About Me

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WELCOME to my little arty world! Trying to make art is a huge part of my life ... love nothing more than messing around with inks and sprays and generally making a mess!

Monday, 21 August 2017

We have a problem ...

The problem being I am everso slightly addicted to Powertex fossils!

Not a bad addiction to have I guess but as I type I have an idea for something quite random forming in my tiny wee brain so might see where that takes me and STEP AWAY from the fossils for a while

Can't think of a title for this one but might yet be inspired

Now, what was that I said?
Put the fossils down and WALK AWAY!!!!!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Never Say Never

Said I'd NEVER make any form of figurine and most definitely never an angel
but, hey-ho, having discovered Powertex and seen what can be done I quite suddenly had an image in my head
and knew I wanted to make an angel
but one with the most tattered, raggedy wings EVER

So booked myself and my Lil' Sis' onto one of Annette Smyth's workshops and came away with my tattered, raggedy winged angel

She evolved hugely over the workshop - she was going to be everso much more heavily clothed but whilst draping parts of Annette's gorgeous lace tablecloth - cut especially for me ... we looked at each other and thought she was fine just as she was

So simplicity rules and that left me free to go to town on her wings
which was always my aim

Can't thank Annette enough for her help with this one ... was not at my best on the day and had no idea AT ALL just how much work goes into these sculptures

But, I am so pleased with her
and as for saying "never" ...
what's next, I wonder?

Rocks of the Jurassic Kind

Rocks of the Jurassic kind ...
well, not really of course, but say anything with conviction and someone will believe you

Still rocking (see what I did there?!) my ammonite phase 
my first piece of this kind .. ie: not a canvas - so plenty of room for improvement
but it sure was fun and a desire to improve merely means you get another chance to play

Which I will just as soon as the old mojo kicks back in ... it's a bit intermittent as the journey along the path of grief takes its toll

Anyway, Powertex products ... fossils made using that air-dry paper clay stuff and one heck of a mess ... can't wait to do another!

Pausing The Past

Ok ... this one has my soul invested in it
Clearing the loft at daddy's we found the old tape recorder
not that I had ever forgotten it
I have had the smell of it in my head forever
and can clearly hear a little bit of our voices recorded on it
smells and sounds that have never left me

There is still a faint whiff of the smell there
but I did not want to hear the voices again
I know my voice is there but didn't want to risk hearing the voices of  
mommy & daddy
so I have used the tapes as they are - without playing them 
Pausing the Past .... get it ?

Huge dilemma about what to do with the machine
put it in our loft for the boys to deal with eventually?
send it to the charity shop where it would become just another item selling for a few pounds?
I couldn't bear to do that so took a deep breath and decided to make it into art and so preserve it
for my lifetime anyway

So here it is - a very fond memory from my childhood

I used just the top deck part and as many bits from inside as I could -but had to add some extra cogs as it was looking a bit bare

Then, of course, you paint it all black

I used only Finnabair's waxes for the colour and then dry-brushed the highlights with her acrylic paint

One slight change of mind along the way
painted the tape from it's original brown colour to black
didn't like it
so peeled some off the reels to paint it red
didn't like that either
so repainted it gold ... so now it looks like the original brown again
but with a bit of sparkle!

And then I finally felt it was finished ... know when to stop!

Very much The Past ... Paused

Stuff used:
Heavy Body Gel
Art Basics Heavy Black Gesso
Art Alchemy Opal Magic Wax : Green Brocade / Vintage Silk / Blue Velvet / Turquoise Satin
Art Alchemy Antique Brilliance Wax : Red Amber / Mystic Turquoise
Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint : Metallique Steampunk Copper / Ancient Coin

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Ammonite Circle

As soon as my new circular canvas boards arrived I kinda, sorta knew what I wanted to do with one of them

I wanted the open parts to look like cracks in the rock
It didn't really work but I am quite happy with it
and you don't hear me say that very often
(I can hear the thud of those who know me falling off their chairs from here!)

All done with Powertex (Lead & Ivory)  & the fossils were made with that air-dry paperclay stuff - I made up a whole 1kg block of ammonites so have plenty to play with

Colouring done with bisters & highlights with Finnabair's mica powders 
Texture added with mulberry fibres and artstones, texture powder and 3D Flex

Such a messy process ... but sure is fun!

Friday, 30 June 2017

System Breakdown v.2

This may well come back to bite my wonderfully supportive friend on her bum
but when she saw the original System Breakdown piece she exclaimed
"Don't forget it is my birthday in July.  I'd love one of these!"

Well, she was either being polite or did really like it
but either way one has just been delivered ready for her birthday on Sunday

Wouldn't mind having it back if she had just been too polite to say it was awful and what on earth was I thinking ... actually do enjoy making these and need an excuse now to do more

Anyway, left more of the keyboard exposed this time
rest pretty much the same

No skill involved ... just stick a ton of old computer parts down, spritz and spray with diluted mica powders, add Finnabair's magical rust paste here and there and you are done

Hardest part is getting the wording the right size for the stupidly small frame I decided to use - note to self: use larger frame next time!

This was the original one 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Rust does the blues

Finding I am having to force myself back into being arty since losing daddy
But forcing myself I am!

So, Rust Does The Blues
Get it?
Clever huh?
Does it need explaining as I am sure it only makes sense to my befuddled little grey cells?

The rust is obvious ... the blues a play on words representing my mood and the colour scheme
See, told you it was clever!

