Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs

Friday, August 1, 2014

☆ The Winter Princess [Final Reveal]

Week 31: August 1st 2014

Well.... This winter princess has certainly made me work for the final painting. I realised today that in between Life Book projects + other bits + pieces, that this painting has taken almost the entire month.

But now she is done + I am a little sad, that I will no longer have her on my table. 

So I started late last week on her icicle crown 

Which is studded with odd shaped aquamarine gems...

Woo hoo! Crown finished. (And surprisingly her crown didn't give me too much grief!)

This is where I left the branches in her arms, but I hated these. (Oh + arn't we surprised by that??)

So I ignored them, yeah, yeah I was procrastinating, and finished the trim on her dress.

I realised I only had the sticks + her hands to finish of so I pulled on my big girl pants + tackled them next.

{Branches close up}

And here is a close up of her finished hands.

I mentioned in part one that she was inspired by a passage in a Kristen Ashley novel called 'Wildest Dreams' + I thought I would include  a little of the passage that set this whole painting in motion.

"My white-blonde hair was a mass of long, thick twists that were pulled off my forehead somehow but hung down my back, chest and shoulders. I had shimmering pink on my cheeks, a gloss of pink on my lips, an iridescent blue on my eyelids, a dark blue rimming my eyes and a sparkle of pearlescent white around my temples [...]
I was wearing a crown[...] And it looked like icicles shooting up and slightly out, crusted with glinting diamonds and sprinkled with glimmering aquamarines."
Kristen Ashley 'Wildest Dreams'

So the final, final reveal - The Winter Princess

The Winter Princess acrylic on panel
The Winter Princess
acrylic on wood panel
30 x 40 cm
If you want to see the works in progress + all the trouble she gave me during this month here is part one, part two + part three.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

☆ Round Here [July 2014]

I love these posts + I hope you get a kick out of them too!

I love that I can see what we did during each month, that each photo brings back awesome memories.

So what have we done this month? July is an awesome month to...

Ride in the Big Red Car

Went walking in the foggy mornings

Sketched this girl one dinner while my girls had perfect dinner manners (for once!!)

Took selfies - because I couldn't get the pose on my Winter Princess right

Had an indulgent birthday + this was my over indulgent dinner!!

Went and saw Play School and danced and danced and danced.
(Well Bean danced, Bug, Fred + Beastie just ate the entire time!)

Had an awesome girls night out with my sister + mum. 
We figured it was close to 18 years since our girls only night.

Jumped on our horses + rode away.

Spend hours in the art shops hunting for supplies.

Young + old enjoyed the carousel
I totally jumped on my own stead. 

And I have nearly, so very NEARLY, finished this painting!

What have you been up to this month? What amazing adventured did you undertake. Share your stories!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

☆ Artitsts Around the World [Blog Hop]

I was so excited to recieve a message from Carmen of My Creative Me asking me to participate in an Artists Around the World Blog Hop. You should definitely check out Carmen's blog + her beautiful art work!

This blog hop has artists from all over the world, answering four questions + nominating the next weeks participant.

So here is me + my answers....

1. Why do I do what I do?
The Mermaids Pet
inspired by one of my
kids musings

Because I have to is the very short + vauge answer, but it is mostly true. I have so many ideas to share +  storys to tell. And at one stage I thought I would become a writer..... except that I struggle hugely with writing, I always have! (You have know idea how long some of these posts take!!) 

But I am an extremely visual person. I adore colour. I am drawn to colour. 

So I am driven to some how capture my wild imaginings, my kids awesome quotes + my random thoughts. 

And painting is the medium that I love using to express these ideas.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

You know, this is such a difficult question for me to answer. I have often wondered how my work is different to others of my genre + to be totally honest, I am not even sure what genre it fits into.

Maybe its the big eyes of my charaters? People often comment on my characters eyes... I'd love to know if you all have any suggestions. This question stumps me every time.

3. How does my creative process work?

Ummm. Many different ways. So often it begins with a picture in a magazine, or on pinterest, some thing my kids have said, a paragraph from a book, a snippet of a dream, a newspaper story, a photo I took on a walk. 

When this spark hits +  I have a more concrete idea, I will try to capture it, in my sketch book, a scrap of paper or even on my phone.

And when I am looking for a new painting, I will trawl through the mountians of sketch books, note book + notes on my phone.

Sometimes I'll have an idea that inspires me and sometimes I open up my pinterest app + waste some more time...

Winter Princess
works in progress part one, two + three
[As part of the Carnival of Creative Mothers blog series I wrote about the creative process in more depth here]

4. What am I working on now?

So I have been working on this frustrating girl lately.

This Winter Princess was inspired by a passage in book.

