Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Speed Painting - Pointe shoes II

I have finally put together my fourth speed painting video. The painting was complete two weeks ago but I have been busy making Christmas cards and other gifts. I have also been procrastinating...but Christmas stuff is a good excuse! ;)
This painting is 8" by 10" and painted with acrylic black and white ink on watercolour board mounted to a cradled wood panel. It took me about two hours and 15 minutes to paint it, not including drying time etc. In real time I spent two afternoons painting and filming it. I Sped this one up a little more than the last few because it was going to be longer than the music Sebastian gave me. Plus, no one needs to watch a 6 minute video that they could enjoy in 5 minutes.

My prickly Hedgehog friend Robert also makes a brief appearance in this video. I woke her up from her slumber to film it so she is a little lethargic and slow. She is nocturnal and a reasonably grouchy creature, especially during the day!

This painting can be found in my Etsy shop along with the rest of my available paintings and prints!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lunar Gaze

This painting has been in the works for quite awhile and I am happy to have finally completed it. It is a collaboration of sorts between Sebastian Olejnik and myself. We took the reference photo I used for this painting two summers ago at the cabin when I was doing my morning yoga on the deck. This past summer I finally got around to sketching it out in my sketchbook. The heron and the moon were Sebastian's ideas as was the title of the piece. 
The original is 11" by 14" mixed media (acrylic ink, glass beads, gloss varnish, pearl paint) on watercolour board mounted on a painted (black) cradled wood panel. 

I struggled with the moon. I wanted it to glow and reflect the way the real moon does. After painting it in ink I applied a gloss varnish that has tiny glass beads in it. It adds a very interesting texture as well as a little sparkle.
I then applied a mixed media paint appropriately named Fantasy Moon - Pearl over top of the beads to give it a luminous finish. I made a test moon to make sure that all my paints would work together the way I wanted them to because I was pretty terrified that I would screw up the moon and have to start the whole thing over! Luckily things worked out and I think it is reasonably effective. 

You can find this painting in my Etsy shop along with the rest of my completed art!  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Speed painting - Pink tutu

 Painting videos are my new favorite thing to make!!! It is a great way to spend my lazy Wednesday afternoons (my day off from dance) and show my painting process. This is the third video that I have made and I am already starting the next one.

I am back on my dance theme for the moment but other images are brewing in the background of my mind so I will probably make some random works over xmas break! (....are we there yet?!)
I'm starting to understand my editing software a little more, although there was one stressful moment where I thought my completed video was gone forever!...but I found it again. lol
Pink Tutu (top image) and White tutu (such creative titles :P) are both 6" by 8" coloured ink on watercolour board.
Both these paintings are for sale in my Etsy Shop for just $30!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Art Videos

I have been watching cool art time lapse videos for awhile now and I finally decided to make my own. I chose a small 5" by 7" board because I figured I could start and finish it all in one day. The first video had about 1 hour of painting time in it and I edited and sped it up in windows movie maker. It took longer to make the video than paint the painting, lol. The problem with windows movie maker is that it is not capable of making a full screen video, which is silly given that my camera shoots in high definition. 

I found a free editing program called lightworks. It came with a warning that there is a steep learning curve and they were right!!! Not only do I not fully understand (yet) what I am doing but my ancient laptop (only 3 years old) has a hard time rendering the previews. So this second video was made with a great deal of trial and error and no preview, but I think I am starting to grasp how the program works. Which means the next one will be so much better! (....although I may have to reformat and defrag before I do more editing!)

The tutu painting is still available on Etsy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The End on Inktober

During the month of October I completed 16 mini (4" by 5") ink paintings. My original goal was to paint one everyday (following the official rules of #inktober) but I realized by day three that I had underestimated the amount of painting time I have in a week. I am pretty happy with my success!

 My main focus was ballet but I painted some random things as well. My personal favorite is the red mushrooms in the forest. I recently bought some white ink and was experimenting with it. 

My friend Sebastian (who is responsible for all of the music in my painting videos) also contributed by drawing some trippy mushroom trip Aliens for me to colour in. 
 Haha, which is always fun!
 I did a lot of black and white ink paintings of my pointe shoes and feet. I teach ballet five days a week so I'm a little obsessed with pointed toes! lol

 All of these paintings are listed in my Etsy shop for only $20.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inktober Week 2

This week I managed to complete 5 mini ink paintings. Which is pretty good considering that I did nothing Thursday and Friday and then spent Thanksgiving weekend relaxing at my cabin. I did however get lots of painting done in that relaxing time.
Two of these fun inks were drawn by Sebastian and both of them are alien themed! The first is an alien leaving earth. He is fed up with humans and their stupidity. The second is an alien visit during a magic mushroom experience. I don't know where he gets these ideas but I really enjoy bringing his drawings to life.  
All of these paintings are available in my Etsy shop!
Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone! 
The cabin weather was pretty decent and I spent some quality time with Squeeker, my favorite squirrel! We made sure he was stocked up on nuts for the winter and Sebastian had a little photo shoot with him on his favorite branch, looking his cutest! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Week One of Inktober

I started of Inktober with the best of intentions of completing one small ink piece every single day. I have not quite been able to keep up and the stress is starting to effect me. My new goal is to complete as many as possible by the 31st. I managed to complete 6 paintings as of Wednesday and although I have 3 in progress I have not completed one since. I have been experimenting with my coloured inks and my brand new white ink, which is a lot of fun!

