Thursday, 30 June 2011


Friends come in all shapes and sizes
"Friends Come in all Shapes and Sizes"
Available as a fine art print - 12 x 8" - Giclee

In Tam news. :-)

It's been busy. The digital course is in its 2nd week and going well! I'm LOVING what the students are doing and it's enjoyable for me to run a course that isn't mixed media for a change. It's very different, and I am learning a lot too. Everyone knows something different about photoshop and we're all sharing tips and tricks! So cool! :)

I'm also in the early stages of preparing my new YEAR LONG course which will start on 1st of January 2012 which I am SO excited about. The course is called: 'Life Book - an honouring and celebrating of YOU'. The idea is that students make 1 or more pages each month which they will compile in to a life book at the end of the year. It will be a glorious book that celebrates and honours everything about them. There will be one mixed media lesson by me each month PLUS 1 lesson by a guest teacher and prompts and other exercises each alternate week! It's going to be huge, fun, amazing and awesome! :)

In the mean time I'm also still pregnant! I'm now 21 weeks, a little beyond half way through and I'm struggling with my health a bit. I keep getting RA flare ups (much more than with Dylan) and I also keep catching colds and stuff. It makes me very tired and headachey. It makes things a bit harder as I need a lot of sleep and generally find it harder to remain motivated and concentrated. Anyhoo!

Dylan went through another week of being extra hard to deal with (just generally not happy, very needy and whiny), but in the last couple of days he's been his happy cheery self again.

Here is a funny vid of us. We can see ourselves in this video hence they are so funny!

Now, onto something else. I've been thinking about 'making it big' in the art industry, and one thing that is always advised and stipulated is that to get really established as an artist you need to have a strong clear art style and stick to it. So that your work is recognisable to people.

My problem with that is: doesn't it get a big boring? I enjoy doing whimsy girls one day, and then the next day I want to do more grunge realistic stuff. I find it boring to just choose a girl and draw her in a million different positions, which seems to be what some of the more established artists are doing.

My question to you, dear reader is, do you think my style(s) is recognisable no matter what style I use, ha ha. I mean, look, here is a range of my styles that I consider different from each other:

you shine sister 2

Whimsy / Stylised Portraits

Timeless Wisdom Friends come in all shapes and sizes

grunge - collage paint soul / digital work whimsy

And then I do illustration too, like:

giraffe juice I

So, as you can see, it's quite varied. Yet, can you recognise all of them to be me?

And if not, which of these styles do you think I "should" pursue? (I'm still not sure I really want to only do one, but hey).

Thanks for reading and commenting! x Oh! also, I don't always comment back on my blogger account because I don't have a guarantee the recipient reads them (you don't get notified unless you ticked the email me option), so please know that though I don't always comment, I DO read and appreciate deeply all your comments! ooox

PS. Muffinballs is my favourite new word

Friday, 24 June 2011

Why I love Art.

Song of Soul :)

I was thinking about art the other day, and not just paintings and mixed media but also music, poetry and books etc. and what it means to me, why art touches me so much.

I sometimes listen to a piece of music and feel so overwhelmed by the beauty of it that I can literally burst into tears.

And I came to the realisation that the reason why art touches me so deeply is because the other artist, through their artwork, speaks for me. Their art is able to vocalise or visualise parts of my soul, deep feelings that I am not necessarily able to express for myself. And the fact that they express these feelings also makes feel deeply connected, seen and heard. It makes me realise my inner world isn't just my own, others feel similarly, have similar depth of soul and have an amazing way of expressing it on behalf of me. It touches on that interconnectedness of humanity and how we are all connected and though I might be physically alone sometimes, I am not alone in how I feel and what goes on for me.

And when I create my own art, a similar thing happens. I create a painting and things come out that I don't know how to vocalise in other ways, it's a way to express stuff symbolically and metaphorically which really touches on the much deeper parts of me.

With mixed media it happens on very deep levels as there is so much layering and texture going on. It's like each layer represents a part of me that isn't superficial or obvious, the paintings seep through the cracks of me and push forward parts of my soul that I cannot express in any other way apart from with paint and brushes.

So, thank you art, and thank you other artists. :)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

And the sex of our baby number 2 is ......


it's a blueberry boy, not a girl!!

(all healthy btw too!)

