Friday, September 25, 2009

Enjoying An Indian Summer

We are enjoying a lovely balmy early autumn with lots of sunshine but quite chilly at night. If this had been July we would have been enduring a heatwave. I, for one, am pleased it is the end of September as the sun is warm but has lost that intensity.

If Horses Were Dreams (You may remember this scene from the watercolour I did a while back. Thought I would give it a rather colourful twist)

Nature's Muse
Hearts and Daisies
As you know if quite often listen to Youtube as they have some really good music clips on there which you cannot find anywhere else. This video music clip is UK X-Factor runner-up (yes runner up amazingly enough) Welsh singer Rhydian. I think he has an amazing voice, but then he is Welsh. They must have something in the water in Wales which coats the vocal cords and gives them wonderful voices.

I love any jewellery with a nature theme, particularly leaves. This range of jewellery by Etsy seller stratussilver is really eye catching. You can find their Etsy shop here.

Twig and Leaf Bangle
Blackberry Leaf Necklace
Twig and Maple Pendant
I really like the lovely freshness and spontaneity of Amy Williams artwork. She has a very loose and illustrative style which makes sense I suppose as she has an MA in Illustration. She produces images of lots of animals and birds as well as complex papercuts and recycled sculptures. Take at look at her website gallery here.

Three Chickens

Its the time of year for country rambles over stile and down dale. This is a local footpath for walkers. There are an amazing number of differently designed stiles all over the country. You can go for a long local walk and not see the same design twice. I particularly like the ones over the stone walls in the north and west which resemble minature ladders.

Just thought I would pop this one in as it co-ordinates nicely with the photos above and below. Another example of a stunning church stained glass window.

Occasionally I come across these black and white ladybirds hiding in dandelions. I haven't been able to find many pictures of them on Google but I have a couple of summer pictures with them in. We get lots of the red and black versions but these look a little larger. Probably just as "nippy" though.

Found these pretty little angel babies on Etsy the other day. They are by Etsy seller RememberMeEmily and her shop is here. I think she has done them beautifully.

I was shopping in a local town today and I found some cards by one of my favourite card publishers Milkwood. They always seem to have such wonderful designers and artists working for them. You can see their card collections here. I send lots of Milkwood cards to friends and relatives but I never seem to receive any so these may well be heading for the box marked "cards to keep". The three cards below are all published by Milkwood. Their cards are very reasonably priced too which is nice as there are a lot of lovely but expensive cards on the market these days.

This is Three Geese card by Kate Osborne. You can see more of Kate's gorgeous fresh and spontaneous watercolours on her website here. Check out the chicken gallery. It is really lovely. Kate is also an experienced textile designer as well as an artist. I think this card below has a little bit of a batik look to it.
These two cards are part of Enchanted Trees and are by artist Judi Trevorrow whose beautiful watercolour artwork I have mentioned previously. You can view the rest of the Enchanted Trees series of cards here at The Whistlefish Gallery. I might have to get that gorgeous bluebell one too.

The beautiful tapestries below are the work of Orkney weaver Leila Thomson. Leila uses her knowledge of the culture and folktales of the Orkney Islands and weaves them into her work to tell a story. Her tapestries are very large scale and she has her own gallery called The Hoxa Tapestry Gallery which houses them and provides her with a studio. She also sells cards and prints of her work and works to commission. You can view her website here with more of her exquisitely detailed tapestries. I find there is a lovely rythmn to her work and the designs are very contemporary. I particularly like In The Beginning below. If I am every lucky enough to travel to Orkney I would definitely like to visit and watch her weaving her magic.

Echoes Of Hamnavoe
In The Beginning
Centuries Of Seasons
In Search Of Solace
Between Two Worlds

Friday, September 18, 2009

Etchings And Other Lovelies

I have really noticed recently the huge number of artists who now have blogs. Not just amateurs like myself but professional artists and craftspeople too. Often when I put in a link to an artists website or Flickr page or Etsy there is often a blog to be linked to as well. Personally, I think it is a wonderful thing because you are able to see how artists go about the business of creating their art or craftwork, the inspiration behind it, the processes involved and the reactions of people viewing the work. What did we do before blogging..?

Fox In A Magical Land
Mischievous Bird - I think I may do a digital coloured version of this when I have a bit more time.
A bit of fibre tipped illustration

These beautiful mosaic pieces are by Russian self-taught mosaicist Irina Charny. Irina incorporates found objects such as bits of seashore glass, beads, wire and buttons etc into her work as well as traditional tesserae. She has a website here and some wonderful examples of her beautifully intricate and finely detailed artwork. Her butterflies in particular are wonderful.

I have been walking out and about in the countryside recently and taking some early autumn photos. The weather has been warm and dry and very nice to walk in, but I am eagerly awaiting the autumnal mists when photography becomes very special and mundane places appear magical. We have been promised that for early October, but can we rely on the weather forecast...hmmm.

Even weeds can appear pretty in close up.
This is a very friendly local horse who I often stop to have a chat with. I don't think he is very interested in conversation but he did oblige me with a nice pose.

Early Autumn Farmland
A couple of weeks ago I made my yearly craft pilgrimage to Stonor Craft Fair in Oxfordshire. Stonor is a tiny village with some beautiful buildings and gorgeous old barns, and is surrounded by undulating hills and woods. It is an idyllic spot and has a wonderful atmosphere. I have visited Stonor House in the past and it is a fascinating home with an intriguing history. The manor house has been owned by the same family for 850 years and the chapel dates from the 1200s and is situated on what was once a stone circle. One of the stones is incorporated into the chapel wall and the others have been rearranged on the lawn.

The craft fair is one of the best in the south-east of England and is very well attended. I spent a really enjoyable few hours there.

