Monday, 29 December 2014

Mushu Draws The Soul Food 2015 Winner ....

So the time has come to do the draw for the place in Soul Food 2015
 and I have to say it turned into a bit of a production
 Mushu the wonder mutt was a picture of professionalism
he had a bath and a bit of a brush
 not to mention he went formal for the occasion in his favourite tie
 as he patiently waited for us to get moving on the whole thing
which involved hiding bits of shortbread biscuit in a bowl of names
and being quick smart to grab the first name he nosed out
which was a great plan and should have been simple
especially as he would sell us all out in a minute for shortbread
but filming the draw added a whole new dimension to it
poor mutt had to endure our giggling fits
the fact that I am still rubbish at filming things
but dodgy sound and bloopers aside here is the big draw
drum roll please....

It all turned out in the end
once I had made the bits with swearing silent
and the maniacal laughter was muted also
not to mention there was a bit that I filmed just after this shot 
where the bloody mutt gassed us all with his smelly tusch
and sent us all running and gagging
while he serenely surveyed all in his midst and waited for more shortbread

I would like to thanks to all the people who entered 
and for your wonderful comments and support 
it has been a fun time putting it all together
and sadly you all couldn't win
but a big congratulations to Lori

I am now off to sneak in a little painting time on this perfume bottle
happy painting all...xx

Monday, 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Giveaway....

So the madness of Christmas week is upon us and I am feeling the season in all its glory
 this may be fuelled by the steady diet of candy canes and chocolate
while I finished my painting of the Solar Santa
and the one of the clubhouse for Sinus to use on his Christmas cards for work
 or perhaps the fact that we now have a solar Santa to add to the shelf
 with the Solar Queen and her solar Picorgi 
it is a veritable shelf of solar waving and flapping goodness I tell you
not to mention I also found a mug that has little Santas
that bear an uncanny resemblance to the solar Santa 
which is just icing on the solar powered Christmas
all this solar waving energy is pushing me slightly over the edge 
into the land of manic humming of Christmas carols
while having random bits of tape and a sprinkle of glitter stuck in my hair
thanks to an epic session of present wrapping
even the dog has a light frosting of glitter which is quite fetching
though undeserved as he was absolutely no bloody help with the wrapping
but in the spirit of the season I get to give you a present
well one of you anyway...

I am teaching at Soul Food next year and I get to give away a place in the course
which is kind of perfect given the season
Soul Food is a mixed media class
which is all about the teachers sharing their lessons with you
 and teaching you about the art that nourishes their souls
So to be part of the draw all you need to do is enter your name in the comments
and in a week I will draw a winner using a random number generator thingy
or perhaps I will return to the tried and true method of using the dog to draw it
it will come down to whether or not I can handle the slobber factor

part of the requirements of being a teacher at Soul Food is that I had to make a video
answering some questions to introduce myself to you
now before you watch it a few warnings...
anyone with any OCD tendencies may need a cuppa to be able to watch
because every frame on the wall behind me is crooked... seriously crooked
I also shot it with the ipad the wrong way... which you would expect I am sure
and I have post chemo badger hair and one and a half eyebrows
 though I did manage to hide the thin patches very well I have to say
and no it isn't centred on the blog page
hey I am just happy I managed to actually get it to embed
so here it is ...

Soul food 2015 interview from Tracey Fletcher King on Vimeo.

I hope you all enter by commenting below
and that you all have a magical time this holiday season
I want to send out a huge thanks to each and every one of you who has been part of my blogging  and creative world this year
it has been quite a rollercoaster at times, but so filled with love and joy 
... happy painting all...xx

entries have now closed and I will be drawing the winner shortly... thanks to all who entered

Friday, 19 December 2014

Girlfriend Club

Every Friday Sinus Man and some mates, who are known affectionately as the girlfriends
 meet at Celtic Corner for a drink or two
Now this whole thing is shrouded in mystery
as whenever we ask what was discussed we are met with nada, nothing, no details
we assume they speak the universal language of men
and grunt at each other and discuss sports type things
while affectionately slinging rubbish in that way that men do when they truly care
Phants and I have discussed that maybe it is all a bit more mysterious
and have spent many an afternoon wondering what may be going down at the bar

Phantom Steve thinks they sometimes sit, have tea and cakes and braid each other's hair
or maybe have a little shrine built to the oracle that is Taylor Swift
or they all secretly speak Russian and discuss complex maths problems,
ways to hack governments, who killed JFK,
how to launch a low cost airline that is actually viable long term
or perhaps they are just having a knitting circle while pondering life's big questions

