Color Your World – Extending my Palette

Over at Jennifer’s blog she is all about colour.

A daily ‘Color Challenge’ is running until next month. Such a challenge can help with understanding colour, its attributes and nuances, and how it makes us feel. Everyone sees colour differently.

Having a good sense of colour can help us make good choices in home decorating, in how we dress, in art and in how we feel, as colours around us can often affect our moods. Just think how we feel when the skies are dark and grey, as opposed to a sunny morning with a blue sky.

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Find your perfect colour combination

There are various colour matching tools on the web, (links below), that can help you find the colour that most matches the one you want for your art/decoration/clothing/craft. You can even upload your own image and analyze the colours there.

Today’s colour is PLUM. A full-bodied colour, often spoken about as if it were a description of a much cherished wine! Here’s why:

104_0427Which one is closest to your version of the colour, ‘plum?’

What colours affect your mood?

Colour Matching Tool

Colour Explorer Tool

#cyw or #coloryourworld

Something colourful to ponder about

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Proverbial Thursday – Words of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, these global words of advice come to us from past generations and from across cultures.

They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb, or Saying, and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you think so too.

Firstly, this week I have selected a Native American Proverb:

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The quotes I have chosen this week, each revolve around Effort – yet in a different sense.

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Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.

-Winston Churchill

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be

-Bruce Lee

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What do you make of Churchill’s quote? Would you dispute that intelligence and strength are irrelevant?

Can you see the irony in Lee’s quote?

And can we not be wise in the present time? What could the Native Americans be alluding to, with their proverb?

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Proverbial Thursday is Something Serious to Ponder About

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Monday Mystery Photo – Last Week Switzerland

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, (shown below), or occasionally a mystery object. I invite you to leave a comment if you think you know the location of this week’s photograph, (posted above). If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog when the answer is revealed the following week.

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Where is this mystery location?

*N.B. If your comment/guess isn’t showing immediately, it is because comments are released on the following Thursday or Friday of the week the Monday Mystery photo, is posted. That way, everyone gets a chance to guess, without peeking at any of the previous guesses.

New guest submissions of Monday Mystery Photos, are very welcome. Please flick me an email if you’d like to submit a photo to the Monday Mystery Feature. You will find my email by hovering over my gravatar and clicking on ‘Complete Profile.’

Mel & Suan and Peggy from leggypeggy.com/ took out last week’s correct answer of Switzerland. Good geographic knowledge, all of you!

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The village of Istenwalt lies on a delta at the south bank of Lake Brienz. It is around 15 km  from Interlaken,  and the municipality includes the hamlets of Furen, Sengg and Isch, as well as a number of scattered farm houses and Faulhorn mountain, which has an altitude of  2,680 m (8,790 ft).

Good luck with this week’s photo.

 Something to Ponder About this Monday

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DIY Mini Note Book Covers

I just love this fun idea of using up beautiful paper. It is practical and functional and you can appreciate the lovely paper far more often than before.

The next best thing to pretty fabric is pretty paper! Although I don’t scrapbook, I love to walk through that department at my favorite craft/sewing stores and couldn’t resist buying some when I saw it marked down.  Of course, then I had to come up with a project for it, so here it is!

Sometimes the paper is so pretty, I am reluctant to use it, but I had no such trouble with this project. Some are planned to be small gifts, others I will use myself and then I can appreciate the paper each time I use them.

The therapeutic and relaxing nature of craft is something we should ponder about whilst stuck in traffic jams, heading to work each week!  🙂 Continue reading

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No Dead bodies – Just a True Story of Courage and Love

 Quite unusually, I’ve been reading a book that has no dead bodies contained within its pages.

(See my book review page here for the lists of crime fiction novels I usually read). 

Biographies of interesting people, are also on my book shelf, but the title of this book, given to me by a work colleague, did not give me any clue as to the intensity of the story within.

