Thursday, May 9, 2013

Introducing my Next Guest Blogger - Meg Mader - the person behind NAR Design & The Country Business Mums workshops & luncheons in Clare!

Thankyou so much to my next guest blogger, Meg Mader for sharing her painting tutorial! 

When I was asked by Kathryn, along with many wonderful creative women, if I would like to do a guest blog I immediately jumped at the chance and then thought ‘what on Earth do I write about?’. For those of you who don’t know me, I organise events for Country Business Mums which is how I met Kathryn. I feel like a bit of an imposter being a part of the Handmade in SA community but as it turns out it has been a wonderful excuse to get back into painting.

In a past life I used to paint. Every day I did something because it was fun and messy and expressive and just wonderful for the soul. Then I fell in love, had children and … no time. There was always something more important to do. So here it is – my big return to painting. Please excuse the dodgy work but it has been quite a while.

My favourite way to paint is finger painting. Here is my step-by-step finger painting nude:

Materials – A stretched canvas, some acrylic paint, water soluble oil pastels and some cotton buds (they act as tiny fingers).
Find an image of a nude to work from then start with a light sketch of shape and shade.
Darken the shadows and add some highlights if you like.
Add a few blobs of paint.
Here comes the fun part! Spread the lovely paint around with your fingers. Make sure you work it into the areas that you have pastel.
If there is too much paint wipe off the excess.
Using a palette (or better yet – your hand!) get some fresh paint to use for highlighting with your fingers and the cotton buds.
Squirt on some paint for the background and spread it all around (don’t forget the sides of the canvas!)
And done! (NB It is good to try and get some background colour in the image and some image colour in the background)

Ok, so it’s quite messy and amateurish but it was fun and I really feel like I achieved something today – and I don’t mean getting the dishes done!!

So I challenge you, next time the kids are doing it, get in on the act and have some fun!

A little bit of Mothers Day nostalgia...

Is it just me or does Mothers Day make everyone nostalgic??
For me it is not just about celebrating my own journey into motherhood, or just about seeing my Mum and my Mother in law.  It is such a time to reflect on our past, to celebrate where we came from and remember the mothers in past generations.
When I was a little girl, I used to help my Nanna to put flowers on the graves of my relatives every Mothers Day.  First we would head out to Bute, where my Nanna spent most of her childhood to lay flowers on the grave of her Mother, Ada Chase & her sister Jean Chase (who sadly passed away at 18) my Nanna used to tell me so many stories of her Mum & sister and I grew up feeling like I knew "Great-grandma Chase" and "Aunty Jean" although I had never met either of them!

My beautiful Nanna Dossy, who I miss everyday.  Pictured here with her little sister, Rita.  Aunty Rita is the only one of Albert & Adas 5 children who is still alive! She lives in Victor Harbor :)

After Bute we would head to Kadina where Nanna would do the Cross side of the family - My Poppa Reg's Mum as well as his Grandmother. I remember times when I was quite scared of the cemetery, some of the old, uncared for graves really frightened me and I found it to be a place of such lonliness.

After both of my Nannas died, Mum took over and now also does the Maitland cemetery - where most of her ancestors are buried.  For the first time in years, I went along to help my Mum yesterday, and it made me realise how much my view to cemeteries have changed - in just one visit to Maitland yesterday, I learnt so much about both sets of great-grandparents, my poor Mum must have been sick of my questions by the end!

I learnt so much about my family tree yesterday - My Mums maternal Nanna - Olive Blanche Greenslade - was 'a bit of a trick' according to my Mum.  Mum was very close to her and she always liked to be entertaining, having her friends over for cups of tea, cooking and she sometimes let herself get into a bit of a mess.  Oh wow - doesn't that sound like someone we know??? I might have got my looks from my  Dads side of the family - but I think I got my creativity and nature from my Mums side!

My Mums Maternal Grandmother, Olive - isn't she beautiful! This is who I inherited my love of tea & entertaining from I think!

Mums paternal grandmother, Hepzibah Ash (who was an absolutely brilliant painter - more on that another day!) died quite young, from eating watercress that contained bacteria - Mum can't remember her all that well, as she never coped with my Poppa - her only child - getting married so they didn't see much of her by the sounds of things!

One of great grandmother Ash's paintings

I love this photo of My Nanna & Poppa Ash - my Nanna adored Poppa until the day he died - which I think is pretty obvious in this photo!

I miss both of my Nannas so very much, and in a perfect world I would have met my great grandmothers and made beautiful memories with them - so on Sunday I will be taking time to thank my Mum and to thank my mother in law for all they have done for us, for making us the people we are today, and also remembering the mothers before us who are no longer here - and also celebrating my 3 little boys and what being a Mum means to me!

Happy Mothers Day xx