Author: Clare at CatsEatDogs

Sketchbooks

I have been working and practicing in my sketchbooks a lot more this year. While I am still in love with mixed media and art journal type pages, I am really trying to improve my sketching, in an actual drawing type way! I have signed up for some classes, a couple I have completed and some (ok many) are in process and some (ok too many) are waiting to be started. Are you a class taker? Do you feel they benefit your skill building? I find that some do and some don’t. I particularly enjoy classes which are vague enough to let you run with your style and preferences and provide ideas and inspiration. Classes I try to avoid (no always successfully) are the ones where you end up with a very similar body or piece of work to everyone else in the class including the teacher. One of my favourite ways of working and learning in my sketchbook is the weekly (Friday at various times) art club held on Instagram live by The Good …

Books I have read, am reading and want to read.

I always have a pile of books to wade through and wade through them I rarely do! There are so many great books at the library I want to borrow them all and read them so I borrow them and sometimes read them and sometimes don’t. Is this a common problem? I think it may be. The joy of the library is that if I don’t read what I borrow I can at least come back and borrow again. There are a couple in here which I bought so of course I will never get around to reading them! Don’t you find that the pressure of a borrowed book makes you read it rather than the luxury of owning it and putting it to the bottom of the pile because the library books need to be read and returned. This is why I don’t buy novels, I would never read them! In fact the only time I do treat myself to a novel is when I go on vacation as I would never trust myself …

Creative Block Removal in 100 pages of Mark Making.

I have been feeling less than creative of late, I want to make all the things and get all the ideas but nothing is happening, I feel like I am achieving nothing. Instagram pals are doing all the amazing art and I am thinking I should be doing this too, but I am not. Yesterday I decided on a whim to get 100 pieces of paper, from old book pages to watercolour paper, and just set myself the goal of making marks on each until all 100 had something on them. I kept it simple and focused on black and white medium. I seemed to zoom through the first 50 pieces, sloshing ink and paint about and making marks with posca pens. The middle was slower, I was still trying to do something ‘new’ on each piece. Once I let myself follow one idea across a few pieces of paper, I got back into the flow and the final bunch were soon finished. I ended up with 107 pieces of paper with marks, paint blobs, …

The 100 Day Project 2021

Ok, this year I am going to finish. This is my 100 day project mantra to be repeated from January 31st when the project starts until it finishes, er, 100 days later, I haven’t looked at the finish date!! I have completed the 100 Day Project at least four times in previous years, so I know I can do it and this year I will. So what to do for 100 days? I mean I could literally choose anything from knitting to yoga via mono prints and oil paintings. I had a few ideas which started with painting with watercolours which evolved into painting with watercolors in series of 10 themes. This further evolved into ‘100 days of series’ which would be series of themes/media such as collage, watercolour, gel printing etc. Then as I walked back from Target today I thought maybe I would enjoy ‘100 days of collage’ but as a series of themes, so the 100 days would be broken down into 10 sets of 10 days and each group would have …

Taking Stock October 2020

I haven’t written for a while, so I thought it might be a good opportunity to ‘take stock’. This is a super fun quick exercise which was dreamt up by the wonderful Pip at Meet Me At Mikes. It is a nice way to record what you are up to and lovely to look back on. Some of the answers I do quickly and with few words and some I have to come back to. If you fancy a go, I have a blank list at the end of the post. Making : Books, I have just finished a very comprehensive and very satisfying online class called ‘Booklove’ with Rachel Hazell who is The Travelling Bookbinder. Cooking : Dahl for dinner tomorrow. I have soaked the beans and lentils and I am ready to get cooking! Drinking : Pumpkin coffee made with Trader Joes ground coffee with frothy milk. I find that I often love all things pumpkin spice flavoured about now and then I soon lose interest, so I shall see how I feel …

Things I am doing and reading and making.

What are you doing in these strange and new times we find ourselves in. What are we all doing to stay sane, to use our time wisely and productively? I have been working on a few projects for the library (where I work part time in the normal world) but is of course closed now until we don’t know when.  I like to have the focus of these projects because they are not optional but still fun to complete, not a class I found on Instagram which I may or may not finish.  Having said that I have found so much goodness on the inter webs and most of it via Instagram. I made sourdough bread from a starter my friend shared with me and I have sown zinnia seeds given to me by the same lovely lady!  It is nice to be in a time of sharing and helping, I have made  some sketchbooks and given them to friends and shared novels when I finished them.  I do like to think that most of …

The 100 day project 2020

The 100 day project starts tomorrow and I am in! I have done the project for about 5 years now and I have always got into it and ended up with a nice chunk of work. Some themes worked better than others and I hope this years will be a winner! In the past I have drawn mandalas and recorded ideas and last year I did 100 days of blueand I think this and the first mandala year are my favorites.   This year I have made a book and I am going to fill it with 100 days of black and white.  This way it will have a theme but I will also have enough scope for lots of ideas to fill it with.

Colour Found

When I watched Kasia Avery at Everything Art UK using Stabilo Woody crayon/pencils in her art journal pages I thought ‘Hang on, I have seen those before and I am pretty sure I still have some’.  I scurried off to see where mine were and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had quite a nice collection of colours. I used them last when I was at Trent Polytechnic, soon to be Nottingham Trent University (yes I am that old!) way back in 1989-91.  The course was BA (hons) Fashion design and the illustrations were always on paper and lugged about in a giant black art folder which clunked my ankles on a regular basis! They were a joy to use then and they are still as lovely now, I am super pleased I kept them and I will use them until I can’t sharpen them any more. Happy Sunday x

Estate sale finds from the weekend.

I do like a full estate sale and this one was full, full of dolls and beanie babies! Thankfully it was also full of old paper and books! It was pretty local and my husband had been the day before and picked me up this box of photos and the scrapbook full of film make up research from 1941. When he suggested going again on Saturday, I ditched my yoga class for some bargains. I found a modern paper cutter for $2 which was a good start but a bit boring. I seemed to wade through dolls, beanies and Garfield paraphernalia for the next few rooms and was beginning to feel deflated. The basement was full of Christmas decorations and some books so I had a browse through the books. I picked up a couple from the 1960’s which I can use images from and maybe use the covers for a sketchbook. I am not sure I have any plans for the 1966 calendar but it has some beautiful paintings in it. One last look …

The Books I read in 2019

These are most of the books I read in 2019, only ‘most’ are in this pile because I own two which I can’t find for the life of me, I even wonder if they have been donated. The others are new at the library and all checked out and I forgot to add one to the pile! They are not a ‘best of’ selection as they are all the ones I read from the first page to the last.  I don’t finish a book if I don’t like it, so these are those I liked (and finished). I remember them all except one and I have more favorites than not. Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens.  I was late to this party as I didn’t really fancy it to be honest, but I am very happy that I eventually read it as I liked it, great characters helped by the main character’s talent for sketching and observing. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.  This was a classic case of judging a book by it’s …