Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Flowers and Chickens

I popped this one back into PS this morning and changed the pinky coral tree to a white one. I think it balances the image more and the chicken's comb doesn't get mixed up with the tree anymore but stands out. A definite improvement I think. The sharp eyed amongst one may remember these chickens with a different background and different colours. I felt I could improve on it and I think this does. I am pleased with it anyway.

I enjoyed drawing this pen and ink kitty. His face reminds me of Felix in the Purina cat food adverts.

Found this beautiful angel etching on Eleanor Healy-Wills website here. She has some lovely etchings displayed.

I was tagged the other day by blogging friend Lesley of Sea-Blue-Sky & Abstracts to give a list of 6 silly things I like.

1) Walking through quiet woods and touching the trees as I go past.

2) Picking up beautifully shaped leaves from our local town where they have some wonderful trees in the high street. I press them and use them for drawing.

3) Sitting out in the back garden at midnight just to take in the peace and quiet.

4)Watching the night sky for meteors or satellites.

5) Scaring myself silly watching ghost films on TV late at night.

6) Re-reading my old copies of Fungus The Bogeyman and When The Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs.

I am really into retro colours and designs. I love this retro ceramic found on Etsy user PardonMyVintage's site here.

Lots of lovely flowers around this summer but the weather has been down in the dumps. It is quite funny really because in spring we were told with great glee by the media that the long range weather report was forecasting a "barbecue summer" with very high temps. We did have about a week of very hot weather and since then it has rained and been quite cool. A typical summer really. The weather office are now back tracking and stating that they said there was a 65% chance of a hot summer. Don't you wish sometimes they would not try to predict the weather weeks ahead? They admit that they can only accurately predict it a week ahead anyway. A number of people decided not to go abroad for their holidays this year because they thought the English summer would be exceptional. Having said that we have now been told that the next week will be getting warmer again. We shall see.

These are some hedgerow dogroses from a while ago. Common flowers but they are so pretty.

I photographed these in a garden centre a couple of years ago. Gorgeous blues.

It is only early August but a lot of the crops have been harvested and I think there is a tiny hint of approaching autum. I suppose it makes sense really considering that all the seasons seem to be a month ahead. I spotted some fully ripe blackberries in a hedge recently. Surely they are far too early.

I happened to find myself in a local town the other day with one of the Oxfam shops entirely dedicated to secondhand books. What a little paradise. I was in there far too long but I found this little gem. I have mentioned before how much I love the Lark Series books. I have quite a few now but this is one I didn't think would appeal. Once I looked inside though I was amazed and fascinated by the types and styles of work by contemporary basket makers. Some of them are so incredibly imaginative that you wouldn't even think to call them baskets. The most amazing thing of all was that the book was only £3. Such a bargain couldn't be ignored. Here are three fascinating and beautiful examples of contemporary basket art I found inside.

Amy Lipshie-Amphora. This beautiful artwork is created from cereal boxes.

Barbara Walker-Les Petales. This is woven from bleached and unbleached linen cords made by the artist. This is a beautifully designed piece.

Jo Stealey-Fruits of My Labour-Fertility. This lovely artwork is created from waxed linen, reed, handmade paper and silkworm cocoon. Jo's website is here.

A few years ago I came across printmaker Roger Harris (at Art In Action but I will say it quietly as everyone is probably tired of it now...ha ha) I was very impressed by his beautiful mezzotints. Mezzotints are etchings where the metal plate is prepared beforehand by use of a tool called a rocker. The rocker has tiny teeth and is rocked back and forward over the whole plate. Basically it is a very time consuming method of producing a print of exquisite quality and depth of colour. I was entranced by his detailed work which is absolutely gorgeous in real life. He very patiently explained the whole process to me although he had probably already explained it to at least a million people beforehand. It must take a true love of printmaking to go to such trouble but so very worth it. You can see more of Roger's work here at Iona Gallery.

Lady Godiva

Spirit of the Wood

I have a long-standing love affair with etchings and trees and when the two come together so beautifully as in the etching/aquatint by Jo Barry, I am in heaven. More of Jo Barry's work can be seen here at Iona Gallery also.

These are my flower photos from some little while ago. I thought I would do a little nature colour coordinating. Apparently purples and lilacs and violets are very popular colours at the moment. I was mentioning to someone the other day that I have difficulty in assigning names to the colours in the purple/violet range of the spectrum. I am quite good with reds and oranges and greens and turquoises but those purple, mauve, lavender, lilac and violet colours fool me.

