Friday, 23 September 2022

Pumpkins Galore!

Hello friends!

Warning. If you don't like pumpkins, look away now!!!

Once again, it's Autumn and pumpkin season is upon us. My friend owns a sunflower farm, which at this time of year becomes a pumpkin patch farm. I'll be putting a link in later if you're able to go, but I know for most of you will it will be impossible.  I'm sure you'll find your own wonderful attractions near where you are.

Imagine my delight to be able to photograph some freshly harvested local grown pumpkins on a warm Autumn afternoon. I jumped at the opportunity. Those of you who know me well, know I have a bit of a thing about pumpkins. The more patterns and the gnarlier, the better!!  These are beauties. The varieties here are: Turks Turban, Harvest Moon, Sweet Lightning, Harlequin, Crown Prince, Casparita, and Kabocha.  

Could anything be more versatile? Firstly, you decorate with them. Secondly, in my case, you paint them. And thirdly, you eat them, turning them into delicious soup, stews, breads, pies, risotto. And more. My friend says they make excellent crisps, or chips depending which side of the Atlantic you're on!

Before I forget, here's the link to the Facebook page, which has all the details if you are in the area and wish to visit.  Pembrokeshire Pumpkin Farm.  There's loads of seasonal attractions. A haunted barn. A hay bale trail. And other things to do besides picking out beautiful pumpkins to decorate or eat.

Here are my photos. The first batch are taken with my Panasonic. DMC FZ45. The second batch which follow that are all square are taken on my phone.

Taken with my phone

Well, my friends, I hope you've enjoyed the trip around the pumpkins. I hope to get more photographs again. There are long lasting fruit and it's nice to take advantage of the different levels of sun light at this time of year. Also, they'll be popping up in my seasonal decorations, which I'll share later.

How do you like to use pumpkins? Do you use them just for decorating or purely for culinary purposes? Do you have a favourite recipe? Are you like me? Your pumpkins will be decorating your home from now until the end of November. I'd love to know.

Until next time. 
Stay safe, stay well.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Index Card Art Part Five

Hello friends!

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to look at my art, especially my previous blog. The work in that has been quite different for me. I'm taking a few days off from arts at the moment. I've done over 100 days straight now since June the 1st. I've made at least one small piece, sometimes a large piece of art everyday since then.  It's quite a lot, so like I say, I'm having a few days off before the taster session for Life Book 2023 begins on the 26th of September. Mind having invested so much time in doing art the house workers let slip so I won't be having any time off, I'll be cleaning house!!

Here's another roundup of index card art. I think I've just got one more weeks worth to put in, so that'll come sometime in the next few days.

These ones come in a variety of media. I was doodling on a card and somehow came up with a basic shape which you will see is repeated throughout every one of these cards. I've taken the basic shape and worked into it with adding bits or changing the media. After all, that's what index card art is all about. Experimenting. Oh, and of course having fun!

It's surprising how you can change the look of something just by changing how you colour it in or adding a few extra bits here and there.

Until next time.
Stay safe, stay well.

Debbie xo

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Art Soul Gathering {Part Two}

Hello Friends!

Here are the rest of my pieces for Art Soul Gathering.  I knew I wouldn't complete all of the lessons as some are very time consuming, two a day for a week.  After ten days, all access is removed, so I do what I can whenever these free opportunities present themselves.  In a few weeks I shall begin Tamara Laporte's renowned LifeBook 2023 taster fortnight.

This piece is in the style of Ida Andersen Lang and is called the Dream of NimuĂ«. It went horribly wrong from the get go, for two reasons. First I need to work on larger card stock as her head is not much bigger than my thumb so when something goes amiss there's no room to manoeuvre to put it right, and second I wasn't paying attention and picked up my aquarelles instead of waterproof pencils, so as soon as I applied water everything bled instead of staying put.   Other than that, I'm happy with it.
Freehand drawn

In the style of Dawn Vander Stoep, "Inner Wisdom" lesson.
I don't have anything remotely like the pan pastels used in this lesson, so had to do some proper improvisation, not even in the right colours, using eye shadows and cotton buds. It wasn't particularly easy to get the finer details and I ended up using some dress making pencils.
Freehand drawn

In the style of Tamara Laporte "Mother Earth" mixed media.  I loved doing this one so much, I love the outcome and it's now my social media avatar.

in the style of Marie-Laure Delage-Carlson this is Dryad – Spirit of the Forest. I don't think I'm done with it yet but it's this closest I'm going to get for the time being because I'm still learning to manage the copious amounts of water needed, which have started the disintegration of the paper so time to put the brushes down and let it go. I wanted to honour the spirit of the Redwood Forests near Ferndale CA

This one isn't following a lesson per se, but it has wording written underneath the artwork as shown in several of the lessons, but it's too heavy and showing through in places.
I'm not sure if I'm going to do any more of the lessons, partly because they don't appeal to me so much, and partly because they call for materials that I don't have, and can't come up with an appropriate substitution.

At the end of the month I'm taking part in a two week online taster course for Life Book 2023, hosted by Tamara Laporte.  It's an annual event.  I bought lifetime access to the 2019 LB course, but Mum died and I didn't get into the course, so I'm planning to work on that soon.  I think my next entry will be sharing one of those light bulb moments, but I just realised I'm well behind with ICAD sharing too!

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well
Debbie xoxo

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Art Soul Gathering {part one}

Hello Friends!

***Important Announcement***

I am no longer allowed to say I cannot draw.

I'm now doing a short online course, rather than a challenge, hosted by the very talented artist Ida Andersen Lang {link below}. It's only 10 days long with two art lessons a day for six days presented by a variety of artists. I won't be able to do all the lessons but here are the first three that I've completed.

Warm up Lesson by Ida Andersen Lang  "Kindred Spirits ~ Horse"

background drawing freehand, coloured using Caran D'Ache and Royal Amsterdam watercolour pencils with Posca pen detail.

Lesson 1

My goodness!  This was the most amazing lesson from renowned Squamish artist Melanie Rivers. I've never done a portrait before and I haven't painted with acrylics for a very long time so to have to remember that they dry out and work quickly on top of drawing a face has really pushed me this evening. I had to improvise a little bit as I had to add gouache to my acrylics to try and get some of the right colours but I'm very pleased with my final outcome

Lesson 2

Eulalia Mejia, aka  Happy Chinchilla {don't you just love that name?}, was the host for this lesson "Finding Your Inner Garden" which I found very relaxing and fun to do. It's not something I would normally do, but it's really good to think outside of what you're used to doing and it becomes part of an holistic learning process.
rubbish colour reproduction in this photo!!!

I think it's fair to say that I'm finding this challenging in different ways. Firstly, it's exposing me to a wide variety of techniques and mediums which will expand my repertoire. Some of these techniques are quite challenging and the work is less than perfect simply because you need to practice for a long time, many maybe years in order to master them. Secondly, I'm finding it challenging mentally because it's making me do things with art that I haven't even thought about trying before, and some of them also make you look inside yourself and explore where your art is coming from.  So, in its own way it can be quite stressful but in a good way because you come through the other side having learned something about yourself and about your art that you can apply to your practice.  It's very different practice altogether from the last three months when I've responded to prompts and do my own thing.

In a couple of days, another short challenge begins, so I will be busy!

Until next time

Stay safe, stay well