Thursday, 28 July 2011


Dear Reader,

I have some exciting news!  Two of my artworks will be going on display at the Ashgrove City Council Library for the month of August.  I am so thrilled that some of my artwork will be seen by the broader community in which I live.  Can you feel my jingly nerves through your computer screen?

The problem is that I'm unsure of which two artworks to select.  I am, afterall, rather new at all this artistic endeavoury stuff and I'm not sure which of my artworks would appeal to the general public.

As such, to the right of the screen, you'll see a voting facility.  I would love it if you could  have a look at the six artworks below and then vote for your two favourites.  Obviously, the two artworks with the most votes upon closing of my poll will be the ones to go on display. The poll will close on Sunday. 

So, without further ado, here are the contenders:

1. Pete the Peacock

2. Flynny the cat in Squeek Dreams

3. The unfinished, but will be finished Sunflower Painting

EDIT 30/7/11: 3.  Completed Sunflowers Painting - I think I may have got carried away...

EDIT!  29/7/11 No 4. The now *finished* at last Anything & Everything Landscape Painting

5. Zeke and Darius, if I can borrow from my delightful SIL! (This is now framed)

6. Still Life Portrait

So, tell me, which two are are worthy of the fine walls of Ashgrove Library?   

Thanks so much for taking the time to vote and help me decide.

More Sunflower Power

 "Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also.  He attracts and follows."
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)
Following yesterday's post, I've managed to get hold of some cold and flu medication in order to continue working on my latest Sunflower painting.  Here, have a look at my progress:

Title: "Blue vase with yellow sunflowers"  Gosh I'm creative today.
I like it so far.  I may need to add a third, smaller sunflower - I'm just trying to build the resolve to paint it (anyone got some handy they can share?).  I'm also planning on adding a fabric tablecloth underneath the vase to ground the painting, as soon as I work out how to paint a fabric tablecloth, that is. Any fabric/colour suggestions?

Sadly I'm not well enough to go to art class tonight, so you'll have to wait until next week for my grand reveal of my Anything and Everything painting.  I promise that I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Kate x

PS: Be sure to come back and visit over the next couple of days so you can see my finished sunflower painting. Oh, and why not embrace my sunflower quote and follow me?  I get so excited every time I get a new follower - I'm just like a little kid on Christmas morning. ;-)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


You know how I had the children home from school earlier this week because they were all sick?  Well the good news is that they're back at school.  The bad news is they've now given the virus to me. 

As a result of my slightly altered state of being, I decided today should become an official, unscheduled "I'm feeling sorry for myself day", where I sulk around my house sticking my bottom lip out and do an outstanding  job of feeling spectacularly miserable.  

It was great initially, however after an hour of sighing at my misfortune, I got bored and decided to cancel the rest of the day.  I decided to lift my spirits and get that bottom lip to fully recede to its usual position by painting something that truly makes me feel happy and makes my heart sing.

I thought about it a while and decided that the one thing in the world that gives me the most hope that everything will get better soon is the gorgeous sunflower.  There is something about the colour, the texture and the shape of this bloom that makes me smile.  It also has a very special significance for me which you can read about here

I painted and lo and behold, it worked!  I am so thrilled with this little painting (shown actual size).  It actually looks like a sunflower!  I haven't added the stem yet, or any leaves, because this will be the first featured bloom on a new painting I've started work on.

You know the best thing of all?  This sunflower really *has* lifted my spirits.  I hope just a little of its beauty will now lift yours.

See you soon, petals! x

Monday, 25 July 2011

Pernicious Pencil Pushing

In some ways, this picture is the best.

There was a wee lass from Brissy
Who drew people 'till she became dizzy
Was she dizzy because 
Her proportions were coarse
Or because she'd drunk way too much fizzy?

Honestly, the caption says it all.

Meet Chucky, the ultra freaky baby! :-)
I'm not sure. All I do know with absolute certainty is that trying to practice your drawing skills while you have three, yes count 'em, *three* children home sick with a gentile combination of fevers, vomits, coughing and general malaise is enough to send anyone reaching for the biggest bottle of pepsi known to Kate-kind.
<sob!> Even my pictures are laughing at me.


