Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Inspired to 3D

This past weekend, I caught a whimsical, Robot themed art exhibit that inspired me to try something a little different.
This local Artist, Eric Cator, had some fabulous pieces on display, but what most caught my eye, were his layered pen & ink drawings.  (links to just a few of his fantastic black and white "Robot" drawings here and here and here)

I decided to see if I could achieve that layered technique using my own drawing. Below, is my finished "test" piece, I learned a LOT by doing this....and what I learned..... was mostly what not to do   :-)

I drew various parts of  the scene on 4 different pieces of plain white 8.5" x 11" card-stock and carefully cut away backgrounds  (I laid them on black paper just so these would "show" up in the photos)

using strips of foam core, and double sided tape, I began "stacking" the layers

It was kinda tough to get a photograph that really shows the depth

now, I need to go purchase a shadowbox frame so I can try it again and make a proper one.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fountain Pen Doodles

As any of my regular readers know, I seem to have a bit of an obsession with doodling. Up until now, they have all been created using permanent markers or pigment pens.......but wait!...there is a new kid on the block  (well, new to my studio) it is a fountain pen called the Ahab Flex by Noodlers.

I had always thought of fountain pens as simply writing instruments, never really considered drawing with them.  At the Toronto Creative Festival this fall, a vendor in attendance,Quills, had some inventory out that could be test driven. As soon as I made that first stroke, I knew that pen was coming home with me.

I filled it with ink and began playing with little doodles.....these are the first ones and as you can clearly see in this photo, I really am able to get some very fine, intricate lines with this pen, to give you an idea of scale.....the pen measures 5.25 inches

I LOVE this pen, I can't stop playing with it.   Yesterday, a Spider fell out!

In case you are are links for couple of online resources for the Ahab Flex Fountain pen.....I am totally new to Fountain pen use so am learning about ink properties, cleaning and so on....You Tube has lots of videos on the topic too.

The Goulet Pen Co
Noodlers Ink

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Coming soon!!!!!

In my last post, I wrote about an opportunity that I had recently turned down because it just did not seem to be the right fit for me, today I want to SHOUT about an amazing opportunity that this time, was absolutely right!

Over the summer I was contacted by an acquisitions editor representing  Quarto Publishing, with the Walter Foster  group, I must admit that the email really caught me by surprise and I had to read it more than once.
As it turned out, while doing artist research, some of my doodles had caught this editor's attention and I was being contacted to see if I might have interest in collaborating with them on a book project.

Whoa! gotta know I sure was interested and couldn't wait to hear more!

She proceeded to fill me in on the concept of the book as well as what they had envisioned for my contribution.  It did not take long to determine that this project certainly did seem to be a perfect fit, and, as you might imagine, I was quite excited to accept the proposal and eagerly got to work creating projects for my section.......(although I really should not use the word “work” as I have been thoroughly enjoying the process)

The Art of Fashion Tangling: 40 prompts, patterns & projects for fashion-forward tangling artists &doodlers is to be 144 pages featuring several artists/authors, each one bringing to it, their own unique, fabulous style.........and I am completely thrilled to be counted among them.

You can read details about the book and its scheduled release date here

I snagged this image from the web site.....I LOVE the cover art they chose to go with!

Below you will find links to the web sites of each of the book's contributing artists, you may already be familiar with many of them, ..... just click their names to explore their work. 

Jill Buckley........... you are here :-)

I can hardly wait to see it all come SO excited!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Passing on an Opportunity

Many of my readers have suggested that I should create a "colouring" book with the doodles that I draw......well......back in April, I was contacted by a publishing company with an interest in doing just that............ I was SO incredibly excited! 

After several months of discussions, proposals, and sample drawings, I was indeed offered a contract.

Unfortunately, in the end, I really did not feel that the project was quite right for me and decided to turn it down......believe me when I say, it was a tough, VERY tough decision.

There were many deciding factors, but partly I suppose, it was that my drawings were not really looking like "my" drawings anymore. I can explain it better visually with the example drawings below

This 1st one is okay.....but not all that interesting

The 2nd one is likely how the drawing might look when prepared for use in a colouring book, definitely more detail.....a little more interesting....but... still not quite "me"

This last one definitely feels more my style, I like to add a little drama by playing with positive and negative, but all those filled in areas, all that black, would make it unsuitable for a colouring book.
In order for me to feel comfortable with this project, to move forward, to accept the contract, to dedicate the massive amount of  hours the work would require, I had to LOVE what I was doing and that just wasn't the case.

BUT.....other opportunities can come along....and recently, another one that absolutely DID feel right....I will tell you more about it in my next post.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Doodle Inspiration

This weekend, our area is enjoying some glorious autumn days.......the weather could not be more perfect. On Saturday, while doing yard work I came across this interesting bug.

