Friday, January 30, 2009

Nesting Tern and Jackie Morris

Terns will nest anywhere given the opportunity. Pen and ink with digital colouring.
For this image I had the idea of printing matt colours on piece of paper and then drawing over the top. Quite successful although I couldn't use my finest nibs because the paper is coated and kept blocking them. A Princess in a VERY stylised garden.
I discovered a wonderful book on leaves in a charity shop a while back and was inspired to create some leaf forms - although the decoration on them is mine and not from the book. The book contains some fantastic photos of leaves from all over the world.
Pen and Ink Sketch
Hurray, the snowdrops are out.
This photo is part of a 6th photo of the 6th folder meme. I was tagged by Robyn of the wonderful Art Propelled blog. It is difficult for me because I haven't been blogging that long and because I have very long pages, I don't have a 6th folder! This is the best I can do and I particularly like this one.

This is one of the most beautiful cemetery monumental angel statues I have ever seen. It is from Victorian East Finchley Cemetery which is in North London. The Victorians ran out of space to bury the dead in the mid 1800s so they started creating huge cemeteries in "then" rural areas outside London. There are many of them containing beautiful sculptures of every conceivable angel you can imagine. Some of these artworks are so wonderfully sculpted that they deserve to be housed safely in a museum. Sadly many of them are eroded by time and weather and often lose bits of their faces, or even worse, are daubed with graffitti or damaged by vandalism. I love this one particularly for the very melancholic and serene appearance of the face. A perfect angel for a cemetery.
I found these lovely posters on doing a search of the London Transport Museum shop site for "bluebells". Not very seasonal I know. London Transport created lots of beautiful posters and a lot of them are now collected as vintage items.

Margaret Calkin James
Anna Katrina Zinkeisen
Henry Perry
All the images below are the work of UK illustrator Jackie Morris. Details about Jackie's work and her blog links can be found at the bottom of the post. Particularly, if you love cats, don't miss her cat blog. It is priceless.

The Guardians
Illustration from Stories From The Stars
Pink Moon
Noah And Dove
Illustration from Stories From The Stars
Raven's Gift
Queen Of The White Bears
Not Sleeping
Sleeping With The White Bears
Race To The Swift
She Fed Him Rosehips
Hare Circle
Winter Caravan
Another week of winter has gone by and we are another week closer to Spring. I had a look at nearby favourite nesting sites for rooks, but they don't seem to have started building yet. It can only be another week or two before they do start. I love the sounds rooks make when they are sorting out their nests and building new ones. I like to watch them flying by with hugely long twigs in their beaks. I am always fascinated by how birds manage to fashion beautiful round nests out of seemingly long, straight twigs. A bit of ornithological magic going on there I think.

I was tagged by Gillian the other day at iheartcrafts.blogspot to post 6 things about myself that most people don't know. It wasn't too difficult as most of the people reading this blog don't know me Anyway, here goes:

6 Things About Me Most People Don't Know

1) I have delivered 43 babies who will all be in their early twenties now.

2) I learned to fence with a foil at school and won a bronze medal.

3) I loathe raw celery, dates, olives, and anything tasting of aniseed.

4) My favourite holiday would be touring the ancient capital cities of Europe - my least favourite would be sunbathing on a crowded beach.

5) I enjoy sailing on rough seas (given the chance) and riding on "scary fast" fairground rides.

6) I (and my brother) have traced our ancestry back to the mid-1600s in Yorkshire.

My featured artist this week is the extremely talented UK illustrator Jackie Morris. Jackie is well known for her beautiful childrens' book illustrations, but she has illustrated lots of other things as well, and also authored some of the books. She paints in a delightfully vibrant and vivid style of watercolour, and her polar bears particularly are a delight. I love the detail and colour palette she uses. She has an extensive website here which shouldn't be missed.

Jackie is also an assidous blogger (where does she find the time for all this?). Her blog "Starlight, Starbright tracks the journey of the book she is illustrating. Another blog called We Three, Ginger Cat Tales tells lovely stories about her animals with hilarious photos and finally, here you will find Paperboats. Plenty to see and enjoy this week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rain, Birds and Greg Poole

It is a bit of a birdy post this week. It took quite a while to get the colours right for this one. The colours seen on the screen are often not the colours you see when the piece is printed.

I am always thinking up new ways to decorate trees. I really like this pen and ink with digital colour.

I used some hands from a magazine picture for this pen and ink drawing. I think I have mentioned before that I cannot draw hands to save my life. This is entitled "Falling Leaves".

This is a digital piece called Ladder Birds for obvious reasons. I so liked the design of the birds with the pink tree in this post that I decided to use them for this drawing as well.

