Saturday, March 28, 2009

Whimsical And Quirky

This is a digital drawing entitled "Escape From The Merry Go Round". Looks much better if you enlarge it.
While I was in London last week I visited the London Graphic Centre at Covent Garden and stocked up on some new pens. There are some Edding pens now which I haven't come across before. They are ultra fine (0.1mm) nibs and are in green, blue and red ink. I already have a very fine brown ink pen which I rather like. I also purchased a couple of extremely fine pencils in a pen casing which have replaceable graphite cores which you can change as and when. They are also lovely to work with.

These are the two whimsical drawings I produced using my new pens. It is very nice to work with ultra fine coloured pens instead of black all the time.

Green and Purple Bird - I like this colour combination and have used it quite a lot in my artwork.
Magenta Sundress (and an unusual hat)
Romeo and Juliette by Alex Malik
Flora Girl by Andrey Aranyshev
You may remember that I mentioned a quilt book called 2003 Masterpieces by Husqvarna Viking which I found in a charity shop a while back. It has some gorgeous quilts in it and I decided to post these three because of their beautiful colours and complex designs.

Walks In The Woods - Frieda Anderson
The Hard Core - Tally Ronly-Riklis
Feast of Fools 11 - Scott A Murkin
Some of you may remember that I featured the wonderful paintings and ceramics of artist Este MacLeod back on 8 November last year. She contacted me recently to say that she now has her own blog. You can find it here. It is a very interesting combination of her latest works and peeks behind the scenes into her world of art and is well worth a browse. Also if you click on the web links at the top of her blog it takes you to her other site with oodles of lovely paintings and ceramics. Este will also be exhibiting here in April/May 2009. This image below is one of her works.
The ceramics below are the work of Irish sculptor Christy Keeney. He sculpts mainly figurative pieces and heads. I would love to own one of these beauties. Christy has a website here but if you search on Google you will find lots of his work in galleries.

About nine years ago or so I visited Priors, a wonderful contemporary art and craft gallery in Barnard's Castle in County Durham. Visiting these sorts of establishments is one of my hobbies and is something I don't get to do often enough. I think I could create a career out of it given the opportunity. Anyway, Priors was (it is sadly no more) a tiny place but crammed full of gorgeous things. I bought three lovely handmade cards there by David England who is a printmaker. The cards are actually original linocuts on handmade paper in a wonderful contemporary graphic style. They were obviously made to be sent to someone but these are definitely remaining with me. I don't think he even does these anymore. I don't think they cost very much at the time either.

Frans Wesselman is the creator of fascinating art. He grew up in Holland and in 1979 came to England and worked as a painter/printmaker. On seeing the beautiful "Prisoners of Conscience" window in Salisbury Cathedral he decided to try his hand at creating stained glass. His style of art and subject matter is one I really enjoy. His work whether in painting, printmaking or stained glass is very narrative and imaginative. He is a great storyteller in images. He exhibits his work widely and is extremely popular and well recognised.

You can find out more about Frans Wesselman here. This is his own website here and you see masses of wonderful images at this website here.

All the images below are the work of Frans Wesselman.

Bird In Hand
Fishing (Coloured)
Islanders 11
Watering Pig
Shepherd And His Love White Deer

I have been quite poorly this week, due I think, to someone sneezing in my vicinity at the Byzantium Exhibition. Did you know that a sneeze can travel up to 12 feet. If anyone sneezes near me normally I hold my breath until I am out of their area but that was impossible this time. We were all in a smallish hall and it was so crowded there was nowhere to go. I now have a very nasty cold virus and a horrible cough and constant headache. I am blaming that person anyway although I might have caught the virus anywhere at any time. I haven't really felt like drawing either which is quite unlike me, but I have produced a few pieces and of course it is never difficult to find something amazing on the web.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Byzantium Exhibition And Waterstones Of Piccadilly

I have had a very busy week and therefore little time for drawing. This is a pen and ink design called "Embrace".
This is my pen and ink drawing entitled "Into Each Life A Little Rain Must Fall". Quite a quirky piece really.
I love Vivienne Moir ceramics. They are delightfully quirky and folky. This is "Girl With A Bird"
"Queen of the Garden" also by Vivienne Moir
This is "Blue Trees and Black Birds by Nikki Monaghan.
This beautiful picture is Moonlit Loch by Dionne Sievewright.
We visited my brother and his partner today to see their three new kittens. My photos of them weren't brilliant so instead I will show you a picture of my cat Jack pretending he is still a kitten.
From a real kitty to two who are not so real. This is "Blue Cat". These two linocuts are by Richard Bawden.
These are some of the lovely blooms received by my parents for their wedding anniversary.

I visited the wonderful five floors high Waterstones bookshop in Piccadilly when I visited London. Five floors of books was totally irresistible and the 1930's building is also quite amazing. It was once the department store Simpsons and is now the largest bookshop in Europe. I found a brilliant artbook about printmaking there. It describes in detail all the different forms of printmaking and has the most gorgeous illustrations. I have posted a couple of pages from the book below. I have to thank friends Hannah, Keiran and Alice for my lovely book token which went towards the purchase. I am so glad this book has come to live with

As for Waterstones Piccadilly - I will be back!

Michael Morgan is an extraordinary artist. His images take watercolour to a new level, filling his paintings with depth and texture and brilliant colour. I love the way he does his trees; it reminds me very much of John Blockley's trees which I also love. John Blockley was Michael Morgan's mentor and they both seemed to have shared a love of trees and isolated farms in the landscape. Michael doesn't just paint what he can see, but adds his own special sense of design and artistry to make the scene even better.

The images below are all the work of Michael Morgan from his first wonderful book of the same name and in collaboration with Simon Butler. I can thoroughly recommend his books if you want a collection of wonderful images. This one was borrowed from the library but I intend to get my own copy asap. You can obtain his books from Amazon. Michael's work can also be seen here.

Autumn Morning
Melted Snow 2
Isola d'Elba
Pembrokeshire Farm 3
November Farm
Farm With Five Trees
Michael Morgan
I found this lovely Kelly Hyatt card for Lagomdesign in Scribbler in London. Very vibrant and contemporary.
Below are some of the images in the Byzantium exhibition found on the Royal Acadamy website.

Illuminated manuscript 1100 to 1150.
Church shaped incense burner dated 10th to 11th century.
Ivory with Archangel 525-550 AD
12th century icon of Archangel Michael
I had a lovely day in London on Thursday. I had gone specifically to visit an exhibition mentioned by another blogger acornmoon who had visited it and was very impressed. It is called Byzantium and as its title suggests, it is a large collection of the most exquisite decorative items from the Byzantine period. This period stretches from 300 /400 AD to 1400/1500. It is located in the area around what was formerly Constantinople and then became Istanbul.

The items on show included icons of all descriptions, painted, jewelled, plastered, gorgeous intricate jewellery, the most detailed ivory carvings I have ever seen, illuminated manuscripts etc. It is wonderful to gaze at the writings of scribes from the dark ages which have survived in almost perfect condition. The intricacy of the decoration is impossible to describe and has to be seen to be believed. It must have taken the craftsmen concerned years of painstaking work to produce a very small item. There were quite a few beautiful mosaic exhibits too and some micromosaics. Creating those must have been very hard on the eyes.

The exhibition was very well worth the visit and my only complaint was that there were too many people there to make the tour comfortable. I can understand that they would want to get as many people in as possible in order to balance the books, but you didn't feel that you could linger too long in front of one glass case because there were dozens of people waiting to get a look too. I just managed to visit in time as it finishes on Sunday.