Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tag - Seven Things I Love And Pretty Pictures

This is a pen and ink drawing called "Out Of Place, Out Of Time". I tried a new ink technique to draw the tree and get some texture into it and I think it worked quite well.
This is called multicoloured tree for fairly obvious reasons. It is a design I have used several times in different colours because I like the shape of the tree so much.
This is a pen and ink and digital image which I had fun playing around with.
I found some nice geese photos the other day and thought they would translate nicely into this scene. Quite a subdued palatte this time.
I fell in love with this delightful image by Anita Jeram for Two Bad Mice cards. I think this cat has so much character. I would love to find him sitting among the flowers in our garden.
I found another lovely card by the Japanese company Mocchi Mocci. Their cards are too nice to give away so I collect them myself.
I was given a lovely blogger award (thank you Caroline) and tagged the other day by Caroline of the delightful Caroline's Studio blog. I have to post 7 things that I love. That is easy peasy for me as I have trillions of things I love but I will try to whittle the list down to manageable proportions. Caroline illustrated her list with images, which is a great idea, so I am going to do the same thing.

You can see I have found the Text Colour button on blogger, can't Didn't even know they had one!

7 Things I Love

1) Bluebell woods in springtime. This one is close to where I live.
2) Art and Craft and other inspirational books. This is a tiny proportion of my collection!!!
3) Ancient churches like this one in South Bucks which dates back over a thousand years and contains Roman masonry in its fabric.
4) Wonderful old trees like this amazing ash tree at Clapton Court in Somerset and photographed for Thomas Pakenham's beautifully illustrated "Meetings with Remarkable Trees".
5) Split into two between my two cats - Tiggy
and Jack
6) Rooks (real and artistic) like this beautifully illustrated one by Deborah King in her childrens' book called Rook.
7) New York Baked Cheesecake posted by Flickrite {vickybee} ties with the wonderful Il Divo. To eat a piece of cheesecake whilst listening to Il Divo is the ultimate of course.
The following beautiful images are the work of English landscape painter Mervyn Goode.

Autumn Track

Sheep And Frosty Shadows
Foxgloves And Gate
Sheep Beside The Stile
Oak And Stile
Spring Tree
Field Maple
Autumn Glow
One month to go till Spring. I cannot believe the winter is passing so quickly. The spring flowers have arrived with mild, balmy weather. I remember reading as a child that time seems to pass more quickly as we age but this is worse than I imagined. I don't get half the things done in a day that I used to....very worrying!

Mervyn Goode is one of my favourite English landscape painters. He has an amazing gift creating art which shows us the England we used to have and would like to have again. He originally studied landscape architecture but then decided to become a painter. His work is very distinctive and his style readily recognisable. It is easy to see that he has a great love of nature, trees and the countryside and enjoys portraying it in his own way. He has exhibited widely and successfully for many years. He lives amid the beautiful scenery of Hampshire and so must have lots of inspiration for his work. I used to live in Hampshire myself and it is a lovely county.

You can find his art on many sites on the Internet but the Bourne Gallery have a good display and also the Nevill Gallery.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quilts, Chickens and Susan Seddon Boulet

This is my latest cockerel (rooster) drawing. This is the simplified version with a white background. Quite uncluttered compared to the one below.
This is the full version. I am not too sure about this one seems a bit busy to me.
This is a digital drawing with a slightly different palette to the one I use normally. A change is as good as a rest though.
This is a pen and ink drawing with a touch of digital colour. It is called "Conversation With A Black Bird".
This is one of a series of tree guardians that I created some time ago. It is pen and ink and watercolour.
I came across a book recently about the work of a wonderful American quilter called Ruth McDowell. Her quilts are amazingly complex and she does wonderful things with patterns...lots of them. I love her chickens quilt below. You can find here website here where she has a large display of quilts.
Part of another Ruth McDowell quilt
A local hen
I know how this woman feels. There are days when your hair just won't go right.
Nice beads and stripes. I think I bought this gift bag just so that I could take a photo of it.
This is the Michael Babcock book which has been written about the beautiful artwork of Susan Seddon Boulet. I discovered this book whilst on holiday with a friend in Cumbria in the 90s. I didn't get my nose out of it for the rest of the The following images are the artwork of the late Susan Seddon Boulet. There are lots of links to Susan's work on the Internet but this site has an excellent display of her work. Just click on the images to get a larger version.

Changing Woman
Bird Woman

Ix Chel
Titania and Oberon
Triple Goddess
White Shell Woman
There is something very endearing about poultry....hens and cockerels that is. I love the little muttering noises they make when they are rooting around on the ground. It is a very comforting sound. My mother tells me that she used to keep hens and cockerels at one time but they had to stop because of the problem of rats with small children. Such a pity as I would have liked to have grown up surrounded by these quirky little birds.

As an adult I am still enthralled by them and I photograph them whenever I can. We have a rare breeds farm in the vicinity and they have some beautiful old English varieties. The plumes and tail pieces and feathery feet are probably not the best accountrements to have in English wet and muddy weather but they make great photography. My favourites are the huge, proud, strutting cockerels keepiing a close check on the female contingent. I like to draw the tail feathers particularly....the more outrageously bouffant, the better.

