Thursday, 9 October 2008

Paintspoons & Teabrushes


THIS BLOG is one year old this October, and to celebrate I thought it time to give it a new hat. So as you see, I have painted one. My parents gave me some gouache paints for by own recent birthday and this is my first ever experiment with them. At first, having only used oils and watercolours before, I was unsure how to wrestle with these strange opaque yet watery paints... I tried painting in great sloopy washes and scrubbing it off again with loo roll, and then tried dense thick colour which I laid on with the finest of brushes in lines as thin as a ladybird's eyelash.


Gradually I warmed to the gouache, and found my own way of using it. I build layers and model with both watercolour and oil paint as if I am drawing with it, putting in little colour washes, then darks, then lights, and more washes, and it seems I attack gouache in much the same way. I found it excellent for lettering.

Though with watercolour I use pencil lines as an integral part of the final image, this time I wanted to see if I could do it all with the brush. I am moderately happy with the result.. though last night I hated it. I have much to thank photoshop for - because I thought my final painting altogether too blue and dingy, and by employing the clever modern digital tools of colour level adjustment and contrast boosting, I have rescued a painting that might have otherwise gone on the scrapheap. It's only a first attempt anyway, I shall most definitely enjoy my further gouache adventures.

Also in my birthday parcel were a couple of photos of a little Rima that my mum had found in her fossickings. Here I am drawing at age five and three quarters, sat at the kitchen table with pens and pencils, more of my drawings on the walls behind me and a milk-toothy grin that I seemed to wear in all photos at that time :)



I find it fascinating to think that those little hands are these hands and that those eyes saw to draw people like that then and see to draw them somewhat differently nowadays. Odd isn't it?
I'm off to paint another clock, make some attempt at clearing stuff and put the kettle on.

And speaking of tea, if any of you should be pining for the old blog hat Penny Farthing Tea, you can now buy it beautifully glazed into a handmade stoneware mug by Gina at Phenix Pottery, providing they've not already been snapped up. And if they have, there are more in the kiln as we speak!
I drew that image yonks ago for the front door of my website; its title is a play on Pennyroyal Tea and it depicts some strange tea-powered travelling contraption.
You'll see teapots and kettles a lot in my paintings. Tea is one of life's essential fuels I believe. I drink copious amounts of it, mostly good ol' builder's tea: strongish with milk and no sugar.

PS ~ If you want a closer look at the painting, you can click on the snippets up there.

51 comments:

Allegra Smith said...

How exquisite! One could spend hours looking at the details, the grace of the hooded dancer, the tea pot awaiting to bloom...and who needs shoes when everyone is going barefoot? Happy birthday to the enchanted blog - and to its creator.

Tess said...

I think little Rima knew she'd already found her calling!
The new hat is absolutely beautiful. It gave me such delight to spot the kettle, look at the curving mouse tails then 'oh' the shoes hanging. And the little shelf of books. It seems to reflect all the nooks and crannies of your blog.
Happy birthday Hermitage!

Infovorous said...

Happy Birth-day to the hermitage and to you as well...I'm so glad you "rescued" your masthead painting with photoshop...it would have been a crying shame to toss it in the circular file...

Koldo said...

Lovely header Rima! It really stands for what your work is!
That pict of you is so cute, it reminds me so much of my childhood too :)

Shelley Noble said...

Happiest of birthdays to your body and blog, Rima

The new painting is marvelous as is all your work.

That photo of you as a younger artist is precious and prescient! "Give me the man til seven...and I'll give you the man."

tut-tut said...

Happy Birthday; another new world to explore in your "hat"!

Griffin said...

I love the mice and the books... oh and the lettering too. I have a thing about letters from being a left-handed writer. This looks fresh and colourful.

Rima, don't throw any work on the scrapheap!! All works can teach you something, even those you dislike when you've done 'em.

The little you looks very sweet... as I am sure the now you does. Who knew then that the little girl drawing... would become the fabulous artist you are now?

Tea is indeed a lovesome thing and I'm with you on the strength, tho' I do like a spoonful of sugar... possibly I'm not nearly as sweet as I ought to be!

a square peg said...

love the photo from your childhood -- the seeds of genius were beginning to sprout... and the new header is lovely.

Erin Gergen Halls said...

i am taking my kettle off her whistle to raise a cup in honor of this milestone...

happy birthday magickal hermitage!

these have been some delicious journeys you have taken us on,
full of creatures and characters, critters and cogs...

looking forward to being a cyber companion, on the forthcoming jaunts, this second year of your blog travels.

now to my tea, strongish, no milk no sugar (wink)

Curious Art said...

