Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Images And A Very Odd Tree

Well, Christmas is very nearly upon us. I still have my own cards to write out and send but I think everything else is done. I cannot believe that we are nearly into 2011. Where did the past ten years go? I hope all your arrangements and celebrations are going according to plan. I will probably do one more blog post and then rest until the New Year in order to recharge my blogging (or is that flagging) batteries.

This is a digital drawing using a favourite colour combination pink and pale green. Not your typical winter scene but I like it. The basis of it is another drawing in my sketchbook project book that I scanned into photoshop and coloured, although the trees are pen and ink. That sketchbook project is proving very useful in providing me with artwork for my blog.

and this version is for when Christmas is over

This is a quirky digital image that I concocted from another drawing in my sketchbook project. Took a while but I quite like the result.

I had to share this very strange old tree with you. I discovered it whilst out walking recently. The tree appears to be completely dead except for a large bush of leaves growing from two places. I have uploaded one of the leaf bushes but the other one is completely different. I don't really understand how this has come about but then I am no botanist.

This view looks like a tree giant preparing to hurl a ball of leaves and twigs at someone.

Here are another three great Christmas card designs that I found at the weekend. Christmas always brings out some lovely images, with birds being popular themes.

Richard Barrett for Paper Rose

Emma Pack for Avocado Designs. Such a cute Christmas design. I love the birds.

Agnieszka Jatkowska - Dove Over Bethlehem. Another lovely Ling card. Agnieszka has worked as an in house designer for them. You can see more of her lovely work on her website here.

Many years ago I found a beautiful picture without any title or artist name and I pasted into one of my art inspiration scrapbooks. Every time since that I have looked at that image I have wondered who painted it and a little while ago, quite by chance, I found out. I happened to see the book below in a charity shop and thought ha...I will have to get that. It was whilst I was leafing through that I found my blue angel. They say that everything comes to she who waits.

Cecil Collins died in 1989 but he left a wonderful catalogue of visionary and inspirational artwork which has been distributed to many galleries including the Tate in London. His images of archetypes such as angels, sybils and fools are intriguing and I think he had quite a naive, folk style although others would probably disagree. Anyway, I love what he did and I love this book which was published by Judith Collins to celebrate his retrospective at the Tate. There is now another book published which has for the cover the image at the bottom - The Great Happiness. I think I would like that one too...haha.

Cecil Collins Book

Head Of An Angel

The Sleeping Fool

Bird Singing In A Tree

Hymn To Night

The Great Happiness

You can see by the proponderance of images containing those cold, white, spiky things that we have had frost after frost lately. So pretty to photograph but oh my fingers...! I had to put my gloves back on quickly or I swear I would have frostbitten digits. Not a good thing for artists, or anyone come to think of it. Sometimes the hoar frost lasted for several days and gave the trees such a wonderful, otherworldly appearance. I won't mention Narnia again.

These delightfully whimsical creations are the work of American Etsy crafter Laura of Blue Terracotta. Laura lives in France with her family. My eye was taken by these textile bird brooches which she makes from decorator and vintage fabric remnants, but her shop is also full of other lovely mixed media pieces from recycled and found objects, soft sculptures and plushies. Definitely worth visiting. You can find her at her Etsy shop here and also at her website here.

Fabric Bird Brooches

Textile Bird Brooch

Egyptian Fabric Bird Brooches

Floral Linen Owl Pillows

The lovely paintings below are the work of very talented French artist Veronique Avon. She was originally from Provence but now lives in Herefordshire in England. Her very varied work shows a combination of scenes from both places. She has created work in traditional oils and also more whimsical images. You can find lots to look at on her website here. I love the delicately painted angels below. They have a feel about them of the illustrations you would find in medieval books.

Ange Gaucher
Ange Drotier


bunnits said...

I like the Christmas and After treatments and the Christmas Bird.

Great frost photos.

And wonderful art. I'm happy.

deb said...

I love your Christmas bird and your frost photos are just beautiful. Quite the opposite of the weather we are having! I hope you have a restful and relaxing Christmas and New Year.

Cathy said...

I am very pleased to know that Melissa. We all complain about cold, frost and snow but you can get some fantastic photos, providing you do so before your fingers drop

Cathy said...

Hi Deb. Everything is a bit fraught at the moment because I have a huge pile of letters and cards to do but they will eventually get sent off. Every year I try to be early with them and every year I fail miserably. Glad you like the Christmas Bird. It was a bit of an afterthought but they are often the best.

BlueTerracotta said...

Lovely frosty photos! I also love the angel paintings! Thank you for featuring my textile work as well. This is a great post full of amazing art ;)

Crafty Green Poet said...

wonderful frost photos! Your odd tree is very interesting, I would guess that something else has seeded on the branches and is responsible for the growth of leaves.

Suztats said...

Wonderful post! Love your ice pics!

acornmoon said...

Another visual feast. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all your inspirations and artworks.
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas x

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Laura. I enjoy finding art and crafts like your lovely textile work.

Cathy said...

Hi Juliet. Frost is great for interesting shots but oh the cold Someone suggested it might be mistletoe that has parasitised the tree. Sounds likely. My photo is too dark to see the actual shape of the leaves so I will have to go back and see if there are any white berries on it.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much for visiting and commenting Suztats. Lovely to hear from new people.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Valerie. I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas too. We are expecting snow shortly and I expect you neck of the woods is too.

teresa stieben said...

looks like mistletoe on the dead tree. Lighten the image slightly and you should be able to see it its berries on it. Merry Christmas.

Flora said...

Your Christmas cards are really beautiful - with and without snow! Love the colour combination... it is simultaneously calming and cheering somehow. Reminds me very much of that eerie light you sometimes get just before it snows, when the clouds get all thick and heavy but the sun is low in the sky and shining up underneath them. Just like today in fact!

Cathy said...

Hi Teresa. I tried lightening but it didn't show any berries. It may because I photographed it some months ago before the berries appeared. I am pretty certain that it is mistletoe now.

Cathy said...

Hi Flora. I love that colour combination. When I worked in SCBU as a trainee midwife I used to dress the tiny babes in pink or pale green babygro's and the alternating colour in cardigans. No-one else liked the combination except me though. I know what you mean about the sky before snow. We have had a huge amount of that recently.

Caroline said...

Hi Cathy
I am trying to catch up with the blogs at the moment and have just enjoyed viewing the goodies you have here! Love the frosty pics - nice to view in the warmth here - had forgotten what it's like to have icy fingers till you reminded me! The tree with the mistletoe is so amusing, as you say, it's just about to lob that at someone! I also love those bird brooches and your pink and green digital illustrations - how handy to be able to make the snow vanish! Off to read your latest post now!

Cathy said...

Hi Caroline. Glad my frosty pix have reminded you of merry old England in the winter. We are deep in snow at the moment but there is supposed to be a thaw coming in time for Christmas day I think.

andamento said...

Hi Cathy, I missed this post at the time. I think your frosty photos are beautiful. Frost may be cold but it is indeed very pretty!

Cathy said...

I quite agree Anne. I am still trying to get my photos as good as yours though...haha. I will keep trying!