 Thanksgiving weekend means I get 2 days off in a row so after teaching on Saturday I am off to my cabin for one last vacation till next spring! This will be the last 2 days in a row that I get till Christmas so I intend on relaxing my aching body and hopefully catching up on some new ink paintings!
I also have some other paintings that are almost completed which I am hoping to tackle as well. I have, as per usual, overloaded myself with projects which means that nothing gets done in a timely manner.

All of these mini ink paintings are available in my Etsy shop and are super cheap!
If you are thinking ahead to the holidays they might make for fun little gifts! I am off to my Cabin!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mini Inks

So I have decided to participate in #Inktober. The idea is that you create an ink drawing/illustration for everyday of October. Someone created it a few years ago as a personal challenge and the past few years it has become an art community event! I am already drowning in projects but I am going to put a few aside for this month and see what happens.
I have no particular theme for this series although dance and or Halloween are nice easy ones for me to follow! 
Each ink painting will be 4" by 5" on thick watercolour board and I am selling them in my shop for just $20 each. So if you want some cute affordable art be sure to check it out throughout the month!
These two Grishko pointe shoe paintings count for October 1st and 2nd! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Watch out for Quicksand!

 I must confess that I have been neglecting my art this past week. My schedule of teaching ballet 5 days a week is catching up to me and my body aches everyday now. Despite the pain, I love every minute I get to dance and I'm definitely not complaining!

This painting is now for sale in my Etsy shop!

 Frost was inspired by a portrait in my sketchbook of 64 faces. I used a combination of ink and watercolour and white acrylic paint. It developed slowly and I really enjoyed the process of layering with the colours and ink. 

This painting is a collaboration between my friend Sebastian and myself (SORAD.) He drew this funny little guy one summer night at the cabin and I made sure that it got packed into my sketchbook so I could paint it when I got home. 
"Watch out for the Quicksand" is the title I was given to work with. I mixed dirt from the garden with a clear glaze so that the sand is textured and real.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

64 Faces 8 - 11

The dance season has started. This means I get to dance/teach ballet for 6 hours a day and then hobble around the rest of the time because my muscles are so sore! (seriously though, my calves are thoroughly useless right now!)
Despite my busy schedule I have managed to complete a few more portraits while sitting with my heating pad and popping advil.
 I'm not a huge fan of portraits 8 and 9...and I like the concept of 10 and 11 but the finished product is not as exciting as what I saw in my head. (Part of it might be the page crease smooshing their noses.) The whole point of this sketchbook is experimentation so these failures are just part of the process.

Monday, September 1, 2014

64 Faces Sketchbook - portraits 4-7

I can't believe it is September already!
Here are my 4 portraits for the week. This sketchbook has thick mixed media paper so I used ink and watercolours on these four faces.

Monday, August 25, 2014

64 Faces, A new sketchbook

I didn't walk into the store to purchase yet another sketchbook but when I found myself standing in front of the varying options I knew I had to get one. I carefully handled each book type, feeling the paper and reading specifications for media use. I finally decided that I needed to spend almost $40 on a striking Strathmore mixed media sketchbook containing 64 white pages. I clearly have no self control!
This sketchbook is going to be a project and challenge. I am going to draw/paint/sketch 64 different portraits, covering every page of this beautiful book; and I'm going to attempt to finish it by the end of the year! This gives me roughly 18 weeks to complete it which means I need to finish around 3.5 portraits per week. It doesn't sound like too much work but as of September I am back to being a full time ballet teacher so I will have to use my time wisely. 
These are the first 3 portraits. I used ink and coloured pencils and had the luxury of completing them while relaxing at my cabin! 
Special shout-out to Sebastian for rescuing my cream pencil from under the deck (it jumped out of the case and rolled through a crack just as I was packing up.) He skillfully lifted it out using an old fishing rod and medical tape....thanks for being a hero! ;)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Outdoor Ink

Summer really is my favorite time of year and I have spent a good portion of the last 2 months outside enjoying nature. I have trained the cabin squirrel (squeaker) and the lake gophers to eat from my hand, and made tentative friends with a neighborhood raccoon (not the ones in the painting) as well as a cute little vole.  
At the beginning of the summer I purchased a set of coloured Windsor Newton inks, and I love them! They are more vibrant than some of the watercolours I have been using and I am really pleased with the outcome. 
This painting is of a few curious raccoons that wandered into my friends garden; hence the title, "Raccoons in the Garden."
I was also kitten sitting this it took me a little longer to finish this painting than maybe it should have. lol
This painting is also for sale in my shop!


