Saturday, 26 November 2011

This years Christmas Cards, handmade of course!

Now be gentle, remember I have only been learning to draw for a few weeks now, previously it has been over 30 years since I held a pencil, and I have only just learnt there is actually more than an HB! I have spent all my free time drawing and I love it! I had no idea you could actually 'learn' to draw. Therefore, like it or not this year everyone will be receiving a hand drawn Christmas card (or at least I hope so, as I have only done 12 so far and time is ticking on). Before you look I must point out these are NOT my own design, but the design of Shoo Rayner
a very talented illustrator, if you follow the link it will take you to his website for further information, and were you can purchase his books. He is also a fantastic teacher, and by following his direction these are what I have done so far, along with some other basic sketches I am learning. Thank you very much Shoo.

First are my angels, this one I did today - my very first attempt.

I confess I have done about six of these, this was the first thing I learnt and they are now in all kinds of colour schemes, OH says this one is his favourite.

This was last nights, and my very first reindeer - plenty to improve yet, but not bad for a first attempt I thought.

This was my second robin, the first one had a bit of a hump back problem. A bit more research needed on the colour scheme yet, but plenty of fun learning.

My third lot of snowmen, I like these - if Shoo is reading, sorry about the hat - I did this one at my desk without direction, so improvement needed on the hat and perhaps a few more brush bristles wouldnt have gone a miss.

If you like these (and are not just being polite LOL) dont forget they are NOT my desings but that of Shoo Rayner
childrens book illustrator, and great teacher!

You may well get to see some of my own art soon, one of my best friends is a retired art teacher, and now she is convinced I 'am' serious she is givng me my first art lesson this week, I think it might be shells. I have been told to bring my pencils, easel and paper. Hope to show you that later in the week.

Dont forget, life is too short not to try what you want to do - and its never too late. Everyone can draw, just takes a bit of guidence and plenty of PRACTICE!!!!

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 20 November 2011

..and then I painted them

Ok I threatened you with this last time, and promised I did actually get around to painting the clay works and the papier mache, but all did not go so well. My shop does not contain any of this - even my sense of humour is not that bad. Here is some of the jewellery I tried.

These are the decorations I 'attempted' my poor parents are being 'forced' to add these to their Christmas tree.

Finally, my first attempts at papier mache.. now I have seen real masterpieces done in this, alas not mine. I think I may well need a few months or even years of practice here.

I am however really enjoying learning to draw, after all these years - and the OH assures me my artworks are coming on well, of course they could ONLY get better, here is the first elephant I have ever attempted. He does at least look like an elephant, he is now on Auntie's fridge as I made him into a thank you card for her for some help she had given us of late.

I have spent today doing some new listings for my Etsy shop, I made a Frosty the Snowman treasury on Etsy, and now its time to do some more sketching which is my favourite pasttime, I just love drawing, not that good yet of course - but I love it, wish I had taken it up years ago, hope to do more painting this week too. My idea is to make my own Christmas cards to send, once I have mastered my Christmas tree I will show you that, I am getting help though so not strictly my own work so certainly not for sale - but all in aid of learning how to draw and in time develop my own style (so I am told).

Hope you have had a good weekend.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Monday, 14 November 2011

Every Picture Tells a Story

Apologies I have become a very bad blogger again, I cant even use the excuse of too much work, family or any other commitments. I had the idea I wanted to learn to paint. I did manage to finish the clay and mache creations, but OH has run off with my camera so cant enthrall you with those disasters yet, but I will! No, for today you can laugh at my 'art'. It was going very badly and I 'almost' gave up at weekend until I read a fabulous blog post from "CaroleeCrafts" about inspiration and not waiting to do what you wish, so I have carried on, thank you Carol. Also one of my team members from Etsy spurs me on (probably as she wants a good laugh) so here you go Jen, this is what I have been up too.

Before this one, my angels did resemble something from the Rocky Horror show. I have finished this one today and I am going to frame it for my Mum's birthday. Ever the optomist she wanted a piece of my new artwork for her birthday (no pressure). I would like to say I created her all by myself but no, I have purchased some books to help me learn to draw so this is adapted from one of those, but she is all my own work - no tracing.

I quite liked this one too, also done today and a vast improvement on the Rocky Horror show ones, I know I still have rather a long way to go - and plenty of work yet on features, but as OH said "at least you can tell what it is" so thats a start.

This was my weekend effort, I wanted to paint a bouquet for my Mum, as you can see I do need an awful lot of practice, and for starters learning how to draw a vase might be an idea, this one looks like a pint pot! But I enjoyed painting and the colours, again you can just about make out what it is meant to be LOL (Janice from Wellydog, I really hope you are NOT reading this!)

This was my very first attempt with coloured pencils, bare in mind I hadnt actually picked one up in over 30 years.

Spurred on by my angels I thought I would adapt the same principle to a self portrait, not done that for about 40 years - dont worry I dont really look like an odd shaped stick with a dog that looks absolutely nothing like any of mine, or any I know.

So, there you go - finished laughing yet? now how many of you have looked at this and thought they could do better? (aside from Wellydog who we 'know' can) so what are you waiting for? I'm not much good yet, but can certainly only get better and I am having a great time trying.
I do also have my very own art teacher at hand, one of my good friends used to teach art and has asked me to bring my work to her this week, she probably needs a good laugh too, but sure she will give me some valuable pointers. One day when you see my name in lights you might remember this blog post....... (..and I might wake up!)

Follow your dreams, life is too short.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Thursday, 3 November 2011

More Crafting fun

I have learnt some great lessons with my new experiments, one of the first ones was just why artists wear cover alls! after spilling all kinds of things on my clothes. I also learnt which varnish does NOT work, will come to that bit later. Also on Etsy this week I had my first sale to the USA were I learnt all my postage was way out and lost a few quid on that one so then had to spend an hour or so changing all my postal rates.

This week I had a go at papier mache, I had a lot of fun and made more mess than you can imagine, are you ready for this?? cant see me making my fortune here just yet, but here are my first efforts ready to paint.

Finished laughing yet? I felt I had made some great progress with my other clay work, till I varnished and first took off the gold paint, and then had the wrong brush so you may be able to see were the bristles fell off too! not my most succesful of days.

I will treat you to my clay christmas decorations in my next blog, I took before photo's to show them raw. Despite my enjoyment of their creation I do feel they will end up on Mum's Christmas tree this year. After painting those today I created my very first artwork, I then stuck it to the fridge for OH to see, he is threatening to frame it, saying it will be worth a fortune when I am rich and famous... not so sure about that one, but cant tell you how much I enjoy painting - cant wait to do some more, but dont worry I may well keep the future ones to myself or inflict them on the family as Christmas pressies. Without further adue here is SimJaTa's very first piece of artwork........

LOL, sure I made at least one of you smile - or perhaps choke on your coffee, sorry about that!

Too many hours crafting today has resulted in severe neck ache, so I am now off to heat up another wheat bag, I have had requests for those for Christmas so may well be better off making some more of those, if nothing else I have plenty of use for them myself. Good excuse for a glass or two of the red stuff too.

Have a lovely evening

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~