Thursday, 20 July 2017

A stumptail monkey.


'Goldilocks, a stumptail monkey', watercolours, 8 by 10 ins., paper.

Watercolour painting.

I painted this portrait to try out my hand-made vermilion watercolour paint, and also to become familiar with the shape of the stumptail muzzle.

I was pleased with the performance of the paint, which turned out to be very smooth and rich. I can see a few things in my painting that I'd like to do differently but I will leave that for the next attempt.

These lovely stumptail monkeys are found in India, Thailand and China.   Last century, they were kept in captivity as zoo and laboratory animals  because -compared to other macaque species- they are a friendly, docile, monkey.  People used to keep them as pets too.  

Stumptails have a very small tail which is often hidden in the fur, hence the name: stumptail, or bear macaque.   They prefer to walk about on the ground rather than climb about in the trees...perhaps this is easier for them as they are stocky and fairly heavy weight. They are about the size of a cocker spaniel.  The adults have bright red faces which darken down with age.  Their fur can range from silver, through orange, to brown,  to almost black. 

They are currently listed as vulnerable in the endangered list because their forest habitat is being destroyed.  

Nowadays, there is international monitoring of these monkeys to regulate and protect them.

It is a sign that we are improving our attitude.

Susie, what's up there?

Bye for now....

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Inspired by vermillion.

Made watercolour paint today.

 Home made vermilion paint. (Top row, second from left).

 Vermilion, applied with sponge to journal page.

'Navigate,' finished art journal page.

I made my own watercolour paint from pigment and binder today.  It was a lot of fun.

Here's the recipe I used:

For the Binder:

1 tablespoon: gum arabic
1 teaspoon: glycerin
half teaspoon:  honey
1 drop: lavender oil
1 drop: ox gall.

Dry colour Pigment:

1.5 tablespoon: vermilion powder.

I deviated from the recipe in that I used less pigment and then adjusted my amount of binder to suit.  I transferred the left-over binder to a bottle so that I could use it for another colour later.  I probably used about 1 tablespoon of powder and this gave me about 2.5 pans of paint.

True vermilion pigment is very expensive and toxic, with high mercury content, so the powder I used was imitation vermilion.

Vermilion was used extensively in the Medieval period and so suits the Medieval imagery of the boats, which was a picture from a child's book.  Its a section of the Medieval Bayeux tapestry. This tapestry depicts the Norman conquest of England.

Its quite simple to make watercolour paint and I'll definitely do more colours.  I think it works out much less expensive than buying pans or tubes of paint....if you already have the ingredients.

It was a good day to stay indoors and make was so dull and wet outdoors!!

Bye for now.

Link to you tube videos on making paint.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Women in Medieval art.

Journal page.

 'Medieval women artists', journal page, approx., 7 by 9 ins.

 Susie fancies a spot of journalling.   Picking a brush to use.

Back to being a cat.  The cat sat on the mat.

My art.

I did the page spread shown above, carrying on with the Medieval art theme, and adding a women in art theme.

It started out with no particular theme in mind, just as a background page.  I added some Brusho colour and spritzed it with water.  Then added some old texture paste found in the bottom of a pot.  I pressed the paste through stencils to get some raised patterns.  Then used some inktense blocks for more colour.

I searched for some imagery to collage on the page and found a Medieval art picture which shows a female artist at work on a portrait of the Madonna and child.  I added some animals around her, as Medieval tapestries and book art often include nature imagery, and so the page was finished.

Susie's news.

Susie loves the art room and looks like she'd love to do some painting, pawing brushes and so forth.

She also loves to play catch, or fetch-it, like a puppy!  If you throw a toy, she will run after it, pick it up in her  mouth and bring it right back and drop it for you throw again.

Hope you are having a great week.  We are having lovely sunny days.

Bye for now.

June and Susie.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Collage, with medieval art

Collage on panel.

'Book of hours', Collaged paper with acrylics, 7 by 5 ins., panel.

Susie watching the art-making from the window ledge.


My art.

This collage was inspired by Medieval book art.  I cut the centre-piece from a child's book on Medieval art, which I had picked up at a used book sale.  

Often, the religious illuminated texts from the middle ages used intense bright colours, almost jewel-like in effect; but this particular sample from a book of hours used colour sparingly, being almost monochromatic.

Although book illuminations from the medieval period were often extremely small, perhaps about ATC size,  the artists managed to make beautiful and intricate details in their faces and figures.

My collage went through a few layers and changes of mind to finally arrive at this design.  Originally, I had shells in the background but the butterflies (or moths) seemed to suit the collage piece better in the end!


Susie loves to watch and tries to swipe the brushes and paints, before settling down for a very long nap!

It has been warm this week.  Too hot for me.  I have lived for a time in Auckland, Thailand, and the Cook Islands....all very hot compared to UK...but my preference,  after all is said and done,  is the overcast coldish UK weather.  

Have a lovely weekend.

Bye for now.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Feature in women in art magazine.

My wax crayon art is featured in July 2017 issue of Women in Art.

'Beside the lake', wax crayons, 12 by 12 ins., paper.

I was very pleased to be invited to send some art to Women in art magazine this year.  Yhe issue containing my contribution is available to read online for free , and to purchase as a printed version.

Women in Art : read this month's issue online for free.

Women in art home : homepage.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

An English Rose.


'An English Rose,' watercolours, around 10 by 9 ins., paper.

Snoozing Susie.

Wet and overcast today.  I did some watercolour portrait practice and Susie slept the day away.

The inspiration for my watercolour portrait was a photo from Kara Bullock.

Lately, I have decided that its best if I stop painting just before the point of tweaking it to 'perfection'.  For me, there's a definite change in how I think ....when I begin to pass over the line from suggesting the image, to fiddling.     

As you can see from my worktop photo, I am enjoying watercolours this week.

WIP on worktop

I hope you all have a great weekend; whatever the weather where you are.

Bye for now.

June and Susie.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Grey crested crane

Watercolour practice.

'Grey crested crane', watercolours, 9 by  7 ins., paper.

 Susie, admiring the colour wheel.

Susie, squeezing onto the little hall table for a snooze.

My art.

I painted the grey crested crane for watercolour practice and also to become familiar with its colourful patterns, especially the cheek patches and throat case I want to include it in future paintings.

This fairly large bird- about 3 feet tall- is the national emblem for Uganda.  It inflates its red throat patch to sound out various honking and booming calls.  The males and females are similar in appearance.  Their courtship dance is spectacular with a lot of stretching of wings,  and hopping up and down, to impress the mate.

Susie's news.

Susie likes to poke her nose into everything...she inspects the water jars and watercolour palette when I am setting them out.  In the first of her photos, she seems to be admiring the colour wheel on my wall.

In  her second photo, you can see her latest sleeping perch.  She likes to perch on this ridiculously small table top in the hall,,,,for a snooze at night.

We have been having sunny weather for a change.  Very hot at night. 

I hope you have a great weekend.

That's all for now....

Susie, curled up on the hall table.