Hey there, lovely!
First - before the general ramble begins - a special big thank you to those of you who made me feel SOOOOOOOOOOO much better by commenting on my last post, or by emailing. I meant the world to me and I'm so grateful that you'd take the time to gimme hugs and support - I promise that I have kicked myself up the behind a bit this week and have done useful things like tidying, cleaning, dusting etc - although the vacuum cleaner is still growling at me resentfully (and inactively) from the cupboard under the stairs...I swear I hear the damn thing muttering when I walk past. I'll drag it out this week at some point and give the carpet a coronary!
So - aside from actually doing normal human things that normal human beings do to NOT live in a complete mess (I actually loathe mess! And yet....my studio....yeah....go figure!), I've actually had quite a good amount of arty time. I've been working on some new stock for my Etsy shop - sneak peek:
More on those when I list them - which, all being well, should be in the next day or so.
I've been doodling again. There seems to be a lot of half finished doodly doodleness - mainly because I do them to relax before sleep (if I get sleep) so they cease to progress the moment I nod off, and inevitably I'll begin a new one the next evening, showing callous disregard for the abandoned scratchings that languish on earlier pages. There's nothing so annoying as half-done doodles so I've determined to finish some off this week, beginning with Mr Fishy -
I know, I know, another sea-based doodle, but I'll always freely admit it's my happy plaice! (sorry....bad joke....I should be 'pun'ished. Oh ye gads.....shoot me!) Fishies, mermaids, jellyfishies, octopuseseseses and lighthouses all make me happy! Apart from anything else, finishing a few of these will get me motivated to finish the enormous wildlife pen & ink piece based on Australia's flora and fauna that I started.....oooo.... in about 1200BC or something.....I'll finish it, oh yes I will! Do you think attention span might be an issue? Do ya? DO YA? ...huh....
I also made a return to my main art journal, which has been a bit of an arty obstacle since the Yuletide season. I'd made a collage spread for Valentine's Day - collage is a great go-to technique when Miss Arty Muse is being a right old cow and not playing. She's lured in by colourful snippings. Fickle creature. I took some process photos at the time so here ya go:
I started with a thin, relatively neutral base coat covered with a second coat of blended yellow & orange acrylic paint and then used an old voucher card as a scraper to add some fairly random bright colours that made me happy:
I cut out some photos of flowers from my Uncle's and Granparents' gardens, along with one of my mum when she was a little girl - something to represent each of the people who mean so much and who are now partying on down like crazy over that rainbow bridge. Once I'd figured out how I wanted them placed on the page I adhered them using a matte gel medium.
**Helpful tip #1: If you ARE going to try this with photos and you plan to coat the top of the collage as well as pasting the underside of each image, test your product on an unimportant photo corner to make sure that the medium won't affect the print. It SHOULD be ok, but as with all things it's best to check. I know that polaroids, for example, can go a bit iffy with some products - just be careful. **
**Helpful tip #2: Photos can be quite a thick collage element - it makes layering awkward. However, you can usually separate the surface image from the backing sheet relatively easily - as long as you're careful. I tend to start at the corner and use a fingernail to split the layers and peel gently. You may have to work inwards from more than one corner - just take your time, and you should be left with a nice thin photo image which layers beautifully onto your page. It's like peeling apart a napkin, just a bit more long-winded.**
I gave my mum butterfly wings by using a Brenda Walton (I think) sticker from K&Co, cutting it in half and layering the photo image over the stickers
I used my Uni ball Impact 1.0 gel pen to make a smudgy outline and added details and doodles with the white gel version of the same pen and some bright yellow fluid acrylic:
Then I added some lyrics as a kind of 'sentiment' - they seemed apt - and dated the page
This weekend was Mother's Day - the first one without mum. I found it hard going - much moreso than I'd expected and I was pretty sad. I wanted to journal the day and use mycolourful art journal again, but my mind was a blank. I took out my box of photos and picked up one of me when I was a little girl, taken on a flower-picking trip with my mum and my Grandma. It made me happy and sad at the same time, and I decided that I'd use it as the inspiration for my page.
