Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Day 13 - Brrr Cold and Slippy

Treacherous walk this morning, black ice on my garden path nearly brought an end to the walk before we got out of the gate. Several more skids on the way round, can't afford a fall over too much to do.

Concentrated on the mannequin today. Lots of cutting, humming and hawing over placement of images and then gluing. Now I'm going to just look until tomorrow, there may be some more images to put on.

Much excitement at lunchtime, Dave the postman delivered my French Fashion magazines, dated 1901. They have colour pictures n the front cover. They were a bargain on ebay. Just to celebrate I've copied one of the fashion sketches.

A lovely example of a wasp waist design. I'd never fit into these!!!!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Painting a Day 13 - Coffee Morning

Monday I usually help at a coffee morning at the Baptist Church in Bures. I take Molly and she gets treats and fuss from the visitors. It was really cold in the church hall when I got there. I kept my coat on for ages and have not really got warm all day. We all had a good time chatting and eating the biscuits. Had lunch than felt really unwell so went for an hours kip.

Picked the last of the leeks today, making marrow fat pea and leek soup for tomorrow. Think I am brewing a cold as I am feeling very achy.

Not much time for art today, just finished the first layer of the paper decoupage on the mannequin.

Then I have been cutting out the pictures I am going to use.

There is one advert of a very early sock knitting machine. As I am a sock knitter I just had to put that in! Oh and the Victorians had the same problems as us, Superfluous Hair and Constipation!!!

Time for a quick 10 minutes of cartoons. These are hand drawn but copied from a children's Christmas Annual. Bit short of inspiration, but hey you copy a still life, so its the same really. It just keeps your hand in when you are not feeling too good.

Now I am going to try and find some interesting TV to watch and try to finish my friends socks. They were for her birthday on 8th Jan I am a bit behind schedule.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Painting a Day 12- Another Quiet Day

Well the mannequins have dried overnight, so today I am starting on the 3rd one. I am using the small adverts section from The London Illustrated News for the base coat this time. There are several good large groups of people that will be staging a scene all round the mannequin. Also some fashion images. This one is all about Victorian Style. Not sure what I am doing with the base yet, it may just be plain.

Very chilly and foggy over night here. The trees had quite a lot of ice on them. Whilst I was walking round with Molly the sun came out. Lots of the ice melted and you got ice showers under the trees. This was especially beautiful at the pond as the ice falling into the water made some interesting effects. Ice falling from tall trees made big plops, a bubble then appeared and a large ripple. Bushes made lots of ripples, each one breaking into another ones ripples. I stood and watched this for ages.

Only one painting managed today "Oh, Oh!!! We've Lost Our Numbers". You can see the basic drawing looks pants, with just the background done. It looks lots better with the colours and pen added. The main purpose of these is not to produce a masterpiece but to experiment with the colours, practice washes and brush handling.  Today I've been adding Paynes Grey to the colours. I like that colour.

More work on the allotment. I emptied the household waste bin, I always have a smaller compost bin for vegetable peelings etc.,  to which I add grass cuttings and some stable manure. This makes a worm collection site. They sit in there for about nine months, then I empty them onto the big compost heap.Hopefully they will now breed like mad and munch their way though the heap. Lots of people walking past for their after Sunday lunch stroll. Yeah they kept stopping to chat! So not much got done.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Painting Day 11 - A Quiet Day

Hooray a day that went as planned. Alarm clock worked, water was hot for my bath, washing machine worked, so did the dishwasher and Molly has been a good girl too.

So another trip to the farm to get a tarpaulin to protect my kitchen floor. Today I did the base coat on three mannequins.
What is the collective noun for mannequins? A fashion, a body, a corpse? Got any suggestions.

Today was turn over the compost heap. When I had my old dog Bud he did that for me. You only had to say "What's that?" and he would dig for ages. Molly is too much of a girl to do that job, so I get the task. Anyway it took me about 3/4 of an hour. The heap is big, really big, the bottom has really got going but edges and the top were not so good. A good turn over will start the breakdown process again and the heap should be nice and warm tomorrow. It does save a lot of pennies as I can use this instead of expensive peat based composts from the shops.

My painting today is one of my Mad Birds for my friend Mary. Its on a sheet that advertises a lot of songs. Mary is another artist and I met her on line in an art group called Loving Mixed Media. we get on really well and she has been a big support to me by buying my art and encouraging me. I hope she likes it and has a laugh at the lyrics and the Mad Birds antics.