I'll be honest, my initial response was disappointment. I had been bonding with and fantasising about a girl for months. And this person I had envisioned, this little girl I had been connecting with and bonded with suddenly vanished with a poof and the sight of a little willy on the sonogram screen!

I shed a few tears and connected with why I was so sad. And it was indeed just that: the person who I thought was coming, wasn't, so it felt like a loss of some sorts.

But now, after a few hours, I'm already loving the idea of bonding with a new boy and finding out all about what he's going to be like when he's here. I also really love the idea that this little one will have a big brother in Dylan and that there is -hopefully- going to be brotherly bonding and connecting with each other! Another positive about this is that rheumatism is much less prevalent in males than in females and seeing that we have RA in the family a lot, it's a good thing that this baby is a boy too.

So, I'm excited, but am also still getting used to the fact that I'll never have a daughter. (After this baby I cannot have another child as I need to get back onto my proper meds (which are lethal to a baby), I can't keep going on steroids for much longer you see. But maybe, when we're super rich and can live a leisurely life, we'll adopt a girl one day! :)

I know, this gender thing seems somehow minor, and I'm partly surprised by how much I'm affected by the fact that it's another boy, but hey, this is what's up for me at the moment, so there you have it.

I'm over the moon of course, that all body parts seem to be in order at this point!


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Hello love, hey birdie.

Hellosies sweet reader. :-)

Inspired by some of the blog posts by Tara Leaver, I did a painting and took progress shots of it. It's fun to look back at how the painting started and where it ended up. :) Hope you like!

hello love  - detail shot
detail shot :-)

Progress shot 1:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 1

So I started off doing a sketch of a portrait, female with flowers in her hair and a bird on the left of her. I then started working on her face first. Oh, this is created on wood prepared with transparent gesso. Materials are a mix of watersoluble crayons, graphite and acrylics.

Progress shot 2:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 2

I then added paint to the roses and hair. It's weird, I was going to try create a painting in pretty muted, mostly white and light grey/ pink tones, but couldn't help myself with the darker purple and reds. Guess colours just want me and I want them ha ha! My next challenge will be to create a painting with ONLY white and black and greys. That'd be interesting! Anyhoo, moving on.

Progress shot 3:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 3

I then applied my first layer of background. This was sort of random although I chose colours that I liked and was mindful of choosing colours that were sort of complimentary. And often, when I like the colours, they tend to be complimentary as well.

Progress shot 4:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 4

So, then a few days went by and I let the painting just marinate for a while. There was something off for me with the face. When I started working on it again I decided that I thought the eyes were too close together, so I wanted to adjust the eyes a bit. I made them both a little smaller and I was much happier with her face this way. I liked the shape of her eyes this way too, a bit deer-esque. :) I also worked on the birdie (which was a completely new one compared to the one I had sketched) and I added more texture to the background and started with adding words. 'Hello Love' just came to me and 'hey birdie' was written on the birdie tummy. :) I used a brayer for some of the texture effects and a graphite crayon with which I scribbled lines around randomly. Colour-wise I used titanium buff for the bird, I often underestimate titanium buff. I often just think; "eugh, such an ugly colour, it looks like a very dirty white", but the colour is actually one of those colours that is really really effective. (Also for skin tone btw!).

Progress shot 5:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 5

I then started refining the background, adding colour, paint, extra depth with texture and 'scribbles' (ha ha, hilarious: adding depth with scribbles, sounds like such an oxymoron but it ain't no no! ;)). BTW, the writing style on the chest was also inspired by Tara Leaver and Samantha Kira, I love their swirly writing styles on their paintings. :) Wings on the shoulders are something many mixed media artists do, but I am very inspired by the amazing Misty Mawn on that one. :) Essential for me was the turquoise blue that I added around the bird at this point. I enjoy it in contrast with the black that I added in the corner too.

Progress shot 6:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 6

I then regretted having added the white to the left of her face, I wanted to go back to a darker colour there. I also wanted some more texture in there and of course: a crown on the bird's head! I like crowns, I just do, cus all of us, including animals are kings and queens, yep yep we are. :) So I added some bookpages and collaged them in. I really liked their effect in the chest section of the lady.

