Unfinished pieces

round mdf mixed media backgroundLast week’s photos made me realise how messy my work area had gotten, so I did a little half-hearted tidying up today.

We’re also playing host to various builder-types here over the next six to eight weeks as we’re adding on a second living area (a lovely big sunny room) to the back of our little house, so my creativity has kind of stalled with everything going on.

lacey mixed media backgroundWhile I was doing tidying and snoopervising the plumber, I realised that it’s been a while since I actually finished a painting.
And that led me to realise that I go through definite phases in my creativity.

new bald girl painting in progressI seem to have a creativity cycle, where I spend time on backgrounds, then start creating characters on them, and then I narrow it down to one or two and continue on with them – and hopefully finish them.

Other times, I’ll be completely caught up in one piece and work on it obsessively until it’s done.

girl with lanterns mixed media in progressAnd I also go through phases where I’m afraid to touch anything because I feel like I’ll mess it up.
I get my creature’s features pencilled in and can’t go on until I’ve reached the stage of not caring so much.

girl & cat mixed media painting

Once I come back to realising that not every painting is going to be amazing and I don’t have to love every piece, I can start playing again and create something I at least like.

So while I’m waiting for that phase of the cycle to pass, I’m going to do a bit more tidying up, planning of my new creative space
– oooh! and the bloke with the timber has just arrived, so I have more snoopervising to do!

Cheers, jane xx

Putting a face to the art

janecoquillon-memyselfknow I’m not alone in hating having my photo taken.

I never look the way I feel inside – I feel 15, but my face is 40!
(plus a little)

However, being invited for an interview next week by the lovely Melanie Statnick  gave me the kick in the rear I needed.

So I asked Wren to see if she could get a decent shot of me.

And then they turned out so well that I thought I’d share them with you here.

Especially since this is her first time using our whiz-bang camera.

Mayhap she has a future in the photographic arts?

janecoquillon-artistatwork

Happy PPF!

Cheers, jane xx

Index Card a Day 2014

After seeing images all over instagram of people’s icad efforts I finally capitulated this week, digging up a neglected pack of index cards in our garage and getting messy.

ICAD2014

Basically, the idea is to decorate one index card a day for 61 days  throughout June and July. It doesn’t matter how and it doesn’t matter whether you even consider it “art”.

Now, I have a history of not completing challenges (29faces 2013 & 2014 spring to mind), so before I took the plunge I decided that I’m not even going to try to do a card daily.

janecoquillon-ICAD2014-LoveYouBearyMuch

I’m just joining in the spirit of things, sharing when and what I’m happy sharing. These are a few of my favorite icad mini paintings I’ve shared so far.

I think my biggest problem with challenges like this is that I get too wrapped up in making things “perfect”.
We’ll see if I do any better this time…

janecoquillon-ICAD2014-TheMessenger

I’ve found it a great way to loosen up and just create without worrying about what the result looks like. If I like it I keep it, and if not, it’s only a little piece of flimsy cardboard from a bundle of 100 similar pieces of cardboard.

janecoquillon-ICAD2014-Angelic

It reminds me of the feeling of creating a painting on cardboard box scrap. Canvas panels aren’t expensive, but for some reason playing around with paints and paper this way feels so good!

janecoquillon-ICAD2014-LightaCandle

I’m joining in again this week with the Paint Party Friday gang, and I’ve just learned that I’m the featured artist!
How exciting! Thank you, Kristin and Eva ♡ ♡ ♡ and Happy PPF everyone!

ps~ I’m also linking to Creative Every Day this week 🙂

Princess Lost, my painting process

Princess Lost - mixed media painting by jane coquillonThis is a painting that really had me stumped for a while there.
I actually put her aside for a couple of months in the end, because I just couldn’t see whether she was done yet.

And then I came across her last week and realized that yes, she was.
She was actually finished.

I started out well, with lots of different coloured acrylics, some sharpie mark making and drips of india ink.
Then some daubs of gesso to break up the darkness where it got kind of muddy.

Add some strips and scraps of patterned and gold paper and washi tape, plus some doodling.

Then I could see where a face should be and added my paper for the shape…

I pencilled in her features roughly, and then got so caught up in painting that I forgot to take progress shots!

Once I was happy with her face, I decided to cover up all the craziness of the background and broke out the gesso again.

After I’d scraped a thin-ish layer on with a palette knife it was much easier on the eye…

You can see bits of india ink and ink from my Krink pen that bled through the gesso to prevent it becoming too white.

I really love that, it’s a lovely subtle effect that happens with acrylics over the dry inks.

This is about where I began to feel stuck. I knew that I’d covered up most of the wild colours and patterns, but was it too much?

I’d scratched a scribbly circle above her head and added some yellow ink, but now I thought it was too yellow with the gold paper in her dress.

She sat for a week or so, then I added some drips of orange/red ink to the “sun” and put her aside again, feeling utterly frustrated.

 

And there she sat for at least three months, until I uncovered her in May and realised that yes, she was finished.

I think this is the longest I’ve ever been stuck on one painting.  What’s your record?

Happy Friday the 13th, jane  xx

 

{linking in with paint party friday this week}

“She Blooms by Moonlight” – my painting process

She Blooms by Moonlight -mixed media paintingAt Wonderhubby’s work Christmas party in December last year, I fell in love with the colours of the paper crowns from the festive Christmas crackers.

I could just see them as part of a painting, so I (fairly) discreetly gathered up as many as I could from the tables surrounding us…

I’m so glad I listened to that little acquisitive voice, because they were the touch that eventually revealed the whole story of this piece to me.

I really loved working on this wistful girl, even though she went through so very many changes.

I gave her a pet dog and hated it. And then her body was no longer right either, so I covered almost the whole lower half of the painting with gesso. In fact, about the only thing I did like about the whole piece was her face..

 

Then it looked a little like a snowscape to me, so I gave her a warm hat and a new body.

But I still couldn’t quite see her story until I added the little moon face, and suddenly it just gelled.

 

The pink and yellow in particular looked lovely layered together.
I added pieces of both to create a glow around the moon, which suddenly became petals to me.

I knew my girl needed something extra, so I decided to give her some petals too, and the relationship between the two characters was made clear.

Just a touch of dark blue for contrast in the sky, and they were done.

Hope your week’s been good to you,
jane xx

ps – linking this week to paint party friday and creative every day