Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Artists that inspire me: Zurab Martiashvili

It's been a while, but I'm finally starting my "inspiring artists-posts" again. I don't really want to show work of someone that hasn't given me written permission, and at the end of last year, I guess all artists were too busy to answer mails.

Today's artist, Zurab Martiashvili, was born in Georgia, but is currently living and working in Ukraine.

His painting style is called "decorative primitivism"

I got this information from this website, because his Facebookpage and blog are in ......  I don't even know which language. Something Eastern European I guess, so I can't read it .... So I hope the information that I give is correct ☺

Bright colors and fluid lines. Mmmm, always my favorite ....

Love the playfulness and the fantasy element in his paintings.

I came across this website where he got featured and they did an interview with him.

One of the question they asked him was if he had any advice for other artists, and this was his answer:

"Dont  believe art  critics. Will you ask critics  if something  is really good or will you listen to yourself about what you like or not? Because none of  art  critics  can see the   universe  with your eyes and will not feel like  your soul feels. So you are the biggest art  critic  by  yourself. And what you like is the best and beautiful for you and it is not important what the others will say about."

Oh, I so agree with this! It took me a long time to gain some self-confidence in painting. Because I don't have a formal art-degree, I always felt somehow less than "real" artists. If I wanted to enter a competition, the first question was always which art school I went to. And I could tell some of the jurors on those shows really look down on people who have taught themselves to paint. Once I was really discouraged because I had entered some of my paintings to a show where I really thought I stood a chance, and not one of my paintings was admitted. So I called them and asked for an explanation. Turned out my art was not "real art", my art was "too decorative". Huh!? Who are they to decide what is "real" art and what isn't?

At that moment I came to the conclusion that Zurab mentions above: you can only be your own critic. If you start painting like you think you should just to please others, it's no good. If you paint with your heart and soul, it shows, and there will be people who like it. And if they don't: who cares!? I feel a lot freer now, I follow my heart and my intuition, and it's a lot more fun than trying to live up to other's expectations.

Anyway, this post isn't about me, but about Zurab. If you want to see more of Zurab's work, this is his blog/website, and his Facebookpage. Have a look, lots more to see there!

I didn't get to do much art lately, the kids just started school again and we were busy doing all kinds of last minute things. But on Friday I will be back, for the Paint Party but also for my first post for the 29 faces challenge! Yes, it's starting again, and how can I not participate, it being the 1st anniversary of this challenge. Ayala Art even made a whole new blog for this! You can find it here. Maybe join in too? It's great fun!

Thanks for visiting, and I'll "see" you again on Friday! ♥

Friday, 25 January 2013

Art journaling again

For the first time in what seems like months I've been working in my art journal again. I plan on doing that more regularly this year. For this week it's about all the painting I got done, except for the gelli-prints in my previous post. I hope next week, when school starts again, things will calm down and I'll have some more time.

I want to experiment with different techniques instead of doing the same things over and over again. This was a drawing I had in one of my sketchbooks. I scanned it, printed it out on top of a poem and sprayed it with ink. I then glued it in my journal. Part of the poem that was on the leftover paper spoke to me, so I decided to glue that in too. A bit of watercolour, a bit of paint, a bit of ink, and she's finished. I think.... It was fun.

This is a doodle that I finally got to finish this week:

Somehow, I can't find the peace and quiet anymore that made me doodle every night when I was on holidays. There's always other things getting in the way here, always something else that needs to be done. I need to find a way to get more organized and schedule in my painting and drawing / playing time. Otherwise it'll always come at the end of the list....

Anyway, have to get going again, to badminton practice with the kids. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for leaving your lovely comments. They mean a lot to me! Don't forget to check out the other artists at Paint Party Friday!

See you again in a few days. Meanwhile, have a lovely Friday and a great weekend, and to all Australians: happy Australia Day tomorrow!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Experimenting with gelli-prints

I have been drooling since months over all the pictures I found on the web about gelli-plates and the wonderful things that you can do with it. So I decided I'd give myself one as a present. While I was googling I came across  a video-tutorial about how to make your own gelli-plate. Huh!? I didn't know that was possible! Might be a good idea to try it out, 'cos maybe I wouldn't like working with it. Besides, being the impatient person that I am, I wanted to start experimenting right away and not wait until I got one.

It was real easy too: 100g gelatin from the supermarket, 1,5 cup cold water and 1,5 cup of boiling water. Two hours in the fridge (okay, I left mine for 4 hours, just to be on the safe side), and then I could start printing! (I'll post the how-to-video at the end of this post, if I can find out how to, I did it before but I forgot ....)