These little gophers live lakeside in Manning park and have become accustomed to eating blueberries. If I sit down on the grass I will have a small congregation of them sitting around me and sometimes on me while they munch their organic blueberries. They are rather picky and only eat the big ones! I seem to be good at making friends with rodents. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hedgehog Week

Don't worry, Hedgehog week isn't a 'thing'...(at least I don't think it is) my art from this past week was unintentionally hedgehog themed.
Hedgehogs are really interesting creatures and fun easy pets to keep. I've written about my female hedgehog named Robert before and naturally these projects are based on her! She recently had a little episode that was either a stroke or the beginnings of wobbly hedgehog syndrome. Since then she has been leaning to the left a little and falling over intermittently although her wobbliness hasn't seemed to progress in the past weeks so I'm hoping she will still live out her full lifespan.

I've been playing with ink lately and I am really enjoying it. This painting is Windsor Newton coloured inks and then white acrylic paint on top for her quills and fur. I really like the vibrancy of these inks compared with watercolour and I intend to continue to experiment and combine the two.

This was my first time playing with sculpey. I was buying clay for another project and felt the urge to make a little critter out of something that would harden. I love sculpey. It is easy to use and doesn't leave your hands feeling gross. I baked her for an hour and fifteen minutes. My sister and I felt a little weird about it though as she was looking at us from inside the oven. lol

Monday, July 14, 2014

Art at the Cabin

My Cabin is my favorite place. It is a little log cabin next to a river that my family built over 60 years ago. It serves as a quiet place to escape the city and reconnect with nature. It really is my favorite place to visit. :)
We spend our mornings at the nearby lake, fishing and hanging out in the sun (taking dance photos) and then my afternoons are free to be lazy and art filled. (Especially on really hot days!)
In between feeding Squeeker (the incredibly tame and energetic cabin squirrel) I managed to paint a quick plein air  painting of the front yard overlooking the river. I don't often paint like this or finish a painting in a day but I was rather successful this weekend!

 It was about 35 degrees Celcius this weekend so we sat inside for a few hours in the afternoon. around 4 we went out on the deck to enjoy the hot breeze. I set up my inks and painted till about 8:30. By that time I was swatting more mosquitoes than actually painting so I headed inside. Using a really cool candle powered LED light I completed the painting inside by around 10:30pm.
As I was painting my friend was building a new bird feeder/squirrel perch. This exact scene looks very different right I might paint a new one next weekend when I go back up!
 This painting is now available in my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Portraits ×Two

I love painting portraits, I really do, except for the fact that they are hard and there is always something a little off. I can finish a  portrait and feel satisfied about it until I look at it the next day and see all the little things that are wrong with it. This particular portrait was difficult because there were two subjects and I know one of them very well. (It is harder to draw someone you know because you have a strange concept in your head of what you think they look like vs. what you are actually seeing.) 

My friend and collaborator (Sebastian) found this adorable photograph of him and his younger sister a few weeks ago and I felt compelled to capture their expressions in a portrait. I used this portrait (which was gifted to their parents) as an experiment with brown ink and skin tone. I like the effect as it gives the painting a vintage sepia feel. 
I worked ten hours sketching and inking in the faces before I realized something was wrong. I had made a whole bunch of minor blunders that given the permanent nature of ink were impossible to fix. So after some deliberation and complaining I started the whole painting over. 

The second time around went much smoother and I am happier with this version minus a heartbreaking moment near the end where I accidentally dropped/threw my ink laden paint brush onto the paper. I won't tell you where, but it's there. 
Next time around I am considering taping the brush to my hand! lol ...but I might actually do it. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mushroom Garden at the end of June

I made it through June! 

I survived extra rehearsals, photo day, multiple dress rehearsals, 4 shows and the stress of 4 ballet groups under the age of six performing on stage! As the dance season simmers down to a summer of irregular dance camps and technique classes I am finally left with days and weeks to dedicate to my art. It's time to take a deep breath, organize my clutter and spend hours on end covered in paint. 
The past 2 weeks I have been working on my Mushroom Garden painting. As you can see from the first progress photo I started with the sky. As the painting progressed the sky looked worse and worse...finally I got out the scissors and cut it off, which was a slightly better option than burning it and starting over. 
I solved my conundrum by painting some new sky and a few leaves on another sheet of paper which I then mounted behind my painting.
Although I only did this to fix a mistake I do like the effect of the layering, although it does not look so different in a photo.

Mushroom Garden is now for sale in my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Snake Charmer

 The Snake Charmer is 11" by 14" watercolour and ink on mounted cold press watercolour paper. 

This painting evolved slowly from a sketch in my sketchbook. I have been using more ink in my recent work which gives more depth and results in a slightly darker less pastel colour pallet. 
I have also been experimenting with masking fluid and used it for the flowers when I did the background wash. It is so much easier than carefully working the paint around little corners. Peeling it off is very satisfying and I love the look of the negative space. I almost left it at that stage because it looked so cool!

I took lots of progress photos as I painted this one so I made a quick little video to go with it. The music in the video is one of my favorite songs by my good friend and collaborator Sebastian Olejnik.

The Snake Charmer is available in my Etsy shop!