Look what came in the post!

Rhonda's bonny bunny painted postcard with the pretty pink ears, looks perfect in our bunny area, Brucie bunny's photo is to the right on the floor where he used to sit.

Bruce's stunning card that is a fine example of loose painting yet is also very detailed.

Bruce Sherman's pretty painting is full of sunny colours that are joyful. The little cruise boat creates a summer holiday feel. 

We make new friends during our life which is always a joy.  Yet in this day of the internet we make good friends that we have never met before.  However this year I did meet a facebook friend for the first time and she was exactly as I imagined her to be. I remember years ago meeting a friend from blogging land who also was just as I imagined him.  I met with my painting pal Tamsin the artist Keith Tilley when he came to Elgin to exhibit at the museum a few years ago.  Keith was and still is with us in blogging land and his paintings are still so beautiful. 

Rhonda's painted card of a bunny came at an important time to me personally.  It may sound silly but I am still missing my dear departed bunny Rabbit the Bruce.  He was a constant companion for almost six years, there was something so sweet about him how while I worked at the table he would be sitting in the window either gazing out at the world or gazing at me!  His quiet presence was so peaceful and reassuring.  Thank you Rhonda for your gift of this dear little rabbit. Rhonda's blog is very colourful and she likes very much to experiment with art materials.  She can create the most magical birds with simple washes. Her crows to me personally are very strong works. Crows are intelligent birds and have lots to say when sitting on fences in the fields near my home!

Thank you to Bruce Sherman a long time blogging friend of days of old when we were a bigger gang of pals.  I admit I left blogging land for a while mostly because google did something to my account and I just couldn't get back in. Once in, strangely through a link to my blog on Bruce's blog I gained access again, but I must never sign out!  Bruce's blog is also very much a wee journal of his life.  He writes very well and has the gift of being able to express himself through words and lovely paintings.  There is a depth and spiritual quality that always has me thinking more about the mystery of life.  

 I do like the quiet place that blogging land is, it seems more like a journal that a public place.  I do love my facebook page too, I actually have two one for my friends which also happen to almost all be artists! and one for my art, the art one is a link from my webpage.  I do know many folk feel a bit fazed out with too much internet activity.  I still yearn for the old days of no internet, yet it is also a wonderful place to look up History, Art, medical stuff, films etc. And a good way to stay in touch with pals.  But does it perhaps take away the effort and joy of going to visit friends as we did in the old days.  I am guilty of messaging friends instead of inviting them over for coffee!  Yet saying a few words every day or now and again is a good way to stay in touch too.  My aunt and uncle still use the phone and write letters which is really lovely.  And when I received these beautiful gifts through the post from Rhonda and Bruce I wanted to share them with you. My aunt who is an artist too has drawn and painted some wonderful things too for me.  I will share those with you very soon.  

Let us celebrate today the gift of friendship, it really is very precious. 

Happy painting to you all!

Vincent Van Gogh a beginning

 Van Gogh self portrait, here are the first stages of my painting of him.  I used a 12 x 16 inch canvas and made the drawing. I had originally wanted to leave the canvas white as Vincent was said to do this so that the colours would remain nice and bright without having to compete with an earth toned primed canvas.  However after my drawing I decided to tone the whole canvas a naples yellow with white mixed in.  As Vincent often used a pastel primed canvas I thought I would try this too.  I didn't photograph this stage though.   I painted in the first stage of his jacket and as I was running out of time and didn't have many colours available for the flesh tones in oils, I decided to paint his hair and face in acrylics. This can easily be painted over in oils later on. The nice thing about doing it this way is that the acrylics dry very quickly.   I still have so much more to do on this painting! But it is a very interesting project!

Nice sunny Spring weather here, very uplifting to go for a nice walk in my almost wood!  I say almost as most of it did get cut down!

Happy Painting to you all!

The fourth stage

Another almost three hours spent on the Monet portrait. I so work very slowly but I am really enjoying the experience so much.  This is a portrait that Monet painted of himself, I want to walk in his path, as I lay the paint down I think 'now did Monet mix that colour and use that size of brush'!! I need to now wait for the mouth and beard area to dry before going any further.  I plan to add a cooler glaze on those areas.  I have started the Van Gogh portrait this afternoon.  This is often the part that takes the longest for me which is carefully drawing the features so I can try and get a close likeness.  We still have snow here but I was able to get out today to the library and art supply shop!

Happy Painting to you all!!!