Monster Monday and Tuesday Birds are Returning

….now that the weather is colder and painting outside is no longer an option my husband has decided to work on smaller pieces

One of the things that Kevin is particularily good at is drawing or illustrating fun creatures. He initially started making drawings for our first granddaughter over a year ago and then suddenly stopped. This week he decided it was time to bring back Monster Mondays and Tuesday Birds. Here are his first two drawings.

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Ink, marker and watercolour

Poppies for Remembrance Day

….a time to reflect on my Father’s life

Dad always said that November was the hardest month of the year for him. It always made him feel sad, especially in the last few years of his life. He was a very young man, only 17, when he joined the army and he saw many of his friends die before his eyes. He often wondered why he was spared.

The other thing that I think he found difficult was the fact that he fought for the ‘other side’ and he knew that no one, here, would be thanking him for his service. He never talked about it but I know that it weighed heavily on him. I do know that he was always very grateful for the friendships he forged after the war, first with the Americans who helped him after he escaped the Russian prison camp and then with the English who gave him his first job.

Years later he emigrated from Germany to Canada with his new and growing family. He quickly got a good job at the Royal York Hotel in his chosen line of work. He was able to buy a car almost right away and four years after arriving in Toronto he bought his first home in Oakville. Dad always made friends easily with other German immigrants and Canadians alike. No one seemed to look down on him because he fought in the German army.

Over the years Dad pursued a variety of jobs but his happiest days were as an entrepreneur. When I was 16, Mom and Dad started their own fabric and sewing machine business and never looked back. Again Dad was at the top of his game when he was surrounded by people and both he and Mom had close ties with the business and local community.

As the years passed, Dad lost my mother while vacationing in Mexico in 1993 and then his second wife in 2017. When he turned 90 in 2016 we had a big party for him. Despite having lost numerous friends already he always made new friends where ever he went and yet come November he would always reflect on those who had died before him and he would fall into a deep depression.

Dad passed away almost four weeks ago. This Remembrance Day I will reflect on all the good times I had with him in my lifetime. It will be bittersweet. This painting is dedicated to you Dad.

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Two Abstract Studies

painting is good for the soul

I find painting small helps me get rid of any inhibitions I might have about the process. The process for abstract painting is varied, depending on the artist or teacher that you speak to. I find the best way to get started is to just lay down some random marks and go from there.

Here are the two studies that I worked on this morning.

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One Success and One Massive Failure

….happy with the first one and not so much with the second

Painting for me is a process. I’m more of an intuitive painter. I put down a mark on the paper and go from there. Sometimes it works out well and other times it doesn’t.

Yesterday I put a heavy black stroke of black ink on my paper and I knew as soon as I did that it would overpower my subject but I continued painting anyway. After finishing the piece I showed it to my husband and he honestly told me that the black was too much. I agreed and I tried to calm it down with white paint and other marks but it didn’t help.

I’ve decided to wait a bit before doing anything with it but I will probably cut it up and use the parts that I like and collage them into another painting.

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Playing With Paints Again

it’s been too long

I cleaned off my art table yesterday. That was half the battle. Now I have no more excuses not to paint. On Hallowe’en I actually painted four individual cards for my neighbours but I forgot to photograph them. Painting is very therapeutic for me and I need to do it more often.

I’ve watched dozens of painting videos in the last four months and even though I felt inspired I just couldn’t get motivated to set up the paints. I want to enter an art show later in the month but I have to put my entries on line by November 6th. I’d better get busy. Here is my first attempt at mixed media ….mostly watercolour and ink.

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I need a title for this painting. Any suggestions?

Sketchbook Revival – Day 8 – 100 Dots

thanks to Noah Scalin for this art activity

On day 8 Karen Abend featured Noah Scalin who showed us how to open up when you don’t know what to draw or paint. 100 dots is literally an activity where you randomly place 100 dots on a piece of paper and then you look for dots to connect to create a picture. I decided to look for a face. Here is my creation.

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Starting With a Doodle

….day 2 of Sketchbook Revival

Today in Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival class we were introduced to Mary Beth Shaw who is a journal artist. She took us from a doodle sketch done in pencil to an abstract spread using collage, ink and acrylic paint. It was a fun process and a great way to start a painting when you have no idea what you want to paint. Here is my day’s artistic endeavour.1-C8-D15-F7-B8-F0-45-AA-B615-CEF2-DCED08-D4-1-201-a

Starting With a Blob

….when you don’t know what to paint start with a blob of colour

Today was the first day of Sketchbook Revival, another on-line free series of classes to get your creative juices to flow. The program is hosted by Karen Abend and today’s guest artist is one of my favourite teachers, Carla Sonheim.

Carla started by encouraging all artists to journal daily with what she calls box journalling. Basically she draws a box in her journal and divides it into sections and writes and draws in the different spaces. She writes random thoughts, to do and idea lists and draws doodles in one of the smaller squares. All of these help give her inspiration for the rest of her day. She also finds it very meditative.

Blob drawings are a great way to start making art when you’re in a rut and don’t know what you want to paint. You literally lay down a blob of paint onto paper and smear it or spread it in a random fashion with a credit card or palette knife. Here are two examples of blobs that I have laid down on the pages of my sketchbook.

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Later this evening I will probably turn then around and see what animal or creature I see and start adding detail with a black marker or with ink. For the one that I just finished I used a water based ink so that I could go back in with a wet brush and add shading by just going over the black lines.

In my first blob I clearly saw a bird flying through the air. Here is my finished piece.

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Tea Biscuits and Doodles

….trying to keep busy and watch less TV

My husband finally got bored watching TV and felt well enough to play in the kitchen. For some reason he’s had a craving for tea biscuits so he started to research for a recipe where we had all the ingredients. I haven’t made biscuits in a long time but I do remember that they were pretty basic with simple ingredients. It’s amazing how many variations of tea biscuits there are out there. Some called for evaporated milk and lemon soda pop and of course there are all kinds of add ons like raisin and cranberries.

We finally decided on a classic recipe. My husband also made his own clotted cream and we had a wonderful afternoon tea break with hot biscuits and cream. The only thing missing were the fresh berries to go on top.11-B17042-A48-F-4028-ABAF-7-E15-D9-BEE793

Later in the evening I went on the internet and found a new site hosted by Mo Willems, the children’s book author and illustrator. It is very much geared to children but I enjoyed his show ‘Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems”. Check it out if you like to doodle and/or if you have children who like his books. He demonstrates how to draw Pigeon, Piggy and Elephant.