Progress shot 7 (final painting):
Hello Love (Hey Birdie)

For the final touch, I was not happy with the dark black on the left of her left shoulder, in earlier stages a lighter patch there worked better for me, so I used the magical titanium buff again and used a tissue to wipe it over the dark black, I then also used a 9b graphite pencil to do some more writing over the titanium buff for depth (more scribbles for depth, ha ha!). I also outlined the white 'love word' with some graphite and now pretty happy with the overall painting, although my favourite part of it is her chest with the words and the birdie face. :)

What do you think of this painting? :-)

Here are some details shots:

hello love - detail shot

hello love - detail shot

I love the wood grains!

hello love - detail shot

hello love - detail shot

This bit is my favourite. :)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wales, new art and Winners of Give Away announced!

Wales - NVC Family Camp - June 2011

Wales - NVC Family Camp - June 2011

Wales - NVC Family Camp - June 2011

Wales - NVC Family Camp - June 2011

Wales - NVC Family Camp - June 2011

Wales - NVC Family Camp - June 2011

Hello, I'm back from Wales and had an amazing yet challenging time. :-) We were lucky that the weather changed from grey, windy, rainy and blustery to sunny and blue sky for the most part of the week! Let me tell you this helps a lot when all of your life (for a week) is lived in a big grassy field and a tent. Ha ha.

We spent the week with another 70 people or so of all ages, this brought with it a lot of joy and also challenges. The challenges were met with the approach and consciousness of NVC (nonviolent communication) find out more here: Some of the joys were the wonderful sense of connection and community; there was always someone to support you if you needed help, someone to empathise with you if you were in some kind of pain and an allround willingness to be open, honest, authentic and vulnerable.

We were joined by two amazing NVC trainers, Catherine Cadden and Jesse Wiens - who ran a lot of the sessions and brought through a lot of love, depth, experience and inspiration.

One of the things that was hard for me and Andy was to join in on some of the sessions as we were always busy with Dylan. I would've enjoyed more 'childcare' of some kind. They organised one session where volunteers looked after the little ones and Andy and I were able to go to another session just the two of us which was wonderful, but I would've liked more of that. This was, however, the first ever NVC Family camp of this kind in the UK so it's no wonder it had some teething issues. I hope for future ones that there will be more toddler activities/ nursery type things organised so that Andy and I can also join in on more sessions.

Another wonderful thing that happened was that Callum a 9 year old boy became good friends with Dylan. Dylan absolutely LOVED him and wouldn't leave his side if he could help it. I want to share pics but need to ask Callum's mum if that is ok first. :) Many other older children played with Dylan as well which was just awesome. Dylan had a really good time. Sadly on the last day he sprained his ankle though which was a shame, but overall he had a wonderful time.

Also, the nights were totally not as cold as they were in April. Hilariously because I was expecting it to be really cold I layered up really properly the first night and found that I was, get this; TOO HOT. Ha ha. So that was great. :) The nights were doable though the biggest challenge were the noises: wind, the sound of a little water stream behind us and sheep everywhere.

All in all it was an amazing experience. I'm so proud of myself to have done it, not to mention I found out I can actually survive with only 1 shower in a whole week, didn't think I could, haha!

Anyhoo, we're back now and I'm working hard on my next course Digital Dreams (still time to sign up if you haven't already! :)) and other bits for my sites. It's crazy busy!!

Oh, here is some new art I haven't shared yet on the blog. A new digital piece:

friends hold on to each other (digital)

And some new art journal pages:

art journal april/may

art journal april/may

art journal april/may

art journal april/may

art journal april/may

This is a new mixed media piece on watercolour paper:

Look at the Stars

And these are two completely different styles, intentionally so, the first is inspired by M.A. Wakeley:

MA Wakeley inspired art journal page

I loved the process of this, as it was all abstract and mostly about combining colour it worked as a very meditative process. I really like the final page too. :)

The second one is inspired by Jesse Reno. I call his work: 'ugly pretty'. It's the kind of art (to me) that is in many ways not attractive, but due to the many many layers/ intricacies and incredible composition and attention to details becomes short from amazing. I liked trying to do something similar but come nowhere close his brilliance, clearly, still it was fun to try:

my version of a jesse reno painting.

And now without further ado, here is the video with the outcome of the WINNERS OF THE GIVEAWAY!! Congrats to all winners, pls email me if you can asap to claim your price! :) Big hugs everyone and thank you so much for taking part in the give away and filling in my poll!

Thank you babyloos, keep on rocking. Be back soon. xoxo

PS. I'm here on twitter and I'm here on Facebook. xoxo


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