Happy 2011

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
 Although all the real life snow here has now disappeared for the time being, I’m on the second week of my “Snow Trees” painting, after letting let the blue sky dry this week. This time I have started to add the outline of the trees, using burnt umber with a tiny bit of black added, creating the nearest shade I can to Van Dyke brown (a very dark brown). I have left white the left side of the trees, which had snow blown onto them. I did the painting in the evening, and by the light of day, I could see that some of the tree trunks needed another coat of brown as the canvas was showing through in places. Next week, I will start adding snow and detail, that’s when it should really come to life.

 There were several arty presents under the tree this year. The 3D doodle book should prove interesting and I’ll be taking it along to art group so I wonder what they’ll make of it. I was also given both a small and a large drawing pad, and some oil pastels, replacing the ones I bought in April, which turned out more like wax crayons - even the little one complains that they are not good enough for him. He’s not getting his mitts on these beauties, though. The origami paper was a stocking filler, and I asked my parents to bring some old origami books from home that I used to use years ago. I have been able to produce an elaborate looking “Spanish box” already. The “Right Price activity paper” is because they couldn’t find any coloured pastel paper for me, and at the top left you can see a collapsible water pot, which my son used of as a hat for his toy dog, with half a toy hamster’s exercise ball as a blue cape for it, and the other half as a hat for himself.
Love that plastic skullcap!
At the time of writing, New Year celebrations have been taking place around the world, although not here yet for a few hours. By the time Google picks this new post up, it will be the New Year. Last week, a certain family member received a card from a friend with the usual seasonal greeting and some words he hadn’t come across before. “What’s this ‘happy zoll’?” he asked. “Happy 2011” I replied, and on that note, it only remains to wish all readers a happy New Year and compliments of the season.






Enjoy!!!

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/one-true-thing/201012/boo-all-rochelle-jewel-shapiro

|

Me at one of the Xmas parties I went to.

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

Gosh, I thought I looked way hotter in this dress that it appears in the picture. Oh, well. I'm here!!!

|
Plenty of TLC and personal attention given. Plus, the guest speaker is a literary agent.

https://www.uclaextension.edu/r/Course.aspx?reg=W1106

|

Blizzard Report

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
The night sky is seething with snow moving in a crisscross current and casting smoky shadows on the snowbanks. Every few minutes, the wind slams white loaves of snow out of the trees as if the spirits are having a snowball fight. Ah, the joys of a blizzard when lentil soup is aboil in your chrockpot and you don't have to drive anywhere for at least two days!!

|

Merry Xmas

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
This year let there be peace in our hearts and in all the world.

|

Arty Christmas 2010

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Snow trees - at a very early stage

The next two art group meetings clash with bank holidays, so, for this week, I have begun a new snowy painting at home. I plan to make the most of the snow and try to get a few paintings out of it if possible. As this one is in oils, it will take time to dry enough to add more to it. I’ll do more next weekend, and then lots more once I return to art group in the New Year.

I am using a Spectrum 30cm x 40cm canvas, ready gessoed (gesso is a substance that stops the oil colour going through the canvas). I started by drawing in the outline of the larger trees in pencil, then painting in a pale blue sky. I mixed the oil paint with a special medium although you can use Linseed oil and artists’ turpentine. Although the sky on the original photo is white, I always need some contrast when painting a snow scene. Most of this sky will eventually be covered by tree branches and twigs. I’ve created similar paintings before using a technique of watercolour or Chroma (like acrylic) background, then white acrylic for the snow, but I want to see how oils compares. It may well be the best one to use as you can cover dark areas with white.

Last week’s post had a photo of our Christmas tree at home. Many of the decorations are knitted. I made them thinking they would be safer than normal ones for a toddler, but I keep getting them out every year because they look quite good on the tree. These decorations were designed by Jean Greenhowe, well known for her cuddly toy knitting patterns. They are all quite straightforward to make and each one takes about an evening to knit. She does have some free patterns on her website (although not the tree decorations). http://www.jeangreenhowe.com/patterns.html

James's Publication work
This week, I am featuring the work of James Jackson, a local artist, landscape gardener and singer with a band.  James believes that “we can change the world through great design not self gratifying art for itself”.  He has produced designs for magazines, amongst other things, and his website is at: http://www.jpjdesignpartnership.com/home.cfm. He also has a Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/JPJ-Design-Partnership-Ltd/133540450009677 I am reliably informed that he is a very talented singer, and recently heard someone say of him “he has more talent in his little finger than I have in my entire body”.   I wonder if I will ever get a compliment like that - perhaps it's something to aim for.  Here’s some of his artwork for you to enjoy, anyway.
Some of James's Sculptures


Get him/her back!!

