Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christmas Is coming...Too Soon

Well Halloween is nearly upon us. Be mindful that the veil between this world and the next is at its thinest on the 31st October. In the UK we put the clocks back one hour last night because British Summer Time has ended. The weather doesn't realise this though. Our temps this week are predicted to be around 20C which is amazingly high for this time of year. I am sure it will change soon and we will get some lovely crisp frosty mornings.

This is my third drawing in "The Woman Who Planted Trees" series. I am planning several more in the months ahead as it is a theme I am very much in tune with. It is pen and ink with digital background etc.

I have finally completed my 2009 Christmas card design. I am quite pleased with the composition. At first it looked a little bare and then I had the idea of putting in a row of trees to break up the middle distance. I think it has worked quite well. Now I only have to get all the cards made...! This is a blackbird by the way, for those of you who are not ornithologically minded. I have to put a black border around my images printed onto white otherwise I wouldn't have any idea where to cut.

The beautiful paintings below are by Suzy Fasht who is based in Devon where she works from her garden studio. She is very interested in gardens and nature with lots of gorgeous patterning detail and fantastic colour. Looking at her art is like a glimpse into another world - fabulous. Suzy has a page full of art like this at Axis here.

Meadow With Daisies

Swan With Luggage

Summer Meadow With Ghost Trees

For some time now I have wanted to get a copy of one of the Ernst Haeckel Art Forms books. I chose his Art Forms In Nature. For those not familiar with his work, Ernst Haeckel was a very eminent German biologist and artist who died in 1919. He illustrated a huge number of animal, sea creatures and nature forms in great detail in connection with scientific research. His artwork is so beautifully detailed and patterned that it has also become a valuable resource for the artist. His art provides an endless supply of patterns for those of us seeking inspiration - and that is probably just about every artist and craftsperson. (The possibility for new tree forms is endless.)

I love the distressed and decayed wood look of Margaret Keelan's ceramic sculptures. Her doll-like figurative forms I find quite fascinating. They remind me of childrens' toys discarded and left out in the garden. She admits to being fascinated by the female form and most of her work has been on this theme. There is lots more to see on her website here.

Woman With Turban
The Girl With The Rabbit
I love any greetings cards with cat pictures on. This beautiful card is by Maren Schaffner who is a German artist. She lives in a farmhouse with her eight cats and two dogs. She obviously has no problems getting kitty models to sit for her. Bottman Design Shop here has lots of her cards. The images are quite small but you can see what a great watercolourist she is. The shop I bought this card from only had a couple of others but there is a large range. (There are two other pages as well).

I thought you might like to see some moody black and white monumental angel photos I have in my archives. All have been photoshopped a bit.

This is my cat Jack who isn't an angel yet, thank goodness, but he is looking very moody and statue like in this shot so I have included him. In fact, he is looking a little bit "witches catish" here. Now I come to think of it, he does tend to disappear around Halloween time...hmmm.

I have long admired the beautiful embroidery of Rebecca Crompton who grew up in the early 1900's and became a teacher of embroidery at the Croydon School of Art. This is a Rebecca Crompton and Elizabeth Thomson booklet which I bought from the Embroiderer' Guild bookstall at the K&S Show a few years ago. It is beautifully illustrated, and unlike my old book below, it is still easy to obtain.

This is the Rebecca Crompton book I was lucky enough to find at the Knitting & Stitching Show a couple of weeks ago. It was from one of my favourite book vendors there called Felicity J Warnes, The Old Bookshop which is actually a B&M shop in Enfield. The stand at the show is very small but they have some lovely old, out of date treasures.

Below are some of the illustrations of her work in the book. It is filled with applique embroideries and lots of her sketches and drawings. The book is dated 1936 and the illustrations are mostly black and white. The embroidery below is called Magic Garden. Interestingly enough I have seen photos of this same embroidery with much paler colours and reversed. I am not sure which is the original orientation.

The images below are all etched by the Scottish artist and printmaker Catherine Grubb. She uses a variety of media to produce her beautifully delicate and detailed work including drawing, painting and etching, and her work is highly collectable. I have illustrated her etchings here, but her pen and ink drawings and paintings are equally lovely. Being a pen and ink artist myself (although nowhere near her ability) I am always interested to see how others handle the medium. Her work is extensively illustrated on The Great Atlantic Gallery site here.

All In Green Went My Love Riding

The Mysterious Garden

The Secret Lane

The Sailing Of The Sea Swallow

The Enchanted Forest


Caroline said...