I have finished the 2nd Mannequin, it's called "Little Princess, Look Up". Again its heavily influenced by Queen Victoria, many of the images come from a newspaper printed in the week she died in 1901. I have added a "silver spoon" as all little Princesses should have one, don't you think? Hope you like it I am very happy with this one. Now what shall I do for No.3? I have 1930-40 magazines and lots of Movie Star pictures that might look good.

Now I spoke too soon, I've just managed to knock over the tallest mannequin. Now she has a dent in her side and one of her boobs has gone concave. Oh well I'll just have to do some "filler" surgery on her tomorrow.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Missed a Day!!

OK I know I was not here yesterday. I had one of those days, firstly I managed to turn the alarm clock off, instead of putting it to snooze, so did not wake up till 9.30.

Then I went up to the farm to get the other mannequin, paint, Gesso and sundries to work on the mannequins. I put it al in the garden trolley and started off on the home journey. Did not get far when I hit a pot hole and gave the trolley a jolt. A few step later I noticed something white dripping onto my shoe. Yes the Gesso had tipped over and had leaked all over the farm yard. Plus I had lost about 1/2 the litre pot. Darn and its expensive too.

So back home I went to get a broom and watering can, to clear up the paint. Did you know how far paint + water goes. Well it's a long way. So by the time I had cleared up it was 1pm. Time for lunch.

Later i did manage to get the mannequin a bit further on and do some painting. Then I tried to use the new camera software and I guess I was tired because three times I took my pictures and managed to wipe them before I had saved them.

I think I was a real klutz yesterday.

Today has been better. Mannequin is in the last varnishing stages, so a couple of close-ups so you get a taster. I've done some more bird and cat work and hand coloured a very pretty sheet music front page. Also done some manure moving on the veg plot, dug a bit, helped load my friend Julia's car with logs and walked the dog.

Check out the middle dancing bird - look close - where's her bikini top? I love the cat that has fallen off his perch and is clinging on by his claws. Dangerous job starring in a picture.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Day 9 Painting - Contemporary Art Group

Well another busy day, so Molly and I were up early and out into another grey misty day, no rain thankfully. Then Molly is off to stay with my neighbour Barry and his greyhound Shifty, as I am off to my art group.

We meet up once a month to discuss the art we have been working on, show some off and learn a new skill or technique. Julie showed us  gesso onto calico, then we drew painted and doodled on this. Next time we will be making this into the cover of a mini book.

Much excitement as we have a new member big welcome to Eve, she's going to be a great new member as she's done lots of crafts and led workshops. This month she bought in Japanese stitched balls. Yes sounds weird but they were very lovely. I forgot to take a picture. Julie had finished her Valentines postcards and Linda had done some lovely machine embriodery. I am so pleased as I only gave Linda a very quick demo the other week and she's really got the hang of free embroidery on her machine. We all learn so much from each other and we don't charge either.

Now for some really exciting news, Cherry has got her own exhibition at a new gallery in Leigh on Sea. We are all going to the Open Day to meet the artist. How exciting is that for Cherry, she has worked so hard to promote her art. Well done Cherry!!!

Front view of the mannequin, this one has a mini skirt, neck ruff and shoulder epaulettes.  More to go yet but its coming together well. I've just walked up to the farm barn to get two more mannequins. One same size as this one, but with longer pole. Other is quite a bit larger. Then I have two more left, one female and one male. I only met one car on my return journey, its someone I know so no funny looks at the woman pushing mannequins in a garden centre trolley. They are used to me round here. I am working the picture from yesterday again, was not happy with that but too tired to finish it today.

Now I am bushed and am going to cook tea, Chinese Twice Cooked Pork with rice noodles and stir fry, homemade of course. Early bed for me.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Day 8 Painting & Molly-moaning -Mannequin update

OK lots going on here. Walk this am was miserable, wind, rain and cold. So Molly had to wear a coat. In fact she got me up, nagged to go on a walk, took one step out the door and then shot back in again. Only went out after having her coat put on and a small help from my foot up her bum. We made it to the allotment, where I dodged the rain to get a few snaps so you can see how I am getting on.

Then we walked to the farm, met Molly's friend Oscar the wire haired dachshund, turned round and came back home. It was then onto the daily painting, this is a copy of a front cover of a children's book, dating from 1950/60. Water colour with added Pitt pen on water colour paper.

Next job is to do some more on the mannequin. As I have to wait for the water colour to dry and I can't work the mannequin all at once, I am hopping between the two. Although I cut out lots of pictures and adverts, it always ends up with those not being quite right so I end up cutting more.

So pictures today are all relating to the above. Molly's added a comment. And I am liking the camera a bit more as I have found the button that lets me fiddle with the settings. I wish I knew why I hate to change my equipment. Oh yes I remember I have to work at learning it all over again. I think I must be like the rest of you and a bit lazy!