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
WRITING REVENGE: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even. Seeking poems, stories, essays, and memoir, serious or otherwise, about anyone who’s pissed you off so much you had to shame them by writing about them, for anthology to propose to publishers. Send attachments and/or questions to Carl Jenkinson and Stephen Powers: writingrevenge@gmail.com.

|

Making use of the snow

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Although the recent cold weather here in the UK seems to have caused a lot of inconvenience, I am making the most of the opportunity to create some lovely snowy pictures. At art group, I tried to depict this group of trees in chalk pastel, but I feel it needs a thicker medium that would enable me to put light over dark, to show the snow on the trees. I found pastel isn’t quite up to this, so in the New Year, I will be trying the same thing in oils on canvas. I was inspired by an artist I saw at Patchings, who painted some lovely blue shadows on his snow paintings – it looked just right and I’ll try to follow his approach.


At art group, we had our annual Christmas “huddle” party.  Most members were there. It wasn’t particularly warm even with all the heating on, but it still enjoyable as always. I took along a rice salad from my “I want Chocolate Cake and I Want it Now” book. I was given this book as a present a few years ago, and it has proved very useful for cooking for parties when I am asked to bring something along. It has a sort of Bridget Jones feel to it, with sections on romance food, swimsuit food, slob out food, party food - even food for when you have been dumped! The rice salad was a bit garlicky, but in the past the couscous salad has been a hit. For our Easter exhibition, I suggested having some card display stands and I’m looking into prices at the moment. I might also create a fan page on Facebook for our group, for extra publicity and to announce forthcoming events.
Our tree at home - Merry Christmas to all readers
This blog is now on Amazon Kindle, so welcome to anyone who is reading this from there.
Tazin's blog
This week, I am featuring the work of another blogger (above). I read many excellent blogs that I feel deserve a wider audience, and this is a good example. Tazin Damji is a professional artist and interior designer who seeks out beautiful things for the home. Tazin’s blog is at: http://www.beingtazim.com/. “Being Tazin” is worth a look for the fascinating Swahili architecture photos and review of a book on beautiful libraries around the world (the book would probably be available worldwide via Amazon). Her blog has promoted handmade crafts in her “handmade with love” event , it sometimes features guest posts by other bloggers and holds giveaway events. Many of the makers and suppliers she features trade in America, but some of these may export overseas. For UK readers, the “Simple Human” canisters mentioned on the first page of her blog, can be ordered from their UK website. http://www.simplehuman.co.uk/.



Emotions Into Art (online) How do writers make you laugh and cry? Designed for beginners and for those who would like to spike up their writing and gain mastery, this course begins by exploring emotion-packed fiction, short prose, and poems, to discover tips, tricks, and strategies for making the reader ache, cheer characters on, reach for the Kleenex, or hold their sides with laughter. You’ll learn about tone, hyperbole, understatement, pacing, implication, and more. Through stimulating writing exercises and short reading assignments, you are encouraged to find your own voice to create short writing (prose or poems) about yourself /and or fictional characters that grab the attention of both readers and editors. Guest Lecturer will be literary agent, Claire Gerus

|

What do you think of BLACK SWAN?

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
Forgive the pun, but this movie will keep you on your toes. There were moments I thought it was too Steven King-ish, not that I don't love his work as well, but I had liked it as a regular psychological thriller. But then I accepted it all, screaming covering my eyes, but spreading my fingers to peek so I wouldn't miss a thing. What we writers can learn from this is the art of reversals, that is, letting the reader think one thing is going to happen and then giving them something completely different. It's how you keep the pages being turned.

|
What a cutie this dog is. Where can I get one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9Fyey4D5hg&feature=player_embedded

|

Fuddle huddle

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
“Ever since it’s been snowing, my mother in law hasn’t stopped looking through the window. I’m letting her in next week”, quipped one of the art group members, whose identity is perhaps best kept anonymous. Everyone was full of stories about how the snow had affected them, whether having to walk miles home from work and retrieve their car days later, or having shopping stuck in the post for weeks on end. It seems hard to believe it is almost Christmas time again, as we debated what food we would all bring in for next week’s annual “fuddle” (party). I’m hoping Maggie will do the lovely vegetarian pastry thing she made last year, and have been wondering what I’ll make myself.

