Birthdays And Such

Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



As a child, I was encouraged to read and spread my creative wings.  I always got books and art supplies as birthday presents.  My husband keeps the tradition alive.

Before he left for work on the morning of my birthday, he gave me one paint tube, a brush and paper.  I couldn’t wait to try them out, so I started drawing in my sketchbook.



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



I liked the first drawing fine, but to leave something well enough alone is not for me.  I traced the drawing onto another page and joined some of the lines together.  I circled one area where I did that on the pictures so you can see the difference.



Winsor & Newton Ink | Whims And Fancies



After numerous attempts at trying out new paint directly on a painting and ruining it, I have learned my lesson.  I tried two black inks on a scrap piece of paper first.  I decided to use the Winsor & Newton inks in my painting.



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



The paint he gave me that morning was dioxazine violet.  Instead of painting a cliche red phoenix, I decided to push the energy level to ultraviolet and paint a purple phoenix. 

I painted the background first.  For a richer and darker background, I used inks instead of watercolour.  The Winsor & Newton blue and black inks blended into each other beautifully to give me a rich midnight sky.  I didn’t want the sky to be evenly painted, so I blended the inks directly on the painting instead of blending them on a palette first.  Since the blending needed to be done before the inks fully dried, I did this in small sections.

I excitedly showed the painting to my husband when he got home that evening. 



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



He gave me the rest of my presents then.  This was part of my birthday stash from early January.  These brands are all new to me.  

The professional quality Winsor & Newton he got for me included some of my favourite colours.   The paint exceeded my expectations.  It stayed where I dropped it, while also glazing and layering beautifully. 

This was my first time painting on Arches paper.  It felt like the paper anticipated my every brush stoke.  It was like working with an old friend who knows your idiosyncrasies ever so well. 


Whims And Fancies


All that excitement pushed me forward to create the new logo that had been percolating in my head for quite a few months now.  I wanted the new logo to be representative of my love of images.   While tweaking the logo over a few days, the byline appeared in my head and stuck. 




Heather In The Yorkshire Moor Painting | Whims And Fancies



Alongside, I have also been working on professional printing.  For a while, my room had at least 15 prints drying overnight, all done with different settings.  I was having such a marvelous time that I had to drag myself out of my atelier at times.



Haybales In Aberdeenshire | Whims And Fancies



A couple of weeks after mine was my husband’s birthday.   He has always been so supportive that I wanted to frame prints of a couple of my paintings for his office.

These scenes are special since they are from two of our favourite places in England and Scotland – Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire



Knitting Hat | Whims And Fancies



I also made him a fleece blanket and I am working on a warm woollen hat.  I will write more about them another time.



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



I can’t wait to make prints of this watercolour painting.  I got a different kind of paper specifically for printing watercolour images.

Have you been working on anything new?


Thank you so much for your lovely comments on The Magician’s Bookshelf.  You can still link up your posts here on Wandering Camera.




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45 thoughts on “Birthdays And Such

  • Susan Mann February 14, 2019 at 08:31

    Happy birthday. Oh I love the phoenix design, it’s gorgeous. It looks like you have been doing some wonderful art. The sky I love x

  • Janet February 14, 2019 at 06:57

    I love the way you used the ink instead of watercolor. . .Great paintings for his office. Love the blanket too. Blessings, Janet

  • ria February 13, 2019 at 06:04

    I believe you must have had an amazing birthday. Your artwork is amazing. can’t wait to see more of your wonderful creations.
    My husband knows to get me art supplies for my birthday too :)
    Stopping by from Through my Lens

  • Tammie February 12, 2019 at 10:48

    Sweet that your husband continues the artful gifts for your birthday!
    Things he knows you will use and inspire happiness in you.

    All your art is beautiful. Those prints are entirely striking.

    wishing you so much fun with your new tresures.

  • Kokopelli Design February 12, 2019 at 04:29

    Happy belated Birthday! I LOVE the two prints. Such beautiful sceneries! Can’t wait for the hat to be finished. Thanks for the kind comments on my blog. Appreciated! :)

  • Kate February 12, 2019 at 04:02

    Happy belated birthday! Love how you made use of your new gifts. Gorgeous, gorgeous paintings and prints.