 

Horse boy is the story of one family’s journey to heal their severely autistic son. Conventional western therapies were yielding little success and their son’s tantrums and neurological trauma appeared to be  increasing, exponentially.  Spurred on by an accidental discovery that Rowan had a special gift with horses, the family embarks on a monumental adventure that takes them to the outer regions of Mongolia. 

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What is in the Box?

Imagine if you had a box, and it could contain anything, anything at all.

But the contents are things one can not pick up.

What would be in your box?

This was an exercise given to primary school children, aged 7- 12 years. The text in BOLD  italics is mandatory and the rest, part of one’s own fertile imagination.

A great exercise for kids to use their thinking powers to fill an imaginary box. It focuses not on the usual kid’s wish list of Xbox or Barbie Dolls, but rather on abstract thoughts.

A gift that is free.

I pondered about what would be inside my box, which I call:

The Moose’s Box

I will put in my box –

the freedom of children to dream and aspire.

the fortitude and perseverance of a nanny goat,

the sound of boots stomping in freshly laid snow,

the anticipation of holidays and travel.

I will put in my box –

empathy and altruism,

emotional intelligence and joy,

extra doses of joy and happiness,

extract of a young pup’s exuberance.

I will put in my box –

a shifting fog,

wild windy weather,

a thousand giggles,

and the sky at twilight.

I will put in my box –

a black unicorn hiding behind the rainbow

and the toes of a fish or the fins of a horse.

My box is –

shaped like a moose’s horns

and is a kaleidoscope of colours and sounds

tied with imaginary bows of angel’s breath.

In my box –

I will understand the meaning of life and find contentment and love.

What would you put in your box?

Just a little Something Abstract to Ponder About  – What could you put in your box if the contents could not be materialistic?

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Norwegian wood box

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Blind Drawing: Good Practice

Blind or Contour drawing is a favourite with drawing teachers to develop hand-eye communication. It is essentially outline drawing, and blind contour drawing means drawing the outline of the subject without looking at the paper.

A Blind drawing hand using  the right side of brain

The end result doesn’t matter. What is important is carefully observing the subject in order to follow contours and space, with your hand and eye. This trains your brain to tap into its right hemisphere, which aids us in drawing shapes, lines and angles, positive and negative space, instead of objects that we can “name.” Naming objects is the domain of the left brain, logical, realistic but also one that shackles our drawing ability to that of a ten year old.

Above you can see my first blind drawing. My vegetable patch in the back yard. One can just make out the garden edging and the tomato plants, and stakes. I used a soft B pencil which made a nice effect when I drew on the rough Gesso finish of a hard cardboard backed frame. I painted a little colour in a pen and wash technique and then soaked it in tea overnight.  I added a little outlining in pen.  I was surprised by how much my right brain could do without the dominant left hemisphere taking over.

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Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

proverbial-thurs

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, these global words of advice come to us from past generations and from across cultures.

They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb, or Saying, and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you think so too.

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Celebrating Diversity in Blogging

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Happy Me!

Acceptance speeches are not what I would call, my forte, I’ll openly admit that. But to disregard or ignore an Award such as, ‘Most Diverse Blog for 2016,’ an honour that has been bestowed on me by others, is disrespectful and that is something I would never do.

Particularly as readers of NepaliAustralian‘s blog  took the time to nominate and vote for my blog.  It is important to be grateful and respectful, regardless of what a reader’s opinion might be of “awards” in the blogosphere. Because, besides the lovely affirmation that my humble ramblings are in fact, “reader-worthy”, what I think NepaliAustralian’s blog awards are doing, is introducing like-minded people to new blogs that they may not easily find via their readers. By the looks of her followers, many agree.

And I do try to discuss and showcase a range of subjects here, so Yay for Diversity! I will try to live up to the title: ‘Most Diverse Blog for 2016!!!’

So here goes…

  1. Thanks to the other nominees for NepaliAustralian Blog Awards, for without them, I would not have had the award bestowed on my blog.
  2. Extra big thank you to NepaliAustralian for launching and coordinating the awards and sending me around the web checking out new and interesting blogs.
  3. A extra extra big thank you to that person who nominated me. I suspect I know who it might be, but do not really know for sure. How more gracious can you get than an selfless gift of nominating anonymously?!
  4. Finally, the biggest thank you goes to those who saw something of value in my blog read my blog, and voted for me! It is most appreciated.

