View Full Version : Different Strokes - A Forum Project May 2015

04-30-2015, 10:35 PM

If you would like to host a Different Strokes, please see the Schedule thread here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1302516)
Please read the guidelines below carefully.


On the first of each month a reference photo (or photos) will be posted in a thread entitled "Different Strokes".

All entries must be for this challenge and in acrylics - any type of acrylic.

Join in the discussion about the project - it's friendly and fun to learn how others are coping/struggling/thriving!!! But no visual images!

Help can be gained from asking but also from looking for resource materials elsewhere - the RIL e.g.

A 'reveal' date for all is 21st of the month - that gives us 3 weeks to make the work, plus an extra week for latecomers.

Interpret the ideas any way you wish - be inventive, realistic, influenced by another style or '...ism' - it's up to you!

PLEASE DO NOT UPLOAD WORK TO THE THREAD BEFORE THE 21ST OF THE MONTH.** Much more exciting and fun to see what 'masterpieces' appear!

If work is uploaded early it will be moved to a safe place until 21st.

At the end of the month the thread /discussion will be closed and a new challenge will begin.

**Please note, the single 'reveal' date is chosen so that we do not influence each other with our individual interpretations ...... That's the whole point of it being called 'Different Strokes'!

By all means ask questions in the thread or initiate discussion about the challenge - just don't post images!!!


This month I vacillated with two topics. One was quite straight-forward. A pretty easy theme for just about anybody to knock off in a couple of hours at most. The second – and the one I’ve chosen – is a bit more difficult, as you will see. So here’s the story…

For some time now, the challenges have tested our abilities to reproduce in a painterly fashion an image that illustrates the WORDS of the challenge. You know, “Clouds” or “Sunsets.”

This month’s challenge broadens previous challenges. Hopefully it will not only challenge our artistic abilities but more importantly it will test our abilities to IMAGINE the image FIRST.


So where am I going with this, you ask? Right here…

The challenge for May is NURSERY RHYME.

I assume all of us were little kids at one time. And all of us heard or were taught NURSERY RHYMES. Many olden NURSERY RHYMES– particularly the oldest English ones – are believed to have mocked the ruling authorities. “Mary, Mary, quite contrary…” More modern ones may be considered as teaching rhymes. “Itsy, bitsy, spider…” (My personal preference is for the really old ones, but remember, it's YOUR challenge!)

For a huge list of common NURSERY RHYMES, try Google/Wikipedia.

Your objective in this challenge is two-fold. First, find a NURSERY RHYME that you remember – fondly or otherwise. And second, extract from that NURSERY RHYME an image that best describes the action.

Oh, and when you post your effort on or after May 21st, you can do one of two things. You can post the NURSERY RHYME along with your painting. Or you can challenge the rest of us to identify the NURSERY RHYME.


05-01-2015, 01:39 AM
What great fun. It's been a long while since I thought of nursery rhymes. We should have an old Mother Goose around somewhere. Hmm....

Charlie's Mum
05-01-2015, 03:24 AM
Brilliant Jim- of course it is, it's on my list of topics for hosting :( grrr, now I've lost it!! ;);)) - but I'm delighted that you've thought of this and challenged us to stretch our minds.
Thank you - it might be difficult, but a pleasure!:)

05-01-2015, 07:23 AM
Wow, that will really take some thought!

Imogene Thomas
05-01-2015, 09:54 AM
Well, now once upon a time...........

05-01-2015, 12:16 PM
You've caught my interest! Great idea!

05-01-2015, 01:35 PM
Oooh this should be a good one...I'm going to start planning now :)

05-01-2015, 06:07 PM
Sounds like a lot of fun!!

05-01-2015, 07:38 PM
My daughter used to drive me crazy when I picked her up from Pre-Kindergarten. She would repeat over and over and over a couple of rhymes. The problem is I have no idea how to illustrate them. Must think a lot more about this. :)

Marge Cameron
05-01-2015, 10:22 PM
Oh, I am SO in on this one! Perfect way to get reacquainted with WC. Thank you!

05-01-2015, 11:41 PM
Great challenge!
What to do???
This one should be fun!

05-02-2015, 10:50 PM
Wow...now my brain won't stop thinking words to nursery rhymes......I'm definetly in on this one! Fun, fun, fun. Let the painting begin!!!

05-03-2015, 07:34 AM
Good challenge, lots of words and pictures in my head but how to choose the one I can do - now that's the challenge!

05-06-2015, 03:14 PM
this seems fun, I'll give it a shot!

05-06-2015, 04:24 PM
great idea! And yes, Cindy, once the rhymes enter the mind, there's no stopping them....this could be bad...:) have fun everyone!

