Gerbera... PPF

Today has been quite a trying day when I think back. 
It all began at 5.45am when I was woken by a strange noise. 
No, it wasn't my hubby's snoring this time, but an insistent knocking accompanied by birds chattering. Obviously I had to get out of bed to investigate and I received a real surprise. 
The crows were back, tapping at their reflections in the window and chortling away. 
They weren't at the usual window or the mirror that we've placed back in the garden for just such an event. No, the two crows were perched on a small window-ledge of the family room. 
Which just so happens to be right under our bedroom window... which was open. 
This is the first time that they've come on to that particular window sill.
If they keep this up it could be early morning's for me from now on... heaven forbid they come on to our bedroom window!
Maybe I could use the extra time and get up and paint?

Talking of which, I actually got to play with my paints this week.
This is a Gerbera plant that I bought whilst out for Sunday lunch.
It's such a chirpy plant don't you think?
My own little ray of sunshine... which is just as well as the last few days have been really cold. 
The east of the country has been in stark contrast to the west. 
They've had fantastic weather and temperatures whilst we've had Baltic blasts. 
June... ha!!!
I decided when I started to paint this plant, that I'd use the under-painting technique that 
Tracey Fletcher King taught me whilst taking part in her Delicious Paint classes
At this stage severe doubt creeps in that you'll never manage to bring the painting to anything worth looking at... but you have to keep the faith and carry on. 
(Ha... that even sounds convincing to me)
I wasn't sure whether to use the white and black ink pens, but you know me I just couldn't resist. 
I just had to have a dabble.
I'm not sure it worked, but I had fun anyway.
The second trying part to my day, was finding my beautiful Jasmine plant that normally decorates around the front door of the house, lying bedraggled in the middle of the driveway.
Remember my hubby retired just over a week ago... well he decided that the jasmine was compromising the down spout and drain, so in his infinite wisdom decided to dig it out!
I'm being very restrained here and not putting in all of the expletives that were used this afternoon. 
I'll just say my hubby isn't a gardener and hadn't thought to consult me before attacking and massacring the poor innocent plant. 
A plant that has lived on this house for far longer than him!
Moving on swiftly...

I've finally decided to call it a day because I've just used the hose to water a few pots and that's the hat-trick for today. The hose leapt out of my hand at full flow and danced around like a possessed snake with the snake charmer playing his favourite tune. 
Thus, I'm drenched through! 
Oh well... here endeth the day I think... I give in.
I hope your day proves to be better than mine.
Have fun and thanks for visiting my place.
I'm linking up with Eva and Kristin as usual over at PPF

Ahh ha Haar... PPF

To say I'm working in a fog today might mislead you.
It's not that I'm lost or having trouble in any way... it's literally that I'm IN a fog.
Because we had one beautiful spring day earlier in the week, we now have to pay the price here in this part of the UK.
It happens every year when the land temperature rises and meets the cooler air coming off the North Sea... the 'haar' (fog) rolls in and it hangs around for a few days.
For example, today we were only 7 degrees Celsius here, whilst if I'd have driven an hour inland then the temperature would have risen to 19 degrees Celsius!
What a difference the haar makes!
But I'm not letting it get to me (ha... who am I kidding) so I thought I'd carry on with the Spring theme. 
I need to work on my lettering, but I'm quite pleased with this work in progress.
Let's take a closer look...
I'm actually working on a project that's hush hush at the moment, but don't worry I will reveal all as soon as I can. But in the meantime I wanted to share something with you all, so I decided to do a quick tutorial.
I've been so impressed with Carrie's Watercolour Misfit online tutorials. 
I love Carrie's work and I can't believe just how much time and effort she must put into her video tutorials. She also provides free templates... so even if you have trouble drawing, you can still enjoy and take part. By the way I didn't us a template with this piece... I like to draw.

I'll be sure to let you see this WIP once I finish it, which hopefully will be tomorrow... especially if the fog lingers.
Talking of tutorials... as I mentioned last week I've enrolled in Tracey Fletcher King's Delicious Paint Classes even though I completed the classes last year. 
I learnt so much during that time and I know I will carry on building on those skills with Tracey's guidance.
(the under painting has opened up a whole new world to me... which by the way I'm using in the spring painting above) 
I thought I'd include some pages from the little booklet I created... for those who may not have seen the first time round. 
As usual I'm joining in with the Paint Party Friday link.
Click here if you'd like to see more art. 
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.
I'm also linking up with Alexandra's  Sunday Sketches

Well that's it folks... it's time to party and enjoy the weekend. 
Have fun and I hope to see you again soon.

