Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Only The Shadow Knows

Shadow is a color as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relations of two tones. 
~Paul Cezanne

Not bold enough with my shadows!
I always understood the importance of light and shadow. My problem was that I just wasn't so great at capturing them accurately. I worked on shadow first. When I first started painting I was way to timid with my shadows. My art looked subsequently flat and kinda uninteresting, as though there was some essential element missing but I couldn't see it. Well, there was an essential element missing! Shadows are cast by anything three dimensional and I just wasn't being bold enough with my brush stroke.

I think a thing's placement in the Universe is shown by it's shadow and light gives that same object it's breath of life. By missing either element one loses an absolutely essential piece of the puzzle and the artwork looks flat and lifeless, it looks dead.

The above pink daisy was one of my first attempts at a more complicated painting and I loved how the actual drawing came out. Unfortunately, although the light on the underside of the petals is fairly good, the shadows just aren't bold enough so the piece looks kind of flat and lifeless, despite it's correct proportions. When looking at it there's just something 'off' about it. I see now that none of the petals throw a shadow on the background and the shadows that are there to define petals just aren't bold enough.

When, however, I get mad I seem to be much bolder with my shadowing. I had been working on this red rose and I just couldn't get it to look at all right. I got really spitting mad, frustrated at my inadequate painting skills. I started painting angrily which meant I certainly wasn't being soft and gentle. The bolder shadows made the rose come to life and this was the first really good piece I ever produced.

This week's APR is themed around "Shadow". I decided to explore what I've learned over the last two years and see if I've improved, lol. Since it's close to Halloween I chose candy as my subject,. Mmmm, did someone say candy?? So, here's my piece... (unfortunately, it didn't photograph very well, the shadows really ARE there, lol, the photo just doesn't show it much. The camera seems to have whitened both the background and the candy shadows. Grrr.)

Title: "Trick or Treat!"
Best,



Looking for APR? Click Here! Hoping all my East Coast friends are safe and dry with no damage. Wishing all of you a safe and candy laden Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Calling All Friends!!

Hiya everybody, I have a small and easy favor to ask of you. Here's a short background explaining why I'm doing this post. I have a good friend, Ellen (I've mentioned her on the blog before). She emailed me late last night begging for help. :o) Jenn to the rescue!! She told me that not only is she's in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy but she also just came down with pneumonia! She didn't seem concerned with her health, silly girl, what she was upset about was that because of the hurricane she's sure she's gonna lose her internet connection and because of that, she'd drop out of contention for a huge prize in a contest she's involved in. This is the reason I'm begging all my friends for a tiny favor.

She's one of three semi-finalists in something called "Paper Craft Island". She won't be able to blog or promote herself for days without an internet connection so she's worried that without votes for "her craft project", she's gonna LOSE. EEk!!
Ok, so if you want to help Ellen, my good buddy, win, could you please click this email address below and send an entry for her craft project? Ellen's project is #2, a Halloween wreath, here's a picture of her cool and gorgeous project.


I know she (and I) would really appreciate your support in this. Ellen works tirelessly throughout the year making cards and decorations that groups she's involved in send to the children's hospital. She deserves a little love, because  she's so lovable. The email address that you send your "I'm voting for the Halloween project #2. Thank you!" is papercraftisland@gmail.com (Don't mention that it's Ellen's, just the number 2!!). The voting is only open until the end of tomorrow, Monday October 29th @11:59 pm EST (Eastern standard time). Thanks all who vote to help her win. I'm gonna send her some virtual chicken soup and an umbrella. :o) That and all the love I have for her quick recovery.

Thanks for listening my friends, you guys rock, for serious. :o) I'll be back soon with my "SHADOW" art for APR. Can't wait to see this week's submissions. Happy Halloweening!

Best,



BOO!! Ya, I know I scared ya this time!! Hehehe.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Artist's Play Room #33

Wow, what a busy week! I feel like I've hardly had any time for art at all. Don't you hate it when it's that way? It's been a productive week in all other categories besides art. I've got much of my Christmas gift giving sorted (except for mom, she's always the hardest!). I finally got a CPAP machine to combat my apnea. It's been so great to sleep well. I must admit, it takes some time to get used to wearing something on my head at night but just as many friends who use one too have said, once you get used to it, you'll never want to sleep without it.

