A Touch of the Whimsical

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In the words of Pablo Picasso … “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Too true!

I mentioned in my last post about being inspired by one artist in particular whilst researching some online whimsical-style art classes. Her name is Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts, Tam for short.  I’ll let her tell you about herself:  https://www.willowing.org/about/

As you can see, quite special. Not to mention, extremely talented.

I found Tam’s art style very appealing and, whilst I am aiming to evolve my own whimsical style, her classes are just what I was looking for to help find my way.

Having very much enjoyed the classes from Willowing Arts which came as part of the Art Bundle (as mentioned in my previous post), I pondered whether to enrol on Tam’s Life Book 2018, a series of classes that span a whole year. It looked so exciting, but my main concern was whether I would have enough time to devote to it. I needn’t have worried, as you can do the classes at your own pace, and they are sent to you on a weekly basis so it isn’t overwhelming so it fits in very well with my photoshoots and edits.

I’m so pleased I decided to go for it! Each Monday I get some new challenges in my inbox. Not only do you get the classes by Tam but also tuition from over 30 other artists and crafters as well as wellness and self development experts. So much more than just an art course! At the end of the year, or once you have completed all the lessons, you get shown how to make a journal of your year’s work. Hence the name.

My pictures so far from some of Tam’s classes:

Montage-1

For these lessons I followed her work as closely as possible, as it’s very early days for me in this style. It was therefore really fascinating to see other folks’ work in the private Facebook Group – jaw dropping in fact – there are some amazing artists who put their own interpretations on the pictures they produce from the classes with some fantastic results!

Seeing the incredible work of other participants might well prove a little daunting for newbies like me … but it isn’t! The encouragement and lovely comments you get from the other artists in the group is very reassuring and this mantra is very much instilled into you as you work your way through:

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone’s else’s middle.” Jon Acuff

Some of the artists have participated in the Life Book courses every year since the first Life Book 2012, and others like myself very new to it all. But it doesn’t matter a jot. You get much more out of it than just to learn to paint and draw.

Oh and in case you’re interested, until 16 January 2018, there’s 20% off:

https://www.willowing.org/product/life-book-2018/?affiliates=104

(By the way, the above is an affiliate link, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link).

But hey, I don’t want to make this sound like a sales pitch, I just had to tell you about Tam’s classes as I am so impressed I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!!

Tam has a free class on her website https://www.willowing.org/product/art-heart-and-healing/ which you might like to try.

Whilst she and the other teachers I’ve seen so far work on paper using various mediums such as acrylics, watercolours, pens, etc, you may remember, I prefer to do all my work using my Ipad Pro and IPencil within the Procreate App. This amazing App can transform your IPencil into just about any medium you can imagine, from pencils, inks and charcoals to acrylics, oils and watercolours – it’s very clever!

Creating using the Ipad Pro, means I have to adapt a little in certain areas, such as not being able to use collage materials, which Tam incorporates into some of her work.  I don’t personally find this an issue, although I may well do an occasional class using paper and paint so I can give collage a whirl!

For me, just one of the advantages of using Procreate is that it records every brush stroke you make, so you get a brilliant time lapse of your creation meaning you can look back and remember how you put it all together – not to mention and all the mistakes/changes you made along the way lol!

The beauty of art is there’s no right or wrong, it’s great to get stuck in anyway you choose, just go with the flow, relax and enjoy it!

If you do any of Tam’s classes, I hope you get as much pleasure from them as I have. Her enthusiasm and happiness are seriously infectious! Wonderful.

And don’t you just love this Erin Hanson quote on her About page …

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?

Well I think that sums up beautifully that we should never be afraid to follow our dreams.

And as if this and my studio work aren’t enough to keep me out of mischief, I have also enrolled in the follow-up training to the recent Photoshop Artistry course I completed, which again takes place over a year. More about that soon!

 

 

 

Bringing out the Artist in Me

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In the last few months, I have acquired 3 things that have been a revolution for me!

Now, what might they be?

My Ipad Pro, my Apple Ipencil and an amazing painting App – which I will tell you all about in a moment – that’s what!

First a little background story …

Years ago, I used to do a fair amount of watercolour painting, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But I so didn’t love having to wash all the brushes etc and pack everything away at the end of a painting session, a task which had to be done as I didn’t have the luxury of a dedicated area where I could leave all my painting stuff out and readily pick up where I left off the next day.

