Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Little Bit Of Whimsey And Cuteness

My poor blog posts get later and later, mainly because I am so busy at the moment with other things. I had intended doing some more etchings this week but couldn't fit them in. I will try and get some done for my next post though. I will also have to start thinking about my 2010 Christmas card artwork - already!

Dancer And Fox Friend - Ink and Fibre Tip Pens

Pen and ink drawing called The Bird
I visited a local car boot sale on Sunday and found some useful things. The book below only cost a small amount and it is stuffed with copyright free angel art - large and small. A very good find for an artist who finds drawing wings difficult. No excuse now so watch out for some angelic drawings in the next posts.

This pile of magazines are Photography Monthly and Elle Decoration. They both cost roughly £3.50 new but I got them very cheaply. I worked out that if I had bought them new they would have cost me £62 but I got them for £5.50. Not a bad bargain really. They have lots of lovely photographs which I use in my scrapbooks for inspiration for my own artwork.

The lovely porcelain figures below are the work of Scottish ceramacist Eleanor Bartleman. Eleanor's work has a strong mythical and narrative element and all the figures are beautifully and delicately modelled. She now lives in Devon and sells her work all over the country. You can find Eleanor's website here and if you click on each individual image in the gallery it will take you to further images.

Nymph With Squirrels

Rabbit Reclining

Here are a few of the lovely creatures we have met on our travels recently. Below is a Patagonian Mara which is basically a giant guinea pig. This one was in the corner of field bordering Whipsnade Zoo. He didn't seem a bit frightened. You cannot see it here but he was behind a wire fence.

This is one of a herd of lovely Jacob sheep. I love this breed. They are always beautifully marked and interestingly enough they are actually black sheep with white markings and not the other way round which is what I thought.

These two shots are of a large flock of Canada geese and young near a local reservoir. The adult birds were very protective of the young ones and I was kept a very close eye on by a number of adults whilst I was getting my photos of them.

Carry Akroyd was one of the artists in the printmaking marquee at Art In Action. I have featured her gorgeous work before on this blog but I was really pleased to see that she had a wonderful new book out. I had some book tokens and so I bought myself a copy. It is a wonderful book full of her vibrantly coloured screenprints and linocuts. She has a fantastic style and is very interested in nature, birds and ecology.

I also have a copy of her beautifully illustrated book of John Clare's poetry which is authored by David Powell. There are masses of linocuts in this softbacked book and it is one I treasure.

Definitely one of my best art book finds this year. Carry Akroyd is a lovely, friendly lady too and it is just a pity that I was so excited about the book I forgot to take a photo of her stand at the event.

The lovely graphic and stylised images below are from two greetings cards that I bought from Waterperry when I visited Art In Action. I found them in the permanent art and craft gallery that is there all the year around. They have some wonderful items. These are by artist Gail Kelly whose website is called Algan Arts. Gail is an Irish printmaker who produces her beautiful images onto Irish linen and also creates etchings and lithographs of mystical sites and standing stones and circles. Pop over to her site to look at her artwork here. There is lots to see and admire.



I was really delighted to discover the artist Angela Smyth recently. I love her wonderfully quirky and humorous work. She also does some great pen and ink illustrations. Angela comes from an Irish background and her father taught her how to draw shire horses from a very early age. That early tutelage has paid off because now her lovely work is collected world wide. If you go here to the Hawthorne Gallery you can see masses of her artwork and a lovely biographical note about her life and work.


Make Me A Wish

Friends For Life

Cherry Cakes

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Art In Action 2010

I have gone all black and white and graphic this week. This is a pen and ink drawing called "Waiting For A Friend"
Just a little cat and bird drawing
I found a beautiful piece of music on YouTube the other day which I know you will all love. It is called Saylon Dola by Russell Watson and Maire Brennan - gorgeous. I think I have almost worn out this version.

Art In Action 2010 seems to have come round very quickly this year. It was just as enjoyable as in previous years but I didn't take so many photos. Last year I concentrated so much on photos that I missed quite a lot so this year I concentrated on seeing more whilst I was there. My main areas of interest were the drawing and printmaking, illustration and textile marquees but I did manage to get round everything. I also bought a beautiful book which I will tell you about next week. You will need to click on the photos to enlarge.

This papier mache sculpture by David Farrer was one of my favourite pieces of the whole show. It doesn't look it here but it is about four feet tall and enormous. All the body is covered in pages from books. You can see more of David's work here on his website. If you click on "making and conservation" which is just under the image blocks you can see how the sculptures are made.

The needle felted artwork below is by Eve Kelly. She takes needle felting to a new level with her amazing work. You wouldn't think this was created just using felted wool and a needle and a whole heap of talent of course.

