NightCapped Girls...

I don't know what to say about these two girls... they have continued to perplex and challenge me from the beginning.  

I spent some more time and many more layers on these two.  My first layers were rough (see my previous post) and I felt rusty and frustrated and my canvas wasn't playing nice.  

It's been an interesting journey but I'm happy to let them rest here a little.  I may come back to them a little later.  But for now, I have some study time ahead of me this weekend.

 I also have some blank canvases calling my name... I can't wait.

Getting my brushes wet and my eye back in...

I am loving just showing up to paint and see where it takes me.

It feels like such a luxury at this stage of my life and schedule.  My filming SD card was full but I wish I filmed this, especially the painting of these hands.  They were teaching me some tough lessons.  But wow... I loved it and learnt so much.

I am so grateful for these past few days of painting and I hope for many more.

"Holding my inner thoughts and words..." -  it's busy up there, in my mind sometimes but it's in the painting and creating that helps me order them.

"Holding my inner thoughts and words..." -  it's busy up there, in my mind sometimes but it's in the painting and creating that helps me order them.

I am still on such a journey of painting hands and I love including them in my work but I find they can still catch me off guard and I still have to work through my inner struggles about them.  If you find you have similar issues and are looking for an introduction tutorial to including hands in your work... My mini tutorial is still available.

Come paint with me...

As you know, I am guest teaching on Let's Face It 2017 - I knew in my mind and schedule I had to start filming my lesson but to be honest, I've hardly turned on my camera this year.  There just hasn't been time with all the exhibition, auction and interviews around my TinyBagsofLove.  And of course, prepping for my trip and you know, life serving us curve balls.

Time is never on my side, I know this is a reality for many of us.

 
 

When I am filming myself, the pressure is on and I feel it in all ways.  As my dear friend Robin Jane says... it feels more like performing arts. What I've been doing to get comfortable in front of the camera again, is to keep the camera rolling and hopefully capture something that I will love and that will be good enough to share.  The joy about doing that, is that sometimes I forget it's rolling and I can get lost in the process rather than focus on the performance.

This canvas was heavenly to work on and I knew in my Stabilo draw up, I was already in love and then watching them unfold was just such a joy for me.

I look forward to doing my lesson for you when I get home.

In between life...

In between the craziness, I managed to squeeze in some studio time at Dale's.  I was so exhausted because I had just done a 4 hour round trip to drop Corks off out of town for a race and I managed to make it to class.  I didn't feel inspired for anything but it sure did feel like therapy.

And I needed that more than anything.

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The thing I love about this kind of play, is that it's pretty hard to make an ugly plate and there is something so therapeutic about pushing beautifully carved wooden stamps into beautiful raw clay and then receiving a beautiful outcome.

It feels like a promise and we can always do with that...

Love Jeannie

What is it about beautiful brushes...

I'm not sure why beautiful brushes and gorgeous paints make me so happy but this was a beautiful way to spend my birthday vouchers.

Thank you for gifting me art vouchers... and just getting that it's the way to my heart.

I have discovered the most beautiful brushes in the world...  Catalyst brushes by Princeton.

Robin Laws and Betty Wilkins have both sent me some and they are are like heaven for me.  When I'm in the states now, I might just have to stock up because we don't get them here.

It really is the small things that make me so happy.

Sending love, Jeanne-Marie

I'm rusty...

I've been freaking out a little, with our lives been turned upside down with Digz immobility and with me picking up so many extra duties, studio time has been eluding me.  I find it hard to rest in this place and know it too is just a season and that I won't forget how to paint.  Although everything in my being, is telling me I will.

It doesn't help when you pick up a canvas that is rough to work on and fights with you all the way.  That being said... after six weeks with no brush in my hand, it just felt good to get lost here, albeit it a struggle and by no means perfect.  It was a great place to warm up and block out the world a bit.  Yes, I'm rusty, but I'm excited as I'm feeling normalcy starting to return.

I do know this...

Rusty or not, I'm ridiculously happy when I'm creating, especially painting and I know now more than ever, just how much my soul requires it.

Beautiful happy mail...

Thank you my sweet friend Betty, from Texas. Facebook reminded me this week that we have been friends for 5 years online and I know it's longer because we were friends on Instagram first and you have been one of my encouragers since the beginning.  Thank you for your beautiful friendship and love and support through the years and sharing your knowledge and wisdom too.

I adore you.  I am hoping above all hopes I will see you in June/July.  Fingers and toes crossed.