Did I mention that the allotment is 40 x 100 ft or thereabouts. All the left hand side is now in use. The right hand side is still in the throws of soil improvement and clearing soil of weeds. It's all hand dug now, when I first started on it 6 years ago I had my friend plough it. You could not get a spade in. Many times I have nearly given up as it is such hard work, but the vegetables taste great and you don't get anywhere with out hard work and determination.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Day 7 Painting

Busy, busy day its Monday coffee morning at the Baptist church so Molly and I head off for a 9.30 start. Brrrr cold today. That goes Ok we all have a chat and coffee/tea so off home at about 11.30.

Now I have lunch and finish the cats MEOWSIC art. then its off to the allotment for a huge bonfire, well its in two heaps. All the trees have been cut down behind my garage. No wind so its hard to get the fires going. lucky my friend Ann turns up and gives me a hand.

New software for the camera and its not so easy as my last Fuji one. I don't like the new camera.......... but it was a present and I have given my camera to my granddaughter. Shes doing a photography course at college and needed an upgrade. I have gone backwards to a point and shoot. I just have to save for another proper camera. I hate this camera. Oh did you get this I really hate this camera and the soft ware that comes with it. I'm never usually this ungrateful but when you have had a really good camera that you can alter all the settings on and it takes brilliant pictures this is really a big retro grade step. Now I know why my mate Linda wanted an upgrade so she could do a photography course.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Day 6 Painting a Day

So I am cheating as I have a visit from my son tomorrow, therefore putting up a post late Saturday. Listening to Geoff Barker, playing Rock'n'Roll. You can listen on BBC I player its on Radio Devon. I just love this new freedom to listen again without having to tape everything.

Todays Mad Birds have been "Wandering in the Woods". Some of them have joined in with the Rock'n'Roll. and are having a jive.

Also done a lot more to the new mannequin.Its now ready for the top decoration. Then I just have to find the right decorative bits to add on. I've cut out all the pictures, been a busy girl. 

Day 5 Painting a Day 2012

Well, those naughty Mad Birds have been fluttering round in the vintage music. Here they are singing a serenade.

Which one is singing flat??

Hand drawn, used water colour for the highlights. The music is part of a whole box full I bought at Boreham Boot Fair last year for a £10 note. I've used all these birds before, but they are so popular. And I just love them. I am sure you know some girls that wear their hearts on their sleeves?

Tomorrow if my lovely son has survived the man flu he is coming to fit my new computer. So I will have to be up bright and early if I am to keep up with my daily art.

Friday, 20 January 2012

It's either ALL or NOTHING

Darn why I have a personality that has an all or nothing setting. Ok I have not done any art for weeks, may be couple of months. Now I have ideas so several projects on the go.

Mirror finished , its 27x17 and mirror is 10 1/2 x 20 3/4, frame is deep 1/1/2 inches. So nice chunky mirror and very heavy.

Next project "Little Princess - Look Up" another mannequin. Wood is rubbed down, primed, black and metallic red create a pink shimmer. Now what will I decorate it with?

Day 3 Painting a Day AND What's on your window sill??

Brrrr bit cold and wet today. The trailer has gone back to the farm for a refill of the wonderful chicken manure :-))

Art is my own work today - that's better I can hear you yelling - A Mad Bird, drawn with Pit Pen and then water colour. Funny I'm nearly liking the water colours now.

Now honesty is required here, who lives in a neat house? Not me here's what's on my kitchen/diner window sill.

Some saved seeds, some commercial all going to be grown and used this year.

The contents of the window sill changes depending on what I am on at the moment. This year its been a display shelf for antique vases and ornaments, a book shelf to sort out the 200 books bought at auction and a display shelf for my art works. My neighbors always have a look whilst driving or walking past. Its a barometer of "What the Mar Bird is up to".

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Day 2

Its horrible when your ART MUSE deserts!!!

I am left with no inspiration, so copying is it for the moment. Had some spare time yesterday as planned visit with Granddaughter was cancelled  - she had to work. So did art instead.

!-2 Buckle is A4 size Clockwork mouse is 3 x 3 inches.

Up with the lark today so painting again. This one is a bit clumpy, not properly awake. Put a "pretend" frame on just for effect.

Then tempting you with some update on the mirror. It started off as plain mahogany and it has had acrylic paint, over gesso. I used gold, black and purple. I will varnish with yacht varnish today. Its just going to be plain so it should fit in a lot of settings. Will be selling this soon. I have another to try a different idea on.