I’ve been having a love affair with magazines for years! And this is a problem when you live in one room and can’t be parted with them. When I was little I would even make my own magazines, although I spent so long on one I don’t think I really let anyone else have it.
Embroidering has become my newest craft obsession of late and I’ve been sketching ideas down before I begin them on the hoop. I’m really pleased with this bird and tea cup I’ve just finished – I made it for a friend and I know she will be delighted! I even covered the back with some felt to give it a nice finish.
I love embroidery hoop wall art and when I saw a small hoop in a new craft shop near me, the thought of making one burst into my brain! I wasn’t really sure what to make so just ended up using some material I had left and some cute beads, this fabric dragonfly and star.
I quite like it. I used to do a lot more sewing and things with textiles. I picked up Mollie Makes but also heard about this new magazine called Hoop-La! which is already too cute, so I got that too. Going to start some more hoops soon, I can’t wait! I also got some fabric quarters and am going to try a fabric paint and this wooden stamp for a new cushion. I really have so many projects fighting there way out my mind!!! It’s getting crazy in there!
Being a visual creature, I love to take pictures with my phone all the time, and also of my art and life generally. I love to share things as well, one of the main reasons for this blog, especially if it caught my eye. So many things do during the day!
In the last few years I’ve become interested in taking pictures of wildlife and nature, although my digital camera started to go wrong, so I am planning on getting a new compact soon. Excited!
I work in a technical support department and, to my surprise, I’ve found I have a natural aptitude and interest in technology. I am interested in the ways we use technology and how it can improve our lives, the way we connect and express ourselves, and also how we create art. I bought The Busy Girl’s Guide to Digital Photography which is really useful for anyone interested in getting to grips with their camera but is probably more interested in the pictures than the technician side. You do need to understand the basics so you can get the most out of your photography, which is why I decided to get the book. But I can’t wait to start taking pictures! And it is Spring, early Summer so there are going to be a lot of opportunities for wildlife.
Giving myself the chance to slow down and read about something before diving head first is a challenge, I get frustrated with not being able to do something straight away. Yet I want photography to be a new hobby and add a rich perspective to my creative outlets. I really believe trying new ways of being creative and enriching your life feeds back into your main passions, whatever it may be. You gain a new way of seeing, new inspirations and is one of the best ways to channel creative blocks. In a way, photography also fits well with my other interests, such as my blog and website, journaling, mixed media and a cataloging of life events. I’m exploring something cool I knew I would like, I just need to process the materials and tools first. It will be worth it in the end!
A page I have been working on over the last few days. I wanted to try different things out in this smaller art journal and with a pink page, thought a girl’s face would work. I added the leaf punches and pictures of sweets half way through the doodle to give it a different affect, and the doodles coming from her head made me think of a mind open to ideas.
Writing a little about colour in art in my last blog started me thinking about key elements in my art and one that is significant yet maybe not so obvious is composition.
I’ve always seemed to have a good eye for composition – the way things fit together on a page or canvas, creating patterns with my wall collages. I have tended to see the piece as a whole before it is complete and remember at school in art class other students would do tiny drawings that floated in a white abyss of an A3 sketchbook. I would make sure every inch of my sketchbook was covered!
The way something is placed has always been central to my paintings and more recently in my crafting and altered art. Where a figure or central point is in relation to the background, foreground and other images in the painting is what brings the piece together as a whole. Otherwise it would look a mess. At the same time, I like to put a twist on certain ideas relating to the rules of painting and bring a different perspective to my art. This could be having the focus of the piece off centre, like this painting below.
The fuzzy creature is the central point, but off to the left and the table is off to the right. Yet these elements and the tree in the background balance out the composition and it works well as a painting.
Another example is also with my altered notebook:
The background paper unifies the front cover, allowing a free approach to where I place embellishments. Yet having the large white flower on the bottom right meant using a different element to give the overall picture balance.
I’ve been meaning to write another blog about inspiration and ideas for a while, but what will my messed up teeth making me feel like a gross, half dead alien-zombie, work, and wanting to do my art projects, it got pushed to the back of my mind. But now it is the weekend so I have more time! (I’m also feeling much better thanks to drugs.)
I decided to start an art journal this Summer, but unlike a sketchbook, I would be able to take this around in my bag and just draw whenever I had time and whatever came to mind. I’ve been a bit bad with it recently but I thought just using it as a kind of visual diary would be valuable for a number of reasons.
The first reason was changing how I think about my own art and being more spontaneous. Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in ‘creating real art’ and my critical mind blocks me to the point where I can’t even start. Approaching my drawings with a carefree mindset helps shed that negative, critical block, so I can put down whatever I like and come back to it later to think about what I had done.
The second reason was to get my thoughts down in a more creative way, and firing up my imagination for new projects and ideas. It was also a way to see where my thoughts were at a certain point and see any patterns or themes. This is a good self-reflect exercise, as afterwards when I look through my journal I can see where my strengths lie and where I may become stuck with the same ideas and imagery.
I’ve found the most significant reason for starting an art journal was the calmness it has generated in my life, finding a focus through the process of marking a page and not worrying about the outcome. Even some doodles or a pencil sketch is very therapeutic, bringing me back to the reasons I love to make art and why it gives me such fulfilment. I am a true advocote of the healing powers and self esteem creativity can bring.