t Forth Art Studio
This is “my Tasmania”, just over one hour drive from home. Painted with a palette knife, using acrylics. A palette knife is great for the clean edges I want on parts of the building (old boat shed). I don’t mix the colours on the palette often, preferring to merge them on the painting when necessary. The sky, I painted with my fingers and for the water, I find the brush gives my preferred finish. Basically, “use whatever tool gives the effect you prefer”, was my advice to my students…. with a caution that they will probably feel more comfortable with a brush, so try not to just use a brush. The palette knife effects are more alive I feel, even in this very traditional work.
SOLD to Gwen in Sydney (thank you for your support Gwen)
The Old Boat Shed, Cradle Mt, Lake Dove, Tasmania, Australia
10″ x 14″. Acrylic (Atelier Interactive) on canvas board. SOLD
With adult colouring books all the rage, I thought I would look at designing my own pages, then I thought why not make it an art class activity. We looked at various examples, discussed what we liked and what we didn’t, then set to work… each on their own preferred subject in their own style. All felt the task of designing the pages was harder than colouring the final product.
The works below were created by 9 to 15 year olds (plus mine). I printed a copy of each page for each participant then stapled a set each with a blank cover (for them to enhance) to give them a holiday colouring book. A really interesting activity . Feel free to print your own copy if you wish.
I tend to get a bit anxious about things…. even when I don’t know I am…. and my bp goes sky high. But sitting in the studio playing with floating watercolours on paper helps return my body to a less stressed state.
Although one of these works started from a photo reference, hence the view to the volcanic plug ( The Nut,Stanley, NW Tasmania), the other is purely from the imagination. This way of working encourages more play as you are not aiming for it to represent anything in particular…. just enjoying the experience and letting the painting flow out of the brush. I start with the suggestion of a sky then each successive mark is in response to the previous one. Limited palette of 2 or 3 colours so little decision making. They are small works so I can watch the whole image evolve at once and judge timing and water content. (both are for sale at $50AUD each
These have both now been SOLD.
Yesterday I tutored a creative art/craft workshop at one of the Tasmanian Regional Arts Groups in my area….. Tasmanian Regional Arts Kentish at Sheffield (town of murals). Not everyone at this arts branch wants to do painting or drawing related activities, so we try to also offer alternative creative activities to cater for all.
I am still basically a painter so I do like it when there is a link. So for me box making is perfect. I can paint my own watercolour or do Suminagashi (Japanese marbling) on a 200gsm or heavier stock, then make it into a little trinket or jewellery box. Alternatively there is a lot of suitable, printed card stock available (as scrapbookers know).
Images below are of boxes made by attendees yesterday, which included a 10y.o lass who came with her grandmother to share a day of hands on creating.
Winter is a time of runny noses, colds and ‘flu. But it is also a time to enjoy keeping warm inside, creating artworks without feeling guilty about all the time spent indoors.
I always keep busy creating but don’t photograph and post many of my works. Today I had a quick look around the studio, grabbed my most recent works and the i-pad and got photographing…… outdoors (it was a lovely clear afternoon).
Firstly, I intended to finish this acrylic on canvas………. I have added some of the seaweed but I want more texture in the front.
I have asked a few friends what they think and, as expected, have had a few different responses. I have finally decided to go with what I originally thought (as I tend to do) …. I will add some sand from the location to give authentic texture, in addition to implied texture through spattering, dry brush, scumbling etc.
I take a few classes each week, usually in watercolour, and in the most recent we focused on tone while re-enforcing the importance of timing, and working with increasingly drier paint to achieve strength. We painted a winter snow scene in Sepia…. no other colours to distract….. purely tonal. Aiming for a sense of depth with softer distance and harder, stronger edges to the fore.
