Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blog Giveaway Winners and Batik Artists

I have picked the winners of my blog giveaway and I have decided that you are all winners. The nine people who left comments on the previous post are all going to receive a set of the greetings cards. I may have to reduce the white deer four to three as there are so many of you though. Perhaps you can all let me have your full names and addresses so that I can get them in the post asap before the Christmas rush begins and I hope you all like what you receive.

This is my pen and ink drawing of my own metal tiara design but inspired by the one below.
This is the photo of the lovely silver and gold tiara from the book of the same name by Geoffrey Munn.
A digitally coloured drawing of a very stylised willow tree.
Not sure what she is doing on a tree but it was fun drawing her.
This is an organic form inspired by a old book of plant photographs. I added a few bits of my own of course.
On a completely different note this is for Phyllis who shares my love of interesting and knobbly trees. This one is mega knobbly and I think it must be several hundred years old. We discovered it on a walk one day in Hertfordshire.
One of my favourite batik books with lots of lovely illustrations.
A great batik book by the Batik Guild with lots of interesting images of batiks being created and the history of the batik.
This is an artwork by Sandi McCann
The three batiks below are by Jessica Hughes. She has an amazing style and sense of colour

The two batiks below are by Alla Sviridenko. You can find the link to her website in the text at the bottom of the post.

This wonderfully coloured batik is by Susan Schneider.
The following images are by Marina Elphick. She has also illustrated books with her lovely batiks. I have posted the link to her website in the text at the bottom of the post.

Faux batik surface design
Well that is my first blog giveaway completed and I decided to make everyone a winner because it seemed a shame to choose, plus the fact that it is nearly Christmas. Also I had completed a lot of cards so I have enough to spare for everyone. I will get them finished and in the post asap. Will everyone who made a comment on the giveaway post before my last comment please let me know your names and snail mail addresses. I hope you will all like the cards. I certainly have enjoyed creating them.

My artwork this week is mainly drawing, probably because I can draw quite quickly and I haven't had a lot of time to spare. The metal tiara drawing is inspired by the picture of the actual metal tiara. I obviously didn't copy it exactly but I love the artwork itself and it is made of silver and gold which makes it rather precious. I got a book of tiaras out of the library for that picture so expect a few more as there are some wonderful ones in there.

My featured artists this week are batik artists. I love batik and have several books about it with wonderful illustrations. It is something I have always wanted to try but never got around to it. It is amazing how much detail the featured artists have created in their artwork. Alla Sviridenko is a silk painter as well as a batik artist but her work is well worth seeing whatever the method. Her website can be found here. Jessica Hughes doesn't appear to have a website but Marina Elphick can be found here. I hope you enjoy the pictures of the artworks.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

50th Blog Post Giveaway

This giveaway is to celebrate my 50th blog post. I am giving away sets of eight handmade greetings cards to the lucky winners. There are one each of the four bird designs below and four of my white deer with trees design which I posted a couple of weeks ago. Go down the posts to the 2nd of November to find it. If you would like a chance of winning just leave a comment on this post before Sunday 30th November and I will put your name in the hat. If you are not a blogger you will need to let me know your email address.
These are the greetings cards for my giveaway. There are eight in total - four bird designs and four of the white deer design. All the cards are blank and will arrive with white envelopes and in cellophane wrappers.
I was trying for a dramatic costumed look with this drawing.

This image is called Victorian Necklace
I absolutely adore this wonderfully vibrant and stylised tapestry by Lilian Hill called Crested Birds. If I owned it it would have pride of place as a wall hanging where I could admire it every day.
Beautifully colourful tapestry called Sheep Among Flowers In A Meadow woven by Miriam Bawden The following artworks were all created by the multi-talented Mark Hearld and are a mixture of paintings, collages and linocuts.

This is my 50th blog post. Amazed that I have got this far really. I haven't actually been blogging for nearly a year because to start with I used to post several times a week. I gradually reduced it to weekly for convenience and time really. A weekly post suits me fine at the moment.

I have decided that my blog giveaway will be a set of eight handmade greetings cards featuring some of my new artwork and some of a previous piece from a couple of weeks ago which seemed quite popular. I had a lot of fun producing the four white bird designs but they took quite a long time. I hope whoever wins them will be pleased with their prize. I used to make a lot of handmade cards at one time but they do take quite a while as I print the image and then mount it on the cards. My computer printer isn't up to printing on stiff card so this is the only way I can do it.

I had a birthday lunch with three good friends the other day. It was quite a surprise, but a very welcome one. It took about 20 minutes to eat the meal and then 3 hours to gossip about all and sundry. We used to all work together at one time but three of us have gone on to other things. It was lovely to catch up on what everyone was doing and have a good laugh into the bargain. The world would be a duller place without friends.

My artist this week is the talented English artist Mark Hearld. He produces work via linocuts, collages, paintings and ceramics. He is inspired by the natural world and animals and birds play a large part in his work. He doesn't appear to have his own website but his work can be found at various sites including St Jude's Gallery, and The Yew Tree Gallery which shows some of his ceramics.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Julia Manning Prints and Japanese Woodcut cards

Have you ever wondered what is inside a pear? Well now you know. It is the pear people of course but they cannot be seen by everyone.
I absolutely love the combination of black, white and red. It is perfect for drawings. I have been doing a series of black and red birds this week and these are two of them. Very fine feathers indeed.
This scene was inspired by a picture of a lovely applique. Not too keen on the colours I have used though. I think something brighter might have looked better.
This is my 2007 Christmas card. The snowy scene was from one of my own photographs of a rare snowy weather. The snow lasted a whole day.
These are cards by Mocchi Mocchi and are Japanese woodcuts. You can find their website here. I love the minimal palette they have used and the designs are really lovely.

The images below are the work of Somerset artist and printmaker Julia Manning who can be found here.

Goodness, my 49th blog post already and it only seems like the other day that I started blogging. I must admit I am enjoying it much more than I thought I would. Originally, I started blogging several times a week but I have gradually settled into just blogging weekly. That is quite enough really as time is always short. I really admire those people who have the commitment and "enough to say" to be able to blog daily. I certainly wouldn't be able to produce daily artwork although some do. I take my proverbial hat off to them.

Next week I will be having my first blog giveaway. I think I know what it will be but minds do get changed, particularly mine, so I am not saying anything else at the moment. I have been lucky enough to win 2 blog giveaways and I am thrilled with both of them, so I think it is time I returned the favour, and what better time to do it than my 50th post. All will be revealed as they say in the best circles.

I am still finding lovely cards to post and have found another three this week. One of them is a Christmas card and the other two general purpose. They are illustrations of a Japanese company called Mocchimocchi and I think they are quite beautiful. I believe they are from woodcuts. They have a website which is in Japanese but it is nice just to look at the artwork.

My featured artist is from Somerset and is a printmaker and painter called Julia Manning. She has an extensive website here. She has travelled widely and has produced work connected with her travels. Her work is very much concerned with nature and animals and birds and is produced as linocuts, etchings and woodcuts. She also sells a range of cards on her site. I saw some of her work at the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries a few weeks ago and was very impressed with her raven images. Apparently she has access to draw the ravens at the Tower of London - my favourite place for raven photographs. The legend is that if the ravens ever leave the Tower, England will fall, so there are always a certain number of ravens living there and a couple of spares just in case. They all have names and even have a Tower warden just to look after them. Things have certainly improved for them since the days they scavanged the bodies of the poor unfortunates who lost their heads on Tower Green.