Sunday, 2 December 2012

Consolidation Time

I have decided to consolidate all my blogs into one from now on. They're all about my creative work so there's no need to separate them all out. Plus it's tough keeping track of them all!

New posts can be seen at Kooky Creates

Thursday, 22 November 2012


I am beyond proud of this face... I really couldn't draw faces at all a month ago and now I feel I've made some progress.

I drew this face as part of my 'face a day' project after completing Jane Davenport's Draw Happy course. The course (and Jane's whimsical/wonderful view of the world) have done me the world of good. She suggested I fill the body with journalling, but I'm sitting with that idea for now because I just love the simplicity of the picture at the moment. Maybe I'll try it on a print out of it and see what it looks like first.

Do you ever try stuff out and if so how?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Alone with the Sea

The Artists in Blogland challenge is up and I'm eager to take part. I like being part of such a nurturing community as I continue my art journey.

Headline Prompt:  Security:  What makes you feel safe and secure?  What rattles your sense of security?  Where do you go for comfort and refuge?
Color Prompt:  Cool colors (blues, greens, violets, etc.)
Quote Prompt: You can't make a place for yourself in the sun if you keep taking refuge under the family tree.  - Helen Keller

I've gone with the first and second prompts. Funnily enough I've made a place for myself in the sun by moving to Australia away from my family... :-)

My safe place is the seashore. Not staring out at the sea, but crouched over the tide line looking through shells and sea debris or in rock pools. It comes from my childhood where I have many happy memories of both my mum & dad sharing these moments with me.

Later in life I studied marine biology and it was the shells, the invertebrates & the seaweeds that fascinated me. I still live by the sea, 5 minutes walk away, so my safe place is never far.

My process

1. Gesso the page.
2. Draw shell like swirls in Neocolour II crayons then blend them with water.
3. Splatter Ariondacks ink (denim & espresso) over.
4. Draw shell shapes, colour with Neocolour II, cut out and gel medium to the page.
5. Draw the little girl then paint with acrylics.
6. Write my memory and highlight with orange gel pen.
7. Orange & black paint splatters.

I like the movement in the writing.

I don't like... nothing! :-)

I hope your safe place is always near too.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

This is a page from my Sketchbook Project book, rather than from my art journal. But I'm pretty much using them interchangeably at the moment so it's really the same thing.

I used my new Liquitex acrylic inks for the background. Yummy colours, very intense. And that swirled dotty pattern on the background... it's a total accident from moping up the excess with a paper towel. I'll be doing that again.

I continue to practice faces. No where near perfect of course. But it is rewarding to see something with reasonable proportions appear on my page.

My process:
1. Gesso page.
2. Acrylic inks dropped onto the page then excess mopped up with paper towel (cool!)
3. Paint a white acrylic oval
4. Draw face in pencil (not graphite - it smudges and runs into everything!)
5. Paint face using Inktense pencils (hair), Golden Fluid acrylic (face) and more acrylic inks.
6. Define features using coloured pencils and pitt pens.
7. Outline drawing.
8. Add acrylic ink yellow border.

I like that background accident!

I don't like the nose and lips. Again. But they're getting better, right?

Do you like drawing faces? Which bits do you find hardest to get right?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Black & White

Another entry for Fall Fearless & Fly from me. I'm enjoying the challenge of creating within the boundaries they've chosen for us...

This time I've just gone with the colour prompt - Black & White - and, you know what, I really like what's come out of it.

I'm starting to work out a process for my art. There's an order to the way I do things that seems to make the final piece more cohesive and complete.

1. Gesso whole page (I like the look of all my art supplies on gesso - except watercolours)
2. Add paper pieces if I'm using them.
3. Paint or inks.
4. Collage if I'm using it.
5. Stamps/texture
6. Main feature
7. Detail
8. Doodling

What's your process? Is it different each time or have you found a way that always works?

Of course, the best thing about working out a process like this is then doing things differently and seeing where it takes you. Got to love that.

Big love going out to Jane Davenport for her fabulous tutorials. I can finally draw a reasonable looking face!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

All Eyes On Her

This art journal page is inspired by the amazing Teesha Moore. She rocks the collage art journal world in my opinion and I see her style/influences in a lot of places.

Despite my alter ego being neckless & half legged I kind of like her. And I like the bright colours on the page, and my writing in my journalling. I feel like I'm about to fall so much of the time at the moment... hey ho. It's great to have somewhere to say that.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wild Goose Chase

I've put together a page for the second Artists in Blogland Fall Fearless & Fly challenge. It's all about moving from the UK to Australia with a guy I wasn't sure about and how it turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me.

The prompts were 'Taking a Chance', your least favourite colour (mine is pink) and 'Don't refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase, that's what wild geese are for.' I've used them all.

I like the Sydney Opera House, it came out exactly as I saw it in my head.

I don't like the pink! But I knew that already. :-)

Thanks for taking the time to look.

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Masks We All Wear

I've been feeling like I needed to hide my emotions this week as I've watched my 3 year old starting Montessori. He's been finding it hard and, while I want him to know it's OK to have any feeling, I know I have to show him that I'm strong. Even when I want to cry at how upset he is.  Ah well.

Here's this week's piece and my process.

  1. Wet the paper and drop ink colours, allowing them to spread. 
  2. Stamp a script stamp all over the page.
  3. Cut out a mask from paper and glue to page.
  4. Paint mask in gold acrylic.
  5. Add sewing lines (in pen).
  6. Paint some of the pieces with watered down acrylic.
  7. Stamp the journalling.
I like the sewing lines and how it does what quilting does.