I thought you might like to see these delightful ceramics by ceramicist and sculptor Paul Smith. Lovely quirky items.

I found another very old and deliciously gnarled tree for those visitors, who, like me, love trees. This reminds me of the trees in Fangorn Forest in LOTR.

I have a great love of winter ploughed fields in the landscape. This is a local scene and a great draw for dog walkers.

We have had some beautifully misty mornings lately. They may be decidedly awkward for driving but they are great for landscape photography. The following images are all the work of UK artist and illustrator Greg Poole. He has a lovely and huge website here. You can find more information about him at the bottom of this post.

Apparently we are having the wettest winter in the UK...ever. Not sure how far back "ever" extends, but it certainly sounds as if it is unusually wet. Being a water sign I don't mind water on the whole. I am not too keen on walking in it if I haven't got a waterproof on though. A nice warm waterproof jacket, waterproof over trousers and a pair of sturdy walking boots and you can walk for miles in the rain. It does amazing beautiful things to winter trees. Sparkling drops on the ends of dark branches etc. The only trouble with photographing them is that the camera is likely to get a bit wet. It also brings a huge number of wild birds to the garden bird tables and grass. The blackbirds are particularly amusing - chasing each other out of the garden when there are worms aplenty for all.

My featured artist this week is a multi-media English artist called Greg Poole. I have seen Greg's work exhibited for many years at the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. He has a huge interest and love of birds and nature in general and especially conservation. He has also illustrated books and magazines. Whenever I visit the SWLA exhibition, I always make a beeline for the printmaking section where his work is usually to be found.

His website is here and you can find a huge amount of his work there. I have posted a selection of his work but mainly prints. He produces silkscreens, monoprints, paintings, drawings and collages. His work has a lovely graphic spontaneity. He admits to creating bird art as an aesthetic rather than a scientific appreciation. Whatever he does, he does beautifully anyway.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Women In Boats And Nicola Slattery

This is a straight forward pen and ink drawing entitled "Crossing The River". I loved doing the cross hatching on her dress. Very therapeutic and relaxing. Sorry this image cannot be enlarged. Just one of the really annoying things about blogger is that it picks at least one image in each post that it refuses to enlarge and for this post it just happens to be this one.
This shows the magazine photos which provided the inspiration for this drawing.

This is a combination of watercolour and digital colour. She is meant to be hiding in the long grass but I think she is trying to attract someones attention with the bright yellow balloon which the bird is holding. A digitally coloured image. This picture is called "The Visitor and started off as pen and ink and was then coloured digitally.

Doesn't everyone just love Etsy? So much variety and so much talent in one place. I discovered the creator of these lovely fabric pieces on the site the other day. She is Jane and is the owner of The Seventh Magpie etsy shop where she sells these lovely door guardians and lots of other delicate textile pieces. I think the idea of a door guardian is a lovely thought. Jane also has a blog which is well worth a browse.

The following images are all by English artist Nicola Slattery. Her extensive website can be found at I love all her work but I particularly like her ladies and fish images. Some of the pictures below are of prints and some are paintings. I have collected quite a few magazine articles about her work over the past few years and even attended one of her drypoint etching workshops which I loved. My etching didn't turn out brilliantly but that was due to me and not Nicola's I would love to try another drypoint etching class one day.

A Good Catch - Nicola Slattery
All At Sea - Nicola Slattery
Seductive Pool - Nicola Slattery
Gathering Fish - Nicola Slattery
Showers Of Flowers - Nicola Slattery
Exchanging Spires - Nicola Slattery
Companion - Nicola Slattery
Woodland Woman - Nicola Slattery
Lighthouse People - Nicola Slattery
Naming The Animals - Nicola Slattery
Gifts From The Sea - Nicola Slattery
Green Girl - Nicola Slattery

Hallowed Cat - Nicola Slattery
I was hoping to be out and about taking some winter photos this week but it has just been too inclement. I know, I am a coward where bad weather is concerned. I don't mind wind or rain or even wind and rain but I don't like being cold. No different from anyone else really. Driving past in the warm car I watch guiltily the brave, active people trotting off down the road. Perhaps this coming week will be warmer....!

My featured artist this week is a lady who I have mentioned before but I haven't posted any examples of her art. Nicola Slattery is very well known in the UK art world and her work is extremely popular with the buying public. She has a very interesting and extensive website here with a lovely array of her art and details of the art courses she holds.

Nicola is a painter and printmaker and her mainly figurative work has a lovely, contemporary/folk look to it. There is always more to see than what is represented on the surface, and the images are very thought provoking. Her beautiful, gentle ladies can be seen floating amidst dreamy scenery stroking wonderful animals and birds. Oh to live in a beautiful world like that. Well, one can dream.