Tag Archives: feather

Feathers, feathers, everywhere

Hello!
How have you been? I’m still painting, but struggling to find time for writing. During the summer school holidays I mostly did quick sketches in my various sketchbooks. There is a story behind each sketch, but sadly no time to share them here. As the holidays came to the end, I got back to painting small standalone pieces in the attempt to regain some focus and to get used to the new daily routine.
Watercolour of four feathers

Four feathers – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper (4 x 4 inches)

My son is in childcare for 15 hours/week this year and I have great plans for learning, experimenting with new techniques and finally getting down on paper some of the paintings that were hunting my mind for months, sometimes years.
Watercolour of two blue feathers

Two blue feathers – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (5 x 7 inches)

As well as painting, I am spending a lot of time in front of the computer. Almost two years ago, when a friend wanted to buy some of my paintings, I opened an Etsy shop. It stood neglected all that time, but now I’m working on putting some small paintings, greeting cards and eventually prints into it.
Watercolour of three green feathers

Three feathers – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (5 x 7 inches)

I also created a Facebook page for my art. I’m not sure if I’m spreading myself too thin or stepping out into an exciting wider world.
Are you working on anything in particularly at the moment? Do you have any goals or dreams for this year?
Watercolour painting of acorns

Signs of Autumn – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper (4 x 4 inches)

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Trying new paper

Recently I’ve been using small Fabriano Venezia sketchbook for my casual quick sketches and I love it, so I decided to try Fabriano’s watercolour paper, as I’m not 100% happy with Arches. I bought two sheets of 300 gsm Fabriano Artistico – one CP and one HP.

Watercolour of sea shells

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper (4 x 6 inches)

I loved painting on the hot-pressed paper, as it has smoother surface than Arches HP and there is less (no?) granulation. And since it is so smooth, it scans beautifully and there is almost no Photoshop adjustments needed to remove unwanted watercolour paper texture.
Watercolour of Blue feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Fabriano Artistico CP watercolour paper (4 x 6 inches)

I liked the cold-pressed paper, but need to experiment a bit more with both Fabriano & Arches CP papers (preferably in the same painting session) to make up my mind on which one I prefer.

Focus

I finally finished my dreamcatcher and thought this would be a good time to write a longer reply to a question that was asked by one of my lovely readers in the comments:
“My problem is focus. It’s not desire or motivation, but organized focus. Do you ever run into this?”
Crochet Dreamcatcher
YES! I have many ideas swirling inside my head and often feel oversaturated by the inspiring beautiful art that I see around me and online. I see something I like and I start to wonder what I could achieve with the same medium or in the same style or exploring the same subject. I wish I could try drawing with pastels and coloured pencils, painting with oils, make collages from my own handmade paper, create book illustrations, achieve the level of realistic detail found in botanical illustration, fill pages with the watercolour splashes and puddles, sketch my surroundings daily, paint on large scale, etc. As well as all these above I also love crocheting, knitting, tried my hand at jewellery making, sewing, embroidery, weaving, polymer clay, yarn & fabric dyeing, and would love to learn to make patchwork quilts.

Take this dreamcatcher. I crocheted the middle of it, which took longer than simple weaving would, but I enjoyed using a skill that I mastered as a child. I also wanted the middle of it to look a bit like the compasses of the iron lacework in my paintings and paper-cut.
Centre of dreamcatcher
The weaved beads were made years ago, when I went through the bead-weaving stage, and now I found a perfect use for them.
Weaved beads
And of course the feathers (cockatoo, ghallah & domestic duck) are from my collection that I gathered for the watercolour paintings.
Dreamcatcher detail feathers
Dreamcatcher detail feathers
I wish I could follow my interests in all of these crafts and art areas all at once, but there isn’t enough free time available to me to allow this. Over last few years I was learning to consciously choose what to spend my time on, but also to remember to leave some time for play, research and exploration of ideas. For now I’m (softly) limiting myself to pen and pencil drawing and watercolour painting, as I feel that I have lots of work to do before I’ll master them. At the same time I’m musing on the idea of limiting the themes for my work, instead the medium, because each time I switch to something else I learn something new. It could be fun to explore “painting” lacework & feathers in watercolour, oils, linocuts, crochet, knitting, etc. Today I painted these magpie feathers with watercolours, but maybe next week I’ll see how they would look done in black&white linocut.
Magpie Feathers watercolour

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (15 x 21 cm)

Feathers & Dreamcatchers

My son & I found some broken willow branches during our morning walk. I showed him how flexible they were and told him about basket weaving. He wanted to bring the branches home, which I was fine with, yet I didn’t really want to attempt any complex weaving and was wracking my brain for simple craft ideas. Bing! Lightbulb moment. My daughter was asking to make a dreamcatcher for months, but we didn’t have any hoops. Here was my solution to both problems: we could weave the willow branches into simple loops and make dreamcatchers for all of us.

After watching SeaLemon’s “How to Make a Dreamcatcher” video, my son choose some thread, buttons and feathers from my stash and together we made him a dreamcatcher. My daughter made one for herself later that day with the minimal help from me. I’m still making one for myself as I complicated things by wanting to crochet the web.
Two dreamcatchers
Dreamcatchers close-up
I was joking that I’ll have to find something else to paint with my feather collection being depleted, but my daughter found a gorgeous multi-coloured feather and off I went painting few versions of it.
Watercolour of feathers
Watercolour of parrot feather
Watercolour of parrot feather

All feathers were painted with Winsor & Newton watercolour paints on Arches medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

Perfect find

Hey! How are you? I’ve been battling my MacBook this week. It’s been slow since I’ve upgraded the operating system to Yosemite earlier this year, but lately it reached ridiculous levels of painful slowness – every few minutes everything stops and I get to “enjoy” looking at the spinning “beachball” cursor, while waiting for the system to catch up. I cleaned few things up & it seems to improve matters, however the laptop is still sluggish and freezes up periodically, so I may try doing a complete OS re-install (dreading it! Can you believe I used to work in IT?!?). My husband, who still works in IT, keeps on smiling knowingly & suggesting that maybe the time has come to buy a new computer (mine is 5 years old). Wish me luck in getting this beast to work!

On one of my walks, which weren’t so numerous this week due to the sudden heat, I found another feather. It was a perfect companion to two other tiny pinkish ones, which were patiently waiting to be painted.
Watercolour of pink feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

It is so easy to say that this wasn’t a good week (with another mild sickness & nights of broken sleep), yet I live a comfortable life in a beautiful place with a loving family and whenever I paint I’m reminded of how lucky I am. Wishing you beauty, peace and love.

Feathers on new paper

I ran out of Daler-Rowney watercolour postcards, which forced me to get around to cutting up large sheets of Archers paper into smaller ones – a job that I was putting off for ages. Of course it was super easy and only took me about 10 minutes. Now I have lovely watercolour paper in three sizes: 10.5 x 15 cm, 15 x 21 cm and 21 x 30 cm; and the middle size allows me to fit in three feathers, which I wanted to paint together for awhile.
Watercolour of feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Archers medium watercolour paper (15 x 21 cm)

Feathers

Feathers watercolour painting

Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

There is going to be an Art Postcards exhibition in Bendigo in October and I thought I’ll submit some paintings, since I seem to be painting postcard-sized ones anyway lately. This could be one of them. I also want to paint some flowers (maybe pansies or tulips?) and maybe eucalyptus leaves. I’ll give myself until the end of the week and then will choose 3-4 that I like best.