Saturday, 29 March 2008

Footprints in the Sand

"One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”"

Mary Stevenson, 1936

This is the prototype that I mentioned in my last post, painted onto A5 heavy weight paper with sand glued to the surface. My hope is to reproduce this piece onto a large piece of wood, including contours for the waves and the footprints, but with a little bit of a modern twist! I’m quite excited about this project, so I hope it comes out as planned. I probably won’t start it for another week though as I am waiting for materials. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


I have finally completed my abstract Red piece, and pieces of the old red canvas came in handy for that. I tried to create more texture by mixing glue with the paint, but the glue was too runny so it all settled flat! I ended up going over everything in just red paint, but in the light there is quite a nice shimmer created by the glue. The dots are quite spikey and sharp, and the smoother side is quite textured but I’m not sure if it shows in the photograph. I confess; I fiddled with the colour of the photo on my computer because the colour in the photo was nothing like the piece!

Acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 40cm

In other news, I have been working on an idea for a painting which I shall post the prototype of soon.

Also, I visited my old school today and was given a tour of the art department! My goodness, the standard of the students work is so much higher than it was when I was there 20 years ago! No wonder students work decorates many of the schools corridors. They even have their own gallery, in which hangs work of an artist who was once a student at the school. The art teachers each specialise in a particular area as well, which is fantastic – when I was there they were all very general, and I only remember one art teacher who was really any good. The funny thing is; I thought our facilities and our teachers were fantastic back then, because I had been to schools that had no art department at all!

I am now waiting for a call from the teacher who specialises in ceramics – 1. to see if I can use their kiln, and 2. to see if she is interested in giving classes.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Last Supper

Chalk Pastels on A5 heavy weight paper

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Found Art Tuesday

The theme this week was Fire. Here is my effort – left in the carbonated drinks isle in Tesco!

The Pastels were so incredibly messy and the drawing was very easily smudged. In the end I sprayed it with some varnish I have, which is meant for oil and acrylic paint! It seemed to work though!

Chalk Pastels on A5 heavy weight paper

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Anita advised me to try to draw something every day – practice makes perfect after all. I can’t promise that I will, but I will definitely try.

With these smaller pieces I’ve noticed that my phone camera takes a better photo in day light, so this is a piece I drew last night and photographed today, and my Found Art Tuesday piece will be photographed tomorrow (which is a shame because I wanted to leave it somewhere tonight).

I'm not sure what sort of a tree that is! I just kind of made it up!

Oil Pastels on A5 heavy weight paper

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Found Art Tuesday – on a Saturday

I’ve been really itching to do some painting or drawing or just something that involves me freeing my mind of all the garbage this life throws at us, but most of that garbage exists or happens in or around my home so it’s not really an environment conducive to feeling inspired creatively. I’ve also been pining for my pastels from 20 years ago. So last night I made a decision, and nothing (and I mean nothing) was going to thwart my plans!

My poor friend was dragged out of her house today and away from her painting, into town. I bought pastels, both oil and chalk, and we drank hot chocolate in Costa Fortune Coffee whilst we created our Found Art Tuesday pieces. What a lovely experience, and definitely one I will be repeating.

Anita did a sketch in pen of a man sitting outside with his friends, and when she showed it to him through the window he was chuffed to bits! He came inside to speak to her, and she let him keep the drawing, using it as a good opportunity to tell him about her upcoming exhibition. She then drew a beautiful Sun for this weeks Found Art theme of “Day”, and called it “The First Creative Day” (I should have taken a photo). My piece was called “Dawn, on The Blue Planet”.

Whereas last time we looked like a right couple of suspicious characters, trying to leave our Found Art without being seen, this time we had no qualms about just leaving our pieces on the table where we had drawn them. Who knows, maybe we will gain a reputation for drawing and leaving art in public?

But most importantly - Yay! I have Pastels!

Oil Pastels on A5 heavy weight paper

Thursday, 6 March 2008


I see it now. I’ve been struggling with the lady’s jaw line on Cloud Nine for what seems like an eternity. I had her face so that she looked like she was tilting her head, and then I made some alterations to her hair and jaw line and I lost it, and I couldn’t seem to get it back. But I see now that I have more to worry about than just her jaw line! It seems that as time goes on my eyes are opened more and more, and now I realise that there is a lot wrong with both of them! So now major alterations are underway!

What a strange process this is. It’s amazing how, as time goes on, your vision and perception changes. I see things now that I didn’t see before. What worries me is that in another months time my eyes will be opened even more, and then even more the month after that, and I could actually end up altering this piece for the rest of my life!

So my question is this: when is a piece finished? Surely it would be when you are happy with the outcome? (Which hasn’t happened totally with this piece yet) But what if you’re happy with a piece initially but then realise it’s wrong? Do you keep it as a reminder of your progress or try to correct it? Are you ashamed of early pieces?

I also have conflicting emotions about what is “right” and “wrong”. On one hand I want to learn how to paint accurately, but on the other hand I don’t believe that beautiful art always has to be “correct”. I want my paintings to be free and expressive, but I don’t know how to achieve that. I have a lot to learn.