Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Next Blog Post 4 April

I won't be posting to my blog next week because I am playing catch-up with some artwork that I have promised a member of my family. Sounds mysterious but all will be revealed in the coming weeks. By then we should be knee deep in daffodils and tulips and sunshine on our shoulders.

Three Hens And Flowers - ink and digital colour

My Friend The Red Bird - ink with digital colour

The two lovely acrylic paintings below are by British artist David Eustace. His images are of dreamlike and mysterious scenes of the imagination. I find them very compelling. You can find many more images by David on his page at RedRag Gallery here. (If you click on the images twice you can get a nice large image of the artwork.)

Before The Rising Moon

On The Prowl

I am glad the tulip season is here again. These are gorgeous.

I love the texture on this old wet leaf. You may need to enlarge to see it better.

I found some very interesting trees on my walks recently.

It is lovely to watch the rooks busying themselves with their nests at this time of year. We have some quite large rookeries in this area and the noise they make is incredible.

Winter landscape. I do love a ploughed field in winter.

I recently started a small needlepoint but I ended up hating the design and colours I had chosen so it has been relegated to the NM box. NM stands for needlework mistakes and there are quite a few of those in there. I have now decided to try some more cross stitch and perhaps do a sampler. The sampler below I have posted about on my blog before but in the very early days, so I doubt if anyone has seen it. It is to the memory of an ancestress of mine called Eleanor Landless and I picked her because her name is of a similar length to mine and made the sampler more symmetrical. The name Landless is one of the aliases used by the Scottish MacGregor clan when they were prevented from using their own names in the early 1600s. We have hopes that her father was originally a MacGregor and that one day we will be able to wear the MacGregor tartan

These are the only two sampler books that I have left. I had quite a few at one time but when you have a clear out you don't think you are going to need certain books again but usually a year after they have gone - you need them! The moral of this story is never throw anything out just in case. and if you live in a mansion or a library that is not a problem...unfortunately I don't.

Brenda Keyes produces beautiful samplers and you can see lots of them here on her webpage at the Sampler Guild.

This is the evenweave fabric I bought to do my needlework on. You cannot see here but it is very fine and a pale beige colour. Isn't evenweave expensive? This 28cm x 21cm piece cost me £8. I had no idea it would cost me that much. No room for error then.

These are a few trial stitches I did as I haven't used evenweave before and it seems teeny weeny to me. The very small stitches are just one block of the weave and the large yellow ones are over two blocks with two strands of embroidery thread. That didn't cover quite as well as I hoped so I used three strands for the green block. That covers perfectly. The tiny stitches would produce beautiful detail but would probably be very hard on the eyes. Luckily I am shortsighted.

These are a couple of stylised leaf designs I did several years ago but I loved the colours and might decide to do something similar again.

Moy Mackay is a Scottish artist who produces the most amazingly beautiful felted work. I have never seen such a depth of colour in felt. She has a wonderful sense of design too. She uses merino wool tops in her textiles. If you go here to her website you can indulge yourself in lovely fibrey colour. Go down to Gallery on the left hand side links.

Afternoon Tea

Tibetan Blues II

I have always had a soft spot for bird prints and these woodcut prints by Tim Wayne are gorgeous. I visited an exhibition of his work whilst I was in Cornwall and loved his fabulously graphic style..almost edible.

The images below are the artwork of Scotland based artist and illustrator Margaret Walty. I noticed Margaret's work in the 2010 brochure for Spring Fling which is an Open Studios event held every year in Southern Scotland and fell in love with her hares below. She has a wonderfully detailed and brilliantly colourful technique and her subject matter includes botanical, wildlife, landscapes and fantasy artwork. You can find lots of examples of her work on her website here.


Jack In The Green

The Gateway

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Other Worldly

After about two weeks of cold winds we have had a small taster of spring. The sun was warm, the birds singing and I am sure everyone was feeling much happier. It is amazing how much a bit of sunshine cheers people up. Must be all that Vitamin D.

