Saturday, March 13, 2010

Other Worldly

After about two weeks of cold winds we have had a small taster of spring. The sun was warm, the birds singing and I am sure everyone was feeling much happier. It is amazing how much a bit of sunshine cheers people up. Must be all that Vitamin D.

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.

Afternoon Enchantment

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

Love Birds

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.

Reunion Hill

Soon Ripe, Soon Rotten

Don't Fight The Fish Hook

You Cannot Make Yourself Taller By Wearing A Big Hat


Lyn said...

Looking at your blog is an adventure in escalating do you do it?
I too have done the street views, found my building in NY and my son's in LA. Half expect to see us walking out!!

A bird in the hand said...

I love your drawings, Cathy. I especially admire the details!
Thank you for posting them.


Gillian said...

Love your new blog banner Cathy! I agree - a bit of sun is such a tonic! Fantastic drawing of Jack and your woodland photographs are magical! G

~ Phyllis ~ said...

I absolutely love your pictures in this blog post. You know me an gnarley/knobly trees. You are right it does look like a scroll. hmmm.
Cant's wait to try the new google site. Thanks for mentioning.
Glad you are having some Spring weather. Send some this way.
BTW your header picture is awesome.

Pomona said...

Those trees are absolutely wonderful - straight out of Lord of the Rings! We have also had lots of ladybirds at home - I think the sunshine has brought them out of all the nooks and crannies!

Pomona x

Cathy said...

Hi Lyn. It is good fun isn't it. Must limit my time on there though or I will never get anything done.

Cathy said...

Thanks Colette. I do love drawing. It makes a nice change from digital work. Glad you like them.

Cathy said...

Thanks Gillian. I hope to be out and about more with the camera now the weather is improving. So many beautiful things to photograph.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Phyllis. I thought it was time for a change of header. This one looks a bit wintry though. Perhaps I should have done it a while Our weather is definitely improving now. The daffs are making their way to opening now. I hope you get some decent weather soon. I thought you would like the gnarly trees. It is a pity they are facing the wrong way for the light but if I stand on the field side of them the view isn't so good.

Cathy said...

Hi Pomona. Yes the trees are lovely. Such interesting shapes. I must have a go at drawing some of them.

Caroline said...

Hi Cathy - I spent too long on the maps!!! Jack is super, your trees are fantastic but my favourite this week is the photo with the ladybirds! Love the little splashes of red in there. Oh and I really like your new header too! Glad your weather is picking up now - enjoy some spring sunshine!

Acornmoon said...

My tow favourites are your crown piece and the lady with the big fish, both splendid.

It is so nice to have a bit of sunlight, I am a great believer in vitamin D.

jeannine davidoff said...

Cathy i am amazed and gobsmacked and inspired every single time i look at your site. i will share a photo of a ficus we have through my blog, as soon as i get down to taking it.
you will love it
enjoy your day!

Cathy said...

The weather is improving daily Caroline. It will be the first day of spring in a few days time. I love ladybirds too. They are so bright and pretty. Glad I found those.

Cathy said...

It certainly makes a difference Valerie. Cheers everyone up as well.

Cathy said...

I look forward to seeing it Jeannine. Nice to hear that you are inspired by my posts.


Lovely to see Izumi's work and your work is fabulous. I also enjoyed the knarled trees

Did you enjoy the book?


Cathy said...

Thanks Carolyn. I can't get enough of lovely old trees. Luckily we have lots to chose from around here.

tammykingdon said...

I too came across Izumi's work in Cornwall last year and you are right, it is definitely otherwordly and quite captivating. I can only afford the greeting cards though.
Love the drawing of the lady of the lake- such attention to detail I might have the patience to do something like that but time... that's another matter.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Love the drawing of your cat, Cathy and the photos of trees and ivy. Izumi used to be a member of Art Space co-op. She's as nice as her paintings and very hard working. Bfn, Lesley

Cathy said...

That is the thing isn't it Tammy...time? Something we are all short of alas. Those drawings of Ed Org's took him thousands of hours of painstaking work. I take my hat off to him.

Cathy said...

How nice that you know her Lesley. Of course she is from your part of the world isn't she? Her work is quite magical. Glad you like the cat. I am thinking of doing another cat soon. I enjoyed drawing Jack.

ArtPropelled said...

Exquisite drawing of Jack! Glad you will be doing more cat drawings.
I love the quirky mixed media pieces too.

Artist said...

good job on the eyes, on your cat! very good!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Another wonderful post! I love your portrait of Jack and your tree photos - such wonderful gnarled trunks. Also thanks for the link to Izumi Omori's webstie, her painings are so beautiful

Cathy said...

Thanks Robyn. I love quirky in any media. It appeals to my sense of fun.

Cathy said...

Thanks Artist. I am pleased with how Jack turned out.

Cathy said...

Hi Juliet. Yes Izumi Omori produces some gorgeous work. I am pleased you like the trees. Trees are my passion.

Kat Mortensen said...

That Jack is one handsome lad! I adore your drawings of him.
Your photographs are terrific too - the way those ladybirds pop in that shot is remarkable.
Weather's has been pretty nice all week, but today's a bit nippy. Still, we're definitely on track for spring.


Chatters said...

Hi Cathy Your cat drawing is lovely. The trees are gorgeous too, I love trees, can spend many happy hours in woods with lovely knobbly trees. Trees always have such a spiritual feeling

Cathy said...

I agree Kat. I went for a long walk today and the buds are starting to appear over here in lots of trees now and the daffs are well established. Apparently here in England we are back to the time spring used to start about twenty years ago.

Cathy said...

I couldn't agree more Amanda. They are my favourite things in the plant world. I could quite easily live in a wood.

Old World Primitives said...

Hi Cathy,
As usual, I love your drawings this week! I especially like the composition of Three Hens And Flowers and the details and splashes of color in both.

The trees from your walks are interesting indeed! I really like your photo with all of the rook nests in it as well. I am curious to see where your needlework will take you this year...


Cathy said...

Thanks Stephanie. I love drawing hens. I think they are quite fascinating creatures. I haven't even had a chance to put needle to thread this week yet but my mind is busy with various ideas.