Thursday, January 28, 2010


Well we are at the end of January today and I have never known a month go so quickly. It doesn't seem five minutes ago (slight exaggeration) that we were celebrating Christmas. Where does the time go? At the rate time is passing it will be Valentine's Day in a few hours so I hope you have all got your cards and gifts ready.

I like this time quote by Will Rogers: "Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save."

A digital piece of art called "Gathering Of Friends." Those trees took ages as you can imagine. ( Ahh I think I have just found out where my time is going.)

Another digital drawing "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon"

The beautiful paintings below are by UK artist Simon Hart. He has a background of textile design and that shows in the detail and patterning of his work. He has great colour sense. He has published his work in many areas including greetings cards, wallpaper, childrens' books etc. There is an interesting biography of him on his website here and lots of gorgeous images of work, past and present.

Morning, Dittisham Quay

Djemma el Fna, Marrakesh

Sunset, Alhambra

We have had some incredibly cold and frosty weather since the snow departed so here are a few frosty pictures for you.

While I was perusing the books and magazines in the Contemporary Craft Gallery in Percy Street, London the other week, I spotted a booklet by the wonderfully talented mosaic artist Cleo Mussi. It is by Mussimosaics Publications and I couldn't resist getting a copy. I find her mosaics quite fascinating and the booklet, although small, has some great photos of her work. There is a lovely rhythm and pattern to her creations and she uses a lot of recycled bits of domestic china with interesting decorations. Her designs are immensely popular and I would love to own a piece. If you want to read more about her you can view the article in a past copy of BBC Homes and Antiques magazine here. Cleo's own website is here.

When I was buying my lovely bracelet (see previous post) I also saw some other wonderful jewellery by a designer called Anne Farag. Anne has some very enticing designs on her website here. She enjoys producing jewellery with distinctive patterns derived from other cultures and I think her work has a definite ethnic and almost tribal quality.

The beautiful ceramic work below is by sculptor Debra Fritts. She is a storyteller in clay. Her method of working is quite complex and she imprints marks and textures into her work. You can find a description of how she achieves this on her website. She has lots of work in galleries including here at BlueSpiral, Pacinilubel here and GalleryOne here. Her own website here has lots more of her work on show.

Smart Girl

Saving The Earth

Night Walker

Clean Slate

Jennie Ashmore is an English artist and craftswoman who produces the most amazingly beautiful collages of natural found leaves and petals. She finds the raw materials in gardens and woods etc and presses and arranges them. Her images are very redolent of old textiles and quilts. and her sense of colour, design and pattern is excellent. Quite gorgeous. You can find lots more of her work on her website here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Craft Hope For Haiti - Setting A Great Example

After reading about the Craft Hope for Haiti shop on Etsy on a fellow bloggers post, I decided to donate a couple of my prints for the cause. They were the two below: Hiding In The Long Grass and Cockerels Amongst The Seedheads. Pleasingly they both sold quite quickly and I have just posted them both off to their new owners today. The Etsy shop is doing fantastically well and has already raised over $20,000 and sold over 1000 items for Doctors Without Borders. I think the people who are running the shop are to be congratulated for their very hard work and the time and effort they have devoted to raising such a large amount in such a short time. It is still open for both donations and sales so pop over and have a look if you haven't already. You can find the shop here and the website here.

The Time of the Owl is an ink drawing with a digital background. I can often hear an owl in the woods near to my home at night. I think it is a tawny owl and its call is mesmerising and very atmospheric. It makes me think of the 1967 novel I Heard The Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven.

A pen and ink drawing called "The Reader".

This quirky little drawing is Valentine Goose. A bit early I know.

As anyone will know who follows this blog, I am a great fan of multicoloured stripes. What better stripes can you have than these lovely Pantone mugs. For those who don't know, Pantone are a company responsible for standardising colours used in the arts, industry, computers, schools etc all over the world. A little collection of these would look very nice on our mug tree.

I visited my favourite local contemporary art and craft gallery the other day and spotted this lovely bracelet which was just calling out to me. I had seen its necklace a few weeks ago during the Christmas Exhibition but hummed and haared like you do, and then it was too late because it had been sold. This bracelet looks so dainty and pretty with its multicoloured beads and silver heart and fittings.

