Art Elements Theme Challenge – Foliage

Welcome the the September Art Elements theme challenge which is hosted this month by Caroline Dewison and the theme she chose is, very appropriately for the time of year, Foliage. Autumn is my favourite time of year so I love the gorgeous colours that it brings with it but leaves are wonderful at anytime since they have the ability to completely change the landscape.

The header photo for this post is a watercolour sketch I did a few months ago but it did inspire a new piece for this challenge. At the beginning of this month I was feeling a little off colour so spent a couple of days camped out on the sofa in front of the TV. I can never watch TV without having something to do with my hands so I found big A3 pad and started sketching out leaf shapes with the aim of completely filling the page. Once done I broke out my Inktense pencils and started filling in batches of leaves. Once each colour was done I painted on water to bring the ink to life which is a lot less messy (and safer) than trying to use watercolour paints whilst sat on a sofa.

I continued using different colour combinations until the page was completely full and then embellished each leaf using Posca paint pens and Gel pens.

It’s a very simple process but effective and very therapeutic if you’re not feeling one hundred percent but need some sort of distraction.

Next up I did some very simple layered water colour pieces with stylised foliage motifs, again using paint pens. I often do these simple design as a way to warm up before a painting session or if I’m stuck for ideas and just need to get in the flow.

Later in the month I was feeling the urge to do some bead embroidery…it’s been a while and leaves throw up plenty of ideas. I found a large teardrop Labrodorite cabochon with gorgeous flashes and inclusions and dug out some beads to complement and enhance it. I kept the design very simple so as not to detract from the stone and I love the way it turned out.

However, once finished I did realise that the veins are actually running the wrong way, not that it matters but I decided to do a second one just to calm my pedantic brain. This time I used an asymmetric oval Jasper cabochon and more earthy tone which I really like – although I can’t help thinking it looks like a turtle or tortoise!

Then I got my sewing kit out planning to do some embroidered foliage but as you may have seen from my post earlier this week, I couldn’t make my mind up what to do. In the end I decided to stitch some samplers on Khadi paper just to play around with stitches that could give a foliage effect. If you’d like to see all the ideas I had check out the post here.

I never actually got around to transferring these to a final piece but I did finish up having a little play with some printed Khadi paper I found while rummaging.

I was just interested to see what could be done with the paper so I stitched motifs resembling the design and it held up really well. I really enjoyed stitching with paper…it kept me more loose in my approach and I may explore stitching with different materials in the future.

So thats me for this month. Many thanks to Caroline for choosing such an inspiring theme and please now join in with our blog hop to see what all the other participants have created.

Art Elements Team

Lesley  you are here

Susan 

Marsha  

Claire  

Cathy 

Jenny  

Niky  

Caroline

Guests

Dawn  

Hope  

Alison  

Beth & Evie  

Laurie  

Kathy  

Linda 

Sarajo  

Michelle 

Tammy  

Divya  

Karen  

Alysen  

Mary  

Cat  

Jill  

Sarah

Anita

Art Elements Theme Challenge – Flowers

Well this year is certainly flying by at a high speed and here we are with another Art Element theme challenge reveal – the theme is flowers and is hosted by the lovely Marsha Neal. Now I love flowers and had all sorts of ideas to interpret the theme in a range of media. Sadly however, life intervened and other things cropped up to rob me of the time needed so my offerings this month are limited to painted pieces.

In my regular post earlier this month I went through some different ways you could create quick and effective floral paintings and if you missed that you can find it here.

Following are the pieces that I’ve created since then and as you can see I go for an abstracted or stylised approach. The first piece shows one of my favourite techniques of allowing the paint to run to create elements of the painting.

Water Colour and Posca Pens.

I was feeling the need for some colour and vibrancy with this one.

Water Colour, Posca pens and Graphik Fine Liner

This piece was an experiment in a loose approach using spattered acrylic ink spattered on the paper and then drawn with a wooden skewer dipped in the ink.

Acrylic ink

I was feeling a bit stressed when I did this last piece and it became very meditative with the repetitive motif helping me to relax and ground myself – I love that about painting.

Water Colour, Posca Pens and Graphic Fine Liner

Many thanks to Marsha for choosing and hosting this theme – I’m sure I’ll continue working on this subject matter for a long time to come. Please join us on our blog hop using the links below to see what the other participants have created.

Guests
Alysen
Cat
Divya
Evie and Beth
Jill
Hope
Kathy
Linda
Louise
Martha
Melissa
Michelle
Rozantia
Sarah
Sarajo
Tammy

Art Elements Team
Caroline
Cathy
Claire
Jenny
Laney
Lesley
Marsha
Susan

Art Elements Theme Challenge Reveal – Forest

Hello and welcome to this month’s Art Elements Forest theme challenge reveal hosted by Susan Kennedy. I love forest and woodland and have a small one right on my doorstep so this challenge was a great inspiration for me.

The first piece I set to work on was actually a textile project I began a few years ago but got distracted from.

As you can see half the tree is missing its branches so I set about rectifying that and also adding some embroidered leaves to the canopy for extra interest.

Then comes the tricky bit…this piece is designed to be a cutwork project with the majority of the tree trunks being worked away from the fabric so that the background can be cut away. It’s the first time I’ve done this and it’s a little nerve-wracking as you have to cut as close to the stitching as you can but being careful not to snip a stitch. Oh well…nothing ventured nothing gained…

Phew – I managed to keep it one piece! At this point I came to stop because I haven’t yet decided how I want to complete the piece. I could just have a simple contrasting background in the cutaway but that doesn’t seem very exciting. I did play around with greetings card I found with a photograph of some trees and quite liked the effect that gave…

I’m thinking maybe I could paint something similar as a background but it will need some experimentation to see what works and I didn’t want to rush it so I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Next I moved on to watercolour painting. You may have seen some work I’ve been doing lately inspired by some online courses I’ve been taking with Australian artist Laura Horn. One of the techniques she teaches is making these lovely trees with drippy trunks that she discovered through a happy accident.

