Friday, 25 March 2016

My Tree

Hi Everyone,

This week, I managed to catch up on another bonus lesson from week 7 of Life Book 2016 - The Art of Black & White with the legendary Donna Downey. Donna encouraged us to experiment with using only black, white and shades of grey to make a picture.

There is a tree in my garden, just outside my workroom window. I love trees, and I really enjoy watching this one in particular as it changes through the seasons. In the summer, it provides a shady canopy to sit under, throwing dappled sunlight onto the seat below. At the moment, it's still bare of leaves, but its bark is a beautiful silvery colour, with moss and lichen growing on it in places.

It was quite a challenge to use only black/white/grey but I really enjoyed working on this and eventually I was very happy with the result ...


 I started with a rough pencil sketch, then outlined with Inktense water soluble pencil and used a watery brush over the lines to start adding some shading. It was too cold to sit outside and work from life, so I took a photo to help me ...

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

WOYWW #355

Hi Everyone,

I've been AWOL for a couple of weeks - other more pressing stuff going on - but I missed my weekly WOYWWing! Check out Julia's Stamping Ground to find out what I'm on about and join in with the desking fun :o)

So here's my workdesk today ...


L-R you can see my ancient set of Wispa pens, then my second attempt at Five Minute Flowers, then a little pile of cigar boxes which are going to be transformed into something gorgeous, then a box of 500 deli papers which just arrived in the post from Amazon - haven't quite decided what to do with them yet!

Here's a closer look at my Five Minute Flowers ...


(they took about twenty minutes this time so I'm getting there!)

I've been watching some YouTube videos for inspiration about upcycling cigar boxes and I really want to make a little chest of drawers, so I just needed one more box and my lovely husband brought this one home for me ...


Isn't it lovely?! It's so beautifully made, and I can keep my pencils and stuff in all those little compartments. Can't wait to get cracking on it :o)

Right now, though, I'm off to Julia's to see what everyone else has been up to - see you there!

Thanks for popping in today, have fun with whatever is on YOUR workdesk today :o)

Annie xxx



Monday, 21 March 2016

The Simple Things

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes the simple things are just the best, aren't they? The bonus lesson for week twelve of Life Book 2016 was a perfect example of this - lovely lovely Angela Kennedy showed us an amazing technique which uses just a black water soluble pencil and a watery brush to create a picture, then some chalky pastel to add just a touch of colour.

Here's my version ...


The whole process was SO relaxing and totally absorbing - reminded me a bit of those "magic painting" books we used to have years ago :o) Do they still make those?

Starting with an Inktense pencil, it only took about half an hour to get to this point ...


I used chalks instead of pastels on the face because that's what I had available, then some Distress Inks to add colour to the background. I wasn't happy with the nose, so went in with Prismacolour pencils to add some more shading and also some detail to the eyes. Finally, I used the same Inktense pencil for the blossoms, adding colour with a Wispa pen and watery brush.

Aaaaaahhhh! that was fun :o) This technique is definitely one I will come back to, it's just so relaxing. But right now, there is another Life Book lesson waiting to be savoured .... :o)

Thanks for visiting my today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx



Monday, 14 March 2016

Always Dream In Colours

Hi Everyone,

I've been catching up on one of the bonus lessons from Week Seven of Life Book 2016, in which the lovely Tam showed us how to do an image transfer with acrylic medium and then have fun with collage and various media to create our own personal "affirmation board". I decided to focus on a couple of things which are really important to me at the moment and I tried to give my painting a dream-like quality ...


I started with a photo of myself printed onto ordinary copy paper. The transfer process was not a complete success ...

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Voyage of Discovery

Hi Everyone,

We're in week ten of Life Book 2016 - how the time is flying! Every week I'm learning so much from this amazing experience. Life Book is an online mixed media art course put together by Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts. At the end of the year, Tam is going to show us how to put all the pieces we've made together into a book - I already love how my colourful pile of pages is growing.

This week,  we had a lesson with the wonderful Mary Beth Shaw, who gave us several fun and useful techniques and ideas to try. Here's a peek at part of my final result (although as always, I'm trying to tell myself that it's the learning process which is important, not the end result!) ...


We started by covering the page with pieces of old book paper (Mary Beth had some great tips on how to do this), then gessoed over it, looking for words which "spoke" to us in some way, and leaving those areas exposed. This was a really absorbing and meditative process and I was amazed at some of the words and phrases which came up for me from these random pieces of text. I wish I had taken a picture at that stage, but I was so immersed in the process that I forgot!

Then, Mary showed us how to use stencils, sponges and brushes to build up layers of paint, adding collaged pieces to create a pleasing background with some areas for writing in. Mine went through a couple of "yukky" stages, but I persevered, and got to a point where I was quite happy with it ...

Friday, 4 March 2016

Five Minute Flowers

Hi Everyone,

The bonus lesson for Week 9 of Life Book 2016 was a real eye opener for me. The lovely Martha Lever showed us how to create fabulous flowers in just five minutes, using watercolour paints with a big fat brush and then refining with a fine black pen.

Now, flowers are really "not my thing", but I really did enjoy the process and will definitely be giving it another go very soon. Here's my version ...


Admittedly, I probably took more like an hour to finish these four, but it was so absorbing, and kind of liberating, just letting the watercolour paint do its thing and seeing what would happen. Now I want to try another one in different colours and on a bigger scale I think - and next time I will give myself ten minutes start to finish!

Signing up for Life Book was one of the best decisions I ever made, I am learning so much from all the different teachers and can't wait to see what next week brings :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday #352

Hi Everyone,

What a chilly day it is today - we have an east wind blowing here in Norfolk. Perfect day to stay indoors, show the world what's on my workdesk and have a little snout at what everyone else has been up to - hop over to Julia's Stamping Ground if you fancy joining in!

My desk is an absolute disgrace today, I should be far too embarrassed to share it really, but hey! we're among friends and fellow Deskers and I know they will understand how it gets. So, without further ado, here it is ...


... and you should see the rest of the room - this is the tidy part! :o)

But ooooh look at those gorgeous Caspari napkins and butterfly diecuts which arrived in the post from Amazon yesterday - I actually dribbled a bit when I was opening them ...