View Full Version : Cafe michelangelo - Dec. 2015

12-01-2015, 04:24 AM
Hi guys,

Nearly Christmas. I had my first piece of Advent chocolate with my morning coffee.

In art matters,
I have been taking a free course by Julie Gibbons on making mandalas. I had never really got to grips with this art form before. She does a great class for beginners. And now she has a serious class up for next year...12 months of making mandalas. I don't think I'll do that class next year as I want to concentrate on making art for my portfolio/websites.

See Julie Gibbons site here


I think the free course is still available if you want to try it!

Here's one of my mandalas.


I am not an adept but it was an interesting thing to try.

What are you all up to?

:o :music: :music:

12-01-2015, 06:42 AM
Nice mandala. Around here you nowadays see lots of them in colouring books aimed at adults. I recently attended an art exhibition by a local artist which consisted of nothing but the most lovely and intricate mandalas.

After my miniature meerkat and sunset sold last weekend, I decided to create sets of similar themes; that way, I may end up selling two at a time...


These are reproduced slightly larger than actual size - they are matchbox sized (about 2 x 1.5 inch) and done in acrylic on board.

12-02-2015, 09:39 PM
Am finishing up on the Christmas swap.
Amazing how you can think you are ahead
and find out, nope, not even close.

Outside art, Pop when he woke up this morning,
started in again how he wanted a dog.
So we adopted two lovely rescue girls today ( they were bonded and you hate to break bonds)
I knew I was in trouble just going to look.

After they are spayed will bring them home next week. So excited.
It's been a really long time since I've had a pet.
They are not perfect pedigrees but full of lovely wet kisses. :wave:

12-03-2015, 04:49 PM
Congratulations on becoming a dog mum! Fun times ahead for you,nickel!

Lovely meercats...Brian

12-04-2015, 07:20 AM
Mandalas are fun. The other day I became sad because of some things but I kept thinking about something I'd heard from Tolle - that I AM not the saddness but there is saddness in me...... so I drew this mandala with no aim or goal and was surprised at how light it is........eventhough there was saddness in me.....I was not the saddness but something else.

Oh, dogs are wonderful companions....and there is the whole "getting to know each other" time which is so interesting.

Congratulations on getting you art out there Brian. That brings a reward wonderful.

I just finished printing 250 artomat blocks.....they are still drying but here are my preliminary sketches.....themed - Cultural Icons - Eskimoshttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2015/88676-manddd.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2015/88676-eskmom.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2015/88676-paddle.gif [http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2015/88676-walrus.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2015/88676-fishing.gif

12-04-2015, 07:24 AM
I'll add the eyes on mother and child with pen later

12-04-2015, 09:49 AM
Back about five years ago when going through some sadness I built a small labyrinth even though it took a large amount of space. It helped. I wish I had space for a large one. Even drawing these , which I did a lot, helped. I still have the drawings, but I don't know which notebook.

This outside photo is from that time.



Today the dogs get spayed. I don't like that they have to be, but they won't let you have them without having it done. We get them tomorrow. Yeah. And looking forward to getting to know them.

And I love everyone's art. I've not done a mandala but did study some Sanskrit when in college. I had a really knowledgeable professor, eastern religious studies, that is his life work.

Even though both June and Robin mandalas are different, they both look your style to me. That is beautiful.

And I love the artomat art. These are different than what you've done in the past. I love the Eskimo series; I love the mom and child. Baby carrying is very popular and the in thing now.

And Brian, love how you are doing the backgrounds. They enhance the subjects.

12-04-2015, 10:03 PM
Nice labyrinth! I like this sort of outdoor art.

Some of what I have been up to lately; all 5 x 3.5 inch, acrylic on board:




I seem to be gravitating towards a sort of naive post-impressionist style, though in that last one, I think I went a bit too far with the naive thing in the buildings...

12-05-2015, 05:47 AM
Lovely work everyone!

I really like your Eskimo series robin!

Your outdoor sculpture is beautiful,nickel. I've never done anything like this!

Brian you are so productive...great for selling! I am slow with making art, it's not good if you want to make a living from art.

12-05-2015, 10:25 AM
Brian you are so productive...great for selling! I am slow with making art, it's not good if you want to make a living from art.

Actually, I was a bit lazy this week. last week, when I worked specifically for that exhibition, I was like a machine.

Here are two more matchbox-sized silhouette-against-sunset bits; they are quite quick to make:


12-06-2015, 12:27 PM
thanks June and Nickel -

Nickel- I remember you making the spiral outside...