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You can find the full list of Blog winners here. Congratulations to all of them. Perhaps your blog will be amongst them next year?

Something to Ponder About, perhaps?

Trondheim

Amanda in Trondheim, Norway

 

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Monday Mystery Photo – Last Week Peru

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Where is this tranquil scene located?

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I invite you to leave a comment if you think you know the location of this week’s photograph, (posted above). If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog when the answer is revealed the following week.

*N.B. If your comment/guess isn’t showing immediately, it is because comments are released on the following Thursday or Friday of the week the Monday Mystery photo, is posted. That way, everyone gets a chance to guess, without peeking at any of the previous guesses.

New guest submissions of Monday Mystery Photos, are very welcome. Drop me an email, if you would like to submit one of your travel photos, to Monday Mystery Photo. You will find my email by hovering over my gravatar and clicking on ‘Complete Profile.’

mmppeggysp2

 

Last week’s mystery photo, seen above, was very kindly submitted by Peggy from the blog, Where to Next? and I posted a supplementary photo of the same location from a different angle. Despite some awesome guesses from various locations around the world, ranging from Turkey to Spain and even California, no one was able to guess the location! What a relatively less-traveled place Peru must be!!

Peggy tells  us that these photos are one of the many walkways in the Monastery of Saint Catherine (Santa Catalina) in Arequipa, Peru. The monastery was built in 1579 and enlarged in the 17th century. It was founded by a rich widow, Maria de Guzman, and catered for the nuns of the Dominican Second Order. Families paid a dowry to have their daughters admitted. Today 20 nuns live in the northern part of the monastery and the rest is open to the public.

 

Good luck with this week’s photo. I hope it’s Something to Ponder About

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Rosemaling and Art Coloring in Designs

Rosemaling is an art form that evolved in Norway post Renaissance. It is a stylized form  that is highly parochial due to the relative isolation of the valleys in Norway. Consequently, each valley developed their own particular style adapting what the influences brought to them via itinerant artists roaming the countryside.

Rosemaling

Some of us don’t feel very artistic, but I believe we can learn to tap into that side of us. We can start by coloring in Rosemaling designs. This develops muscle memory and our brains learn the forms, shapes and lines used in this style of art. That makes it easier when we come to reproduce our own.

These designs are for your personal use in coloring in, or to paint, in practising Rosemaling design

 

A simple Rosemaling flower with Telemark Scroll like leave

Rogaland Rosemaling

Hallingdal Rosemaling

 

You can also find more images to colour on the net, like this one:

Image result for rosemaling coloring in page

This drawing is taken from the following source:-

http://www.supercoloring.com/pages/norwegian-rosemaling

Click to learn more about  developing LINE and SHAPE as an element in sketching.

 

Something therapeutic to Ponder About

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How to Design your own Artwork – Week #2 Design Challenge

Rosemaling

Every artistic piece contains some, or all, elements of design. These elements are then combined with a number of design ‘principles,’ in order to bring together an eye-pleasing, cohesive visual unit. Knowing these elements  and how to use them, can make all the difference between being able to produce an eye pleasing piece of art, or a disjointed, unattractive one.

Elements and Principles of Design*

Every visual piece is comprised of certain design elements or parts which may include Line, Direction, Shape, Size, Texture, Value and Colour – in that order. Design Principles, (which I will talk about later), are applied to the elements in order to bring them together into a cohesive unit. How the principles are applied, determines the overall effectiveness of a design.

This week we will examine LINE as an element in art.

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Week 2:   Line

As an element of visual art, line can be straight, swirly, wavy, jagged, dotted, dashed, broken, thick, thin, zig zag, diagonal, vertical, horizontal, curved, bold, parallel or perpendicular. It might outline a shape, form a pathway, (as in a curvy line), or a stroke. The line has width, or thickness, direction and length.

