Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Mixed Bag

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween. We had a fairly uneventful trick or treat evening. We only had one tiny little person who was quite unrecognisable as a human being until a little voice piped up "trick or treat". I thought it safest to agree with a treat. Some years we have a flurry of rings on the doorbell and other years we don't have any.

I actually managed to get my linocut finished this week. It has been on the go for quite a while. When I am not sure how to proceed with a particular piece of art I tend to leave it for a while and then go back to it and see if something springs to mind. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. I have pieces of art that I haven't been able to finish for some months. I find, on the whole, it is helpful to go back later and see the piece with fresh eyes.

The Apple Seller
This is a watercolour of a Red Kite that I drew for a friend. I have just added a digital background but the original was on white paper. Getting the feathers right was very tricky but luckily Red Kites have now become very common (whereas once they were virtually wiped out in Britain), and there is lots of reference material around.

This is the linocut I started when I had my little blog "holiday" a few weeks ago. No it didn't take that long to do. I just put it aside because I wasn't sure what to do for the background. I decided a bird on her head would look good. My art motto could be described as "when in doubt draw a bird". I quite like it but I think I may rework the stars. They look a bit clumpy.

Every so often I like to put some of my designs on greetings cards for my and my family's use. This is the latest batch.

I was searching for something in vain the other day among all my art accountrements when I found my long lost charcoal sticks. I used to use them quite a lot years ago but then they disappeared into the great black hole that is my workroom. I can see they were bought years ago because they only cost £1 for a pack of about 20 sticks. Anyway, I decided to give them a whirl and I came up with these two very sultry ladies. I like them for doing spontaneous drawing. Most of my work is very precise and considered and it is good to break the bonds now and again. Mind you I was very dirty after this little effort. Now I remember why I stopped using them - ohh and I didn't find what I was originally searching for either.

This gorgeous graphic illustration by Mikki Rain is one of my favourites. So beautifully designed and great colours.
I found these two great card designs by "Alice Palace" which is a small company producing greetings cards in Evesham in Worcestershire. It is run by two sisters Alice and Liz and the emphasis is very much on fun. The cards have little bits of text here and there and sayings to make people feel happy and lots of magical designs. They have a wonderfully crazy website here and that includes a great blog with lots going on. I shall certainly be visiting again.

Two autumn inspired pieces - the lovely ceramic plate is by Etsy seller SayYourPiece. She produces some great ceramics here...

and a wonderful piece of graphic art by Semen Kapralov entitled Riddle Of Autumn.
I visited a local town's antique shops the other day and one of them features lots of Christmas goodies like Gisela Graham. I love her wonderful figures. There is a large range now and they are all lovely. I couldn't resist this tin Rudoph with his stripey legs and scarf and upright antlers. Here he is with my brass Rudolph that I bought from a charity shop ages ago. They seem to be getting to know one another and I am sure they will soon be firm friends...

and these are two lovely Gisela Graham girls that I bought last year. I have posted this picture before but I thought you wouldn't mind seeing it again as they are so cute.

The trees are all knee deep in their autumn colours now. Lots of beautiful browns, golds, yellows and oranges. These are all views from my locality. I think walking in autumn is the best time of year, perhaps even better than spring. I would be quite content in a world of spring and autumn only. I just wish the gorgeous colours would last longer. The weather forecast tonight is for rain and gales and that will soon bring the leaves off the trees...sigh.

I love quirky - and these pieces by Jenny Southam definitely fit the bill. Jenny creates her ceramics in hand built terracotta which is then glazed. Her characters do delightfully prosaic things like drinking tea in the orchard and painting toe nails. She has a website here with lots of her ceramics on show and a view of her wonderfully busy studio.

Pew Couple With Hearts

Lovers In An Orchard

I found a lovely card whilst out shopping the other day by an artist I am not familiar with. Her name is Lisa Hooper and she is an artist/printmaker who produces beautiful images of wildlife and nature. Her curlews are a delightful linocut and so is the wonderful hare image below. Lisa was born in Hampshire but now lives and works in Dumfries and Galloway - a beautiful area of lowland Scotland which I have visited a number of times. She also creates handmade books, and paper batiks and other forms of printmaking, as well as teaching workshops. I wished I lived up there and could take one of her workshops. You can see what she does on her interesting website here, and there are lots more of her artwork displayed at the Rockcliffe Gallery here.

A Head Of Curlews

Machars Hare
The work below is by very talented artist/printmaker Guiliana Lazzerini. Her work is very varied both in media and subject matter but one theme which is recurring is her love of her homeland in Italy, although she now lives and works in Yorkshire.. The soft, bright colours of her landscapes are beautiful. She also produces monoprints and other monochromatic scenes, and birds feature a great deal in her artwork. You can find her work in lots of galleries if you enter her name into a search engine but her own website can be found here.

