Wednesday, 29 June 2011

May I Direct Your Eyes For A Moment...

To the smaller artworks down the right side of my blog, (located underneath the blog archive).

<Gasp!> Yes, this blog has a new feature! If you click on any of these artworks you'll be automatically directed to their associated post.  How cool is that?!  No more searching through any pesky archives.  Don't you love it when I make your life just that much easier?!

Oh and while you are visiting over there, I wanted to let you know that there is also a follow and subscribe button.  This nifty feature enables you to receive my latest updates straight into your email account as soon as they are posted. 

(I will admit to you that I also get very excited when I get a new follower or subscriber, because it tells me that you like what I'm doing.  I swear that when I get a new subscriber or follower, I giggle and jump up and down with glee.  There's now a little scratched up, worn spot on the timber floor, right beside my computer from all the jumping.  Up until now, I've been blaming it on the kids.  Shhhh - it will be our little secret! ;-)  Sooooo, go on, go ahead and make my day and help me scratch my floor up just a little more - it's all for a good cause after all.  Feeling good.  What better cause is there than that?!)) 

The purpose of this post is to also reassure you that I haven't been ignoring you these past few days.  I've been encountering a few camera "issues" downloading my artwork into my blog.  I also currently have my children home from school on holidays and can you believe it, they actually want my attention.  Heaven forbid!

Anyway, I'm endeavouring to get the situation rectified as soon as I can, and my posts will resume as normal in a jiffy.  (Well, rectify the camera issues.  The holiday "issue" will resolve itself in around 13 days time.) 

So, while you are here, why not sample or relive some Kate nostalgia by having a look at some of my older posts, or clicking on an artwork?  You never know what you might find!

Please come back to visit over the next couple of days to see what interesting artwork I come up with next.

Till then, have fun exploring my blog!

Love, Kate XO

Friday, 24 June 2011

Driven to Abstract(ion)

According to Wikipedia:

Abstraction uses a strategy of simplification, wherein formerly concrete details are left ambiguous, vague, or undefined; thus effective communication about things in the abstract requires an intuitive or common experience between the communicator and the communication recipient.

I'm not sure I've completely achieved the notion as my husband, when he first set eyes on this little number, said

"Kate, I don't get it.  What IS it exactly?  Is it some kind of rock?"  He looked at it some more and then added "The funny thing is that whilst I don't get it, I actually am surprised to say I really kinda like it!" 

In case you are curious, this artwork does have some abstraction for me (and Ms Kathy at least).  It's my abstract, mixed media version of something animal or mineral.  I'm not going to say what precisely, because the whole point is that you should add your own meaning to the painting.

I LOVED creating this piece.  I'm thinking I may even add a little more to it, just because I can.  I've never really been grabbed by abstract art before, but this was just so much fun, I think I may try it out some more!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! :-)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Fun With Impasto, Take 2

It seems like forever since my famous impasto incident took place.  (It occurred while creating one of my favourite paintings, the Sunflowers.)

After thinking about it this afternoon, I realised I shouldn't abandon using impasto just because of one lousy experience.  With a braver hand than heart, I cracked open the jar (literally - the impasto had sealed the lid shut onto the bottle) and fervently went about creating the following minature painting (shown actual size):

Pink enough for you?
I've used a pink gerbera as inspiration, as I had one on hand from a bouquet of flowers given to me last week.  They were given to me for no other reason than 'just because'. (Don't you love that?  Thanks honey! :-) x)

I decided to magnify it a zillion (well, a few) times and try an almost abstract style, plastering impasto petals all over the canvas.

Whilst the painting may not have completely worked, I think it shows some possibilities.  In fact, I'm starting to imagine this concept could work on a much bigger scale.   Can you see what I can see?  Are you nodding your head in agreement?  Oui?  Non?

I think I'll take it to art class tomorrow night to see if my teacher, Ms Kathy can give me a little assistance to fine tune the details of this little artwork and to help me develop my future idea further.  I wonder what will transpire in the next little while - oh how I love a mystery!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Oh, I Do....

Is it me, or is it not me?  That is the question 
Except now, I think I don't.  Look a lot like me, that is. 

Yes, as you probably suspected, you have just been subjected to Self Portrait attempt #3.  Me, on my wedding day. 