As soon as Susan mentioned forests this technique popped into my head and I thought that by adding a lot more of the trees I might be able to get a more heavily wooded effect. I set about adding lots of layered shapes in autumnal shades allowing each one to drip gradually moving down the page.

Once that was done I added lots of varied detail using Posca paint pens in black, white and gold.

I quite liked this piece but the white space was niggling at me a bit so I had a play about with cropping and image and matting it in Picmonkey and I much prefer this version. I think cutting out the white space gives it a much denser feel.

I really enjoy the process of painting like this so I did another version in a green palette…

I also did a couple of quicker studies in my sketch book but I left the drips out of these simply because they take time to do and dry. The sketches were fun to do but I prefer seeing the shadow of the trunks in the background as again it gives more depth. I think there will be more of these to come as they’re very therapeutic to paint.

My final piece is a very quick bracelet I put together after clearing out my studio and coming across a set of ceramic beads by Tracey Seder Donoughe that reminded be of the textures and colours of tree bark. I dug through my stash and found a polymer clay heart focal with tree rings by Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio and an electroplated ceramic acorn by our own Caroline Dewison. A Tierra Cast tree of life button made a perfect fastener and with the whole thing strung on waxed linen with copper accent beads, there you have a bracelet in my favourite earthy tones.


So those are my offerings for the month and I hope you enjoyed them. Many thanks to Susan for this inspirational theme and I home you will join me and visit the other participants using the links below.

Guests

Alysen

Divya

Evie & Beth

Hope

Louise

Michelle

Sarah

Tammy

AE Team

Caroline

Cathy

Claire

Laney

Lesley

Niky

Sue

Art Elements November Theme Challenge – Stars

So this month the Art Elements challenge theme was picked by Laney and she plumped for Stars – very fortuitous for me. Around this time of year I usually make some bead embroidered Christmas ornaments for friends and family and since stars are a traditional festive icon I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

The ornaments are all designed around my own ceramic cabochons with bead palettes picked to match. So my post is very short on words this month but hopefully the pretty pictures make up for that…please enjoy!

Many thanks to Laney for picking a theme that kick-started me into starting my festive projects. To see what the rest of the participants have created for the theme please join our blog hop using the link below.

Guests
Art Elements Team

Art Elements July Theme Challenge Reveal – Seed Pods

This months Art Elements design challenge is hosted by the lovely Jennifer Cameron and for her theme she chose seed pods. I’ve used these as inspiration for my work a number of times in the past and I started off with an array of ideas for projects in various mediums. However, for one reason or another I’ve  been in a particularly uncreative frame of mind this month. Heatwaves are not helpful as the hotter it gets the slower I go eventually grinding to a halt altogether. Anyway, to cut a long story short I got to this past weekend with nothing sorted so I had to curb my ambitions and cut my cloth accordingly…or rather my polymer clay as that’s what I decided to go with. Continue reading “Art Elements July Theme Challenge Reveal – Seed Pods”

Art Elements June theme Challenge Reveal – Sunflowers

So another month quietly and swiftly slips by and once more it’s time for a reveal for the latest Art Elements theme challenge hosted this month by Sue Kennedy. Sue chose sunflowers as her theme and these bright and bold beauties turned out to be the perfect pick for the heatwave we’re currently experiencing in the UK…no room for delicate blooms here right now! Continue reading “Art Elements June theme Challenge Reveal – Sunflowers”

Art Elements May Theme Challenge Reveal – Tide Pools

Well 2018 is certainly racing away with itself and here we are at the end of May already and that means it’s time for another Art Elements theme challenge.

I have the privilege of hosting this month’s challenge and when I decided on Tide Pools as the theme I had an image in my head of a big textile piece full of colour and texture and covered in lots of beach finds. Then I blinked and found myself left with only two days before the reveal and nothing started yet…why does life do that so often? It can’t be anything to do with my (lack of) organisation can it. Anyway, I had to downscale my plans and started by pulling out art beads and looking for anything suitable for the subject. I could have spent half a day on this but since after just five minutes I had a tray full I decided it was probably best to stop there. Continue reading “Art Elements May Theme Challenge Reveal – Tide Pools”

Art Elements Theme Challenge – Horses.

It’s Challenge time again over at Art Elements and this month Jenny hosted the challenge and picked Horses as here theme. As soon as this theme came up I knew exactly what my them was going to be – The White Horse of Uffington. Continue reading “Art Elements Theme Challenge – Horses.”

Art Elements Component of the Month – August Reveal

Well that’s it then…summer (such as it was) is all but gone and Autumn is ready to take the over the reins. August has been a manic month devoted almost totally to shows and unfortunately left me very short of time to do anything else including create something epic with these wonderful lustre glazed star beads that Caroline so kindly created for us. So my post this month is a very flimsy work in progress. I hope to work on my piece in the next month although that to is dedicated to shows… no peace for the wicked! Continue reading “Art Elements Component of the Month – August Reveal”

Turning Tides – Art Elements Design Challenge

I swear someone is stealing days from the months…I can’t believe it’s time for another Component of the Month design challenge reveal already! But it is and the pretties we were give to play with this month come in the form of these gorgeous lampwork focals by Jen Cameron. True to form I forgot to photograph my particular bead but it looks similar to the one back left in this image. Continue reading “Turning Tides – Art Elements Design Challenge”