Sunday, 22 March 2009

A Tribute to Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all mums reading this. Yes I know its one of those festivals made up by the card companies, but I do think we mums deserve a day of celebration every year, so it's one I'm happy to join in with.

I hope my own Mums enjoying her cards and nougat :-D

I quickly penned this little poem as a tribute to all Mothers...


Wipe the snot
Clean the poo
Mop the sick
Clean the loo

Brush the hair
Do the shop
Wash the floor
with the mop

Make the soup
Bake the cake
Make some coffee
take a break

Sign the forms
for the trip
tidy again
"'cause it looks a tip"

Pair the socks
Rub the bruise
split the whites
from the blues

Sort the recycling
Phone the bank
forget your pin
and look a plank

Check on the kids
as you have a hunch
thank the lord
you've made it to lunch

Change of clothes
More to wash
make a note
no more red squash

send them out
in to the yard
call them in
its raining hard

dust the shelves
hoover the floor
skirting tops
behind the door

school run time
find thier shoes
"whats for tea?
you can choose"

in the car
don't eat that
sat on raisins
very flat

find a space
hear the bell
see his class
give a yell

hurry home
via park
pockets full
of stones and bark

food in bellies
thank god for tv
two mins peace
time to pee

load the dishwasher
wash the pans
make a cuppa
change your plans

spill on carpet
clean it up
give up on tea
wash up the cup

fill the bath
call down the stair
find pajamas
wash thier hair

make some drinks
read a book
"and now to bed"
and give 'that' look

tuck them in
turn out the light
and the reward of the day
they hold you tight

and kiss your cheek
as you lean
they don't say thanks
but that's what they mean.


A few relevant sketches from my journal...


Abstract - work in progress


Abstract - work in progress, originally uploaded by Nicki MacRae.

A little more done in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep after napping in the evening!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Abstract - work in progress


Abstract - work in progress, originally uploaded by Nicki MacRae.

This is a 60 x 80cm canvas. Just getting the bones of it on there and then I'll get into the fin part of building up lots of semi-opaque layers and fine detail. Looking forward to cracking on with this one :-)

A First - Caricature

Well I guess there's a first time for everything, I always say it's good to stretch yourself and try new things - right up to the point where I actually have to do it and then start sweating it!

A lovely friend asked me if I would have a go at doing a caricature of her niece so it could be spray painted onto a stock car with the faces of the rest of the family. First reaction was to run a mile, but I decided it would be a great challenge!

Many many sketches later this is what I came up with... Not a professional job, was I was pleased enough for a first ever caricature and my friends sister was pleased with it, which is what counts...


Friday, 20 March 2009

Something to while away some time when you should be doing something you don't want to...

I found this website a while back and it's oddly addictive! Don't be fooled by the blank grey screen when you click the link, hold down your left mouse key and see what happens - it rains sand. You can even change colour to any hue in the rainbow. Go on, build a pattern, a picture, or even write text (you clever thing you!)...

http://thisissand.com/

My Mother in Law...

No, not the start of a Les Dawson type joke, I am luckily blessed with a MiL who's not only lovely and a good giggle, but is crafty too (we get some wonderful hand made gifts and cards!). She's always supportive of my art as she's a creative type too.

I just wanted to share some of her lovely work as it really rocks!

Currently in the final stages, an altered trinket display gleaned from a charity shop and now filled with pic's of her family...


Here are a few of her Artist Trading Cards...


You can see more of her work here at her blog...

http://sparklessimplestuff.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 19 March 2009

'Shopping with Baby'


'Shopping with Baby', originally uploaded by Nicki MacRae.

Remember that drawing that my little one helped me finish? I finished re-drawing it today...

'Shopping with Baby'
6 x 9" pencil with watercolour.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Seascape Series (Seascape III & IV)

Well what started as a doodle has rather snowballed...

Back in I painted 'Seascape'. I was supposed to be preparing the background for an entirely different painting but got carried away and ended up doing something very free and 'off the cuff'. The finished painting has been one of the most popular I have done, people seem to like the calm feeling and simplicity...



Just last month I decided to have another go at recreating and moving forward the theme. I had just fallen in love with using thin glazes of acrylic paint and could see the potential for glistening moonlit water. 'Seascape II' was the product of this experiment - a slightly darker and moodier version...



After an enquiry for another version of this painting I have made two more 'Seascape' paintings.

With 'Seascape III' I was trying to be as true to the spirit and simplicity of the original painting but with a few minor tweaks, like slightly more delicate reflections (using glazes rather than only undiluted paint)...