This is how my gelli-plate looked when I got it out of the baking-dish:

It was a bit too thin, for the size of my baking-tray I probably should've used double the ingredients. I put it on some baking-paper, which I later read somewhere is not a good idea, because the baking-paper gets all wrinkled and deformed, and starts deforming your gelli-plate too. And so it did .....

Then I got started. And I loved it! I still need to figure out how to work with the different colours in order not to get mud, but it was so much fun. I experimented with different kinds of paper. The best ones (for my plan to make a journal out of the pages)  were canvaspaper and watercolourpaper. Nice and sturdy. The thinner ones (different kinds of drawing-paper) sometimes got stuck on the gelli-plate, with pieces torn out of it.

Here are some of my experiments:

 oh, I looove using thin cotton thread ....

I used my self-made stencils, and a lot of thread. Although I also liked to just mix some paint on the plate and pull a print from that without using any stencils or stamps. And usually I liked the "ghost-prints" the most (this is the second print you take).

So how did the gelli-plate hold up to all the abuse?
Well, somewhere in the middle of my experiments, one of my papers got stuck and I tore off a whole corner of my gelli-plate ... It was a good thing that for most of my prints I got the first layer on already, so I just continued without the corner. But I noticed that the more I used it, the softer it got. It wasn't so easy to clean anymore, and I couldn't get the paint on evenly. Might also have something to do with the hot and humid weather we have at the moment here in Queensland, but still.... I had expected to be able to use it a bit longer.

Anyway, when I was ready (well, I could've gone on for some more hours, that's how much I liked it, but my household-duties called me ....), I decided to stick it back in the baking-dish and put it in the fridge, just in case. Alas, the moving proved too much for it and it cracked in a few places. So I threw the whole thing in the trash ...

Nevertheless, I'm happy that I found the tutorial and tried it out. It's perfect for when you want to try it just once, or when you can't afford to buy the "real' gelli plate. The whole thing cost me about 5$. And in case I was still wondering whether or not to buy it, I now know that I really really want it :-). And I found a few online shops here in Australia that sell it too! Can't wait!

Here's the tutorial that I found on the net (let's hope this works ...):

Thanks so much for visiting! See you on Friday for the Paint Party!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Still doodling ....

Not much to show today, just another doodle that I finished this weekend and a lyrics-girl.

Janice made a suggestion to use inks instead of watercolours, and I might just try that. Although for now I'll just leave them black & white, I think I still prefer that.

This went a bit wrong. The lettering is terrible, but since I don't have much to show, here she is. Lyrics from Heather Nova.

I've been preparing backgrounds for my art journal today. It's an old book where I've been using leftover paints, but I  haven't really done much with it yet. The start of the new year really has had an impact on me, since I'm full of plans and making new resolutions all the time. This is yet another resolution: do something "artsy" every day. Even when I'm stressed for time...

Wonder how long it'll last ... But at least the intention is there ;-)

So I decided to use my new self-made stencils. They're made from large manila-folders, and were a lot of fun to make. I made 7 of them in one night last week. I read somewhere that I should soak them in oil to make them stronger. After 24-48 hours it would dry out and be ready to use. So I did. But I went a bit overboard with the oil. I figured the more the better....

Wrong thinking! After "drying" for a whole night they were still as oily as before. So then I got the brilliant idea to hang them up in the sun. That should dry them out for sure. But after a full day in the sun they were even greasier than before. YUK!

Okay, I'd had enough. I wanted to use them and not wait any longer, so I decided to soak them in hot water with a lot of dishwashing liquid. I put one in there and left it a while. Wrong thinking again! It's still cardboard, no matter how much oil you put on there. So I ended up with bits and pieces of my stencil floating in the water.  Aaaarghhh! Good thing I didn't put all of them in there at once. Now what?

Even though they were fun to make, I didn't feel like making them again. So I sponged them with my dishwashing liquid and then put them on a towel to dry. Left them there for 2 days, and after 2 days they were ready to use. Still felt a bit greasy but I figured it would dry out even more....

Wrong again .... Today I used them in my journal, and the ones I didn't use were laying on top of my notebook (where I had written out my businessplan for this year ....). Just now, when I wanted to get my notebook to put everything in my computer, I discovered the stencils had made grease-marks all over my notes and I've trouble reading what I've written!

Sh*t! This must've been about the worst advice I've ever read on the internet regarding selfmade art supplies. The worst thing is that it doesn't even make it stronger. One of my stencils is torn already, and I used it once.

Oh well, I'll just keep using them, in the end there will be enough paint on there (I hope!) so the greasiness will go away ... And for my next trials, I'll just leave the cardboard as it is.

