Tag Archives: oil pastels

Intermissions, stashings and cunning plans.

I’ve picked up the oil pastels again.


This one will be of the elusive cherry plucking striped warbler.

You know the kind I’m talking about. The ones with the blue breasts and yellow heads. You see them only at dusk after the children are in bed.

They don’t like children as they get to pick all of the cherries first.

It’s a bit of a cherry rivalry thing and you know how that goes.

Best they come out at bedtime really otherwise you never know how it will all end up.

I think I just need a bit of a jewelry break, although last night I admit to having a little moment trying not to buy all of the stones for sale on Etsy.

After a long struggle I managed to get away with buying only fifteen of them.

I didn’t want to buy them.


But they’re all so bootyful…

So I imagine that the painting intermission will be a short one.

Actually I could have retired completely from jewelry making after I nearly charged my first customer at the art fair $9,000 for a necklace and a pair of earrings, but I had to fess up as what would I have done with the hoard of gems I have lurking in the dark corners I stash them so that I don’t have to admit to being a hoarder who stashes gems in dark corners.

Out of sight just waiting for me to stumble across them and get all excited like.

Stumbling means I don’t have to feel guilty as I only find one at a time…

Actually, that’s a lie.

They’re lurking in plain sight.

I have them all in one place, organized onto cards into stone type ready to get out and gaze upon whenever I choose to ponder new designs.

But perhaps the dark corner lurking thing would be a more cunning ploy to prevent P from finding out the extent of my obsession.

By the way.

A note of warning.

If you use that Square thing on your phone to take credit cards at art fairs and the card doesn’t read first off and you have to keep swiping it, pay attention to where your thumb is on your phone so that you don’t inadvertently keep pressing the plus sign on the keyboard, again, and again, and again, until a simple $100 dollar charge ends up at $9,000.

This is not the best way to get repeat customers.

Just saying’.

So I’m off now to the post office where, I won’t admit to you here, that another small parcel should be waiting for me with yet more little beauties ready to be stashed onto cards in orderly loveliness and placed in my special orderly loveliness stashing container.

Send help now…

Or chocolate.

I had a little bit of time, so …

I worked a little more on one painting.


And I made another encaustic.


Now I just have to figure out the best way to ventilate my studio so that the wax doesn’t kill me, and I’ll be off and running.


Until further notice.

The studio is closed.

Before I go, however, I wanted to show you some last minute paintings that I started yesterday.

I really enjoy these coastal paintings.


The houses still need work, especially the ones on the right hand side, and the church is giving me some grief.


These are painted on 6 x 18 inch birch boards. I really like this size. I’m working myself up to larger, but can’t quite manage it yet.

The colours of oils pastels really are gorgeous in my opinion, but I am having trouble with them drying.

I guess I’m just going to have to keep them all.

Here it is underneath an earlier one.

IMG_3304 - Version 2

And because I flit around I also started another one.

This is larger. 18 x 12 I think.

I think I’m going to put more land up in the right hand corner as there’s too much sky going on right now.

Not that I make it up as I go along you understand.


I started this one (below) a couple of days ago, but it’s not doing that much for me at the moment.


And this one is a further experiment with the encaustics.


I’ve ordered some more colours, so that’s exciting. They’re really expensive though which leads me to think that I will only be making small ones until I hit on a super fantastic style which will make me famous and which everyone will be lining up just waiting to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for.

This might take some time, however, but I’m up for the wait.

Dad’s on his way. Just about to take off from Heathrow I should imagine. I must say that I don’t envy him the flight, but it’s going to be really nice to see him.


Bring on the vacation.

I finished the amazonite necklace.




It’s a bit chunky, and I’m still not sure if I like it. Also the stone wasn’t cut perfectly round. Annoying.

I also made a few paintings.



And this one (below) which isn’t finished yet.


It’s called, Autumn Breeze With Full Moon Shining On The Hilltop Above The Tilled Land And A Pond On A Clear Evening Just Before Bedtime.

Because it’s special to have a name.

(Look at those blues.)

And that’s about it really.

My dad comes on Tuesday, so there’s probably not going to be a lot of studio time happening for three weeks.

I’m in mourning already although, to be honest, I think it will give me some time to do other things and freshen myself up a little, so to speak.

Maybe write, or read. Definitely sketching. Maybe photography?

I’ve never really been that bothered about photography actually, and it’s a relief really to find something that I can eliminated from the, I just have to do it, list.

Woodwork and glass are off that list also.

I feel bad about the things that aren’t on the list. It’s like I haven’t picked them for my team.

Oh gosh. Now I’m going to have to get the camera out.


(That wasn’t meant to be a pun by the way.)


I’m supposed to be cleaning the house to get ready for my family, but …

I’ve only got three days left.

Three days people!

How am I going to be able to fit everything in that I just need to do before my dad comes?

Like – I’ve got to touch all of my stones. Use my new oil pastels. See if I can print out some paintings. Get more touchy-feely with the encaustics. Finish glazing my pots. Get it together with some screen printing, and lino cuting.

Actually, maybe I can do the lino cutting while he’s here. That’s not studio driven. I can be sociable and do that.

I’m really looking forward to my dad coming :) I only get to see him once a year. I’d love to be in England where I can just pop over and take him a cake, and have a cup of tea, or walk with him over the park when he takes his dog out.

So it all comes down to what is really important to me.

I can give up my studio for three weeks.


Good grief England, what you playing at?

No hope.

No hope at all …

This was the first and last time we won.


