Thursday, 21 June 2012

More processes

Today I published my first process slideshow on You Tube. It is of my recent mixed media painting 'It's all about love'.

I was quite nervous about doing it, and I was a bit clueless!!! But it was a lot easier than I thought, so no excuses for the future. I hope it will be the start of plenty more. I will include a lot more details next time, and maybe attempt to do a voice over.

The print is also available in my Etsy shop, so if you have a moment, please take a look


Here is my submission for this week's illustration Friday. This week's theme is Secret.

My piece started off being inspired by Secret societies and their occult links, but ended up somewhere else.......

I used this week to have a play with different media, this time with the surface material.

I used some hand made paper that I made a few years ago that was sat around in my scraps box. On top I worked with Acrylic, water colour and pencil.

I was quite enthused at the start, but by the end I'm doubtful of the success of the piece. 
The main thing is that I have taken something from the process: handmade paper is not easy to work on! It was too porous (even after I treated it with Gesso), and never put a tinted glaze over watercolour - you'll just smear the watercolour sections (even if they are dry!).

The scan isn't great - think I need a new scanner

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

behind the scenes

I have been really busy lately working on behind the scenes stuff. Trying to develop my business, so I have been really active on social networking and ultimately reworking my website.

I wanted it to me more asha-centric, I wanted to show who I am, and where I am coming from with my art. I also wanted it to be all encompassing, so I no longer had to pass out the details of my etsy shop, Facebook and twitter along with my web address.

Hopefully I have managed to do this. 

There is still lots to do on it, padding out the edges mainly. Putting up more pictures in the gallery, especially of more recent work, adding more to my 'who am i?' page, and working on my resources section.

My aim with this last page is to show my processes, film some video's for you tube, and talk about materials. This is going to be a seriously long and on going processes.

if you have time I'd love for you to take a peek at my new-look website.

Also, we have a new banner over here on the blog, hope you like it

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Natural Mamas

I am a member of a wonderful Natural Parenting forum called Natural Mamas. There are lots of WAHM and crafters on the site, including some fellow Etsy sellers.

I have put together an Etsy treasury with my fellow NM, please take some time to take a look at their wonderful work. This will be on ongoing treasury, so please check back with us as more will be added.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

It's all about love ♥

What an amazing creative Saturday. I have been working on a painting I started not long ago. A mixed media piece, and wow has it come out well.

I am so pleased with it.

I documented most of the processes with the camera, so once I have figured out how to put them together in a video I will share them with you.

I still have to have a scan (once the varnish has dried), but as usual I can't wait to share the finished piece, so here is a photo.

I'd love your feedback on it as it is heading in a new media direction for me, well more revisiting old practices from 20 years at (see my old post).

So here they are... in love

'It's all about love, love for each other, love for yourself, without love, there is nothing'

want to help me decide?

As you will have seen I tend to have dots for eyes in stead of painting in eyes, it's not because I can't but because I love the simplicity of the dots.

I have been working on a painting of a couple in love, which you may have seen some of the initial pics of. I am torn because I am tempted to paint up eyes on them, just to see how it would look.

I have taken a pic with just dots, and another with some tissue paper layered over with eyes drawn on to give a rough impression of how it would look.

So should I do it or leave them as dots?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Illustration Friday ~ Shiney

This was my submission for this week's illustration Friday. Sadly I didn't mange to get it submitted in time, but those are the perils of being a work at home mama.

But the submission isn't the important part, it is the process of work and continuously producing artwork.

I have tried to push myself with mixed media with this one. You all saw the earlier post with the original drawing that was done in biro on some scrap paper I found in the car. Once home I worked over that with watercolour.

Whilst that was drying I rollered over some masking tape and some brown artist tape with some blue, white and purple acrylics.

Once all was dry, I worked on her face a little, that layed down the masking tae to form the border, and cut stars from the gummed artist tape, and stuck these down.

I went back over some areas with the biro, and then added some silver dots with some paint.

The finale was to pour hot wax over everything.

Then embed it with a hot iron over some newspaper. This process can cause some of the news image to imprint on the artwork - an effect I really enjoy.

The wax pulls the whole piece together, it intensifies the colours, and gives a filter like effect.

If you hold the piece up to the light it becomes translucent.

I hope you like her, I had a lot of fun creating her. Incidentally, this was one of the quickest pieces I have done in a while.

So here she is, the finished piece. My home scanner isn't the best, so I'll take it to be professionally scanned next week.

Mobile workspace

Trying to make time to work around a toddler is one of the hardest obstacles I have had to work around. I have always been a very driven person so I just found new ways to find the time.

On Friday afternoons we go to our local attached parenting group. You'll often find me sat in my car working whilst my boy sleeps an hour before the group starts!

Intact it is such a time I find myself writing this blog post on my phone! Thank the gods for modern technology!

I am also sketching. I struggled this week to find the time for my illustration Friday piece, so I am working on that now.

So here is my WIP, finishes piece will be posted later today.

Enjoy the sunshine everyone.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

creative play

As mentioned I have started to play around with mixed media again. I'm finding it hard to break the chains.

I've been playing around with acrylics instead of my usual watercolour, pencil and inks. Using rollers and stencils as well as brushes.

