Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Stretching one's wings

I have mentioned previously that I do wear more than one hat.  Not only do I paint, I also am a "crafter"  in between paintings and this month have had quite a lot of fun doing Art/Craft markets with my enamels.  There are links in all creative pursuits - stretching one's wings can be very rewarding.

In case you are a "new reader", here are some of my items - as you can see, I cannot totally break away from my figurative painter roots!

This plate is about 6" in diameter.  Originally, there were no wildflowers......I kept looking at it...I was not very was a bit bland.  So poppies were finally added.  It is interesting to me that my knowledge as a painter feeds into any other pursuit I try - in this instance, understanding about change of scale, tone values,colour temperature and composition - all helpful.  A willingness to diversify and try something  new and potentially risky when I was not happy with the design at one point - more than helpful, and it worked.

For this bowl, I tried "printmaking" - I found an appropriate stamp, printed onto the outside of the bowl, covering the ink with enamel, then firing the bowl.  I did this a few times, adjusting the placement of the pattern.

Here is another plate, about 5" wide, this time a snow scene.  I used some warm colours to give the piece some interest - all white would have been too cold and a bit monotonous...something else I have learned thro painting.

This strongly coloured plate is one of a "forest" series. Notice the linear elements - those tiny lines you can see drawn thro the green and turquoise areas - they add interest and variety and change of scale among the larger semi- abstract leaf shapes, and mysterious dark patches.  Selection of tone and colour came from my years as a painter.  It paid off...this one is sold!

Sometimes, the results are somewhat unpredictable.  This bowl which is greens and blues on the inside, was covered in a soft white enamel on the outside.............left in the kiln a little longer than normal, I ended up with an outside which shades from blue thro to black then to maroon on gold.......extraordinary .....
here is the outside........

This bowl is a favourite of mine BECAUSE of the unexpected results.  One thing I have learned as a painter is to celebrate the unexpected.  To take chances sometimes, try out ideas and take risks even if I risk ruining a painting.  Being experimental and rash on occasion, breaking rules, surprises can occur which are delightful.  Oo - deja vu - I suspect I may have said this before, if so, it means I really mean it!  It takes me back to my years as a student.  I worked for ages on a watercolour painting.  It was safe, predictable - and deadly dull.  I got so cross with it, eventually I tipped my palette onto it, dripping wet paint onto the nice, safe flat washes..............and my tutor's brother, a very creative chap, walked into the room and said "Wow - that is really exciting!".   It actually was!

However, one thing to bear in mind.  Although the unexpected may well occur in the process of producing my enamel pieces, that does not mean lack of pre-planning.  I consider colour, and shape, and form, with every piece.  Doesn't always go to plan, but that is OK.  Same thing applies to a painting.  I always do a thumbnail sketch, and think about the colour scheme in advance, I even sort out the main colours I plan to use, and put them aside.  If working with a wet medium like oils, I would make up little piles of appropriate colours in advance.  If at some point during the painting process, I feel I have lost my way, or the painting is boring and needs something else - rather than put it aside for good, I will freewheel for a bit, trying out new ideas - sometimes it pays off!

There are lots more bowls and other items to be seen on both my Facebook page, where there is album of photos, and on my website -

I wish you all a very happy Christmas next week, full of happiness and cheer.



  1. These ae all beautiful Jackie! Best of luck with all your shows and happy holidays.

  2. Amazing bowls, I admire your work.

    I wish you a Merry Christmas.

  3. Wonderful discussion of how an artist mind works! I have been working on jewelry, repurposing vintage and retro pieces into necklaces ... when I need an eye-break from my paintings. So right about all we use in paintings comes to play when working with a three dimensional object. Good discussion! Love your bowls and hope to own one soon! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  4. Lovely pieces. I always find it beneficial to work in a different medium when I get to feeling stuffy and tight. Merry Christmas to you Jackie, I have enjoyed your blog posts this year.


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