Tag Archives: Acrylic

Good (Project) Friday

Good Friday 2014 has been and gone but our project lingers on!

This Easter’s project was a painting of a different kind – our 29 year old front veranda.

The Old Canvas

The Old Canvas

First the old canvas had to be stripped back – a load chain, a 4WD, a mattock, a hose, a wire brush and muscle power helped get the job done.

A Load Chain Helped

Balustrade Blank Canvas Aril 2014

The Canvas Is Ready

We felt nervous about the choice of colour, ‘Headland Red’, but it would match the windows and garage doors we’d already done in the hope that it would help to make our dark brick, dark tiled roof house look more homely.

A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress – Acrylic on Jarrah Timber

Yes, a definite improvement.  It took at least 60 hours of painting effort to put two coats on the front balustrade, roof bearer, downpipes and gutters.  Just as well we’re happy with the result.

A Big Improvement

A Big Improvement

When the garden bed in front is prepared and mass planted with native grasses behind a blue flowering ground cover it will look great!  Perhaps more pots on the veranda too.

First though, the side veranda needs attention – feeling happy that it’s half the size of the front one!  Feeling happy too that the paint we used is guaranteed to last as long as we live here!!  We need never paint it again.  Ha! Unless we change our mind about the colour…

🙂
Helen

PS I have had a drawing project on the go too – when I just had to sit down for a while.  A subject for another day.

 

 

We shipped!

Us three late bloomers put our work ‘out there’ for the public so in Steve Job’s terms we have shipped and so are for real!

Three late bloomers

A Painter, A Potter and A Sewer

The first Open Studio Day at Balligar was like a long party that started on Saturday evening with the arrival of two of our helpers and ended with another two helpers leaving on Monday morning, with well over 50 people joining in the fun in between!

There was plenty to see from my tree, people, baby and dog portraits:

Charcoal and Coloured Pencil Portraits of Dogs

Dog Portraits by Helen

to my watercolour wildflower paintings;

Pen and Watercolour

Yellow Eyed Flame Pea – by Helen Lock

to my acrylic paintings with Brenda’s pottery;

Pottery and acrylic paintings

Brenda’s Pottery Under Helen’s Paintings

to Brenda’s pottery with Michele’s quilts;

Pottery and Quilts

Brenda’s Balls with Michele’s Quilt

to all sorts of creations by Michele;

Michele with her creations and interested visitors

Michele with her creations and interested visitors

to art by son Leo;

 

Pencil on canvas

Closing Out – by Leo Tharby

and the bears from Puffles and Honey Adventures!

Puffles and Honey Adventures

Honey and Isabelle

See more of the bear’s visit, which included transforming fresh laid eggs into chocolate ones much to the delight of our youngest visitors, here.

If anyone is considering holding a similar event:

  • It was worth the huge effort!
  • We met lots of lovely people.
  • We gained confidence in showing our work.
  • We were able to advertise our event for free.
  • We enjoyed a whole day with members of my family who were our helpers
  • We needed all five of our wonderful helpers on the day!

So a big thank you to our helpers:  Kate who greeted people and provided a parking valet service when our parking area got congested; Louise who also greeted people and did a great job as a ‘social butterfly’ helping people and putting them at ease; Ed who was our official photographer and made sure the spirit of the day was captured; Leo who also put his work ‘out there’ and was my cashier for sales of many bookmarks, cards and small prints, and my dear husband Greg who kept everyone hydrated and fed and was totally supportive in us turning our home into a public exhibit!

🙂
Helen

Balligar Open Studio Day!

To reiterate Steve Jobs‘Real artists ship!’

Now you have the opportunity to see if I and two creative friends, Brenda Faithful and Michele Caddies, are real.  We’re holding the first open studio day at Balligar on Sunday April 6th 11am – 5pm.

Balligart Open Studio 140406 Flyer v0.2

Brenda is an experienced potter who honed her skills under the expert eye of Greg Crowe.  Brenda likes to make functional pots that are also loved.  She mostly uses white stoneware clay, which is modeled on a wheel or by hand.  Brenda makes her own glazes and uses an electric kiln.  Here are some pots waiting to be fired:

Michele  is a very productive sewer in her spare time.  She focuses on quilts and home furnishings – from functional doorstops to romantic garlands and everything in between!  All beautifully finished.

You can see more about Michele and her creations at Michele Sews.

As for me, I think my About page says enough!
We look forward to meeting those of you who make it to our first open day.  Here’s how you can find us in Mount Helena, Western Australia:

Balligart Open Studio 140406 Flyer v0.2 Back Page

Feeling cobblywobbly,
🙂
Helen

Geewillinkinwinkings – It’s Monday Already – and February 2014!#$@!

Time is an illusion

said Albert Einstein.  This gives me comfort as I wonder how come January has been and gone already!  Gone before I started my New Year Resolutions, gone before I finished even one painting, gone!

At least I did start a painting.  When going for a walk a tree will sometimes catch my attention and stop me in my tracks as it makes me aware of its individuality, its own brand of beauty and its character.  There is one such tree in the reserve behind our home.  It’s a  Jarrah tree that bears the scars of a long life with a belly that suggests a full and indulgent one.  I fancy that it’s raising a glass and saying ‘Cheers!’ as I walk by and have nicknamed it ‘The Beer Belly Tree’.

The Beer Belly Tree

The Beer Belly Tree

The painting (1m by .75m) will be one of a series so I’m painting it out of context but realistically (in acrylics) so that those that have seen the tree may recognize it – I have no idea why I want to do so!

