Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

More Venice

Realising that I CAN paint even if there is not painting to copy, I finally let go of the fear of failing. So what if it is not perfect - it is fun! At Arsenale there was an old house on the other side of the canal, which caught my attention. As I had still some time left after finishing my fourth painting, I decided to paint it.
 In the afternoon we took a trip to Torcello and while we were asked to do a number of excercises I decided to try my brush at another watercolor. While I see many things wrong with it, I am still satisfied with the result.
 The last day was only a half day on which we remained on lido and tried to capture the view of Venice.

All in all it was a wonderful opportunity and I took a lot home from it.

Monday, June 3, 2013


Some weeks ago I spent some days in Venice. A little bit of vacation and then a 4,5 day watercolor class with a different teacher this time. Her way of teaching is quite different fom the way Albert Hoffmann teaches, but I really learned a lot.

While I realised that I had improved over the last years, I was not confident that I could paint on my own and not just copy the examples Albert painted in class or on our travels. I did not even try.

Ilona approached the whole class quite differently. We spent every morning of the first 4 days at the same place at Arsenale. We were asked to choose a motive, which we felt comfortable working with every day.
While the view along the riva towards the doges palace was fascinating, I felt that I would loose myself in the details and decided to choose a "simpler" motive of canal, bridge and buildings. We started out with a rather detailed and exact sketch which we colored with diluted indian ink, paying attention to light and shadow. What a disapointment:
On the second day we had to do the same sketch again and this time use one color - blue - and add the complimentary color - orange to mix brown and add the shadows this way. Well, it does pay off to look at something longer....
On the third day we were asked to do only a quick sketch and use color. While I started out much like on the first two days with coloring areas, I was suddenly no longer satisfied with coloring in - hey, I'm here to paint! The easle was put aside and I let my brush, the water and pigment do their thing. What a relief!
The last full day was again spent at Arsenale, this morning we were asked to paint our chosen motive again, and give the scene a definite focus point. No drawing, just painting - I love the result!
What did I learn from these 4 days - I can paint on my own, approaching a motive like this REALLY makes one look, and learn a lot about light, shadows, perspective and color. We even ended up doing one last sketch of our motive with closed eyes and I just nailed it!
This article I just read, might explain some of it too: Cure for the distracted mind.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Knitting - Creature Comforts Cardi

While working on blocks for the Lizzard Ridge afghan I discovered one colorway of the many I had chosen I especially loved and decided to get more of and knit myself a cardigan. Looking for a simple pattern that would alow to star the wool I discovered tha Creature Comfort Cardi.
It was a quick knit with the cabel panel posing just enough challenge to keep me on my toes. Thanks to youtube I found explanations for all the english knitting expressions I was not familiar with. While I probably should have made it a size or two larger, it is comfortable to wear at home and does not get in the way when washing dishes or bending over. It is perfect for having a warm back and sholders and actually is more like a shrug than a cardi and has already replaced my many shawls I usually wear (and which usually end up hanging into the water or slipping off my sholders when washing dishes or cooking...).

I've already chosen my next project as I found a bag full of wool and a started project (probably 2004) without the instructions. As I still love the color and the material, I've decided to use it next and not buy something new. I also found other started projects which no longer interest me and I also do not like the wool anymore. These I will probably unravel and give the wool away, but that is a decission for another day.