These beautiful bracelets are the work of Shropshire based craftswoman Lana who admits to being obsessed with colour (I know how she feels). She certainly has a wonderful sense of which colours to combine. The bracelets are made from cotton, silk and merino yarn. Lana also creates other textile lovelies and can be found here on Etsy as "easternsky".

The paintings below belong to the highly talented English artist Anna Pugh. Anna lives a modest life in the countryside where she paints extremely lovely images of animals, nature, the countryside and things around her. She has a particular affinity with dogs and plants, but I love her hens and cockerels best. Her style is bright and detailed folk art and she has a huge following. You can look at her paintings for ages because each one has so many different elements and scenes within scenes, but the whole picture gels together as a complete entity. You can find a large collection of her work at Lucy B Campbell gallery here. I was also lucky enough to come across her book of paintings a few weeks ago. The book is dedicated to showing off her artwork rather than text, but the paintings speak for themselves.

Last Set

Mountain Pool

A Change Of Heart

The Challenger

Two Partridge

More To come


Dolores said...

It is always a treat to visit your blog. Easier than going to a gallery and cheaper than buying art books. Always an inspiration-filled post. Thank you.

Cathy said...

That is great to know Dolores. Thanks very much for your visits.

BeadBag said...

Cathy all your posts are just beautiful - love the chickens! (I've actually knitted a couple!) Such inspiring things.

Art4Sol said...

Yes, this is a great place to visit....but for enjoying with the whole cup of coffee not just a sip...there's so much to take it!

Nicola said...

Always a treat to visit and see your beautiful work along with others! Love the black/red/white leaves and roosters.

Cathy said...

Thanks Shirley. I love chickens, drawings, paintings, embroidery etc. Can never have too many..ha ha.

Cathy said...

Thanks Art4Sol. It takes a while to find everything but it is worth it to get so many nice comments from other bloggers.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Nicola. A bit of a different colour palatte for me but I like it - quite retro.

Crafty Green Poet said...

You always share such lovely things, it's a delight to browse here. i love your chickens, the colour scheme is very striking...

ArtPropelled said...

Lucky find! I'd give my eye teeth to find a Lark book at a second hand store. I do love inky cat!

Cathy said...

Thanks Juliette. I sneaked that one from a Sally Elford image of retro cups. Not quite the same as hers but similar.

Cathy said...

Thanks Robyn. I will attempt to do one of our two cats next. Yes, the Lark book was an amazing bargain. Fancy someone giving away such books.

Old World Primitives said...

This post is so filled with inspiring beauty - as always! I really love how you made your pen and ink kitty look so fuzzy! I want to pet him. :) I really like the new colors and overall design of your chickens drawing too.


sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Hi Cathy, your 'six list' creates such a feeling of calm and I love the chickens and kitty and the stunning art featured in this post. Best wishes. Lesley

Cathy said...

Thanks Stephanie. Pat him if you want to...ha ha. Using the multiple directional cross-hatching (bit of a mouthful I know) seems to give a lovely sense of texture which I really like.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Lesley. It took me a while to think of 6 things but really I do many more silly things every day. Pleased you like the artwork this post.

acornmoon said...

Such a breathtaking array of beautiful art, ten blogs in one!

I like your the chickens very much, so textiley! I can see it as a beautiful tapestry.

Caroline said...

Wow! Your chickens, cat and flowers are wonderful. Gorgeous trees, more flowers - purple - love it!!.More chickens - ab fab post as ever, Cathy. Love Anna Pugh's work but this week's favourite image is the etching of trees by Jo Barry - I'm going to check out all the links now. Thank you!

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Valerie. That is a very interesting idea. Looking for ideas for the new blog now...ha ah.

Cathy said...

Hi Caroline. That is one of my favourite too. I love the way the subtle colours fade into one another. The beauty of etching I suppose. You can never quite get that look from painting.

Anna Pugh's work is wonderful. I haven't finished reading her book yet.


Your posts are so utterly full to brimming with treasures - thanks for finding and sharing with us. I love your chickens and leaves picture at the very top of the post - it is exceptional and a most original idea. Have a lovely weekend, Carolyn xx

Cathy said...

Thank you so much Carolyn. I so pleased you enjoy the posts, and thanks for the comment on the chickens. I am just in the process of writing the new post so hopefully it will be as interesting.

andamento said...

I've just discovered your blog! It's fantastic, very informative, and I've only looked at one post! I love the work of Anna Pugh you've shown, I'd never heard of her before but will definitely be looking her up now! Thanks for sharing it all.

Cathy said...

Hi Anne

Thanks for the very nice comments. Anna Pugh is a wonder. I still haven't managed to have a really proper look at her book that I bought.