My brother introduced me to yet another extremely interesting but very time consuming website the other day. It is Google Maps Street View. It has been around for a while but once I "drove" the pegman down a few streets I was hooked. For those who haven't explored it yet, you can pick practically any street in any town and check out all the shops and buildings etc. You can turn the view this way and that way, pop over to places you used to live to see how they have changed etc. etc. I remember there was a bit of a furore a while ago about the privacy aspect and I notice faces and car number plates are pixilated to deter recognition. I will definitely have to limit my time on there though. If you are not careful, you could spend all day and every day in the cyber world.

I decided to use my cat Jack as a model for this drawing and although Jack is jet black and this cat is more of a grey I think he looks fairly like him. He is crosshatched and it is difficult to get really black blacks because of the possibility of ripping the watercolour paper with repeated layers of ink. Pointillism would give me much denser black but would have taken about ten times longer to draw so I opted for this technique.

Jack - pen and ink drawing

The Crown - pen and ink drawing

When I was on holiday in Cornwall a few years ago I found these two cards by Japanese artist Izumi Omori. Her paintings are full of light and colour and have a beautiful, other worldly quality. She incorporates the lovely scenery and landscapes of Cornwall into her work. I just wish I could have found some more of her cards. She has a lovely website here with more of her artwork.

Afternoon Enchantment

Secret of Zennor

It was such a gorgeous day today that I spent some time in a local park which borders onto woodland, taking some photos. Anyone who has read this blog will know that I am very much a tree person. I just love everything about them, textures, shapes, branches, leaves. Winter trees are particularly lovely because you can see the shape of the branches. I really like this particular beech tree in the sunlight. I took quite a few images and I am hoping to do a pointillism drawing from them soon.

I came across a wonderful, naturally occuring abnormality in this tree. It made me think of a scroll that messages were written on in olden times. Perhaps the tree spirits use it to write messages on for woodland folk...just a thought.

These lovely old gnargled trees are part of an old hedge which was laid to, presumably, provide a stock proof barrier between the fields on the right (now a park) and the woodland on the left. They have been left for many years to do their own thing and I think they do it beautifully. You can always recognise a previously laid hedge by the way the tree boles grow horizontally along the ground and then grow upright. My dad spent some time with a bilhook laying hedges years ago and we have a photo of my great grandfather doing the same thing in Northumberland at the turn of the century.

and lastly I found these ladybirds having a bit of a convention and enjoying the spring sunshine.

I love these quirky, mixed media pieces by husband and wife collaborators Deborah Banyas and T.P. Speer. They are two artists who work together to produce some amazing figures which they sell from their site. I love them, of course, because lots of them feature birds. They are handmade from stuffed cotton fabric, acrylic, polymer clay and metal. Their website, which you can find here, is full of these great little dolls and also the artwork of T.P Speer which is well worth a look.

Flying Fish Lady

Angel With Bluebird

Love Birds

I made a visit the other day to my favourite local art and craft gallery. They had a showing of mythical and legend related art and craftwork and one of the exhibitors was Ed Org. I had met Ed several times many years ago at craft fairs and we had chatted about drawing and I had drooled over his work. He has made great strides in popularity since those days and his work is now very collectable and popular. His subject matter is related to folklore and legends and abounds in fairies and tales of myth. His style, whether pencil, pen and ink or paint, is extremely detailed and intricate. I spent ages examing all the original pencil drawings and it was a real treat. I was delighted to find that he had written a book all about his art and how he achieves his particular look. Needless to say a copy came home with me and it is quite fascinating reading. You can see more of Ed's work here at Glastonbury Galleries and here at his own website.

Ed Org Book

Archer Of The Summer Isle

Moon Faerie and Snow Queen

Lady Of The Lake

Shellie Byatt is an English narrative artist who creates her wonderfully quirky works using paper collage, pencil, paint and ink. I would love to watch how she does that. Sources of inspiration are medieval and outsider art. She is a great teller of tales in my opinion and I really enjoyed visiting her website here where you can see lots more images.