'Seascape IV' was my chance to have a play - multi media and lots of working paint with my fingers and grabbing whatever came to hand in order to make the marks and get the colours I needed. The finished piece has acrylic, acrylic glazes, oil pastel and soft pastel on it! I hopefully got somewhere between the moodiness of 'Seascape II' and the calmness of the first and third painting - but perhaps with a little more attitude :-)


Got quite a bit of shine on the last two when I was photographing them. It's been a dull old day and photographing the glazes indoors with a flash never seems to go well. I'll try and get a couple of better pics and post up later in the week. In the mean time this easel shot is a bit better.

Never leave a toddler in your studio...

...whilst you quickly wash a brush out in the bathroom....


Oh dear! :-S

Monday, 16 March 2009

Some new ACEO's

Had a couple of long train journeys over the weekend and, although I ended up in seats without a table for most of the journeys, I managed to get a couple of ACEOs (2 1/2 x 3 1/2" cards) done (plus filled up a few journal pages with rough scribbles and ideas).

'Painting the Nursery' - watercolour and pencil


'Pregnant Pause'


I think I'll be reinstating my Etsy shop over the coming few days and listing these up for sale there. Always seems like a good place for ACEO's.

Photos With Theme 'Texture'

I've been taking a few snaps this month for a photography challenge on the theme of 'texture'. It's amazing when you get thinking how the a lot of the most ordinary things are amazingly textural. Here's a few so far (all taken at Dornoch Beach, Sutherland on a very windy day)...






Friday, 13 March 2009

My New Studio Space

Well having decided to close down my little retail business, and focus on other things such as family and my art, has had a wonderful sideline benefit - I no longer need a stock room and can use it as a studio. I know I always like nosey into other peoples houses, so thought I would blog about it...

Its a cosy attic room but a little like the Tardis once you are inside...


Lots of room for blank canvases, finished paintings, large drawings, etc which is great!


The existing shelving and storage boxes / drawers are proving very handy indeed for storing all my arty bits and bobs.




And at last, a nice quiet, organized drawing desk where I can leave work out half-finished then lock the door on it to keep it afe from little scribling fingers (need a big fat cushion for that stool though!).


And it's a room with a view - not quite as nice as the room next door, which you can see the Dornoch Firth from. Just need to get a lamp and some daylight bulbs to improve the light for fine work...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Something a bit different...

I have been determined for a while to have a go at some pen and ink. I used to do it years ago - drawing Celtic knotwork and Kells style animals - but haven't had another try since. I have in mind some ideas for inspirational drawings and affirmations and really I think pen and ink would be the best medium for them, so trying to do a bit of practice. Where this has led me though has been rather surprising...

Firstly a lovely lady I know (the author Claire Allan, she keeps a lively blog about the trials and joys of motherhood, which is always a good read) gave birth to her second child, and I was so excited I was inspired to draw this. The image jmust kind of lept to mind, so scribbled it down and popped it into the post to her. She loved it, which was fab, but also got me off on a whole train of ideas about drawings of the every day dramas and joys of a parent (like they say, stick to what you know!)...


The process is quite long winded. I work out the ideas in my journal, then sketch them onto watercolour paper or board and refine as necessary. I then get the lines in using a dip pen and ink, then colour with watercolours (a media I'm not so experienced in, so learning all the way...). Its very studious and careful. Very unlike me! LOL But I am enjoying the challenge.

I have a few more sketches and ideas in the journal so will work on some more as soon as I have a few spare minutes...

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

More Hoary Old Stones

A while back he had encouraged me to buy blank triptych canvases to 'do something to go over the mantelpiece' and then he hung something else there, and I ended up starting something entirely different on those canvases which never got finished. Anyway I decided to finally press them into use for the purpose intended - and give it to him for his birthday.

I would normally paint a carefully blended background for something like this but I wanted something more energetic and dynamic.

It's all been a bit slap-dash as I a) left painting it until the last minute as I was trying to sort out my studio space and have been busy and b) ended up ill today and actually finished this tonight painting through a fever! I think it turned out well though (although getting a great photo of the canvases before they go up is proving really hard).




Spurred on my a mad shopping session where I bought some much larger than usual canvases (I am such a sucker for a bargain or special offer!) I decided to do another silhouetted stones painting quickly after, but this time based on the Ring of Brodgar in Orkney. We visted a few years back and I have been enchated with the place ever since. It's 20 x 28", so bigger than I normally work.