Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Post Till The New Year - Happy Christmas Everyone

Time to wish all my friends and readers a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

This is called Co-ordinating Leaf Bird for obvious reasons.
This is a picture I painted in watercolour when I first started my blog but I have since altered it and changed it to digital colour and I think it has improved it a lot.
This piece is called Contemplating A Sunflower.
A simple, sweet little white cat among flowers.

One of the Victorian monumental angels I enjoy photographing with a tiny touch of Photoshop

The following Christmas decorations (except for the ceramic ladies) are all ones that I made about 20 years ago. I used to have time to make things in those days.

I cannot take credit for these cuties. I found them in a shop a few years ago. They were surprisingly inexpensive. I love the little partridge and the goose. The ladies even have long, gold metallic hair.
These three pictures are of ordinary metal bangles which I have wrapped around with wool (hidden) then very thick, glittery tape and finally various coloured ribbons. The ribbons are wrapped so that the glittery tape is visible in some cases. I then sewed on co-ordinating tiny glass beads and star sequins. They also need a piece of ribbon to hang them up with. The best bangles are the childrens sized ones as they look very dinky. They look lovely suspended from the Christmas tree. The middle picture is of two tiny bangles intersected. You have to hold them in position as you wrap them.

These decorations are simply walnuts which have been opened up and the nuts eaten (very important). The outside is sprayed with gold paint and various items are laid inside one shell. In this case I have used gold beads threaded on wire, strung glass beads, pine cones, ribbons and everlasting flowers, but there are many other things you could use. The trick is to neatly arrange the items whilst at the same time glueing the edges of the walnuts together. The amazing thing is that the dried everlasting flowers have lasted so many years being handled without falling apart. Don't forget to add a little piece of gold thread to hang them from the tree.

These are felt stars filled with fibre and stitched around with very wide, glittery thread and sequins applied with transparent thread. I had great fun making these in different colours.

The following images are the artwork of Welsh artist Dai (David) Harding and his extensive website can be found here.

Time for the last blog post of the year as I won't have time to blog till after the New Year. Christmas is busy enough as it is without extras added. I think I have finally managed to get all my Christmas letters and cards posted and the presents wrapped. What a rush it has been. But it doesn't have to be if only I could arrange my time better. I promise myself every year that this time I will start the preparations earlier and get everything completed before the last week before Christmas, but everytime I am time, or rather, lack of it.

Anyway, enough of that. I thought I would post a few pictures of my "crafty werks" this time. I used to make lots of things once upon a time and I really enjoyed the creative process. These are mostly Christmas decorations which I made for a hospital bazaar many moons ago. If fact they are over 20 years old but they only make a brief appearance at Christmas so that is probably why they are still in good nick.

My artist this week is Dai (or David) Harding. He is a Welsh artist with an amazing talent for different styles of art. You can visit his website here. I don't think I have ever seen a website with so many images on it. A lot of his work is semi-abstract or contemporary. His figurative work has a primal, mythic quality. I particularly like his colourful landscapes. Definitely landscapes of the imagination. I also enjoy the pieces of text he combines with the artwork. He has a collection of very diverse commercial styles as well. A very talented and adaptable artist.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Catriona Millar and Retro Fabric Prints

These four runner ducks have appeared in lots of my artwork. I think they are just so cute. I thought I would give them a really upbeat background this time.
A piece of my imagination which I quite like. I call this one Conversation Piece
A very decorative chap, part bird and part cockerel.
Pen and ink drawing entitled Maura.
I found a lovely library book the other day on 1960s prints. All the fabric designs below are from this book by Marnie Fogg. Quite a lot of psychedelia but some quite restrained designs too. I love retro fabric prints of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Very nostalgic
This is my absolute favourite of the book. I love the hand drawn appearance of the flower motifs and the simple colour palette. I can feel some flower drawings coming This is Odette, by Alexander Henry Fabrics. They must have had some very good designers.
A Marimekko1969 fabric called Paaryna which presumably means pears in Finnish. A lovely simple and graphic design. Gorgeous.
This beatifully graphic fabric by Alexander Henry Fabrics is called Shinjuku and is very inspiring for pen and ink artists. Love the hint of red among the black and white. One of my favourite colour combinations and one I use a lot in my own pen and ink work.
I really like gingham fabrics. They remind me of the summer dresses worn by millions of English schoolgirls. This is another Alexander Henry Fabrics design with a modern twist.
This is an amazing design by Alexander Henry Fabrics. You would have to choose very carefully where you put this and with what.
Love this fan design which is a 60s return to an Art Deco style. Apparently sunrises and open fans were very popular Art Deco motifs. Designed by Natalie Gibson.
This is a 60s abstract fabric, designer unknown.
Peonies and carnations print by Natalie Gibson. You couldn't feel depressed with a design like this around.
This fabric design is Treetops by Heal Fabrics. It is a little reminiscent of the style of fabric used by Zandra Rhodes.
The following images are all the work of Scottish painter Catriona Millar whose website can be found here.

Well, we are nearly there now. Christmas is just a whisper of tinsel away. Yesterday it rained every single minute of the day and it certainly put a damper on Christmas shopping. The crowds were out and about but everyones' spirits seemed to be well and truly dampened by the weather. Now if it had been about 6 degrees colder and the rain had been snow, that would have put an entirely different complexion on things. It would have felt wonderfully Christmas like and would have put a spring in everyones' step. But that didn't happen like that. But if it had....?

I have been beavering away with writing all my Christmas cards and also writing the letters to go with a lot of them. Like most people, I probably only communicate once a year with quite a few people and I feel I owe them more than just a few lines on a card. I know I am making a rod for my own back but I think it is fair that way, and of course, there is always the hope that they will reply with a nice little letter back about their doings throughout the year. The fact that I have most of their email addresses and could keep in touch in seconds is quite another matter. That would be spoiling the enjoyment of the yearly

Plenty of eye candy in this week's blog. I absolutely adore pattern and particularly retro pattern and I have illustrated some of the fabric designs from a library book I discovered. I am sure you will find something you like there.

Anyway, enough of Christmas things. My artist this week is someone who is gaining enormous popularity in the art world. She is Catriona Millar and she works mostly figuratively and in thick oils. Her work has a beautiful texture and I love her use of pattern and colour. There is a lovely naive and narrative quality about her images which I love. Apparently her degree show sold out within hours which is quite amazing but obviously the start of great things to come. I hope you enjoy her works as much as I do. A lot of the images are "borrowed" from galleries where she exhibits such as the Riverside Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery and you can also buy her cards from Art Cards Cornwall. Her own website can found found here.

Definitely someone to keep an eye on in the future.