I'm going to be documenting my progress with slide shows and maybe some video's to go on YouTube (new venture for me).

Because of my little person I don't have the time to finish a piece in one go, 
so here is my WIP

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Glimmering halls of my arms

Last night and this morning I set about finishing a painting of my dear friend breastfeeding her son.

She supplied some beautiful words to accompany the piece.

These are not final scans, but photos.

I am holding out
the glimmering hall of my arms;
showing the lighted room in my head,
which I have carpeted
with your dreams.

I hope you like the piece

Thursday, 7 June 2012


This week's Illustration Friday Submission.

Hurry home little boy, Mama misses her space cadet

Digital colour

original biro drawing

Competition time

As a big thank for to everyone for your efforts over the weekend, and to celebrate getting over 100 likes we are having a competition! *Cheers from the audience*

You have the chance to win one of my elephant prints.

Hidden somewhere in my Etsy shop is a HIDDEN alien! Once you find him, send PM (etsy, fb or twitter) telling me where he is and we'll put your name in a hat. Competition ends 3pm Sunday UK time, and we will post the winner on Sunday evening.

So whip out your alien stun guns and get hunting guys!

Note this is a HIDDEN alien, it's not where it should be

Monday, 4 June 2012

Standing on the edge / Art from the heart part 1

I originally trained at college in textile design, lots of screen printing, mixed media, throwing paint around, sewing through metal and really being free.

I had an amazing 2 years in my foundation course, I really thrived, I adored it and my work excelled. By the end I was mixing up thread with papers, glue, paint and plaster. I felt sure crafts and embroidery was my thing. 

So I started my BA in fashion and textile, specialising in embroidery. I quickly got the shock of my life. The tutors hated my work, and often it seemed hated me. They disliked my urge to walk on the other side of the creative path and how messy I was. I simply did not fit in.

I was punky/goth/hippy, wild haired and chubby. They wanted scrawny fashion victims who were always tidy and did tidy work that fitted in their box.

My spirit was dampened down, my work fell apart. I went from top of the class, to not caring.

In my second year I swore I would reign it in, I tried my best to walk the line they wanted. I changed my clothes, my hair, my attitude, I buckled down but my work had no spirit, no spark.

In the third year I pulled it together enough to meet in the middle but my work still had lost that pizzaz from my earlier years. I came through with a good grade - not amazing but acceptable. A bit like my work really.

After uni I walked away from textiles, I got into graphic design, did another course, did very well and worked my way up jobs. It turns out I could pull design off. I became a whizz with the programmes, good at all the technical stuff and slowly over the years my work became more creative.

I always likened it to a quote from my hero David Bowie:

“I was playing the saxophone and trying to make up my mind whether to play ... I wasn't very good at jazz and I could fake it pretty well at rock'n'roll so I played rock 'n'roll.”

Design was my rock'n'roll

Fast forward 12 years, I started to want to draw again, the one thing I was always good at. I started life drawing classes again, played around with oils, played around with styles. Ended up with watercolours, inks and watercolour pencils.

I started doing a bit of illustrating with a tablet in photoshop. 

The work developed into what you see today.

So for the last few years I have been working as you see. I really love my work, I love taking the time to paint. My love of being a creative was back. But every now and then I question, am I really drawing from the heart? Is there soul in my art? Does it speak truly from me?

I miss the old messy Asha. The one that melted oil pastels and painted with them, used tin foil, newspaper, water colour and ink in the same painting.

I had wanted to do a MA in book illustration, got as far as starting the application and meeting with the course director. But sadly when we sat down and did the sums we simply couldn't afford it on so many levels, the new uni fee's set by the government, the course was 2 hours away each direction, and who would look after our son on the days I would be in uni. 

I was sad as I had hoped it would be my chance to be creatively challenged and to blossom again.

So I have decided it is time to take charge myself. I will be my own tutor and course. It is time to start playing around with materials again, to get messy and have fun. I have no idea if this will change my work, if I will like it, or if I will go back to my simple paints and pencils.

I also have no idea where I will do this! I lost my work space when we had our son and we are selling our house so it has to stay tidy!!!

But I HAVE to do this. I have to give myself the chance to see what is there. To free my style again, to break the tight restrictions I have put around my use of media.

Writing this post is vital. I need to put it out there and be honest. 

I don't even know who will read this or If anyone is interested, but I know I am, and that is what counts.

So here it is my new journey; Art from my heart.

Can I just underline as a foot note that I value my illustration and design work as it stands, I am very proud of it, it is professional and well executed.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Whoosh and the day is gone

Hubby has been a wonder today, he has been so sweet and played with our boy all day long so I could paint (and watch some shows)

I've been working on two different in progress pieces.

This one you have all seen before, I am hoping to have it finished by the end of the holiday weekend.

I can't quite decide if this one is finished, or if I should tinker with it more.

Friday, 1 June 2012


From my trip to the Butterfly farm earlier this week

100 is a magic number

I am trying to increase my likes for my Facebook page to 100 over the Jubilee weekend.

If you fancy helping me along join my Facebook gang, be a friend and share my work with your friends.