Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

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H2O Journal contined

Class again this week and it was fun. Mostly because I learnt how to bind a journal together using coptic stitch (I think that’s right).

Coptic binding 1_web

The stitch looks great and was quite easy to learn. I want to try this and make a few other journals in different sizes.

I also fixed the front and back cover to reduce the amount of paint on them so they look more distressed than badly painted!

Once I finished binding it was onto the next exercise, but first, to finish up the colour palette page for the wax pastels

wax pastels update_web

The new exercise this week was to use Aqua colour markers. Tania brought in a small plate and some fresh strawberries and I was to draw with the markers straight onto the page, no sketching first.

2016 Jun 02_web

It sort of looks like a plate of strawberries. Not my favourite medium, but I can’t rule them out until I’ve tried them some more.

And in a side note, I have seen this fantastic photo of a dog that I want to draw with pastels. Haven’t felt inspired for a while so hopefully I can get some time to work on that.






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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.






Cindy Lane – Australian Artist

I was lucky enough to receive a lovely present from my step mum the other day. She visited Perth recently and whilst she was there I suggested she visit a blogging friend of mine, Cindy Lane. Cindy is a talented artist who works in watercolour, acrylics, pastels and calligraphy as well. Multi-talented!

Cindy kindly opened her home studio to my step mum and her friend. They bought some art, including this lovely piece which she commissioned just for me as I love the feathers that Cindy paints.

Follow this link to Cindy’s blog and please browse some of her fantastic work. Cindy also sells prints of her work on Etsy.

I feel very privileged to have some of Cindy’s work hanging on my wall.


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Playing with Watercolour

We are experiencing a heatwave in Sydney today. Where I live they expected over 42 degrees Celsius without a change in the weather coming through until about midnight tonight.

We are stuck indoors so I got out a folding table and asked my daughter if she’d like to play with watercolour with me. She doesn’t often want to paint but I think she liked the idea of doing something different while we were shut inside and it is so hot!

Now, watercolour is not my favourite medium but I really don’t want to give up on it completely, so I thought that just playing with my daughter might just mean I play and don’t try and take it too seriously and worry about the outcomes.

I pulled out the oil pastels as well so we could use them as a resist (or just draw outlines to work within).

Whilst I was setting up the watercolours, K drew a picture with the oil pastels…

Mr Strawberry

Mr Strawberry

She hasn’t really used watercolours before so I set it up to show her some basic ways to use the paints.

Watercolour Play_1I quickly drew a simplified butterfly and then washed inside one wing with water. Then we started dropping some colour into the wing and lifted the paper and let it run around, On the other wing we did a yellow wash and then dropped in some alizarin crimson and then let the paper sit to dry (which it did very quickly in this heat!). We misted some spray over it as well, which she enjoyed doing most of all I think.

Then K had to have a go on her own…

Watercolour Play_K1The red with black spots wing didn’t work out as the black ran together – but that was okay, she moved on.

Whilst I played with washes, K drew some more things with the oil pastels and used the watercolours (I think she just enjoyed using my good watercolours  rather than watercolours pans, and my good brushes).

A vampire

A vampire

A zombie judge

A zombie judge



House in desert with grass and birds

House in desert with grass and birds

Sorry about the quality of a couple of the photos – I need to re-shoot them but it’s too hot to be bothered (is that slack or what!!!)

While she played I showed her some washes – which I always enjoyed doing…

Watercolour Play_2

Watercolour Play_3

Both of these could become mixed media using pastel or ink to make them into something.

I explained what I was doing as I went along and she had a go at some of the things. She did a wash painting (but the photo was too bad to include here!) and did it her way (the way she does does everything, which is why she won’t do art with me too often as it has to be her way or no way, stubborn miss that she is!).

And then I decided to try a landscape…

Watercolour Play_4I just worked wet in wet so there are some problems with this but it was fun to play – the tree shadows sort of over took the tree – I needed to wait for it to dry before adding them – but I didn’t 🙂 Is that where K gets her impatience from, I wonder?

This was probably the most fun I’ve had with watercolour – and that was mostly because K and I did it together. Hopefully we don’t have to wait until a heatwave to do this again.

It is now about 5.30pm and it is still roasting hot outside. Hubby and K are out in the pool. I think I need to go join them.









Painting: Watercolour Tulip study completed

I finished the small watercolour study of the tulip today in class. I did start the larger version but because of needing to allow it to dry naturally so as not to lose the natural movement of the colour on the paper, I had to do some of it and then leave it aside to dry.

There are definitely imperfections in this, but this is a study so this is what I am practicing on. Not really happy with the shading, but hopefully this will improve on the larger version. There is more I could do to this, but I am going to leave it here and finish working on the large version.

I have decided whilst doing this class that for each larger painting, I will do a smaller study to test out techniques. I think this will work well for me as I am definitely looser on this study as it doesn’t matter too much if I succeed or not and that makes it better for the final version.

And on a side note, I went to my graduation for my fine arts certificate course last night and happily discovered I came first in my course. Felt very chuffed and it made all the hard work last year really worth it. I caught up with some of my friends, some of whom have gone on to do the Diploma. I wish I was doing it with them, but maybe next year?

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Painting: Watercolour Tulip WIP#2

Preparing for class tomorrow, I have played a bit more with watercolour. Using Rose Madder I have played with glazes and dropping colour in to try and create the tulip.

My brush marks are a bit messy to my eye, but I think it is beginning to look interesting. I have to use some water and a bristle brush to lift out some colour on a couple of the petals, but I have to wait for it to dry some more first – and I want to leave it to dry naturally this afternoon.

I’ll work on the larger edition of this tomorrow in class. It will be interesting to see the difference when I have the tutor to give me guidance.