Mrs B
05-07-2015, 12:50 PM
Great challenge Jim! I'm late to the party this month as we were away for the bank holiday weekend and the baby's first birthday! Guess I am pretty well up to speed on nursery rhymes !!!
I think I will do the baby's favourite one.....!

05-07-2015, 08:25 PM
Is it cheating to have a "youngen" at home :D?

Mrs B
05-08-2015, 05:53 AM
Is it cheating to have a "youngen" at home :D?
LOL!!! :D Not when you factor in that they take up all your painting time!!! :lol: :lol:

05-08-2015, 09:59 AM
Aye, I remember those days :).

05-08-2015, 05:10 PM
Just finished mine! Helped that it was something I've been thinking about doing for a while and it just happened to fit into this challenge :)

05-08-2015, 09:06 PM
What fun! I hope I can fit in a painting.

I found a website with a list of old nursery rhymes and their lyrics:


Mrs B
05-12-2015, 11:43 AM
Just finished mine too!! It was such a simple nursery rhyme and picture that I almost feel like I've cheated!

05-12-2015, 12:57 PM
Mellybean and Gemma, finished already? This was supposed to be a challenge!
My challenge to you has become one for me. About half-done. A very well-known rhyme that I hope is disguised in the ptg.
Will be away for a week beginning on the 21st so may need to post late.

Mrs B
05-15-2015, 06:55 AM
Mellybean and Gemma, finished already? This was supposed to be a challenge!
My challenge to you has become one for me. About half-done. A very well-known rhyme that I hope is disguised in the ptg.
Will be away for a week beginning on the 21st so may need to post late.

Ha ha! It was a challenge!:)I've tried a technique that I've not really done before and it was very fun and easier than I expected.:) I think knowing instantly what to paint this month has helped, as I usually spend the first week or two working out what to do:lol:

05-15-2015, 12:19 PM
I think I found a perfect starting point reference this morning at the hotel breakfast room of all places! That's all I'm going to say. ;)

05-15-2015, 12:37 PM
I finished mine last nite and presented it to the Thurs Nite Sketch Group to see if anyone could figure out the nursery rhyme. After dozens of wrong guesses, not one even close, I told them the rhyme.
Here's their reactions...
Too vague! Too obtuse! No one will ever guess it!

Charlie's Mum
05-15-2015, 04:46 PM
Now you have us guessing too Jim!:lol:

I know what I want to do, just not sure it'll work!:eek:

05-15-2015, 08:35 PM
I still haven't picked one. I'm debating as I've lived in the US so long, I've forgotten what we used in France (my native country).

old_hobbyist, that's what I call mean teasing :D.

Colin... I can think of several possibilities. We'll see if I'm even close LOL!

Charlie's Mum
05-16-2015, 08:34 AM
Ann - it's Jack Horner sitting in his corner after sneaking his Christmas Pud from the Cook!!!!!!!!!:lol:

05-16-2015, 10:17 AM
Ann - it's Jack Horner sitting in his corner after sneaking his Christmas Pud from the Cook!!!!!!!!!:lol:

A lot of nursery rhymes feature food-related themes when you think about it. :D

Charlie's Mum
05-16-2015, 12:48 PM
Food for thought!!!;)

05-17-2015, 01:22 AM
Ditched the photo I thought would work as it wasn't good enough so had to go to set up something else. Have a preliminary sketch. Now maybe paint something tomorrow. :crossfingers:

Charlie's Mum
05-17-2015, 08:05 AM
I made notes - does that count as 'started'?:lol:

Charlie's Mum
05-18-2015, 12:43 PM
I spent an hour painting yesterday - today I painted over it and did another - not sure what to think of it, but it is what it is and I ain't changing it again!:lol:

05-18-2015, 01:21 PM
Hello all, I havent been on in a while. I lost my son last week at 38 yrs old..Havent even thought of painting but now I am ready to get back to real life and try...may not make it on the deadline though...

Charlie's Mum
05-18-2015, 04:37 PM
Cinders, so sorry to hear your tragic news - my deepest sympathy ... and these :grouphug:

05-19-2015, 12:11 PM
My sympathies Cindy. I can't even imagine, but I hope you are coping.

I didn't get around to doing anything this month. For a while I've been feeling like I'm always trying to get something done in a certain amount of time and rushing to finish. Decided to relax a bit. Really looking forward to seeing what everyone did though, this is such an interesting challenge.

05-20-2015, 03:25 PM
Oh Cindy, I am so sorry to hear that! That is so young! Maybe painting will help you cope with your loss.

