Marble Painting for Beginners

Thanks to a friend I happened on Studio 42 in Hamburg and took their class on marble painting. Result: it’s addictive! While doing it does require some space and covering up to avoid a mess, the whole process is exciting and even a little addictive. Obviously there are various levels to the technique and the creations that full-time marble painting artists come up with are mind-blowing. But those of us just starting out or looking for some artsy, creative enjoyment can proceed with full assurance of producing a unique, (mostly) abstract print full of colours playing off each other.

Read below to see one example of how you can do your own bit of marble painting.

What you need:

Rectangular shallow basin or tray – size depends on the paper size you’ll be using for your painting

Bigger basin

Glass sheet

Drying rack

Drawing paper

Old newspapers

Acrylic paints

Paintbrushes

Toothpics

Water

Bowl

Thin sponge

Thin rubber gloves from a pharmacy

Aluminium sulfate

Ox gall

Step by step:

  1. Fill your tray or basin with water, but not all the way to the brim, leaving an inch or two.
  2. Add the ox gall to the water (if you Google this, you might find that opinions differ on how much to add and whether to add any to the tray at all – take your pick!)
  3. Put on the rubber gloves.
  4. Mix your colours in small jars or containers using the acrylic paints and add bottled water so that it will be possible to shake/ spray the paint on the surface of the water later on.
  5. Mark one side of your sheet of paper with an X.
  6. Dissolve the aluminium sulfate in a bowl of water (ditto on the amounts in terms of different opinions), soak the sponge in it and wet both sides of the paper with wide, even strokes.
  7. Set paper aside to dry.
  8. Dip the brush in the prepared colour you want to start with. Hold the brush in one hand, positioned above the surface of the water, and gently, but firmly tap it against the index and middle finger of your other hand. Ideally, paint splotches will fly off the brush and settle on the water’s surface. Repeat this with several colours. Use a toothpic to create patterns.
  9. Turn the sheet of paper with the side marked X facing up towards you, take the bottom corner on one side and the upper corner on the other, and lower the sheet, placing it on the surface of the water.
  10. After a few seconds, pick up the sheet by both upper corners, and transer it to the board or sheet of glass in the larger basin. Douse with water to get rid of excess paint, then carefully transfer to drying rack. Use wide strips of old newspaper to skim the surface of the water in the tray before the next session.

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All photos by @juniperlu

Siren

Well, this is certainly attention-grabbing. While mermaids have long since been part of popular culture across the world and enjoyed regular depiction in various interpretations in literature, TV and film, it looks like the momentum is gaining with the upcoming 2018 addition of a new TV show. But unlike the bright colours and sunny summery vibe of the popular Australian teen show H2O: Just Add Water, Siren aims at dark, mysterious and even scary.

The setting for the show is a fishing town, Bristol Cove, with some dark history as far as mermaids are concerned. We can expect a case of the past not staying hidden, however long ago that past took place, and erupting in all sorts of hair-raising ways. Mysterious new arrival in the form of an unusual-looking young woman, a town rooted in murder and all that thrashing in the water we see in the trailer – it’s not mythical, it’s real! “What would it take for you to believe me?”

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Becomes You by Mary Higgins Clark

“This is my child! I didn’t give birth to her, of course, but that’s totally unimportant.”

That’s one of the passages that stayed with me ever since I read Moonlight Becomes You by the great Mary Higgins Clark for the first time, a book that went on to become one of my favourite works of fiction.

Maggie Holloway, a successful photographer from New York City, goes with a date to his family reunion party. While the date quickly leaves her to her own devices after arriving, entirely by chance, Maggie runs in to her former stepmother, Nuala Moore. The closeness the two women had shared in the past, some twenty years ago, when Nuala was married to Maggie’s now deceased father, is immediately rekindled as Nuala recognizes “her child”, and the two piece together the circumstances that lead to them falling out of touch. The themes of family, always present in Clark’s novels, as well as family ties forming outside of blood connections, are opened as Nuala embraces Maggie and the two look forward to once again being a part of each other’s lives.

Sadly, the mutual happiness of the two women is cut short. Shortly after meeting, Nuala is murdered.

In pure genre tradition and with Clark’s unmatched skill for threading suspense like beads on a wire that becomes more taut with each page-turn, Maggie makes the decision to follow the trail of troubling questions filling her mind and becomes embroiled in the search for Nuala’s murderer.

The terrifying opening of the novel, almost suffocating in its depiction, grips readers, and grips them hard, not letting go. A classic, tested tactic, yet despite being a first-class whodunit, as all of Clark’s novels are, there is so much more to this book than just the finely executed components of a classy suspense thriller.