And yes, I'm sure you are wondering, my eyes  were closed in the original photo.  Except that in the photo it looked pretty, etheral, romantic.  Here, in my drawing, I think it looks strangely odd.  See, go back and look closely.   I'm sure I'm not imagining it.

 Oh well!  It's good to practice, right?!  One day I will draw a picture of me that I'm happy with.  Sadly, dear reader, until then, I must warn you that you will be sporadically subjected to various renderings of myself with varying degrees of likeness/dodginess.  Ah, the joys, the frustrations, the highs, the lows of an artists world...

Monday, 20 June 2011

Not Quite a Feather in My Cap - Gentle Mixed Media Exploration

Are you suddenly feeling ticklish?
Today's post features a couple of teeny-tiny mixed media works.   (Because my husband just looked confused when he read the title, my understanding is that mixed media is when you combine two or more different artistic mediums in the one work of art.)  Here, for example, I under-painted using watercolour, and then used pastel over the top in an attempt to create an interesting effect.

If, when you look at these two painting/pastelly artworks, you think "Ho-hum, Kate- I've certainly seen better artworks from my cousin's- uncle's-nephew's-niece's- pony-named-Patch," please, don't feel guilty.  I don't mind and I agree with you.

These artworks are featured because I committed to myself and to you that I would post on here both my triumphs and my (ahem) "requires development" works of art.  That way, when we're all old and terribly decrepit, we (oh, alright, when I'm old and terribly decrepit - you'll probably have better things to do with your time!), I/we can look back on the early days of my artistic journey and see how far I've come.  Or not.  Only time will tell. 
I'm now busily debating whether I should quit this mixed media business while I'm seriously behind, or to just jump in headfirst and go wild with it.   Go on, tell me, in your opinion, which would be the better option - Crazy option, or sane option?
Tweet this!





When you've worked out which option is crazy and which is sane, please be sure to let me know. 

Friday, 17 June 2011

Hooray, I Finished! First Still Life Painting

And I am so thrilled with how it has turned out!  Here, check it out:

Who says fruit can be una-peeling?*
Ms Kathy suggested that I work some more on improving the plum at the back.  Can you believe the smallest piece of fruit was the hardest to paint?  It has nearly driven me mad - so badly, I now fear I shall have plum induced nightmares tonight. (I'm sure my husband will hear me randomly muttering throughout the wee hours of the morning "No, purple...It has to be purple... Shadow, highlight... No-no-no, what have you done? Kate, put it back!")

Still, I shall look past the plum and reiterate that I actually love this painting.  It is definitely a keeper.  Unless I decide to sell it.  Oh, the dilemma.






Have a wonderfully relaxing weekend everyone! x

(*Yes, I know it is a typo.  Get it? Don't know about you, but I love a bad joke.  ;-))

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

First Still Life Painting - Part 1

When I went to art class last week, my wonderful teacher, Ms Kathy, suggested that I try painting a still life of some fruit using acrylic paint.  After two hours, this is what I came up with:

Still Life, Part 1 - Hmmmm, which should I eat first?
Following my landscape debacle of a couple of weeks ago, you probably won't be surprised to read that I had a slight sense of trepidation as I decided on which tasty, luscious morsels to capture. 

Quickly, thank goodness, that feeling slipped away as I started underpainting of the fruit.  I even felt a  measure of freedom and zeal I can't recall feeling before as I whipped over the canvas with my paintbrush. 

I'm not sure why.

Perhaps it's because the first undercoat onto the canvas used the complementary colour of each piece of fruit. You see, Ms Kathy explained that underpainting using the complementary colour was one technique which enables the painter to actually both balance the colour and also act as a highlight of the opposite.  And it really does!  See, go back and look closely.  You can see the pear is actually purple, the tangerine is blue and the apple is red.  How cool is that?!  I have a sneaking feeling that I'll use this technique in the future.  It is just so much fun.

As it stands, I don't consider the painting to be complete (yet).  I think the apple might be a little large, the tangerine needs to be amended where it meets the pear and there is still some shading and highlights to be added.  There is a plum at the back as well, and that just looks odd.  I think it is the weakest link and that I should say goodbye (remember that show?).

Stay tuned for the finished painting over the next couple of days.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Self Portrait, Take #2

I ordered Jack Hamm's book, Drawing the Head and Figure from the Book Depository website a couple of weeks ago.

