Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer Blog Break - Back 13 September

I am having a summer blog holiday now so I will not be back until Sunday 13 September, although I will be making visits here and there. I hope you all have a very pleasant late summer period. I hope to produce quite a lot of work in that time including a needlepoint I am planning and hopefully some linoprints. I bought a nice wooden spoon in a charity shop recently for that very purpose. See you in September.

This is called The Silent Land. I particularly liked the tree in the pot that my "lady who planted trees" was holding in last week's post, that I decided to expand on the theme. This is the result. The trees are pen and ink but digitally coloured. I have also done a version with snowflakes which I will use for Christmas cards later in the year.

I am working on a bit of a marine theme today. These watercolour fish also started out life as potential greetings card images. I used to produce quite a lot of fishy themed work originally but I haven't done so much lately.

Anyone who has followed my blog since the early days may recognise this painting but it is, in fact, a different one to the one I posted way back. This is the original and better version which has recently turned up again. Aren't "clear outs"wonderful?
Whilst I was having my clear out I found a couple of old greetings cards that I made about fifteen years ago. I used to make a lot of cards when I first started drawing and painting - some I sold and some I didn't. The pink one is made of handmade paper mounted on card. The image is hand drawn. The mermaid is also a hand drawn picture. Things took an awful long time in those days before computers were commonplace.

I love this Garden Lovers ceramic by John Maltby. He produces the most beautiful sculptures.
All is safely gathered in. The harvest is taking place all over the countryside now, in between the rain showers, of course. These shots are of local fields.

This is wonderful craftsmanship of about 500 years ago. These are the decorative chimney stacks of the Tudor period belonging to Chenies Manor House. I am not certain how they would have been carved but it was obviously a labour of love for someone and must have taken a long time to create. The results are stunning. Can you imagine anyone taking such trouble over chimney stacks in the present day?
Caroline Hyde-Brown is an textile artist and designer. She creates her gorgeous pictures by combining painting with acrylics and oil pastels and then adding embroidery. The result is a beautiful piece of craftwork. I have seen her work in exhibitions and it is far better seen in real life. She uses a lot of golden and silver thread which shimmers. She is very inspired by the way light falls on the landscape. I find her trees particularly lovely. Her website is well worth a visit and can be found here.

The paintings below are the work of the late Wendy Stevenson who was rightly very well known for her beautifully lively and colourful paintings of animals and the countryside and particularly cats. I have bought many of her images on greetings cards over the years and these are two of my favourites that I was definitely keeping. How I would love to be able to paint like this.

Sheep By The Lake
Sheep and Lambs In A Field Of Daisies
I really like these aspen and oak leaf pendants by Etsy seller Briguysgirls. Apparently they are the real leaves which have been skeletalised and plated in metals.

The summer blooms are starting to die off now we are nearing the end of August. I am sorry to see them go. We have had some wonderful flowers in the garden. Still, there will be lots of photogenic and superb seedheads to look at. I think the sunflower below is quite beautiful. A bit like a wizened old lady. I found this in my brother and his partner's garden a couple of years ago.

Dried Sunflower
This was a summer nigella after a refreshing shower
and this is what is left now the flower has bloomed and died. Nigella are one of my favourite flowers so hopefully there will be lots more for next year.
Late Summer Dahlias
I wonder how many of you have or would have vinyl wall decals in your homes? I think they are great contemporary idea and there is a huge selection of designs around these days. I think these three designs by Etsy seller SurfaceFlik are great. Notice how I particularly like the tree designs. If you go to Etsy and search for Wall Decals you will find many many more.

Garden Tree Design
Flower Balls
New Tree Design

I have long been an admirer of English artist and printmaker Adrienne Craddock. She produces the most beautiful hand coloured drypoint and collograph prints as seen below. Her work is heavily inspired by myths, folklore and dreams and has a wonderful narrative and graphic quality. Adrienne also works in schools and colleges teaching art. Her website can be found here, and there is a very interesting video of how she produces her prints at the Sheeran Lock Art Gallery here. Also if you visit here at the gallery you can watch all the short videos that John Sheeran has produced about the artists represented by the gallery. They provide a fascinating insight into the way the contemporary artist works.

