Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Baby Ballerina: Part 2

Hey There!

Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to with Baby Ballerina.  I'm feeling quite pleased that despite a number of social engagements this past weekend, I've managed to find some time to pull out my pastels and complete some more work on this little cutie-pie.  (Put it this way, on Saturday alone I started talking at 8am at my children's game of football and I think I finally stopped talking around 11.30pm that night - you've gotta give me credit for social stamina or robust vocal chords I say!)  

I'm currently at the stage of the creative process where I find myself wondering "Does B-B look great, or does she look rubbish?"  and "Does she look human, or does she look like an alien?"  I'm really, honestly not sure.  The thing that frustrates me the most is that I'm aware that you, out there somewhere in blog-land, can more than likely look at Baby Ballerina and think to yourself "Eyes are off, nose is wonky, yada yada yada" and quite possibly wonder why I can't see it too.  Grrrrr to inexperience!

I'd be willing to bet that this is going to be one of those situations where I'll re-read this post about Baby Ballerina in a year's time and think to myself  "How could I have missed THAT?"  I guess that is the joy of learning and the benefit of fresh eyes, right?

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to.  I hope to reveal my completed Baby Ballerina painting over the next few days.

See you soon!


(PS: If at this point you realise that like me, you are incredibly nosey and that you missed reading my first post featuring Baby Ballerina, you can sate your curiosity by clicking here.  I know, I know, I'm just so incredibly giving!)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Baby Ballerina: Part 1


No, I haven't been hiding a secret baby from you all.  This pastel portrait is of a little girl who I discovered in the Wet Canvas Reference Library.  I love that website!  Go and have a look if you are into anything and everything art.  One of the great things about its library is that whilst  I'm not allowed to reproduce the photo, I do have permission to use the image to create artworks.  I'd even have permission to sell them if I wanted to without impinging on any copyright issues.  Isn't that cool?

So far I'm relatively happy with baby ballerina.  I still have a long way to go to be able to call her finished, but I thought you may like to see a progress shot.

I have a feeling that this may very well take me ages to finish - I've posted this after four or five hours worth of work.  You can probably notice that there are barely any parts of the painting I would consider finished at this point.  Oh well.  Sometimes creating can be taken at a slightly slower and more relaxed pace.

I just hope I don't stuff it up.  That's the dark side of art.

Stay tuned over the next little while to see progress shots of baby ballerina.  Cross your fingers that she works!

Have a fabulous weekend,


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Not Throwing Paint: Finished!

"Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can." 
~ Danny Kaye


I hope this finds you well and happy.  I'm happy!  The sun is shining.  The birds are singing.  The kids are at school...  At this precise moment, life is good.

I've had a lot of fun working on this painting the past few days.  Honestly, every time I pulled out my paints I smiled.  You've gotta love that about art.

I must admit that I got a little stuck for inspiration initially after I posted my half finished picture here last week.  I just couldn't for the life of me work out how to make it look interesting and full of vitality or how to pull it all together.  I think the reason is because I got a little frightened.  Just to be clear, I mean 'frightened' in an artistic sense, not in a scary two-eyed-six-legged-monster-with-big-claws-and-fangs sense.

You see, I think I've reached that point of artistic development where I now realise that I can be off to a tremendous start with a painting and then suddenly have everything go terribly wrong quicker than I can say "Supercalifragilisticexpealidoscious". Or "Darn it!" even.  So, I took a big breath, steadied my breathing and calmed my shaking hand and set about throwing paint on the canvas.   Throwing figuratively I mean, not literally.  Don't get me started on *that* issue again...

This little artwork is very different from how I usually paint, so I'm pleasantly surprised to say that I really like it.  It makes me smile.  Hopefully it makes you smile.  If it does, that's enough for me.

Anyway, thanks very much for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to.

May the sun be shining and the birds be singing where you live too!


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I Heard Pastel Was In Fashion This Season...

I did!  I really did!  I heard the jewel tones of last year are on the way out.  Bit of a shame really.  I was getting quite attached to wearing emerald green and bright pink!

Still, I took this fashion revelation to be a sign that I should drag out my pastel pencils and give painting another try.  After an hour or so of creating, this is what I came up with:

Whatcha think?  I think I'm getting better at painting eyes, however this painting made me well and truly realise that currently, I am truly crappola at painting hair.  This annoys me.

