Friday, February 4, 2011

A Tiny Gallery And Some Great TV

There is some good news on the TV front at the moment - Time Team is back for another series. I have been watching this programme for 18 years and I love it still. Tony is definitely even more rotund and irritating but even he doesn't mar the great archaeology. Is there anyone in the country not watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series? Compulsive and fascinating. I couldn't believe the girl who wore the wedding dress with the multiple battery packs and lights and which weighed 20 stone. Lastly a bit of spook in Marchlands. This series covers three time lines but is very well acted. No artwork next week then. I will be too busy watching the box...only joking!

This is a digital piece called Black Bird In A Bright Garden

This is an ink and watercolour I call "The Shieling". Those little coloured dashes took forever but I like the effect. It is a bit like running stitch embroidery.

I visited a tiny little art and craft shop last week in the market town of Wendover. The shop was so tiny the three of us in there were almost a crowd but it was filled with delightful crafty goodness. I was amazed when the friendly owner Kate told me that she had made everything herself. There is such a variety and all very reasonably priced. If you click on the two photos you can see everything in more detail. Kate's friend Mary also showed us some of her exquisite textile work. I spent quite a while in there chatting to these two delightful and very talented ladies and will definitely return soon.

I had only taken a small amount of cash with me so I wasn't able to purchase much but I did get the lovely hare card, an exquisite map heart and a tiny vintage Oxo tin. You can find Kate's website here so pop over and pay her a visit.

Two mysterious secret pools I discovered whilst out walking. I hope to incorporate the first one in a pen and ink drawing.

For all lovers of mid-century textile design the name of Jacqueline Groag will be quite familiar. She was a Jewish emigre to Britain from Czechoslovakia at the time of WWII. She had previously lived and worked in Vienna with her architect husband. She produced some amazing and iconic designs for the next forty years. This lovely big book is full of her intricate and illustrative design style for furnishing and clothing fabrics. I have read it cover to cover but will definitely read it again.

I discovered a wonderful field full of old and gently decaying sunflowers recently. I find it quite fascinating to see the degradation that time, weather and the birds have wrought on their previous beauty. Very few of the flower heads have any seeds left which means they have provided sustenance for our feathered friends during the cold winter that we have had.

and here are some plant heads put into PS filters. You may have to click to enlarge to see the detail properly.

I know where I will be going if I am lucky enough to come into some money. Helen Shere's silver jewellery is quite exquisite and she has a really delightful Etsy shop here. Helen graduated in 2004 with a design degree and she now lives and works in Nottingham. Her work is very illustrative in nature and she is inspired by whimsical birds and animals and nature generally. If you go to her website here you can see her different collections at the top.

Bird In The Garden Rings

Dunnock Brooch

Bird On The Tree

The beautiful etchings below are the work of American artist Francis Kelly. He was born in Minnesota and studied art in various locations before coming to the UK to settle and work. He has studied and carried out painting conservation and restoration work and is the author of several books. His work has been shown at many galleries and museums. He has produced a wide variety of art including etchings and paintings of coastal scenes, landscapes, nudes, floral and his poster series. I definitely love his stunning landscape etchings of all his work though. You can see lots of his art on his very comprehensive website here.


Field Gate

Old Oak

Country Lane


Lesley said...

Hello Cathy,
I've been reading regularly for quite a while now, and decided it was well and truly time to tell you how much I enjoy and appreciate your thoughtful blog.
Your discoveries very often lead me to interesting artists and websites and blogs, and it's all such a great pleasure.
Thank you!

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Lesley. It is lovely to hear when people enjoy the blog.

Gretel said...

I really love 'The Shieling', I thought it WAS a piece of textile art until I read further.
And have added more to my bookmarks and Amazon wishlist, coming here is lethal, there are far too many lovely links and artists!

I am James. said...

Another excellent post, love the etchings and your black bird also those old sunflowers look great with a filter ripe for someone's designer loft conversion, Im also enjoying time team again, often I find pottery, nails, horse shoes and clay pipes or old bottles in my garden which was a former victorian farm.

Cathy said...

Glad you are enjoying them Gretel. We could all do with an extra 8 hours in each day for reading blogs and checking out websites etc.

Cathy said...

Sounds like an interesting place to live James. We only found old rubbish in our garden when we moved in. Time Team is fascinating and I am so glad it is back. Those archaeologists are such characters.

ale balanzario said...

Thanks Cathy for another excellent post,
Your little house ink and watercolor is a very good one, love how you did the sky, and the fields, great textures, great work!!

Have a very nice week.

Cathy said...

Thanks so much Ale. I enjoyed that little painting. I will probably do some more using the dash technique. It is a good way of getting a bit more texture into the picture.

rossichka said...

I think I'll come back soon to read this post again!
The bird contrasts to the garden and it becomes brighter... And that coloured, soft meadow is wonderful!
The two lakes look mysterious, especially in black and white. It'll be interesting to see them in all the seasons!
I like very much the old, dried sunflowers! We have a lot of sunflower fields around my town, but I've enjoyed them only in summer when they shine with bright yellow beauty...
Thank you, Cathy!

deb said...

Oh I wish we had My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series here. Sounds like fun! Love 'The Shieling' and the Black Bird. Thank you for another fascinating post.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Another lovely post! I love the sunflower heads and the effects in the later photos of them, as you say its nice to know that the seedheads helped to keep the birds alive through the winter

Cathy said...

Thanks so much Rossichka for your kind comments. I love bright gold sunflowers too but I also enjoy the natural progression to decay and the return to the earth. Perhaps one day I will be walking past a field of sunflowers in full bloom.

Cathy said...

Thanks Deb. That series has really gripped the country's imagination. I can't wait for next week's episode.

Cathy said...

Hi Juliet. Yes, they would have looked nice with the seeds intact but far more important to keep our bird population healthy during the hard times. I bet the field was awash with goldfinches during the autumn.

Flora said...

Some great finds here - I'm already a fan of Shere designs Jewellery... and that textile book looks right up my street!

Cathy said...

Thanks Flora. Shere jewellery is gorgeous isn't it.

tammykingdon said...

What a gorgeous craft shop you found- and I love what you've done with those photos in photoshop. I confess to having an obsession with the ageing/decaying process after choosing it as a topic for my final project whilst at college. The patterns and effects are amazing as you have shown.

Cathy said...

I quite agree Tammy. It is interesting to follow the natural cycle of birth, life and decay in the plant world. After all everyone loves plant seedheads and that is the decay cycle. I find it fascinating too.

ArtPropelled said...

The Shieling and Helen Shere's brooches are the highlights of this post for me. Amazing digital effects you've created with the sunflower heads too.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Robyn. I was pleased at how the sunflowers had turned out.