Friday, October 16, 2009

Why Is Everything Such A Rush

I have been busy drawing my design for this year's Christmas card. I have chosen a blackbird on a hawthorn branch looking out over snowy fields and trees. I made a good start on the bird but the wing went completely wrong and I had to start again. Hopefully it will be in a condition to show next week. I am quite behind with it now and having threatened postal strikes over the card sending period isn't helping. Does anyone else think time seems to have speeded up somehow. Crazy, I know, but it does seem that way - or am I just getting slower?

This pen and ink and digital drawing was inspired by my huge butterfly book which I mentioned in a previous post. This is my own design of course, not a real butterfly.

A watercolour of whale sharks done some time ago

This is the completed pen and ink drawing of Georgie. A few people mentioned that they liked the unfinished background but I still have that version in my originals folder
And here is the original Georgie before he became very ill about 2 years ago. As you can see he was a very big, chunky cat with a big personality.

I couldn't resist these greetings cards from paintings by Gerry Plumb. He is an artist and illustrator who moved to Cornwall to paint gorgeously quirky views of the sea and delightful seagulls. You can see some of his artwork here at the Out of the Blue Gallery at Marazion - a place I enjoyed visiting when I holidayed in Cornwall, and some of his cards at The Blank Card Company here.

Times Past

Tree Of Life
I came across these lovely fun linocuts by Cath Deeson the other day. She is a printmaker living in Kent who creates lovely coastal inspired items. She has a website here if you want to take a look. On her biography page she tells us that she has to remind herself to make sure she cuts the text in reverse. That is something I would definitely forget. I like prints with snippets of poetry, sayings, quotes and text of various sorts.


I took this picture the last time I visited Cliveden in the autumn. It is one of the tortoises from the tortoise fountain.
Just to add a nice hint of red - some hawthorn berries.

An autumn tunnel in a local lane. This is an older photo but it looks the same every year when the sun shines in the evening.

I first came across Blandine Anderson's ceramics many years ago. She produces stylised and beautifully detailed work of mainly animals and birds, often relating to folk tales and old sayings. Her hares are a particular favourite and I came across two of her hare paintings the other day. They are wonderfully stylised with exaggerated limbs - very iconic. You can see her work in many art and craft galleries online but she has her own website here and you can find more of her ceramics here at Castle Gallery (don't forget to check out the second gallery) and here at Cambridge Contemporary Art.

Blue Hens With Six Eggs

Lepus-Constellation of Hare

Rosy Moon

When I visit my favourite craft fair at Stonor I pass an old farm on the roadside. I have been photographing it for years now and each summer it is slightly more derelict and another piece of masonry will have collapsed. I always feel such a beautiful old set of buildings should have been preserved years ago. There are lots of farm outbuildings apart from the house and barn. In our county there has been lots of renovation and change of use of old barns to homes and I cannot believe this farm has escaped the eyes of a developer for so long. I sometimes stand and ponder as I take the photos of what it would look like if sensitively renovated. It would cost millions probably but I, for one, would like to live there. I would open the barn as a art and craft gallery and use the outbuildings as artists studios and workspaces...oh and live in the farmhouse of course...ahh dreams.

Derelict Barn

Derelict Farmhouse
I have always been a great admirer of the wonderful retro patterns of the 1950s. I picked up this little book at the K&S Show (but found later that I could have obtained it a lot cheaper on Amazon UK). They are selling them very cheaply if you want to take a look here. It is full of blissful retro screenprinted designs. Below are some of my favourites, with the pink and grey bird design being my absolute favourite. I don't know why we are so nostalgic about retro fabric patterns but the ones I have featured in the past are among the most popular google image searches on my blog. The V&A is a fabulous museum but unfortunately, because of the detrimental effect of light on old fibres, most of their old textiles are kept in VERY dark conditions and you would need a torch to be able to see them properly.

V&A Pattern Book - The Fifties

Feathered Friends - Sylvia Chalmers/Elizabeth Eaton Ltd - screenprinted 1953

Perpetua -Lucienne Day/British Celanese Ltd - screenprinted 1953

Macrahanish 1954
Dovedale by John Drummond/Wemyss Weavecraft Ltd - screenprinted 1953

Barbara Pile screenprinted fabric 1950

The tiles below are all created by ceramic artist Iris Milward. I met Iris many years ago at a local craft fair where she was showing off her tiles and explaining how she achieved the look. She was selling greetings cards of the designs in those days and I still have the ones I bought. If you go to her website "Poetry Tiles" here you can see lots of lovely designs and beautiful text. I love the way she wraps the poems around the birds and animals. The tiles are really beautifully designed and I noticed on Jackie Morris's blog the other day that she has some set in her kitchen floor amongst the flagstones.


Gillian said...

Hi Cathy - I know what you mean about time speeding up! Christmas decorations in the shops since September do not help! Looking forward to seeing your finished Christmas cards. Love the drawing of Georgie too - and the photo is great! G

jamjar said...

Time does seem to be racing along, I can not believe we are in the second half of October, I'm still in August!! Love your new work and love the work of the artists you have featured. Your posts are always so interesting and lovely to look at.