In fact, my "lack of-hair-prowess" annoys me so much that I'm going to confess something slightly "dark" about myself:  I'm jealous of people who have perfect hair - both in real life and on canvas.   If you have perfect hair or can paint perfect hair - yes, I'm a big enough person that we can still be friends, however you should know that I will always look at your hair (in person or on canvas) and say "Dang!  Why can't my hair be like that?!"

Oh well, there's nothing wrong with a good old cow-lick right on your part, right?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

I'll see you 'round soon,


Friday, 3 August 2012

Not Throwing Paint - Part 1

"Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can." ~ Danny Kaye

Hey There!

I liked this quote so much I thought I'd give it a try.  So I did.  And it was REALLY fun!  I have to be honest here and disclose that I did not actually throw any paint.  I decided Danny was a little misguided if he thought my 'throwing' paint around would be a fabulous idea.  Actually, it may surprise you, however I'm seriously against the idea of any 'throwing around paint' practices.



In fact, I'm so much seriously so against it, I've decided to take a stand against the suggestion of this practice and instead offer you the two following case studies to consider why I am right and Danny is wrong:

Case Study #1:  I'd challenge Danny to spend two hours of his life, like I did a couple of years ago, scraping tiny speckles of paint off my brand new timber flooring using my thumb nail following a "fantastic five minute throwing paint experience" that my then four year old decided to try in a moment of "free expression".  Remember Danny, that's two hours of my life I can't get back.  Gone.  Forever. Two hours gone when I could have been watching Neighbours, or Home and Away instead.*  It took ages for my thumb nail to grow back and worse, it totally wrecked my manicure.  This alone should be enough for my argument to be an open and shut case against any throwing business.  However, I know I need to ensure that I really get you all onside.  As such, I offer you in addition;

Case Study #2:  You may marvel at Jackson Pollock's "Blue Poles" and I agree it is incredibly thought provoking painting.  However have you ever considered his poor wife?  Have you ever thought that maybe Jackson made an awful mess and poor Lee (his wife) was then forced to use her thumb-nail to scrape tiny paint splats off her brand new austrian blinds and newly installed wood-panelled feature wall?  You can bet the words "Jackson, I'll tell you what you can do with your poles!" left her lips more than once as she also wrecked her manicure, that's for sure.   

See?  Danny, I think I've made my point.  If you're going to suggest people throw paint around, you could at least add something about using lots of newspaper or doing it outside on grass. OK?

Still, despite its areas of deficiency, I really liked this quote.  So I decided instead to focus on the part of the quote that states we should all use heaps and heaps of paint.  

Today's offering is the result. 

It's not finished yet.  I know it needs more, but I'm just not sure what it needs more of.  Any suggestions?  Do let me know!  I'd love to hear your thoughts.



Oh...!  You think Danny was being philosophical about this 'throwing' business?  Not literal?

Ohhhhhhhh.... ;-)

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone, I'll see you soon!

 *Only kidding!  I'm not going to to tell you what I watch.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sometimes I Just Want To Be A Pretty Face...

You know, it's strange, but I caught myself saying "I'm not just a pretty face, you know!"  to a couple of people today after they complimented me on a speech I gave at school this morning.

I'm not really sure why this quote suddenly appeared in my consciousness and popped out of my mouth. I mean, it's not like I'm movie star gorgeous or anything (although my hubby thinks I am, bless him.  I consider that to be part of his husbandly job description duties though). I'd say I'm average.

The stranger thing about me saying my "pretty" comment is that the people who paid me the compliment on my speech know me well enough to realise that on occasion and when required, I have the capacity to be able to string more than (two) one-and-a-half words together.  Sometimes any_ _ _.

Anyhoo, after some serious thoughts aka "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" I realised it is likely I said it because I made a real effort with my hair and make up this morning and wore what I think is a pretty dress.  I think it was because I was having an odd "middle age is creeping up on me and my looks are fading" moment where I felt like just for a little while, darn it, if a hundred people are going to be looking at me, yes, I DO want to be a pretty face!  Well for five minutes anyway until the speech was over.

Today's post is a quick watercolour and pencil sketch titled "Just a Pretty Face".   She was quickly worked on ordinary paper, rather than watercolour paper, which is why the paper looks patchy. Nothing wrong with a blob here and a blob there though, in my opinion.   I'd say she was finished in fifteen minutes flat.  I was actually quite surprised that her face actually looks like a face.  Wonders will never cease!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my mid-life crisis "fading looks" rant.

'till next time,

(I'm very much more than just a pretty face and a try hard wannabe artist) Kate