Friday, January 31

Midsummer Nights Watercolour Landscape Painting

I created this watercolour painting, "Midsummer Nights", based on the inspiration of Botticelli's painting, "Primavera"

I just loved the dark background of the tree foliage, with the brighter fruits in them. And then, all the ferns growing at the bottom - a sure sign of an abundant and thriving little forest. I've been starting to get a little stir-crazy with all the snow keeping us; and this painting was just so refreshing.

My painting developed into a sort of evening scene, with the little white speckles in the trees looking like a beautiful clear night. Sometimes inspiration gives you a little nudge, and then you jump into the rest yourself and create a unique piece that no one would even think was inspired by something else. 

You don't even need to be inspired by the entirety of the painting - I didn't even really notice the figures, or hold them in thought when I saw it. It was the lush trees that made my mind click and start painting. As you can see, my sketches aren't really detailed, and are more writing than anything. It's actual quite rare for me to sketch one of my watercolour paintings before beginning - usually I just dive right in. Every now and then I'll brainstorm in my sketchbook; but that's not too often either. I use it for planing very technical paintings, or working out ideas, especially for commissions. 
"Midsummer Nights" - Original watercolour painting
 Midsummer Nights is available in my online shop. The painting posted earlier this week, "Snowy Evening" is now available as a print, as the original painting sold right away.

Thursday, January 30

Art Journal: Soar Everyday

Today I'm sharing a spread in my art journal. One of my goals this year, was to work in my art journal on a weekly basis. With all the snow I've been super creative...I even have some watercolour paintings to share with you either this or next week! Gotta love being snowed in!

My inspiration for this art journal page was the Unity Stamp Co. {Be Inspired} Challenge. I used the colour scheme provided, and the pots of flowers made me think of spring, and spring made me think of butterflies! I used the Unity stamps, "I. Kat Love", "Live What You Love" and the lace stamp from the 4/13 SMAK kit.

It's not a typically, super bright and colourful 'spring journal spread'. I really wanted to use the neutral greys provided in the challenge, as I don't very often, and those toned it down a lot.

Materials used: Clear gesso, Pan Pastels, Gel Medium, Gelli Plate, Stencils, Acrylic Paint, Spray Inks, Scrapbooking paper, Coffee filters, stamps, ink, word / letter stickers.

Wednesday, January 29

Snowy Evening Watercolour Painting

Today I'm sharing with you my most recent watercolour painting, "Snowy Evening". I was inspired by the way the snow looks at night, illuminating the sky as all the lights on the street try to peak through the cold haze.

I really wanted to combine vibrant colours to create a winter themed painting. Too often, they are just cooler colours, such as blues, green and neutrals. By approaching it a little differently, I could appropriately incorporate a rainbow of colours, while still giving the sense of winter and also the sense of warm coziness.

Above is out lilac tree, which I used as reference for the tree portion of the painting - branches overly draped with fluffy snow.

"Snowy Evening" - Original Watercolour, 9x12"
This painting is available in my online shop. Happy day!

Tuesday, January 28

A Big Yawn

I love that I caught this yawn from the furry beast. It was just too cute flipping through the photos :)

Cozy Inside

Winter has not let up once this week yet. I am grateful that we have somewhere warm to sit all cozied up, and lots of coffee and tea in our cupboards to sip on. Maybe finish the Star Wars marathon that we had started - extended and on blue-ray? Or watch the next Disney movie? (We are trying to watch all of the Disney movies, we just finished The Little Mermaid).... or maybe do one of both? All I know is that we won't be going very far outside our house....

Monday, January 27

Mixed Media Valentine Garland

I'm super excited to be sharing with you my first instructional video! I thought I would keep it easy - being new to video editing and the whole teaching-via-video-process. So today, I bring you my Mixed Media Valentine Garland, via video :D I hope you all enjoy it :)

The best part about this project, is that as long as you have the coffee filters - it doesn't matter how, or with what, you design them. Basically: colour the filters, glue them together with a clear medium (ex. mod podge or gel medium), let dry, cut out hearts - or any shape, and string together! Ta-da! Instant mixed media garland goodness!

Please excuse my "bare" window...we haven't gotten to putting up many curtains yet in our new house...still
planning the decor for this room before we hang things up :)

Materials (note you do not have to use all of these, it's just what I had around to grab and use):
*Coffee Filters
*Faber-Castell PITT Big Brush Pens
*Letraset Auqamarkers
*Spray inks
*Gelli printing plate
*Acrylic craft paint
*Catalyst wedges
*Big bubble wrap
*Black pen
*Mod podge
*Workable fixative
*Baker's twine
*Ink pads
*Wax paper
*Small hole-punch


1. Take out your coffee filters and flatten as many as you think you'll need. You will be able to make two hearts per filter. I used 6 filters, for 12 hearts.

2. Start decorating them with your colourful materials. My order was : markers, spray inks, gelli printing, pen, stamps and then more paint. Let these dry.

3. Once dry, fold in half to make a crease. Working on top of wax paper, mod podge the halves together, and then proceed to mod podge the top. When that is dry, flip the coffee filter around and mod podge the back. Let dry completely. Depending on what clear medium you used, it may feel sticky - spraying a light coating of workable fixative helps with that. Be sure to do so in a well ventilated area.

