Friday, 29 February 2008

Work in Progress - Copper Jar Part 1

Well, now that I’ve got the Watercolour Jewels finished, its time to start on the one waiting in the wings. I will be working in acrylics for this one. I decided to paint my copper jar on one half sheet of 300lb cold press watercolour paper.

After sketching in the jar I coloured in the background using black, burnt sienna, gold and gray conté. I then glued on crushed white tissue paper using matte medium. The idea is to mimic a cave like texture in the background. The background worked up quickly but it is by no means finished.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Competitions - Artists' Statements

On the competition trail I found that I am in need of an artist’s statement. I had written one before about ten years ago for a continuing education assignment. But within the past ten years, I have changed, my artwork has changed and my audience has changed, so I guess it is time for my artist statement to change.

Of course, before I do anything, I research it. I check out other artists’ statements just to get a feel for what is expected and how the other artists are handling this. I also check out “how-to” Internet sites. There are some great sites out there that:
1. Explain the need for an artist’s statement, and
2. How to go about writing your statement.

Here are some that I found.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Work in Progress - Part 6

Well I have finally finished! After scanning this painting, I see that I might have to do some minor adjustments, perhaps tone down some of the pearls on the one brooch. Before I do that though, I will prop it up where I can see it every day for about a week. Who knows, I might change my mind and leave it as is. Anyway, I’ve signed it so in effect it is done.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

The New Creative Artist - A Book Review

The New Creative Artist by Nita Leland is a great book and one to add to your library. I’m adding it to mine.

Ms. Leland has themed the titles of her chapters as though you are going on a road trip. And in fact, she takes you on this trip of creativity. You are introduced to various artists and types of art including quilting, weaving, altered art, sculpture and digital art in her chapter entitled Art and Craft: Highways and Byways. Another chapter Design: Mapping Your Route lets you play with the elements and principals of design, while Abstraction: Off the Beaten Path takes those same elements and principals and encourages you to search out alternate routes.

Along the way, she lets you get out of the car and participate in over one hundred different activities that will help jump start your creative battery. I have already selected several activities that I want to try out.

This is a library book and needs to go back to the library today. On my way home, I plan to stop off at a book store and buy a copy that I can keep. I have to be selective in the books I purchase so I borrow from the library first. I’m selecting this book to add to my own personal library.

The New Creative Artist: A guide to developing your creative spirit
Copyright 2006 Nita Leland
North Light Books an imprint of F+W Publications
ISBN 978-158180-756
CDN $39.99 (US $29.99)

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Competitions – My First Pick

I selected one of the two juried shows I plan to enter this year. This show is with the Alberta Community Art Clubs Association. I will be entering my painting(s) in the Zone Show. My zone is Central Alberta. If my painting(s) should be lucky enough to be selected during the jury process for an award, they will be sent on to the Alberta Wide Show and then re-juried for awards at that show. Also, award winners from all three zones will go forward to the Visual Arts Alberta Association show. That’s a potential of three shows, just by entering one.

The deadline for the Zone Show is April 15. I can enter up to three paintings at $7.00 each (well within the maximum I decided on).Next step for this is deciding on which paintings to enter, getting them framed and delivered. I think one of them will be my current WIP-Watercolour Jewels.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

I've got a new brush!

A momentous occasion you ask? Well, for me it is. This new brush is replacing one I had for over twenty years. My favourite! I’m sure I used it for every watercolour I did. My old brush isn’t going into the garbage though; I will hold onto it and use it for washes only. It wasn’t an expensive brush. It was just the best brush I could afford to buy at the time.

My new brush is a 14 round synthetic. It’s replacing a 12 round natural hair. Did you know that a number 12 natural hair and a number 12 synthetic brush are not the same size? Synthetic brushes are generally two sizes smaller than natural hair brushes. So a number 12 natural hair is the same size as a number 14 synthetic.

Take care of your brushes, whether they are natural hair or synthetic. You can use hair conditioner on them if they start to look a little dried out. If they are a little frizzled you can also bring them back to a point using Gum Arabic. Dip them in the Gum Arabic and point them up, let dry for a few days and then rinse the Gum Arabic off. This doesn’t work in all cases, but it’s worth a try.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

A Collage

I would like to introduce you to my Uncle Harold. I did this collage of him using all the papers I could find on him. I have included copies of the telegram my grandparents received when he was MIA; the Book of Operations of the flights he took part in; his obituary etc. I included a photo family photo. He is the little boy standing in front of my grandfather.