I tend to think they lean towards scratching their nether parts while burping
or perhaps plotting their takeover of the cricket commentary from the current blokes
of course maybe they are discussing tools and home repairs
which is mildly hilarious as I don't know that Scary is any better in this area than Sinus
I have fond memories of the pair of them trying to assemble a bbq
it took forever and a day and required many beers while the air turned blue
having said that I may be selling a few of the girlfriends short
as I know have no clue whether Brian, Niall or Jase are secretly adept in such areas
and I have no clue because the first rule of girlfriend club
is, of course, never discuss girlfriend club

The fact that I was allowed to do a quick sketch of the bar for Christmas cards from Sinus
feels kind of huge... and they look kind of cool if I do say so myself
The girlfriends meet up today for the last drinks before Christmas
and I feel mildly honoured to have been allowed to have had any small part
of the sacred and mysterious goings on of the men folk

plus I got to use my new Japanese watercolours
which are all sorts of cool and have fabulous strong colours
I do like the large pans, and I also discovered Fineline Masking fluid pens this week
dear god where have these little beauties been my whole life
I have been masking anything that sits still on my desk
well except for this sketch
 and the one of the golf club I am drawing up for Sinus' work cards
and the sketch of the watercolours
so maybe I haven't been using the masking fluid so much at all it turns out

But overestimating masking fluid use aside
I have had fun doing some more structured sketching for the cards
I am enjoying the different style and concentration that it requires
and it is a nice distraction from trying to work out how to put up my post on Monday
which will contain my interview and giveaway for Soul Food 2015

Had I told you all that i was teaching at Soul Food next year?
well I am and I had to do a filmed interview
which in typical me fashion was shot with the ipad the wrong way round
and is slightly off centre and has led to much teasing from Sinus and Phants
regarding my apparently gloriously nasal tones
nasal tones aside I will be running a giveaway for a place in the whole course
so swing by Monday to enter and have a giggle at my chemo tinged spikes called hair
in the mean time I am off to finish the clubhouse painting... happy painting all...xx

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Few Quick Cuppas ...

I am all fresh and fruity and luscious and lovely just like my tea
 because our new mugs tell me I am
 These cute little mugs from Jamie Oliver were in the supermarket
 and they were just too perfect not to come home
even better is that they have very flat butts on them
which is a great advantage to the chronically clumsy
especially as they have been spending time being balanced on the side of the pool
while we spend the glorious summer days soaking up the sun
and avoiding the fact that Christmas is only a week or so away
since using these as our pool mugs I haven't spilt one drop of tea in the pool
a small Christmas miracle all of its own

Between swims I have squeezed in a few paintings for the Cuppa With Friends Project
I love this one sent in from Annie Marks
I love old ink bottles and thought it would be cool to draw it upside down
so the ink could pour out
of course it may just have been that I drew it on the paper upside down
and I am now covering my arse
but either way I like the end result

  I loved this one from Snap Lane
though this is the mark 2 version
as the first one got dropped in the water container on my desk just as it was almost finished
but for once I didn't curse my lack of coordination... well not too much
as it was a delight to paint up and I feel like I have the colours better this time round 

This final one I post with a heavy heart as Margaret is no longer with us
Sadly she lost her battle with bloody cancer this week
which saddens me more than I can explain
I only wish I had posted this one in time for her to see it
as the lovely emails and thoughts that she sent my way
during my own treatment and recovery meant the world to me
she will be missed...xx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Serving Up Some Time...

I have been sucked into that weird time vortex that only exists during the holiday season
 I thought I had enough time to get everything done but somehow
 time has been disappearing at an alarming rate
and the evil pixie list fairies have been busy filling my notebook
with scary, long pages of things to be done every time I turn my back
So I did what all creatives do when faced with overwhelming real life
I did some drawing

and not some light sketching
but a good old get in and do mad tonal work with a pen drawing
which calms my brain no end
and has the added bonus of being that rarest of rare things lately
a drawing which is now actually finished
nothing like a sense of achievement when everything else around you is falling apart
maybe not falling apart so much as descending into a truly epic shambles
which I am hoping like mad will be seen as charming by all and sundry
during the holidays as they open their weird and wonderful gifts
which at this stage could be old bananas and a couple of tins of chickpeas
if I don't get my butt into gear

But let's not focus on those possibilities
these are my favourite salad servers and I love how they turned out
there is something so meditative about the soft scratching of ballpoint on paper
maybe it is a leftover from all those years of doodling
and decorating every spare inch of paper during class while at school
which was a long time ago I know but it has that same calming effect
of course when I stopped drawing
I saw the list pixies had been evil little bastards and added yet more to be done
so I retreated to another sketchbook and started work on another drawing
which I began a while ago... quite a while I think

But how could I not enjoy the irony of drawing watches while time disappears
although I must say that I do need to start to deal with the whole holiday season
with something approaching organisation soon
or I will find myself bolting around the mall at 10 pm on Christmas Eve 
with all the other hopelessly disorganised sods
and I am trying to block out the whole needing to feed people palaver
that is likely to drive me to mainlining chocolate 
and hiding in the bottom of the walk-in wardrobe with the mutt

I really do need to get moving on some list ticking off
so I will leave you with my latest illustration for the December GoodnessMe Box
not just because I had a great time illustrating it as always
but also because how can I not have an injection of colour in a post
happy painting all...xx

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lessons Of The Week ...

