“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday 30 October 2015

Reading, robins and reminders

As soon as I saw Tracey Fletcher King's instagram illustration recently of her comfy reading chair, I knew that I needed to draw my own reading corner. 
It's been incredibly neglected over the whole summer, so it's time it got a little attention. 
Now winter is coming towards us, I hope that I'll be curled up here with a mass of great books to plough through. Bliss!
Obviously with the roaring fire toasting my toes... ahh... I never thought I'd say it but now I think about it... roll on winter if that's the case. 
(by the way if you have any recommendations please just pop them into the comments below)  
I'm still managing to add to my Inktober Challenge, although I'm still not up to date. 
I thought I'd take a photo of the reading corner so that you can see what I was using as a reference. 
I've not drawn it exactly, otherwise I'd be here until October 2016, so let's say it's my artistic license. 
Here are a few other sketches just in case you didn't see them on my Instagram or Facebook accounts.
If you did, then I apologise... you must be fed up seeing these designs yet again, but we're near to the end of the month.
I'll leave you in peace then.
I've got a thing about Highland Cows.
This one isn't Hetty (drawn last year) but maybe Hilda perhaps?

I had a request to include a grapevine in this challenge... I'm pleased with this one which if you know me is unusual. I think it would be better with a nice glass of red, but maybe I'll have one later!
I like the swirly whirly grapes.
Now here's a very simple design of a fuschia that is still actually blooming in my garden. 
It's a beautiful pink puffy ballerina tutu.
And finally, I wasn't going anywhere near Christmas but I've got a few robins in my garden and they're singing beautifully. 
I think they want to be drawn.
I'm heading off to the PPF party now to check out other artists and they're amazing work. 
If you'd like to join me then click on the link below. 
Paint Party Friday
Have a brilliant weekend everyone
Happy painting too xx

Friday 23 October 2015

Challenges on many levels...

Well, I could tell you about the crazy week that's just past, but I'll spare you. 
Suffice to say there's been two medical appointments, a car dying whilst fully loaded up with everything but the kitchen sink, plus a dog thinking a trip to the park was imminent and my son having to go to court! 
Hang on, let me rephrase that my son had jury duty! (Phew) that's better.

Anyway, I'm still trying to keep up with the Inktober challenge, so here's some more of the ink sketches I've managed to finish.
The orchid was a request from my sister. 
It's her orchid so how could I refuse? 
She's my big sister after all and I've always done as I'm told! (hehe)
There's also her gargoyle... 
I sketched him on Monday which seemed appropriate for the kind of day I'd had.
That was the day that the car died... well it's reborn now actually, after the trauma.

It seems a new battery was all that was needed. 
Hmm... I wish we could just get a new battery when needed.

It has been a fantastic Autumn here which is great after an atrocious summer. 
I've really been enjoying it which is just as well because I've heard that 'they' say we're in for a severe white winter. I don't hold much by this because the same 'they' said we were going to have a fantastic summer!
I'll wait to see... but I have fully stocked the freezer, bought matches, torches and we've got enough wood to last for a good few winters.... so bring it on!
Meanwhile, the garden is still blooming and the autumn colours are catching my breath at times with their amazing palette.
Here's a little visitor to a thistle...
Even with beautiful sunshine throughout the day, we are enjoying lighting the wood burner in the evening.
I've been watching the geese fly over daily, but I've been mystified by why some are flying south (well I know why that is and I'd do the same if I was a goose) but why they also fly north!  
I had to google this and it appears they are flying to their feeding grounds by day and then they return to their roost for the evening.
Mystery solved.
And just before I leave you for this week... in case you were wondering (oh how I flatter myself) about that Kio Carp painting that I started a few weeks back... well here's a little snippet.
I'm really not sure when I'll be able to finish it, but I'll keep it close to hand. 
It still needs so much work on it.
At least it's good to end with some colour.
Have fun and enjoy your creativity everyone... in whatever form it takes.
Paint Party Friday

As always I try to visit everyone at the Paint Party, but so far I haven't been successful. 
If I've missed you then I apologise... I'll try harder this week.
I'm hopeful that one of these weeks I'll actually manage to see everyone. 
Meanwhile thanks for stopping by my place 

Friday 16 October 2015

Inktober Challenge and Party Time (PPF) and Sunday Sketches

A few people have asked would I post what I'm drawing for the Inktober Challenge here on my blog... (they don't have an Instagram account or use Facebook) so as I aim to please my readers (hehe) here's the next phase of the challenge.
I'm still three drawings behind schedule, but I truly plan to catch up before the end of the month.
This Autumn Leaf is the most popular so far...
But the Halloween Pumpkins are a hit too.
One of my favourite birds since returning to the UK is the Pheasant. 
We are constantly hearing them if not actually seeing them just now.

And then there just had to be a drawing of my true lifelong loves.
Books and reading...
With suffering experiencing extremely cold mornings over the last week... 
I'm having to play cinders once again. 
Lighting the wood burner is one of my first chores of the day.
I'm also hunting my winter woolies, thermals and fleeces out. 
But it's confusing because as the morning progresses the sun is shining making up for such a wet grey summer.
So obviously on a chilly morning Grumpy Owl appeared. 
I'm not sure why, but I can safely say he looks like he doesn't like the cold either.  
Are you craving a little colour now? 
I know I am... here's a photo of one of my garden flower beds. 
I can't believe just how colourful it is right now, especially in the low sunlight of early morning.
Some flowers are only just blooming... they must be so confused.
As are the birds no doubt!
So that's it for today... I'll perhaps show you a little more of the garden and what's happening in another post, but in the meantime why don't you pop across using the link below to enjoy some more incredible art over at PPF
I know they'll be explosions of colour and amazing talent there.
Paint Party Friday
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.
I'm also linking up with Sunday Sketches

I know I've been neglecting you lately, but I hope to get back to some normality soon... 
whatever that is! 
I appreciate your visit  and love it when you leave a comment.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and happy painting everyone.


