I got my paints out this week and had a dabble with watercolour. This turned out completely differently to how I planned but I like the result. If you have ever wondered what hides beneath tree roots, now you know. It is the "Spirit of Trees". The golden accents are from a wonderful gold leaf pen I bought from the stamping tent at a local craft fair. It cost an arm and a leg but is the best ink resembling gold that I have ever found.
This is a pen and ink drawing called "The Woman Who Planted Trees". I really enjoyed all the detail on this. I may decide to do some more versions with different women and different trees.
This is a closer look. The textured body of the tree is thousands of tiny circles.
This is my second attempt at a linocut. It is the best of quite a few tries. I find the cutting fairly straight forward but the inking up and printing very difficult. I always seem to have too much or too little ink. This is actually carved from one of those soft pink speedball pads which are wonderful to cut through (no cut fingers) but I don't suppose you can get as much detail as with the more rigid lino. Still, I don't think it is too bad for a beginner.
If you like finely detailed and complex images then this one by Georgian artist Nick Japaridze should appeal. His style is incredibly fine and the colours glow like jewels. He has a technique whereby he multi-layers oil paints. He has lots more like this on his website here.
I really like the colours in this contemporary image by Edward Vardanian named "The Eden".
Love this touch of vintage plate design with a folksy feel. This is a Norweigian plate and is from Etsy seller EyeCandi.
Some more delicious spring flowers. These are grape hyacinths.
I popped over to my brother and his partner Lesley's home today to see how the kitties are getting on. There are three of them but they are notoriously difficult to photograph. This is the only picture that came out reasonably. This kitten is cute perfection itself. I love his big feet and spotty belly.
Sheba is a very elegant and superior sort of cat with some awesome claws.
My mind has been turning to linocuts this week. You can see my effort at the top of this post. I had a good old browse on Etsy to see what other people were producing and found some lovely images.
These two images of crows are by artwellspring on Etsy and I absolutely love them. I love black birds anyway but they are so beautifully textured and very simple and graphic. Just what linocuts should be, although these are linocut and woodblock combined. I will just have to keep practising. It is a technique I find very enjoyable but the printing seems to be a bit difficult.
Another nice contemporary linocut over collage image by ciaobirdie on Etsy. I particularly like the palette she has chosen.
If you like black cats you may be tempted by blackcatsonly on Etsy. She has some lovely linocut images of cats and they are reasonably priced too. I love this one especially.
At one time I used to see a lot of Roger la Borde greetings cards around but I haven't seen any for ages until I spotted these two little gems in a local bookshop. If you want to see some more of their designs the website is here.
I found some lovely gift wrap by Caroline Gardner the other day. Her work is so gorgeous. This is Caroline's website here.
The following images are all tapestries and embroideries from some wonderful textile artists.
The following 5 beautiful hand stitched embroideries are by the Finish textile artist Riitta Liisa Haarvisto. These must have taken months to stich by hand but they are so lovely that it was well worth it.
This is Soul Birds by my favourite tapestry weaver Kirsten Glasbrook. You can find Kirsten's site here.
This tapestry called The Norns is by Faroese tapestry weaver Marianna Matras. It depicts the Nordic goddesses of fate who weave the fate of mankind at the foot of Yggdrasil, the world tree. It is a beautiful iconic piece - simple and graphic and is inspired by a painting by William Heinesen. The Norns would make a good subject for a drawing I think.
Beautiful tapestry by Inge Flierl who is a German tapestry weaver. You can see a few more of Inge's tapestries here.
Tapestry by Murray Gibson called Visitation. I love this piece, especially the central motif and the way it fades at the edges. You can find masses of Murray's lovely complex tapestries on his home page here.
Tapestry by Liza Collins. I love her bright, spontaneous, organic pieces.
Easter is with us once more and has brought in some wet and drizzly weather with it. Lovely word, drizzly and exactly describes that irritating, persistent light rain that is "neither nowt nor sumat" as they say up north. Apart from being an important Christian festival, it is also a time for families to do things together and I feel really sorry for all those people who have arranged family days out only to find that the weather is inclement to say the least. Nearly all Easter events take huge amounts of someone's time and effort to arrange and unless they are under cover, they can get ruined at the last minute. Such a shame.