It couldn't be more perfect! Happy birthday, & many happy returns!

Bimbimbie said...

Happy 1st Rima, your new hat is captivating. I love all the detail of interconnections between tails, branches and hands and the colours ... I'm sure little Rima had a helping hand *!*

Vincent Juanes said...

Beautiful blog. Happy Birthday!!!

laughingwolf said...

thrilling to see how it all evolves!

happy b'day to a fellow libran, mine was on the 6th.... :)

Yoli said...

How lovely Rima. Every medium yields to your masterful hand. Simply stunning.

ruthie said...

Raising a wee cup o' tea to wish you a blog Happy birthday and belated Happy Birthday to you to Rima. *ruthie*

just jody said...

awesome, awesome job on your new header, rima. whose face is in the tree above the accordion man? happy blogiversary and birthday!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I'm crazy about your new blog hat. A maze of wonders. Perfect childhood photo, too! Obviously some of us find our way early one, don't we??

anthromama said...

Ooh, how exciting! I especially love the rooty bookshelf and the family in the wagon.

Thank you also for sharing a bit about your process with gouache. It's always interesting to hear about artists trying new things.

And I'm fascinated by little Rima's drawings--so many little kids draw a line above for the sky, and a line below for the earth, but you filled each page entirely!

Vita said...

what a wonderful photo!
as a Mom of a 5 year old and an Art teacher I can tell you that your drawings were totally amazing back then! no wonder you are what you are now:)
and yes, the new hat is lovely!

nina said...

i should have known you are a libran. it makes a lot of sense - and i'm one, too...i think my favorite part of the new banner artwork is the little shelf of books wedged amongst the tree roots. oh, to have one like that in my house!
sending you love and a wish for many more years of drinking strong tea, like i shall aspire to do - x

Nao Sims said...

Once again you have created a world that I want to walk into. I can almost hear the tune being played on the squeeze box. I want to sit down to tea with everyone of the enchanted characters and learn their stories. If a picture tells a thousand words, this one tells 10,000.

And as for tea, well, I am a big fan. However, not being English, I am mostly into herbal teas. And saying this, I am also married to an Englishman who has slowly got me in to what he calls "proper tea." So the cupboards are filling up with strong black caffeinated sorts.

ANDY & MEL LOWE said...

lovely work Rima

and thanks for the help on my blog xxx

see you both the next dry day ,so i can do the work on your truck

The Dutchess said...

This is so wonderful...love the mice in the clock!!Have a wonderful weekend..

Rima said...

Hello friends, and thank you for all your nice words.. I so enjoy reading all your thoughts and I am encouraged about the painting now :)
Just to clarify - my birthday is in September... I'm not a Libran but a Virgo!
:) x

Jo said...

Sigh... once again a beautiful, awe-inspiring painting, Rima... I was sitting here for ages, lost in its depths, before eventually reading your post below... there is simply soooo much to see!

Its strange how attached we become with familiar 'media'... but I just love your ability to conjure up such mysterious magic even when experimenting with something altogether new. Looking at your early pictures, even as a young child you had a distinctive 'style' and vivid imagination. Who'd have guessed how much joy you would bring to our dull, mundane world. Thank you!
Hugs, Jo x

Jess said...

I was thinking only yesterday that your blog must be coming up to a year old! I love the new header, especially the figure in green. And what a lovely photo of a beautiful little girl!x

Spot said...

Hi Rima, That accordion player reminds me of someone I know! I have nominated you for a blog award and cake! Details on today's post. Sx

Laetitia said...

Always such a pleasure to wander in your delicate and exquisite world, how funny to discover you as a little girl!! and all your drawings behind you;) like the way you painted dogs :))!!!

mariel said...

Happy first blog birthday Rima! I love your new painting, what a wonderful new welcome to your site for all your visitors. I particularly love the books of course. ;)

Ciara said...

Ah wonderful!
A gorgeous new blog hat. And adorable pic of little Rima. New Hermitage ware at Phenix Pottery, (this time I'll get in quick!). Aaand a blog birthday! Happy Birthday!
Blog twins? Maybe that explains all the coincidences!

Erin Gergen Halls said...

p.s....snuck over to gina's etsy and snatched up a mug! i decided on "penny farthing tea" in homage to the old banner! i will no doubt be transported every time i see the steam rising from its rim, and will savor the last dregs from every cupful!
have an inspired weekend!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Cool new hat, different materials can be so challenging and expanding and thank goodness for photoshop. Sweet picture of the artist as a young artist, I like the tiger picture, very advanced. can you make clocks with extra hours?