This meant either I would keep working on a painting until it was totally finished, rather than interrupt the flow, even if this was well into the wee small hours. Or, more often than not, after a day at work (this was long before Romsey Fotografix was even a twinkle in the eye), as it was such a chore to get everything out, set up and get started, I didn’t bother. Inevitably my painting sessions became few and far between, to the point of non-existent.

And thus it was for about 18 years or so!

I had my own graphic design company then which satisfied my creative side of course, and also kept me extremely busy. Together with the boys growing up. I didn’t have a lot of spare time for hobbies.

Photography became my passion and eventually in early 2006 Romsey Fotografix was born. I didn’t really think about painting as such, but as some of you know, I have always strived to be as creative as possible with my photos, always seeking out inspiration and ideas to try and push the boundaries a little.

You may remember back in the autumn I enrolled myself on the Photoshop Artistry course as described in this post https://romseyfotografix.blog/2017/10/13/a-little-artiness/ I worked my way through it and absolutely loved, loved, loved, it! In fact, I loved it so much I have just signed up for the follow up “Awake” training – more about that in another post.

I especially loved some of the whimsical art resources which were included as part of the course and used them in various pictures as you will see from my previous post. Part of me felt I could make my creations more “mine” if I were to draw the faces myself and incorporate those into my artwork, rather than those drawn by other folk, great as they were.

I tentatively dabbled a little to start with. Bearing in mind I hadn’t drawn or picked up a paintbrush in many years – I was very out of practice, lol!! I bought a few arty pens and drew as much as time would allow. Here’s one of my creations using a face I drew, incorporated along with some elements, such as the flowers and background textures, taken from the resources in the Photoshop Artistry course. Incidentally this pic is now a canvas wrap and hanging on our wall!

live life in colour copy

Then my sister, Lynne, who is a brilliant artist https://www.facebook.com/Lynne-Arty-Stuff-1531420060481786/ mentioned that she had got herself an Ipad Pro and IPencil and how wonderful they were. Even though she doesn’t use hers for her art (she’s a paper and paints gal!), she found them very beneficial in her work process.

Amazingly, considering this was only a few months ago and now it’s become like second nature to me, at the time, I was very much in the dark re the difference between and the Ipad Pro and the Ipad I had already, and I’d never even heard of the Ipencil!

With Lynne having sung their praises, I did some research on both, which I found extremely interesting. Exciting in fact!! I thought, hey this would be a great way to do my drawings without the need for pens, paints and paper!

Without further ado, I bit the bullet and invested in a large screen Ipad Pro and an Apple IPencil and golly, I’m so glad I did!!

Next step was to find a Painting/Drawing App I could use to enable me to produce the kind of pictures I needed to incorporate in my digital art.

Again, after much research and reading various reviews, I downloaded a few Apps to experiment with. There was one, for me, which stood out above the others I tried. It is absolutely perfect.

And it is, ta-dahProcreate https://procreate.art/

It does everything it says on the tin and more!!

Here are a few of my creations using the Ipad Pro/Ipencil and the Procreate App, and incorporated with textures etc. from resources included with Photoshop Artistry along with more direct from the suppliers which I discovered via the course.

It didn’t stop there though! I wanted to improve my drawing skills and started looking around for some art training, in particular of the whimsical kind.

As luck would have it, in late November 2016,  I was notified about this humdinger of an Art Bundle https://www.art.bundlesforgood.com/ via one of the artists I follow.  It’s only up for sale once or twice a year for a few days, so I decided to go for it. Gosh, such amazing value for money and some of the proceeds go to a worthy cause, even better. The number of courses and ebooks included is unbelievable! With November and December being such a hectic time in the studio, there was very little time for me to go through everything before the Christmas holiday – in fact I’ve only just finished downloading all the ones of interest to me (of which there are loads), let alone started work on any of the included courses. But you get unlimited access to them all so there’s no rush.

The Art Bundle has introduced me to the work of lots of amazing artists. But one artist, in particular has inspired me more than most, so much so I have joined her very special training course that spans the whole year and includes much more than art alone.

And I’ll tell you all about her in the next post coming up very soon! Thanks to it, my whimsical drawing has already taken a turn for the better. I reckon.

And it all fits in very nicely around my photography work, and helps to inspire me to be even more creative with that too.

Win, win then.