My word for 2015: emerge

Last year, I couldn’t really come up with a word that really captured my hopes for the year ahead.

my creature begins to emerge from her background..
really liking her face, it just needs a little more softening

Looking back, “growth” would have been perfect. There were so many challenging experiences, which taught me so much about myself.

her face is perfect ❤
now I need to calm down the background a little – it’s crazy!

I’m so much stronger and confident now. I’m better at speaking up for myself. I’m able to achieve more because I have more self discipline.

the background is coming along..
and I found out she’s actually a doe – the outlines of her legs was there all along!

2014 was a very inward kind of year. I needed to withdraw, experience and process because so much was going on (more about that later) So this year when I thought about my hopes and goals for the year ahead, the word “emerge” leapt to mind.

janecoquillon-mixedmediapainting-onelittleword2015-emerge
..a little more definition and tidying up and here she is, finished at last.  I love the way she just emerged from her background.

It’s time now for me to step forth again with newly gained wisdom and take on the world. I wanted to share the way my character emerged from the paint. She’s the perfect embodiment of what I wish for the coming year ❤ Hope you enjoyed! Cheers, jane xx

Beating blank canvas syndrome – the scraps drawer

I’ve picked up so many little bits and pieces of paper around the place that it can be overwhelming.

Now I have a desk that I love and a dedicated creative space I decided to designate one of those lovely timber drawers to holding my scrap collection.

Everything from air mail stickers to clothing tags, lolly wrappers to scraps torn from paper serviettes or wrapping paper.

In it goes… to be swirled around and join the mish-mash of ephemera that will inspire my future artworks.

Not everything actually fits into the drawer, it’s more of a representative sample of what I’ve collected over time.

The rest goes in a large airtight box that lives in the garage and will get periodically raided to freshen up the drawer’s contents.

And they’ll be waiting there next time I’m sitting in front of my desk, with a glaringly white canvas before me.

I grab my favourite acrylics, glue & brush, and thrust my hand blindly into that drawer, to clutch a handful of pretties and begin.

Give it a try next time the dreaded blank canvas bails you up in a corner, and let me now how it works for you..

Cheers, jane 🙂

ps – linking to paint party friday – happy ppf everyone!

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