Cathy said...

Hi Gillian. Yes, I suppose the lack of time is the same for everyone. It just all seems to speed up even more at Christmas time. Glad you like Georgie. I still miss him.

Cathy said...

I think I am still in August with you Joy. Only a couple of months till Christmas now. Scary.

Sandy Mastroni said...

wonderful post Cathy
I love the run down barns
I would like to rent one of the buildings as a studio ... and live there too

bunnits said...

The year is slipping by--too fast for me. It reminds me of a quote attributed to the Pennsylvania Dutch: The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

I really like the drawing of Georgie. He reminds me of our old PetCat, a big fellow with lots of heart who is getting up in years. The whale sharks are really cool. And, being a bunny rabbit lover, of course, I love anything you post with rabbits.

Caroline said...

What a beautiful cat Georgie was - you must miss him so. I have two new boys as of today - young adults - very scared! Gingers/white, one with only one eye - adopted from the vet!! So looking forward to getting to know them. Love so much on your post - but those poetry tiles take the biscuit. I just love meeting all these new artists! Oh and not forgetting that barn - how 'd love to get my hands on that too - am mentally moving in there right now!! P.S. Yes, you spotted the Shirley Trevena book! Have another too - just love her loose, colourful approach to watercolour and wish I had that same 'abandon'!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy, just thought I'd try and see if I can post a comment with my little used google id. Good to see your work and to see Georgie again, you must miss him a lot. Love your illustration of him. Time seems to be racing by for me too this year, I can't believe it's already Autumn. I'm using RSS to watch your blog, love the beautiful work you're doing and finding :)

Cathy said...

Hi Sandy. They are great buildings aren't they. It breaks my heart to see them deteriorate each year, but someone must own them and see what is happening to them. I have nice day dreams about what I would do with them if I owned them.

Cathy said...

I love that quote Melissa. I haven't heard it before. I think I may use it PetCat sounds lovely. I like big, huggy cats. I enjoyed doing my rabbit picture months ago. I will have to see if I can find some more buns to draw.

Cathy said...

Oh I hope you will be able to post some pictures of your two new household members Caroline. I bet with some love and kind attention they will soon love living with you. I wonder how one of them lost his eye. Those barns would be great done up and rented out to struggling artists for minimal rent. That is what I would do if I had lots of cash. I would quite like living in an artistic establishment. Lots of creative energy.

I agree about the poetry tiles. They are really beautiful. She does them so well.

Cathy said...

Hi Val. Lovely to see you here, and very pleased you like my work and the work of other artists I find. You can see now why I never had enough time for photographic Flickring and art.

I miss Georgie very much. He was a very independent cat, much more so than his brother Tiggy, but he left a big hole when he went. I am glad I have lots of great photos of him though.

I still visit my old Flickr friends photostreams to see what they have been up to although I don't leave any comments at the moment. Yours are always fantastic.

Pomona said...

I love your drawings, particularly the cat. I hope your Christmas card design works out - sometimes things go like that, don't they? But I don't like to rush things - it's good to take your time.

Pomona x

bad penny said...

this is all so beautiful... where do I start ?

ArtPropelled said...

Its like opening a pile of gifts under the xmas tree every time I come here. Love your butterfly lady and the linocuts.

Cathy said...

Hi Pomana, I have already restarted the Christmas card design a couple of times. I am going quite slowly now so that I don't make any mistakes.

Cathy said...

Hello bad penny, nice of you to visit. I hope you like what you see. There are some amazing artists and craftspeople around on the internet.

Cathy said...

Thanks Robyn. I am into butterflies at the moment after buying my wonderful butterfly book. The linocuts are great, aren't they. That reminds me...I have one of my own to finish.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Hi Cathy,
Your butterfly is so pretty. I love the blue colors. I think the Whale Sharks will go down as one of my favorite works by you. I love sea life.
I agree with you about time. It always seems to go faster the second half of the year.
It's a shame that someone doesn't renovate the old farmhouse. It could be a real beauty.
Thanks so much for the mushroom e-mail. Very interesting.

Cathy said...

Hi Phyllis, glad you like the butterfly. I hope to do more but perhaps some in watercolour next time. I love anything coast or marine too. I get Coast magazine each month and drool over the gorgeous homes by the sea and the lovely art and crafts.

Crafty Green Poet said...

another wonderful selection of beautiful creations! I really do love your drawing of Georgie, I love his photo too, what a chunky cat!

You commented on my blog about the dippers - I look after the part of the Water of Leith that runs from Slateford to Colinton, so its still in the city of Edinburgh, though not the city centre. Dippers every time I visit....

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wouldn't you just love to rescue that old farmhouse. I can imagine how lovely it could be. Of course, it would cost a fortune.... such is life.

Georgie was a magnificent cat!

Cathy said...

Hi Juliet, lucky you to see dippers so often. I have often thought about drawing one.

Cathy said...

Thanks Pamela. He was lovely and we had him for fourteen years so I shouldn't complain. I agree about the farmhouse. Such a waste of beautiful old buildings.