Here's another thing I've been working on. I'm crocheting a kind of cardigan with the freeform technique. That means you start with a little piece and you just keep adding other colours to it. You don't work with a design, you just keep adding to it until it's big enough.

I started this a few years ago already, and I can tell you: it's a lot of work. But it's fun and relaxing, so why not. I just have to make sure I stay about the same size, otherwise by the time it's finished (which could well take a while ....) it doesn't fit anymore. It's something I work on during my holidays, although I might just try and finish it this time☺

Well, I've been going on long enough and it's waaaayyy past my bedtime. So I'm off.

Thanks so much for visiting and leaving your wonderful comments. It means a lot to me! ♥

Friday, 18 January 2013

First Paint Party Friday of 2013 (for me ...)

Okay, this year I'm going to try to participate in PPF every week. I know I missed the first two weeks already, but that's because I was on holidays and haven't painted AT ALL. I doodled, mainly ☺.

I still have 5 in progress paintings waiting for me, but as long as it's school holidays here in Australia (one more week after this one) I'm afraid I won't get much painting done. So I just paint a little bit here and there. And since I'm in fullblown doodle-modus at the moment, I decided to color in one of my doodles.

This is the original one:

I tried printing it out on watercolour paper, but it was too thick for our printer. So I had to go with plain drawing paper, which is not nearly as nice (or easy!) to paint on with watercolors. I'm not really satisfied with my colourchoices, plus my scanner was acting funny, so that some parts look white while they're actually pink. But, well, I'll show it anyway:

I had to do all the black doodles again, because I really didn't like it with the paint on top. But boy, was that a hell of a task. No fun at all! It's no doodling anymore, it's going over doodles that were already there and having to make sure that you follow the lines exactly.  Completely the opposite from "normal" doodling, which is relaxing and fun.

Anyway, strangely enough, being the color junkie that I am, I very much prefer the black & white version. So I guess I won't be coloring doodles anymore soon. But it's nice to compare the two. I'm kind of curious as to what you prefer?

Here are two more doodles that I did during our holidays.

This week I didn't doodle at all, and how I missed it! Another resolution I want to keep this year is to spend less time on the computer. During our holidays, I only checked my mails, and not even every day, and it freed up so much time to do other things. I will have to be strict with myself though, because it's so tempting to have a little look here, and another read over there, and post some comments, and check the mail again etc... Before you know it the evening is over and you haven't done a thing. No more!

Paint Party Friday-hosts Eva and Kristin are holding an auction for Sandy Hook. If you're interested in  participating, please have a look at their blog. And while you're there, check out all the amazing artists and their work.

Thanks for visiting, I have a lot of catching up to do on the PPF-artists, so I'll start right now ☺

Hope you're having a wonderful Friday, and wishing you a relaxing and fun weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

I'm baaaack ... !

Well, after spending the last 3 days doing a mountain of laundry, cleaning up the mess of 3 weeks of holidays and trying to empty my mailboxes, I finally have some time to write on my blog again. Can't believe it's only 3 weeks ago, it feels like a lifetime.

Hope you've celebrated the holidays in joy and good company, and are ready for a whole new year of dreams, chances and possibilities. I am ready to go! Will finish up my businessplan this week, and am full of new (and old) ideas!

I didn't do any painting these holidays. I planned on sketching a lot but I didn't even do that. I started doodling one night, and after that I was hooked. I couldn't stop doodling anymore. It's so easy, you just need a black marker, that's all. The perfect way to be creative when you're on holidays.

This is the first one that I did:
Just before we went on holidays, I hurried to finish the workshops in 21 secrets that I  still hadn't done. In Diana Trout's workshop there was one video about doodling, and I decided to try that. She also made a Youtube-video about this.

I wasn't really happy with the way this came out, so I turned to practicing some faces instead. I just got this really cheap notebook in K-mart, and it turned out to be a dream to work in with markers. Very smooth paper and thick enough so you can't see through. No pencil anymore, from now on just markers :-)

And since I'm crazy about drawing people, I decided to combine the two. This one I made on New Years day:

And then I was on a roll. Couldn't stop anymore. So much fun to make these! Here are some more:

I might try to colour some of them in, but for now I'm happy with just black and white.

During the 3 weeks we were away, I spent hardly any time at the computer. Just checked my mails and that's it. So I have a lot of catching up to do. Looking forward to seeing what everyone has been creating lately. So I'm off to visit some blogs!

Thanks for coming to visit me! I hope to get some things ready for the paint party on Friday! See you then!