From the next day onwards, like an impatient child, I checked the mailbox daily, feeling more and more dejected as weeks passed and it failed to arrive.  Then, last Friday, the book *finally* appeared in my mail box. Being the calm and controlled person I am (not!), I immediately set about devouring the content.  Not being terribly patient with the notion of drawing noses and lips for a month, I decided that I would try drawing myself again.  As such, here I am:

I think that I can definitely see some improvement here on my first attempt at a self portrait.  (You can have a look at last week's post for this if you wish to compare.)

I was pleased that when I asked my boys if they liked my drawing of a pony (what can I say, I like to tease), they giggled and replied, "That's not a pony, it's a picture of YOU, Mummy!".  So there you go.  I have to giggle that this post essentially outs my secret identity, when I've been so protective of my privacy.  Oh well.  I guess it's all in the name of art.  I wonder if anyone will recognise me?

The featured hairstyle is one I used to have a couple of years ago.  As I haven't got any printed pictures of me with my latest 'do' and I haven't read the section in the book on how to draw ears, I figured a short bob would solve all my problems at once!

I must say that I don't think I'm quite this attractive in real life, but hey, one should be allowed artistic licence, otherwise what's the point in doing a self portrait? Only kidding.  I'm going to tease you now, dear reader by telling you that the only way to find out how accurate this picture is, will be to keep checking back on my blog to see how my face unveils itself as my drawing and painting abilities improve.  Until then, you'll just have to wonder "Does Kate really look like that?" I'm not telling! :-)

Friday, 10 June 2011

(Sort of) Second Commission: Beautiful Banku

Today's post features a pastel artwork which was sent interstate as a heartfelt gift I created for someone close to me. 

Happy Birthday to you, secret present receiver - I hope you have a wonderful day and like your gift!

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Banku

Today's artistic offering is a rendering of Banku, an elegant old lady who is, I believe, a rhodesian ridgeback cross.  She's the beautiful fur-baby of my special gift recipient.

I adored recreating Banku's image and personality, using my trusty Conte pastels on Canson pastel paper.  Trust me when I say that it really is a challenge to create a close depiction of a beloved pet - I truly hope that I have managed to do her some justice.  (In case you are wondering, I deliberately decided against adding or shading in a background, as I really wanted Banku to be the star feature of this artwork.)

Thank you for reading this post today and thereby sharing my pleasure - it feels wonderful to create something meaningful -  Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Deep In Thought

That's the title of today's charcoal study that took me around 45 minutes to create: 

Deep in Thought
Nope, in case you are wondering, she isn't anybody I know.  Do you happen to know her?

Being serious for a moment now, I should let you know that the most important thing I wanted to achieve with this artwork was the creation of a mood, which was expressed via an image of a woman deep in thought. I'm pleased that (in my mind) I have managed to achieve this objective.

In fact, when I look at her now, I can't help but wonder what she is thinking. 

Hmmm, I'd say she's thinking along the lines of  "Help! Kate has done something weird to my shoulder", or, "Careful, I think my head is about to snap off!" or something equally significant like that.

As you can gather by my previous comment, yes, dear reader, I am acutely aware that much to my chagrin, the proportions and lighting of my lady still require further development.  Despite this, I'm really pleased to see that my people are starting to look a little more life-like, rather than the strange alien-like creations of early this year.  Yay - progress at last! 

Finally, one last, incy-wincy, teeny-weeny little request - Can I ask that you check back on my blog, this Friday, 10th of June?  I have a special pastel creation that I am really proud of that I'd like you to see.  It is a good feeling to finally have something to post on here that I am actually really pleased with.  On that note - I hope to see you then! :-)

Monday, 6 June 2011

My First Attempt at a Self Portrait

Here is my first ever attempt at drawing myself and a cute appendage.  The source was a photo from a couple of years ago. To those of you who know me in the flesh - Yes - I did *so* look that much younger back then! ;-)

I used charcoal on purple paper (which I 'borrowed' from my children's craft paper pile) to sketch this picture. 

Can't say it really looks like me, but I had to start somewhere! 
I'd say I probably spent around 20 - 30 minutes on this study.  I primarily wanted to see if my drawing skills were slowly and steadily improving.  At this point, I think I kind of look human, which is an improvement on some of my "life" drawings that I attempted earlier in the year.  I think I might try and draw this picture again in a month or two, to see how I develop.  Until then... Onwards and upwards, right?!