September 15, 2009

One can only dream and helps.

Seriously, it is not what I dream of. I really like drawing and puttering about with fabric, paper, paint and metal for the pleasure it gives me. It not only keeps my hands occupied but also my mind. Thinking up new projects, new pictures, and new assignments that I give myself so that I can learn a little more. There are so many marvelous artists that inspire me that I am never without ideas. My problem is really not to want to do too many things at the same time. I slow myself down and make myself finish what has been started. You see, the yupo paper arrived in Mr Blick's last shipment so I can hardly wait to start but there is packing to do. Yupo is synthetic watercolor paper, that, from what I have seen, allows for beautiful, brilliant acrylic ink paintings. I think I will take it on my trip and discover what it does together with my mother, who does watercolors but recently hasn't done much work. Perhaps it will bring back her interest in painting.

September 11, 2009

Swazi son gouache.

I think one of the aspects, of doing this kind of work, that I like is that you can go into flow, forget about everything and just let your mind wander all over the spectrum. But now I have a dilemma, my mind wandered to a totally unimportant place: do I prefer early morning to late at night? Normally I wouldn't think twice about this, but there you are. When I say 'late at night' it really just means between 9 and 11 p.m. and the last few nights have been so beautiful with a silvery full moon casting a light that you can read a book by. Well almost. 

Mr Blick sent me a second box last week. The box was sizable, so imagine the look on my face when I plucked out a well-wrapped pencil and then peered into an empty box. In my mind, I tut-tutted Mr Blick for his wastefulness. 

Yesterday another box from Mr Blick was waiting for me at my doorstep. I was relieved to see this box filled to the brim with brushes, Bombay Inks and all the other absolute necessities I had ordered. I started out with a pencil stub and some printer paper and now I have......well, a lot of stuff. So much for wanting to simplify life and get rid of things I don't need. I do need brushes , paints and all the rest, but did I need so much? 

I am going to play now. Well, I will as soon as I can fight my way through plastic, shrink-wrap and more tough plastic.

September 9, 2009

Swazi daughter gouache.

At first I thought I would have to paint the illustrations directly into the album, and that these that I have made were trials but then I read more about digital transfers and discovered that there are many ways you can do this. The end-result will be different, but it will avoid having to paint directly in the album allowing for corrections of mistakes (I can be a little sloppy at times). It can have quite a nice effect and avoid the album from becoming too thick.
I am using Fabriano, coldpress 300 gsm watercolor paper, which is quite heavy. I also find this paper a little too textured for my kind of work. I used FW Acrylic Artists Ink (Flame Orange) for the shawl and I liked working with it. Nice vibrant color. I immediately ordered Dr Ph. Martins Bombay Ink in several colors for a next project. Just the name, "Bombay Ink", would want me to buy it.
Hearing names like Bombay, Zanzibar, Damascus, Srinagar, Gaborone and so on, make me want to embark on a walkabout.

September 7, 2009

Swazi mother in gouache.

This sudden desire to paint and draw did not just fall out of the sky. It all has to do with Fleur or as we sometimes call her Fleuro. The wonder of having a little girl like her in the family just dazzles me. I decided I would make her a photo-album to record her first years but just an album with photos did not seem enough. I am not into making scrapbooks which is all the rage right now. Are you joking? I can't just go out an buy ready made decorations to stick into a book. I would make my own paints, grinding pigments and all given half the chance. I do things from scratch which reminds me of my father's time painting with his oil paints that he made with egg-whites. I suppose that's where it comes from. Well, thinking that I wanted the book to be original, I came up with illustrating Fleur's book with drawings and paper-cuts, in addition to writing her letters and making pretty envelopes that can be added to the pages. I also want her to know her family so I am diligently going through boxes of memories that in some cases are not mine but the memories of generations before me.

September 6, 2009

Swazi father in gouache.

Yesterday I decided it would be a painting day and what a painting day it was. Dark clouds rolled over in the afternoon and soon rain clattered against the windows and the ensuing crisp coolness made it an ideal painting day. With some lamps on and Athena at my feet, I painted away. It wasn't easy. I hadn't done it for a long time but the brushes and new tubes of paint were so enticing I couldn't wait. Forget about the laundry and ironing. It was painting day.
I painted the family in sequence from father to youngest son and that is how I will post them. Pencil sketch painted with gouache (opaque watercolor, the medium I have used most since I can remember). Tools: homemade stamps of pins in cork and also a tiny stamp made with Staedtler Mastercarve which they say is "como mantequilla" and so it is. Very small stamps are better made from erasers because Mastercarve crumbles. I do think it will be great for larger stamps. I also used a 0.5 Micronpen for the outlines, giving the drawings a more cartoonlike quality.


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