Turns out, it is a Helmeted Squash Bug.....and look how wonderfully Mother Nature doodled him.
so I was, of course, inspired to do a little doodling myself.

In progress

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


First day of Autumn.......what?.....wait....I wasn't done with Summer yet!
Don't get me wrong... Autumn is a lovely time of year....but the trouble with Autumn is, that Winter comes fast on its heels......and I do NOT like Winter!

This thinking inspired me to create a new snowflake.

here is the drawing I did on one section of the paper in preparation for the cutting.

 Staples hold the 12 layers firmly in place

To get the points of my scissors into small areas I usually use a hole punch, but these are some pretty small areas, far too small for a hole punch, so I used the tip of an awl to make holes. ( a piece of cork tile allows the awl to sink in but protects my table surface)

This is how it looked once the cutting was done but before I unfolded the layers of paper.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Colouring Page 002

I can hardly believe it....but it has been about 2 months since I last threaded a needle.....there has simply been no textile "anything" happening around here lately.
But since I did not want to ignore my blog completely....I thought I would post another free colouring page.

You can grab a downloadable, printable PDF here

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Evolution of my Drawing Style

It was a little more than 10 years ago when a repetitive strain injury to my left arm drastically limited many of my activities. It was right around then that I took an introduction to drawing class and bought a couple of books.
I really am a "greyscale" monochromatic type gal and was quickly drawn to graphite work.
I learned to work from a photograph using a "grid" method.  I would place a small grid over the photo and create a larger grid on my drawing area at a time......observing....drawing.....slowly trying to duplicate the image.

The photo
drawing in progress with grid
Finished pencil drawing
I could do it with a certain degree of success, but it took me hours and hours, I would work on each drawing over the course of several days. I rarely showed anyone the finished drawings  ( I do what a lot of us do.....let that negative self-talk creep know the one....that says it is not good enough)
Drawing in this manner required time  (lots of time), patience and was not very "portable" for me

At some point after starting my blog, I joined a creative prompt group. The idea was to do something creative in response to a single word posted each week. I began doing quick doodles and posting them to the group (posting them quick before I lost my nerve) early ones were pretty rough, but the idea was to be creative...and by posting whatever I drew no matter what, I learned to let go of that negative talk (well mostly)
I could draw these anywhere, anytime.....always took a sketchbook with me and would draw where ever and whenever I found myself with a few minutes  What a fabulous way to bring about inspiration and while I have not posted to the group in quite some time Jaye is still posting those "prompt" words....last week she posted word number 324 .....Wow!

Those silly drawings continue to evolve. When Janome showed interest in turning some of those doodles into machine embroidery, I quickly learned to refine the doodle.
just take a look at the difference between the bee that they first saw and the bee I refined to work better in a stitched version.
and how it looks in machined stitches

Another example would be this early flower doodle

This is how I draw them today

Unlike those early graphite drawings, drawing this way allows me to NOT become obsessed over the details, always trying to get it "right" and it is great fun drawing things with quirky details instead of trying to achieve complete realism. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A New Bed Skirt

I have wanted to replace my bed skirt for a while......just could not find what I was looking for. My old one was one of those "ruffled" things in boring cream.

When I could not find what I had in mind, I figured it was time to make one. The challenge was then to find fabric I liked that was not over the moon in cost.
The solution? a set of sheets on sale. By cutting away the elastic on the fitted sheet and the hems on the flat one, I had lots of yardage.

I did not document the process but here is a link to a wonderful tutorial. It is pretty much what I did (although, I did not use any other fabric....just the sheets) I even made my pillow shams using the sheet material and still have lots to make a few decorative pillows.

you can't really see the details in the photo above.....the sheets I used had a great is a rich brick red with a nice little stripe

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Undoubtedly, you will have heard about the growing trend of Adult colouring books.....recently, I was directed to a Facebook post where members of a newly formed colouring club were discussing where one could find some free downloadable coluring pages. (from what I saw they had already purchased a number of books ....perhaps they were just looking for even more variety).

So......I thought.....why not post one here. I often play with doodling in a more abstract form, sometimes some interesting designs appear.

like this one

if you would like to grab it and my can get the downloadable, printable file (PDF) here.

Be sure you are printing with "non-running"ink if you want to use anything other than dry media.
Images printed on my ink jet printer will smear if I use a marker....but printers that use toner seem to be fine. If you really want to lay on a lot of colour, try printing on an art paper or cardstock.

I would love some comments on this.....will you download this file and colour?  would you like to see more like this one?  Enjoy   :-)

Copyright Jill Buckley