Save Your Work

Yes, save all of it.  I don’t mean forever, but at least for a year.  I read that somewhere, or heard it, maybe?  Anyway, I have been saving stuff and then reviewing it after awhile.  The reason is so you can see how you progress.  I didn’t know anything about drawing or painting when I started, I just went for it.  In some ways that is very admirable as ignorance can be bliss and gives you more freedom to try new things.  On the down side, not a lot of what I did was very good.  This is why it is good to try a class or two, and read a book or two, and watch a video or two.  Then when you have done that, you can worry about technique.  Haha!  I am a big believer in self-education and I am grateful for all those talented people out there who teach classes, write books and make videos.  The rest is then down to me.  I have learned a lot.

I am amassing a lot of paper.  In fact, I had a lot of work in a portfolio.  Somehow, this portfolio got lost in the loft.  My husband managed to find it for me the other day (he’s the one who lost it) and I just went through it this morning.  I hadn’t seen it for a couple of years.  I threw out half of it, some is going to the charity shop, and the rest is staying in the portfolio as it is too nice to throw out, but nothing I want to frame, except for two.

07.07.11 – Iris – Mixed Media on Paper – A4

I can’t believe I did this in 2011.  I had been looking for the original photo and I found it in the portfolio with this painting.  I looks really nice in a black frame and blue mount card.  I painted this when I didn’t know anything about painting.

I also found this:

img_3194Watercolor on paper – A3

Sorry about the quality of the photo. (It looks better in person) I can’t even remember how I painted this!  It’s different for me and was probably done when I first took a watercolour class and did life drawing classes.  I liked it enough to frame it.

It was nice to look back on my old work and reminisce with myself.  I can remember most of what I had been doing at the time.  I mainly worked on still life in every medium except oil paint and watercolor.  As I said earlier, I am amassing a lot of paper.  Instead of hanging onto things for a year, I am now reviewing every few months.  Some of the work has been cut up and made into cards or I will be working on the back of them (if they are clean enough).  There is no sense in wasting paper.  Working on the back of a piece you don’t like is not an uncommon thing to do.  Even if the backs are not that clean, you can still use them to test out colors.

I am still painting myself calm and doing painting exercises that will hopefully turn into something other than some nice color combinations one day; but even if they don’t I am finding some joy in just putting paint to paper.

Playing With Colors


Playing with green – an easy way to make trees with paint, water and salt on Bockingford – A4


Painting a rainbow – paint, water and salt – on Bockingford 140 lbs – A4


Playing with red – this is one of my favorite color combinations so far!  I used Mission scarlet lake and schminke translucent orange.  The scarlet lake was a free sample.  I think I may need to order a large tube of it.   This was done dipping the brush in water and then straight into the paint, then on dry paper. Lots of clean water was also used, and then salt.  It looks like a very weird landscape.  My husband thinks it looks like a lava flow.

These paintings were just exercises as a warm up and to see how the paint reacts.  It is a good way to loosen up.  After loosening up, I tried making a poppy, in close up.

img_3144This was done on A4 with the same red and orange and the centre was painted in indigo.  This was my first attempt at painting a poppy this way.  I’ve been looking at it for a week now and decided that it is going to be framed like below.

img_3145I’ve flipped the paper around and took off the edges.  So now I have an abstract poppy!

Some Flowers in a Field

I have been working through the book Paint Yourself Calm: Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour Paperback, by Jean Haines.  I am trying to find a loose way of painting in watercolor that doesn’t stress me out.  I have noticed that I make more of a mess and my hands get pretty dirty!  Most of all, I am actually enjoying myself.  Here are a couple of pieces I finally finished off this afternoon.

img_3127These are Dandelions – WC on Bockingford – 3×6 inches (approx.)

I made the grasses first and added the flowers afterwards.  This is from a lesson.  As this is quite small, I might use it for a card.

img_3125Tulips in a field – WC on Bockingford – A4

This is one I did on my own.  They could have easily been made into poppies.  Only 4 colors used here:  Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow, and the rest W&N viridian, alizarin crimson and hookers green.  Also used a bit of cling film.

I have also painted a few more (for another post) and am waiting for paint to dry.  I think waiting for paint to dry is the hardest part!  I might go and make a cake now!  Hope you enjoy these.