I was so excited to spot this little traveller in my backyard the other day! Thankfully, he wasn’t shy and stopped to pose for the camera. After consulting my bird book, I discovered that he is a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle variety). I had never seen one before in my life! The tiny white feathers under his eye give him a look like he’s a little peeved with the world. With all that’s going on, I can understand.
I’ve always loved these little clowns of the sea. Their colourful stripey beaks and comical eyes always make me smile.
They say you learn something new every day. Today I learned that there are many different names for a group of pelicans. They can be called a brief, a pod, a pouch, a scoop, or a squadron. I thought pod had a nice ring to it, although pouch or scoop are quite appropriate considering how they use their big beaks.
This small 5 X 7″ piece was done in mixed media, starting with a pencil drawing on watercolour paper. I then did the background and rough underpainting of the birds in acrylic, finishing off with coloured pencil and soft pastel details. After collage, this is starting to become my favourite painting style although I’ll never give up my watercolours!
House finches are a common site at our bird feeders. I just love their rosy red heads and chubby little bodies! This one matches perfectly with the red buds ready to pop open on the branches.
As I was painting yesterday, I looked out the window and saw we were experiencing a heavy snow squall. On April 21st. During a pandemic. Just perfect. But then I remembered the movie Walk of the Penguins, and how patient and focused they are. While one penguin makes a very long trek to the ocean for food, their mate stays behind with the others, huddled together in frigid conditions, waiting patiently for the other to return.
While it would be nice if we could all get together and huddle like the penguins, we could learn from their patience and know that soon it will be warm and we will be able to go outside and enjoy the nice weather. And we will be able to gather together again one day. I hope we never take it for granted ever again.
As a write this, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and as I look outside, I see it’s snowing. Maybe you’re like me and are dreaming of better days, perhaps a day at the beach. Someday it will happen. For now, here is my version. I just finished it today, after working on it for weeks. I couldn’t seem to concentrate on it for any length of time with all the stuff that’s been happening. I’m really glad it’s done. I hope it brings a smile to your face!
Well, I’m back at it again! This winter seems to have flown by, and I’ve hardly been in the studio. I could make excuses, but I’m not going to. I’m just going to get back to creating!
This little guy is called a Tufted Titmouse. I am really not sure who came up with the name for this bird! Yes, he is tufted. But no, he is not a mouse and he doesn’t have…. Well, you know what I mean!
My painting and collage have been put on the back burner for a while due to the holidays and then some family stuff. Until I get back to it, here is a little tiny tutorial on how to make stamps easily and affordably using things you might find around the house and the dollar store.
First of all, head to the dollar store or Walmart and buy yourself a package of craft foam that is adhesive on one side. Draw designs on the foam, and then cut out with a craft knife or scissors. You can then peel of the backing of the foam and adhere your design to almost anything. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Here are some examples of stamps that I have made:
- Craft foam adhered to jar and bottle lids.
- Leftover mat board, one with elastic bands, and the other with craft foam.
- Craft foam adhered to styrofoam cut from fast food containers.
- Design carved into styrofoam from fast food container with a ballpoint pen.
- Pattern carved into erasers with a craft (X-ACTO) knife. Be careful! Sharp!
- Craft foam adhered to foam insulation. (You can buy a sheet of this at the hardware store and cut it into small pieces).
Here are a few (a lot!) of my favourite stamps that I use over and over.
You can use a Gelli Plate as a stamp pad and cover the plate with acrylic paint using a brayer. For smaller stamps, you can use an ink pad. If you don’t want your stamped image to run, use a permanent ink. Here are some papers that I quickly made with some of my new stamps.
As you can see, you can use the gelli plate as a stamp pad to directly stamp on paper. Then you can place paper onto the Gelli Plate and make a print.
So, have fun! Look around your house to see what you can use. I use all kinds of things to stamp: Egg cartons, empty toilet paper roll, lids, buttons, etc. Happy stamping!
Why spend a lot of money on stencils? I make my own without any expensive equipment! Whether you’re a collage artist, scrapbooker, or just like stencils, this is a fun, cheap and easy way to create unique stencils.
Head to your nearest dollar store and buy a package of those clear page dividers that you used to use in your binders at school.
Draw a pattern on a piece of paper. Tape your paper to a cutting board, and then tape your clear plastic over top, so that both pieces are secure and won’t move.
If you like, you can draw directly onto the plastic with a Sharpie. I like using paper first though, in case I make a mistake in my design.
Keep your pattern simple to start. Remember, when you cut out the shapes it all has to stay together!
Using an X-Acto knife, cut out the parts that will be open, leaving the parts that will form the pattern.
Once you get it all cut out, use it however you want! I’ve used mine to make some prints on my Gelli Plate. These are very durable and can be used over and over.
I just love these chubby little birds! This one makes me laugh because he’s so round, he looks like a Christmas ornament with a bird stuck on top! I always know that winter is arriving soon when these cuties arrive in our yard.