AT THE PICKLED HUTCH said...

Hello Rima,
I do have to say gouache is my favorite medium. It has a ghostly softness to it. And it looks like you have indeed made it your own. I really love the books with shoes and wonder if that section might possibly find its way to your etsy shop. It really speaks to me.
And happy belated birthday. Apparently the art bone has been growing strong within you for years!
Lisa & Alfie

krisztina maros said...

i wish you a very happy birthday and so many long years in your fantastic hermitage! your new header is beautiful - your style and colours look so nice with gouache as well.

it seems you were ready for the future in this old picture :)

lori said...

Hello Miz Rima,
Happy first birthday to your blog. I love the new hat.
xx

Amy Short said...

Hi Rima!

I love the new painting and love the photo of little you. Do you still have any of your childhood drawings? I'm sorry I haven't visited in a while but I have to tell you that I like how your work is evolving. It is just slightly different, like more colorful or something, can't put my finger on it. Hope you are well. I'll visit again soon. :o) Amy

herhimnbryn said...

Belated Happy Birthday Lady R.
Love the new header. The kettle and bookshelf grabbed my eye. Am off to look at mugs now.

BT said...

Wonderful post, Rima. I love the new header too and Happy birthday to your blog. I'm so so pleased I found it. It's at the top of my list. Glad you managed to sort out those paints, it's always challenging using new media.

I'm a Virgo too and also do really fussy, neat and intricate things! And hate most things I do because I'm too critical of it. I bet you are too.

Love

Gina
x

Carl V. said...

Love the new blog header, very fun. If that is a disappointing outing with gouache then I cannot wait to see what your successful works look like! :)

Danielle Barlow said...

Happy Birthday Blog! I too think your new header is just exquisite.
Your work is beautiful and magical Rima.

Vickie said...

I love the new header! Photo Shop is wonderful isn't it. The detail and color are wonderful! Your newest clock is great too! I've never dabbled in gouache so I'm not sure what type of properties it has but I do love the results.

bindu said...

Your blog's new birthday clothes are lovely! The inter-woven images are fascinating as always.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Rima
I love the new heading painting.
How well you have mastered/mistressed(?) gouache.
I'm sure you are exactly the same as you were as a little girl.
I think our characters are quite fixed by the time we are 2.

From This Moment to That said...

Five past five and time for tea! I really like your painting, I love the luminosity of the green clothing! It has so encouraged me that you told us that you hated it last night, because I always hate what I've done too..I think there is hope for me yet!
What a LOVELY word ..'fossacking' I've not come across that one before..it paints a perfect picture of your Mum rummaging around and discovering long forgotten treasures!
I'm sure she thinks of you as one of her treasures definitely NOT forgotten.
Hugs,
:)

Artwork by Christi Bunn said...

Loved seeing the photo of the little artist surrounded by her tools, and I must admit I find it amusing to linger over your new blog head-covering. The little green elfish/tailed creature looking like he is doing a ballerina stretch is particularly charming. I find that I paint much like you describe... more like I am drawing than painting. I know this is not how many teach painting, but it is the most natural way for me. It definitely seems to work for you.

Blessings,
Christi

Marie Antionette said...

Happy Birthday to you and your blog.The new hat is awesome,of course.I love looking at you as a little girl.How precious you were siting there drawing.Yes its hard to imagine ones self at that age.If you only new.You have become a great artist, and a lovely person.The jewellers clock is outstanding,as all your work is.Hugs Marie Antionette

laughingwolf said...

sorry, my bad :(

anyway, hope it was happy for you :D

Cat (darklingwoods) said...

I adore your new header, yay for new materials to play with!

and little Rima! I teach art so I find it extra inspiring :) What a wonderful smile looks like you found what makes you happy very early on!

"Maggie" said...

I find your illustrations intriguing and the style has me asked the question...at what time do you feel this style evolved and what do you think was an influence? Your parents art maybe?

Love your work!

paula said...

Your new blog header is beautiful, Rima! And I love the photo of Little You! What a cutey :o)

vikki said...

Hello Rima

Just a little note to say how much I like the new title, I am especailly loving the chap in green with the tail, such lovely flowy lines. Phenix Pottery have been fantastic, I bought two of the bowls for Suzi as a leaving present from work but alas one broke somewhere over the alantic. We explained the situation and they sent out another one. Suffice to say she is the happiest of beans.

Vikki x