One day,  I'm sure I  shall look back on this page and say "Oh, ha ha, tee-hee, ho-diddly-ho Kate, you funny thing".  It's not going to happen today though. 

Anyone happen to know where I hid that other bottle of diet cola?   ;-)

On a happier note, I can't wait to show you my finished landscape/mixed media painting in a couple of days time.  Take care and I'll see you later! x 

Friday, 22 July 2011

Everything and Anything Painting - Step 4 - I Can Give You More

Well, I must say that I'm really happy with how the painting is turning out - and yes, I do think I've given you more.   (You can see the progress of the painting by clicking here for Step 3.)

I really love the combination of colours and textures in this painting and am excited how it looks good up close or from a distance.

I'm at the stage where there's only the scariest part (painting wise) to go and then it will be finished. Lucky, because there's also only one more Step before my song finishes too.

OK, I'm going to confess and admit to you what's scaring little old "I'm not scared of anything" me.  Promise you won't laugh.  

Pinky Promise?

Double Pinky Promise Your Lips Won't Even Twitch a Smidgeon? 

Do You Mean It?

Seriously, I Want You To Promise!

Oh, all right, you won't.  I suppose I'll tell you anyway...

It's the leaves.

Yes, I know it probably seems silly little thing to you, but it really is scary - and the thought of painting leaves on those trees leafs me with clammy hands.  Why? Because one splodgy mistaken splat and  an awful lot of mess could suddenly be created.  I have worked so hard on this painting and to think that the last step could be its downfall is daunting.   

Still, I know you are willing me on to complete the painting and I know deep down that I must be brave.   That I just need to remember to stipple lightly and I must mix and blend colours and not give up until I prevail.

Finally, in keeping with my New Kids theme, I have something extra special for you today - the latest Step by Step fix recorded by the 'boyz' in 2010.  Can you believe they've all grown up?!  I'm thinking they're looking a little stiffer with their moves these days than they did twenty odd years ago.   Maybe glucosamine might help get a bit of spring back in those joints?   Click here to make your own assessment.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Oh yeah....

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

You know how I said I was finished?

Well, sorry.  It turns out I wasn't.  I mean, I did think I was, but last night, I kept looking at that darn picture and thinking "It's still not quite right".  So I tried again today.  Do you think it is better?  Here, have a look:

What about now -  Better?

I've gone back and added an apple; crisped up the lines of the bowl and around the fruit; added more shadow around the stalk; moved the background picture frame over so it sat properly behind the fruit bowl; lowered the table top; altered the shading on the bowl; added extra shadowing around the apples; lightened the blue wall background and generally tore my hair out.  So, as you can see, not many changes were required.

Oh, ok, I stretched the truth just a little.  I admit it, I got carried away, because suddenly I could see I needed to make heaps of changes! ;-)

So, tell me, after all these adjustments, has it actually made a difference, or was I just wasting my time?  You can compare with yesterday's post by clicking here.  Feel free to let me know.  I am still learning afterall and it helps to receive feedback!

See you later in the week!  I'm off to eat an apple.  x

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Party's Over, And It's Apple-licious!

Ta-da!  I like it.  Do you? As you can see,  I decided on the apples. Oranges just felt too orange.

If you've read my first post  regarding the creation of this artwork, you'll be aware I was feeling a little frustrated with the proportions, use of colour and the effect that I was trying to create.  After having a break and going back and reworking the painting, I like to feel I've really made some definite improvements.  Enough to sort of call it finished.

Hey ~Ding!~ I've just had a great idea!  I'll do one of those little activities like you see in the kiddy cartoon section of the newspaper.  I'll put the unfinished and finished pictures, below this paragraph and you see if you can work out what I've changed.  Go on, it'll be fun!  You've got one minute.  Time starts..... NOW!


.... seconds,
58 seconds,
59 seconds,
60 seconds.... TIME IS UP!

OK, now use my answer key to see how you went: 
0 - 1 changes: Oh, how you flatter me.  Take an extra twenty seconds and go back have a closer look! 
2-4 changes:  Not bad.  You saw I changed the colour of the table, huh?
5-10 changes:  Yep, I'd bet this is where my money is too.
50 zillion changes+:  Come on, I'm not *that* bad!

I'm planning on leaving this artwork for a few days now, so that I can look at it with fresh eyes and go back and correct any little mistakes I've missed.

