I had asked my Facebook friends to help me with naming these barnyard friends. I gave them two choices: Gossip Girls and Yin and Yang. Gossip Girls won out by a large margin! I had so much fun with these two, so I’m thinking of doing a larger piece entirely in paper collage. This small study is mostly acrylic paint with some touches of coloured pencil, oil pastels and a bit of collage.
What I love about Pinterest is that it introduces me to artists, techniques, and ideas that I didn’t even know that I wanted to know! Today I stumbled upon a new artist to me. She is a mixed media artist and her name is Elfi Cella. She is from Switzerland. I can’t find a lot about her on the internet, but she does have a blog and a lot of her art is posted to Pinterest. I can’t find an actual website or a link to where you could purchase her work, which is a shame. If you are interested, you could contact her through her blog elf2mani.blogspot.com
This artist uses mixed media in a charming and unique way. She incorporates different types of texture media and traditional painting with embedded everyday items and textiles such as lace to create paintings that seem to come straight of of nature. In the past, I’ve experimented with some of these techniques in a very limited way, but not to the wonderful effects that Elfi does!
Here are just a few examples of her wonderful art:
With so much going on in the world today, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on working on a “serious” piece of art. By serious, I suppose I mean something that is going to be a finished or complete project; something that you are going to show others, hang in your home, or sell.
Right now, my mind is all over the place, so I’ve turned to my Meander Sketchbook, where I just play with colours, using any or all of my supplies. For these, I’ve chosen not to paint anything specific, but instead I’m painting completely non-objective, or what some call abstract. These paintings are just for me, so there is no pressure to do a “good job”!
It was a few years ago at a meetup with some watercolour painting buddies that my friend Charlene McGill demonstrated how to make a Meander Sketchbook (also called an accordion book). They are very easy to make, and if you use good watercolour paper, they make really nice sketchbooks that you can take with you when you go out plein air painting.
Experiment and Play!
However, I decided that these would make really cool books to just experiment with. You could use any kind of paper, but I decided to stay with a nice, fairly heavy watercolour paper as it holds up to a lot of abuse! You can also add a cover on the front and back by gluing a hard cardboard or similar on the end pieces. I had decorated my covers by gluing collage paper on top, but then ended up painting over that too!
I’ve made two of these books so far, and today I finished the first half of the second book. For these, I use two pages for each painting, but you can do a painting on each section and have up to 32 paintings in each book. This is the page I completed today. (maybe… I usually go back and add more!) As you can see, I added everything under the sun. But what fun!
Scroll down to the very bottom of this post for directions on how to make your own Meander Sketchbook!
This little songster is a sweet Song Sparrow. What he lacks in colourful plumage he makes up for in singing ability! And so what if he’s not colourful? Look at those snazzy stripes! I created this guy using watercolours, a bit of sepia ink, and coloured pencils. Thank you to Dave Slaughter for posting the reference photo in the Wetcanvas.com reference library.
One of these things is not like the others! But this bright yellow Goldfinch matches perfectly with the ripe and juicy lemons he is investigating!
I decided to combine my 100 Bird challenge with my ongoing fruit series and came up with this one. It seemed fitting that the day before I finished this I got some visitors in my garden. Maybe they knew I was paying them tribute!
Whoops! I forgot to post this yesterday, but here it is a day late! These two toucans are practising their social distancing. I think they’re doing a pretty good job. This painting is only 5″ X 7″, so the birds are only about 1 1/2 inches in length. I had to get the small brush out for this one!
This adorable little Black-throated Green Warbler took a brief break in his migration the other day, right around the time the blossoms emerged on the flowering crabapple tree. I love spring! I just wish it lasted longer.
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!