Brian - what Nickel said - your backgrounds are so nice and inviting. I like the guy balanced above the one wheel....both are very nice.

yep, I love the way June's mandala is so her style........

12-07-2015, 04:36 AM
Robin I was interested to hear how you used your drawing of a mandala to work through some emotional upheaval. You're right, your mandala is perky even although you were feeling sad!

I was thinking of buying a book on mandalas...but I wonder...do I need one...and will I do much more in the way of creating them?

Maybe I could get one for my Christmas present to self?

Here's the one I am thinking of buying on Amazon.


has anyone read it?

12-09-2015, 09:42 PM
If one knows very little about a particular art form, a book might help. On the other hand, everything you need to know may well be available on the web, for free. :-)

Been si busy painting miniatures that I didn't have time to post any. I now make them in pairs, working on two similar ones simultaneously. It doesn't actually take much longer than doing one, and I don't waste as much paint.







12-10-2015, 12:28 PM
Brian - wonderful, wonderful!! You really pack it solid in that little space!!!

June - The work I did on my saddness was done internally before creating the mandala. The mandala I did as an ongoing desire to do some art every day and a mandala is a good start and the small journal sits out handily on my desk.
Are familiar with Tolle? He has several videos on utube that are so healing and helpful with helping on to connect with the center of our being. Then going thru life trying to maintain that connection.

He said that to say to ourself “I am sad” is to equate a passing state with our essence.

In reality we would be more accurate to say “there is sadness in me”…..so I was trying this all day. and when it came time to create a mandala I said to myself……I wonder how this is gonna come out? I did not dwell on the sadness but the process of creating the mandala. When I finished I then was pleasantly surprised. You know I cannot even remember now, what I was sad about!


12-10-2015, 10:47 PM
Brian - wonderful, wonderful!! You really pack it solid in that little space!!!

Thanks for the kind comments. My style seems to be moving towards something somewhere between naive and post-impressionist. Still not sure where it will end or if it ever will.

I am also pleased to notice that I am getting better at working from imagination. I always thought I had no visual imagination whatever: if I couldn't see it, I couldn't draw it. Now that there is some pressure on me to churn out art I have little choice, because almost no reference photo is ever perfect - one simply has to chop and change.

For that previous one with the sheep I used a few reference pictures to work out a way to draw stylized sheep, and that was it - everything else I invented. One can tell: my perspective is off by miles. :lol:

These two are entirely from the imagination. If I keep at it with practicing and sketching from life and reference, perhaps I'll get as good as some of our local artists are when it comes to working from imagination (lots of popular painters work almost entirely from imagination).



As I nowadays often do, I did these two as a pair, working on both at the same time. I seem to some extent to be following another procedure of locally popular artists: I paint my childhood. :-)

As for mandalas, here's one I did some time ago:


:evil: :evil: :evil:

12-11-2015, 03:56 PM
You bring up an interesting topic Brian.

I too have felt intimidated about working from imagination but find that working from that spot speaks alot deeper to me and viewers. Perhaps it is sensed as more genuine expression.

June describes her process once to me ....it was really cool. I tried it a few times and was amazed. perhaps she would write it here again.
I like to study animals or other things I like and find this increases the image vocabulary wonderfully.

Fooling around drawing from imagination at first seems unproductive but it almost always brings something encouraging and useful.

You are doing wonderful.......:) Your work lifts me and the space and subject matter is good, wholesome.......love it.

12-11-2015, 10:07 PM
You bring up an interesting topic Brian.

I too have felt intimidated about working from imagination but find that working from that spot speaks alot deeper to me and viewers. Perhaps it is sensed as more genuine expression.

It's also the kind of thing that painting robot they have a thread about in Cafe Guerbois will not be able to do. :-)

June describes her process once to me ....it was really cool. I tried it a few times and was amazed. perhaps she would write it here again.

I'd also be most interested to hear about it.

Fooling around drawing from imagination at first seems unproductive but it almost always brings something encouraging and useful.

Well, I find that there is nothing quite as inspiring as a bit of pressure. :-)

Two more sets; the aloes mostly from imagination, the balloon kids partially from stock photos:



12-14-2015, 11:55 AM
And another pair; 5 x 3.5 inch:



12-15-2015, 03:45 PM
Brian - wonderful work.....are you still teaching in addition to all this art? is it summer there then?

I am studying squirrelsl....going for 30....here is squirrel#10 - snow nut. I did on the coffeehouse wall blackboard today. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Dec-2015/88676-squirrel10-coffee-and-snow.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Dec-2015/88676-squirrel10-coffeenut.gif

12-15-2015, 03:46 PM
I also did the oriental clouds and snow

12-15-2015, 10:11 PM
Brian - wonderful work.....are you still teaching in addition to all this art?

