Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

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Making a Journal

As a part of my new watercolour journey, I am making an H2O Journal. This includes making the covers, preparing the pages and learning how to bind them together.

Tonight I set to work making the covers, using collage and paint.

These are the front and back covers after I have finished the collage. Enjoyed ripping up papers and finding text  that I liked.

Next I was to make marks using acrylic paint and stencils, which I did but not so happy with the result. I think I would have preferred just stopping with the collage, but I am always willing to go along with the exercise, even if I end up with something different from where I thought I was going.

I have gone from a very clean look to a very messy look. I used a stencil that I didn’t like so had to play with the paint to get rid of the evidence of the stencil. I think if I revisit these with some wax pastels I can end up with something I am happier with. I call this a hot mess right now. Maybe I will end up putting gesso over the lot and starting again!! This is what happens when you don’t go with your own instincts. But it was fun to play and get my hands messy with paint. (ooh, just had a thought… I will get out the Sharpies and add some detail and may just save this thing).

Journal before binding_web

Next I punched holes in the covers and the pages. It is all ready to learn coptic stitch (I think that is what our tutor called it). I’m looking forward to learning how to do that.

I don’t even really like posting how this journal ended up looking. But this is part of my journey playing with media I am not used to working with and learning through my mistakes… I hope!


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Zentangle Inchies

As part of the BF2C Group, I took on the challenge to create zentangle inchies, one inch square zentangle in any media, on any chosen surface. We were to create 3 different zentangles for each person taking the challenge. As there were 7 people involved, we had to create 7 lots of 3 inchies, 21 in total!


Zentangle Inchies_1_web

I decided to use watercolour paper as I was going to experiment with watercolours and waterproof pens. I drew up the grid and started zentangling! I decided to do a triptych of zentangles based on one of my favourite Japanese prints.

Zentangle Inchies_2_web

Once the initial drawings were all complete it was time to add watercolour. I used my Kohinoor watercolours for the first time. It was fun to play with them. Using one colour at a time I worked my way down each column of inchies, gradually adding the colours. There was no real plan, I just used colours that felt right. There was no right or wrong colour to choose really.

Zentangle Inchies_4_web

The end result turned out better than I expected. And it was fun to complete!

They are all in the post. Now I just have to wait for my little parcels of inchies to arrive, and then work out how to display them all together.

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Starting from scratch

It has been ages since I have been on my blog, and just as long since I have done any painting/drawing. Returning to full time work really puts a dampener on the creative spirit.

But tonight I finally got back to something creative. I have joined a class all about mixed media and journalling, just to get back to some basics and find my creative way again.

The class is run at my local arts & crafts group and is run by the wonderful Tania, from BFree2Create. We are working on H2O journal, which covers anything to do with water media.20160512_202951

She started me doing some basic colour exercises using water soluble wax pastels. It was very relaxing and fun. Hadn’t used this type of pastel before. Very easy to use. Still have a bit to finish on these two pages but had to wait for them to dry.


Next we moved onto blind contour drawing. I haven’t done that since I first started drawing classes about 10 years ago. The drawing of the cutting worked better than my hand, which is looking quite deformed. But then a little bit of watercolour wax pastel colour improves the markings on the page!

We are using A3 pages folded in half to make the journal. Tania is going to teach me how to bind the pages together, which is going to be really useful.


Next onto modified contour drawing, where you draw until you reach a point where you need to move your pen to a new starting point, which is when you can look at the drawing again to place the pen..


Still life modified contour drawing of the jar of pencils on the table in front of me. Finishing touches to be added next week.

Watercolour is not something I have spent much time on as my focus was always soft pastels, so the exploration of water media through this journal should be an interesting journey.

And the fact that I am in a room with a group of artists is a plus too. I have missed that camaraderie of spending time with creative people.






Beagle Pup… time to rest it

I feel like I’ve been working on this pup for ages (and yes it has been ages as I have had long breaks in between working on it) so I need to lay down the pastels on this one, put it aside and find something new. I can see where I still need to work. It won’t take long, but I just need to stop.

Beagle Pup_wip5_web

If I keep working on it I think I will ruin it, turn it into mud. So in a few months I will revisit it and decide if I want to pick it up again.

So last Saturday, instead of wrecking this, I pulled out some charcoal and just sketched. It is rough but that is what this was all about. I wanted to get something on paper and play, not worry if the detail wasn’t right, not think about straight lines and perspective (at least not much), forgetting about perfection.

Irene's Pickles_webIt is unfinished, scrappy, crooked, smudged, and it was so much fun to do. I think the Beagle had lost the fun and I needed to find it again.

There is lots more I could do with this but you know what? it is just a sketch.



Halloween 2014

My daughter has been begging for a Halloween party for a couple of years so this year I told her to put together a plan for what she wants the party to be, show to me and her dad and we’ll decide if we could do it. She just wanted 4 friends, some party food, some games and a scary movie. I liked how she didn’t go too overboard so the party was on.

But, it had to be mostly hand-made, so we started with decorating the front door so people would know they could come and trick or treat at our house. I found some great pictures on Pinterest and got inspired – some cardboard, crepe paper and pipe cleaners and voila…

Halloween 2014_1

And for some home made food…

Halloween 2014_2

Jelly filled oranges (with a surprise inside). Ran out of time to carve them so a little Sharpie art helped out. There were some cupcakes with spiders made of marshmallow and licorice and icing spider webs but I forgot to get a pic of them before they were all gone.

And for a healthier dessert option…

Halloween 2014_3

This definitely suits the southern hemisphere Halloween more than a pumpkin I feel as we are going into summer not winter – and it is much easier to carve. And the kids loved it!! I’ll be making something like this again next year I think even if we don’t have a party!


Soft Pastel: Beagle pup – work in progress#2

Finally found time to go back into the studio to work on the beagle pup. Home and work commitments kept me away too long!Beagle Pup_wip2 eyes_web

As the sketch was already complete (see previous post – Work in Progress#1)  I started with the eyes. In this shot the eye on the viewer’s left is still not quite there, but the right one looks spot on.

Here is a shot taken an hour or so later on the same morning…

Beagle Pup_wip2_web

Getting the nose right was tough (it is a mix of blue, teal, purple, black and grey, the only really pure black in the darkness of the nostrils), very hard to see it in the reference photo. Starting to rough in some of the darks (green of all things!). I had to put in a bit of the white so I could see some contrast. I really happy with this so far. I really enjoy the ‘first draft’ stage. It looks so ugly and (hopefully) you end up with something beautiful (and not mud!!!).

I am thrilled with how well the reflections show up in the pup’s eyes.