Pen and ink - and snuggly knits

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As the weather has stayed cold this week, I have put my snow picture on one side for now, as the paint hasn’t dried yet. Instead, I have done a pen and ink picture, with a coloured background. I’ve now done two pictures like this, with different coloured backgrounds. Here’s the first one: I did a colourwash, then drew in the outline of the trees, and inked them in. To create the wash, I first of all raised the top end of my pad up on some books, to create a slant. I dampened the paper all over with a wet brush, starting at the top, moving it from side to side, and working my way to the bottom. I then put plenty of watercolour on the brush, because it dries lighter (any water-based colour would do), and did the same again, and the colour gradually got paler. At first there were lines where the paint had been, but these blended to create continuous colour as the paint dried. Sometimes you can be left with lines when it dries, and it can take practice to get it right.

While the paper was still wet, I turned the pad around the other way, and did the same thing with another colour, leaving it paler in the middle between the two, as there would be with this kind of sky at sunset or sunrise. I think it is quite effective. I produced another one today using red and yellow, but it isn’t finished yet.

This week, I am featuring a craft blog, from Renate (I don’t know her surname), who lives in Gjorvik in Norway. She is 28 years old, lives with her partner and two cats, works in the eye care industry and studies journalism. She loves to knit and crochet. Her blog is at and is in Norwegian, but has a translate option so can be read in English. She has a knitters forum and a Norwegian forum on the "Blog Frog" site.
I like her “angry birds” and she features some very snugly looking knits that she makes. At art group today, I could have done with some of her lovely warm socks that she made for her mum, although of course, her mum may well live in the more northerly part of Norway where Renate is originally from, which makes me feel a bit of a wimp. Renate can undertake commissions, and has her contact details on her blog.

More observant readers may have noticed I have several new link buttons in the right hand margin.  These were done with the help of this blog:  Although the writer no longer updates this blog, it is full of useful information, and there's a link on there to her new one.

Love Calls
Call for Love Poems,
Essays and Short Stories under 700 words

Love is not simple and comes in unexpected ways.

Surprise us!

Send submissions to:
Bonnie Zindel
Creative Literary Editor
Psychoanalytic Perspectives
Deadline: March 1, 2011


In Search of Exhibition Space 2

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“You look like something from the sixties” said my husband. “But I am something from the sixties” I replied, “Mummy, you look like a monkey”, added my small son. Such were the comments on my new furry gilet, bought to keep me warm at art group, as indeed it did. I’d seen youngsters wearing tiny gilets and skintight jeans, which was the effect I was trying to create, but with three layers underneath, it didn’t quite hit the spot. Still who needs glamour when you can be toasty?
This week, I have added more white to my Snow Trees. Once it’s dry, I can add more subtle colours on top.

On my travels, I visited the swish new library at nearby Worksop. It has a circular central atrium with lots of glass. Upstairs is an art gallery, where you can exhibit for (cough) £250 for three weeks (including publicity). The small area had a display by a local theatre group, and I was the only person there. Readers may remember that we didn’t have very much luck exhibiting in Worksop last year and the year before, so it may be as well to pass on this one

I have begun a new pen and ink painting - the art group are all trying out this medium this week. All, except John, that is, as he is working on a pastel tiger portrait, which is turning out rather well.

I wonder how many readers realise that there’s rather an attractive website linked to this blog, with lots of lovely paintings, such as this one by Sue Colclough:
Usually, you can tell what Sue’s paintings are of, but I like it when she goes a bit imaginative and abstract.  Link to the website at the top of the page.

In search of exhibition space

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This week found me visiting Chesterfield on a mission to find places to exhibit.

I began with “A for Art”. I’ve written about this shop before, and this time I called in to ask if I could have my work displayed in their window. Armed with the requisite six paintings, I answered various questions: where did I live, how long had I been painting? All my life!, Did I exhibit? Yes, prices, my shoe size (only joking about that one), while he looked at my paintings (some of which had been produced using materials from his shop – although I didn’t say so).  He only liked two of the six, and I wondered later if I should have taken different ones. Although it was a “no”, I always welcome feedback, how else can I improve?
He liked this one
I also enquired about exhibiting at the Tourist Information Centre. I was told to write in to be put on their (two year) waiting list, which I did as soon as I got home – on behalf of both myself and the group. It reminded me of being put on a council house waiting list - let’s hope we get our turn eventually. We could do with something sooner, and so this week I’m looking into a museum, and an exhibition centre – watch this space. Barbara at art group told me that she hadn’t had any luck with Chesterfield library - their three year waiting list is closed for the time being. There does seem to be a shortage of places to exhibit in our area, and I would LOVE to find somewhere in Clowne, where our group is. If you can help, do contact me via the link above.