This is the progress by the end of January:

The Beer Belly In Progress

The Beer Belly In Progress

I’ve many reasons and excuses for not getting further – one is the level of detail messes with my brain!

Beer Belly Detail

Beer Belly Detail

Some other reasons for lack of progress: the extreme heat during January; a dysfunctional air-conditioner in the studio and the catastrophic bush fire on Sunday January 12th – a day that topped 46 degrees Celsius in the Perth Hills.  The fire devastated 650 hectares and destroyed over 50 homes, two in the west of our suburb, most in the suburb to our West.  It’s heart rendering to see the damage and feel the pain of the bush – fauna and flora – and the people directly affected.  We had to evacuate but were spared the trauma of losing our home where so many memories are stored.  We’ve learned from the experience and will be better prepared if there’s a next time.

As for the bush, it has seen fire before and has also learned from the experience.  Successful flora have adapted to survive and regenerate after fire. I think the Beer Belly Tree is a survivor of a past fire as its base is as black as charcoal in parts.

Despite the awfulness of the inferno on January 12 and its aftermath, I was struck by the beautiful colours and shapes of the blackened tree trunks and the crispy, burnt orange leaves as I drove by a stretch of incinerated bush the other day – and smiled to see the blackened stumps of grass trees already pushing up young, green spiky leaves.

As artist Joseph Beuys said:

I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time.

Time for me to go.
🙂
Helen

Geewillingkinwinkins – No Colours Anymore…

The ear worm ‘No colours anymore I want them to turn black’ went around and around in my head as I struggled to mix black with the oils I had.  It was soon joined by another ‘You can’t always get what you want…’.  The ear worms spun in my head long after I accepted that I wasn’t going to get a black – and that a rich, interesting dark brown was close enough – and they drove me to paint this!

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Paint It Black by Helen Lock – Acrylic & Oil On Canvas 16″ * 12″

A little different to my usual WA flora themed paintings!

For those interested in how I painted it: I underpainted horizontal stripes in rainbow colours with acrylic paint, after masking out the centre circle.  I then wiped out the rainbow with a hake brush heavily loaded with my dark oil mixture singing Paint It Black (it was okay no-one was around).

I let it dry for a few hours and then scratched out the words with feeling and the end of a paintbrush – but that didn’t work too well so I patiently lifted the oil paint with a brush, wishing my ‘passionate’ handwriting looked more emotive.

Hours later I removed the masking fluid which was now covered in acrylic and oil trying not to disturb the surrounding area – and thinking ‘this was a mad idea’.  My principle of not giving in until I’m finished kicked in and I painted a rainbow of colours spiralling into a black hole within the circle before reinstating the missing parts of the letters over it.

Ha!  Then I received an email about a painting competition with categories addressing mental illness – maybe I’ve an entry already!

🙂
Helen

Not A Forgery!

My third and final(?) copy of an Eric Carle painting is complete.  I feel happier now I’ve looked up the definition of forgery and found that if I have no intent to deceive I’m not guilty of forgery 🙂

Still, copying or forging is not for the faint-hearted!  I found it surprisingly difficult and must have been feeling very gung ho when I thought I could copy multi-media originals (tissue paper, watercolours, crayons & ?) with acrylics on canvas.

Eric Carle's butterfly

he was a beautiful butterfly!

What else surprised me is how much I learned.  I had to really study Eric’s pictures in a copy of his book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar‘ to try and work out what he’d done – which piece was under / over which – and why, what was it he’d worked to convey.  Then I had to work out how to begin to duplicate his work.

Interestingly you never meet the caterpillar illustrated on the cover of the book within it.  This is my version of his cover version of his medium weight caterpillar:

Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I love the sort of ‘stunned mullet’ look of both the caterpillar, that has devoured so much he is no longer hungry and is blown up like a balloon, and the butterfly!

Eric Carle's Satiated Caterpillar

The Not Hungry Caterpillar

When I finally finished the butterfly I was thinking “Never again!  I want to do my own thing!” but the postman arrived with my copy of Juliette Aristides ‘Lessons In Classical Drawing’ and…

Hooroo,
🙂
Helen

Geewilingkingwinkings – Age Is So Inspiring!

I find people who don’t define themselves by their age inspiring.  I’ve been thinking about age and creativity thanks to the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I’ve been painting pictures from the book for the walls of what will be my grandson’s nursery.  (I’m being careful to sign them as ‘After Eric Carle’ just in case of forgery claims even though they are not to be sold – and far from perfect copies.)

Front cover

Front cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The now infamous caterpillar first appeared to be chewing holes in picture book pages in 1969.  Eric Carle is now in his eighties and still writing picture books!  The latest is The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.  In 2002, when Eric was 73, he and Barbara Carle founded The Eric Carle Picture Book Museum to inspire the love of art and reading.  It’s an interesting web site to visit and it includes the opportunity to take a virtual tour.

I think Eric must have found the same fountain of youth the actress Sophia Loren who once said:

Portrait of the Italian actress Sophia Loren f...

Sophia Loren  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

I’m thinking that what Louis Armstrong said of musicians applies to all types of artists, including me!

English: Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter Franç...

Louis Armstrong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.

 

I know I have more pictures in me but for now I’m working on my forgery skills…

After Eric Carle by Helen Lock

After Eric Carle by Helen Lock (Acrylic on canvas)

Eric has nothing to fear from me!!

🙂
Helen