Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Artist at work

We let Anya loose with a paint brush last night and I got it all on tape! I tried to embed the video from youtube into this post but it's not working so if you want to see it please click the link instead -

Monday, October 30, 2006

Illustration Friday - Wind

Both my kids love being outdoors but Anya especially loves the wind. When we visited Ely at the weekend we spent a good half an hour in the grounds of the cathedral while she ran around like a looney, (anyone who knows the area will know that Ely is a great place for wind) shaking her hair, arms outstretched embracing the wind and rolling around on the ground like a leaf. I've tried to capture the essence of it with my new found drawing skills but it doesn't really do it justice. Children are so carefree, shame they have to grow up.

Flying by

That's another half term been and gone, too quick as always but I feel rested and spurred on after my spell in the doldrums. Autumn, like Spring, seems to refresh me and I enjoy the change in the weather and the smells and the colours that come with it, and the promise of Christmas just around the corner. This usually starts in September when school goes back, there's that familiar chill in the air and a sense of nostalgia from when I was a child. But it was late this year with the milder weather and I have been unsettled and lost my way somewhere. But everything seem to snap back into place last week, all of us were home at the same time for a whole 7 days (a rare occurrence) and we made a conscious decision to do as little as possible and just enjoy being a family. We did visit friends in Ely (where the photo is from) and grandma and grandad made a surprise trip up to see us and I tried to make the effort to spend quality time with Kamal. As adorable as Anya is she takes up so much time and attention and I have to remember that Kamal is used to having me all to himself and needs me too. He's going to be 8 at Christmas so not much time left before he disappears into his bedroom and never comes out!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Sarah over at Rustic Relics has been having a go at one line drawings, something I've never tried before and it's quite a good exercise in letting go for a control freak like myself - you can't take the pen off the paper until it's finished so there's no correcting mistakes - try it!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Busy busy

Sorry if I've been a bit quiet lately, I got hit by a virus last week that laid me up for 2 days, which in a strange way did me some good (not working for 2 days that is, not being ill) as I spent it reading magazines and doodling and lots of other stuff that I have been meaning to do for ages. I'm not really the lying in bed type so this for me was a badly needed rest, mentally and physically. I've been trying to work out which direction I am going in, things have been getting really muddled again, too many ideas and not enough focus. So focus is what I am trying to do. I know I need to draw more and use collage in a more unique way and develop my own personal style so I have got my sketch book out again and I'm doodling. Trying to get the brain stimulated. Stop being afraid of my own crapness. And yesterday, thanks to my other half being home this week (it's half term so we are all home together!) he took the kids out of my hair for the morning so I could actually concentrate without any interruptions, time like that is rare these days. I've been wanting to work on textures and patterns for collage backgounds for a while now and spent sometime yesterday working out how to do it on PS but realised it was a bit flat for the look I wanted so got the paints out and messed around on paper instead. I think a combination of the 2 techniques is where I'm heading. It'll be interesting to see where I end up with this, I'm not really sure myself!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Past and present

If you are as interested in history and timelines as me at the mo here are two things worth a look History Matters and the BBC family history photo gallery. The national trust's History Matters asks you to write about a day in your life (if you live in the UK) to record and keep for future generations, the BBC gallery shows photos the public have submitted of their family from wartime and before. Absolutely fascinating.

Illustration Friday - Ghost

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More young talent

No, this isn't mine, Kamal was watching me make my Trouble illustration and asked me to show him how I did it. Then he had a go with no help from me - pretty cool eh!? He's posted it on his blog too if you'd like to leave him a comment or two ;0)

World in a box

Well my first craft session went well last Saturday, so well in fact I don't really think I was even needed! We decided to do a world in a box, and the kids got into it right away with beautiful results!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Back to school

I've been giving art lessons to Kamal and his friend Patrick and this week I decided to try a still life, something I know the boys haven't done before and something I haven't done since school. Patrick brought along a brand new set of Caran D'ache watercolour pencils he'd been given and although I've got the neo set, these were new to me and I think I will be getting some of my own. They are so easy to use and the colours so rich and vibrant - yum!! I'm not sure who got more out of the lesson this week, Patrick or me. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph Patrick's masterpiece before he left but you can see Kamal's on his blog.

Tomorrow (Friday) Kamal and I are going to see the exhibition we are both in for artistic families and Saturday we are doing the first craft workshop for the local kids in the next village I mentioned the other week so we have a fun weekend ahead. Working with children is so enjoyable and fulfilling and although I have no desire to be a teacher fulltime I am thinking about looking into the art therapy side of things. Learning for little ones is so intrinsically linked to art and creativity in general and can help them develop in so many different ways, also I was talking to another artist who teaches a 90 year old woman with short term memory loss and when she starts painting it seems to unlock part of her memory and she recalls parts of her life which she had otherwise forgotten. I find this really fascinating and I really feel it might be time to learn a bit more about it and put my own abilities to some practical use. How or what I haven't figured out yet but it will be an interesting journey.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - daily photo project

Um tricky one this, my camera and I do not have a very good relationship. I think I am still skinny and 22 and pale and interesting whereas my camera tells me otherwise, I have 12 years worth of additional lines, bags under the eyes and excess puffyness from 2 pregnancies. I am 34, tired and uninteresting. Don't get me wrong, I don't suffer from self loathing or anything like that, in fact I am happier in my skin now than I was ever was at 22, and I hated having my photo taken then. I just don't take a good picture and don't see the need to inflict it onto anyone else (ok, I admit it, I'm shy, self conscious and a tiny bit vain). So I bleached out the photos in the computer to remove the wear and tear from my features, printed it out and transfered them onto a board with my favourite matt medium and added a few little collaged embellishments. I'm not sure what I make of the end results or what I've gained out of it, other than telling myself to eat more greens and drink more water. As this project was inspired by a video of a guy who had taken a photo of himself every day for 6 years which I found totally captivating, 6 days doesn't really have the same impact. I will have a think - this is something I might come back to...

See the Inspire Me Thursday site to see the video and more

Illustration Friday - Quiet

'Quiet Contemplation'

Mixed media on canvas 16 x 20 inches

Monday, October 02, 2006


Kamal and I have been invited to show a couple of pics at an exhibition for artistic families by fellow COS member Sue Kafka-Ellis this coming weekend. I framed 2 of Kamal's pieces and they look great! I don't think he's quite taken in that is his work is going to be shown alongside those of real artists - as for me, I'm just a very proud mum!