Nope - the private school where I taught restructured and I got laid off. Making a go at art full time now.

is it summer there then?

Very much. But school terms here do not coincide with the seasons anyway. :-)

I am studying squirrelsl....going for 30....here is squirrel#10 - snow nut.

Nice squirrel. I find that such quick studies helps one a lot to learn how to draw particular subjects.

12-17-2015, 06:21 AM
Here's an online art retreat/workshop for women...you may be interested in joining. Journalling and other art events. I signed up and now to await the classes...from now until end of Jan. To give the new year a creative kick-start or boost maybe


12-17-2015, 11:45 PM
Here's an online art retreat/workshop for women...

Yeah, but I am not a women. Would it be worth my while to have a sex change? :D

Hey, I have reached something of a milestone. Somewhere in 2008 I stumbled on the blog of a guy by name of Jeff Mahorney. He was engaged in a project he called "120 paintings." Some or other artist said "you have to make 120 bad paintings before you'll learn to make a good one."

So Jeff decided to make 120 small paintings and see where it goes. He worked quite hard at it, sometimes producing a painting a day for many days on end. And lo and behold, by the time he had reached 120, he was pretty much on professional standard, and another 100 paintings later his work had become breathtaking.

He posted it all on his blog for others to learn from. So I decided to follow his plan. Except I had a life that got in the way, and my drawing wasn't up to standard, and I engaged in stylistic experiments and indulged in self doubt etc. etc. etc. etc.

So by October this year, I had completed the grand total of 50 of my 120 paintings. In seven years, only fifty! And it took Jeff about a year to do all 120.

But then fate intervened: I was retrenched from my job and could suddenly paint full time. Indeed, I had better produce now or starve within a year.

So yesterday, I completed my series of 120: took me about six weeks to accomplish what I couldn't in the previous seven years!

As it turned out, I ended up using different materials and working in a very different style from Jeff Mahorney, and I don't think my progress was quite as spectacular as his, but I found that his principle held for me as well: I made a huge amount of progress, and learned more from simple experience than I ever did from any number of fancy art books.

Here are the final pieces in my series; as usual, I now do them in pairs. I first did a single hyrax to go with another one I did some time ago, and then did two more pairs. All in acrylic on board, and matchbox-sized:




12-18-2015, 11:23 AM
Hi, everyone,

I see everybody is making lots of art, while I have been slogging along doing pretty much nothing. I did manage to make some Christmas cards.


Like your pairing series, Brian. Great idea, and I'm glad you sold some...it helps.

Mandelas! I know I have a book on them somewhere. That would make a good project. June, Robin, Susan, Brian and Maryanna...I am happy to back and seeing what you are all up to.

:heart: :heart: janet

12-18-2015, 01:33 PM
Hi Janet - Love the coming kings.......

I have recieved everyone art exchange gift ( all very beautiful and I'll send my thanks along personaly soon...... and hope to get mine in the mail today but right now am here at wetcanvas.....an loving it/you all.

Brian - Wow, that is awesome.....I have seen some painting -one- aday blogs and drooled over the thought......and hope to get to it soon. I totally agree that doing the work gets you the techniques you desire and the confidence comes thru just working thru all the problems and owning the solutions...and the individual style is one of the perks!!! You COULD change your sex I suppose but you would just end up with a different set of PROBLEMS:lol:

I spent some time las tnight going thru all my old art work to find stuff for the exchange. It was a great time because I could see progress and I felt the spark is bigger now and the drive is still there.

Reading Brian's comments here about how many paintings he did in 7 years compared with the last months is wonderfully encouraging..........

12-19-2015, 05:15 AM
Robin I love that procession of squirrels. Whimsical and adorable.

12-19-2015, 05:18 AM
Janet...a wonderful Christmas card with 3 wise men. The composition is different and lovely! They feel as if coming right at you!!

12-19-2015, 05:19 AM
Brian I like your collection of 'pairs'. I love the animals and people but I think the trees are really striking...the contrast in tone is so effective.

12-19-2015, 05:21 AM
Robin, were you saying I said something about imaginative art and how to get on with making more art from imagination? You know, I really cannot remember what I said!!

