Monday, 11 January 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK

This week's photo theme was - Something New.

At Christmas time, the kids and I have a Secret Santa and Michelle drew my name out of the hat. She bought me a beautiful sterling silver anklet which hasn't been taken off my ankle since, plus this beautiful beach bag...I fell in love with it instantly! It's large so has heaps of room for my sketchbooks, pens and watercolours, a beach towel, sketchbooks, sunscreen, a book to read, hat, sketchbooks, some snacks...did I say sketchbooks??? I haven't used it yet but I can hardly wait...did you hear that, kids? If you're reading this post....know that your mother wants to go to the beach one day soon.....a perfect excuse for another family day out ~ ;)

click on any image to enlarge


I also treated myself recently to a watercolour, daily calendar desk-set. I plan to experiment and play in this medium because I'm very much a novice when it comes to watercolour. I figure that it will be a handy skill to have when working in my visual journals.



This calendar set which promises a lesson-a-day, however, I'm already feeling lost with it. Each day (apart from weekends), I'm supposed to pump out a finished watercolour painting using the line drawing provided and a sample picture of the finished piece. I had assumed that the lesson-a-day would have been a step-by-step course to learn how to work with watercolours from beginner level and gradually build up skills, via the lessons, as I went along. You know, like work on one painting over a course of a few days, following instructions for each step. Not so.



For each day/painting, it gives just one tip which is pretty much useless to me as a newbie to this medium. Thankfully, I have some watercolour books that I can refer to for added help and my knowledge of acrylics may help to a degree but I must admit that I am a little disappointed. It's a lovely set and well displayed but I just feel it isn't well suited for beginners like me who have no idea how to even set up a watercolour palette let alone work with the medium itself on paper. I will persevere even though I feel like I've thrown myself in at the deep end.




Lastly, I thought I'd share a pic of the new book I've started reading...



***Recently divorced Anna Fox retraces a journey her great-grandmother made in the mid-nineteenth century - a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan. She carries with her two of her great-grandmother's possessions: an ancient Egyptian scent bottle and an illustrated diary of the original cruise that has lain unread for over a hundred years.

The diary is a love story from the Victorian past and the glass bottle holds a chilling secret. Two men in the tour party develop an unfriendly rivalry for Anna's attention while showing a great deal of interest in the diary and the glass bottle. On top of that, Anna is the victim of a spectral presence that grows in strength and threat.***

It sounds like I'll be in for an interesting read.


Our photo group theme choice for next week will be - SHADOWS - so, if you're interested in joining our group and playing along, check out the picture link in my side-bar under 2010 Happenings


Love, light and peace

25 comments:

  1. That watercolour calendar is cool, and right up your alley!!
    Also loving the beach bag carrying sketchbooks! :)

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  2. Serena--that does look like a lovely beach bag!

    The little watercolor kit does look like it wouldn't work very well for a total beginner. I wonder if it has artist quality watercolors? That makes a huge difference in WC painting, too. I had a heck of a time when I was first trying watercolors. But there are effects you can get...ahhh! And it is very portable for sketchbooks, too. Even watercolor pencils and a waterbrush work well for sketching, too.

    I would suggest checking out youtube. If you are like me--I needed to see somebody actually doing it. Maybe that will help you more than just trying to follow that daily calendar? :)

    The book sounds interesting. Let us know. Love to see the ankle bracelet, too! :)

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  3. Love that bag! Now for that day at the beach.
    Bummer that watercolor set didn't turn out to be what you wanted. Hopefully your books will provide the help that's missing from the watercolor set.

    Enjoy your new novel.

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  4. That would be a good suggestion to the company who makes those calendars. (Covering the painting over various days and giving tips.) I believe my Father received one of those as a gift and found the same thing.

    That's a great bag!

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  5. that sounds like an interesting book. will give it a try and cross my fingers that I manage to get past 50 pages with this author :)

    that is a lovely bag, the beadwork is very pretty. a day at the beach sounds like a great idea!

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  6. I love it! You got an ankle bracelet and a beach bag, I got ankle high slippers with a furry cuff and a warm woolen scarf! Different hemispheres make all the difference!
    And you have my sympathy trying to learn watercolor. I've been struggling with those for a year or so and still haven't mastered them!

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  7. What a lovely bag, would be good for the beach or everyday to the market. I find myself drifting towards larger bags...they hold so much more. Maybe that's why I sometimes walk funny...too heavy on one side..ha

    I've always wanted to dabble in watercolors, this will be an incentive to try. Thanks!

