Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Big Welcome To 2009

Hello Everyone. Nice to be back after the holidays. I hope you all had a lovely time and enjoyed Christmas and the New Year.

Here is my first offering of 2009. I so liked the little angel dog on the woman's shoulder in the picture below that I decided to give them a whole page to themselves.
I received these lovely little fabric collages in the post after winning them on Colette's giveaway. Colette makes wonderful printed and fabric items and collages from her own designs. Lots of lovely birds too. Have a look at her great blog here.

She also has a delightful Etsy shop here which is well worth a peek. Thanks very much for these pretty items Colette. I am very lucky to have won three giveaways now. Unfortunately this image won't click to increase the size. I find that Blogger always does this at least once in every post, but you can see Colette's work more clearly on her various sites.

This is just a quick fun drawing I did on the computer while messing around in PS. I liked the result. Pen and ink and digital colour nearly always produces an interesting result.
I really enjoyed doing this pen and ink and fibre tip pen artwork. I like the cute little dog too. Not any breed I recognise though.

This is Princess Lily. I decided, quite by chance, to use a different colour scheme here, and I must say I quite like it. It is a little like a brown paper collage on blue backing paper, but it isn't. One of my all time favourite films is Ridley Scott's "Legend" with Tim Curry as the evil devil and a very young and crooked toothed Tom Cruise who falls in love with Princess Lily. This picture doesn't resemble Mia Sara at all but it gives the general idea. The film is full of forests of improbably huge trees (where did they get them?) elves, fairies, unicorns and wicked goblins and butterflies and blossom drifting on the air. Delicious escapism.
The pictures below are from this new book about embroidered textiles of the world. It is a huge, beautifully illustrated book with sections devoted to geographical areas such as India, Eastern Europe etc and also cultures, past and present. There are oodles of gorgeous photos and pen and ink drawings of patterns. Very inspiring. You may need to click on the pictures to get a clearer view. Tons of inspiration to be had here. Very glad it came to live with

These are three of my winter tree photos to illustrate stand alone trees, although technically speaking this one below is a two together tree. Just a minor point.

The following images are the work of printmaker and artist Hannah Firmin. Her work is very popular and well known and I have posted a couple of links below where her work can be found or just type in her name in a search engine and you will come up with lots of hits.

Well I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and New Year and has come out the other end unscathed. It has certainly been a cold one in England. We have had lots of frost at night and lovely, sparkly white mornings. I love hoar frosts when all the trees and bushes are covered with white sparkles. Makes lovely photos if you can get up early enough before the frost disperses.

I love the trees at this time of the year. Spring and summer trees are beautiful of course, but skeletal winter trees are so interesting because you can see their form much more clearly. I really enjoy seeing their individual shapes and the way each species' branches grow. I think I prefer to draw winter trees, partly because they are much easier...ha ha.

There are lots of wonderful tree groups on Flickr where you can immerse yourselves in tree photos to your hearts' content. One of my favourites is the "lone tree" group which, as the name implies, illustrates lone trees in the landscape. Wonderful. I have included a few of my winter photos which you might like.

My artist this week is Hannah Firmin. She is a very well-know English illustrator and printmaker who has illustrated many products, magazines, books etc. She is probably best know for her illustrations of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I expect everyone will recognise these artworks from the bookshelves. Her work is colourful, detailed, graphic and dramatic and covers a huge range of subject matter. A selection of her work can be found here and here.

I actually met Hannah at the Art In Action event at Waterperry in Oxfordshire a few years ago, where she was demonstrating printmaking. She is very interesting to watch and listen to as she knows her profession really well and can impart lots of useful titbits of information which is useful to us "less than perfect" linocutters. She made it all look so easy and of course it isn'

Sorry about the quality of some of the scanned images as my scanner is really playing up.


~ Phyllis ~ said...

The Embroidered Textile book is lovely. What a nice book for your collection.
I love the tree pictures. Were the last two taken in England. The land looks really flat. You have so many nice tree pictures.
I'm envious.

Robyn said...

OOOOO loveley!! I have Sheila Paine's, Amulets so am thrilled to see Embroidered Textiles. That's definitely Ben my Bull Terrier on your shoulder. He doesn't often show his wings.Great drawing! I love Hannah Firmin's work!

Caroline said...

Your illustrations are lovely - so fresh looking! I really enjoying reading your blog - there's always so much inspiration there!

Cathy said...

Yes it is really lovely book Phyllis. I am looking forward to reading it in detail. The tree pictures are all England. The ploughed field one is on church land in Hertfordshire and the very sunny one is just a couple of miles away. Lots and lots of lovely trees in this area which suits me fine as they are a passion of mine.

Cathy said...

Yes it is yummy book Robyn and beautifully and lavishly illustrated. I didn't know about her Amulets book. That looks very interesting too. I might have to look into that

I didn't have any idea of a particular species of dog for my picture but I do love the look of bull terriers with their muscular bodies and faces. I am always put in mind of Bill Sykes's dog "Bullseye" in Oliver.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Caroline. I am pleased that my blog may inspire folk. In turn I get lots of inspiration from everyone elses blogs. I am also tempted to join Illustration Friday as well.

old world primitives said...

Hi Cathy,
I did have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year - I hope you did too! It sounds like you are getting more snow than I am this winter. It has been pretty mild and snow-free so far in New Jersey. I must look up the Flickr tree groups that you mentioned, as I have a fascination with them as well! I love your tree photos in this post too. I really enjoyed all of your newest offerings. The angel dogs are my new favorite character of yours. I like their style and stripey legs!


Cathy said...

Thanks Stephanie. I like to have a go at some fun artwork now and Life can be too serious otherwise. There are loads of gorgeous tree photos on Flickr. You could lose yourself in them for hours and hours.