Apart from paintings, I am finishing up my 'Listening to your Squeak' e-course + planning a new website + I have a few Christmas commsions I am about to start on for my friends little boys.

☆ ☆ 

Next week, (August 4th) make sure you pop over to visit Nicole from Beadwright - I have been a huge fan of her work for a while now + I can't wait to read her answers to these questions!

Nicole from Beadwright's painting.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

☆ The painting that is never going to be finished [Friday Art]

Week 30: July 25th

I don't know why I thought I was over the hurdles with my winter princess painting.

I suspect that by now you are bored of reading about this painting - I know I am becoming impatiant with her.

So you can see part one + part two of this paintings journey + now on to part three.

As we were away last weekend + have spent the majority of this week catching up, I haven't had a huge amount of time to spend on her, but yesterday I had a cancellation + could spend some quality time on her, so I decided to takle her hair.

But true to form, she wasn't going to make that easy.

Ifinished the changes to her hands - I like these much more that before.

When I started with the bottome layer of white, I hadn't cleaned my brush properly so streaks of aqua came through, and that inspired me to add aqua to her hair in later layers.

Using a combination of white, black, aqua, raw sienna + titan buff, I finished one side of the hair.

The 'ugly' phase of her hair.

After about four hours, this is her hair almost finished.

Since I had the aqua out I finished the details on her earrings.

I liked the eyes originally, but I kept playing with them + stuffed them. But the best thing about acrylics is you can just paint over them again...

Today, I managed to start on the crown.

And this is where I left it for now. I am hoping that tomorrow night, I will have a large chunk of time to finish her off, but more than likely I will be changing her again - there is something bugging me about the sticks in her arms....

I was thinking of changing them to lily's or something...

I think I am in danger of never finishing this painting!!

Have a great weekend.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

☆ Sacred Inner Eye with Tam Laporte [Life Book 2014]

 Week 28 - Sacred Inner Eye with Tamara Laporte

This was such an awesome lesson.

Not only where we painting one of my favourite subjects, but I also used a variety of different materials, many of which I haven't used in a very long time.

Using my rarely used (these days) pro markers on the iris, I also used a combination of charcoal, graphite, gesso, and spray inks.

I love how this turned out + I adored how the writing looks - all linked together in long cursive.

I think it will be my new favourite way to journal.

Have a great week.
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Friday, July 18, 2014

☆ The Winter Princess [The struggle continues]

Week 29: 18th July 2014

I had really hoped to have my winter princess finished this week, but the fates, the alignment of the stars + even life seemed to conspire against me.

This is where I left off last week: here

This week,  I started off spending some time finishing off the back ground, adding some more detail. But looking at it now I will probably need to go back to it in the final stages. I think this is why I don't normally background first. I often change my mind + then I am left with no paint the right colour + white patches to fill...

I thought I would start painting her dress an shimmery blue, using an iridescent medium, but I wasn't happy with the colour, with the way I couldn't add shading. The light blue would lift off when I added darker colours + tried to blend them. It became a streaky ugly grey mess.


I abandoned the dress for the moment + I then decided to address something that was frustrating me.

I wasn't happy with the placement of her hands, it seemed too false. Forced. So I took more ridiculous selfies (Yah for cameras on computers!) + changed the hand placement.

I am beyond frustrated with this Winter Princess at this stage, so I mixed a new dress colour (making sure I have heaps of it and won't run out - haven't we have all been there, done that before!

And again, I am frustrated with the shading - truly frustrated. Because I am working on board instead of paper, I have to adapt a bit - and look at her boobs! Holy cow what is going on there??

So, I left her for a few days. And did some research. I needed a reference for the highlights, rather than winging it like I normally do.

Obviously this Winter Princess is a demanding sort, and wants everything done properly. (And yes I realise right about now, I am slightly mad. Or weird. Or both.)

Working on her again,  I finally like where the shading was going, I felt like I had finally conquered the dress, but the hands were again not making sense to me.

Not only did her hands seem huge, but I was irritated with the pose.


So after I gessoed over the hands (again!), I dug out my props (much better that the water bottle I was using before!) + took some more selfies.

And this is where I finished off last night.

Instead of packing for our weekend away, I holed up in the studio + painted. And even though she has frustrated me all week, I am happy with how I have left her.

Well worth the slight panic + craziness, of packing girls weekend away with my babies.

So do you take ridiculous selfies when you are painting. When a search of google images  just doesn't cut it what do you do? Share your tales with us below! 

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Did you know that I send out a monthly love letter with studio snippets, a monthly give away of one of my paintings or products, a free calendar download + more. Click here or on the image below for more + your free downloadable gratitude angel 

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