Friday 30 December 2016

As we await...

...the arrival of 2017 it's a time of quiet reflection, and what better colour to accompany that than the peaceful ease of the colour blue.

From journal pages

 to Gelli prints,

blue peeks out everywhere in the studio.

 I've turned hand-painted papers into blue flowers,

 and created Wingdings with it.

 It shows up in heavily textured pieces

 and in those that are quietly behaving themselves.

 Blue philosophizes

 and plays well with green and a host of other colours.

What a perfect colour with which to end a chaotic year, don't you think?

Here's hoping that all your wishes for 2017 come true, in a big way.  xo

Thursday 22 December 2016

You're probably wondering...

...what my focus word is for 2017, right?

These reminders are  going to be EVERYWHERE!

Each one sports a feather, so the lesson is light and easy.

Rich, isn't it?

I love the beauty of this organic leaf and feather combination.

Orange and red has a LOT of punch.

Like a flower, opening is filled with grace.

It's possible books might be involved.

I love the word opening; it speaks to me of new possibilities, travel, creativity, abundance, gifts and gratitude flowing into and through my life.  It is filled with the awareness, understanding and discernment I welcome for 2017.

Have you chosen your 2017 focus word yet?  I'd love to see it in the comments below.

Thursday 15 December 2016

I'm baaaaaaak,

exhilarated, confounded, exhausted jet-lagged and even educated, so you know it was a wonderful China tour.  

You asked for photos, and since I've just started to edit the first 200 of 1275 in total, I'll give you some teasers from day one in Beijing:

Temple of Heaven dome;
 the Temple is constructed using no nails, apart from the tiles on the roof to ensure the roof stays on!

Brother Neal and I in front of one of the Temple outbuildings; note our colour coordination, both with each other and with the building signage.

Ornamental roofing area on Temple outbuilding

I'm pretty sure this script says 'Thank you Neal and Judith'

The promenade as we headed back from the Temple area

The promenade is lined with knitters, weavers, card-players, and gamesters of all kinds, and even in the cold weather it's a crowd!

Note the ornamental pieces on the corner of the roof  in the Forbidden City - the number of pieces indicates the level of  importance of the occupants or building use.

I think this is Falkor the Dragon from The Neverending Story, forever frozen in stone in the Forbidden City's courtyard.

You can see I paid attention to this sign

The rich colours everywhere had me totally captivated

And what would ancient buildings be without some artsy craquelure?
I was mesmerized by all the intense colour and the opulent patterning on every building.  Colour in China is deep with meaning.  Yellow is the most prestigious colour, being associated with emperors. Red is the colour of luck, joy and good fortune and is to be found everywhere, in all its permutations. Green means good health and connection to the earth, while blue is indicative of the heavens.  You'll note the tiles on the roof of the Temple of Heaven are all blue.  White is a colour representative of gold (and much less costly to paint), so many houses, particularly in the countryside, are painted white.  

As I move back into my Creston, BC life, I suspect this trip will keep showing up in whatever creativity is to come.  In the meantime, please catch me up in your comments below.  What have you been up to while I was away?!

Thursday 8 December 2016

It's a small world...

and I'm still on the other side of it.  In the meantime, you can check out this post from 2015 about repurposing bottle caps -  beer, wine and liqueurs, for upcycling.  It's surprising what can be done with them.

They make fabulous flowers with the addition of buttons or brads.

Of course, the bottles can be used as well, after removal of the labels,

a thorough scrubbing

and a coat or two of gesso.

In fact, there's hardly any part I don't use.

As long as I have my trusty hammer, some round nosed pliers, tins snips and acrylic medium, my garden blooms all year round.

I don't want you to think, however, that I am totally responsible for emptying all these bottles - the staff at Jimmy's Pub here in town graciously saves them for me, although I have been known to have a glass or two of wine occasionally to assist them.

Let's talk about recycling, upcycling, art reduction and reuse.  How do you turn 'throw-aways' into art?

Thursday 1 December 2016

Yes, I'm still...

... away playing in China, but I thought you may have missed this tutorial on playing with alcohol. Done in 2014, it's a favourite on my YouTube channel.  You could always subscribe while you're over there too. 

You can find a written tutorial on the technique here as well if you prefer to read instead of view. 

I love the way that the dropped alcohol (use a mask please!) looks over the spray-misted alcohol.

These backgrounds lend themselves easily to journal pages or paintings, as you can see in this progress photo.

It's a fun technique and I encourage you to give it a go!  Just remember to use full-strength (non-drinkable) alcohol, and keep it away from your mouth!

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