Art Bloggery – The Colouring Craze

A few years ago, like just about everyone else on the planet, I started colouring. Yes, according to social media experts, I had regressed depressingly back to my childhood where apparently I have daddy issues, or something. According to artists everywhere else, I was being lazy and not truly my creative self by colouring someone else’s work regardless of the fact that’s sort of the point of colouring books. Finally, according to psychotherapists the world over, I was being mindful and relaxing my brain.

Well, I’ll go with the last of those because I actually do find it relaxing. As with all of my hobbies (like sculpting and jewellery-making and digital art), colouring can be intricate work taking lots of concentration and focus. I find that that focus on one single thing for as many hours as it takes before my fingers start to go numb (they do, it’s hilarious) is actually a blessed release from the near constant noise in my brain. That and I like making pretty pictures and learning new skills.

As usual, any time I start a new hobby, I jump in head first and buy ALL THE THINGS.

Most people buy what they need; maybe a few expensive items, maybe a handful of artist quality pencils.

Not me.

What is this pithy 12 pencil set you speak of?! I shall have ALL the pencils.

Seriously, the 132 Prismacolor Premier set was not enough. I sold that set and bought the 150 set because I needed ALL the colours.

(And then I sold that set too because Prismacolor Premiers are the crappiest pencils ever. But more on that later.)

So once I had all the pencils, I needed all the books. Cue a collection of over 130 colouring books that followed swiftly after. And that collection is still growing, though I have slowed down and now mainly focus on books by particular artists.

And then came the water colours, the blending mediums, the special erasers and sharpeners, the cases, the gesso…

You get me.

So now I colour. The thing I particularly love about colouring is that I can do it in a relatively small space and it’s not such a big deal to pack up and move if I need to, unlike jewellery-making and some of my messier hobbies.

And so, finally, this blog will be what I have always thought of making it – a showcase of my creative endeavours with maybe a few rambles in between. Gone are the days where my longer rambles are worth anything to anyone.

(Don’t worry, if you used to read Renlish and there was something you particularly wanted to read again, just let me know. I have everything saved in drafts.)

The Secret Garden
The Frog Pond – The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

Polymer Clay Adventures – Feathers and Dragons and Tentacle-y-things…

I’ve decided to dive back into the madness that is polymer clay. It’s been fun having a fiddle and a play with the squishy stuff again. I used to enjoy sculpting though it’s been almost two decades since I picked up any sort of clay. As a teenager I used to make cake toppers for my mother’s Christmas cakes and it was something that I always enjoyed in school, but 20 years means that there’s been a huge lapse in the skill set and polymer clay isn’t exactly like working with sugar past or mud clay. Polymer clay has a bit of a rebounding rubbery type texture when sculpting it which takes a little getting use to. Not to mention my fingers are all thumbs and shakiness which makes fine detail somewhat tricky.

I was inspired again by a challenge in the Australian Beading Forum group on Facebook, posted by my friend, the insanely talented Neva of Nifty Creations. What was it? Dungeons and Dragons, of course. Even though I’ve never really played the game except to steal a few ideas for some fantasy fiction I occasionally write, I was all over this.

The chance to make some fantasy themed jewellery? HELL YES! I had been wanting to do something like this for ages and it was just the push that I needed to get started.

The challenge came in the form of the requirement of using two different mediums with which to create a piece that went with the theme. Oh well, nothing like a challenge to inspire new learning! Since I am neither a wire-worker or a clayer, so naturally I decided that those two mediums would be the most fun to use!

And by “fun” I actually mean frustrating swear-word-inducing and almost-marriage-ending tantrums as a result of using…

Anyway…

I knew I needed some practice before I started, and of course I had to buy ALL THE THINGS that go with claying, so I marched on down to Spotlight and bought a week’s wages worth of stuff to add to the collection of bits and pieces that another friend had kindly donated for me to use.

And then I jumped in and started making stuff.

This was the first project I’d done a couple months ago:

Renlish.com - Clay Play - Feathers
Feathery, pearly goodness!

These feathers are based off a tutorial by Mandarin Ducky which you can find here on Youtube and they were lots of fun to make. Unfortunately that same day the manbeast was helping me open a packet of blades (for cutting clay) and ended up gashing the tops of his fingers quite badly. On his painting hand. He still hasn’t forgiven me.

After that successful first step, I wanted to try something a little more sculptural and opportunity came knocking when another friend posted a picture of a polymer clay and dicro cabochon pendant that she’d fallen in love with on Facebook. So I made her one…

Renlish.com - Polymer Clay - Tentacle-y Thing!
A rip-off of someone else’s idea.

I make absolutely no allusions to the fact that I am the original creator of this style of pendant. This is an exact copy (mostly) of the picture I saw on Facebook. I just happened to have the right sort of cabochon and the clay on hand to make it.

So all of that leads us to this, the Dragon Shade.

“The Dragon Shade is a powerful amulet said to be carved from the scale of a slain black shadow dragon. Its jewel holds the spirit of the beast which can be unleashed upon unwary heroes with an arcane spell.

(Which means if you come across anyone wearing this amulet, run. Run far, far away. Run very quickly.)”

Renlish.com - Polymer Clay - Dragon Shade Amulet
As evil as it is pretty.

Technical: Blood, sweat, tears, and many swear words. Also polymer clay sculpting and Viking weave as well as a bit of beaded chain and some coiled and oxidized copper end caps.

All by hand.

I need a freakin’ drink.

Ruby and Turquoise Lepidoptera

Had a spark of inspiration today.

I’ve had this necklace sitting in my cabinet for ages. I made it… a few years ago but I was never happy with it. I love the combination of the rubies and the turquoise (both real, thanks very much, none of that dyed Howlite crap for me) but I could never fmind a pendant or centrepiece that I liked. I strung some chunky solid silver beads but it never sat right when I modelled it. So it became a finished-yet-unfinished project.

Turquoise & Ruby Butterfly - Renlish.com

Fast forward a few years…

Suddenly Ren remembers she has had a gorgeous butterfly pendant sitting around in her collection somewhere…

Hang on… that necklace!

I dashed into the craft room and pulled out the necklace and the pendant. It had promise. Then I went looking for my rubies and turquoise and ended up swearing at our tin rooster for the next half an hour because I couldn’t find them. I was just about to give up in a huff when I saw that my turquoise had got mixed up with my malachite and my rubies were tucked into a bag with some other red stuff.

ARGH.

So…

I had this.

Turquoise & Ruby Butterfly - Renlish.com

Which then became this.

Turquoise & Ruby Butterfly - Renlish.com

Turquoise & Ruby Butterfly - Renlish.com

Happy Ren. I haven’t made any jewelry like that for ages. Yeah, I did the necklaces for my sister’s wedding but that doesn’t really count. It’s since given me the impetus to look into my stash and put together some other bits and pieces. I have loads of gemmies and pearls and crystals all begging to be used.

Firebrand

Inspired by the EMINEM song, Watch me Burn

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie…

Clair de Lune

Clair de Lune

Stock credit listed on the deviantART page.

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres. Continue reading “Clair de Lune”