Friday 9 October 2015

Inktober challenge and PPF

It seems that I've got into an unintentional pattern with my blog posts. 
I did intend to post mid week, but where did it go?
But never mind where has the week gone... how the Dickens can it be October?
I suppose it should have sunk in really because the farmers 'made hay whilst the sun shone' working well into the twilight hours, with the heavy droning sound of their combines. 
I have to tell you that that sun was toasty, so they must have been very happy.
Don't laugh but last week the weather reporter announced that Aberdeenshire was the hottest in the whole of the UK!
I'd even go so far as to say it was one of the best weeks we've had all summer.
But then the rain and fog arrived as a timely reminder of what's to come... along with the unmistakable sound of the geese leaving us before winter arrives.
I love the see and hear them fly overhead, in their formation whilst busy chatting away... but it's a sad sight. I'm already longing for them to return. 
I did see one lone goose trying desperately to find his flock. 
He must have been sleeping when they all took off... poor thing. 
I do hope he found them in the end.
I've even heard them fly over at night in the pitch dark. 
Now that's an amazing skill.
I mean we can get lost driving at night with headlights and GPS!  

Anyway, I digress... it's Friday and it's time to party, so as usual I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday.
Eva and Kristin host a gathering of talented artists to a show and tell link... so why not follow the link to see some amazing art.

So here's my desk where I'm still working on 'My Week On A Page #5'.
(see the rain on the window pane... yuk! 
I brought Muffy's bed up to the studio to paint it which initially confused her, but she soon settled into it... and I'm watching the 'Extra Slice' programme on my kindle. 
It's an additional spin off from the GBBO - the Great British Bake Off)

I'm taking far too long to complete these projects because they're taking more than two weeks for me to complete instead of the week, but I'm loving creating them. 
I think I need to remember to keep loose and not spend so much time on them. I'm learning so much.
I'm also still working on the Koi Carp, so hopefully I'll be able to show you the two completed. 
Even though these are unfinished, I have been spending more time in the studio... so I'm happy.
Now I'm on a roll, I've also decided to join in with the InkTober challenge. 
Every October, artist from all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by creating one ink drawing a day for the entire month.
I only heard about the challenge on the fifth day, so had to post some of my old zentangles to play catch up. I love to draw with ink, so I'm having fun with this challenge.
Here's number 7... I felt it had to have an autumnal theme.
I adore trees and although it's strange to have an autumn scene without the autumnal colours, I think it still works. 
I'm a little rusty with this kind of design, but hopefully as the month progresses I'll get back into it.

And here's #8 in honour of the Great British Bake Off series finishing.
I watched the emotional final last night and was pleased with the outcome.
Don't worry there's no spoilers here.
But I will say there were a few tears and even Mary shed one or two. 
Anyway... here's my design
Sorry for the lack of colour, but I promise that they'll be lot's next week.
Paint Party Friday
Have a great weekend everyone... with lots of fun!
Happy Painting Emoji
Hot off the press.... I completed My Week On A Page #5 this afternoon (only a few hours late)
So why have I painted these particular items?
Here's a brief explanation....

  • The Virginia Creeper (the red leaves) has crept up one of the walls of the house which provides a fantastic wall of colour... especially when the morning sun set's it alight. 
  • The washing line is to pay homage to the last few days of being able to let things dry outside. 
  • Muffin's bed and blanket went for an airing which too some planning because it had to go out and be back before she needed a snoozelet. 
  • The apples were taken from my sister's apple tree when we went down to visit recently. It's produced the best crop ever this year.
  • And finally my hair scrunchy. I know it's a strange thing to include but it's all part of the winter preparations. I've grown my hair to be able tie it up. When the temperature drops you need to keep your winter coat on!
And that's it for this week... I can rest easy now.
Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and followers.

Friday 2 October 2015

My Week on a page... PPF

I'm showing you the view from my studio window today so that you'll forgive me for posting yet again unfinished work! 
But just look at that sunlight and it's October.
I'm in such a rush to dash outside... but I have been up before the sun this morning to start some new pieces of artwork today, so it's not all bad. 

I've had a sketch of Koi Carp drafted for a few days
(which seems quite appropriate as I'm going to use my Japanese paints)
I was unsure what to do first, whether the water background should be painted first or the fish.... a little like the scenario of the chicken and the egg.
Which comes first?
I've taken the plunge (ha... no pun was intended but I'm liking that) and started on the water first.
I've also added rock salt for a water effect, but we'll have to see how that turns out.
I used to use this technique when silk painting.
It's great if it works correctly.

I've also started another 'My week on a page'.
I really should come up with another title of this project because these pages appear every few weeks and certainly not weekly.
But I'm happy if I just complete a page, no matter how long it takes me.
I'm not sure you will be able to see the design and colours in these shots.
But as it progresses I'll be sure to share.
I'll also explain why I've included each particular item.
There's washing on a line, apples, a scrunchy, and Virginia creeper.

I'm off outside now to top up my Vitamin D before this weather disappears.
I'll also catch up later with the Paint Party Friday gang which Kristin and Eva kindly host each week.
Paint Party Friday
Have fun and I hope the sun is shining on you too
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