Thursday, August 31, 2006

Be Back Soon

Time is flying! Kamal goes back to school next week (sob) so we've been busy making the most of what is left of the summer hols and in the evenings I've been finishing the wedding/card website (yeah!). So not much doing art-wise but will be back to normal very soon....

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More Whispers

Had to take a break from boring old computer code and get the paints out. This one is called Hidden. Find this and others for sale at Etsy. Oh and don't forget to join me at my whispers group!

Finger painting

As I've spent the last couple of days at the computer trying to finish my card website once and for all I've not done much to show anyone or talk about. So here are a couple of wonderful creations from the youngest of my artsy clan - after she got over the sheer delight of sticking her fingers in the bright gloopy paint and drowning the paper she produced the masterpiece underneath. Her random scribbles are slowly turning into carefully determined circles which are occasionally accompianed by a shout of 'car' or 'birdie'. Which is which we couldn't tell but you can spot dad's fingerprints at the top, he just has to get in on the act somehow! Sometimes it's hard to tell who the kids really are!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - Open Challenge

This weeks challenge -

What’s your favorite source for inspiration? Do you feel you need to shake things up in your art? Are you in the mood to try a new technique, a new color palette, a new medium? What is your passion? What are your fears? What is your favorite thing about creating? Your least favorite? Why do you create? Why are you an artist? How do you describe your art? What are your goals? Your dreams?

Colour is my biggest inspiration. It is tuned to my emotions and instincts and defines each piece of work. I don't start with a blank canvas, I start with a beautiful colour and see where it takes me. As those of you who have been reading my posts for a few weeks will know I am in the process of shaking things up a little. Actually that's not quite true. Things have been floating around in my head for so long now I am trying to piece them together into a coherent whole. Shaking it all up again is the last thing I need! The challenge is to see if I get there or not. My passion is to create, my fear is failure. I create because I have to, I have absolutely no choice about it. My favourite thing about creating and my least favourite is the process of creating. I don't truly enjoy a creating a piece until I finish it. I am an artist because I say I am. I don't describe my art, you do. My goal is to live my dream and I am just about doing that. Could do with a bigger house maybe but we can't have everything can we?!

Illustration Friday - Play

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Illustration Friday - Capture

As I mentioned yesterday we went out for cake and lemonade and a visiting wasp very kindly dropped inside my drink long enough for me to take a photo, becoming the perfect subject for this weeks IF theme. (It also flew back out so no harm done!) I tried to keep the drawing loose by not using a pencil to start with, went straight in with the ink pen. Then added colour but I haven't figured out how to do grass quickly. The bottle was fine, the table looks like a table but the grass looks flat. Feel very liberated though, even contemplated trying it with a collaged acrylic background instead of gouache but that might have been a step too far for now, one step at a time...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sketchbook - Day Out

I took my two little monkeys out of the house early this morning. We usually go to the park but decided to walk down to the next village for cake and lemonade. On the way we have to cross a river and were surprised to see it absolutely smothered in nasty old duck weed that wasn't there the other day. It was an amazing sight though, like something out of the Twilight Zone!

Look how well behaved they are when promised cake!

They even let me do a quick sketch of the next table which was under an apple tree. I can see mistakes everywhere but I have to ignore the voice in my head and tell myself well done for not giving in and re-drawing it back home from the photo I took!! I've also got an idea for Illustration Friday which will be done from a photo taken at the same time but I am going to try and keep it in this loose style, so watch this space!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Stamps with history

I ventured into our dusty little stamp shop for the first time (it's amazing how these places stay open!) and found paper bags stuffed full of world stamps, many of them still attached to their envelope. I duly bought one and on closer inspection noticed that the little bits of addresses still visible were to 'The Bank Manager', Lloyds Bank, etc.etc. And one was dated as far back as 1943, the newest I could find was 1946. What a collection! Someone at this bank, the manager, or a secretary perhaps, had been taking these wonderful exotic stamps of envelopes for years and years and keeping them. I left at least six bags of these in the shop. I bought them to put into my artwork as am running low but I am reluctant to touch them now. Perfect candidates for my Whispers group though. If you have any treasures like this and would love to share come and join the group or blog about it and tell me about it in my comments!

This Drawing Business

Since May I have been trying to loosen up my drawing style as I am keen to get into children's illustration and also add another dimension to my college work (see previous post). Well my first attempts to start a sketchbook were scuppered by my 15 month old daughter who found my book (she likes rooting through my bag) and took it as her own. It is now full of doodles which is wonderful but not quite what I had in mind. And the few drawings I had done in there weren't much to look at anyway so maybe she was doing me a favour. Thank goodness she hadn't found my new rotring!

I'd attempted this piece below a couple of months ago with my new box of gouache which I was happy with until I got to the lollipops, ahem, trees. So I added leaves over the top in pencil which although looks interesting didn't really solve the problem. Actually this is the second attempt, the first one I binned it was so awful (god it's like college all over again). Then I attempted to add the shadow under the tree but forgot that gouache isn't always like watercolour and instead of adding a wash I washed the previous layer out - disaster!

So armed with my second new sketchbook and my other half who was home last week and could watch the kids I decided the best place to start is with trees

and I must say I'm quite pleased with it. Not perfect but it does look like a tree and using a pen rather than pencil forced me to draw quickly and not worry that I hadn't drawn every single leaf. (Please ignore the bin behind the bench, it's twice the size it ought to be but I'm leaving it there. Ouch.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Illustration Friday - Clean

'What after all is a halo? It's only one more thing to keep clean.'
Christopher Fry
My little angel doing what she loves most - rooting around in the mud looking for 'treasure'. Trouble is on this occasion not only had it been raining she was wearing the whitest dress she owns. And guess who had to clean it!?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - Music

I was happy in my harbour

When you cut me loose

Floating on an ocean

And confused

Winds are whipping waves up

Like skyscrapers

And the harder they hit me

The less I seem to bruise

Oh when I

Find the controls

I'll go where I like

I'll know where I want to be

But maybe for now

I'll stay right here

On silent sea

KT Tunstall

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Beautiful Beechwoods

We try to take the kids out for a walk or to the park most evenings when we can, helps get rid of any excess energy and a good time to get the camera out. The light in the evenings at the moment has been stunning.

If, like me, you love trees you can see more here

Family Portraits

Anahata Katkin is starting an altered album project for imaginary family portraits based on her wonderful collages and invited others to do the same. As geneology is an ongoing interest for me I thought this was an interesting idea but I'm not quite sure how I'm going to tackle it. I have found a pretty little victorian album (only about 4 x 5 inches) but I'm not a fan of altering books of any description, seems almost sacreligious, but the mounts inside are crying out to be filled. It also has an inscription on the inside cover, most of which is illegible but it has a couple of names and is dated September 19 - 1866. I will never have the original photos so it will be interesting to use this as a starting point to create a new family. Once I figure out how I am going to approach this I shall post pics on Whispers.

School Hols

As any of you with young children will know, trying to get anything constructive or creative done is pretty difficult in the holidays. I am, however, taking my camera with me wherever we go as well as my sketchbook (a little optimistic but you never know!) just in case. The first day of the school hols we took Kamal down to the British Motor Show. I love driving and obviously appreciate good design and had a good day regardless but there are limits, so if you want to see pretty car photographs Kamal has a few of them (him and his dad took hundreds) on his blog. The highlights for me were this formula one car that had been dismantled and each little piece hung by fishing line from the ceiling like an art installation, pretty amazing...

and I managed to grab the camera long enough to take these pics of windows to add to my growing collection. In retrospect these might be just as boring as a show full of motor cars but at least I can do something with these!