Monday 29 April 2024

What is MerMay?

Hello friends!

I haven't been around very much. This Parkinson's is getting me down.  I've been dipping in and out occasionally reading your goings on.  Need to see how you all are doing.  Most days it's a struggle to type.

The weather is nothing short of depressing isn't it? How much more rain can we take?  It's the end of April and I've still got the heating on and I'm still wearing my winter weight clothes. It has gone beyond a joke now.

I can't remember offhand what I last shared with you with my painting. However, with the end of April approaching, I am now getting ready to take part in a month of art called MerMay.  I'm taking part in an online group. hosted by Ida Andersen Lang. It's only 10 days, but the whole month of May is going to be dedicated to creating art with a theme of mermaids. I am really looking forward to this.

I found these two boxes of Jane Davenport colour sticks in my stash.  Jane Davenport is an Australian artist who does her own range of stencils, stamps, colouring products and other art materials. These colour sticks are like a chunky wax crayon in lipstick form and they react with water and behave a lot like watercolour paints.

A few days ago, I got these mica powder pallets. I like the colours, and I think they will be very useful for the MerMay project.

Anyway I've been itching and twitching to get going on the project and I reached the stage where I couldn't wait any longer with impatience. So over this past weekend I started dabbling and dipping my toe into creating mermaid art.

A while back, I used one of those Facebook apps that converted a picture of me into various things such as a Viking, a Celtic warrior, a fairy. One of the options was a mermaid. so I took one of the images and used that as my reference image to give me inspiration for the first piece I did.

Then I decided to draw a tail. Think of a mermaid that is just dived. It started out more as a doodle, so I haven't invested a lot of time and work in this piece. However, it's left me with a lot of inspiration and ideas for things I would like to explore during the coming months.

I obviously added scales on one half of it, and I painted it using metallic paints to try and give it a shimmery oceanic effect.  I also added a sort of seaweed border.

There'll be quite a few more pieces of artwork coming in the following month, I think. I hope so anyway.

until next time.
Stay well stay safe.

Sunday 7 April 2024

Going Back To Bed

Hello Friends!

Ohh deary deary deary me. I really shouldn't watch the craft shopping channels. I really shouldn't but I'm not having a good day, so I'm just sitting here watching a demonstrator make one mistake after another. I'm wondering how they get away with it.

Truth be told, I'm not having a very good time of things at all. My tremors are getting worse. I'm doing everything I can not to let it get me down but it isn't easy to keep one's spirits up as one's health and mobility deteriorate, knowing that there is no returning to how things used to be, and things will just continue to worsen. There is no help coming from any quarter. I've been on Social Services waiting list now for over a year. Just this week they told me there is no sight of me getting help for a very long time to come. I really don't know how much longer I will blog for, unless they find me something to reduce the tremors.

Back to the presenter with her mistakes. I don't claim to be an expert, but I have studied the history of patchwork and quilting and have a fairly extensive knowledge base of methods and practices, in many countries, but in particular the origins and names of block patterns. I have given talks and demonstrations on the subject and have taught informal classes, so to sit here and watch a relative newcomer to a craft that is millenia old virtually rewrite the history books is painful to say the least. Not to mention that she is giving out the wrong instructions which will inevitable end badly for some.

I have no energy, I don't have the focus this morning to read, so I was harmlessly {as I thought} channel surfing and came across the craft shopping channel HobbyMaker where I've just witnessed a so called expert/demonstrator who has just renamed at least two traditional patterns {Churn Dash and Tippecanoe}, giving them new made up names. She has also redefined the definition of patchwork as the stitching together of squares of fabric. Explain that to the school of English Paper piecers, or exponents of Victorian Crazy Patchwork stitchers.

I am about to despair as she now recommends stitching your patchwork together with rounded corners. How on Earth are you supposed to achieve those crisp pinpoint corners for accurate pattern placement? Accuracy is probably the single most important factor in producing a good, clean lined pattern. The human eye will swiftly pick out those mistakes in a repeat pattern. A 1/8th inch error if repeated multiple times will result in a much larger or smaller block than planned, or garment if you are making clothing. Think of a 4 panel A line skirt. One eighth of an inch to either side of the stitching line on each seam = 1/4 inch variance per seam = 1 inch over the entire garment. I shall stop now before I get too technical but an inch is an inch and can make that skirt waistband too tight or too slack.

Moving on . . .

I drew this rather lovely {if I do say so myself} hare with the moon in graphite with gold paint.

I have started a second one with three rabbits which I will share with you very soon.

If the debacle with the patchwork and quilting "expert" wasn't enough to drive me back to my bed, the weather most certainly is! Gale force winds, another named Storm {Katherine} with torrential rain falling on already sodden ground, and thunder and lightening. Heigh ho!

Until next time
Stay safe, Stay well