  • Lines can also convey movement and mood. Thick, straight lines convey order, stoicism and rigidity and this can sometimes be monotonous. Flowing wavy lines create softness, interest and melody.
  • In surface decoration, all lines should flow from a parent stem. No matter how distant, a line should be able to be traced all the way back to its branch and root.

Using Line in Rosemaling and Stylized Designs

A beautiful flowing design feels more natural and appealing to the eye, as the lines grow out from the other in gradual undulations. “If you have free movement in the lines and scrolls, you must have freedom in the flower and leaf forms to continue that feeling.” Nils Ellingsgaard said in his book,”Norwegian Folk art,”to “..beware of leaves painted at such an angle that they look as if they are falling off, or flowers that are way out on the end of a long stem.”

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The lines depicting the leaves on the flower on the left, are set too far apart and seem separate. The leaves on the design on the right, are implied as being part of the flower, and the base is hidden underneath the flower, thus, they have become an integral part of the design element.

Lines might be used as a border framing our design; lines might be cross hatching and even tangential lines can indicate a change in value, such as that which may simulate depth of an object, or a three dimensional quality.

 

Week 1 Sketch - Shape

 

Whilst our design ‘lines’ should aim for a cohesive design, it is okay to deliberately use broken lines in certain instances. In this case, our minds will fill in the gaps. Using deliberate, broken lines and varying their thickness and length, adds interest and moreover, is an excellent opportunity to add small details or embellishments, if you so wish.

Embellishments or liner work is another way to use ‘line’ to add vitality to a drawing or a Rosemaling design.  Nils Ellingsgaard said, “The skill of the Rosemaler is in direct proportion to the amount of variety he/she can get in his strokes.”

Nils Ellingsgaard liner work

 

Something Arty to Ponder About

Previous weeks:

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Proverbial Thursday – Wisdom for All

Proverbial sml

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Valuable life lessons.  Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

So, with that in mind, each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying, and a Quote from different cultures and parts of the world, that I have found thought-provoking. I hope you think so too. I invite you to comment on your thoughts behind the meaning of these, often enigmatic, words.

You are very welcome to join in the discussion!

You can find previous Proverbial Thursday Quotes here – some of the discussions are fascinating.

 

 

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Endurance produces character, and character produces hope – Unknown

 

 

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As the day draws to a close, I am feeling a bit exhausted, so this quote found relevance in my life:

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you should begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson’s “nature” was more philosophical than naturalistic: “Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul”.

 

Waldo Emerson is also well-known as a mentor and friend of Henry David Thoreau, a fellow transcendentalist, whose quote were showcased here.

Discussion:

It is a shame that we aren’t able to credit the proverb with any particular person. To me, this means it is sage-ful advice gleaned from many disappointments and sorrow. There is a positive we can draw from adversity. Hope is so important in our sometimes troubled lives. For some, hope is all they have.

 

Has keeping ‘Hope’ alive, helped you through some tough times?

Is it too difficult to put Emerson’s quote into practice? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Something Inspirational to Ponder About

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Monday Mystery – Supplementary photo

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I invite you to leave a comment if you think you know the location of this week’s photograph or indeed what it might be. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog when the answer is revealed the following week.

*N.B. If your comment/guess isn’t showing immediately, it is because comments are released on the following Thursday or Friday of the week the Monday Mystery photo, is posted. That way, everyone gets a chance to guess, without peeking at any of the previous guesses.

New guest submissions of Monday Mystery Photos, are very welcome. Drop me an email, if you would like to submit one of your travel photos, to Monday Mystery Photo. You will find my email by hovering over my gravatar and clicking on ‘Complete Profile.’

mmppeggysp2

This week’s mystery photo, seen above, was very kindly submitted by Peggy from the blog, Where to Next? and this week I am going to post a supplementary photo of the same location from a different angle.

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I hope that has given you a bit more to Ponder About this week. The answer will be revealed next Monday.