Tiger In The Tulips
Still Among The Bed Of Cabbages He Lay
Keep A Green Branch In Your Heart
The Dunce And The Chatterer

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place

The title of this post refers to my having another mega clearout. This one is even more mega than the last one. I am going through everything with a fine toothed comb and I am being quite ruthless in disposing of things I don't need or use any longer. Life is far too short to spend hours rumaging through items to find something. Hopefully I will soon have everything in its place.

I made a bit of a blog booboo the other day. I pressed publish post instead of save and I had to delete my incomplete post. What a shame you cannot put a post back into draft. It would have saved me a lot of time. I will be very careful with that in future.

This is part II of The Woman Who Planted Trees series. It has been a long time coming and I bet you cannot remember what part I looked like.
I have produced 8 new bird drawings this week. Here are 4 of them. I will probably make them into greetings cards. Hearts are my favourite icon at the moment.
The birds inspired me to do a bit of practice bird embroidery. I found it a lot harder than I expected as my machine kept doing its own thing. You can tell it is a practice piece as I didn't bother to iron out the creases...haha.

This is one of the roses in our garden from summers past when there was a touch of sun and a little moisture. Pretty isn't it?

A greetings card I bought on holiday in Cornwall a couple of years ago. I was very drawn by the beautiful colours and the delicacy of the artwork. It is by Sam Lauren Smith and she is an artist who produces a lot of her work as greetings cards and prints. Her paintings are quite mythic in subject matter with lots of trees and birds (just up my street...haha). Here is her website.
Penny Williams is a designer/maker of handmade jewellery and metal-work. She has some gorgeous quirky pieces on her website here. The majority of her humorous characters are cats, dogs and chickens and she gives them lovely little personalities all of their own.

Leopard Brooch
It's A Dog's Life Pendulum

Flying Chicken Brooch

This beautifully whimsical print is Zebra by Angela Harding. Angela is a painter/printmaker with a beautiful style and a lovely website here.

Now that the rain has abated temporarily and summer has returned, it is once again time for tea in the garden. If you are eating from the chinaware below then you are very lucky indeed. There are so many gorgeous patterns and designs on everything these days but particularly china. These items can be found among many other delights here at Artedona.

This has to be my favourite design. These butterflies are exquisite. This is Filet a Papillons by Alberto Pinto.
A stunning design by Gien called Cherry but you may find it difficult to decide where the pattern ends and the food starts.
and tasting tea from these beauties but always with the little finger extended. This design is Frivole by Bernardaud and is deliciously elegant.
My eldest brother and his partner have gone away for the weekend so we have been kitten and cat sitting. The kittens are not kittens any longer but have reached that lovely sinuously skinny and leggy stage. They are into everything though and are probably the feline equivalent of the human toddler but without the tantrums. They are spending most of their time in the garden racing to the tops of trees, poking frogs in the ponds, jumping over the fences into the neighbours gardens , in fact, all over the shop and behind the counter. Suddenly all is quiet and they are fast asleep.

Abbey just coming awake.

I had to gently dissuade Poppy from taking a pot shot at the bee at the top of this plant. Stung kitty is not pleasant.
Licketty taking a short break from his mischief making.
If you love gardens and you love art you will adore the artistic gardens of David Suff. He is a highly acclaimed and awarded artist who uses the techniques of printmaking and coloured pencil to achieve his stunning results. I didn't realise that coloured pencils could look this vibrant and detailed. The depth of colour he achieves is outstanding. I could be very happy wandering leisurely through his art gardens on a summer evening. He gives his work intriguing titles too. You can see lots more of his work on his website here. Don't forget to click on the numbers below and to enlarge each of the small images to see the entire site, including the commissioned section. It is well worth it. The three images below are David's work.

Conversation In A Shadowed Garden
Where Time And Memory Merge
Strange Boat
Yuri Poberezhny is a Russian graphic pen and ink artist of great talent. I love his style, subject matter and the incredible detail he achieves. As primarily a pen and ink artist myself I can appreciate just how long it must take him to produce the images. His work has the look of stunning Russian fairytale illustrations although it also has a very contemporary feel. He works as a teacher in junior art school and his inspirations are garnered from the children, his town and his country and memories of childhood. You can find ten pages of Yuri's illustrations on the great website here and he also has a page on the Saatchi website here. A great talent.