It feels great to be back in the studio and painting again
 the last week has been hectic, and wonderful, and freaky and all sorts of crazy
 but great fun... plus I have learnt lots of valuable lessons along the way
 which is always a bonus

 I learnt that cleaning out one draw in the studio and having a sale
results in one clean and tidy draw
and the rest of the studio looking like it has been hit by a tornado on speed
though the whole risk to life and limb just getting into the studio makes it quite exciting

I also learnt that painting up a few things in the midst of epic mess is still possible
and actually calms the brain in a satisfying way
even when they don't turn out looking quite like I was seeing in my head
as in the case of these bowls... they are a move in the right direction
and the colours... I love this colour palette so much

In non art related learning I learned that the dog is, in fact
a dirty rotten furry little alarm bag who thinks it is hilarious to wake me at the crack of dawn
and proceed to jump on me and lick me
bloody mutt

I also would like to declare that the morning paper delivery bloke
has an uncanny ability to throw the paper into any and every ants' nest in our garden
which would be fine if the little alarm bag would go and fetch it for me
but no... by the time I am hunting through the garden he is asleep again
and I spend the next five minutes with a case of the heeby jeebies
as I imagine I am covered in ants

I was also shocked to learn that I am not an undisputed mini golf savant
I had this incredible undefeated track record 
partly because I have only played once in the last 23 years
but on that one occasion I happened to beat Sinus Man
 at the time he was a touring golf professional so it was quite the achievement
sadly it turns out that you may in fact need to have a game or two in the intervening years
if you want to retain those skills... it was a sad day that I lost my champion's crown

to make it worse, it turns out Phantom Steve may be an undiscovered mini golf savant
bloody child....

the final lesson of the last few days
is that the one year that I'm not militant about Christmas tree and decorations
going up on the first of December, the rest of the street goes light and decoration crazy
so we look like the horrid grinchy family who aren't getting into the holiday spirit
so I am going to go and start the untangling process for the lights
I seriously have no clue how they get so tangled just by sitting in a box
maybe this year I will nanny cam them to see what happens while they are packed away
in the meantime... happy painting all...xx

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Turn ...

Last time I used this painting it was Phantom Steve who was exploding all over the shop
 one little session of holding a teapot
 so I could work from photos and she was beside herself
 now it is my turn to look like this
I was cleaning out the drawers in the studio the other day as room is getting a bit tight
and thought I might do a sale over on my facebook art page of some of my originals
and yes I still have a desk full of other work that needs finishing
and no I didn't think it through in any way, shape or form
but half arsery still reigns supreme around here folks...

So here are just some of the originals that are in the sale

and some more that have just gone up
plus way too many to put up here
and while it is so exciting to see so many sell
and the card packs have been going great as well
it is a bit scary on brain power requirements
so I now need to try to put my head back together 
I am thinking tea and chocolates might do the trick
pop over and check them out if you are interested
just click here... happy painting all...xx

A huge thank you to all the people who have bought work
I have been a bit overwhelmed by so many people buying work
It has surpassed any expectations, 
and while there are still a few originals and card packs left
I never dreamed so many would be sold and haven't stopped smiling for days
Normally it would be a bit hard to let go of my babies but
It makes me so happy to think of my work heading off all over the world
And will find themselves well looked after in loving homes

Happy thanksgiving to all the US readers and happy painting all...xx

Friday, 21 November 2014

Pavan ...