4. Next we're going to cut out our hearts! I fold the half filters in half once, and then twice. On the folded side I cut a half heart. This gives me two full hearts when unfolded. I continue to cut all the filters, using a previously cut heart as a guide to ensure they're all similar. Or create some drama making all the hearts different!

5. Next use a hole-punch to punch along the tops, and string your baker's twine or ribbon through.

6. Hang up your garland in front of the window to fully enjoy all of it's beautiful colours and translucency! :)

You can use this technique to create fun, every day garlands too! Just have fun with the colourful materials you have on hand. This is a perfect project for little hands too: get them to decorate the filters, and then you assemble their creations.

Sunday, January 26

Lovely Sunday Painting

We got snowed in, again this weekend. I was supposed to work nights, but with the roads all being unremarkable horrible - not to mention officially closed - I ended up staying put right inside. For the days that I was watching the weather and the roads, with hopes that it would clear up, I was not productive at all. My mind was occupied on checking the winter road reports every 15 minutes, and no creative thoughts were had. I did manage to clean up my studio with hopes that I would then get creative, but alas I was not.

Now, Sunday morning - I do not have to worry what it is like, and Mr. Winter can snow and blow to his hearts content; I don't have to be at work. Just having that relief, and my mind quieting from the worry, I was able to get into my art again - not to mention also having a nice and clean art studio :) I'm currently working on a watercolour, inspired by a classical painting - and experimenting with my watercolours a little bit to create it. I love working on this square watercolour paper, and don't do it often enough. I really enjoy working in "squares"; I find it modernly refreshing and sometimes a welcomed challenge.

As well, I have an art journal page on the go - there is a layer of gel medium drying on it that will take some time. 

I think today, I will not venture far out of the art studio...maybe just to replenish my hot winter beverage.

Friday, January 24

Oreo's New Castle

In an effort to hinder our dear Oreo from destroying our furniture, and in celebration of all the space we now have with our new house - we have purchased Oreo a little castle! It is a large piece of furniture, but already he's been up and down it...although he hasn't figured out that the little ladder that the bottom is there to help him up :)

I hope he gets a lot of use out of it. I've laced it pretty good with kitty nip to keep initial interest in it, and placed it near windows where the birds come along. He likes to jump up and watch them :)

Tuesday, January 21

American Goldfinches

We have had many visitors to our bird feeder this winter. One of them has been these lovely Goldfinches. I was able to snap a bunch of photos of him as he filled up on seeds and nuts. I believe their official name is the American Goldfinch, but definitely correct me if I'm wrong. They just match up best to that colouring and description in our bird book :)

Using my telephoto zoom lens has been perfect for capturing these guys so nicely! I am able to stay way back in my kitchen, where I am no bother to them, and just shoot away. Although, I feel that in the picture below, this little bird is starring right at me!

I love this last picture as it show their delicate little feet for well! I cannot wait until spring when all these birds show their beautiful, bright colours! We are already talking of adding some more feeders (there are always birds fighting over this one), and I'll be ready with my camera!

Monday, January 20

Winter Frolic Watercolour Painting

"Winter Frolic" - Original Watercolour Painting
Today I'm sharing with you all a recent painting I finished in watercolour. It's called, "Winter Frolic", and I got inspired to paint this with all the massive amounts of snow we have had. As impairing as all the snow can be, causing roads closures and such, you can't help but notice how beautiful it is - especially once you're all cuddled up and warm inside :)

I usually find myself more drawn to painting spring / summer trees, as the colours are just so vibrant. But this recent downfall of snow has covered everything with a lovely twinkling blanket. When I used to live in the city, this glitterious cover (yes, I just made up that word!) would soon turn brown, mucky and gross from all the traffic and snow clearing. But in my new small little town, it stays looking clean days after and gave me time to become inspired by it!

Friday, January 17

A New Project...

With the completion of the last crocheted blanket, I felt I needed to start a new project. An amazing yarn sale at Michael's might have also spurred it on. I often work on these crochet projects during my breaks at work, so they are a nice "time filler" when I'm on my down time.

This pattern is a bit more complex, but I have been very much enjoying it. Sometimes it even takes a while for me to "figure it out" - sort of like a puzzle! And since this pattern is in a round, and is a lace pattern, each round is different - keeping me a bit more interested in it.

It is actually a large table cloth pattern, but I loved the lace design of it so much that I felt I would do it with a thicker yarn and a larger gauge and create a afghan of it!

Isn't it such gorgeous yarn? I totally fell in love with it and purchased a bunch of balls until I even had a pattern. Luckily I found a perfectly suited one :)

Thursday, January 16

Abstract Apple Tree Progress

With all the 'snow-days' we have had - where there's been no where to go, because the roads are all closed - I got to dabble in my art studio and work on a painting that I've had brewing in my head since the fall. It's a sort of abstracted mixed media tree, with lots of delicious texture and vivid colours.

As you can see below, Oreo cannot resist stealing a warm chair when one's back is turned...silly bugger!

There is still a long, long way to go. Above is a quick peak at my desk with my paints, mediums and tools that I've used. As well, as my reference photo that I took of an apple tree in the fall. I love, love love the acrylic glazing liquid by Golden - I always have. I bought that huge bottle ages again, and I must use it in every acrylic painting I've done and there's still stuff in it! I have also been growing quite fond of the M.Graham & Co. acrylic paints. They have a wonderful smooth and buttery texture to them, and they paint so smoothly.