Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The months are flying

Hello blog friends, so now it's October. I haven't been posting because I'm not doing much artwork.

I had a go at Inktober - a daily challenge to do an ink drawing which can be pen and ink, marker, ballpoint, brush and ink, etc. I went into it knowing that I find markers hard to work with - the line is hard and you can't rub them out!! So I managed 7 or 8 days...here are a few of my efforts!








It's just a quick hello to let you know I'm still here, and I'll be back when I have some new paintings to share.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A new routine and growing tomatoes in the tropics 2017

Starting a new job puts a new slant on things. I'd say I'm getting used to a new routine, but it's a casual job and my shifts are different every week. I can start as early as 6.30 am, or finish as late as 9pm. It's a big change for me, and to be honest art making has been on the back burner for the last month or so - not only because of the new job, but also because of renovations still going on around the house that make it hard to sit quietly and create - I'm not complaining, the renovations desperately need doing!!!

It's a beautiful dry season, and I think I've had the best success with growing tomatoes this year.


Here are the seedlings I planted back in June. I planted 4 but in the end only one plant survived. Maybe because of the lack of competition, or maybe because I'm watering in the evening instead of the morning, it's done well, producing plenty of good sized tomatoes and still flowering and setting new fruit in spite of half the foliage browning off.



I only have a little veggie patch because of having to water all through the dry season, and it's limited by the time and energy I have to put into it (and some kind of ratio between how many plants have failed and how hopeful I am!!). Here's a shot of the thai basil in flower - I should snip those off but I love to see the flowers - a pineapple just starting, also parsley, basil seedlings and lemon grass.



So I don't know when I'll be back with new art to show you, I'm happy to accept the lull in creativity and spend some time in the garden or walking at the beach before the build up begins.
Best wishes to you 😃😃😃

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Index card art

I'm taking part in the index card a day challenge, which runs through June and July. It's a really fun, low stress, flexible art booster! It's organised by Tammy at daisy yellow blog, and you can find out more about it there.


There are prompts and themes which you can follow, but I tend to ignore those. In fact one of the most exciting things about the challenge for me is discovering what I'm interested in making work about - which can be the basis for more in depth artworks eg paintings or linoprints.



Some of my cards have been based on photos from my holidays. Many have a garden theme. I've been watching an English gardening show on youtube called 'The big allotment challenge', and have been pausing it to draw some of the gardeners. My kids are laughing at me for making 'fan art'.



If all else fails I do a mandala or any kind of doodle so that there's a stepping stone to the next day where I might do something better! I must admit that I haven't made a card everyday, sometimes I get behind, and then have a catch up day and make 2 or 3. It's ok, it's a challenge where anything's allowed as long as you're making art! I've been posting my work on flickr and instagram (which I'm new to but enjoying @fernyhoughkate). You can search #indexcardart or #ICAD2017 to see what everybody's doing.



In my last blogpost I had a bit of a complain about job hunting, since then things suddenly turned around. I had a call back, and an interview, and have been offered a casual job, which is a big relief. After being in limbo for some months it will be great to get on with the next phase of life.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Lifebook week 24 plus the joys of job hunting

At last I've got my art space organised and jumped back into lifebook. The week 24 lesson was with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. I couldn't bear to put down in black and white the bad stuff, so I wrote down positive words about the great job I'm going to get soon! Then it was a matter of doodling to turn the letter shapes into flowers, leaves and butterflies. I worked in acrylics but probably would have done better with watercolour or gouache.


I have also jumped back into looking for work. I've discovered that job hunting in the 21st century is a whole new ball game. Most jobs are advertised and have to be applied for online, even jobs I've seen in shop windows still have to be applied for online. After that you get an automated email to say they got your application, and then you never hear from them again unless you're one of the lucky ones who's shortlisted for interview.