It has been a week of mysteries and wonder I have to say
 I have actually been productive
 the miracle is that I used a planner type sheet thing and actually stuck to it
 it was only mildly painful and made my brain ache occasionally at the thought of such  organisation, but the results have been impressive
 I managed to get to finishing some commissioned perfume bottle pieces
 plus the November illustration for the GoodnessMe Box
 which means I can tuck in and scoff the deliciousness
 now I no longer require them as models

I also painted up this incredible bottle out of a catalogue for a wine merchant over here
no clue what it tastes like but the colours were just too perfectly me to not paint
and it all went smoothly
no paint in hair, no drips on the dog... small miracle, but wonderful none the less
plus I did a little painted sketch of some of the glorious frangipani blooms
which are making the studio smell so amazing
I managed to capture the colour, though the actual blooms look a tad dodgy

I also found a lost earring, magically remembered where I had stashed my list of ideas for Christmas gifts, cooked two new recipes without any eye rolling and gagging sounds from the family and I didn't get sneezed on once by the dog

 It wasn't all smooth sailing though, there were mysteries
the dog did gut a toy and I woke to a garden
that looked a little like it was covered in snow drifts
but as yet the actual outside of the toy is no where to be found
so innards are everywhere but I have no clue which toy they are from

there was also a rather large spider spotted in the dining room
but he was too quick on his feet and got away
so now there is a rogue spider somewhere in the house
which is doing my head in in a fairly major way
but I am going to put that aside and distract myself with what's on the desk
happy painting all...xx

Did you miss Tuesday's post?
Here is the Link ... Swifty Paris ...

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Swifty Paris...

I needed a bit of pretty in my days
so I painted up a bottle of Paris
not that my days have been awful or ugly
I just felt like dipping into some pinks
Pinks have been on my mind as the bougainvillea are blooming like crazy
and the frangipani over the back is in full glorious colour
the smell is amazing and it is a riot of hot pink and orange
and I do love some electric colour
there is never a day that can't be improved with a bit of bright colour 

The day hardly needs improving as it is a studio day
but the colour is a mood lifter anyway
which can be scary as I started in a good mood
and there are times when you can just tip over into the maniacal
not that I believe there is anything wrong with those crazed moods
where you feel like singing but it does worry the daughter and dog
as I am completely and gloriously tone deaf
and I have been playing that bloody Taylor Swift 1989 CD in the studio
so I am slaughtering song after song
with my enthusiastic renditions

There is actually a bigger issue at stake with the whole Taylor Swift thing
as I must admit I have never been a fan
not that I have actively disliked her or anything, just would never have it on in the studio
until this one... it is glorious, unashamed pop music
and I will also come clean and say I may have been a bit wrong about the girl
I used to think she may just give the mutt a run for his money in the lack of brains area
but a bit of instagram and tumblr stalking shows that she may in fact be a genius
she is witty, she bakes, she takes adorable photos with her parents and pets
and she has no trouble making fun of herself
I may have to agree with Phants and consider that she may in fact be an oracle
and it may be going a touch far but you never know
good Old Swifty is a surprise packet
and she made painting this up a breeze

So with the ipod on repeat I am off to go and attack some of the teacups and mugs
I have drawn up this morning
happy painting all...xx

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Cheese Burn ...

Tea cup from Brianne at Sweet Limes
So one week in to the relaunch of the Cuppa Project
and I am already a day late on posting the week's paintings
I actually have a pretty good reason for this for a change
well maybe not a good reason, but a reason other than being half arsed

mug from Brandi Phillips
I had plans to post yesterday
and was on track to share the amazing teacups and mugs
that people have shared for me to paint
when I got the dreaded cheese burn
yep I am that person who seeing dripping hot cheese
oozing out of the side of a grilled cheese sandwich
and tries to catch the molten cheese in two fingers and burns the bejeezus out of them
worst thing was I wasn't even trying to snaffle the cheese as a cooks treat
I was actually trying to save the recently scrubbed kitchen benches from a greasy drip
and scrubbed and gleaming benches deserve to be protected at all costs
those benches had gone a bit feral over the few days I spent battling a plague like flu
which I secretly think I caught via email from a friend who has just had said plague 
and it would appear that no one else in the house knows how to clean down a bench
so once they were all gleaming and shiny again they deserved protecting

mug from Kristin Dudish
so I spent the rest of the day being a tad pathetic
and using it as a glorious excuse for doing bugger all
should I hang out the washing?... nope...cheese burn
should I get in and paint some of the commissions waiting on my desk?... cheese burn
should I answer the fifty squillion emails waiting for attention?
are you kidding ...  I have a cheese burn people
should I fix global warming, or various political nightmares that the news is full of?
well I would except for the fact that I have a dirty great cheese burn

mug from Leslie Armstrong
add to that I got in a sneezing war with the dog due to the sinus nightmare that is spring
and sadly I do believe he won as he managed to get in the last sneeze

plus I spilt my cup of tea, dropped my banana while attempting to peel it one handed
and the house was devoid of chocolate

so it was quite the day and excuse fest wasn't it
plague, lazy arsed daughter, husband, dog sneezes
kamikazi bananas, spilt tea, a chocolate shortage
and most importantly the cheese burn

lets hope today is less action packed
happy painting all...xx

Mug from Debbie from Zenzi B studios