Inspired by dinosaurs

Hello friends

I hope you are keeping well and happy. I didn’t realise I’d been away so long again, I am struggling to get back into regular blogging. Also very little time for making art, which is a shame because the more I make art the easier it becomes and when I don’t do it I find it difficult to get back into my flow. But sometimes there are more important things to do in life and that’s OK.

So I thought I would share the image above with you, it’s a project I finished over a year ago. The picture is about A3 size and I made it as a house warming present for some young friends who had just bought their first home.

The project started when I bought a children’s book about dinosaurs:

It’s a lovely book with great illustrations and and a wonderful colour pallette.

First I created a background.

Then I added a collage border and focal point using bits cut out from the dinosaur book.

Next I added shading using Inktense water colour pencils.

Then outlined everything with black ink.

Using paint pens I altered all the collaged elements. Although I use elements cut from books I use them as inspiration but I always want to make them my own with my own mark making.

Finally I added the beautiful Apache Blessing and some swirly bits and put it in a frame. I hope they like it, they said they did, but people are very polite and to be honest I wasn’t entirely sure about it. I do love the colours of this piece though and and the Apache blessing. “Walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life”.

It’s summer and the weather is hot, I LOVE it! The garden is thriving, it takes a lot of watering which is time consuming but worth the effort. Whenever I can I use water from the water butts and when they are emtpy the plants get a splash of tap water, just enough to keep them going until the next rain.

Our cats are as gorgeous as ever and I am happy to have them in my life.

Jack in his castle, it’s an ornate tomb in the cemetery, but he’s claimed it as his own.
Bill just wants his tummy tickled 🙂

I am TRYING to blog more regularly, but at the moment failing spectacularly, I’ll try harder!

I am trying to stay off politics because the situation in the UK (and the world) is driving me crazy. It really does feel like the lunatics have taken over the asylum. I could easily slip into full raging rant mode, but I won’t.

I’ll be back when I can and in the meantime take good care of yourselves.

Big love

AJ xxx

Happiness and Troublesome Cats

Happiness...Hello friends!

Since I posted on Wednesday about being so busy and not having enough time to fulfil the obligations of winning blog awards I have decided that from now on this blog will be ‘Award Free’.  I am so grateful to Tess for the nomination last week, but I just know I am not going to complete my side of the deal and I feel bad about that.  So in order to prevent this happening again I’ve put an ‘Award Free’ button on my home page, before any else thinks of nominating me for another award.  Of course that may never actually happen, so this is just in case…

If I was going to nominate other blogs for any awards it would be those listed in the side bar of my home page and I recommend that you take a little time to visit those blogs and see the amazing art work produced.  Especially that produced by Teesha Moore and her lovely husband Tracy.

OK so that’s out of the way now and hopefully I won’t have to worry about it again 🙂

Cats are strange creatures aren’t they?  We have two cats, brothers, Jack and Bill.  They don’t like each other much and they are very different characters.  Their favourite food is cucumber and green beans!  They are both really sweet in their own way and they both ‘talk’ a lot.  Jack Kat is more T’s cat than mine, he is very smart and always seems to be a tad tetchy (probably because he has to share the house with Bill).  Billy Kat seems to be ‘my boy’, he’s a bit of a dope to be honest and when he is inside the house he is sweetness personified and usually sleeps on the bed with me.  Outside he is a mean, lean and deadly hunter and is very territorial.  The other day he trotted back home with a large rat in his mouth.  Fortunately it was dead and T was around to deal with it, I’m a bit squeamish about things like that.

On Saturday morning I decided not to get up early for a change.  T  let ‘the boys’ out at about 5am and then came back to bed.  I was woken at 7am by the sound of screeching and caterwauling coming from outside.  I recognised immediately is was ‘my boy’ so I got up and rushed downstairs and out on the decking and called “Billy, Billy, Billy”.  He soon trotted through the hedge into the garden, but would not come to me, he just sat underneath the decking looking ‘sheepish’ (if that’s possible for a cat).

About an hour later I found him sitting outside the back door on the step and when I let him in he was hobbling and holding his left front paw up in the air.  Apart from that he didn’t seem too distressed so I waited until T got up a while later and then I held Bill while T examined his foot – nothing was broken and all his claws were still there.  A few weeks ago Bill came home with a sore and swollen paw and we had to take him to the vets.  That time he had ripped a claw out and the vet gave him antibiotics and some pain killer/anti-inflammatory medicine – it cost a fortune!  As there seemed to be no obvious injury this time we decided to give him some of the pain killer (fortunately we had some left over), keep him in and under observation with the idea of taking him to vets tomorrow if necessary.  I don’t know what is in that medicine but he was ‘stoned’, pain free and more sleepy than usual all day yesterday.  Today he looks like he has a slight hangover but he’s not limping any more and his foot hasn’t swollen.

While he was recuperating yesterday Jack Kat came in from the garden, went up and had a close look at Bill to make sure he was OK and then smacked him on the side of his head as if to say “That’s for being so stupid!”.

I am sure you are not the least bit interested in the antics of ‘my boys’, so I apologise for that..  but here they are anyway 🙂

Bengal Boys 1

                    Bill                               “The Bengal Boys”                                 Jack

The page above is the back cover of Journal No 4 inspired by Teesha Moore.  I am trying really hard to live each moment with love, grace and gratitude, but I think I have a lot more practising to do before I really get there,  still at least I’m trying 🙂

Have a great week everyone.

Big love

AJ 🙂


© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mothers Day and Intuitive Cats

Mothers Day

Hello friends

I Hope everyone is well.

Mothers Day – It’s Mothers Day in the UK (I’m not sure if it is in other parts of the world).  My mum was 80 a few weeks ago and I wanted to do something special for her for Mothers Day.  I realised recently that I make things for lots of other people, but I’ve never made anything for Mum, so this week I converted a box, which originally contained chocolates, into a sort of Mothers Day card which I gave her today.  In the middle are two photos of Mum and me when we were both much younger.  I was lucky then to have such a loving Mum and I’m still lucky now.

Intuitive Cats – Usually my two cats get me up at about 5:30am because they want to go out, in fact they are desperate to go out.  I don’t mind because I like getting up early, it gives me time to do some art or local history group work before I set off for my day job.  But sometimes at weekends I could do with a break, that doesn’t usually happen.

Today I wasn’t woken up – no-one scratched at the base of the bed, ran over my head or whined in my ear to tell me it was time to get up.  When I realised this in my half awake state I thought that Tony must have let them out while I was still asleep.  So I had a peaceful lay in bed this morning and when I eventually decided to get up at 8am (very late for me)  I was surprised to see that both cats were still on the bed:  Jack Kat was on the pillow next to Tony’s head just gazing at his sleeping face, and Bill Kat was stretched out full length alongside him.  Yesterday Tony was unwell – he had a change of medication recently and the change has proved difficult to adjust to – I think the cats knew, I think they were watching over him making sure he was OK.  Fortunately he has been a lot better today.

That’s all for now, I’ll be back soon

Big love

AJ 🙂