Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...!

I hope everyone had a very happy Christmas and a great New Year. Ours was quiet but very nice. I haven't made any new year resolutions this year because I always end up breaking them before the end of January. I am hoping to organise my time better this year and get much more done, rather than just thinking about it. Also, I haven't forgotten about my blog giveaway to celebrate my 100th blog post before Christmas. I will be sorting that out soon.

I have just fallen in love with this song by Moya Brennan on Youtube. Most of you will know Moya as the voice of the wonderful Irish group Clannad. The video is of the very mediocre King Arthur film which was a huge disappointment. Anyway, have a listen to the music and see what you think.

You will see I have drawn a new blog header but no pink goose this time. Another point to make is the crazy way Blogger have of dating blogs. Why do they have to have the date they were first written and not the date they were published. I always take several days to write mine.

This is number four in my "Woman Who Planted Trees" series. Still more to come though.

Paradise Tree - a bit of colour to brighten up winter.

The lovely ceramics below were created by the American ceramic artist and sculptor Jenny Mendes. Jenny has a website full of deliciously quirky stuff here.

Spread Your Wings Tile


Large Pillow Tile

We had a very deep snowfall just after I signed off blogging for 2009 so I have saved some of the photos for 2010 even though the snow has all gone. It caused huge problems on the roads and lots of accidents but then this is England and we don't do snow! We went for a few long walks and the world was magical. You felt as if you had stepped out of the wardrobe into Narnia and any moment Mr. Tumnus would appear.

A Sweet Little Round Robin

Little Miss Poppy Playing In The Snow

Snowy Walk 2009

Snow Capped Apples

Snowy Farmland

Silvia Dimitrova is a Bulgarian artist who is known for her exquisitely detailed icon paintings. She works in the traditional methods of egg tempera on wood but also paints other work in the same technique which gives her images that wonderful brilliance and glowing patterns. Sylvia has lots of beautiful work on her website here.

Blue Music

Autumn Song

Many people will be familiar with Anita Klein's gorgeous work but for those who aren't you are missing a treat. Anita is a very well known Australian artist and printmaker living and working in London. Her work revolves around her family and her own life and her images are humorous, charming and witty. We all know her husband Nige and her two lovely daughters who often appear in her work. I came across one of her original huge prints at an art fair a few years ago and was mesmerised. It was black, white and red, simple and graphic and no one could pass by without looking at it. Anita has a huge collection of work on her website here.

Falling Leaves

Blue Angel With Bird

Angel Of The Winter Moon

The two cards below are reproductions of the textile printing of Amanda Ross. I came across Amanda at one of her shows and loved her work. I bought quite a few cards and these two images are my favourites. Her technique is to handprint on the fabric actual plant cuttings to make the first printing templates. She produces some lovely original work on panels which really shows off the beauty of the plants and flowers she uses. You can see more on her website here.

Flowering Leeks


I have long been an admirer of Australian Madeleine Goodwolf's fascinating etchings. Her work is very contemporary and quirky, especially her giraffe and horses. She obviously has a good sense of humour. She is a well known and collected printmaker and you can find more of her work at the excellent Handmark Gallery here.

A Fish For Your Thoughts

There Is Comfort In Dreams

Wash Day

Where Olive Slept That Night

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Last Post Till 2010 - Happy Christmas Everyone

This is my last blog of 2009 so I will be back in the New Year. Have a fabulous Christmas and New Year everyone. (I will be popping in for visits though)

I have recently been introduced to a fascinating new leisure activity called Geocaching. It is basically hiding and seeking treasure. A little box is filled with "treasure" such as coins, spoons, badges, tiny dolls or anything else you have to hand. It is then buried or placed somewhere like a tree stump and the details are recorded at the Geocache website for others to locate. You need a GPS unit to find the location within 50 feet or so and then follow the clues left by the hider. Once you have found the treasure you record your name on the paper in the box, remove an item and replace it with one of your own and re-bury or hide for the next searcher to find. You then log on the website that you have found the item. Sounds simple - not always. We spent our second time hunting in local woodland, ferreting around under holly bushes and scraping over fallen leaves. We found three out of five caches though and got plenty of fresh air and exercise. The caches are always placed on public land and have different degrees of difficulty and any age group can join in . There are thousands of caches all over the country (and all over the world in fact). You can also elect to bury your own for others to find. I love it. You can find the website here if you want to take a look.

Autumn Bird is a digitally coloured drawing.

This is quite an old pen and ink study of a woodland copse near my home.

This is Party Girl in ink and watercolour.
The two seasonal lovelies below are by Florida artist Robin Maria Pedrero. I love the style of pastel shades and incomplete colouring that she has used here. Gorgeous work. You can find Robin here on her website and here on her Etsy shop. She also blogs here.

Partridge In A Pear Tree

Fancy Partridge In A Pear Tree

I found some gorgeous rag rugs when I was looking for santa gifts the other day. The site is called the Star Rug Company and you can find it here. They have some beautiful primitive type designs. I couldn't resist the sheep with a bird on its back...who can?

Lazy Sheep

and a couple of lovely seasonal rugs below

Santa and Reindeer Rug

Mr Snowman

I said I would post a photo of all the Christmas cards when they were completed and here it is. There are 111 cards here and they took a looooong time to do. I hope the recipients like them.

I took this a couple of days on our geocaching adventures. These are the sort of surroundings where a lot of caches are hidden. Great fun, healthy exercise and lots of tree photo opportunities.

I love this picture of a tree skeleton that I took a couple of years ago. It really showed white like old bones in the sunlight. It is almost sculptural in its beauty.

A final leaf caught on a branch.

I found some lovely work by ceramic artist Sue Tirrell the other day. Sue is a ceramic sculptor and potter working in Montana, USA who also teaches workshops. She has a very wide range of her work on her website here. Her inspirations are western art, contemporary and folk art. I love her almost linocut type images on her platters and pots. Very folky and graphic. You can also find her work here at Mudfire and here at Art Fusion.

Bird and Branch Platter

Goose Platter

Red Rooster Pitcher

Rabbit Platter

The three lovely etchings below are by UK artist and printmaker Laurie Rudling who works from her studio in Norwich. She admits to being an artist of landscape and the built environment. She produces etchings and collographs and has an lovely collection on her website here. I have seen some of her work in a local gallery and it is very subtle and beautiful.

Midwinter Calm


Winter I

I found this wonderful book the other day about Textiles of the World. It is a large book and is jam packed with gorgeous colour photography and drawings. I have posted a few pages from the book but they don't do it justice. It covers all sorts of different patterns, fabrics, methods of production, tie dying, batik, embroidery, applique, molas. The list is endless. So much colourful inspiration I am overwhelmed. It is published by Thames and Hudson and is written by Catherine Legrand. A really monumental work. It is the sort of book you can dip into anytime when you have a few minutes. I have added this to my very extensive Amazon Wish List.


Indian Textiles

Guatemalan Textiles

Woven Textile Bags

Hester Cox is a UK artist/printmaker who produced the beautiful prints below. She lives in the lovely North Yorkshire area of Masham where she holds printmaking workshops. She is heavily influenced by the English landscape, myths and symbolism. I particularly like her work on the subject of hares - always close to my heart. She has named her artwork by the old names given to the hare in a fifteenth century hunting poem which has been translated by Seamus Heaney. You can find it here. It makes fascinating reading. I produced a hare drawing years ago with a lot of these names around the outside of the circle containing the hares. My favourites are: The Dew-Flirt, The Furze-Cat and The Purblind. You can find Hester's website here with lots of examples of her work.

Swift As A Hare



The Lurker

The Messenger