At the end of recording this video, I was pretty skeptical. After I was "finished", I ended up adding some gel medium using the triangle stencil which helped a bit. Rubbing a brown inkpad all around the edges really completed it though. Now I kind of love it. At least in the photographs, those pomegranate seeds really SHINE. I love how that particular spot turned out.
This came about because a magazine was doing a "food" theme. I can't say that I've painted much that would fit into that category. Fruit is a natural progression from the usual plants and flowers, so this doesn't stray too far from my usual stuff. I wanted the pomegranate because it is so luxurious and each seed is like a tiny, precious gem.
Weirdly, when I tried to connect food with my art style, I thought of crows. I mean... I'm usually thinking of crows. What I really mean is that it reminded me of the time I caught a bunch of crows digging through a dumpster. But they weren't just digging through a dumpster, they were standing in a line, waiting their turn. One crow goes in, one crow comes out and goes to the back of the line. Did they learn that from us? Did we learn that from them? Is queuing just a natural conclusion we come to for some reason of efficiency? Fairness? Peacekeeping?
This painting "Queue" is available in the shop!
I've never been one to use a planner. They used to give these coil-bound, ad-stuffed agendas in high school, and no matter how determined I was to use it on day one, I'd always find it wedged behind some piece of furniture by the end of the year. When I got a laptop of my own some years ago, I tried a desktop calendar, and it worked. I put events, deadlines and birthdays on it, and each reminder glows at me in whatever shiny colour I chose for it.
But if I put regular tasks, or to do lists up there, everything would just blur into each other until nothing stands out as a reminder. So I recently went looking for a planner. I figured it would be too silly or cumbersome to have a paper planner, so I didn't dive too deep for my first try. For something that is so desired, it is weirdly hard to find planners locally, especially blank ones.
As an experiment, I printed one I found on etsy, just because it is one of many that uses hexagons as a shape (which is a shape I use often)! It's been a few weeks and I am actually digging it! If I remember something I should do, I have a place to write it. And when I write it, it happens. Who would have thought?? I can also glance at a week and actually notice when there are blank days, and so now I can fill them with something productive. I can write specific ideas as they come and appoint them a specific date. If I miss something, I can reassign them to a specific time, instead of shrugging and assuming that I will get to it.
I haven't found the "perfect" planner. The one I printed is functional, but laid out awkwardly (I'm more of a calendar week person). It didn't print correctly, so none of that lovely colour or delicate grids show through. There are superfluous charts that I won't use. So I'm designing a layout for me, and these pictures are a taste. It's wildly overdressed for something that you fill with scribbles and then recycle, though. DON'T JUDGE ME. :P
Some of the ACEOs have gone away to a new home recently so let's boost the collection back up starting with this oak sprout. This ACEO is available for purchase here.
Inspiration: Okay so it seems like there's some squirrel that keeps burying things in my boxes and forgetting about them. First it was a super old, intact peanut. This time I found a tiny oak tree growing in my sad succulent box, freeing itself from this abandoned acorn. Perhaps it was a gift. More than once I've found nice looking acorns and put them in little pots of dirt with no result. I guess the squirrels know which ones are the good ones. No sadness for the tree - I relocated it into its own pot so we'll see if we get a little bonsai oak tree going!
Watching other people on youtube go to Granville Island made me realize that we hadn't visited it in a long while. It was a tiring and excellent day, although we still only purchased foods, lol. Snacks make easy sellers. And what is the deal with the tree barge??
Anyway, this is an attempt at painting a branch of the smokebush (which isn't purple quite yet, he's still just a boy) and not being really super impressed with it. But it is what it is. This is what sketchbooks are for! Mucking about on thin papers and buckling it all up. I was ultimately unable to stream the process as a test stream on Twitch because my internet is just too basic to live. We are in the planning stages of changing it up, so let's not lose hope! We are not super efficient people, however, so I wouldn't expect improvement like say next week, but I'm sure it'll happen. Someday.
Sneak peek alert! Opposite a squid journal page (video on sunday!) I used the paper to cut out little swatches of the ink sprays I have, because it's nice to be able to see what a bottle is holding without having to pull each one out to examine it. I'm sure pretty much everyone does this, which really makes me wonder: why don't companies put colour labels on the top of the lid? I suppose they expect the bottles to be stored single file on long, narrow shelves that (for some) must wrap around the room? For me, twenty is already quite a bit. And two of them I don't much use because they are just too intense and leeching.
That is a gorgeous teal. Come to think of it, I don't use the ink sprays as often as I used to. What happened there? Less art journaling, I guess. It's hard to work ink sprays into a watercolour painting. I love the shimmer effect, though.
Another demotivator is when I'm filming a page or something, and I'm trying to be efficient with my time, and I reach for a spray and the nozzle doesn't even work. I'm pretty sure my newest and most prized gold ink spray is already dead because Lindy Stamp has such issue with the clogging nozzles. Is it the mica? Is there a trick to preventing this? How about fixing it?
Any tips on how to repair clogged ink nozzles would be greatly appreciated!
I'm a lover of the little things. The best part of slow transportation is spotting all the secret stuff that's going on: finding a huge gang of ants in the dirt, a patch of butterfly eggs on the window, a new and gross fungus that came up overnight. This is why I paint animals and flowers so much! It's hard to ignore their worldly perfections.
This card "Out of Reach" is available in the shop.
First I had to build an origami crane, but I really enjoyed painting it. I like all of the crisp angles and the tricky little shadows where the folds used to be.
There is a small section of trees next to this groundcover that is just COVERED with snails. But why? Is it just a convenient location? Do they particularly enjoy this breed of tree? They decorate the entire height of this tree like pretty little baubles.
See what I mean?
I'm sure nobody really cares much about gardening, but it's such a big part of my homebody summers and my balcony is starting to feel overgrown, ha. I've reached the point where I should really not purchase any new plants anymore, so the thrill of the hunt is gone I guess. While buying big bins to plant survivors in, I ended up with two new buddies anyway. I've always wanted a purple smokebush and they were selling for a steal so I had to. I LOVE HIM TOO MUCH. And a pink thing. Because it was pink.
Here's a tiny practice painting as I get reaccustomed to paper. I'm still trying to figure out how to best use this crackle paste, and why it didn't work nearly as well here as it did in the sketchbook. I bet it's because the paper is so absorbent. Combined with my initial preference for thin, tiny crackles.
Oh hey. By the way, if you're super local, come check out this super floral painting "Lip Service" at the Just Flowers show through April! Here's the info for the opening reception:
@ Newton Cultural Centre
13530 72 Ave, Surrey, BC
Saturday, April 9
I'll be popping in for a little while, so come out and say hi!
Hello! I'm Melissa, and here you'll find some behind-the-scenes footage of an artful life. Won't you join me?