My brother introduced me to yet another extremely interesting but very time consuming website the other day. It is Google Maps Street View. It has been around for a while but once I "drove" the pegman down a few streets I was hooked. For those who haven't explored it yet, you can pick practically any street in any town and check out all the shops and buildings etc. You can turn the view this way and that way, pop over to places you used to live to see how they have changed etc. etc. I remember there was a bit of a furore a while ago about the privacy aspect and I notice faces and car number plates are pixilated to deter recognition. I will definitely have to limit my time on there though. If you are not careful, you could spend all day and every day in the cyber world.
I decided to use my cat Jack as a model for this drawing and although Jack is jet black and this cat is more of a grey I think he looks fairly like him. He is crosshatched and it is difficult to get really black blacks because of the possibility of ripping the watercolour paper with repeated layers of ink. Pointillism would give me much denser black but would have taken about ten times longer to draw so I opted for this technique.
Jack - pen and ink drawing
The Crown - pen and ink drawing
When I was on holiday in Cornwall a few years ago I found these two cards by Japanese artist Izumi Omori. Her paintings are full of light and colour and have a beautiful, other worldly quality. She incorporates the lovely scenery and landscapes of Cornwall into her work. I just wish I could have found some more of her cards. She has a lovely website here with more of her artwork.
Secret of Zennor
It was such a gorgeous day today that I spent some time in a local park which borders onto woodland, taking some photos. Anyone who has read this blog will know that I am very much a tree person. I just love everything about them, textures, shapes, branches, leaves. Winter trees are particularly lovely because you can see the shape of the branches. I really like this particular beech tree in the sunlight. I took quite a few images and I am hoping to do a pointillism drawing from them soon.
I came across a wonderful, naturally occuring abnormality in this tree. It made me think of a scroll that messages were written on in olden times. Perhaps the tree spirits use it to write messages on for woodland folk...just a thought.
These lovely old gnargled trees are part of an old hedge which was laid to, presumably, provide a stock proof barrier between the fields on the right (now a park) and the woodland on the left. They have been left for many years to do their own thing and I think they do it beautifully. You can always recognise a previously laid hedge by the way the tree boles grow horizontally along the ground and then grow upright. My dad spent some time with a bilhook laying hedges years ago and we have a photo of my great grandfather doing the same thing in Northumberland at the turn of the century.
and lastly I found these ladybirds having a bit of a convention and enjoying the spring sunshine.
I love these quirky, mixed media pieces by husband and wife collaborators Deborah Banyas and T.P. Speer. They are two artists who work together to produce some amazing figures which they sell from their site. I love them, of course, because lots of them feature birds. They are handmade from stuffed cotton fabric, acrylic, polymer clay and metal. Their website, which you can find here, is full of these great little dolls and also the artwork of T.P Speer which is well worth a look.
Flying Fish Lady
Angel With Bluebird
I made a visit the other day to my favourite local art and craft gallery. They had a showing of mythical and legend related art and craftwork and one of the exhibitors was Ed Org. I had met Ed several times many years ago at craft fairs and we had chatted about drawing and I had drooled over his work. He has made great strides in popularity since those days and his work is now very collectable and popular. His subject matter is related to folklore and legends and abounds in fairies and tales of myth. His style, whether pencil, pen and ink or paint, is extremely detailed and intricate. I spent ages examing all the original pencil drawings and it was a real treat. I was delighted to find that he had written a book all about his art and how he achieves his particular look. Needless to say a copy came home with me and it is quite fascinating reading. You can see more of Ed's work here at Glastonbury Galleries and here at his own website.
Ed Org Book
Archer Of The Summer Isle
Moon Faerie and Snow Queen
Lady Of The Lake
Shellie Byatt is an English narrative artist who creates her wonderfully quirky works using paper collage, pencil, paint and ink. I would love to watch how she does that. Sources of inspiration are medieval and outsider art. She is a great teller of tales in my opinion and I really enjoyed visiting her website here where you can see lots more images.