Maggie is a creative, sensitive, resourceful and independent heroine, whose own personal history unfolds throughout the book, giving the reader insight in to the reasons for her decisions, desires and actions with Clark’s trademark empathy and non-preaching descriptions. Anyone who has experienced the joy of being creative, the irresistible pull of molding the ideas in your head in to something tangible, will relate to Maggie’s literal molding of clay as she tries to make sense of the weight on her mind and in her heart.

Then there’s Neil Stephens, one of the love interests. Despite being successful, independent, well-raised and having a wonderful relationship with his parents, Neil apparently has some romantic involvement issues. These issues influence not only his treatment of women, but also, ultimately, their treatment of him, something he runs up against with Maggie. While Neil is never disrespectful, rude or uncaring towards his dates, Clark once again manages to examine an ever-present societal development. While Neil’s parents are proud of him, and their happiness when they see their son leaps off the page, they don’t pull any punches. Clark lends voice to Neil’s sympathetic mother, who hits the nail on the head in a conversation which is not necessarily entirely about marriage, but in the context of the first-time romantic brooding Neil is going through, she couldn’t have put it better.

“You know, Neil, a lot of the smart, successful young men of your generation who didn’t marry in their twenties decided they could play the field indefinitely. And some of them will – they really don’t want to get involved. But some of them also never seem to know when to grow up.”

Add the clearly meticulous research of a chilling historical topic and the lovely seaside city of Newport, Rhode Island, and you’ve got yourself a book I was (re-)reading slower on purpose. Moonlight Becomes You is another memorable masterpiece I will be coming back to again and again.

What to Wear #36: Denim Diva

Even if only in my mind. For what would a week be without denim?

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The leggings and dress combo, or leggings and pretty much everything combo, has been praised by me often enough, and today is no exception. A relaxed, but still put-together outfit for the last working day of the week, as well as prepared for the 15-minute changes between rain and shine we’re currently experiencing over here.

This post is really short, but I figured I would make the length proportionate to the amount of time it took me to get the outfit assembled. *Ever so slightly smug.*

What to Wear #35: Spring Green and Pastels

“He can call me a flower if he wants to…I don’t mind.” Some quotes just stick with you forever. Say ‘flower’ to me, and there’s a 90 percent guarantee that I’ll say the former and also imitate this little…well, I can call him a flower, he won’t mind.

Wednesday the long day is behind me, today is more relaxing, with some drinks after work. If the weather gods favour us, we will sit outside, and if not, it’s still safe to wear this. My lipgloss tube is almost empty, as this is one of my favourite shades.

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What to Wear #34: These Sneakers Were Made for Walking

Not, not over someone, thankfully.

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I have a long day ahead of me and the prospect is making me shudder slightly, but what are situations like these if not an occasion to whip out some comfortable (and fun) shoes?! Having a good footing, literally or physically, not just metaphorically or mentally, is crucial to how I get around my city, my work, my travels and my life. I remember wearing proper sneakers during one of my favourite long walks once, instead of the sturdy, but thinner low sneakers I usually put on, and it made a noticeable difference to my feelings of comfot and how long I could stroll around for. Obvious and well-known facts, but even these we sometimes have to discover for ourselves.

I was recently told by another woman that I was brave, because she never would have trusted herself to wear such shoes. I was left feeling flattered and wondering whether she secretly wanted to.

Pop (explosion?) of colour on the bottom, reserved tones on top, and like I said, it’s going to be a long day, so bless the jeggings. The top is from my mother – we share a liking for versatile basics.

Yeaahhhh…

 

Lost Girls by Lindsey Stirling

Lost Girls is the first track on Lindsey Stirling’s latest album Brave Enough. It opens with tentative, probing notes that make one think of slow drops of melting ice or ripples on the surface of a quiet lake. And then, like most of the tracks on the album, it surprises you with the change of pace as you become absorbed in the story Lindsey is telling.

The story is of coming back from fear and loss. But not just that. Lindsey explains it herself in more detail, saying that the focus of the song and the video’s visualization is on what happens after recovery, the courage it takes to stay on the hard-won path. Lost Girls brilliantly picks up where Shatter Me from Lindsey’s sophmore album Beyond the Veil left off. It’s thrilling to see that the story can be further pursued, and thankfully in this case the sequel concept works flawlessly, building up on the solid base of the prequel and at the same time yet again drawing the viewer in to an immersive new world – trademark Stirling.

Fans will recognize some of the dancers from her recent tours, though they are transformed so convincingly thanks to costumes and make-up, that the creatures they are playing seem almost real, as well as terrifying. At the center of it all is, of course, Lindsey’s wide-eyed, but no longer helpless ballerina, lost and found again.