3 more lovely art supplies I’m glad I tried

One of the most fun benefits of doing online art courses in the last year has been getting to try a lot of new art supplies that I wouldn’t even know about otherwise.

Here’s a few things I’m super-glad I tried…

1.  Shiva paintstiks


I learnt about these last year from Juliette Crane, in her Serendipity course.
They’re oil paints in a stick form and look like oil pastels. I use them for mark making, patterns and shading, because they smudge much more easily and smoothly than oil pastels. They take 24hrs to dry, but that’s still quicker than regular oils and they actually kind of smell nice (unlike regular oils).

2.  Stabilo marks all pencils


I originally had a black Generals brand pencil that is quite similar to the Stabilo, but my local art store only has it in black or white.
So in my last order with dickblick.com I impulsively added Stabilo’s in red, blue, brown and green too.
Not only do they write on just about any surface or medium, but when you wet them they react like a watercolour pencil. I also like the effect spraying with water gives.

3.  Neon Acrylics

 

I’ve been seeing a lot of neons being used by different artists lately, and when I saw some in a cheap discount store in December I decided to grab some and have a go to see how I liked them – and I love them!

These are from Reno Art, and I particularly love the fluorescent purple and fluorescent lumipink (centre) at the moment.

What art supplies have you tried and loved?

29 faces, three, four, five

I’m still behind – no surprise there! – but slowly catching up.

This adorable little fellow was face #3, painted on a 4x4in canvas panel.

He just looked so sad and hungry with his bib tied around his neck, all ready for dinner!
And he sold the same day I listed him in my store, which was kind of happy-sad because I only got to spend a couple of days with him.

What Time is Dinner?
What Time is Dinner?
original sold, prints available

This past week has been fantastic! good and not-so-good.
I actually overdid things a little and ended up with another infected throat, but that’s just about gone now..

On the up side I’ve had three full days of art this week (!) sold two original paintings, one print and two aceo prints.
Plus had my etsy store critiqued by the lovely Jen (and boy do I have work to do!)

And I finally realised what my word for 2014 should be: Play!

"Play" original on cardboard available (email me) archival prints available
Play
original on cardboard available –email me
archival prints available

My word last year was trust, and boy did I get a lot of practice with that one!

So this year I think I’ve earnt some playtime, which I explored in this piece on 9x9in scrap cardboard – using every art supply I could think of, including nail polish!

Sunshine Girl original available
Sunshine Girl
original available

My fifth face is another unusual one (of course), because yellow isn’t a colour I use a lot of.
But in this case I just kept wanting to add more and more of it, and I love the effect!

It made her very easy to name, too!

I’ve been quite slack in visiting everyone else’s blog posts for 29 faces, Creative Every Day and PPF this week, so I’m making it a priority to visit at least 5 blogs each day next week.

See you soon!
jane xxx

29 Faces, one and two

29 Faces february 2014I forgot to mention earlier that I’m taking part in Ayala‘s 29 Faces challenge this month!

The idea is to create a face each day for 29 days and it’s amazing to see the improvement in people’s work during that time!

I’m a little behind already (of course), but I do have a good excuse reason, with the kids starting the new school year last week and Monkey Boy turning ten yesterday.

See? I told you it was a good one!

mixed media sad bear -29faces#1

So numbers one and two I did in my Sister Swap art journal that’s going to be traveling around the world for the next several months between myself and my friends Sandie and Tina.

We’ve painted our covers and the first two-page spread ourselves, and will mail on to the next person in our triangle for them to do the next two-page spread. Then rinse and repeat.

mixed media princess play - 29 faces 2014

This second one also doubles as an exercise for LifeBook 2014.
This is my sweet little friend who whispers inspirational thoughts in my ear as I paint.

And my word for 2014 is Play.
Yes, I know how to make my art work for me 😉

Are you doing any of these challenges or courses too?
I’d love to see what you’ve been doing.

cheers, jane xx

The 3 best things I did for my art in 2013

2013 was the year that I finally began to feel that I had found my style, and really began loving my paintings.
I became comfortable calling myself an artist.

 

"Mim's Valentine" available as a print
“Mim’s Valentine”
available as a print

This is the third time I’ve done this review of the previous year, and each time it’s been incredibly useful in setting my direction for the coming year.

Feel free to use the idea yourself, and add yourself to the linky doodad below.

1. I took two online Art Courses

In January I took a self-paced course, Mindy Lacefield‘s “Paint Your Story“.

“Bring your Bucket & Spade”

It really helped me to develop my own style and gain confidence and speed in creating.
I learnt basic rules about shading faces and gave myself permission to make more mess.

Perfection, I began to realize, is an illusion.

Then in September, I began a year-long course, “Serendipity”, with Juliette Crane.

In it, she is sharing everything she herself learns over the twelve months.
We’ve been learning techniques (especially for when you get stuck), trying lots of new media, and seeing how Juliette solves different dilemmas as she creates her own beautiful paintings.

I feel like I’ve learnt so much already from this course, and it’s not even half-way done.

"Not on THIS Parade" original available
“Not on THIS Parade”
original available

The main thing I feel I’ve gained so far is more enjoyment in the process of creating. By seeing that someone as talented as Juliette gets frustrated with her paintings, covers bits up, redoes faces, gets stuck, I’ve become much more kind to myself as I lay down each layer.

I know now that every mark I make is perfect,
because it adds to the depth and story of the piece I’m creating.

(even if I end up covering it over)

2. Instagram opened my eyes

Seeing others’ work, connecting with other artists, and sharing my own art on ig was as important a step for me in 2013 as facebook was for me in 2012.

"Chocolate Sounded Pretty Good to Tom" available as a print
“Chocolate Sounded Pretty Good to Tom”
available as a print

Using hashtags (#) mean that my art is being seen and loved by a much wider circle of people, and it’s so easy to find lovely art by other artists – and people with the same interests as me.

I’ve met a whole new group of creative people, some of whom I’m now connected with on fb, and learnt about new ways of making art – like art journaling, which I’m loving so much.

What’s more, seeing my art alongside that of so many other’s meant seeing my own work in a different light.

3. I learned to trust

Most of you know that we had a rough year. The silver lining was a doozey, though.

I finally learnt to deal with stress in a more positive way.
I’m not religious, but I now really do know that there is a reason for things happening the way they do.

"You Rule My World" original available
“You Rule My World”
original available

I went through such a long dry spell and feel that my art is deeper and truer than ever before. It expresses so much more than previously.
And because I’ve been through that, I no longer fear that I’ll wake up one day unable to paint.

I’ve been there, the worst has happened.

And you know what? I came back stronger and better.

It’s so helpful to be able to look back on the steps I’ve taken along my path since the beginning of 2011.
I hope that you’ll give it a try and let me know how you go.

Cheers, and happy PPF!
jane xxx

Art journaling, a new journey

I’ve been seeing a lot about art journaling lately, and over the Christmas break it got me all fired up to have a go myself.

At first I couldn’t see what the fuss was about – I thought “I’d rather create a painting I can hang than a book”.

art journal creature -wip

But then I realized that it’s all about the fun of playing with supplies, taking risks and making up your techniques as you go along.

It doesn’t matter whether you create something that everyone loves, as long as it speaks to you personally.

I made this first journal of mine from pages of watercolour paper, sewn together with string.

I’m filling it with designs and words and lists that embody my hopes and dreams for the coming year, hence the title of painting on the cover…

art journal creature

She gazes into the future, awestruck at what she could become.

Happy Paint Party Friday, everyone ♡♡♡

I’m also linking to Art Journal Every Day!

Cheers, jane xx