I have chosen the WINNER for the two issues of FEATURING magazine, the winner was number 9, Debbie of Crafty Moose Crafts!! I've already contacted her and she's thrilled. I'll be mailing out her package tomorrow. Congratulations Debbie, I hope you enjoy FEATURING. Oh, also, there are still a few days (until Oct 30) to win the new Journaling book by buying issue 2 of FEATURING. Go here to read more about it!

Everyone participating this week have gone above and beyond with great submissions to our "PAIRS" theme. Thanks to all who played, let me show you all the gorgeousness!! (hopefully all this craziness in my life will settle down next week and I can have a little more time to enjoy APR!)

LynnMarySharon
SerenaLindaHwee
DarlaTwinkletoesArmondo
JennMinnCurrie
VonnyTraceyRitu
RitaDisha
If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

This week's challenge was inspired by a bloggy friend who's expanding her repertoire into painting in watercolor. Learning how to capture something accurately is part of being a good artist but also knowing when to emphasize light and shadow to make the piece look either more real or more dramatic is a skill that takes time to develop. It's something I'm still struggling with. I thought that this week we'd do "SHADOW" as our theme. 

Now, you know I always give you wiggle room in my Artist's Play Room, I wouldn't want anyone to feel too hemmed in by a challenge theme. So, feel free to interpret this any way you want. Be literal, show a dramatic shadow, be humorous, do a drawing of the comic book character The Shadow, or just do a piece of art that has a wonderful use of shadows. You could even do something just black and white or an abstract about how you feel about shadows. Have at it, GO! (here are my little collection of examples, as always, lol, hopefully they help inspire you!)
Dion, an expert in the use of shadow,
her subjects jump off the page!
Lizard shadow on a leaf by JimSharon's dramatic shadowed trees
Cathy's shadowed landscapeDauna's abstract dragonfly shadowMary's pepper, great use of light
& shadow
Talk to you all soon. I hope everyone has a great Halloween week, and for those of you in parts of the world without Halloween, I suggest going out and buying a big bucket of candy and gorging yourself while wearing a mask, that's kinda what it's like here!! Be good all!

Oh, and..... BOO!! Did I scare ya? Hehehe.
Best,



OOh, and I got a new follower in my Linky Follower Tool, Thank you!! Will you follow me too?? Puuurrrrrrty PPPlllleeeaasssseee? (Oh, I'm dressed up like Roger Rabbit as I said that, just thought you'd want to know. ;o)
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Monday, October 22, 2012

There's A Duck On My Foot!

A new friend of mine drew a duck for one of my APR challenges and she inspired me to draw some ducks myself. When I saw her cute mallard I remembered back many years ago, when I was in University. I had transferred from Carleton University in Ottawa to the University of Victoria in the summer of '91. (yes, I'm dating myself)

I decided I'd better get to know my new Alma Mater's grounds before I actually was required to navigate efficiently through the buildings and over the paths. Mom dropped me off early one morning about a week before classes started. I figured I'd spend the day getting to know the lay of the land, so to speak. The first thing I did was walk through to the quad which had a lovely fountain outside the library building. The local ducks used it as their watering hole. Conveniently, there were many backless benches for the students to use as a great place to have lunch. 

Fountain outside the UVic library where I fed the ducks.
Now, you should know, I'm a sucker for cute and begging waterfowl. Actually, any bird at all (but especially ducks and seagulls) will always share in anything I have to nibble on. The ducks were looking at me expectantly so I nipped into the building beside the library, I could see through all the glass windows that it had a plethora of vending machines. I paid for a bag of chips and went to find the always hungry ducks.

I sat on a bench and promptly opened the bag and just like a cat who responds to the electric can opener, I had a dozen ravenous quackers looking lovingly at my chip bag. I chose one of the few polite female ducks and threw her a chip. Well, it was like a cat on a mouse! A kuufuffle of feathers and quacking ensued so I threw a few more chips away from the fighting group, hoping to break it up. The ducks went wild! I was laughing, watching them go after the chips as I threw more. I decided if I wanted one or two of these chips I better have them now so I grabbed a few and stuffed them into my mouth. The ducks all watched me intently. 

