Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Summer Solstice

I am writing this today (Sunday) 21 June despite the date at the top. Just to confuse the issue I start posting on my blog on Fridays usually.

This pen and ink drawing took a long time to do and I am not too sure about it. I think it may be improved by painting the angel's dress, wings, her hair and the star. I will have to think about this one. The background is so strong that the angel's figure gets a bit lost.

Angel Creating Tree

I have come over all patriotic with this one. This is "Red and Blue Hens" and is an ink and watercolour painting which I did a little while ago. I have used these two hens in lots of things I have done in the past.
This is one of the very rare landscapes that I occasionally paint in watercolour. I find landscape painting very difficult and rarely get a result I am happy with. This one isn't too bad but the design is far too symmetrical.

This is a little watercolour sketch in response to the lovely, lush green trees that are around at the moment. Come the hot, dry summer we have been threatened with by the long range forecasters, they will be a lot less fresh looking.

The two images below are lovely etchings by talented printmaker Janis Goodman. She has a studio in Leeds as well as a very interesting website showcasing her etchings here.
I love this deliciously bright and summery image by Serena Hall. It is called "Five Terns On Southwold Beach. You can find lots of work by Serena at her gallery here.

This is one of Poppy Treffrey's well known bags. Poppy is a Cornish textile artist who draws her designs and then transfers them to tea cosies, bags, pictures and lots of other items. Her subjects are often connnected to the coast where she lives and works in Penzance and Newlyn. Her website is here but her work can be found on many sites if you Google her name. A greeting card by Poppy Treffrey printed from one of her textile pictures.

I found these lovely, humorous images on Annlis Kruger's website here. She is a Swedish textile artist and her site is in Swedish. I found a rough translation and I think she creates her artwork by layering lots of thin fabrics, silks and yarns in lots of different shades and colours.

I have always been interested in the art of mosaic making. I have a small collection of books on the subject which I drool over from time to time. This is one of my favourites. Lots of lovely mosaic artists' galleries to browse. I think it is probably quite an expensive hobby though.

The three mosaics below are the work of internationally known mosaicist Sonia King. Sonia has won awards for her lovely work, including the one below here called Nebula Chroma. You can see more images of this mosaic on her website here. Her website is a really comprehensive look at galleries of her work, a large bibilography of mosaic books and lots of links to her fellow mosaicists. Definitely something to browse through with a cup of coffee.

Nebula Chroma
Primeval by Sonia King
Moon River by Sonia King
During the English summer, we have what is called "the cream tea" season.It started about twenty years ago when churches decided to raise money by providing afternoon tea and cakes for their parishoners. The cakes are made by parish volunteers and are of a very high standard. It is a very English thing to do and, judging by the popularity, most people love it. What could be nicer than taking tea and cakes in the countryside on a Sunday summer afternoon. If it happens to be wet you simply sit in the church and take in the architectural highlights and admire the stained glass whilst chatting to your friends. We visit two favourite churches locally and I have taken some photos of one of them below. It is the St. John The Baptist Church at The Lee village. The Lee is a quintessential English village which has been made famous by lots of scenes in the crime drama Midsomer Murders.

One of the approach lanes to The Lee village. Reminds me of the GK Chesterton poem about the "rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.

Part of The Lee churchyard is left untended in order to provide a wild life conservation area. This is something which is done in lots of churchyards today.

This beautifully quiet spot in The Lee Church graveyard is home to the remains of the Liberty family. Arthur Lasenby Liberty was the local Lord of the Manor and the founder of Liberty's of Regent Street which we all know and love.

This tiny fragment of stained glass is from the 1200's and is built into a much larger window. It is in its original place. Isn't it incredible that craftmanship surviving 800 years is still intact today. It is situated in the middle top of the window you can see in the photo below.

The Lee Old Church awaiting the 3pm cake connoisseurs. This is the original Old Church of the village and dates from about 1200 making it over 800 years old. It is made of chalk and is quite tiny inside but very atmospheric. It is still consecrated and services are held on occasion. The new church (Victorian) is situated a couple of hundred feet away.

The industrious and charming lady cakemakers of The Lee village. The faded paintings on the walls were discovered in 1965. (I did ask their permission to photograph them for my blog.) If you enlarge these two photos you will see with what delights they tempted the tired walker, exhausted cyclist or the would be professional cake eater.

The artwork below is all produced by artist and printmaker Holly Meade. Holly lives and works at her home studio in Maine, USA. She produces her beautiful images by woodblock and linocut and sometimes a combination of the two. She is also a well known childrens' book illustrator. If you go to Amazon and search for her name you will get a list of the books she has illustrated. On The Farm below is my favourite illustration. Never could resist a cockerel. My others are definitely those gorgeous angels. Her illustrations are full of energy and movement and she has a large repertoire of subject matter.

She has a wonderful website full of images like these at Reach Road Gallery which is both the name of her website and her B&M gallery. It is definitely worth a look, especially for that delightful fox image on the home page. The website is one of the easiest, simplest and most comprehensive layouts I have seen. Go and enjoy.....!

On The Farm woodblock illustration for book illustrated by Holly Meade.

Joy This Way And That Way

Woman Pretending To Be A Mermaid

Angel Of Hope Flying By
Crow In Snow
I Am My Beloved's And My Beloved Is Mine

We celebrated the Summer Solstice today with a lovely (exhausting) walk in the countryside around Bledlow in Bucks. (I will post some of the photos next week. ) The weather has been warm but breezy and everywhere is beautiful, shining green. Today is the first day of Summer and the wind is set fair for the next couple of months. I am hoping it is not toooo hot as I am a cool and misty person myself....!


~ Phyllis ~ said...

Hi Cathy,
Glad you are back from your blog break. I'm like you I take 2-3 days to do a blog post.
I love your patriotic chickens. So colorful.
Your landscape is beautiful. You are a very talented artist. I love the bridge over the water.
I'm so glad that you posted the church pictures. I love to look at your church pictues. Wish that I could be there for the tea and cakes. It sounds like such a lovely event.
Have a good week.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lot of lovely things in this post, but i think my favourite are the hens, what smart and eyecatching creatures they are!

Cathy said...

Hi Phyllis. Thank you for your lovely comments on my artwork. I am very fond of those chickens too. I may do another and give them a different background...I think they deserve it...ha ha. It would be lovely if you could join me for tea and cakes at that church. It is such a lovely place and so full of history.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Crafty Green Poet (love your name btw. I think everyone loves chickens. I know I do - they are such amazing creatures and endlessly fascinating. Wish I had some in the

Old World Primitives said...

Hi Cathy,
I really love the design and bold colors of "Red and Blue Hens!" I just adore Annlis Kruger's work too - what a great find! I have already clicked through to check out her gallery and like all that I see very much.


ArtPropelled said...

Holly Meade's work is fantastic. Love the angels.
...and your angel! She's enchanting. The white of her dress and the dark of her hair makes her stand out from the background. I don't think she's lost at all but what ever you do is going to be great. Love the star spangled hair!

Cathy said...

She is great isn't she Stephanie. Pity we cannot understand what she is saying about her work but at least we can look at it.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Robyn. You are probably the same as me; stand back after finishing something and think...I should have done that and not done this etc etc. Too late though...ha ha.

mycuriousteaparty said...

What an amazing site so so inspirational I love it to bits, many thanks

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Julie. Glad you like the posts. They take a lot of work but I so enjoy seeing other artists and craftspeoples' work and love to share it around.