The photos I took in last week's snow gave me some inspiration for this week’s painting, which is another snowy tree. It is not entirely completed, and I will be doing more to it at next week’s art group meeting. It won’t be worth starting anything new next week because we will finish early for the fuddle. This painting is for my art group friends, and I might do more snowy paintings in the coming weeks, so that I have plenty of Christmas cards for next year.
I used water soluble pencil crayons for the background and the tree itself, and extra snow is picked out in white acrylic. I began by drawing the outline of the tree, then coloured the sky in pale blue. I applied water to it, creating a wash, and working it around the outline of the tree. I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way – it’s probably best to use a watercolour or acrylic wash so that you can wet the paper first, and then apply the paint, which creates a smoother effect. Still, it’s fun to experiment. The pencil crayon was ideal for picking out the details of the twigs, though. I dampened the hollow middle of the tree with a small brush to intensify the darker colours in that area. Because the sky came out a bit uneven, I cropped some areas of the sky on the computer after downloading it.


I have a new book review this week, Neil Killion’s Lifecycles, on my Librarything widget, below. I’d previously only reviewed his blog, but have now read the full book. Both these put forward a completely new concept of forces that affect how someone’s life unfolds. Although his work is not strictly scientifically proven, he developed his ideas though carrying out over 40 case studies, so it can’t be that far off being science. I found it an interesting read, anyway.


More next week.


Jewel


Guys You Just Have to Hug

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

The guy with the glasses is my husband, Bernie, the other is Evens Cange whom he's worked with for a number of years. They both are the kind of guys that tree huggers hug, dog lovers love, the understood and misunderstood love, and I love.


|

Little Italy in Boston

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments

There I am, wearing a mauve sweater set and a butterfly belt. My husband is not the guy in the blue shirt leaning toward me, but the man in the blue shirt standing upright and apart. A body language expert could really dig into this. Actually, one of my best friends, Ann (wearing the scarf) was leaning on me and to get in the picture, her husband tilted too. Sounds like baloney with parmasagne, but please believe me.

|

Snow Business # 2

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa 0 comments
We have had the worst snow for about 20 years this week, so I stayed away from art group. I don’t expect many of the art group would have gone along, as most people drive to the meetings, the roads are covered in ice, and not many of us live within walking distance. With the pavements still under a couple of feet of snow, I didn’t feel particularly safe walking on the road. Having the family at home most of the week wasn’t very conducive to painting, and I had to settle for photography this week, taking a few snaps on shopping trips and so forth. So I’ve got some lovely photos to paint from, when I get chance, which I hope will be soon.
An almost wartime sort of atmosphere has descended on the village. With no post since Monday, we have also had shortages of bread, milk and newspapers (on Tuesday). Thankfully, normal deliveries to the supermarket soon resumed. I put the wheelie bin out more in hope than expectation (people who’ve lived here longer didn’t bother) and I will be trying the same again this week, perhaps with a better outcome.
This week, I am featuring the work of Charlotte Tollyfield, a silversmith. Charlotte is originally from Sheffield, and after studying art in Bucks, returned to Sheffield, where she is based at Persistence Works at the silversmith starter studios. I visited Charlotte during the open studios event a few weeks ago, and was impressed by some silver snowflake Christmas decorations she had made. I bought one but little did I know how fed up of snow I would soon be ….
These small silver and gold bowls also caught my eye. To create the gold finish, the parts of the silver bowl that will stay silver are coated with a resistant substance. The bowls are then electroplated, in a tank with fine particles of gold suspended in a solution all around them. This gives a smoother finish than gold leaf would.

The silversmiths have their own Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001677070913 and this link to Yorkshire Artspace is about starter studios http://www.artspace.org.uk/programmes/starter-studios.