Dreaming of Gold

I've been seriously absent from this little piece of the internet, and I totally have no excuses.  Life hasn't been terribly exciting, and I've been away from the computer.  My days have been filled with babysitting my beautiful niece and nephew, making our own long weekends with great friends, travelling to see family and celebrate birthdays, and playing lots of video games.  Well, the hubs was playing lots of video games, and I was settling into the couch with knitting needles and crochet hooks.  I'm totally converting to the fuzzies of yarn, and definitely escaped the inks for a while.  

In the midst of all of this, two of our great friends got engaged over new years, and I've been blessed by being asked to join in the festivities through standing as a bridesmaid, as well as invite and paper goods designer.  Thankfully, it's brought me back to my desk for a little messy finger work.  One of the main colours of this wedding is going to be gold, and I'm totally falling in love with each shimmery bit of it.  I just want to make everything gold!  It's totally surprising, since I've always been a diehard anti-gold pro-silver girl, through and through.  But I think I'm completely converting.  Bring on the gold!  It's so so lovely!  Can't wait to share the final pieces after the wedding!  

Recent Sketchbook Pages

I've been spending all my free studio time playing with my inks and getting my fingers nice and colourful.  I love the glossy texture that they leave, and how smooth my favourite pens write on top of them.  The gel pens just glide over the ink so smoothly.  I love that the white shows up so opaque over the backgrounds that I've created.  

I painted almost all of these pages with my hands, and a couple elements with some different brushes.  There's also a couple stickers layered in there too.  I have a whole pile of ephemera to stick in there, and layer within each page, but I can't make myself do it!  I just want to get my fingers all messy, all the time.  Most of these pages are just for me, but I like that I can share them with you too!
My sketchbook of choice for painting with inks is Moleskine's Folio A4 Sketchbook, a hardcovered, large book with heavy smooth paper.  Inks go on like butter!

Paining Again After a Long Time Away

It's been two years, maybe even more, since I broke out my large glass palette.  I can't believe that it's been so long since I really sat down and painted.  Painted for me, painted for fun.  Not for a present, not for an order.  Just for me to have some time to myself, creatively, emotionally, spiritually.  I cracked open some seriously old oil paints (hello, I haven't been used in almost 7 years!) and gave up on the bottle of linseed oil that I just can't open for the life of me.  I had just a dribble of mineral spirits, so I settled for stinky, headache inducing Turpentine instead.  Most of my brushes were stiff and a little crusty, so I only had two decent ones to choose from, plus a knife.  My mom has my table top easel and my standing easel, so I had to make shift something to set my canvas on.  Man, looking back I feel like I should have quit while I was ahead, and gone to the store to get better supplies.

Even though the conditions weren't prime for painting, I didn't let that stop me.  I wanted to get my fingers messy, smell the oil paints, create something.  I squished out little bits of the couple colours I had, poured out some of my turpentine in a jar, and started getting some colour on the canvas.  It felt good!  I didn't have any kind of plan, I was going completely abstract, and I didn't care too much about my colours mixing.  I started with thin washed out layers of colour, and covered the whole canvas with swashes and dabs and blobs.  I started going in heavier after that, working the paint with my knife, scraping it across the canvas.  I really love the sound that a palette knife makes as it travels across the rough canvas.  It brings me back to the time I first used oils, first used a knife, first worked on stretched canvas.  I feel so blessed with the various mediums and techniques I've been able to try in my short life.

I'm not sharing bits of the piece I started working on just yet, as I'm not totally comfortable with it at the moment.  For now it's hanging on a nail on the wall of my studio, drying before I can put more layers and more colours down on the canvas.  I'm thinking about switching up my mediums a bit and going in with some vibrant fluid acrylics and lots of white.  I want to experiment with more mark making techniques than just a brush and knife.  I want to paint with my fingers, brushes, found items around the house.  I want to write messages and cover them up.  I want to share secrets in those layers, secrets only I will know are there.  I love the beauty of layering paint, the evolution of a painting, and the whole process in general.

I'm so glad that I broke out my palette again.  It had been way, way too long.

Words on the Wall: Chapter Three

in this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world.  ..john 16:33..
I think that I've been feeling the stress a little.  Not that I lead a very stressful life.  I mean, I live in a cozy little home that we've made our own, in a quiet (mostly) little beach town, I get to do what I love, working from home, and spend most days with my husband by my side, as he's often home too.  We aren't rich, but we aren't without, and we are surrounded by the greatest friends and family.  Yet, I think these past couple weeks, I've felt the stress creep in a little bit.  I'm not one to get stressed, and I think it's only every happened a little bit during university exam time, and a little wedding prep stressed happened as well.  But I see bits of it show itself on my skin and my hair, in the way I keep the house, and the way I show my love.  But I just can't put a finger on why.  There's still a little troublesome feeling brewing deep inside.  It could be the weight of feelings on my mind, feelings from words by others, feelings of words swirling inside my head, and feelings of wonder if I'm doing the right thing.  The only thing that I know for sure is that there will always be a constant in my life, and that is the Word.  This verse from John carries my favourite phrase "take heart."  It means to find comfort, find encouragement, to feel hope.  I know that this stress will not be the end of me.  There is better stuff to come.  There is a better life to come.  There is more to this world that what we see.  I know that I was not made for this world, and because of that I will obviously find trouble.  But I will take heart, and know, that there is One who has overcome, and will see me through it all.