Reunion Hill

Soon Ripe, Soon Rotten

Don't Fight The Fish Hook

You Cannot Make Yourself Taller By Wearing A Big Hat

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Winter Winds Are Blowing

Isn't it cold? We have had some very bitter winds this last week. Everything was looking sunny and spring like until you got your nose out of the door and then the north-easterlies hit and you retreated back to the central heating and a nice cup of tea...I did anyway.

Pen and ink and digital piece called Beneath The Trees Of Paradise. You may need to enlarge to see it properly. Don't ask how long all those little flowers took.

This is a pen and ink drawing inspired by the series of songs about The Fabled Hare by Maddie Prior. They were originally written to accompany an excellent TV documentary called In The Shadow Of The Hare and narrated by Attenborough some years ago. The programme covered all aspects of the hare in the mythology and folklore of the British Isles and the connection to Easter. My favourite part of the lyrics of I Shall Run And Run ends with:

I will run and run forever where the wild fields are mine
I sall goe until a hare
I'm a symbol of endurance running through the mists of time
Wi sorrow and such mickle care

You can find the series of songs about The Fabled Hare here on YouTube. Maddie Prior has a beautifully haunting voice and originally sung with folk band Steeleye Span.

Linda Chilton is a very talented embroideress who creates mostly rural and garden scenes of great delicacy and detail. You can find Linda's website here and some more of her work at the Fibre Arts Mixed Media page here. Worth having a look not only for Linda's beautiful textiles but also the zingy textile border.

Moonlit Apples

Orange Tree Garden

I discovered a wonderful website the other day quite unexpectedly. It is called Memorials By Artists and is full of gorgeous examples of carving and calligraphy. I have posted some of the work below. There are lots of artists' sites to browse and if you click on their work you get a nice big image which you can see clearly. I am still working my way through it and if you would like to do the same go here. I have always been fascinated by calligraphy and have had a few goes at it myself. My favourite script is Uncials or Half Uncials which is very Irish looking.

I love these carved fish by Joe Hemming

Beautifully engraved stone by Jacky Allan

Gorgeous calligraphy Peter Furlonger

We have had some amazingly cold, bright and frosty mornings recently. Great for photography if you can cope with getting frostbitten fingers. I must get myself some fingerless gloves for occasions like this. The first picture is of a local cemetery. It is high up and has great views of the valley and some beautiful trees.

I have received three blog awards recently. I posted about the first last week. The second is the Kreativ Blogger award kindly donated by Juliet of Crafty Green Poet . I haven't shown that one because I already had it in my sidebar but thanks very much for that Juliet.

and the third of my awards is this lovely one from Lyn of Two Ghosts . Not sure if I have enough fellow bloggers who like awards to send this on too, but thanks very much for the thought Lyn.

The lovely, quirky ceramics below are the work of UK ceramic artist Marie Prett. Marie produces wonderfully detailed and painted work with a narrative theme and mostly animals and humans, often related to the theatre or circus. I find her work quite magical. You can find lots more of her work here on her own website or here on Montpellier Gallery or here at Castle Gallery.

Acrobat And Dog On Zebra

Epona On Horse

Two Acrobats And Dog On Horse

Favourite card producers Art Angels have published another Andrew Pavitt greetings card below. It has all Andrew's beautifully designed and stylised forms and is called Silflay...remember the wonderful Watership Down? I looked up silflay on the Internet and it means to go above ground to eat. For those who don't know his work you can find his website here.

I found this gorgeous Canns Down Crimson greetings card below by Andrew Waddington recently. I hadn't come across his work before but was interested enough to look him up on the Internet. He is a English painter/printmaker who produces work in various techniques. I love his subject matter especially the foxes and hares and crows. I particularly like his woodcut technique which is wonderfully spontaneous and graphic. He is well represented on the Internet and in galleries and you can find lots of his art at Beside The Wave Gallery here. (Click on the left hand links to see all his work) and also on his own website here.

Spring Tide

Crow, Sheep and Bird (Woodcut)


Raven (Woodcut)