Stonor House
Marquees at Stonor
One of the exhibitors at Stonor was Leon Evans who is an illustrator and graphic artist who works in pencil and watercolour primarily. He was displaying his wildlife art at Stonor and the two scratchboard images below really caught my attention. Having cats myself I could see that he had rendered these animals beautifully. I hadn't really come across scratchboard work before and he explained the technique to me in detail. I might get some scratchboard myself and have a go. Looks like fun. You can see Leon's website here.

These delightful cards are produced by using scratchboard by Leon. They are so cute I couldn't resist them.

I really like the almost naive simplicity of Esther Brimage's work. Esther is a UK printmaker who trained in both illustration and printmaking. You can find more of her work on her website here.

Girl With A Dog
Morning Star
I love visiting John Lewis Department Stores. All those lovely items under one roof - a browsers paradise. I particularly like their carpet and rug department. There are so many lovely contemporary designs around now, as well as the traditional rugs of years ago. So lovely to handle them too; the thick warm tactile textures. You could imagine just lying on them in front of a roaring fire - in winter of course. The three below particularly caught my eye for their graphic designs and muted palatte.

Cheese Plant Rug
Harlequin Arcadia Rug
Silhouette Leaf Rug
These gorgeous etchings below are all the work of award winning Latvian artist/printmaker Marina Terauds. I love etchings anyway but Marina's are particularly beautiful. She has a wonderful detailed style and use of subtle colour. Her subject matter includes mythology, nature, the seasons, birds, trees, fairies and lots more lovely things. If you love her work you will be delighted by her website here with lots more images to look at.

Marina also has a blog where you can see more of her inspirations, work and life here.

Summer II
Dream II
Nuthatch II
Sounds Of The Sea
Sun Moon Fairies
Bird In Hand
Fairy's Music
Lady In Hat

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking Forward To Autumn

Well, that is my blog holiday over for the summer. I have missed everyone but I intend to catch up with all your latest bloggings this week. I have been quite productive too, which is a good thing. I hope you like my offerings in this post. I have found lots of wonderful new artists and craftspeople for your perusal too.

Listening To Silence
Ink and watercolour crab
I decided to prune the ivy on the old tree trunk in the garden yesterday and also to prune my hand at the same time. I was using the secateurs and they slipped and made a deep hole at the base of my thumb. You can imagine the scene so I won't describe it. It necessitated a trip to the local minor injuries unit, a few stitches and some antibiotics. The ivy got its own back.

Hurrah for black cats. This is the back view of one of our cats, Jack, who is a cutey. He is looking over the slightly untidy garden which is his domain.
and here is his front view which is even nicer I think. Isn't he handsome?
Here are two of Ian MacCulloch's beautiful etchings. I love the gorgeous ochres and golds he uses in his work. Ian is a UK artist, illustrator and printmaker with lots of strings to his bow. These images are from The Hayrack Gallery catalogue of his work and it is well worth a visit as they have an excellent display. If you love etchings of hares and trees go and have a look.

Leaping Hare

The Elm Path
Autumn is nearly here now. The nights and mornings are quite chilly and the leaves are starting to get that brownish tinge. I always look forward to the autumn. It is one of my favourite seasons because it is so beautiful. I love the sense of nature winding down and the mists and moisture around. The last of the roses are making a valiant effort before the first frosts put them to sleep till 2010.

I have had a book token burning a hole in my bag for some time now and finally I let it out (of my bag). I saw this wonderful book on butterflies and moths and couldn't resist it - in the name of artistic inspiration of course...haha. It is a beautifully photographed butterfly, moth and caterpillar extravaganza. I have included some images below but I couldn't scan it as it is quite huge. The photos are really stunning and all in full colour. Little text but masses of images which is how I like it. You can definitely expect some butterflies to appear in my drawings soon.

The beautiful images below are the work of artist Catherine Hyde. I first came across her work many years ago when I saw her prints and cards in a local gallery. I was enchanted by her mysterious iconic white hares and deer and other symbols of myths and legends which pepper her work.

Catherine has a website here and you can also see masses of her work at The Lighthouse Gallery here.

Catherine has also illustrated a lovely childrens' book which I was browsing through the other day. It is called The Princess' Blanket and is a lovely story written by Carol Ann Duffy.

The Silent Star
The Melting Hills
The Winter Solstice
I wonder if everyone has a dream home. Somewhere they would love to live if fate were to look kindly on them. I have always loved this house below ever since I lived as a child in the country village where it is situated. It is a Victorian vicarage and is a stones throw away from the church which was built in 1875, so presumably the vicarge was built at the same time. It is beautifully situated on the village green next to a sapling oak tree, the massive old one having since been felled. I just love everything about it. The wonderful, slightly haunted, gothic look. The interesting attic spaces which could be explored. The vicar relocated when I was a child, presumably because such a large house was too expensive for the church to run. It was sold some years ago for a huge amount of money. Ah well...I can dream.
These beautifully detailed etchings are by Orkney artist Louise Scott. Louise is inspired by the natural world and particularly birds. More of her work can be seen at her Inkstone gallery site here.

Hare Etching
Crow Etching
I love this sculpture by Ashot Tonoian called "Seashells". He is Armenian by birth but now lives and works in Norway. He produces mainly figurative sculptures and some of his work can be found here at the Russian Art Gallery.

These beautifully made brooches are all created by Etsy seller "designedbyjane". They are lovingly handmade from felt and embellished with applique, buttons and embroidery although Jane also crafts other items. She has a wonderful and varied range of designs and can be found here on Etsy. If you want to see what else she gets up to check out her blog here and her Flickr site here.

Summer Rain
Starry Night
Caramel 70s Design
Over The Rainbow
Vintage Bouquet
Embroidered Felt Butterfly
Retro Starburst
Red Hot Retro