Young Dreamer

Birds Watcher

Southern Village

The Messenger

Forest Breeze


Sandy Mastroni said...

all of your greeting cards together look really pretty
You do wonderful work Cathy !

Gillian said...

Lovely post today Cathy - all your 'new' finished work is fantastic - I really like the two charcoal ladies! Your Christmas cards look fantastic this year too. G

jamjar said...

Your cards look wonderful, have you ever thought of selling them? Love your new reindeer,Gisela Graham's decorations are so lovely. Great links as always Cathy, I shall go and have a good browse now.

Cathy said...

Hi Sandy, thanks very much. It is great when blog friends like my work.

Cathy said...

Thanks Gillian. I am having to speed up with everything now as I am making a lot of Christmas cards and they take forever, and also doing some new work for the blog.

Cathy said...

Hi Joy, I have sold cards and other bits and pieces in the past but I am not able to sell anything at present for various complicated reasons. Gisela Graham stuff is gorgeous. I would love to fill a room with them. They are so beautifully made and not too expensive considering.

andamento said...

Love your Autumn colours.

I also liked the two prints by Lisa Hooper that you featured.

Your greeting cards look great!

Caroline said...

Nice, nice nice!! Great post with so many new artists for me to get to know. Yay, you finished the lino cut - it looks good and so do all your cards. Guiliana and Lisa have some wonderful work - I'll be popping over to their sites to see some more later. Thanks Cathy and I hope you have a good week.

Old World Primitives said...

Hi Cathy,
I love the way all of your greeting card designs look together - so many lovely images and colors! I especially like the two featuring roosters.

I enjoyed my Halloween this year, which was spent away from home. I'm not sure if many trick-or-treaters missed me being away, as we tend to get 5 or less each year. That means lots of candy leftover for me, though! :)


Cathy said...

Thanks Anne. Lots of lovely autumnal colours around at the moment. I love Lisa Hooper's work too.

Cathy said...

Thanks Caroline. Glad that linocut got finished eventually. I hope the next one doesn't take so long.

Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie. We used to buy sweets for the trick or treaters but when we didn't get many we ended up with lots of fattening sweets which we ate...haha. Now we just give them money. Not so fattening.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Beautiful artwork displayed - all of your cards are wonderful and it's been a treat to see the colours of the autumn foliage in your area - little remains here on the tip of Cornwall, as the gales have arrived! BFN. Lesley

Cathy said...

Hi Lesley

Ours are starting to fade now because the winds and rain have arrived here. The colours don't last long sadly.

Crafty Green Poet said...

have you sent your red kite to BBC's Autumn Watch? It's beautiful (they're one of my favourite birds too btw)

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Hi Cathy,
Love the Red Kite. It's beautiful.
My favorite is the Apple Seller.
I'm in the apple eating mood now. It's apple harvesting season over here and they are one of my favorite fruits.
I think it's amazing that you create your own greeting cards.

Cathy said...

No I haven't done that Juliet. I didn't know you could. I will have to look into it. I love to see them swooping over the countryside with their distinctive tails. They are a real avian success story.

Cathy said...

Hi Phyllis. I like the apple seller too. I like to draw pictures of people selling things. I will probably do a few more. The kite too ages to draw because of all the detail on the wings, but I think it turned out quite well.

feedthedog said...

wow, what a jam-packed blog, bursting with great talent and ideas, including your own. I love your lino cut girl .. bird on the head is gorgeous!

have been too busy lately for blog reading and writing but thought I'd take a quick peek here this friday morning, sipping on a coffee, trying to feel awake. Glad I dropped by ..

all the best .. Carmel

Cathy said...

Hi Carmel

Glad you like the lino. Took me ages to do. Perhaps I will get quicker if I do more...hah.

acornmoon said...

Your lino print worked out well, it is a lovely medium to use and very satisfying.

I recently visited an art exhibition in Manchester, the theme was trees. The walls were decorated in a strange but rather beautiful black pattern which I took to be silk. Being a touchy, feely sort of person I could not resist running my hands over the walls, then touching my face, my skirt, etc. Then I read the notice- "Please do not touch the charcoal drawings on the wall, this is an exhibit". I retired to the ladies room to clean up!

Holly Zemak said...

Halloween around here was quiet also. Decorating has become big but I guess the kids go to parties more than Trick or Treating. Your cards make quite a presentation, so well done. Love the chickens!

Cathy said...

Oh I had to laugh at that Valerie. That is exactly what I would have done. I get a lot of my sense of things from touching them too. I remember visiting Ireland years ago and touching the ancient megaliths and being told not to touch by one of the stewards. Those stones were meant to be touched...silly man.

Cathy said...

Thanks Holly. I absolutely love drawing chickens. Must be because I am a frustrated chicken keeper. Halloween is over now but now we have Guy Fawkes night and all the fireworks for about a week. The poor cats are terrified.