Yes, back in the good ol’ black and white days.

Oh well, there’s always next time …

Got to keep the dream alive.

It’s not called the beautiful game for nothing.

I finally finished the wonky necklace.


Nevada Variscite

(Actually, I’ve placed the piece for the photograph more wonky that it actually is. It really didn’t come out wonky at all once I’d finished it.)

I decided to put its danglies on after all.

I quite like it, but I never know how long to make the chains on my pieces. It depends on the person’s neck really. I think on Etsy I’m going to just have to start asking buyers which length they prefer.

I took a break from the painting to finish it up as the jewelry table was definitely calling. I’m beginning to recognize it now. I’ll be making something, and even though I’m really enjoying it, I can feel my thoughts pulling in another direction. I’ve always tried to ignore it before, and get on with what I think I should be doing, but now I’ve just decided to go with the flow.

Less stress.

I did lay in the basic colours though, and I’m quite liking the table.

I really enjoy the vibrant colours that the oil pastels give.


And, I went ahead and sent my money off to Heifer. I selected the Haiti Project – here – although I’m pretty convinced that they just pool all the money and send it where needed.

No matter really.


So I’m off now to the studio to make my next thousand.

(See my charity update – here.)

As my new friend commented yesterday, there are many starfish to save – even if you can only save them one at a time.

(Thanks Fiona ;) )

I decided to make it a friend.




Got to wait until tomorrow now.

Encaustics 101

Or more likely, 82.5

I haven’t completely gone over to the other side – yet.

But I just had to try them.


I mean, look at that red.

Who wouldn’t want to play with that?


Except I didn’t quite know what to do with it all.


And it smells very waxy and unhealthy.

Which doesn’t bode well with the old hypochondria problem.

Yet another death threat from the studio.


Not completely sure yet.

Perhaps I should just stick with the oil pastels.


Who knows what will happen next.

Stay tuned for more wonders of the universe.

If you dare.


The pottery bug has hit!

I wondered when it would happen.

It’s been lingering in the back of my consciousness for a while now, but even though I was really trying hard to resist it, it hit with a vengeance last night.

Help me now …

I’m really hoping that it will be too hard to pass by the jewelry bench to get into the clay room.

Good grief. It’s all just too much.

I was thinking perhaps I should separate my day into sections so that I can do it all, but I don’t work like that.

It’s full immersion for me, or nothing.

So there you have it.

The paintings are calling to be finished,



Cornelius is on hold.

You can see one of his entries – here.

And now the ceramics.

My only hope is that I drew up a couple of sketches for the new stones that arrived yesterday.

(Don’t ask why there are more stones arriving. I almost have my own quarry now, I’m surprised the shelf can bear them.)

So that might overshadow the clay.

I can only pray.

Ordinary Newman and the Variscite Painting.

I’m having a bit of trouble with the sneak peek and had to walk away from it for a while so that I didn’t have to pull all of my hair out.

So I started another one.


These stones are some of my favourite. Nevada Variscite.

(Yes, It’s from a new stash, not the other new stash. I might have to get help soon.)

So I worked a little on the variscite pendant until I got interrupted once too often by P who wanted to know what account number we were getting the bank’s fraud call on.

Like I know these things.

So, after the second time he called to ask I had to hang up my torch to go inside to find the numbers of all the accounts we have, and try to call him back, even though he’s in England again, without me, again, and I don’t have international calling on my phone and don’t know his number anyway.

Yes, I know, you’d think I’d know these things.

To be fair, he does tell me but I think I forget to listen. He does write it down, but I put it somewhere safe.

I just have too much other stuff going on to keep track of his stuff as well.

So, that was it for the jewelry which was probably a good thing because, at this point, I was just hitting my head against a brick wall.


Instead I worked a little more on this.


Which kind of bothers me as, as if I haven’t belaboured the issue enough, the painting really upsets me because I can’t do it.

No, don’t talk to me about it.

Eventually I came inside, (it was evening time anyway, 7pm), made myself a nice salad which had too much dressing on it and hurt my mouth, watched the end of, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,


(go Paul you sexy thing you),

and then tried to watch, Ordinary People, although Wally didn’t want me to.


Which was O.K. because it made me cry a little bit.

And Wally doesn’t like crying.

I am sick


The people who live in this house with me have coughed, and spluttered, and sniffed their germs with abandon throughout this holiday. Now they are up and running and happy and have left me behind in their wake of illness.

I have now pulled every muscle in my abdomen through coughing and am feeling thoroughly sorry for myself.

And, to top it all, P won’t give up working so we can live our lives together without him having to leave the house every day. He says it’s something to do with having to pay the bills, but I’m not sure I believe him.

I think it’s possible that he just doesn’t want my germs, and there I was thinking we would share everything through this journey called marriage.

Well blow everyone. I will be sick, here, alone, with only Sid, my trusty computer, to keep me company, and work on my plan for world domination.

That will teach them.

I’m not too sick to go into the studio you understand. Just too sick to do housework, or anything like that.

Housework is not good for my health anyway, so I wouldn’t want to make myself worse.

So I will leave you with something I am working on.

A little something that Felicity Windthrop has been arranging in her floral studio for the upcoming banquet to celebrate Queen Significanta’s fortieth year on the throne.


The pot was made especially for the occasion by Charlie Smithfield. Charlie has been making what some might consider to be ‘rather outlandish’ pottery for close on fifty years now in his small studio just outside the city walls, and has recently been knighted for his consistent contribution to the advancement of the arts.

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