Thursday, 30 December 2010

The cup is very full!

Some days are absolute diamonds and for me today was one of those!  I can't believe that I am living this life at the moment.  This evening I sat in a cafe in Paris and drew!  Not I only did I draw but I am pretty pleased with it. I can't believe that it was me sitting there sipping my wine and drawing a portrait (not of anyone in particular) with crayon and having two young Australian girls on the table beside me going 'Wow, this is so French!  Here we are in a cafe in France with somebody right beside us drawing!'  I almost cried.  Not from anything other than gratitiude that I was part of that scene. 

I did get chatting to them later and apologised for ruining their romantic vision, but they decided I had actually built on it because if someone from Australia could be in Paris doing an art retreat and drawing in a cafe then they could always believe they could do it!  How cool is that!

The art retreat has been inspirational to say the least.  Day one we started the day under the tuition of Renee Richetts and made travel journals out of an envelope, some paper and some embroidery thread!  That's it other than the needle to put it together and some trinkets for embellishment if you want, but it is very, very cool.  The journal has an inbuilt pocket and the potential to easily make other pockets for stashing treasures! I will make them for some of our future travels.  I haven't used the one I made yet, because Sam bought me another journal for Christmas especially for this trip and I really want to use it for that.  I have been scribbling all sorts of things in it, but think I will probably use it as an art journal to record the processes of things I try artisically.  Not sure yet, those are just my thoughts at the moment.

After the journal we did a couple of different paint over techniques with Lisa Bebi.  These were interesting and taught me a couple of new things that I will use in my journalling.  I mucked up the colour on the legs a bit on mine, but I was OK with it as a first attempt in this technique!  It is the first time I have ever used a canvas for a background and the man was a photocopy that I then painted on.  The whole thing is done using only three colours.  The whole canvas was painted red first and then when it was dry over painted with the blue.  Some of the wet blue paint was then removed with a dot stamp.  An attempt was used to make a rock wall effect behind his legs but we had no clingwrap and tried plastic which did not work very well!  The man's face was coloured with a skintoned marking pen (waterproof) and his clothes were then panted.  Pants and tie the same colour, shirt painted yellow and then given blue dots to fit with the background.  He was then glued on using matt medium.  He is actually sitting on a red blanket which works well with him!

Next was a similar technique but all done on paper.  Here she is:

Finally on day one again with Renee, we did some lino printing.  We made one print block with this stuff called 'Speedy Cut'.  It is very, very cool.  I remember doing lino printing at school and trying to carve the lino and being at great risk of carving me!  This stuff is like firm butter and carves beautifully, but the blocks apparently only last for 50 or so prints.  Not sure of the price of it, but you can carve into both sides of the block so I guess it is not to bad!  Here is my first print.

At the end of an exhausting Day 1 I took this on the way home.  It is the stairs in the Rue de al Fontaine in Montmartre:

Day two, today, was again brilliant.  We started the day with Pam Carricker learning to draw portraits.  Pam's work is stunning.  I have loved it when I have seen it on her blog, but believe me the photos do not do it justice.  She taught us a technique using conte crayons and a pliable rubber.  You lay on the crayon, blend it and then erase it using the rubber.  This process is repeated again and again to but the layers of light and dark and the form of the face.  Here is my first attempt, completed at the workshop today:

Sorry he looks a bit dark, but it was very hard to photograph in my hotel room tonight!

After the portraits we made metal books.  Here is some of the stuff I used, but I don't have a photo of it yet, because it is still a work in progress and is at the studio.

...and here is the one I drew tonight, she is not perfect, but oh how I love her as one of my new 'children' on paper!

So yes, I am enjoying myself!!!  What a way to see 2010 out and what a year it has been for us!  Happy New Year and much love to you all!  XXXXX


Jane said...

Hi gorgeous friend. it's so good to hear that you're having an absolute ball. i can hear it in your writing, giving so much description. i love your efforts. the man's face made me think of Adrian and the girl made me think of you. a quiet night here in Aus, i love waking up on new years day with a clear head and fresh thoughts. such heartbreaking and devastating floods throughout Qld (an area equivalent to the size of NSW and Vic), makes me cry for those people when i watch the evening news. we have donated to the flood appeal, it seems so little for such a mammoth loss. i hope the 31$ million lotto goes off tonight and the winner helps lots of people. that's what i would do. Happy New Year Ali. i love and miss you. Jane xxx

Coralie said...

wow! you have learnt some lovely techniques... I just adore lino printing, so when and if you ever return we can lino print together. We were over at Tin Can Bay for the new year celebrations... ate too much of course.... but with lovely company. I am very much enjoying your adventures... keep up the great work and keep blogging. love ya heaps

Jane said...

Ali, Ali, I have created a blog. take a look at
happy days to you.
Jane xx