#SoGrateful

"I'm on the cover of a magazine.... "

This statement has been a long time family joke of ours since our girls were little.   It's a line from Monsters Inc.  and we have always joked about it and today I finally got to say that and really mean it. :-)

I had this interview in March and kind of parked it at the back of my mind and now in May the editorial was released and today my hard copies arrived by courier.  I have to say, I was totally moved and blown away to hold this in my hands today.  It's a big and visually beautiful magazine and I'm so humbled to have my #366 TeaBagGirl on the cover.

I sent through a bunch of images of my TeaBagGirls and art from the past few years and I just love that they chose this specific one, #366 for the cover.   It meant so much to me because she was my very last TeaBagGirl to be painted.  I just kind of loved that.

Thank you Slow Magazine for such a lovely spread.

It's been a precious moment.

Love Me.

 

Read all about it - here

SLOW Magazine is the official guest magazine for SLOW and SLOW IN THE CITY, the exclusive business lounges operated by British Airways Comair in partnership with FNB Private Clients and RMB Private Bank.

Crazy Love...

I'm a little in love with my Kitty Girl.  She's such a cool kid.

We have been spending lots of time together.  We have been facing long hours in hideous queues to get her registered for her ID document and getting our travel documents in order.  All in all it hasn't been too bad because how often do we get to hang together like this...  We have the best convos and listened to audio books and music together.

After the buaratic red tape - she dragged me to thrift shops in and around the city and it was a rather amazing time with her... her finding old clothing and being delighted by the antiques and me finding old art books together with beautiful images of our city.

What beautiful stolen moments... can't wait to travel with this one.

#MotherDaughterLove

QueenofHearts...

I love seeing how these Souls evolve.

It's always a bit of a mystery to me.  I often don't have a plan.  I usually say I'm going to start with something... like today, I started with her face and hands and then I allowed the rest to lead me.  I was tempted to play with the Louise Bourgeois theme on her because her body surface area was quite big.  I love how she turned out.  I'm in love with her little buildings on her head too.

I so needed to play with paint tonight.  It was great to get lost here a little.

Good for my heart.  Good night folks.

Love.

She has a bit of a Queen of Hearts feel to her.

All I know... is that whatever her heart is, I know she's crept into mine.

Stealing moments...

With things being a little upside down at home and with my studio being far away from Digby, spending hours in there hasn't really been an option.  So this weekend I moved some of my studio into the living area so I can be closer to him.  Just some basic things, like my Mac and my clay and today, I moved my paints and brushes through.  I'm ready to start working again and I'm excited.

This way we can all be together at a time when Digz isn't that mobile. 

I have loved this little project that got my hands working again.  I needed to do something, just for fun and just to get me back creating.  I had 6 little gaps to fill and it was more challenging than I thought it would be.  Working this small was a delightful treat.  I knew I wanted them to have a similar theme to them yet all be slightly different.  It was quite interesting to see each one's personality come through.

They are currently drying but I'm ready to start painting them.

Much Love, Me

 
 

What a crazy time...

I can't believe it's been almost one month since my Mister was knocked off his bike and I'm still coming up for air.  It's been challenging but each day gets a bit easier.  Yesterday was a big day for us because his initial cast came off and the stitches came out and now he's in the moon boot.  His leg is still pretty fragile and it's made us feel a little vulnerable.   There is one thing we know, that there is a very long journey ahead of us and we know we will slowly get there.  It can't be rushed and we will have to exercise patience... daily.  Each new week has it's milestones and we are celebrating each small victory as we face them.

 
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All I know is I'm grateful for so much and it's definitely making us value what's truly important...   And that's each other and that he's alive and still with us.

I kind of like having him around and I'm not ready for anything else.

Big hugs as we lie low and survive this time the best way we know how.  Thank you for all the love, support and messages this past month.

The love has been overwhelming.

Love, always Jeanne-Marie

Under the Influence of Louise...

I can't actually believe that I have something finished on this canvas.

It's gone through many many different transitions and different stages but I am absolutely in love with where we have find ourselves and I think I'm going to keep this one like this.

I think this has literally been unfinished for over a year.  It's a beautifully big canvas, my biggest one to date and I love the simplicity and yet at the same time, detailed patterns.

36" x 60" Wrapped Stretched Canvas

36" x 60" Wrapped Stretched Canvas

Inspired by being "under the influence" of Louise Bourgeois.  A lesson from Embrace Yourself Workshop.  I am still learning a lot about this incredible artist and I'm busy studying some other artists too.  I'm looking forward to see what else comes through.  I'm still unpacking the lessons from this class and I'm soon to start my new class with Gillian Lee on Portraits.

I'm loving being back in the classroom, for sure.

Much Love... Me xoxox

Expressive SelfPortraiture...

I did my draw up last night and it was pretty rough and a little scary, to be honest.

