of the 48 week journey.  Have to take the good with the bad :)


Week 1 - 48 Weeks

Note:
The journal is A3 in size.  Donna has used Moleskin, but I decided to use a heavy weight watercolour journal.

Week 1, for me, was about letting go and 'see what happens'. I like how Donna encourages us to use what we have at hand - helps stretches the mind and the imagination. This week was about image transfer, stencils, paints, re-inkers, paints and inks. I did not have the stencil that was used, so decided to do two image transfers, one for each of the pages.
I tried to connect both images together and in the end decided that my 'lady' had walked through her garden, and through her home, and was leaving via another door. The stamp I chose reads as follows: 'when we see with our hearts, every moment is the most wonderful gift in the world' . I decided my 'lady' was struggling with issues of the heart and was wondering around her garden and home seeking comfort. By the way, I extended her dress with one of Donna's stencils, the name of which I cannot remember.
I did not have the re-inkers suggested, and having made few errors with other mediums, took artistic licence and used Inktense crayons, Faber Castell pens, inks, distress inks and a few other things from my stash. I really like the end result, and am disappointed the colours and textures are very hard to photograph.