Friday, 22 February 2013

Char-char-char (coal) Girl - Finished!


What a week in my house. Everyone sick. Need I say more?

After four days flat on my back in bed with a horrible cold, I was able to finally recover enough energy to go to art class last night with Ms Kathy. Can I just say it felt sooooo good to be outside the confines of my now messy house. I'm not sure if you ever feel this way after a couple of days of being ill, but I really felt like I needed a bit of time away from focusing on myself feeling sick and redirect my thoughts towards something else far more productive. Yes, it has to be said, I got sick of myself! Literally and figuratively.

I must also confess I was desperate to finish my charcoal girl portrait I started last week. It feels like she's been taunting me this past seven days every time I thought about her ("Will I work, or will I become yet another one of your fabled flop artworks, Kate? I wonder, oh, HOW I wonder..."). I tell you, she may well only exist on paper, but she sure still is a cheeky thing.

After an hour and a half of concentrated effort using willow and compressed charcoal, along with a couple of white chalk highlights, this is what I ended up with:

"Her name was Lola, she was a char-girl..."

Overall, I'm really pleased with this artwork. Particularly considering it's been ages since I've used this medium.  The funny thing that happened when I took her home was that hubby was totally unprepared for charcoal girl to be quite so big. She's actually poster size in real life!  He thought she was going to be a cute A4 sized painting. To give you an idea of exactly how big she is, here's another shot of char-girl to give you an idea of scale:

I know, you are *so* impressed with the classy way I stuck a pen onto some putty rubber to give you an idea of scale, aren't you? I know, sophisticated, that's me.

The worst thing about this is that I now want to do another one, and I'm not sure where I'll find the time this weekend! Oh well, if that is the biggest of my worries, I figure everything is pretty sweet.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope everything is well and healthy in your life. I'll see you 'round soon,


Friday, 15 February 2013

Char-char-char (coal) Girl - Part 1

Do you ever feel like trying something different? Bust a few moves and shake things up a little from your boring regular routine? I did at art class last night. I mean, I love my pastels, but a girl like me has to try something different from time to time.

Not feeling sure of what to create, I asked my fabulous teacher, the incredibly talented Ms Kathy, what she thought would be fun for me to try.  Ms Kathy thought about it a moment (she's very clever, on minute is all it takes for her to come up with something inspiring. Me, I would have been stumped for hours!). She then suggested I use charcoal and create a giant portrait. Ms Kathy then magically produced a large A2 sized piece of paper and handed me a box of compressed charcoal and burnt willow sticks (or whatever they're called) and told me to start. I didn't need to be told twice and feverishly set to work.

I worked on char-char-char (coal) girl for an hour and a half and got as far as starting on her freckles, but not as far as working on her hair. Ms Kathy told me she was loving my "boldness" with this work. Bold? Who Me? Never! ;-)

Here she is so far...

Not bad. Plenty of scope to turn her into a masterpiece. Or a disaster.

It will be interesting to see what happens with her in art class next week (I asked Ms Kathy to look after her for me while I was still working on her as I feared she'd get smudged or scrunched at my house.)

Cross your fingers for me that she works out OK. Have a great weekend, I'll see you around soon!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Quick "Just Because" Doodle


I've been pondering lately what art means to me and the role it plays in my life. To my dismay, it's been feeling of a never ending merry-go-round where the more questions I answer, the more, in return I create.

With this in mind, it was such a relief to have an epiphany yesterday evening. As I sat still watching some "mummy time" telly, I suddenly realised (or was it remembered?) that to enjoy my artistic journey, I don't always need to be trying to create the next "masterpiece". I think, for a little while, I was kind of forgetting that and getting caught up on always trying to improve or be "perfect". <Sigh!> It's one of the perils of being a perfectionist...

Anyway, I realised that as long as I was enjoying the process of creating, whether I spend twenty hours or twenty minutes on any given piece is fine. And more than that, that not everything I create has to in turn undergo rigorous evaluation and be judged or assessed to be of value (although this is, of course, a very useful learning tool when I'm wanting to improve my technique or skill level).

I realised that at times, I can feel the same sense of satisfaction with a doodle in a scrappy old notebook which has my son's name scribbled out on the front cover as I can with an artwork I slaved hours of my life over.

With this sentiment in mind, I present my twenty minute doodle.  It was inspired by a family outing to Scarborough on Sunday, a small beach-side village, located just north of Brisneyland.  Whilst there, my children delighted in climbing the giant Moreton Bay Fig Trees while I relaxed and whiled away some time lying on my back staring at the branches and the sky. In that precise moment, I was at one with nature and life was pretty good.

Now, if only I could remember to apply this principle to all aspects of my life from time to time!

Thanks for stopping by, I'll see you 'round soon,



Sunday, 3 February 2013

Painting Mr Chuckles

Hi There!

Hope you had a super-dooper relaxing weekend. My latest artistic exploit has been to try and paint a portrait of Mr Chuckles, my eldest child. Funnily enough, Mr Chuckles isn't his real name (I know, you're shocked!), but rather a pet name that was first used when, as a baby, he had the world's loudest screaming cry. Seriously, on a decibel reading rating scale, it would go Mr Chuckles-then jack-hammer-then jet plane (and I don't mean one of those super quiet stealth ones either). Mr Chuckles was *so* loud that I still have trouble hearing out of my left ear. Sorry, did you just say something?

Mr Chuckles pet name started one morning when he was around two months old on a day when he just Wouldn't. Stop. Screaming. I was starting to feel like screaming myself, until I spontaneously and desperately uttered "It's OK, Mr Chuckles. Don't cry Mr Chuckles. Everything's going to be fine Mr Chuckles." He didn't stop crying, but I can tell you that I found the name to be so ironic and so hilarious to my sleep deprived mind, that I instantly felt better. Imagine if someone had have walked into the room in that moment - screaming child, mother howling with laughter. Might have required a little explaining.

The name was so perfect that the only possible downside I can think of is that I now wonder from time to time if it could be the reason why Mr Chuckles never quite took to Mr Men. Hmmmmmm.

Anyway, enough about Mr Chuckles.

After trying for a good hour or so to create a perfect smooth skin-like texture, I gave up. Yep. I've decided that sometimes quitting can be a good thing. Instead, I decided to go for a cross-hatching look.  Here's what I created...

Mr Chuckles, chuckling.

In case you are wondering, yes, I admit, I did go a tad crazy with my colour palette on this artwork.  If you found yourself singing"Red and yellow and pink and green. Purple and orange and blue...." you would be absolutely correct.

I actually don't mind this portrait, although I keep alternating between thinking I've created a really fantastic artsy painting that'll make me famous someday, or have just created a scribble that could be done by any old Mr Chuckles.

Oh well. At least it's been fun.

Anyway, I'll finish up now and thank you for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you around again here soon!