Thanks for coming by and seeing what I've been up to!  I'll see you later in the week.  As usual, feedback is always welcome.  (Don't be shy now! ;-)) x

Saturday, 16 July 2011

It's My Party...

 And I'll paint if I want to.
PaInT if I want to,
PAINT if I want ToooooooooooOOOO - 
You would paint too,
If these were given to yooo-uuuu!

Thank you for the present, my present giver.  x

Woo-hoo!  Check these out...
I simply had no self-control when it came to having an opportunity to finally put some good quality paints to use.  As a result, within an hour of opening the box, I'd started my second ever, still life painting.  The subject was an easy choice, since I loved painting the first one so much. (Well, I enjoyed the first painting with the exception of the plum.  That plum and I did not see eye-to-eye, that's for sure! I'm not sure I'll ever be able to eat one again.)

I think I'll call it Squared Still Life - I'm feeling very clever by economising with a two in one painting! 

I think it's off to an ok start, but it irks me that I can see there is still *so* much left to do in order for me to be happy.  Particularly when hubby is honest and says "I like it, but I'm not sure your apples are looking  like apples." <Sigh>  The truth hurts sometimes.  Well, not that much.  At least he didn't say something like "Your bananas are too round."  Now THAT would have hurt! (I hate bananas.)

Please be sure to come back and visit me in a few days time to see whether I decide I can't "do" apples, but I sure can "do" oranges.  It may happen, purely because I am tempted to disprove the saying "You can't compare apples and oranges".

As always, comments are welcome -  See you round like an apple/orange!  x

Friday, 15 July 2011

Everything and Anything Painting - Step 3 - It's Just You For Me

Well, really, by posting this, it's actually me doing this for you.   You are welcome! (What can I say, it's good to give sometimes.)

I'm really pleased to see that my a-tissue mixed media application (as described in Step 2) has actually worked. Phew!  I must admit I was kinda worried it would be a disaster.  At least I would have had some tissues on hand to wipe my eyes if it hadn't worked, I guess.

I'm feeling quite happy with how this artwork is progressing so far, but feel it's still far from complete (sigh).  I can see I need to add some detail to the little 'island' to the centre right of the canvas and a *lot* of extra detailing down in the lower part of the painting.  Currently the trees look a little like they are floating.  They need to be grounded <boom-tish>. 

I know from my earlier posts that you just can't get enough of New Kids on The Block, so click here for your latest Step By Step fix. (As a musician, I liked the passion exuded in this clip, along with the fantastic lip-synching. Wow, I'm being generous today - I just keep on giving and giving.  Aren't you lucky?!) 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone - see you next week!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Everything and Anything Painting - Step 2 - There's So Much We Can Do

Yes, it's a tree!
Following on from Step 1, I decided I'd apply my first layer of mixed media - A delightful combo of scrunched tissue paper and special arty sticking stuff.  (I've temporarily forgotten the name of the product.  Sorry about that - "special arty sticking stuff "will just have to do for today.) 

Can you guess what it's representing?  No, not the fact that I have a cold.  A little more obvious than that!

In case you are thinking my painting is now looking worse than it did at Step 1, please don't worry for I still have Steps 3, 4 and 5 to go before I can claim my artwork complete.  At that point, don't you know the time has arrived. Hooh!  (Anyone get it? ;-))
For those of you have now got New Kids on the Block stuck in your head, click here for your 80's fix.  You can thank me later.  (It's a different clip from Step 1's link - so enjoy!).

For those of you who are going to make me feel so incredibly old that I want to cry because you are thinking that you've never, ever heard of New Kids on the Block and this song was released before you were born, I dare you to click on the link and then tell me that it isn't pure 1980's pop gold. 

See you soon - "Ooh, baby"!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Life Drawing - Making Progress

I'll be quick today, because I'm writing this with a six year old sitting on my lap. It manages to cause all creativity to come to a stand-still, that's for sure!

The inspiration of this pencil on photo-copy paper was taken from a photo featured in the Courier Mail newspaper of two actors performing a famous Chinese play called Rhinoceros in Love.   I loved the raw emotion that was evoked in the picture and thought I'd try to see if I could capture just a little of its essence.