The photos are mounted to a 16 x 20 board of masonite with matte medium. I didn’t have a brayer so I used an old rolling pin. I used glazes of acrylics to push parts of the collage into the background and bring parts forward. I enjoyed doing this collage and will do some more on other family members.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Competitions - My Criteria

Well, I’ve looked over a few of the submission requirements for some of the competitions I discovered. Some are so far out of my expertise or the deadline for submission is too close. I figure I need to determine what my criteria are for which competitions to consider and what my goals are.

To start with, I think I will restrict myself to two juried shows for this year. So my goal is very simple. Just be accepted to the shows.

I am going so far out of my comfort zone just by trying for competitions there’s no need to add extra pressure on myself by trying something new at the same time. So my fist criterion is that it must be in a medium I work in and a subject or theme that I am comfortable with.

I need thinking time to work out a plan of what I am going to do so the deadline must be a minimum of 6 months away. I also am pretty good at procrastinating so I don’t want the dead line to be more than twelve months away or I will keep thinking I have lots of time. Depending on the medium I use, I need time for the painting to cure before sealing it.

If there is a submission fee it cannot be over $50 each for a total of $100. I want to keep my financial risk at a minimum.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Work in Progress - Part 5

There is only one brooch left to complete. Once I have this done, then I will glaze in the shadows and fade out some areas to make them less prominent. Hopefully, I can get this finished soon.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Gluebooks - Internet Group

The group Gluebooks is a great way to relax and create pretty much anywhere. All you need is some pages from a magazine or junk mail, small scissors, a glue stick and a book. The host/moderator sends out daily prompts if you are having trouble coming up with ideas.

These books can be just a collection of small collages, journals or healing books. The collages/pages can be elaborate to very simple. They can be just colours, words or any other theme.

I sit occasionally with my granddaughter at the kitchen table and just cut, glue and talk. It’s a fun way to spend some time with her. I also do some gluing in the living room while watching the idiot box (aka TV).

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Competitions – Internet Search Findings

WOW! There are a lot of internet sites listing competitions for artists. I found numerous sites that have multiple listings of art competitions and juried art shows. I found competitions for works in The Artists Magazine and in The America Artists. I also found a site that is looking for a new stamp design.

I printed up the information from some of them. My next step will be to review all the criteria and eligibility requirements along with the deadlines and see which ones interest me.

Here is a listing of some of the sites I found.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Mini-Project Update

And the winner is….

….none of them. I had to redo the butterfly. Here is the winner.


Competitions scare me! Just the thought of entering one turns me into a big chicken, with a very nervous stomach. I start to doubt myself and let my left-brain take over. My left-brain isn’t very good for my confidence.

It’s time to somehow block my self-doubts and move forward. It’s time I start to enter some competitions. But which one’s?

Well, I guess the first thing to do is to find out where the competitions are and what I need to do in order to enter. So, I’ll take a couple of hours to find out what I need to know, before deciding which one’s to enter. I’ll let you know what I find out. I guess I had better stock up on antacids.

Do you have any tips or suggestions you would like to share?

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

New Mini Project

This little mini project is a first for me.

My daughter-in-law asked if I could design a tattoo for her. She wanted cherry blossoms and a butterfly on it. The tattoo is for the inside of her calf. I did some research in some photo sites and then came up with three designs. They are very similar with slight differences. I added the pink to only one of the designs until the winner is determined.

I’ll find out which one is the winner on Friday.

Sunday, 3 February 2008


Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which occur in a meaningful manner, but which are causally un-related. In order to be synchronous, the events must be related to one another conceptually, and the chance that they would occur together by random chance must be very small.

Has this ever happened to you? Well on Friday in one of the groups I belong to, it happened not once, but twice! I then switch to another group and there it was again! This time it appeared in the form of our monthly project. For out February mini-project it was suggested we do something calm/meditative or intense/colourful. The day before this mini-project was announced I visited the blog of Nita Leland (an excellent site by the way). Nita is a watercolourist. One of her entries was about the use of contrast, pure hue. I had decided to try that.

And there it was - my deciding to do a work with pure hue and the February mini-project of intense and colourful.

So thanks to these synchronous events I have the painting below. I took a painting that I had already done and reworked it using pure hue. Both the original and the reworked paintings are below. I doubt you will have trouble determining which the pure hue, intense, colourful one is. Both are watercolour on 140lb cold press paper.