  • Angie February 11, 2019 at 19:17

    And belated happy birthday!

  • Angie February 11, 2019 at 19:16

    Soma – once again, you have startled and amazed me with your artistry. And you have so much on the go. I think your new logo suits you well … I have just finished a shawl that has been a project for over 6 months – it just kept getting lower priority. My next big project (a secret) is to make a Shutterfly book about our home building process, and give it to my husband on the anniversary of moving into the house.

  • Bonnie in Va February 11, 2019 at 18:51

    Oh WOW. I love your phoenix. I can also see him in fabric. Your blog is so very interesting to read. And all the lovely artwork you share is a treat. Have fun with your new tools of your trade. I’m looking forward to see what you do next.

  • Tanza Erlambang February 11, 2019 at 16:47

    beautiful images.
    have a great day

  • Vivian February 11, 2019 at 16:37

    A belated happy birthday to a talented artist! I agree with Ness, that Phoenix would translate beautifully into a quilt, maybe reverse applique, mola style. It’s good that your husband supports you in continuing to stir all of your creative juices.

  • nessjibberjabberuk February 11, 2019 at 08:00

    I can see your phoenix transferred onto a quilt design. My best friend’s house is backed by farmland on two side and your painting reminds me of standing in her garden last year watching the harvest being gathered.

  • betty - NZ February 10, 2019 at 22:56

    Happy birthday! Hubby sounds like a keeper!

    1. betty - NZ February 13, 2019 at 17:10

      Thanks for linking to My Corner of the World!

  • A ShutterBug Explores February 10, 2019 at 14:40

    Belated Birthday to you and what awesome creations you have done ~ love them all ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One February 10, 2019 at 11:25

    Wow, you are really talented #SundaySnap

  • Junieper/Jesh StG February 10, 2019 at 10:29

    That’s why we didn’t hear from you for a while – you were in the painting “zone” creating! Don’t you love Arches – it’s my very favorite watercolor paper. Am glad you had a great birthday! That’s a very interesting design you are knitting … what pattern is it? Many thanks for sharing all these creations with All Seasons!

  • Carol February 10, 2019 at 10:08

    You two know each other so well and so complementary. Beautiful paintings.

  • Sue February 9, 2019 at 15:25

    You’ve a lovely supportive hubby as you are to him – always beaut to read about :D)
    Love that ink work – purple phoenix is wow.
    Beautiful scenery.
    I haven’t joined in PPF this past week but popped in to see your art xx

  • Sandra Walker February 9, 2019 at 14:11

    What a thoughtful caring husband! I just love your purple phoenix and the way you painted it; you’ve captured the glints of light very well! Love that rich purple. Happy birthday!

  • Shasta Matova February 9, 2019 at 13:37

    All your paintings are so beautiful. You are quite talented! Happy belated birthday!

  • Tracey February 8, 2019 at 13:14

    Beautiful works of art. Happy belated Birthday. How lovely of your Husband to follow on your childhood tradition and a wonderful way to spend your special day. You will have so much fun with your new art supplies. Happy PPF Tracey

  • Linda Calverley February 8, 2019 at 12:22

    Lovely rich colours

  • Sarah Leonard February 8, 2019 at 11:10

    Happy Birthday and happy new art supplies! I love your violet phoenix! Happy PPF from Number 26 :D

  • Jennifer A. Jilks February 8, 2019 at 09:55

    Oh, yes. My brain is frozen. Happy birthday!
    And the logo is great.

  • Susan February 8, 2019 at 09:54

    I think sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have the art supplies we have. Your post was a good reminder. And your artwork is gorgeous. I love the vibrancy of the color. Happy PPF

  • Jennifer A. Jilks February 8, 2019 at 09:54

    This is very interesting. I loved the process.

  • Susan February 8, 2019 at 09:51

    I think some times we take for granted how lucky we are to have the art supplies we have. Your post is a nice reminder. Happy Birthdays! Your paintings are beautiful in their vibrant color. Happy PPF

  • Susan Art February 8, 2019 at 09:38

    Happy Birthdays! Your artwork is just stunning. Your husband was spot on with his gifts for you! Happy PPF

  • Linda Kunsman February 8, 2019 at 07:53

    happy birthday to both you and your husband!Lovely gifts from the heart to each other. Your Phoenix is stunning!!That sky is awesome looking. Although I am not a fan of the color purple the dioxazine violet is quite nice and I have it in acrylic form. Your new logo looks great too! Happy PPF!

