Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Colour blobs and squiggly lines.

When I started watercolour paintings, the brushes I bought are a mix of synthetic and hair, decent brushes without spending great wads of money for sable. I've also tried sable brushes and they are really worth the money but so expensive. I didn't buy them right off the bat because, knowing me, I didn't know if I was going to stick with painting. Then Opus put their Winsor & Newton sable brushes on sale - 25% off. 

I told myself that when I retire, I'm going to treat myself to a set of sable brushes. I couldn't wait that long...they were on SALE!  The practice for the last few days have been just mark making with new paint brushes. The other brushes were good but these ones are glorious! 

Be it knitting or painting, use the best tools and materials you can. It really does make a difference. So true. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Week 3 of Daily Practices

Week 3 of daily practices. 
Just the highlights of the practices. I'm not sure if I'm getting better but I'm certainly learning lots.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Checking in with the Opus Daily Practice Challenge.

I found it really helpful that I have an area in my workroom all set up.  There's a lot of waiting for things to dry with watercolour painting.  I just leave everything set up. 

I look at the stuff other people are posting on Instagram and Tumblr and I'm blown away that these are their "practice" work.  Yikes!  I try not to be intimidated by that and just keep going.  Some days I sit in front of the TV and just do a page of line drawings (badly) of whoever's on TV.  Some days I paint. 

Sometimes I'm happy with the results, sometimes not so much but it's all practice.  I've been posting each day on Tumblr if you're interested in seeing the full size photos. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Day 1 of the 28 Daily Practice

Back of Hon's Restaurant.
I had a lot of ideas what I could do for the 28 Daily Practice Challenge but in the end I decided to do an urban sketch each day.  This is something that I always wanted to do but not comfortable sketching in public.  I may hate it at the end of the month or I could love it and get over my shyness.  I'm hoping it's like knitting in public, you get over the reluctance and stop worrying that what you're doing is not good enough and if someone looks over your shoulder, they'll laugh at you for attempting to draw.

The quick pencil sketch was done while waiting for the bus, across the street.  Ink and watercolour was added later.  I wasn't that comfortable painting at the bus stop.  Baby steps. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015 February Desktop calendars

2015 February desktop - Flowers
The Flowers desktop is a watercolour painting, calendar format was done on the iPad using Procreate.

Sad Panda - 2015 February desktop
Sad Panda is for those soggy wet February days.  Inspired by me standing at the bus stop one day after work and the bus was delayed for over an hour.   The reason given by the bus supervisor was that they lost the bus.  Seriously.

Knitting is like second nature to me.  I can almost knit in my sleep because I've been knitting for a very long time.  I've had a LOT of practice knitting.  You need to do something a lot in order to not suck at it.  I know that about my painting and drawing.  Opus has issued a challenge...28 Days of Practice challenge and I'm going to do it!

I'm so excited about this I started yesterday.  I mean, if I'm serious about this, why wait?  :)

Sunflower - watercolour and ink 5"x7"

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A stapler

Jan 9 - stapler 
In everything I know about any craft form, It's always practice makes perfect.  The hardest thing for me is to put my pen on the paper and start.

I've been following the blog of France Belleville-Van Stone - Wagonized and read her book, Sketch! a few times over now. One thing that stuck with me is that you don't need a lot of time, a few minutes here and there. Blocks of time so tiny that it's not worthwhile for me to pull my knitting out of my bag.

So, instead of eating at my desk and working through lunch, I still eat at my desk but use the time to draw what's in front of me. And according to France, if I draw the same thing over and over again, that's ok. If I don't finish the drawing in the time, that's ok too.  I've drawn a lot of staplers this week. They're still not great but at least the last drawing looks like a stapler.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2015...one year, 52 weeks, 365 new possibilities.

365 new possibilities
I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions having broken many within the first week.  I do like looking back on the old year and reflect back and think about what I would like to do differently for the new year.  It feels like the past five years have been transition years for me. The latter part of 2014 has been more so with son finishing school and husband retiring. It feels like it's time to look at the next stage of my life.

Top 10 highlights and game changers for me:
  • Husband retired in September 2014.  His job was so hard on him physically.  He went back and forth on this but it was the best thing for him and us.  
  • Son finished university this December.  Convocation ceremonies will be in June 2015 but he's all done!
  • Son got a job right away in his chosen field with his first application!  The interview process was tough but he got the job just right before Christmas.  He starts in January.
  • Taking the Watercolour painting class. I was nervous about it but I'm glad I did it. It was a small class (3 of us) and we all became friends. Although the classes are over now, we will still get together to paint. 
  • A close coworker passed away end of January 2014.  She was 46.  She was was having stomach pains but she came in on the weekend to finish up something to meet a deadline.  She pretty much left the office, drove herself to the hospital and passed away a week later.  She had pre-existing medical issues that she neglected because she didn't have time.  That was a wake-up call for me.
  • Another coworker whom I've known for 27 years passed away two weeks before his 60th birthday.  He was going to retire and spend more time with his family.  
  • My boss telling me that although I'm a valued member of the team, the important ones are the ones who are flight risk.  On the bright side, at least he was honest about it. I don't feel bad about planning my early retirement. People leave because it's not worth it, not because the work is hard. 
  • I was told I'm pre-diabetic. It's not serious but it made me take a hard look at my habits and lifestyle.  
  • My crafts and hobbies are really important to me.  I stuck to my plan to create something everyday. 
  • I can draw!  After 50+ years of thinking I can't draw and one needs talent to do so, I learned that it comes with practice. I'm never going to be Michelangelo but I'm ok with that.  
Looking at a new year is like looking at a bag of raw fleece...think of the possibilities.