I don't like what happened when I inked over the gesso I used to prepare my page (at the right hand side).

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 12 October 2012

At Work. Naked. And The Sketchbook Project

I've been busy this week. My 3 year old has started at the Montessori school nearby and I have needed to art to deal with the anxiety.

Here's my art journalling for the week. I saw the quote (which hasn't come up well in the photo) on the front of a book and laughed out loud. Journalling doesn't have to always be serious eh? It says,
Follow your dreams. Except for the one where you're at work. Naked.
Still makes me giggle!

I've started using watered down acrylics as well as watercolour. I like the semi opaque look it gives, especially for backgrounds. I also enjoyed building up the layers on the silhouette with acrylic washes too.

There are stamps, stencils with distress inks and lots of paint splodges.

I like the airy feel of the page, especially at the top.

I don't like those feet. I tried and tried and just couldn't get it right. Another thing to keep practicing.

This week I also received my sketchbook for 'The Sketchbook Project'. I'm so excited about this it's quite funny. In case you haven't heard of it, you get a sketchbook, fill it with art (but NO GLITTER!), send it by 13th of Jan 2013 & then it goes on tour round America with loads of other sketchbooks. Fabulous!

I chose the category 'Lists' (because I love lists) and am calling my book 'A Lexicon of Arbitrary Contrivances'. I'm filling it with random lists of stuff and am using the design seeds website for colour and prompt inspiration (I <3 that website SO much - it's so beautiful).

These are my first  two lists (I said I'd been busy!). There are 32 pages to fill and I want to get it done before December as I know I'll be busy with Christmas stuff then. I have to get cracking!

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Inventing the Future - Artists in Blogland

After interwebbing my way to the Artists in Blogland site and discovering their future theme I decided to revisit the idea from my previous post but following the Artists in Blogland prompts. I used the theme 'inventing the future' and their suggested warm colour scheme.

I didn't use the quote ('The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.' - Abraham Lincoln) even though I like it and may use it at a later date. Instead I used the quote about the future that always comes into my head - 'Future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.' which is from a song by Timbuk3. I'm a glass half full (and the rest is full of air too!) kind of girl and I've always seen the future as bright for everyone if we can take responsibility for our own actions and where that's taken us to in our life.

The journalling is about seeing a bright future and even some specific goals for me and my family over the coming 5, 10 & 15 years.  I do like putting these things down on paper. :-)

And I practiced faces. This is a vast improvement on my first and I quite like it despite it's many imperfections (including the lack of eyebrows which I only noticed after I'd cropped the photo on my PC!). At least there's some depth to those eyes and that nose now. The lips are rough as... but hey, it's only my second try.

I like the white stars and leafy shapes I drew on the background.

I really don't like those lips.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Future Self

This week I've been reading an excellent book called 'Maximum Willpower' by Kelly McGonigal which is all about the science behind self-control. There are many simple tips and tricks which I've found particularly useful and one that's really got me thinking is the idea of getting to know our future self. According to the book, and I can see it in myself, more often that not we tend to see ourselves in the future in the same way we would see a stranger.

So I painted my future self. As the angel I usually think she is ;-)

Here's my process:

Day 1 - Spray 3 colours of ink randomly over the wet page then use a wet brush to mix them all together. I used aqua, brown & yellow Dylusions.
Day 2 - Spray some Glimmer Mist in orange over the page.
Day 3 - Sketch a very naive looking face, neck & wings. Eyes wide apart, tiny lips & nose. NOT me at all!
Day 4 - Paint the face in acrylics. HOW HARD is painting faces!? I did enjoy mixing the skin tones though.
Day 5 - Paint hair in gold acrylics and wings in silver acrylics. I learnt you need a lot more paint...
Day 6 - Add a title and some journalling using a Sakura Pigma Brush. Nice pen... not so nice writing style. This is a good place to practice.
Day 7 - I really didn't like my piece. It seemed one dimensional, flat, with nothing to say. So I got some baking paper (tracing paper-ish), stamped a butterfly theme randomly all over it and then cut it to size before sticking it on using tape across the top edge of the page.

Now I like it better but can still look at the stranger that is my future self.

I like how the baking paper has softened everything. I looks very mystical to me now which is kind of what I was trying to achieve.

I don't like the fact that I cannot paint faces. I guess I just need to practice that, perhaps with something more realistic before I try to find my own style. Watch this space!

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Endless Immensity of the Sea

I'm relatively new to art journalling and came to it through Zentangle and an urgent need for a creative outlet after closing down my cake decorating business.

I've worked on this A5 journal page in my moleskin watercolour book for over a week (using the 10 minutes a day recommendation on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's fantastic blog) and it didn't know where it was going to end until I drew the lighthouse this evening.

Here's my process:

Day 1 - Watercolour wash in aqua blues & green.
Day 2 - Stamp some leaf shapes using distressed ink.
Day 3 - Realise the leaves looked like seaweed so watercolour some big bits of seaweed down the page in greens & yellows.
Day 4 - Paste some strips of green florist's paper down the page.
Day 5 - Find the quote about the sea (by Antoine De Saint-Exupery who wrote The Little Prince), write it on the page and spray with Glimmer Ink in lime green & aqua.
Day 6 - Go over the whole page with gesso applied with a credit card.
Day 7 - Add strips of blue tissue horizontally and splodge acrylic paint across the tops.
Day 8 - Lighthouse! It sums up the sea's vastness for me.

I like the tiny blush of red/yellow on the left hand side of the page which is an accidental leak from a previous page and looks like the sun peeking through.

I don't like the fact I've lost my lovely seaweed paintings. Guess I'll have to do them again.