September 29, 2014

New Print- Fox Treasure

New print in the shop tonight. "Fox treasure". I imagine this fox tiptoeing his way through a sparkly forest. Collecting treasures; making memories of the beauty. Do you feel a kinship towards him like I do? :)

September 24, 2014

Painting Freely Without Fear & Exploring My Style

I recently got my hands on a copy of Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley.

This book is the perfect antidote for blank-canvas-paralysis! For painters and artists, or anyone that wants to paint or create for that matter, wanting to free themselves up, and let go of fear. Ever watched the pure enjoyment of a child painting? Tap back into that feeling...

I have to thank Flora Bowley for writing this book. From the bottom of my heart. The copy I have here is from the library, but it is at the very top of my wish list. (A close contender with Doctor Yourself, but that is a different subject entirely!) 

I have been flicking through this book for the last month or so. It's on my reading side table. I am a messy person; there are many books and magazines there, but this one keeps gravitating to the top of the pile. I tend not to read non-fiction books from start to finish, and this book was no exception. You can open it up and read from anywhere in the book and it makes sense. So many great tips in there for finding your own way as an artist & painter.

I have been illustrating, painting and creating (in the past under the name Julie Knoblock) professionally now for over ten years. And there is always room to grow. To learn new things. To challenge yourself. Even though I feel comfortable with where I am now as an artist I felt this book really advanced me along in my process of learning new things about my chosen craft.

Flora really has a unique way of looking at the world and she certainly knows that art is not separate from living. Hence she has activities to try in the book that are seemingly disconnected from painting, but a closer look at these prompts reveals they can help to promote artistic growth and enhance the creative journey. There's suggestions to meditate, do yoga, and to dance, for example.

The painting challenges is what I picked out to have a bit of fun with. There are challenges such as work on multiple pieces at once, turning your work around at set intervals, and covering up a lot of your previous layers. I found a new way of applying myself to my paintings which in turn made my works have a different visual outcome. I have taken some of these lessons I have learnt and find I am still applying them to subsequent works. One thing that I will continue to employ is to use many layers, which builds up awesome texture and an 'aged' look in my paintings.

I feel like this is a book that will keep giving. No matter where you are in your painting journey you could pick it up and gain something from it. I think that you could read something at one point in time and skim over it, but at a different stage it may pop out and resonate with you.  It has helped resolve a bit of that fear I have as an artist. That pressure I put upon myself complete something that looks good, which is a little scary and can leave me feeling cautious about applying paint to a surface.  And procrastinate! This book helps to negate this fear. There's a big emphasis on play in this book which I really opened up to. 

I'll leave you with a visual display of the works I have completed since applying some of the methods in this book. If you are an artist and have read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with it. I hope these photos show how much fun I had! Thanks again Flora...

September 16, 2014

New Necklaces

Necklaces! I know the jewellery world is saturated, but I am so drawn to making unique pieces of what I call 'wearable art'. I had a couple of necklace orders; and well, if I'm making a few for orders, I may as well make a few more. Yes!? 

As you can see from the top photos I am a bit in love with yellow. And tassels. And mixing textures and materials. A few of these are in my shop now. But if you see anything you must have and it's not there, I am happy to do custom orders. Just holler :)

Birds are an obsession too. I don't think they'll ever get old. For me they symbolise beauty & freedom. A good thing to adorn yourself with.

I had a play around with some different techniques.. braiding with beads. Tricky, but fun. Also, crocheting with multicoloured cotton with pre-threaded eclectic beads..

And a peak at the photography process:

Fun. Well, I'm off to do some more work. I am going to get back into some of my old products. Bags are on the horizon. But new and improved for sure! I also have a commission to work on. Looking forward to finishing it and showing you guys.

Have a good one x

September 12, 2014

Goodbye, Bender

The 10th of September was the day we decided to put our old boy Bender to peace. This photo is of a younger, healthy bender.
No longer able to walk, or run for that matter, sad and stressed on his mat, and in pain. I will always remember him and I'm not sure if we will ever be lucky enough again to have such a wonderful dog. Very loyal, easy to train, happy and intelligent. Ball crazy, bone mad and always ready to patrol the perimeters of the property. Allowed inside, he was an outside dog at heart, always itching to get out. "Bender, you've got ants in your pants", I would say to him when I walked past him in the house, and he would jump up, ready for action. Bendy Boy, B Boy, B Bopper, Bendy-mo. Grumpy old dog who would grumble when we hugged him. Yet when we stopped, he would push into us for more.
The place feels empty. Our other dog Leela is not eating and looks nervous. I wonder what she's thinking?
Bender is buried in our backyard, which is nice to be able to visit him. I have this strange urge to dig him up, get him back, feel his fur, give him pats... make him warm.
I don't regret for a moment the large amount of dollars we spent on him just a year prior to his death for a torn cruciate ligament. (Knee issue.) I am so glad we had the money at the time to help him, and I doubt I would have coped putting a beautiful healthy dog to rest just for a bad knee. I'm happy we had a bit of extra time to spend with him.
RIP Bendy. I will miss you barking at rainbows and jet streams (!), hanging out in my studio with me, your feet tapping around the house and up and down the deck, greeting us when we get home. A family member said to me, "they are never with us long enough."
So true.

September 02, 2014

Quick Craft: 'Washi Tape' Magnets

Yay for quick crafts, especially when you're time poor with young sick kids! I was sitting in the studio with Miss 5 1/2, keeping her company whilst she was working on a project. I got fidgety and felt the urge to make something. I was flicking through an old Frankie Magazine, and got the idea to cut out some pictures and patterns and stick them onto some self- adhesive magnet sheets.

Here they are adorning our fridge. The kids have fun using them to stick up their own masterpieces- when they are not adorning the floor.

Pretty easy really, get your images, press onto the magnet sheet, and cut out. So easy and so fun. 

I got a pack of cheap self adhesive magnet sheets from eBay, but you might be lucky enough to pick some up at a craft store. Another idea is to save (hoard) all of those promotional magnets, peel as much of the top paper off as you can (because usually the top layer is too shiny), and glue your preferred images/ fabric/ kids drawings on top. (We've also done that- give them to your kids to glue stuff all over them and they can be proud that they made a real, practical, awesome magnet!)

Here are some of my "washi tape" magnets cut out. Scrap booking paper would also be great to use. There's a style for everyone with the selections of scrap booking paper out there.

Kids in this house have been sick for weeks and are almost better. I have been getting quite down with the lack of time here as I have not had a day to myself in over a month, and it's really getting to me! I have started getting a little bit obsessed with reading organisational blogs with plans and tips, but I'm afraid that's not doing much other than making me fell really guilty! But it's fun to dream.. 

To finish this post I'm adding a couple of Instagram pics from last week, my fave photo wall (with a couple of blank frames, I thought I needed to keep a couple free for future photos- it wasn't that I hadn't finished the job, although I am really good at half finishing projects!)

And here's a chair I scored from an Op Shop thanks to a thoughtful friend who rang me up for an "Op Shop emergency!!" It certainly was! $25 each (I got two of them) and my eyes are feasting on their aqua goodness every time I pass them. I am a colour addict. More colour, MORE!!! Never enough.

Here's hoping for some more art time soon and I can show you some more here soon. X


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