My cockerels this week are not too outrageous but I enjoyed drawing them. I decided to put them in with some totally surreal and colourful trees. The wonderful thing about colouring drawings digitally, is that you can save the original and then try different looks on a copy and delete it if you are not happy. You have to be much more careful with watercolour. No changing your mind with that

My featured artist is the late, great, Susan Seddon Boulet. She was a San Francisco Bay artist who died of cancer in 1997 aged 55. She was a huge loss to the art world in my opinion. Susan was English by descent but born in Brazil when her parents emigrated there from South Africa. She was always enthralled as a child by the world of fantasy and nature. After marrying she used to sell her early work in her local park...I wish I had been there

Her work is primarily heavily layered oil pastels with ink. It is this layering which gives her art that beautiful, shadowy, mysterious feel. Her favoured subjects were anthropomorphic images of mythological and legendary figures such as Merlin, Athene etc. The images I have posted are from the book of her art by Michael Babcock which I bought years ago.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stained Glass, Louis Le Brocquy And Snow

This is a digitalised pen and ink drawing entitled "The Bird Carrier". A highly unusual way of carrying birds, I know, but they seem to be enjoying the ride.
I thought in view of our snowy weather I would draw polar bears rolling a snowball. It is great fun rolling a snowball down a hill and watching it get bigger.
This is a stumpwork fabric image. It is a diptych called Lamenting Jesus and Mary. It is in a book form and Jesus is on the left hand side. The work is Hungarian and is over 500 years old. Isn't it quite incredible? Not only the fact that it still exists after all that time, but the actual expression of grief on her face and she has sewn tears. The fabric of her head-dress is in very good condition considering the passage of centuries.
This is my pen and ink drawing which was inspired by the beautiful fabric artwork of Mary. It was never meant to be an exact copy but more a response to her grief. I couldn't get the true expression of desolation in a line drawing though, but I am quite pleased with it.
These three images are all tapestries designed by Irish painter, printmaker and designer Louis Le Brocquy. I particularly love the goat below, and especially those leaf motifs around the edges. He designed different colourways but this one is my favourite. The design is so complex and has so many elements and even though it is abstracted, it is still possible to know that it is a goat. Pure design genius.

A little snow goes a long way. This was taken when it was crisp and pristine.
The following four photos of stained glass windows are my own from local churches. This one has to be my absolute uber favourite window. I just love the design, the colours, the subjects and the text. Exquisite. It is located at Coleshill Church in Buckinghamshire. I have cropped it slightly to improve the appearance in blogger which doesn't like portrait format.
This is one of my photos of an exquisite window in Sarratt Church. The colours are so vivid and intense it has to be seen to be believed. Another great favourite of mine.
This is one I took some time ago and have forgotten its location...tut tut. Definitely somewhere in Buckinghamshire though. It is quite magnificent.
I took this photo at Towersey Church. It is a small part of a much larger millenium window with lots of details of village life.
The following photos are all uploaded to Flickr and I have mentioned the photographers in each case.

This is one of my favourites from Flickr. It is uploaded by "sue.hasker" and shows St. Matthew from St Mary the Virgin Church, Hartpury, Forest of Dean. I really love these lavender and violets
This is from "Simon K"'s photostream and is from St George, Wyverstone, Suffolk. Very Burne Jones style angels. So beautiful.
This is St. Gabriel from St Andrew, Great Glemham, Suffolk by "Simon K".
This lovely oval window is in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow and is from "gordonrasmith's" photostream.
This beautiful round window is St. Johanna Frémiot de Chantal and is uploaded by "barryra".
This is a detail of a memorial window in Birstall, Leics dated c 1924. It is a Flickr upload by "tin giraffe". This is a very painterly image.
This is a gorgeous, quite modern image of Christ found in a church by Flickr user "mdf3530". I love everything about this stained glass. The colours are quite superb. If this was in a church near to me I would be in there
This is a window in Dornoch Cathedral posted by "foxypar4." I love this window. The golden sky really sets off the image and those blues are gorgeous.

Well, I wanted a bit of snow in order to take some "snowy" photos but I got a bit more than I wanted. Nothing compared to the amounts people in cold countries experience, but quite a lot for our little island warmed by the gulf stream. We have now had a whole week of snow on the ground - unheard of. Now it has got to the dirty and slushy stage it can go...! Totally unphotogenic. We shouldn't complain about the weather in this country though, while places like Australia are having a disastrous heatwave and floods.

Instead of a featured artist this week I thought I would show you some favourite stained glass window images. There is a whole feast of these on Flickr but if you don't want to search through trillions of photos then go to Simon K's stained glass set . He has over 2000 photos of every kind of stained glass imagineable. A real visual treat.

I have quite a collection of stained glass pictures myself as it is one of my favourite things to photograph. No other medium that I have found can produce the quality of vivid colour that is produced by stained glass. I love to see these windows in person but unfortunately that is not always possible, so a photo is the next best thing.

I love all stained glass, whether traditional or contemporary. There is a local church with a tiny window near the roof which dates from the 1300s. Isn't that amazing that something so fragile could last for 700 years? I wonder how many fabulous windows we have lost in the past in the UK when churches have been demolished. Doesn't bear thinking about. Have a good week all.