Yes,food was important and sometimes scares in the old days. No wonder they didn't have to go to the gym :D!

Imogene Thomas
05-20-2015, 08:57 PM

Prayers for you and your family! Painting should help...it did help me through the loss of my Mother 6 years ago.

05-20-2015, 09:22 PM
Cindy - very sorry to hear this. I hope that you are able to find some solace in your art.

Mrs B
05-21-2015, 03:04 AM
Dearest Cindy, I am so sorry to hear your awful news - I'm sure you are feeling every kind of emotion each day at the moment. I know it doesn't compare, but I lost my first son during labour 2 years ago and painting has been an absolute lifeline for me. Wishing you gentle days and hoping you have lots of support at home. Xxx

Mrs B
05-21-2015, 03:07 AM
Well, here is my entry for this month. I won't post the nursery rhyme as I'm sure you can all guess which one it is!

05-21-2015, 05:26 AM
Gemma, that's beautiful! I hardly know any mother goose rhymes but there's a German nursery rhyme would fit here :D:
"Weisst Du wie viel Sternlein stehen?" ("Do you know how many stars there are?")


Charlie's Mum
05-21-2015, 07:00 AM
Mmmmmmm Gem, I shall have to think about this one!:lol: - lovely manipulation of the paint! Gorgeous!

Here's mine - Jim, I found this a lot more taxing than I first thought - the ideas came but getting them onto a surface, hopeless! I painted over the first attempt, after numerous drawings, and then painted this in a little over an hour. Approx 8x10" on matboard - and easy-peasy to guess!


Imogene Thomas
05-21-2015, 07:59 AM
Gem and Maureen....beautiful...

Imogene Thomas
05-21-2015, 08:04 AM
My rendition is acrylic on Canson cold press 9 x 12 140 lb paper. The inspiration:
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is a popular English lullaby. The lyrics are from an
early 19th-century English poem by Jane Taylor, "The Star". The poem, which is in couplet form, was first published in 1806 in Rhymes for the Nursery, a collection of poems by Taylor and her sister Ann.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny sparks;
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye
'Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

05-21-2015, 09:34 AM
Gemma -
Looking at your starry sky
Does it make you wonder why
Paint can bring us such delight
When in the day we see the night.

Flowers bloom and then they're gone
Except when caught and settled on
A canvas where they'll last forever
Maureen your basket's very clever.

Jack and Jill beneath the stars
Dreaming of a life on Mars
Who can keep them in this place
When future beckons out in space?

:D :D :D

05-21-2015, 09:38 AM
Oranges and Lemons

11 x 14 canvas pad.


Charlie's Mum
05-21-2015, 10:36 AM
Thank you JT! .......... and nice work - where's the dog jumping over though?:lol:

Colin - a poet! How very clever of you to make those rhymes so early in the morning! I think they're brilliant! :clap: :clap: :)

I like your painting too - good work on St. Clement's and beautifully painted fruits!

05-21-2015, 11:17 AM
Gemma beautiful star light. Two come to mind twinkle, twinkle little star, and star light star bright.
Maureen, beautiful posies. The cloth basket is great, and nice shiney rings.
J.T. very nice. This would make a nice childrens illistration.
Colin Beautiful poetry:clap: I was not familiar with Oranges and Lemons. Very nice.

05-21-2015, 11:28 AM

Mostly depicted as an egg, some believe Humpty Dumpty was a mortar which sat on a wall in Colchester during the English Civil war in 1648.


05-21-2015, 11:35 AM
So sorry to hear of your loss Cindy, he was far too young.

This was a great idea for a project and lovely paintings on show already:clap:.

Gemma, a lovely night sky (is it twinkle twinkle little star?)
That's very pretty Maureen, and just an hour of work!
I agree with Karen, your painting would look good in a childrens book JT.
Your oranges & lemons are very nicely done Colin.

05-21-2015, 12:11 PM
Cindy, I'm sorry to hear about your son. How sad. I hope you have a lot of support.

Gemma - beautiful sky.
Maureen - Gorgeous flowers. Nice choice of nursery rhyme. :)
JT - I didn't know there were more verses to that. Cute painting.
Colin - Clever oranges and lemons. Nice poems, too.
Karen - Nice take on Humpty Dumpty.

I did a quick sketch in a 5x7" sketchbook. Painting yellow over the blue background didn't work very well. I should have done white first or a thicker layer.


05-21-2015, 12:18 PM
CindyG, my heart goes out to you. I lost my daughter in '12 at the age of 42. I then threw myself into my art and it proved to be my salvation. There are no words to express the deep grief of losing a child, no matter what the age. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

I have been unable to produce any art lately. Maybe next month will be better for me.

