Trying painting again after many years

30 09 2016

My painting journey has been a very mixed one, full of disappointments, frustration, and self-loathing. Even though I did Art as a subject to Year 12, my forte was pattern and design and lettering — stuff that had form and framework, and where you could paint in solid colours inside the lines. Landscapes, still life, portraits, etc. were all a dismal failure for me, and I was glad to see the back of them.

I didn’t touch a paintbrush again until the early 1990s when I did a summer school course in drawing and painting from nature. I loved that! We focused on botanical drawing, and were taught by a woman who had drawn and painted all the known species of fungi in Western Australia. I got a lot of pleasure out of painting a shell, or a stick with interesting bark, or a sprig of lavender. But probably within a year, I’d put away the paints and watercolour paper as the pressure of horrendous hours at work and life in general took over.

25+ years on and I was in a gap between making and quilting quilts. I’d done several Craftsy.com quilting classes and when Craftsy had a ‘50% off all classes’ sale on, I decided to try a couple of their ‘basic’ drawing classes, just to see if it interested me. I’ve since done a shading class (using pencil and ink/markers), a couple of mixed media classes (ink/markers and watercolour), and have more lined up to try. I also did some watercolour classes on YouTube. Some have been better than others, but I’ve followed along and learnt different techniques from each teacher. And I’ve surprised myself. I’ve painted water (probably for the first time — I can’t recall painting water when I was at school), and have learnt techniques for making waves with paint and with masking medium. I still have a long way to go before I’m proficient, but I’m no longer scared of painting, and I look forward to learning lots more.

Below are some of my first efforts, with the photo inspiration (where appropriate), and the Craftsy class I did or the videos I saw on YouTube.

Shading Techniques (Holmes)

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My pear shape went a little pear-shaped! Need to work on the drawing aspect…

Watercolour techniques with Gay Kraeger

This was a series of YouTube classes for Strathmore paper, and I learnt enough to tackle an ocean scene based on a photo — my first effort with watercolour in decades, and my first-ever ocean.

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The photo above was my inspiration. My interpretation is below.

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Travel sketching in mixed media (Holmes)

I did a few exercises based on his photos, with mixed results.

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Then I did my own based on a photo I took in 2014 in the mountains near Logan, Utah:

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I learnt that you have to add the dark last, otherwise you end up with the horrible blobby brown for the tree on the right side, with the much darker background trees showing through!

Illustrated Nature Journaling (Kraeger)

Similar to her free YouTube videos, Kraeger teaches lots of really practical techniques for creating sand, clouds, water, etc. One of the techniques for waves is using a masking medium that you rub off once everything is dry. Below is my first effort with that medium. And my first-ever breaking waves!

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Community Quilt 292

3 09 2016

I’m not really a fan of these colours, but together I thought they worked really well. To keep with the simple shapes, I decided to quit vertically in the three strips on the sides, and horizontally for the three middle strips. Each line is about 1 inch apart. Yes, I used my Line Tamer ruler for this!

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Affinity ‘Carolina’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 60292)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 291

3 09 2016

To counterbalance the rectangular shapes in this quilt, I decided to quilt large circles with a smaller inner circle coming off at a tangent.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Affinity ‘Carolina’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 60292)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 290

3 09 2016

This was a BIG eye spy quilt for a kid, with each ‘jar’ containing some sort of bug or other animal (I had to photograph it on its side as it would’v e dragged on the ground otherwise). I decided to just do a simple large meandering stipple as there was so much ‘busy-ness’ in this quilt that anything else would’ve been overkill.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Floriani (40 wt, rayon, colour PF546)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 289

3 09 2016

For this quilt, I just used a simple variation on the ‘open headband‘ motif, adding a slightly curved hook to the point of the inner arc.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glide ‘Linen’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 10WG1)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 288

3 09 2016

I took my quilting inspiration from the curves in the border fabric, following those curves in that border, and then using a similar curve sort of on the diagonal in the main part of the quilt.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Affinity ‘Carolina’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 60292)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 287

3 09 2016

Such a simple quilt, but really effective with the scrappy blue fabrics tat toned so nicely. I quilted straight line ‘X’s cut in half with straight lines that followed the square shapes as I didn’t think it needed a lot of heavy quilting.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

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Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Affinity ‘Carolina’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 60292)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/