12-22-2015, 03:13 PM
Thank you all for those in the exchange...Nickel, June, Janet, Robin !!
What wonderful art work..i treasure each of your alls art...!!!!
And now to put them on my art wall !! tyree:heart:

12-22-2015, 03:15 PM
I have not done too much art since my vacation..a couple of wde's, and that is about it..however, i did do a sketch of Henry my boston terrier..! mech pencil on mixed media !! tyree


12-23-2015, 09:38 AM
Love that Boston terrier. ;-)

I'm working on developing a drawing style that is more or less consistent with my painting style. Will have to see where that leads to...


Pencil on paper; the paper is 5 x 7 inch, with the drawing itself smaller.

12-23-2015, 10:30 AM
very very nice Brian..i like the simplicity of your works !! tyree:wave:

12-23-2015, 11:09 AM
Lovely work...Susan and Brian! Boston terriers are so characterful...there was one called Winston...on a WDE a few years back.

I haven't done much either...I hope to get going again in the New year. Kind of winding down for Christmas and the holidays.

Oh yes, thanks all for sending me the art for the Christmas swap...It was a joy to receive all of the works!! Extra special... as it comes from our circle of classical forum art buddies.

12-23-2015, 04:22 PM
Susan - Henry is a sweetie pie.......Bostons are so fun! Can tell you enjoyed doing it, too.

Got out my collection of card recieved from WetCanvas friends during holidays...and just had to post a FEW for you too enjoy:clap: by our own Janet :heart:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Dec-2015/88676-jh22.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Dec-2015/88676-jhh.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Dec-2015/88676-jh33.gif

12-23-2015, 07:28 PM
beautiful work ...so creative!!! tyree:wave:

12-24-2015, 04:53 AM
Love those Christmas cards. I haven't done handmade cards in ages...

Another small drawing today:


The camera distorted the lines a bit... :-)

12-24-2015, 05:52 AM
the darks really bring it to life ! very nice ! tyree:wave:

12-24-2015, 11:26 AM
Hi everyone, Christmas Eve here, wishing you all a happy Christmas,
and looking forward to the New Year and all the good that comes our way.

Love sharing with you all the past year your wonderful art.
May next year be very bountiful and wondrous to us all. Merry Christmas!


Adoration of the Shepherds
Gerard van Honthorst (Gerrit van Honthorst)
(4 November 1592 – 27 April 1656

12-25-2015, 08:21 AM


12-25-2015, 08:35 AM
Thank you Robin for displaying my Christmas cards. The angel is my favorite because I could use different papers for each one and didn't get bored.

You may not make cards Brian, but the church painting with moon would make a lovely one.

Your dog's name made me smile Susan. Henry, a real pal name.

I'm excited about the junk journal Nickel...never have made one...but if anyone has junk around here it's me.

Be well all and don't eat too much. :heart:

12-25-2015, 08:59 AM
Yes, Merry Christmas dear friends......

I didn't get to make any art yesterday but we did manage to make about 50 tamales for our family gathering tommorrow. Mildhot veggiemeat; Hot veggie meat; cheese and jalepeno; blackbean with squash & veggie sausage. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Dec-2015/88676-tamales.gif

12-25-2015, 12:14 PM
merry merry christmas !


12-27-2015, 11:18 PM
Just for fun: my brother's youngest son with the family's pet pig on Christmas day, her toenails painted pink for the occasion...


According to the the breeder where they got her, she is a teacup pig, that would not grow larger than 12 kg or so. She is now at around 150 kg and counting... :lol:

Lucky thing they have a very large garden... :-)

12-29-2015, 04:00 AM
WOW Brian...that is definitely a large pig!!

12-29-2015, 08:03 AM
Two more small sketches, both with a rural kind of feel to them...



12-29-2015, 10:21 AM
Some pig Brian...but probably comfy as a head rest. Nice Christmas cards, everybody.

Made some broth out of turkey carcass and will throw in a few shreds of meat that are left, adding pasta and veggies for zoop. Don't want to look at any gobblers again for a long time.

Have a Happy New Year :heart:

12-29-2015, 11:56 AM
ooohh ...I like those bright pig toes!
Great job on the drawings Brian,,i like the theme !

12-31-2015, 06:58 PM
Wow, that is a beautiful pig!!! And it looks SO clean. thanks for sharing , Brian. and those are a couple warm sketches........heart felt and outdoorsie feel .........

I hope to do more acrylic painting this year.....and more art in general.....

Happy New Year , ya'll.:)

01-01-2016, 05:52 AM
Happy new year, everybody!!

May 2016 be filled with lots of scrumptious art!!

01-01-2016, 05:53 AM
any suggestions for a January project? I'll be thinking today but off the top how about studying classical paintings with cats, or something?

01-01-2016, 05:55 AM
Hi June, YES! Happy New Year everyone!! May our community prosper each one and the world.