Not sure is this is the third comment I've left, but the page keeps popping back up! Well I just love your work this week, Cathy! The woman who planted trees is super - the colouring is just right for the season and those angel photos and Jack the witches' cat, are so full of atmosphere! Other favourite this week has to be Ernst Haeckel's book which I too have had on my wishlist for ages!! The new kits are settling in - they're quite a handful. Tia, of course, is very unamused by their presence in her house - will post pics soon!

BeadBag said...

Just FAB posts!

Cathy said...

I received two of them Caroline so I will delete the other one. I think blogger must be in mischievous mode today. I hope you get the Ernst Haeckel for Christmas. It is wonderful. I have my eye on quite a few of the patterns for my artwork already. Glad the kits are settling in. Looking forward to seeing pics when you have a moment.

Cathy said...

Thanks Shirley.

ArtPropelled said...

The xmas card is beautiful Cathy and the top one, The woman who planted trees is my new favourite of all your artpieces.
Margaret Keelan's sculptures have my attention!
I went back to the bookshop for a pocket edition of Haekel's forms last week...but too late, it's gone.

Sandy Mastroni said...

Your Christmas card is absolutely fantastic !
I just popped in to see what you are up to .... I wanted to leave a comment on YOUR work !
I love your drawings
I will come back to see all the other art you posted here ... maybe later tonight
Have a good week Cathy

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

It's late, I've got to get to bed, but not before commenting on this terrific post! The work of Ernst Haeckel is absolutely amazing and your Christmas card - fantastic and would hold its own anywhere.
Lesley x

Cathy said...

Hi Robyn. Nice to hear you like my new work. I am in the midst of making all the cards now but they do take a long time. Sorry to hear the Haekel had disappeared. Perhaps you will see another copy soon. He was certainly a genius.

Cathy said...

Hi Sandy, thanks for visiting and the nice compliments on my drawings. I hope you have a great week too.

Cathy said...

Thanks Lesley. I enjoyed drawing the Christmas card. It is not too far away now either. Ernst Haeckel's art is wonderful. I am going to enjoy perusing the book.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love your blackbird Christmas card, very beautiful....

Lots of other wonderful things you've shared, as you always do....

Holly Zemak said...

Your Christmas Card came out wonderful, I love the touch of red. Adding the line of trees was a good idea, keeps your eye moving around the piece. Cannot believe that Halloween is here, but I am enjoying all the yummy candy. As always enjoying all the other artists, esp. Maren Schaffner.

Cathy said...

Thanks Juliet. I am now making all the cards and it is taking me forever to cut everything out etc. etc.

Cathy said...

Hi Holly. Yes Maren Schaffner is an amazing artist. I would have liked to have got more of her cards but my local shop only seems to stock a few. Glad you like the Christmas card too. Took a lot less time to draw than last year's card for some reason.

Pomona said...

I really love the woman who planted trees - I hope we will be seeing more of that - perhaps a whole post dedicated to the series?

I also really love the Catherine Grubb pictures - will have to investigate further!

Pomona x

Cathy said...

Thanks Pomona. I have enjoyed the planting trees series a lot and will continue to add to it for some time yet. Women and trees are always a great theme as far as I am concerned. I will definitely put it on Flickr as a set so that they can all be seen together.

I really like Catherine Grubb too. She is a very talented artist and I love her drawings.

Chatters said...

Hi Cathy

Your christmas card design is beautiful. I love the crow and the trees, the whole thing. Has a beutiful winter solace feel. Love it.
And the women who planted trees is gorgeous, this piece has a lovely winter autumn feel.
Are you selling christmas cards, if you are, I may be interested in buying some.

Cathy said...

Hi Amanda

Thanks for your comment on my artwork. It is lovely to read what people have to say. I have sent you an email via your website btw.

acornmoon said...

You have the most inspring blog, there is always something here to catch my eye, not least your very Chistmassy card. I love it!

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Valerie.

Old World Primitives said...

Hi Cathy,
Thank you so much for exposing me to Margaret Keelan's work with this post - I am just enchanted by it! I will be browsing through her website some more as soon as I finish typing this.

I find your "The Woman Who Planted Trees" series to be absolutely delightful as well and look forward to the future installments!


Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie. Margaret's work is absolutely fascinating isn't it. I would love to own one of her pieces.

I am thinking up new compositions for The Woman Who Planted Trees now. I will have to get the family into some poses.