Saturday, February 28, 2009

One Word Project - Final burst...

...of inspiration from today's walk round our local chalk downs. I didn't quite manage to post a photo a day (which is not surprising with my schedule) but I have a 28 photos that I am pleased with, some of which have already turned up in paintings.

Not quite sure if I will carry on with next months one word (depending of course what the word is) but I am going to continue taking photos and pay attention a bit more to what I am taking. Before this project they were more just snapshots, points of reference or structural shots to shore up my art work. Now I am trying to paint inside the camera which is adding depth and richness to my canvases and I am inspired to keep going and see where this develops.

A collage artist always need source material and producing your own not only avoids copyrights issue it adds to your own personal style, something I am finally starting to find. If I can start adding more drawn elements too I will have achieved what I set out to do.

(New readers might wonder what I am on about - to cut a long boring story short I have drawing demons which are slowly being dealt with.)

I truly wish I'd had more clarity at college all those years ago; all the elements were there but I just didn't have the maturity or enough faith in myself (or the tools!) to produce the work I wanted to do. It's been a long journey only to end up right back where I started but sometimes you need to step away and do different things to appreciate what you already have.

Latest book

is now available in my shop, if you live overseas email me and I will list it on etsy instead.

Texture Journal

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OWP day 21 - 24 colours and contrasts

Finally it looks like the flowers are finally breaking through and the long awaited spring is on it's way!

This is one of the perks of living in a village. Our daily walk to school is a joy, especially now it is getting a little bit warmer and you can see a hint of bud and blossoms appearing on the trees.

Everything is a little bit brighter, a little bit greener, makes you want to through open the windows and take down the curtains and give everything a good clean. But not just yet, it is still a teeny bit too chilly to go that far but I am enjoying recording the changes as they happen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Texture Journal

I think this must be my favourite journal / sketchbook so far, no rules, no stressing over wasted pages because everything came out rubbish, everything a sketchbook should be.

I've been told I think too much, analyse too much and this gets in the way of my creating. It's true but it's not something I can necessarily do anything about. To ask me not to think about what I do is like asking me not to breathe but maybe its time I learned to breathe a bit easier. Close my eyes and not worry about the outcome. Learn to trust myself more. This is something I could have done learning in my 20's but better late than never!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OWP day 20

Ooops keep forgetting to post my one word photos so getting a bit behind!

As all mums will tell you there is nothing more inspirational than your own children. Both of mine have seem to inherited an artistic streak which is fantastic to watch. My son loves drawing; give him a pen and a blank piece of paper and he couldn't be happier.

I have watched him in awe over the last 10 years as he has a freedom and imagination that I wasn't blessed with but my daughter seems to have my love of paint and colour and will happily paint just for the sake of it. I will often catch her in my workroom desperately trying to find where I've hidden my expensive pencils and will painstakingly go through her all her colouring books. Even at the age of 3 she doesn't go over the lines (an obsessiveness also inherited from me I fear).

I've never been a pushy mum, I'd rather allow them to be themselves and guide them when I think it might help them take that extra step. It would be fair to say I have learned more from them!


I was excited to see my mini paintings pop on cuteable this morning - thanks guys! The paintings have gone in to my shop and if anyone outside of the UK wants one please let me know and I'll list them on etsy too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Step by step

When I get a spare child free five minutes I try to sit and learn a bit more on Illustrator. I have mastered the pattern feature but for the kind of artwork I want to do for my portfolio I need to learn how to add textures and collage effects to my drawings and photographs. Bit by bit it's slotting into place. It's not that the software is difficult to use but there is SO much of it and finding your way round and making sense of what it can and can't do is mind boggling. With these two gerberas we have worked (albeit badly) on gradients and textures and next on the list is clipping masks. Anyone got a spare brain they can lend me?

Starting them young...

My son has started blogging again - now a very grown 10 years old and developing into a talented little illustrator in his own right. He did this line drawing and scanned it into Illustrator and I think he needs to start giving me lessons! You can see his work, old and new, here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Texture Journal

I may well have posted these before but as with most of my journals and sketchbooks I only get so far then never touch them again. This one however has been picked back up and is going to be finished. Honest! With each new canvas comes a new page in my journal as I reuse the leftover sheet from the image transfers and incorporate drawings and doodles, hopefully to push and develop new textile designs at some point in the future. But the wind changes direction a lot round here so we shall see!

Friday, February 20, 2009

OWP day 18, 19

These are my daughters first pair of 'proper' shoes bought for her by a member of the family for her first birthday. Although she had been walking for a good few months these were too stiff for her to walk in properly and then she grew out of them! I kept them anyway as they are just too pretty. Every little girl wants to be a ballerina or princess and my little tomboy is no exception. The pink gene kicks in eventually!

This book is the first one I made using my own fabric and has become my signature design. The daisy is a motif that seems to have followed me through life, an association to my childhood where I remember watching my mum make daisy chains. Often it is the simple things in life that we treasure most.

Illustration Friday - Instinct

Nature uses a lot of tricks to keep predators away; most instinctively know that red = danger but whether it protect protects the prey or the victim who can tell.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mini canvases

Stop the presses I have finished something! I started these little babies ages ago but got stuck with them so left them alone until inspiration struck. If you look closely you'll see image transfers of some of my one word photos. They are teeny 15 x 15 cm gallery wrapped canvas and I may list them on my website at some point. Just enjoying looking at them for now.

OWP - Inspire, work in progress

Finally got the paints out and started some new work. The lino cuts are for the next issue of UK Handmade magazine due out in march, where I am reviewing Lotta Jansdotter's new print book which has sparked all sorts of new ideas, and the canvas is using one of my one word photos. Looks a bit of a mess at the moment but will hopefully pull together.

Monday, February 16, 2009

OWP day 15, 16,

I am trying to remember to take my camera out with me now so I can grab interesting textures and graphic shapes for backgrounds in my illustrations or paintings. Here we have a peeling door and view through a scout hut window.

OWP day 13, 14

After all the snow the weather seems to have finally turned, brighter and warmer and more spring like. These beautiful silver birches in our local park just stood out against the bright blue sky. Delicious.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

OWP day 12 - In the Pink

The sun is shining, I'm on top of my work for a change, the house is coming together, everyone is happy and healthy, there is a lot to be grateful for.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

OWP day 9, 10, 11

The last of the snow /tree photos, tomorrow we start on the paintings :D

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

OWP day 6,7,8

Not long after these were taken it started raining, the snow has gone now so I made it just in time! Will have fun playing with these, especially this last one. The branches look like mad lightening flashes and will make a great texture.

Where did all the colour go?

I must confess to having a 'uh oh what have we done' moment when we started painting the woodwork white. Felt like I should be floating around in long frilly dresses and floppy hats a la Yoko Ono but I am telling myself this is a good thing. I have two children, two cats and do not have housework at the top of my list of daily priorities so it will be interesting to see how long it is before I'm getting out the paint charts looking for dirt friendly colours. Having said now I am starting to put things back in place and once artwork goes back up on the walls it will start to really come into it's own. And of course with my books safely stored in their new home and de cluttering well under way I am one step closer to having my new studio built. I can't wait!

Monday, February 09, 2009

OWP day 3,4,5

Oops - got a bit of catching up to do! One of my favourtie haunts is a small country park which is beautiful any time of year, but particularly stunning when it's been snowing.