art journaling – revisiting a favourite

I’ve been looking back at my 2014 dreams journal today, and fell back in love with this American Indian girl who appeared as if by magic.

I didn’t plan to paint an indian.

I’ve learnt to avoid planning to paint anything in particular, because it makes me freeze up until I’m unable to create anything.

The only thing I plan is that there will usually be a figure of some sort.

So for days I looked at the background, not seeing anything, and then she jumped out of the landscape.

Whenever this happens, I just know I’m going to love the finished piece.

Her body is wrapped up in a soft, warm pink blanket to protect her from the shocking weather of her homeland.

And I love her hair, lying in tangled plaits across her shoulders.

I’d love to know, what’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your art?

jane xx

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

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