Yoohoo... look who's on my desk today

Hey... look who's in my studio today - Tracey Fletcher King!
How lucky am I?
Many of you might know Tracey and her amazing artwork already, but I thought I'd share what's been happening over the last month or so, as part of What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday (WOYWW) 
I enrolled for Tracey's online classes called 'Delicious Paint' over at Community Thrive.
If you look at the photo below, you will see Tracey's smiling back at you plus the little watercolour booklet that she helped me create.
I have to say I'm thrilled with it.
As I hoped the classes have been almost sheer delight... I say almost because the idea is to loosen up  and that's always nerve wrecking for me. 
The classes were fun, informative and with Tracey's relaxed sense of humour and fantastic guidance
a great way to take in your 'daily five'.
There were no excuses for difficulty to access subject matter, because Tracey asked us to draw everyday objects and products. So, I like my fellow students I raided my fridge crisper drawer. 
I had to laugh to myself when I lined up the pear swatch onto the back page of the booklet. 
Do you see a huge behind?
A big Butt?
Whatever you want to call it... I thought it was appropriate for the end of the booklet.
 (yes I know small things and all that...)
I must admit, I no longer look at fresh produce in the same way...
so much so that I'm sure that I'm on my local Supermarket security radar.
 "Dodgy woman stalking the strawberries in aisle two!"
I must admit I spend far too much time ogling and handling the fruit and veg now.
As far as I can see there's only been one disappointment throughout the whole experience...
and that is that I've learnt Tracey loves sprouts! 

If you'd like to see more WOYWW desks... then click here
In the meantime, I'm going to carry on watching the tennis at Wimbledon.
I've been writing this post and watching... multi-tasking to the max.
Have fun this Wednesday and thanks for stopping by.
I hope to natter again soon.

What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday WOYWW and so much more

I think I need to write a post daily at the moment because so much is happening. 
It's not a question of having to tell you all that's happening in my life, because you'd be shocked (ha) 
I thought I'd throw that one in just to wet your appetite and let your imaginations run wild!

For today, I'll just show you one of the things that's keeping me busy at the moment. 
I'm taking part in Tracey Fletcher King's online art classes where we are painting food! 
I mean what a fabulous way to get your allocated five a day, plus learning new techniques, meeting lots of friendly talented artists... all keen to have fun and as Tracey say's... "just have a go!"
She's a brilliant teacher, giving so much of her time, energy and amazing talent, whilst keeping everything so relaxed. If you read Tracey's blog (click here if you haven't) then you'll know she is quite a character and so funny. 
Totally unique in a very special way. 

So, let me show you what's on my desk this Wednesday. 
Because I'm linking up with Julia over at Stamping Ground and WOYWW  
(which stands for what's on your work desk Wednesday for anyone not familiar with this acronym) I'm going to keep this brief. (or at least I'll try) 
There's lots of see over there and desks to visit from all over the globe, so it's good to keep it brief. Click here if you'd like to be transported into a crafty/arty world.
So here's my desk...
I have Tracey's video's playing as I paint to keep me loose and not get too caught up in the detail, as is my want. I find listening to the video works as a great reminder that this is to be fun. 
All very relaxed!
Most of what I'm showing you is work in progress... there's little tweaks to be added here and there. Shadows and defining lines and hopefully I won't that one step too far. 
I like some of my subject and hate other's. 
I'm not going to go into detail which is which because everyone will see these differently. 
You might like one that I don't... anyway... let's carry on.
If you can imagine that I had all of the fruit and veg sitting on my desk, which was fine to begin with... but I tend to nip into the studio and dabble, then go onto other things leaving the paint to dry or to revisit at another time.
It wasn't until painting this avocado, that I became aware that virtually every time I looked at it the flesh was a different colour. Yuk! 
Everything was going off in the sun coming through the window. 
Note to self and is one of Tracey's tips... paint quickly!!!
I decided to paint the half of a tomato (which was already on it's way to foosty
(a scottish word for slightly off or certainly well on it's way) because it was so interesting but had to quickly abandon it when there was a serious health risk looming.  
 I think I actually ruined the capsicum with going over and taking that step too far that I unfortunately often do. 
Here's the before photo ... I like it at this stage. 
Oops I wasn't going to do that.
 I've got to master shadows next  (ha... I should be so lucky)
This might be another step too far.
 So that'll do for today...
Here's the links to the websites and I hope you'll have fun this Wednesday with whatever you have planned.
Thanks for your visit and hopefully I'm going to try to catch up with all of my comment replies from the last few posts, in the next few days. 
See you soon