I have also been busy updating my art website to include delivery in all the prices. Over 170 paintings had to be done, which took two days, and the new version will be live in the coming week.

Colourific by Zoe Edge - this week's artist
At art group, the room had unfortunately been double booked. A children’s party was due to start half an hour before our group’s usual finishing time, and there was lots to do - food to be organised, furniture to be arranged. A children’s entertainer was arriving shortly. Whoever had taken the booking wasn’t contactable, and many of our group had travelled miles to be there, so I suggested we tried to work around the others. I thought it best not to have to be moved around with my wet oil painting though, and went back home, which means I have no progress to show this week.
Zoe's Wild Sea
Turning therefore to my featured artist, this week we have Zoe Edge. A Clowne resident, amateur artist and devoted Spirite (Chesterfield FC supporter), Zoe went to Fountaindale School and is now in her 30s. She loves her family, has many friends and lives life to the full, particularly enjoying fashion, parties and holidays. She has created her own group on Facebook, featuring her art.  Two of my favourites are Colourific, and Wild Sea. I find it difficult to depict the sea, but Zoe does it beautifully.

Barbra Streisand and Me

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We have a long history together. You see, her uncle, Sydney used to fix my parent's console TV when we lived in Rockaway Beach. He was over our house far too frequently because he and my mother had a crush on each other. Mind you, nothing happened between them. The flirtations took place beneath the at our dining room table over a cup of coffee while my father snored in the bedroom. I overheard him tell my mother that he had a bad-tempered niece, a meiskeit, he called her, an ugly girl. who thought she could sing when she could only shrie, which means scream. Watching my mother bat her mascaraed eyes at him, I decided that I was a fan of anyone he didn't think well of and I've been a Barbra devotee since. Just came home from seeing the newest Fockers movie!


And for our next project ...

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It’s week three of “Snow Trees”.  Last week's brown paint is still a bit tacky, so I've had to turn the painting upside down to work on it.  I’ve mixed a very pale blue for the snow (zinc white and phthalo blue), and have gradually added snow to all the branches, then painted in some thin twigs. I’ve painted the foreground in the same pale blue, and will be adding pure white where the sun catches the snow, tiny fleckss of grey, blue and black and then perhaps a small animal in the foreground. I need to blend the sky and snow between the trees.

As I was busy with this, the rest of the art group, were discussing our next “group project”. These group projects help give us ideas for our art. We all paint the same subject or use the same medium – you can see some examples of our projects on the group’s website This time, we decided on pen and ink, so I’ll need a proper pen – a fountain one or something like a Rotring. I find the ink runs out too quickly with “dippy” pens.

Karen proudly showed off her painting of a camper van against a sunset.  It was a "wide angle" view.  She is now working on a large leopard painting that she began some time ago. Gill was beginning a watercolour of some autumnal trees from a photo she took at Chatsworth House, a well known local landmark.
This week, I am featuring the blog of Kymberly Young, “Travel Babbles”. Kymberly travels with her partner, TJ, who is a professional ice hockey player, and their pet dog. She began her blog to help keep in touch with friends and family (who live in the US) while she is travelling. She also feels it could be helpful to US citizens wanting to live in Germany, as she herself had difficulty finding information about it when planning to move there. She has some beautiful photos of Hannover, and I particularly like the Grotto. Kymberly keeps busy doing courses, planning her wedding (which is to take place in 2012) and blogging. I think her blog would be of particular interest to anyone who likes ice hockey or Germany, and perhaps bulldogs.

God Nose

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Saw Baldusseri's show at the Metropolitain today, full of verbal and visual wit. How come I majored in Fine Arts in the 60's and didn't learn about him? Whenever I hear the phrase, "God knows," I think of my Bubbie looking up at the ceiling, expecting an answer, or when she didn't have one, saying, "God only knows," in her thick Yiddish accent. Now I'll have an image of a nose floating among the clouds as well. Anyone read Gogol's The Nose?

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