All entries thus far are very, very nice. Gemma, not sure which rhyme that represents but it sure is pretty:)
Maureen, aren't you clever....Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies.
JT..good one! I agree with the others about the children's book.
Colin..A poet to boot! Not familiar with oranges and lemons but the painting is well done!
Karen...Super job on that rock wall! I had never heard of that . Good work!

05-21-2015, 04:04 PM
Fine grand gun on the walls that guard the town.
Soldiers crack like eggshells when cannons bring them down;
Kings can't mend their kingdoms when they break and can't be healed;
And children can't find fathers when they fall in battlefields.

I used my pocket for a garden
Red, yellow, purple, gold
I watered well and now I'm sodden
Blue, green, and in between.

Next time I'll think before I plant
Yellow, purple, orange, red
Perhaps not cactus in my pants
I'll use my sister's shoes instead.

05-21-2015, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the comments on my painting and the ...ahem..."poems". :lol:

There are actually two St. Clement's that vie for the honour of being the one referred to in the nursery rhyme. The one I picked, St. Clement Danes, has a much nicer spire than St. Clement Eastcheap, and that's the one I remember seeing in London, so that's the one I went for.

05-21-2015, 05:10 PM
I'm sensing a trend here! Here's my piece, "Stardust" - 12x16 on canvas.


Charlie's Mum
05-21-2015, 05:17 PM
Karen - what a beautiful setting for Humpty! Well painted:)

A N Elizabeth :) - beautiful little pocket full of posies!:)

This is a super-nice view of another side to you Colin - talented fella!:)

Oranges and Lemons - a children's game like the ring a ring a rosies.

Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St Clements,
You owe me five farthings say the bells of St Martins,
When will you pay me say the bells of Old Bailey
When I grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch,
When will that be say the bells of Stepney,
I'm sure I don't know, say the great bells of Bow,
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chop, chop, chop, chop the last man's dead!

The bells of different churches and districts of London.

Just thought those who don't know it might like to know!:lol:

Charlie's Mum
05-21-2015, 05:19 PM
Sorry Melly - we x-posted ...... lovely cosmic interpretation from you -great sense of the great 'out there':)

Mrs B
05-22-2015, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks! Yes - it is 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' - obviously a popular one :) Forgot to mention that it's 12" by 10" canvas.

Maureen - love the flowers and gold rings :) - interesting choice to use a black background - is that a hint at the supposed origins of the nursery rhyme?

JT - yours could be straight out of one of our nursery books! I especially love the smiling moon :)

Colin - very clever with your verse!! I used to live in Bow and often thought of that nursery rhyme when I heard the bow bells! love the composition too:clap:

Karen - I had no idea that it could be a canon and not an egg, but it makes perfect sense. What a fantastic and detailed painting - the roundheads helmets and brickwork is really good:thumbsup:

Elizabeth - great pocket full of posies! I've learnt so much doing these challenges that every painting teaches me something new - guess you will know to paint white or build up layers of yellow for next time you want to do a blue background if you don't want it to show through.

Mellybean - that's a truly stunning starscape! :) you could just loose yourself staring at a sky like that and I love the angle you've chosen for the trees - gives it great depth:clap:

What a great variety of paintings - can't wait to see what Jim has produced this month:lol:

05-23-2015, 04:05 AM
My thoughts are with you Cindy at this sad time. As the pain eases I hope you can find comfort in the memories you have, he lives forever in your heart.

I've not managed anything this month except a few people watching sketches in various airports and hospital waiting rooms - hopefully life and health will get back to normal for next month.

Super work here again, really enjoyed seeing all your interpretations :clap:

05-23-2015, 11:12 AM
Yes, Cindy, remember the times you've had. I'm hoping you will find something to help your pain, as in your art.
So many good renditions! Time flew by for me this month, so maybe next time.

05-23-2015, 05:16 PM
Gemma - Love how the planet came out on that one! Very nice shadowing

Maureen - Beautiful flowers - very realistic and look wonderful against the background.

JT - How you painted the children really captures the wonder of childhood!

Colin - Great shadowing on the oranges and lemons and the building is beautifully done

Karen - Awesome job on the mortar! Love the shine on it.

Elizabeth - Nice coloring on the flowers! Well done.

05-24-2015, 05:08 AM
Cindy, may you find peace in the good memories you have of your son.

05-25-2015, 02:14 PM
Cindy, I'm so sorry for your loss. Art has been healing for many of us and I hope it will help you recreate some the beautiful memories of your son's life.

Gemma, your night sky is gorgeous! I love the colors you used.

