Monthly Archives: June 2012

Step Away From the Painting

I had always thought that I didn’t like Pointillism.  However, after visiting a special exhibit of Henri Edmond Cross and Neo-Impressionism  at the Musėe Marmottan Monet in Paris, I changed my mind.   I was fascinated by the paintings in the exhibit and decided to try the technique in watercolour.

I worked small so that it wouldn’t take too long to finish – the painting is only 14 X 21.2 cm (5 1/2 X 8 3/8 inches) .  I found that I couldn’t make regular same-sized marks with a watercolour brush so I used  Microbrush ® applicators that I bought at Lee Valley Tools.

My subject was a close-up of a tree stump and my choice of colours was inspired by Cross’s Future Arcadia. I worked on it for several hours in total and couldn’t get it right. It just looked like an interesting pattern of coloured dots.  Finally, I saw it from across the room and I could now see  forms emerging from the mass of dots.

I don’t think that this will become a favourite method of painting watercolour, but I will definitely try it again.

Detail of Watercolour

What’s Growing in your Garden?

Last weekend I visited Kiwi Gardens in Perth, just outside Ottawa.   It was their 16th annual show and sale of garden art.   About 38 artists displayed their work  throughout the gardens.  Although there were many wonderful works of art, I am going to share some of the picture I took of the work of just three of the artists.

Artist by Design ‘s Liz Ciesluk does sculptures using  recycled objects and pavepol, a fabric hardener.

Liz with Lady Merry Feather who now resides in my garden.


Stanley Lake  &  Almut Ellinghaus of the Ruiter Brook Pottery in Quebec’s Eastern Townships showed their Fountains and Garden Sculpture.

UFO’s: Little Green Man and a Cat

The Green Man started out as an exercise to use techniques that I learned in a Robin Foley workshop to build up areas of a face using batting.  The original workshop used a carved styrofoam block as a starting point.   For this project I started with a flat surface.  Once I had built up the areas and “skinned” it, I needle sculpted the wrinkles and painted it with soft pastels.  Then it sat for a few years and became lost in my studio.

Green Man UFO

My local doll club, All Dolled Up, had a UFO (UnFinished Object) challenge so I found my Little Green Man and decided to put him on a background.  I painted a prepared canvas with pastels and attached the head to it with acrylic medium. Then, I made leaves with free motion embroidery.

Free motion leaves on wash-away stabilizer

I put masking tale around the edges to keep the stabilizer from wrinkling as I sewed.

Green Man

Green Man – Detail

I also found an embroidery project in the basement.  It was based on a Mola, which is a hand sewn reverse applique panel made using several layers of cloth  which are cut away to reveal the layers underneath.  Mine is machine sewn and it is only one layer.  The image is based on my cat.  I sewed it onto a bag.

The Cat

Naked Lady Gets New Clothes

After a lot of hand sewing the once naked lady has clothes.  She also has a name: Bellisima.


The arms were “dressed” before they were sewn on.

Detail – face

I think she is as showy as any orchid.


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