Not that I let that bother me at all, I like my paintings to lead me than be completely hung up by the drawing part because once I start laying down the paint, I know it's going to change a dozen times anyway.  She waited patiently #InMyStudio all day for me to come paint her.  I had to finish my day at the office before I could take out my brushes and I couldn't wait.

When I started painting, I could see my proportions were completely off and I was really struggling to get my eye in.  I am so enjoying working with reference and at the same time equally challenged.  I'm working hard to find what I need to but at the same time, still make it my own.

16" x 22" Stetched Canvas

16" x 22" Stetched Canvas

I'm calling it a night though, I'm feeling a little exhausted but I'm feeling encouraged to finish her and do deeper layers.  There were moments tonight where I thought I might abandon her but I'm glad I pushed through.

I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying working bigger too.

Good night folks.  Love Me

xoxox

My 365Grateful project continues...

My project continues... slowly, very slowly but I'm still finding beautiful moments to capture.  It's not as easy as you would think.  Partly because my camera needs lots of light to work, so inside shots aren't always the greatest so it can be pretty limiting at times.  Plus when life and routine is a little humdrum, thinking out of the box can take a huge amount of effort.  But I'm determined to carry on and see what I can find as I go.

I do love how dreamy the shots can be. 

 
Long weekends and family gatherings and quiet farewells

Long weekends and family gatherings and quiet farewells

 
Urban delights

Urban delights

Studio spaces

Studio spaces

Great Finds

Great Finds

Cork's University

Cork's University

Painting big... well, bigger

 
14" x18" Stretched Canvas

14" x18" Stretched Canvas

 

First layers are down and I have to say I loved every minute of painting this.

I know I have still got quite a way to go and it's not as expressive as I would like it to be and I have many more layers to go but I loved the process.  It wasn't always comfortable and it was super challenging.  A reminder to me how much practice I need with reference work.

This is my first attempt of using my expressive self portrait references.  I know I am still way off but I learnt so much and I still have so much to learn but I'm excited.

Funny enough, I'm not really seeing myself here but I'm seeing my daughter.

And I just love that.

Excited, Jeanne-Marie

Expressive self portraiture...

Turning my Self Portrait photographs into expressive paintings using the DreamscopeApp.com - a great app Misty recommended to us in Embrace Yourself Workshop.  I could spend hours just playing with this app.  There are soooo many filters to try but I forced myself to stop after these six images.

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I can't wait to use these images as references.

I loved this tip so much.  This is part of our homework assignment, to paint an Expressive Self Portrait using our references and I can't wait to play here.

Much Love... Me

xoxoxo

Long weekends and quiet studio days...

I love long weekends and April is filled with them.

I know it means I get extended hours #InMyStudio, which I'm always grateful for.  And this weekend I did just that.  On Friday, I did some packaging up... yes I'm still packaging up TeaBagGirls and Saturday I did my shipping and I needed some new paint brushes.

I rushed home to get settled into some much needed studio time.

While I was working through my class material, my hands were busy making armatures for a mini project I'm working on.

Filling this sweet box with SoulBearers...

Filling this sweet box with SoulBearers...

I had one ready made hand left from my old figurine that I wanted to use in this unfinished terracotta piece above.  She was a rescued SoulBearer from a failed project from last year.  Her neck was broken and fell in such a perfect emotive way and I could immediately see how I wanted to remould her.  I broke off her legs and old arms and rebuilt her and there was so much restoration to her story.  A reminder to me, that anything can be rescued and not all is lost.

She's so beautifully emotive and deeply soulful and I am loving her hands up close to her face, like she's holding onto something so precious.... memories or maybe quiet whispers.  She has buildings on her head like her crowning glory and these words are down her back...

 

I will keep you safe. 
Hold out your hand - can you feel the weight of it.
The whole world at your finger tips - don't be afraid.
Mistakes are bound to be made - but I will keep you safe.

 

I'll keep you safe by Sleeping at Last

They keep calling me to make more and I can't wait to listen.

Love Jeannie xoxox

A little glimpse of my TeaBagGirls / Packaging Zone and my Clay Zone -  I'm loving it.

A little glimpse of my TeaBagGirls / Packaging Zone and my Clay Zone -  I'm loving it.

It's written on her on back...

"In her quiet wisdom, she understood the value of humble autonomy and
with a maternal grace and a tenderhearted openness,
she embraced all she needed to".

I've been practicing poetry and word play as part of my homework in Misty's class and I'm loving incorporating that into my pieces.  Hope to continue practicing that daily or weekly.

Have a precious Easter Weekend.

Much Love, Jeanne-Marie