I collaged some wrapping paper I'd been hoarding and smooshed some acrylic paints onto the page with my fingers. I wanted the flowers on the paper to show through the paint so using my fingers was a good way to control where the colour went. When I was happy, I added some splashes of watery Cosmic Shimmer paint in blue and gold (Cosmic Shimmer watercolours are kind of like the sparkling H2Os - I love them). This page was more about capturing a feeling than anything else. I used my brush and some buff coloured acrylic to block in the outlines of the figure-
I decided to update the figure and add red hair and the colours I always seem to use when I paint a representation of myself , splodging the colours in loosely. I wanted this to represent me then as well as me now and didn't want to overthink it at all.
When I was done adding colour I used my gel pen (trusty thing) to scribble in a bit of definition and a touch of shading then splodged in the buttercups, just hinting at stems and leaves-
Finally I added the last few scribbly lines with first the black gel pen, then with the white, just to lift the page a bit-
It's a page that reflects how I felt exactly at that moment. I do think it's good to allow your art to reflect something of who you are inside, how you feel....what makes you YOU. It's not all about technique - at least that's what I think.
Anyway, whilst rummaging through that photo box I found some old pics of me with my mum and my Grandma and was reminded again of the importance of recording memories. I have a little book that mum gave me YEARS ago called "Wishing You Happiness", written by Pam Brown:
Reading through this little book I could hear mum's voice - her laugh. This and the photos made me feel like I'd spent time with my mum and Grandma again and it made me so much happier. I thought I'd share some of the book with you, along with a few of the pictures that I found - I hope you like them. I hope something beautiful and remarkable happens for you this week that makes you smile and that you enjoy the warmth of family and friends. This I wish for you. See you soon - hugs and sunshine from Shroo :) xxx
Wishing You Happiness
...adventures with happy endings.
...mornings of glad anticipation.
...quiet sleep and glad awakening.
My Wishes For You
I wish you the joy of always having someone to share things with.
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My wish for you is that sometimes, just sometimes, you can afford the thing you long for, rather than the thing that will do.
* * *
I wish you enough good memories to see you through the bad times.
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I wish you one of the best of small happinesses, the opening of a well-remembered book, the smoothing of the page, the first familiar words...
* * *
I wish you the happiness of finding the perfect present for someone you love.
* * *
I wish you spring - the amazement that is always better than you dared expect.
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I wish you the happiness of a gift from a child;
- a bunch of dandelions
- a fluff-coated toffee
- a frog
- a kiss
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Strength and Courage
If I had the power to make one wish for you, I would find it very hard to decide what gift to give - what gift would help you to happiness. Beauty is dangerous, wisdom must be earned, love is of your own choosing.
But in the end, I am certain that I would choose the best gift of all - and that is courage.
* * *
May you never purchase "love" at the price of becoming a doormat.
* * *
May you always find exactly the right words to put bullies in their place - and enough strength in your knees to walk out with dignity.
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May you have a loving heart - and shrewd judgment.
* * *
There is great happiness to be found in giving. but giving endlessly can drain the mind and heart. Learn to take a little - even if it is a moment in the garden, a gallery, a cafe.
Let the birds and frogs and pictures, music and books and undemanding friends restore you.
People need nourishment.
* * *
I Wish You The Joy Of:
Seeing your luggage come safely round the carousel.
A letter from someone whose address you have lost.
Seeing someone's face light up at the sight of you.
Knowing you are needed.
Finding the perfect present.
Spotting your missing cat plodding up the path.
The smell of land, far out to sea.
A skein of geese passing low overhead, calling.
Biplanes stunting on a summer's day.
Dawn, mid ocean.
The right one realising just who you really are inside -
and loving you for it.
Taking off your smart shoes.
The sight of the one you love at the end of the platform.
Discovering that you have not, after all, thrown your friend's letter on the fire with the birthday wrappings.
Walking in the rain.
* * *
I wish you the happiness of love, that does not change with change, that shines as surely in age as in youth.
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I hope you always have room in your life for another friend.
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I wish you letters:
in handwriting that you recognise at once;
in handwriting that you have not seen for years;
in handwriting totally unknown.
I wish you letters full of praise,
full of encouragement;
letters of thanks and love.
* * *
I wish you happiness
but not the happiness which is purchased by shutting out the world.
Nor that of denying your dream for comfort's sake.
I wish you the happiness of doing what you do as best you can.
Of taking the risk of trying
of taking the risk of giving
of taking the risk of loving
* * *
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