    Have a great week....Shelly

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  8. I can actually smell the ocean looking at that lovely bag! Oh how much fun you will have with it! :)

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  9. Beautiful presents! Enjoy them all year round. Wishing you a great trip to the beach. :)

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  10. Fabulous beach bag. How fun to go to the beach to sketch and breathe in the sea air. Ahhh. Enjoy! You are so talented you will be excellent at w/c too.

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  11. Your beach bag is great! I love the beading....and I'm sure it will hold a LOT of stuff!

    The book sounds good so I've added it to my "to read" list. As for watercolors, I've dabbled but that's about all. I agree that a kit like that should assume you're a beginner and give some instructions. But I like the little painting you did of the palm tree

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  12. That bag is supercool...and let us know how the book is, sounds like a good read.

    Watercolor...why don't you go visit the watercolor addicts on Wet Canvas? The main thing about it is it's exactly opposite to the oil/acrylic approach. Always plan your lights and work from light to dark, gradually building up to your darks. Unlike oil and acrylic, watercolor is very unforgiving so really plan those lights and start with very transparent washes.

    Color doesn't mix the same way either- in my experience you'll do a lot less color mixing than in oil/acrylic. To keep your colors bright don't mix in the palette but rather layer washes.

    Your paper is also important and makes a big difference in how your paint handles. Get the best paper you can afford.

    You'll be fine after you initially figure out how to handle the paint, since you can draw very well and that is the basis for realistic painting in any media.

    Most important is the light to dark thing.

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  13. What a beautiful bag - it NEEDS to go to the beach. Sorry the calendar is a disappointment, but I will be interested to hear how you like your book. That sounds like one I would enjoy. I love a good escape novel. Hmmmm... it sounds like the ideal thing to take to the beach. :-)

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  14. oooh... the book sounds interesting...

    darn it on the watercolour stuff... too bad it wasn't more what it sounds like it should be offering....

    I hope you have a fun day at the beach when you guys go.....

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  15. Serena -- I apologize as it's been way too long since I visited. I hope you are having a great New Year!!!

    I love that you are experimenting with watercolors. I recently tried to make a picture for my Korean tutor student, using Korean letters.

    It was so HARD!! I eventually had to cheat and use washable markers because I couldn't draw a straight line with the regular watercolors. So, I ADMIRE you greatly for taking on this task!!!

    Then again you're such a good artist and persistent one...I figure you'll figure this out.

    The book looks very good and right up my alley...I check out at Amazon. Thanks for the recommendation.

    BTW Keep cool...I've heard it's very hot where you are!

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  16. I fell in love with this bag :) I can picture ocean, shells, books and big, big straw hat :)

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  17. What a lovely beach bag and ankle bracelet, how I would love a day at the beach right now, it is going to be a long winter.

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  18. Beautiful beach bag and I like the colors. Those are your colors, that blue...

    You will do great with those watercolors, how could you not with your talent. I'm anxious to see what you paint.

    Thanks for your support on my blog, it really helps.

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  19. i was bog surfing & found yours & am so gifted here! love your art -- indeed, serene & lewislovely. i too have a new set of watercolors & haven't yet tried them out!!! i'll love to see how your playing with them looks/if you want to share!! bestbest to you!

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  20. I love Secret Santa, that is what we do...
    and the watercolour a day... outside your comfort zone ~ perfect xo

    I am sure you will get alot of use out of the bag etc.. living where you do :)

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  21. I hope you get your trip to the beach soon, Serena! I'm jealous, over here in the cold, bleak winter. :(

    I think your watercolor looks pretty darn good, even without instruction. Maybe this is a sign from the universe that you could learn at first by pure, childlike experimentation this time around, not by educating yourself in proper technique right off the bat.

    Having taken watercolor classes, I have to say it is tougher than it looks to paint that way, a whole different way of thinking. Good for you for taking on a new challenge!

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  22. GREAT bag Serena! I hope you get to go to the beach soon :) It feels so weird writing that as I'm sitting here shivering. hee hee

    Sorry the water color calendar wasnt what you expected, I'm sure you'll end up with some beautiful little paintings even without instructions.

    The book sounds interesting, Enjoy!

    Hugs,
    Sprite

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  23. I would've so wanted to buy that watercolor calendar too! Really, it's packaged so well! Thanks for the heads up on it, cuz I would be so frustrated with all their assumptions!

    Cute bag, every beach lady needs one that can hold ALL THE ESSENTIALS!!

    Enjoy your day :D

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  24. WHat a beautiful blog you have your work is awesome

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