It's discouraging to apply for jobs everyday and not hear back anything. I was told about a company up here who advertised for a receptionist and had over 100 applicants, so competition is fierce! I'm lucky that I've had some bits of casual work - which is good for my morale - and might be a better way of advertising my skills than sending out my resume!

In the meantime I've been busy adding a few new cards to my etsy shop, and getting ready for the next craft fair which is at a new location this year - on the Esplanade in Darwin city, on Sun 9th July.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Holiday sketching

Last time I went on holiday to England - about 8 years ago - I came back with 3 sketches. This time I was determined to do better, and I  did, though I  still didn't do a lot...



I made a tiny sketch pad with pink pages. It was light to carry and I didn't feel precious about it at all. I drew with a ballpoint pen and pulled out sketches and glued them in my journal.


I did this little sketch at the cafe at Saltaire, I took a couple of photos too, and then did this version back at my Mum's, using watercolour pencils and a little bit of watercolour wash.


I also did some drawings at Mum's of the views out of the window from different rooms. It's the house I grew up in so the views although slightly changed over the years, are so familiar to me. I really wanted to make a record of them this time.



This one I drew one evening while we were watching tv, and a blazing sunset was going on outside!

I wish I had made the time to do more, photos are wonderful, but a sketch is something different, it means I've really spent time looking, and putting down the elements that are important to me - quite an emotional thing.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Back home

Hello blog friends. I'm back from my holidays in England. I'm not the kind of person who looks forward to holidays!!! In fact I dread the long flights and being out of my routine. But once I was there I had a wonderful time. Here are a few photos to give you a taste.


Canal side walk at Saltaire.


Wonderful David Hockney exhibition at Saltaire.


Spring flowers in the rose garden at Gotts Park.


Beautiful gardens at Harlow Carr near Harrogate.


Amazing rainbow when we got off the bus one evening!

We did a lot of walking, talking and drinking tea, which is my idea of a perfect holiday! I did manage to do a tiny bit of sketching, and might post some of those next time.

While I was away my partner took the opportunity to paint the verandah which is also my studio. All my art stuff is packed up in boxes, and will be in chaos for a while as other bits of the house are being painted and the verandah will be a bit of a store room.... So it might take a while to get back into the full swing of painting. 

I am doing the ICAD (index card a day) challenge through June and July. It's organised by Tammy at daisy yellow blog. I took part last year and it was great to do a little drawing, painting, something everyday, some of those little quick pieces were the basis for lino prints and cards that kept me busy for months afterwards, so I'm excited to see what will happen this time.

I hope your May was great and your June has got off to a good start!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lifebook wek 13 and 15


Here are my latest lifebook pieces. Week 13 with Annie Hamman was probably my favourite lesson so far. She talked a lot about working intuitively and letting the piece evolve, such as letting words or collage elements from the under layers to be seen and add to the story of the work. The techniques of blending the charcoal drawing with a wet brush, and activating watersoluble crayons with watered down acrylic meant that it fell somewhere between painting and drawing. For the longest time I've been wishing for a way for a way for painting to be more like drawing for me - more fluid I guess. Well this lesson turned on a little light bulb in my brain!!! It's definitely one I'll come back to.



Week 15 with Jodi Ohl was a lesson about using lettering. I went off on my own tangent with a piece about looking after my back when I'm gardening - it has a bit of lettering, but not much.



I've just finished a second attempt at the class, following it a bit more closely. It feels a bit like a graffiti wall! It's a long way outside my comfort zone, and as a piece of art I prefer my first version, but I'm glad to have a go at something new.



I'm a few weeks behind on lifebook, but that's ok. When I signed up I thought if I get value out of half a dozen classes I'll be happy. Well, I've already done more than that, and we're only a third of the way through. Next month (next week!!!) I'll be going on holiday to England to see my mum, so I won't have time for Lifebook for a few weeks, that's ok, I can jump back in when I get back.

I'd like to send you over to my friend Nat's blog, she's in the same group exhibition as me and has written a couple of excellent posts about some of her gorgeous work that's on show.