Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Baking

It's down to the wire now, and we're just a couple of days away from the big day.

I've had a month of creating, baking, wrapping and preparation for Christmas, and getting studio time has been a challenge. 

As well as some paintings, we're still working on our horse for the Art Trot.  I added a couple of layers of paper mache strips to the armature to create a base.

First coats of paper mache strips
The next step in the process was to create some paper mache clay (recipe here) .  This may have had something to do with my mixer meltdown two days later....

Paper mache clay-making
From here, John and I both had a go at filling in the blanks, with John, of course, having much more success.  Although not complete, we did reach a point where we needed to dry the sculpture in the oven to ensure that no mold occurred, and I started this process yesterday early in the morning.

I had a private student as well, and invited her upstairs for tea after class.  As I was making it, I apologized for the smell in the dining room, explaining I was baking a horse. 

Baking a horse
The look on her face was hilarious, and it took several rounds of laughter before I could explain in detail!

Wishing you and yours all that is best over this holiday season - love, peace, friendship, laughter, beauty, plenty and pure joy. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Just horsing around...

I feel somewhat like a split personality these days, with so many projects on the go.  I've got four pieces 'on the easel' and another one in the sink! 

There is definitely an explanation required for that last phrase, of course.  For some unknown, and completely idiotic reason, I got it into my brain that doing a paper mache horse for the Art Trot 2012 Therapeutic Riding Program Silent Auction which is coming up in February.   To the best of my recollection, I've not done paper mache since the children were small, and remember it being messy, messy, messy!

I am also extremely spacially challenged and mechanically declined, which means I needed to get down on bended knee and beg John to create an  armature for me.  John, naturally, has done an amazing job of this...

Horse armature  13" x 16" x 3.5"
I put the first layer of paper on yesterday, and did such a fabulous job of it that John has had to remove the legs, re-wrap the wire, and throw it back at me.  It's a good thing he (mostly) likes me!

I'll keep you posted on developments.  Incidently, do NOT expect the final product to be a standard palomino - that's definitely not my style! 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A quest...

The more I look closely at nature, the more I realize it is a strong metaphor for the human condition, and I incorporate it into my paintings as much as possible.

The painting below started with an asparagus fern gone wild, seeking light in the middle of winter.  A frond hit the ceiling in its quest, and over a period of many days circled around and around in desperation and confusion as it followed what little light it could discern.  When I took pity on its jumbled state (see detail photo) and cut it off, I was astounded at the complexity of the journey it took without leaving home.  I pressed the resultant stalk for some months to dry it thoroughly.

Quest for Light  20 x 16
I daubed a canvas thoroughly with Titan Buff, and over-daubed several layers of Cobalt Green Deep to create a variety of values .  Adhering those coats with an additional two coats of acrylic medium, I then carefully covered the stalk with two layers of medium, adhered it to the canvas with heavy-duty acrylic gel,  and sprayed it all with several coats of varnish.

Quest for Light - Detail
While a painstaking and time-consuming process, it is a great reminder to me of the multifaceted natural world, and possibly our own life.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Mandala Mania...

I keep coming back to them - those compelling mandalas that take me into another dimension.

Rochelle Mandala
Over the years I've painted, drawn, coloured, shown and dreamed them to the point where I published a colouring book of mandalas designed specifically for adults.

Color Me Up! Adult Colouring Book

I'm fascinated by the way dozens of people can take the same image, and colour it in a way that is totally unique to the individual.  You'll see Laura Leeder's ( ) gorgeous watercolour version of my star mandala on this page, below right. 

They so fascinate me that I've done many intuitive mandalas for people, and created a workshop to introduce others to this fascinating subject (see the workshop sidebar on the right for an upcoming class).

You can learn how to start your own mandala journey by joining us this March 31;  in the meantime, you'll find Color Me Up! at the Cherrybrook Farms Artisan Market each Friday afternoon until  December 23/11.  See you there....

Garden Mandala

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