International Handwriting Day

January 23rd was International Handwriting Day

I know I’m now a couple of days late to make this announcement but at the time I thought it was interesting. Handwriting really has become a lost art. In honour of the day I created a simple piece of art and second abstract piece.

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From Start to Finish

I love this kind of painting

My first layer with the two that I finished today is a free flowing streak of black ink. In order to continue with water colour I had to let the ink dry completely.

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The next stage is to add blocks of watercolour over the paper and leave some white areas.

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Now the fun starts. I make random marks using pencil, pencil crayon, marker, ink and more watercolour or acrylic. I keep playing until I’m happy with the finished product and then I sign it and remove the tape. Both pieces fit into a matt with an 8 x 10 opening.

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My Art Challenge – Days 11 and 12

….finished way too late last night to post my finished piece

Yesterday I was inspired by Lisa Congdon after watching one of her art videos. I really enjoy making line drawings of flowers and Lisa takes it a few steps further by adding lots of mark details and another thing that I love, collage. Adding all the marks is very time consuming but also very meditative and I think that’s why I lost track of time when I made this piece.

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The second photo is the piece that I just finished today. After not being very happy with my last ‘family portrait’ for Carla Sonheim’s class I decided I would try another. I’ve discovered that if I take my time and let things dry before moving on I get a much better result. Also this time I really enjoyed the assignment where as with the first attempt I wasn’t having much fun.

A Hot Mess

….and back to drawing flowers

I’ve just started another year long course with Carla Sonheim. Lesson one started on Friday.

The first lesson is to draw a series of made up characters that represent a fictional family. We were to use a variety of media and techniques but the most important part was to have fun. I don’t know why but I wasn’t having fun and at one point I really wasn’t happy and I added water to my painting. I made quite the mess but I decided to let it dry and make something out of it with more marks and layers. Like I said it’s a bit of a hot mess but I don’t want to give up so I created a smaller piece with fewer characters. I’ll try a larger family later.

I’ve also gone back to my floral drawings. Today I drew a peony.

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My Daily Art Challenge – Day 7

I’m trying to paint, draw or at least doodle every day

I’m really enjoying working with my watercolours again. I’m experimenting with more watercolour abstracts and adding ink, charcoal and pen markings. Here’s my latest piece. I have two more sitting on my art table waiting for finishing touches.

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A New Painting – Madeline’s Garden

this painting reminds me so much of my friend’s mother’s garden

I’m getting ready for a new show in January and I’m experimenting with a new technique of intuitive painting. You would never know that this painting was going to end up as a floral when I started. I think a lot of my paintings will go in that direction but because it’s abstract and intuitive it could take a completely different turn. Spoiler alert: the second painting is also a floral abstract but quite different from this one.

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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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Making Time for Art Has Been Difficult

….instead I’ve been encouraging my husband to start painting

My husband studied art when I first met him and his first job was as a graphic designer. Over the years he contemplated making art as a hobby but life always seemed to get in the way. In the last two weeks after years of encouragement from me he finally picked up a paint brush and started painting. He’s hooked and there’s no stopping him.

To facilitate his painting I made room for him on my art table in my studio. I gave him my acrylic paints and when he ran out of canvases I gave him mine. Right now I’m looking at a mess and am waiting for him to clean so I can work on my own art. He’s actually been pretty good about cleaning up after he finishes a painting but for some reason he’s forgotten this time.

Before his journey started I did manage to complete a couple of assignments from Carla Sonheim’s on-line class that featured six different artists.

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My Messy Journal 30 Day Challenge

….30 days to fill an entire art journal with messy pages

I know it sounds a bit strange but the challenge came from Kara Kramer, one of Carla Sonheim’s guest artists from her year long class called 2020: Words and Pictures. The idea is to be loose and free and fill the book and then come back later and using prompts add more to the pages. I’m still in the filling the book stage. Here are some of the pages of the 42 that I’ve done so far.

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58 pages to go!!!!