Saturday 10 May 2014

First page of a new art journal

A friend pointed me to the video lessons on the Strathmore site, thanks Janet. I watched lesson one and finally, I have owned it over a year, started to paint in my new journal. I used water colour paint in two colours to cover the page then dropped alcohol on it. I thought it looked like two eyes so I drew the eyes and added lots of flower stamps and a sentiment from the JOFY range. I am so chuffed at actually starting this journal I thought I would blog it after a long lay off from blogging. Three daughters got married and one is now expecting twins making this a very busy year.
Jen x

Friday 27 December 2013

The Artful Reader's Club - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This book has been on my shelf for a couple of years and I am not sure why I had never got round to reading it. I am so glad I finally did. It is a wonderful though heartbreaking tale.Set in Afghanistan it centres around the lives of two boys who grow up in the same household, the master son's and a servant boy.It highlights prejudice and the uncertainties and fears of childhood as well as the cruelty and corruptness of some. I was lost in the story, which is beautifully written. I loved it and recommend it. I had no trouble reading the book but getting some artwork done was a different story. Its Christmas and we have family here from Canada and Switzerland as well as those who live here. Finding time to craft was hard. However I have had a go using an idea from a book called" Personal geographies" by Jill K Berry that I was given for my Birthday.
I used the Gelli plate to create a background, then drew on the head, copying the outline from the book. I added words which convey the emotional journey of Amir as he seeks redemption.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I have so enjoyed reading all your reviews and seeing your art work this past year. Thank you Darcy for hosting this challenge. Here's wishing you all the best for 2014, happy reading.
Jen x

Friday 29 November 2013

Artful Readers Club - Fujisan by Randy Taguchi

I confess to not finishing this book, for the first time. The book is a number of short stories translated from Japanese. I managed three stories about 60% of the book before I gave up. I was not enjoying it at all and found it most depressing. Each story was written from inside a different man's head and I found each of the three a dispiriting place to be. I feel sure I was missing something. Mount Fuji was a common link to all the stories and there was reference to the esteem in which  this mountain is held. I decided to use that as my inspiration. I worked in Craft Artist and created a postcard of the mountain. The blossom and heart indicating the love felt for the mountain and the colour some of the turbulence of the stories.

My apologies that I did not manage to get round to see all the art work last month life just got in the way.I will try to do better this month. Thank you all for your kind comments.
Jen x

Friday 25 October 2013

Artful Readers Club - Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller

I read this book earlier in the year as I was pretty sure I would have no time to sit and read it this month. Busy busy as my daughter is getting married on the 28th of this month. I did save the art work to do though and picked up my Kindle to check the spelling of a name and that was it. I reread the book abandoning all else.
I have always loved the Greek Myths and legends even as a child, hence picking up this book. I know you will all know the story so will not be spoiling the plot for anyone this month. This story focuses on the love Achilles and Patroclus have for each other. A love that survives the brutality of war and betrayal. The book is sexy, violent and yet tender. Despite the cruel parts I loved it. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Beautifully written and totally engaging. Brilliant, a must read. I was crying , both times, by the end.

I used a stamp I felt was an image of Achilles goddess mother by his grave as part of my art work. The background represents the forest where Chiron, half horse half man teaches the young Achilles and Patroclus. Here they are happy and true to themselves. I used the gelli plate to create the background layer and then over stamped with the trees.

The second photo, sorry about the shadows, is the page in my journal.
Do check out the artwork at Darcy's blog here.

Friday 27 September 2013

Artful Readers Club - Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

I just loved this book. I became totally engrossed with the characters and could not put it down. It is a romance in which the characters remember their previous lives. Julia is inexplicably drawn over a number of years to a cottage which she eventually buys. She hears stories of  the ghost of a "The Lady in Green" who used to be seen in the garden of her cottage but has not appeared for 30 years, Julia's age. Once in the cottage Julia is drawn into her previous reincarnation where she was Mariana. Mariana lived in the time of Charles the second. Others have also been drawn to the village and gradually the story unfolds and "the circle is closed". This is a quick read especially when you can't put it down and read into the night and I found it a very compelling.story.
For my art work I used water colours to create the cottage garden and the ghostly Mariana.
I mounted the finished piece into my journal on a page made using the Gelli plate. I die cut the name from some of the same left over card stock. Do take a look at the artwork of the other members of the club here at Darcy's blog and thank you all for your kind comments in previous months.
Jen x

Friday 30 August 2013

Artful Readers Club - The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal

This book has been on my bedside for ages and I confess to not really knowing what it was going to be about, it was a recommended read. It is in fact the real life saga of a family going back to the 1870s. Edmund De Waal the author inherited the netsukes, small Japanese carved objects, from his uncle and set out to find out how they came into the family. I did not find this an easy read as there were many words I did not know and had to look up in the dictionary. It is easier when on my kindle. It was however worth the effort. It is a well written book and the history of the family is fascinating. This Jewish family left Odessa and travelled to Vienna and then Paris. They made their fortune and collected many art treasures among them the netsukes. The book charts the course of their ownership within the family and the confiscation of the families possessions when the Nazis invaded Austria. We know the netsuke survived this terrible period of the family history as Edmund inherits them. They ended up with his uncle Iggy in Japan. I will say no more in case someone wishes to read the book.
For my artwork I worked in Craft Artist 2 and made a collage of some of the elements of the book. Paris, the Ephrussi house in Vienna, Japan, Charles Ephrussi and three of the netsuke. The Hare, the Rat and the Barrel Maker.
Jen x

Friday 26 July 2013

Artful readers Club - Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

It is hard to say I enjoyed this book as the trench warfare scenes are harrowing but it was a wonderful read. Beautifully written and totally unforgettable.The book follows the life and loves of Stephen Wraysford from his initial pre- war stay in France to the finding of his diaries some 60 years after the war. For those who may read it I do not want to give the story away but I was almost holding my breath towards the end. The characters, however briefly they appear, are so well described that I felt that I knew them and certainly cared about their fate. I have read stories of the First World war before but after reading this one I really understand why my Grandad would never talk to me about his experiences and why the poppy is such an appropriate emblem for the fallen.
I felt inspired to try and paint my piece this month and used acrylics on canvas. I painted and used a small poppy stamp with the red paint as a layer. I used a stencil through a mask to add the barbed wire and confess this was added through my tears, such was the effect of this book. I added a bird to reflect Stephen's last journey through the trenches and a larger 3D poppy.
I am so glad I finally got around to reading this book.
Jen x