Promptly and unbeknownst to me, an especially pushy male duck jumped up onto the back of my bench. I only discovered he was there when he bit my backside, trying to get my attention!! With a chip in my hand I turned to him, flabbergasted that a duck had just pinched my ass! A duck in the front of me then jumped up and stole the chip in my hand. I was then literally surrounded by pushy, hungry ducks!! There was one pair though, that were on the periphery of this blood thirsty group. They were polite and waited their turn so I started just throwing to them. Smartly, they moved around the outside of this duck circle, avoiding the onslaught of interlopers trying to grab their snack. My two polite ducks got the rest of the bag, I always reward politeness, lol.

Off I went to explore UVic for a few hours. I hadn't walked more that a few meters when I heard quacking. I turned around to see the same polite pair of ducks. I was being followed! It seems I had made friends because as I walked all around the property, the male and his mate tracked after me. When I went into a building they waited patiently until I emerged. Then they'd follow me doggedly to the next building! When lunch came I went into the cafeteria. They had a spectacular looking sandwich bar but I got the soup so I could have all the crackers I wanted with it (I asked first, lol). 

So, now I'm outside, after eating my soup, with 10 little cracker packages. My two friends were thrilled to bits when I opened all the packages, one by one, just for them! It so made me laugh to hear a duck try to quack "thank you" with a beak full of crackers! 

For the rest of the day my ducks happily followed me, even when I crossed the ring road to go to the bookstore. It was like I had my own posse or winged guard. The few students already milling around, getting books etc. thought it hilarious, my little entourage. 

Finally I was done for the day and stopped at a pay phone to call Mom who had agreed generously to pick me up whenever I was done (I didn't know the bus system yet either, lol). My feathered friends stopped and waited patiently for me. Over the phone I laughingly described my day to my mom. She didn't believe my story about Oliver & Mabel (my new duck friends. Hey, they needed names, how else would I call them??). I promptly put the phone down to Oliver, who obligingly sauntered up, got onto my foot and started quacking loudly into the receiver!! I could hear Mom's laughter over the phone line.

So that's my not so tall tale of my first day at UVic. Oh, you want to know what became of my sweet friends Oliver & Mabel?? They followed me for two years as I finished the degree I had started in Ottawa's Carleton University. It wasn't every day that they'd meet me at the cafeteria's entrance but at least twice a week my duck friends would appear and accompany around for a while before going for a swim in the fountain. Just call me the duck whisperer. It was kind of wonderful, actually and made me fall in love with ducks for life.

Here's my submission for this week's APR theme or "PAIRS". My homage to Oliver & Mable, my loyal little feathered friends.
Title: MRDucks
Best,



Remember, there's my BIG GIVEAWAY going on for the next week or so. Enter to win a copy of both Issue 1 & 2 of FEATURING magazine. Click Here to enter!! Looking for APR? Just click here to be taken to this week's challenge, "PAIRS". Scroll down to the end and enter your artwork. I can't wait to see!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Artist's Play Room #32

This last week brought a spectacular conglomeration of artwork. I'm so thrilled that you all didn't have trouble coming up with what you could do to illuminate the theme. I do want to apologize in advance, I'm really bogged down this week and in the interest of time, I'll just be adding links under each artist's submission, not any personal thoughts this week. I hope you understand. Thanks so much for all your participation, I do love all the art that comes in from you every week.

(Note, this post somehow got corrupted and to rescue it I replaced all pictures with the linky again so at least anyone stopping by could go to the art from last week's theme, Celestial/Stargazing. Thanks for understanding, I certainly didn't want to delete this whole post!)

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If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

Do you remember several weeks ago we did the love of PEARS? Everyone seemed to enjoy that challenge so I decided that we'd do it again. So, this week, the challenge is "The Love of PAIRS". Ha! Gotcha!! Yes, we're doing PAIRS, like socks or twins, get it?? Ok, go and think of all the lovely things that come in pairs (or things that would be improved if they came in pairs!). Have fun, I can't wait to see what you come up with. ;o)

Here are some fun examples...
I'll see you soon with my submission to PAIRS. I can't wait to see what you all do. Happy upcoming Halloween, try to enjoy all the candy!

Best,



Remember, there's my BIG GIVEAWAY going on for the next week or so. Enter to win a copy of both Issue 1 & 2 of FEATURING magazine. Click Here to enter!!

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