Monday Mystery

 

 

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How to Design your own Artwork – Week #1 Design Challenge

I love art but I don’t feel I am artistic; I love to draw, but don’t feel I am adept; I love to design but don’t have any technical training. What to do about it?   Thanks to the World wide web, we can learn a lot more about design techniques and apply them to our art.

Rosemaling

Every artistic piece contains some, or all, elements of design. These elements are then combined with a number of design ‘principles,’ in order to bring together an eye-pleasing, cohesive visual unit. Knowing these elements  and how to use them, can make all the difference between being able to produce an eye pleasing piece of art, or a disjointed, unattractive one.

 

Elements and Principles of Design*

Every visual piece is comprised of certain design elements or parts which may include Line, Direction, Shape, Size, Texture, Value and Colour – in that order. Design Principles, (which I will talk about later), are applied to the elements in order to bring them together into a cohesive unit. How the principles are applied, determines the overall effectiveness of a design.

Week 1 – SHAPE

Firstly, let’s look at the element: ‘shape’ and its role in design.

“A shape is defined as a two or more dimensional area that stands out from the space next to, or around it, due to a defined or implied boundary, or because of differences of value, color, or texture. All objects are composed of shapes and all other ‘Elements of Design’ are shapes in some way.”[Kovalik and King]

  • Mechanical Shapes or Geometric Shapes might be the shapes drawn i,n a design, using a ruler, compass or drawing template or tool. Mechanical shapes, whether simple or complex, produce a feeling of control or order.
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Geometric border using a ruler to space the mechanical shapes

  • Organic Shapes are freehand drawn shapes that are complex and normally found in nature. Organic shapes produce a natural freer feel.
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Rangoli design using a combination of mechanical and free form shapes

Rangoli is a traditional and transient form of art drawn in chalk by Hindu women, in southern India, on the front steps and entrances of buildings as part of a daily devotional practice.  The decorations use ‘shape’ in a variety of styles and motifs which vary according to different tribal groups and festivals. There is more information about Rangoli here.

Rosemaling Styles

The Acanthus leaves is an organic shape used prolifically in Norwegian Rosemaling: particularly Gudbrandsdal style. Os Rosemaling frequently uses mechanical shapes such as circles and diamonds.

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Acanthus leaves in Gudbrandsdalen Style of Rosemaling

Norwegian Rosemaling

Os Rosemaling

Design Challenge

I am currently running a Design Sketching Challenge in a Facebook group I admin, and I’d love to extend this invitation to you, to join a blogging version of this challenge here, on our blogs. The challenge is a great way to encourage those who would like to sketch, but don’t yet have the confidence or motivation, to try.

Seeing others strive for, and share, their artistic journey can increase inspiration and awareness of one’s design skills. You never know what you are capable of, unless you try! You can opt in and out as you wish. See more about joining in below.

Here are my sketches based on the first prompt: Shape

Using organic shapes of leaves and flowers I found,  in my garden, I created this sketch:

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It needs further adjustment and improvement, so I try another.

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Still not satisfied, my final sketch for this first prompt, comprises circles, semi-circular arches, some natural elements in the leaf like scrolls and the heart-shaped flowers. I used a simple border to frame and hold together the design in one cohesive unit.

Week 1 Sketch - Shape

Would you like to join me in the Design Challenge?

What you Need to Do:

  1. Draw a 15-20 minute sketch or sketches using your own idea, or the prompt ‘shape.’
  2. Write a post about titled Design Challenge Week 1, upload your sketch and include a link back here to Something to Ponder About
  3. Next week I will post links to those blogs that participated.
  4. Leave a comment here on this post, so others can find their way to your blog.
  5. Follow me to view each week’s prompt posted on a Sunday.

Something Creative to Ponder About

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* N.B. I am not a tertiary qualified Art teacher and don’t purport to be one. I have based this information on my own research and experience. I am happy to take on board further input and or any corrections, deemed necessary, by way of comments on this post.
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