Maureen, your flowers are lovely and the cloth is just amazing!

JT, love seeing the whole lyric to go with your whimsical painting. It brings back memories of backyard campouts :)

Colin, I love your rhymes! I had never heard of your nursery rhyme - great perspective!

Karen, that looks like an illustration out of a book! I'd never heard that interpretation.

Elizabeth, love your cheerful flowers and the simple style.

Melly, that is an incredible sky. I wish I could have watched you paint!

Here's my rhyme:

Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail
Niddle noddle went his head
Widdle waddle went his tail.

Little Robin Redbreast
Came to visit me
This is what he whistled
"Thank you for my tea!"

This is an English robin taken from a photo in the image reference library by Yorky.



05-26-2015, 01:36 AM
So many wondrrful entries.
I have a small injury, wont be able to paint for a few weeks more , i think.

Charlie's Mum
05-27-2015, 12:43 PM
Jan - he's a lovely robin - always welcome in my garden!:)

I don't know that rhyme though!:) ... a new one for me:)

05-28-2015, 09:36 AM
Jan - lovely robin.

Charlie's Mum
05-28-2015, 11:29 AM
I do hope Jim is OK - I sent him a wake-up call to say we'd posted, but he hasn't been back to WC since his last post :(
Stay well Jim!

Mrs B
05-29-2015, 06:41 AM
Jan, that's a lovely little robin and I love all the different colours in the fence he is sitting on. I didn't know that nursery rhyme either!
Fingers crossed that Jim is ok - just 2 days left to post until it's time for June's challenge :)

05-29-2015, 07:19 AM
I think Jim said he would be away for a week from the 21st and would probably have to post late - so hopefully :crossfingers: he is fine and just having to catch up with things on his return

Charlie's Mum
05-29-2015, 10:38 AM
Thanks for remembering that Pips - duh - memory's not what it was!!!!!!! :lol:

Charlie's Mum
05-29-2015, 10:40 AM
EEK - just realised I'm covering June ........ better get my thinking cap out!!!!!

We need hosts from JULY onwards - any offers?:)

05-29-2015, 04:22 PM
If it's ok for a newbie to host I'd be happy to take one Maureen. I'm currently waiting for a hospital date so can't be definite about the month just yet but would let you know as soon as possible.

05-30-2015, 10:13 AM
Sorry I haven't posted my ptg for my challenge. Before I left for Europe on the 21st, I put it in my co-op gallery - unframed. I got back late last nite. When I went to the gallery this morning the ptg wasn't there. And nobody knows where it went. The sad thing is that I hadn't had time to take a foto. So, if and when it ever shows up, I'll take a foto and post it on the regular forum.

05-30-2015, 11:35 AM
I hope you find it Jim! Bad enough to lose a painting, even worse when everyone is anxiously waiting to see it.

Good work everyone, really enjoyed seeing what you all came up with.

Charlie's Mum
05-30-2015, 12:29 PM
Welcome back Jim - though having work go missing in your absence is not a nice home-coming:(

Pips - delighted to have you host - as soon as you feel the time is OK for you, just say!:)

05-30-2015, 03:26 PM
Sometimes I do things right! I DID take a pic of the challenge. I wish I would've posted it earlier so everyone could guess (without all the clues here). But I'm sure now everyone will quickly get the 1800s counting rhyme.


Give me some time to comment on everyone's efforts, tho.

Charlie's Mum
05-30-2015, 03:29 PM
..... and so well illustrated Jim:)

Mrs B
05-30-2015, 04:14 PM
Hooray! Well done Jim, I was worried you wouldn't post in time. Great painting and a rhyme I'd completely forgotten about. I don't think I would have got it without you highlighting the parts of the picture.
Hope that you find the original soon!

05-30-2015, 09:32 PM
Okay, everyone really did great on this challenge.

I am gonna give you my guesses as to what the rhymes are... Right or wrong.

Gemma - twinkle, twinkle...
Maureen - ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies... [something about bubonic plague, I think...]
JT - twinkle, twinkle...
Colin - oranges and lemons, St. Clemens...
Karen - Humpty-Dumpty... [I think you are correct about the mortar...]
Another - pocket full of posies.
mellybean - star light, star bright...
Jan - Robin redbreast...
Old_hobbyist - one-two, buckle my shoe; three-four, shut the door; five-six, pick up sticks; seven-eight, lay them straight; nine-ten, big fat hens. [BTW, this was a near-finished version, kinda out of focus.]

A lot of fun and a lot of research for everyone. Sorry I was late in posting but sometimes life gets in the way.

On to June!!!