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

Friday, July 24, 2009

Art In Action 2009 (Part Two)

This is the 2nd and final part of Art In Action images. I hope you enjoy them. Back to normal blogging next week. I apologise for some of the photography being skewiff but there were a lot of people to contend with there.

My thanks go to Dolores of True Blue Canadian for my latest blog award. Pop over and say hello to Dolores and for a look at her lovely blog.

This is my design called "The Sweetest Fruit". Another of my copyright free deer designs from my book although the tree is my own creation. Still lots more to come though. That book has proved a real bargain.
Pen and ink hen drawing, which makes a change as I am usually drawing cockerels.
This is called Art Deco Flowers and I am not totally happy with it. It hasn't lived up to its potential when I first sketched out the design. Perhaps the colours are wrong. I am not sure but I have only posted it because it took so long to create...haha. The individual flowers are nice but not with the stems. Anyway, you win some and you lose some...and this poor thing is definitely in the latter category.
Jane Mowat was the first person I came to in the printmaking marquee and her work is quite beautiful. It has a very textural and mythic quality. She is a very charming lady and gave us detailed explanations of how she prints. She produces her lovely prints by hand burnishing very uneven woodblocks. They are often slices of tree that she cuts the image into. If you enlarge the picture below you can see the slice of tree on her stand. I had to admire her industry as some of these blocks are huge and it must take ages to print by hand. Jane has a website here which shows that she does more than just printmaking.
Jane Mowat's prints at her stand
Flying Figure woodcut print
Detail of St. Francis and the Birds
Jane Mowat Print
This is Katherine Jones demonstrating collograph making in the printmaking marquee. Katherine's website is here.
Jane Freear-Wyld is a textile artist who weaves abstract images from manipulated digital photography. This piece below is only a section of the entire tapestry. I couldn't stand back far enough to get the whole thing in, but this gives an idea of the beautiful shapes and colours she produces. Jane has a website here. I actually found the website a bit of a challenge but you will see what I mean if you go for a peek.

Here is Jane demonstrating how she weaves her tapestries at her loom. She was more than happy to answer lots of questions about her work. The piece on the loom was a VERY complex weave with masses of colours and shapes.
Louise Gardiner had a beautifully colourful stand in the Market marquee. Louise is a well known embroideress who creates the most delicious images of figures, birds and flowers. Her best known images are her lovely ladies though. She has a very illustrative style and her pieces show a great sense of fun and laughter. Her website is here.
And here is one of her cupcake images on a Graffiti card I bought. I would love to own one of her original textile pieces.
These three views are of Nichola Theakston's marquee space. Nichola is a very successful sculptor of ceramic images of wildlife. I spent quite a while browsing the beautifully sculpted pieces on show. I particularly enjoyed her hares. She has a website here with lots of views of her work and also describes the process of building an armature and the preparatory sketches.

I love this little stripey fellow in the foreground. Not sure what he is though.
This is Rachael Howard's stand although I didn't get to see her in person. She is a very well known textile designer who creates delightful sketchy images and then appliques and embroiders them. Her work is very often amusing and she has a great gift for capturing situations and people around her with natural flair and freshness.
And here is one of her lovely designs in fabric applique and embroidery which I bought as a greetings card. (Yes, I bought a lot of cards whilst I was at the show).
I met artist Alison Ingram in the Nature In Art Marquee, but unfortunately I was so engrossed by her art that I forgot to take a photograph. Her work is absolutely amazing and so complex in design and colour and shape. She paints in traditional style as well as stylised. I could never paint in her style as I would get very confused, but she does it beautifully. She has a very comprehensive and vivid website here although the images below are from the handmade greetings cards I bought from her. I love all her work but I particularly like her birds. I think the coots below are my favourites although the avocets are gorgeous too.

Coot and Chicks
Five Fallow
Puffins On Wick
Sue Symond's is a needlework specialist and an artist. These pictures can't show the incredible beauty of her work. The displayed work on her stand related to a book of Creation which she has been working on for two years. It will consist of 60 pages of artwork with very detailed embroidery and exquisite painting. A sample of her work is shown here. The butterflies around the edges are all embroidered and the centre panel is painted. If you enlarge the picture you will get an idea of the true beauty of the piece. Sue lives in Somerset and is well known for her Bath Abbey Diptychs which can be seen here.
Sue Symond's book "Creation"
Some of the beautiful work on Sue Symond's stand
Miriam Maselkowski creates a style of work I haven't seen before. She creates pictures from nails and thread by wrapping the threads around hundreds of nails to give a 3D image. Sounds simple but I suspect from the detail in her work that it is a lot more complex than she describes it. This is Miriam below who I chatted to for several minutes. A very charming lady with a great talent and I wish her lots of luck in the future. Click on the images to get the full detail.