I have also been enjoying the colour and flow of dyes on silk, making more of my silk miniatures in a brooch which accompany my hand painted scarves. I have a couple of venues waiting for new stock of these and hope to get on top of putting some online on my handmade shop in the next few weeks. While taking photos of these I finally got around to taking a few pics showing some of the many ways these sets can be worn. I gave up trying to find a suitable willing model and used my dressmaking form and a head form (they were most co-operative). More ideas are posted on my Silk Watercolours blog (listed in my links)
I have been asked by one venue to do some quirky, fun stuff… so that I did and, yes , it was fun. The card is from handmade paper (made at the last workshop I took at a local Tasmanian Regional Arts branch), and beautifully polished pebbles collected from local beaches. These my sister and I love picking up on beach walks when she visits, she takes them back to back to Victoria, tumbles them and posts some back to me for my STONE BIRD card creations. I spend ages playing with these beautifully smooth coloured stones to see what characters I can find. Very meditative…. oh yes, that new thing “mindfulness”! The little watercolour and ink girl is just for fun…. colour and smiles.
Whenever I am in the studio for a few consecutive days I tend to experiment with something new. This time I explored a combination of a silk painting background under an encaustic artwork in a pendant. I am happy with the result … soft silk watercolour with the intensity and dimensionality of an abstract encaustic painting suggestive of a network.
And last week I had a call from the local newspaper, The Advocate, asking about a forthcoming workshop I am taking at Tasmanian Regional Arts Sheffield on Making Little Boxes for trinkets, jewellery etc. They needed a pic so I gathered what I could find, made a couple of new boxes, put one of my handmade scarves in one and an encaustic pendant in another and sent them some images to play with (none of me with my red drippy “winter cold” nose and bloodshot eyes!)
If ever I get artist’s block I just reach for a different medium…. my studio has everything at hand……. my most favourite place to relax, work and play. Such is the life af someone addicted to creating.
I have just completed a weekend introducing some wonderful artists to the medium of silk painting. We used iron fixed paints for silk and explored a number of techniques. We then made some of these into cards and brooches and from the techniques learned, each person decided on a design for a larger work (or continued with little gems if preferred).
Apart from thoroughly enjoying their company, I was thrilled with the diversity of the results. Equally pleassing, they enjoyed the medium, agreeing it was very different……..challenging but in a way therapeutic, watching the “dyes” move across the surface. One participant commented that it was like play… yes, well we should not outgrow creative play as that is how we develop. Painting on silk has encouraged me to be far more adventurous in my art than has any other medium.
These are some of the works done at a one day workshop in Canberra today. The ladies had not done watercolour before and I was so impressed with what they achieved in this single session. We worked with a limited palette, primarily on Fabriano torchon extra rough paper so they could explore different textures. Some of the textures were created using a palette knife while othere were using traditional watercolour methods such as dry brush.
They responded well to the use of and appreciation of a variety of brush types …. one inch hake, goat hair
a small taklon rigger,
a number 3 squirrel teardrop wash
Well my “under 20 min a day “watercolours have gone by the way as other things have cropped up. Getting more silk and encaustic pendants done for a couple of galleries has been a high priority and of course classes and a few family things like “mothers’ day” and my sister’s 60th birthday. Today’s class was a repetition of one I took a few weeks ago as a couple of people who were present today had missed it. The topic, simple skies, as for a landscape artist skies are critical and in watercolour they are created so beautifully.
We used an eighth of a sheet Saunders 300gsm rough paper (good for dry brush and for lifting colour if needed). Two blues… cool and warm, a neutral red like brown madder and a yellow (raw sienna is a “safe” yellow).
Dividing the paper into 3 sections using narrow masking tape, the sections are easy to work and view the behaviour of the paint and water across the whole section. Important when learning. 90 % of each work is done with a soft goat hair, one inch hake brush. This encourages broad sweeping strokes and reduces the temptation to push the paint in a controlled manner.
The first sky was painted wet-in-wet, the second wet-on -dry, and the third with some lifting with both a thirsty taklon brush and with a tissue used variously. The suggestion of landscape below is based on our glacial valley with their small tarns and sloping hills cradling the valley