Anyway, I didn't want glitter or beads or stones on this one
I wanted the colours of the embellishments to tell the story
so just stuck them on as randomly as I could and let Finnabair's waxes colour them

The paintbrushes were thrown away by a chap who attended Finn's class down in Christchurch in Feburary ... when I heard they had been thrown away I gasped and the lady who had been sitting next to him rummaged through the bin to find them for me!  Thank you Carole Davis!

I didn't get the effect I wanted with the first layer of crackle paste
so thought "what the heck" and went for it with the copper crackle
talk about busy, busy, busy
but I kept Finnabair's quote firmly in my mind
"Minimalistic composition is not my cup of tea"
and figured I hit the brief with this one

 Products used:
 9" x 12" (23cm x 30cm) canvas
Old papers - no idea of brand or design
Graphite Pencil (yeah, honest!)

Art Extravagance Texture Paste:
Clear Crackle 
Copper Crackle

Prima / Finnabair Stencil : Dots & Stripes
Tim Holtz Stencil : Flourish

Lindy's Stamp Gang Spray : Afternoon Denim Delight

Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint : Midnight Sky

Art Alchemy Opal Magic Wax 
Blue Velvet
Vintage Silk

Art Alchemy Brilliance Wax : Mystic Turquoise

Art Alchemy Metallique Wax
Rich Copper
Vintage Gold

Think I might tone down the blue edge with black gesso but yet to decide

Friday, 16 June 2017

Powertex Ammonites

This is one of only two pieces I have managed to do since losing daddy
but oh, my, I sure did enjoy doing it

My new addiction is Powertex and it was just what I needed to get me through a couple of rotten days
I am a messy crafter but I even surprised myself with the mess I got into making this
All good fun though so not complaining

The large canvas was an old one my nephew was throwing out ... found it hard Powertex'ing over his artwork but it saved it from the dustbin!   
The little panel is a piece of fencing

Ammonites were made with paper clay - first time I have used the stuff but was pleased with the results and have since made, er, a few more fossils as I have had a couple of commissions for pieces like this.

In fact, I think my fingers might be starting to tingle right now and my mojo may be creeping back
Might just be time to get messy and see what happens!

Applied Creativity in 3 Acts

Well, to start with who would EVER have imagined I'd even consider attending an event like the
Applied Creativity in 3 Acts
retreat in Coventry over the weekend of 3-4th June?!?!?!?!?!

But, consider it I did and booked my place way back in November
Then, with everything that happened it seemed to come around very fast

Being fairly local I did not "retreat" as such but Phil dropped me off and then came back for me
VERY long days - had to be there for 8am and first day did not finish until 8.45pm
But my first day was shorter as I had a total meltdown after the second workshop when, for some reason, everything just quite suddenly became overwhelming and the grief hit hard
I was texting Phil in a panic but made the decision to get him to fetch me early as I did not want to disrupt the next workshop and make an even bigger idiot of myself

People were so, so kind
One friend I had met only once before but whom is a FB friend spotted me trying to hide my tears
Came over with a hug - she was my salvation that day
thank you Kassa Hayselden

I was gutted to be missing Marta Laprowska's workshop
An artist I have always wanted to meet

But meet her I did as she was coming into our room as I was scurrying out
I offered my profuse apologies and she just dropped everything she was doing to give me her time
A tiny wee very beautiful lady who just grabbed my bags - my very heavy bags - and walked me out and sat and chatted to me

She was amazing and every bit the person I always imagined her to be
She went above and beyond for me at that moment

The wait for Phil seemed forever - but was only about 40-45 minutes really
Another FB friend, but now very much a real life one too came and sat with me the whole time - Samantha Kingdon you are another amazing friend

The moment I got home I knew it was the right decision
Needed to gather myself together to go back for the second day
and go back I did!
This time planning on being more sensible - had only two small glasses of water the day before and only a very small lunch as I do struggle in that sort of situation.  I had no cakes or biscuits when they came around so was pretty much running on empty.  
The Sunday was different and when everyone else had cake, I had cake!

And I was determined to make it to the end as the last workshop was with Finnabair - the gorgeous Anna Dabrowska - someone who has become a friend
There was no way I was missing her class

We did three workshops each day and first up on Saturday was France Papillon - an artist new to me but whom I loved from the start

We had to lay an egg.
Well, pour plaster into a balloon and blow it up and keep turning it 
Alas, most of us ended up with saucers or pancakes but, oh the giggles we had!

France's second workshop was the circles project ... a technique based class that taught us so much.  


The dreaded P word came into use here
P = Pencil
P = Debbie having a meltdown
But I was there to learn so pick up that pencil I did
Yeah, right - now you see why I hate pencils!
(actually LOVE pencils to look at and stroke and sniff but not to use!)

Finnabair's workshops were a wooden panel using her signature style of a photograph and a ton of embellishments
Oh, and her new Impasto Paints
Get myself into a tizz when I hear the word paint ... am much more an ink girl myself
But, of course, her products are so, so amazing
And her encouragement and demo's and teaching is second to none
So I managed to work with paints

Second project was a journal cover - exactly what I love doing

Pushed myself hard with the colours in both of these using colours I would not normally choose
So that's pencils, paint and different colours ... any wonder I was so stressed!

Final two workshops were with Marta Laprowska ... the Discover piece was the class I missed so did it at home and  it is nowhere near what it should be - but done it is and on my wall

The Remember panel was a joy to do in a very, very different and a style new to me - very soft and pretty!  

On reflection it was a simply fabulous weekend and I am so pleased I took part - not bad for someone who barely left the house from 2008-2013 ... check out the photo' below and there I am sitting right in the middle (total fluke as the other groups came into our room for the group photo') surrounded by fellow artists some of whom had flown in from the USA, Sweden, Belgium, Holland as well as from all over the UK ... and I was there too!