Ploughed fields and frost and sunlight on the tree make for a lovely winter scene.

I love the way a few leaves seem to cling on all winter.

I found a couple of lovely greetings cards the other day. This is called Winter Birds and is a screenprint by Alice Melvin. Alice is an illustrator and produces some lovely images which you can see here on her website. This is from Art Angels publishers. This is Robin from Alice's website. I love her detailed and decorative pattern approach.

I couldn't resist this stunning card by Kate Osborne. It is called Sussex Born and is published through the almanac gallery. I have mentioned Kate's beautiful watercolours before and you can find her here.

Brendan Hesmondhalgh's clay work is characterised by large, life-like representations of animals but with wonderful textures added. His birds and animals have wrinkles and folds of skin and feathers and all the little "faults" the real animals and birds have. I saw his work in person at Art In Action at Waterperry a few years ago and his pelicans below were garnering lots of attention. You can see more of his work here at sculpture lounge.

Two Pelicans at Art In Action Show



The exquisitely detailed works below are by UK artist Edna Bizon. She creates very realistic images of particularly still lifes, animals and nature in oil. I think "performance" below is absolutely gorgeous. You can find lots more of Edna's work at Llewellyn Alexander here.


The Garden At Leven's Hall

Startled Jersey

The Quiet Garden, Sissinghurst

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bags Of Art

Like everyone else I have been shocked at the extent and severity of the dreadful earthquake which affected Haiti. My heart goes out to those poor people and I hope the international aid gets through soon. Apparently it was one of the top ten worst earthquakes ever in terms of damage and mortality. Here in the UK we cannot even imagine how awful it must be for the Haitians.

Nearly all the snow has disappeared now. Our lovely magical winter landscape has gone but we did have a wonderfully clear and bright sunny day to make up for it. There is just the odd dwindling snowman here and there to remind us of what we had, and the photos of course.

A ink and digitally coloured drawing called "Nurturing".

This is a pen and ink drawing that I am working on at the moment. I have a bit of a love/hate relationships with squirrels. They do have a tendency to take over the bird tables for hours at a time. I suppose bird seed tastes better than tree bark.

A small pen and ink sketch called I Shall Not Pass This Way Again. The woman is squatting by the tree but it is a very difficult position to draw accurately and I don't think it is very convincing.

This is a design I did for my header a while back but I have reworked it. The daisy petals are coloured now instead of just the centres. I have been using it for my card backs.

Today was a brilliantly clear and warm (for winter) day. A complete and total change to the dark, snowy days we have had for the last three weeks. I could only get the top half of the tree in the photo but I took others of the bottom half of the tree. Definitely worth a drawing I think.

Shetland Pony

This is the original colour of this leaf. I haven't photoshopped it.

When I am visiting a National Trust property I usually make a beeline for the NT shop. They have some lovely items and gifts. I really like these bags. I would get plenty of books in these.

Madeleine Floyd Birdsong Bag

Double Bough Canvas Bag

Batik Canvas Bag

and with a lovely rooster design like the one on this tea cosy, it makes you wish you used a teapot instead of tea bags.
David Harban is a UK artist who has been printmaking since 1999, especially etching and aquatint. His work is quite diverse but he specialises in some amazing gargoyles and stone heads that can be found on English church and cathedral walls. You can find his website here and more of his work here at numberninethegallery.

Botanic II

Tree VI


These two beautiful designs are from UK textile designer Brie Harrison. Brie has some more gorgeous designs on her website here. These prints would make lovely cushions. They make you think of summer a few months in advance.


Sweet Marigolds

Matthew Metz is a well known American ceramic artist who decorates his work with beautiful carved images of birds, leaves, trees and iconic looking faces. He seems to have a strong folk influence but also says he is inspired by Asian, Greek and Roman pottery and early American decorative arts. I find his work fascinating and inspiring. You can find lots more of his craftwork at these sites - ferringallery and theclaystudio.

I came across UK artist and printmaker Kay McDonagh's beautiful etchings quite a long time ago on Ebay but have since seen her work on her website here and also as greetings cards. A lot of Kay's work features dogs and cats and she tries to capture the character of the animal. She certainly succeeds because her animals are full of personality and not a little humour.

Glamour Puss

Twist Of Fate

My Mouse

Top Cat