All in all, I really like this drawing and am excited to see that I'm making some progress with my life drawing. 

I hope you can see some improvement too on my earlier attempts these past few months.

Please be sure to come back and see my artistic endeavours throughout the week!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Not Feeling the Love...

With my first oil painting.

I'm sad to say that Sooty-Hoot-Hoot (Shh) isn't quite turning out the way I hoped.   (You can read Shh's  background story here.)

My teacher, Ms Kathy, says not to give up yet as Shh is only half finished.  I guess I should be realistic in accepting I can't expect everything to work out 100% of the time. 

I'm not going to give up on using oils though (*yet*).  I like their blending capacity and the fact that I can create different effects that would be really tricky to create using acrylics. I will definitely explore this type of paint some more in the future.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Come back next week to see if I can salvage the painting!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Pastel Under Pressure #3 - The Neglected Two

Pastel Under Pressure (PUP) is where I voluntarily inflict untold pressure on myself by setting the oven timer for fifteen minutes and then go about creating a pastel masterpiece from start to finish.  When the oven beeps, I stop, ready or not.  PUP's aim is to force me to try and capture the essence of the image in a quick and effective way.  Sometimes it works, sometimes...

Today's post features a couple of pieces of fruit left over from the week that was.   (As an aside, I must say I'm surprised the grapes weren't eaten, since they are usually the first to go!)

Looking at the finished product, I'm pleased to say I like the combination of colours.  I can also see some improvement regarding the creation of the illusion of depth within the artwork.  It's not perfect certainly, but I think it is definitely better than some of my earlier work. (To see my progression over these past couple of months, feel free to have a look at  attempt 1 or attempt 2.)

No mandarins or grapes were harmed in the production of this masterpiece.  However, by the time you read this, they will have gone to a better place.  Please be assured that it was quick and they were delicious.

Stay tuned for my next adventure!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A Wise Old Owl

A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird? 

Why, indeed.


Today's artwork is a pencil drawing of the Australian Sooty Owl.  Her name is Sooty-Hoot-Hoot! (Shh! for short.)

Shh! will be the star attraction in my first oil painting which I tentatively started in Ms Kathy's art-class last week.  I figured it would be wise to determine that I could actually draw an owl before I try to paint one.  I'm quite pleased with how this first drawing has worked, so I'm thinking that the actual painting process will be a real hoot.

Hope you enjoyed today's offering.  Hopefully by the time I get around to presenting the finished oil painting, you all won't be 'owling in pain by my various owl renderings over the next little while.

See you soon! :-)

(<Tee-hee> Oh, how I love a really bad pun!) 

Friday, 1 July 2011

Everything & Anything Painting: Step 1 - We Can Have Lots of Fun!

Whilst attending my weekly art class with Ms Kathy,  I decided to become the artistic equivalent of a glutton by combining three forms of style within the one artwork.  Featured here is Step 1 - Blocking in of the background and determining the general layout of the artwork:

*Step 1: We Can Have Lots of Fun... 

I'm hoping that when you look at it, you'll be able to tell that my painting will eventually be a fusion of landscape and abstract styles.  The third style you can't currently see (and will have to take my word for) is the mixed media component I plan to add later on.    I am quite excited by my artwork at this stage - I'm loving the combination of the colours used here and the freedom of the brush strokes.

I'm not going to tell you what sort of a landscape has inspired me.  Yes -  I know -  I'm being incredibly mean.  However, it is only because it's good for you.  (Can you tell that I am on mothering overdrive at the moment?  School holidays will do that to you!) 

I'd really like you to let your imagination fly free as you consider how the finished artwork might look and what inspired me in the first instance.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, I'll see you next week with more of my artistic musings!

*In case you "wondered" and are smirking or groaning at my title/picture caption - yes, I confess, it is.  And NO(!), I honestly don't know why on earth I have New Kids on the Block on constant replay inside my head at the moment.  All I can say is you can be duly assured that it is driving me crazy!  The compulsion is currently so intense that I felt compelled to sing  Step By Step whilst in the car with the kids today.  The kids just looked at me strangely.  (I so dare you to click the link and double dare you to not start singing as well!)  Surely there has to be a better song that I could get my inner-voice to sing - Ideas?