Below is textile weaver Alpa Mistry at her Dobby Loom where she weaves beautiful silk items. You can see Alpa's website here.

Two views of the huge ceramics marquee

Whilst I was at the show I tootled off to the beautiful gardens to take some photos. Waterperry is well known for its trees, shrubs and flowers. Below is a selection of some of the flowers and seedheads I came across.

and the pears for which Waterperry is famously named.

This is well known artist Jenny Wheatley demonstrating her work in the painting marquee. Some of you may remember Jenny as the guest judge on one of the series of Watercolour Challenge with Hannah Gordon. I used to love watching that programme. Jenny's painting style is very bright and contemporary. Below you can see a couple of her paintings. You can see more of Jenny's work on her website here or at the Bourne Gallery here.

Witch's House, Keswick

Party Shoes

This is a photo of Jane Hickman's greetings cards printed from her original batik designs. I have mentioned Jane and her gorgeous work before but for anyone who doesn't know her you can find her website here.

I spent a long time browsing in the printmaking and drawing marquee. I came across some well known artists there. One of them was Carry Akroyd who I have mentioned previously. The work is very varied and of such a high standard and it is fascinating to watch these experts demonstrating and explaining their techniques. I could have spent the entire day in just this one marquee. I don't blame the people who get a ticket for the entire four days of the show. Brilliant idea.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Art Swap, Angels and Nymolle Ceramics

I have had a very busy time since last blogging but I have lots of catching up with everyones' blog posts to do now. We have had some much needed rain but it has gone back to hot, hot, hot again this week. The summer is speeding away and Christmas is just around the corner...just joking....or am I?

A while back (quite a long while back actually). Lesley of sea blue sky abstracts blogspot and I agreed to do an art swap. She sent me this beautiful painting very quickly but then had to wait ages until I had done my pen and ink drawing. She was very patient. I love this artwork for its lovely lines and gorgeous, serene colours. I haven't yet decided the best place for it to hang but I am working on that. Lesley is a very talented artist who lives in Cornwall and is inspired to produce beautiful artwork of the Cornish sea and coast. Pop over to her blog and say hello.

this is the pen and ink drawing I produced entitled Nuthatch which I am glad to say Lesley liked. She didn't specify any particular theme but left it to me to decide. I just hoped that she liked birds!

This is my latest digital drawing entitled "taking care not to spill any". I posed my mother with this one as she has good hands for drawing. In fact she has provided the reference for a lot of my drawings involving hands.

I found some lovely new James Lynch greetings cards a short while ago. You may remember that I featured this fantastic artist some weeks ago. He works in oil and egg tempera and produces beautiful landscape and animal work with a lovely glow to the colours. The cards are by Towell and Scott and you can see the full range of James Lynch's cards here.

Some views of the beautiful countryside nearby. The trees are looking very lovely in their deep green summer garb and this week we have had some much needed rain so hopefully everything will not be turning brown too soon.

Out on our geocaching walk recently we invited ourselves to homemade cakes and teas at a local church hall. I spotted these lovely angels whilst walking through the churchyard. I have been to this particular church before but these seem to have escaped my eagle gaze. They are sculpted in beautiful honey coloured stone and are so pretty that I couldn't leave without a photo. The cakes were delicious by the way and the tea came in large mugs. Much better on a hot day than the delicate china cups.

and here is the complete monument to Alfred Gates complete with the trio of angels. Aren't they lovely. They look particularly nice with the filtered sunshine highlighting them.

I am a great fan of retro ceramics and textiles and I found some great images of Bjorn Wiinblad's wall plaques a little while ago. Wiinblad was well known for his sweet, whimsical and very detailed designs. These wall plaques were designed for Danish pottery Nymolle and you can find the rest of the set here. Interestingly they are not as expensive as I thought they would be.

Konflikt Wall Plaque

Paradis Wall Plaque

Maskerade Wall Plaque

I have long had a great admiration for the paintings of Ophelia Redpath. Ophelia is an English artist who originally decided on music as a career but later turned to painting, and we are very glad she did. Her work has quite an old world, almost naive charm about it, with intense colours and detail. She has exhibited very widely both here and abroad and is very well known and collected. You can see a huge display of her artwork here at the Darryl Nantais Gallery.

Grow Your Own

Feeding The Geese

Bring Back My Bonnie To Me

I found a couple of lovely little booklets in a charity shop recently. They are about touring the county of Herefordshire and contain lovely illustrations by Peter Manders. They are scraperboard engravings and if I ever get even a tiny way towards producing work like this I would be very happy. The details of the engravings are wonderful. I have shown just a few below but there are lots more. I couldn't really find out anything about Peter Manders on the Internet unfortunately so no links to more of his work.


Moccas Park

Lower Brockhampton