Monday, September 27, 2010

Blog Pause

Sadly I will have to pause blogging for a while as we have had a family bereavement and there are lots of things to sort out and come to terms with. I will catch up with everyone when I return.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Autumn Umbellifers And Birds In Trees

Autumn is arriving and bringing Jack Frost along too. The temperatures at night are plummeting and it is time to get the quilts back on the beds again. Someone even mentioned a few flurries of snow before the end of September...surely not.

Below is a document folder I bought from a local stationery shop. I fell in love with the graphic design and colour scheme and decided to use the colours for my own piece of digital artwork. There is no name on the folder at all so I am not sure who designed it but they have done an excellent job.

The one below was my first image

but I decided to add a bit of black for drama. I am not sure which one I prefer but I do like the design a lot.

I started sketching for the Sketchbook Project a while ago but was very disappointed by the moleskine cahier that we were sent. The paper is far too thin for anything except pencil to my mind. All other media tend to show through to the other side and I hate that. Quite a few people who are undertaking the project have rebound the book with better quality paper. This is allowed provided the dimensions are the same and you keep the barcode on the back exposed. I intend to redo mine with much nicer and thicker paper more suited to ink and watercolour. It means redoing some of my sketches unfortunately. Below is one of my first ones - my theme is "if you lived here" and I will be doing lots of images with quirky homes, houses and nests, the interiors of tree holes etc. Anywhere you could live really.

The images below are all originally photos of umbellifers in the countryside which I have altered in PS filters and coloured variously. I love umbellifers and they look so nice when they are digitalised and coloured. I have hundreds of pictures of them in my photo folders so you can expect to see some more in my blog in the future.

I found several lovely books on a recent visit to an antique centre in a local town. A little bit more pricey that my charity shop finds but still worth it to me. My favourite was the book below by printmaker John Farleigh. He was an English wood engraver, painter, author and tutor who was very well known for his wonderful engraved illustrations. One of his pupils was Monica Poole, herself a very talented printmaker. She is the author of the book below. I love his graphic and detailed style. Click on the images below to enlarge them.

Here are some nice autumnal looking brick walls for you. I have always loved the colours and textures of old bricks and last weekend we took advantage of the Heritage Open Day event to visit a local family run brickmakers yard. Sounds really boring doesn't it? Well it was actually fascinating. We were given a guided tour over the whole yard and the complete brickmaking process. Much more complex than you think. We can now recognise handmade from machine made bricks and even know what the difference in shades denotes. It takes a lot of skill and experience to make and fire bricks to a saleable standard. This particular brickworks has supplied handmade bricks to Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and Chequers among many other famous places. The bricks in the walls below are all very old indeed and quite crumbly in places but what wonderful colours and textures.

Heritage Open Days are four days in September when you can visit lots of architecturally or culturally interesting places in England which are not normally open to the public, such as churches, old barns, factories, castles etc.

I was photographing this old house below when a chap stopped and asked if I wanted to know more about it. I had a few spare minutes so I said yes. He then proceeded to give me a fascinating potted history of the house, from the origination to the present, hugely wealthy owners. I thought he must be an amateur local historian but he told me he was the Town Crier and often did tours of the town for visitors and special occasions. Town Criers in medieval times passed on the town's news to the populace who could not read and he did this in an extremely loud voice whilst ringing a bell - hence they were also called Bellmen. There are around 200 left in England now and this chap was obviously very proud to be keeping an ancient tradition alive.

He told me that the bricked up doorway that you can see in the wall below was originally the way the servants entered the building. No front doors for them!

Lilo Fromm is a wonderful illustrator and artist from Berlin who has illustrated countless childrens' books. Below is one of her titles in German. I love that vividly coloured illustration on the front cover. Her artwork of the buildings below are beautifully delicate and harmonious. You can find more of Lilo's work here and there are examples of some of the titles she has illustrated if you type her name in Amazon.

Book Illustrated by Lilo Fromm


Marshy Town

The wonderfully whimsical images below are the work of the very talented Mexican illustrator/printmaker Jazmin Velasco. Jazmin uses different media to creat her work including linocuts which I really admire. I love the way she uses black and white with a touch of red to give zing. I like to use those colours in my pen and ink work. I actually saw Jazmin a couple of months ago at Art In Action event. She was assisting printmaker Colin Moore but there were so many people in the marquee I didn't get a chance to speak to her.

Jazmin's work can be found on her website here and she has a bright and funny blog here. You can also catch her at the Tile Kiln Studios open studio event in London on the weekend of the 25-26 September along with four other artists. (Don't you just love Archie?)

Brahms And The Fox



Brahms Duet