  • Beth February 8, 2019 at 07:43

    Happy Birthday. Your husband is a wonderful fellow. My guy was like that, too. Your artwork is exquisite. I loved seeing the progression of this piece. Your colors are so vibrant and alive.

  • Christine February 8, 2019 at 06:06

    Lovely work with quality paints! Happy Birthday, you have a thoughtful husband!

  • Tarang February 8, 2019 at 00:32

    Beautiful paintings! So vibrant. And what a lovely thought this —‘It was like working with an old friend who knows your idiosyncrasies ever so well.’ :)

    I haven’t tried Arches paper yet. I am a beginner and find it a little expensive for my level. I use Brustro, Canson, Coneco {super rough and I love it for certain kinds of paintings} and khadi papers. :)

  • Kaja February 7, 2019 at 23:29

    A belated happy birthday to you both! I like those pictures you have been printing a lot – the quality of the print looks really excellent. And the new logo is perfect.

  • Mascha February 7, 2019 at 22:17

    Such a lot of beautiful creative things… How good to have a family that respects and supports creativity (I never had – ).
    The Arches paper is awesome, isn’t it? I have it too, save it like a treasure since a lot of years (and should finally use it!)
    Enjoy your weekend :)

  • Lady Fi February 7, 2019 at 21:49

    Sounds like you had a great birthday! Your paintings are amazing.

  • diane February 7, 2019 at 20:18

    Wow what talent, love the vivid colors and stunning designs.

    Hugs Diane

  • Kay Welch February 7, 2019 at 17:39

    Happy Birthday to you both, albeit a bit late. It’s so wonderful to have a partner that encourages and supports our creativity. Your Purple Phoenix is dramatic and beautiful. Your art style is so pleasing to view – great colors. And I really like your new logo – spot on.

  • Dixie February 7, 2019 at 15:54

    Glorious colours, Soma. Great idea to use the ink for the sky. W&N products are so vibrant.
    So pleased to hear that you’ve been making prints. I can’t tell if they are prints or the real thing. Wonderfully bright and beautiful!
    Again Happy Belated Birthday to you, and also to your lovely husband. I love the hat so far. It looks so warm.
    Great new logo…my you have been very productive; your by line is so apt.

  • Mary February 7, 2019 at 15:37

    I noticed your new logo right away. It is perfect for you. Your new painting is just beautiful – the design, the colors, the detail – all incredible. The blending produced such depth.

    Happy birthday to both of you. Your gifts for him were wonderful. I’m sure he loved them – especially your framed pieces.

  • Marilyn February 7, 2019 at 15:26

    You are so talented. The picture is lovely. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND. Have a year of happiness and blessings.

  • Sue Palmer February 7, 2019 at 14:33

    Happy birthday to you both. What a wonderful present you got from you husband!! Love the phoenix, the colours you have used are wonderful. The paintings you are framing for your hubby are stunning too.

  • Kim Sharman February 7, 2019 at 12:03

    January birthdays are the best aren’t they. =) Happy Birthday to the both of you, Soma. Your dioxazine violet Phoenix looks magic against that incredible night sky. Such a shame that you have to come out of that atalier of yours, as you do create sublime works of art there. Your husband’s gifted paintings are beautiful, I especially love the Yorkshire beauty. Love the yarn in your woolly hat.

  • Susan February 7, 2019 at 11:00

    Happy belated birthday to both of you. I like the sky background for your Phoenix painting. I wish I could find fabric like that. I always enjoy seeing what you make, be it sewing, photography, painting, etc.

  • Janine @ Rainbow Hare February 7, 2019 at 05:41

    Belated Happy Birthday! to you and your husband, Soma :) I can see you’ve been having a wonderful time in your atelier. I love your phoenix picture, especially the ink sky. I was very interested to hear how the colour merging was done to get such a beautiful effect. I will look out for more of your knitting :)

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