Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding Fever Over – Back To Drawing

This is an ink and watercolour painting which I have called Blessing The Garden. I have fiddled a bit with it and I am not entirely happy with it but I will see how it goes. It isn’t finished yet anyway. I do like the combination of yellows and turquoises though.


Pen and Ink Drawing entitled Red Birds In Trees
We have had the most wonderful two weeks filled with Bank Holidays and the Royal Wedding and gorgeous sunny weather. What more could anyone want? Kate looked divine in her dress and William looked very happy. I am sure she will make a perfect princess and later Queen. I, along with the rest of the country’s women I am sure, had a good laugh at some of the outfits displayed at Westminster Abbey. It just goes to show that being rich is not necessarily an arbiter of good taste in clothing. Someone needs to have a discreet whisper in the ears of the very pretty York girls – what was that Beatrice had on her head???

We have had some wonderful geocaching walks around the shires and below are a few of the photos. I fell in love with pretty and ancient Linslade Old Church on the hill in the middle of nowhere. Nearly a thousand years old and thankfully very minimal restoration inside. The countryside is very green at the moment but the lack of rain is a bit worrying. Not a hint of an April shower but I am sure nature will put that right in the coming weeks.

Tree lined country lane at Linslade


River at Old Linslade


Old Linslade Church built in mid-1100’s.




and the Beast (Cockchafer Beetle)


I love Manja Scott’s graphic and quirky work. Her blue cat below is such a character and her happy landscape makes you happy just to see those colours. Manja was Croatian born and now lives and works in England. She has worked as a textile designer and you can see that influence in her drawings and paintings. She has a wonderful style, both graphic and illustrative. You can see much more on her website here.

Blue Cat

Manja Scott - Blue Cat

Happy Landscape

Manja Scott - Happy Landscape

I really like the work of English artist/craftswoman Flo Snook. I first saw her work during a Brighton Open Studios event years ago. Much of her work shows the influence of the sea and the coast and landscapes around Southern England where she lives. Below are her accessories but she also has textile wall art and paintings on show on her website here.

Pin Cushions

Flo Snook - Pin Cushions


Flo Snook - Needlecases

Below are some more of the gorgeous spring scenes we found whilst out walking in the countryside. The bluebells are still thriving in these shots.

Spring Scenes 1



Kate Lynch’s paintings are beautifully colourful with a deliciously naive narrative quality to them. She works in oil, pastels and willow charcoal. A lot of her work is connected with farming, and the people who work the land. Kate lives on the Somerset Levels and is married to the very talented painter James Lynch whose work I have mentioned previously. Kate has a very informative website here with lots to see.

Pilgrimage With Cockerel

Kate Lynch - Pilgrimage With Cockerel
Leaving Home With Doll And Cockerel

Kate Lynch - Leaving Home With Doll And Cockerel
Rushing Woman With Cockerel

Kate Lynch - Rushing Woman With Cockerel

The artwork below was created by the late great contemporary Maori artist John Bevan Ford. His paintings and sculptures are in museum collections all over the world. He was also a great speaker of Maori culture and heritage. You can find examples of his work all over the Internet but this site here has a nice slideshow of some of his paintings.

The Connection With London

John Bevan Ford-TheConnectionWithLondon


John Bevan Ford-Flight

Ruru In The Pacific Bush

John Bevan Ford-Ruru In The Pacific Bush

Some Birds To Guide Us

John Bevan Ford-Some Birds To Guide Us

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lambs And Bluebells

We have had a lovely series of Bank Holidays in the UK with still two more to come. The weather has been gorgeous and spring has been well and truly sprung. The countryside is bursting with colour and fragrance and life. My favourite season and with good reason. We also have had all the hype of the royal wedding with interesting screenings on the TV of the previous royal weddings. Diana’s dress looks so fussy and outdated now that fashions have veered away from frills and flounces. We are all agog to see what the new princess to be will wear on Friday.The-Berry-Thief
The pen and ink drawing above I have called The Berry Thief.

Some of the cutest lambs we came across over the weekend. They are so sweet, snuggling up to mum and running frantically from the nasty humans with cameras. I love the middle shot of the one gazing back to see if mum is coming.




I really like these two images by the late painter/printmaker John O’Connor. He was born in England in 1913 and attended the Royal College of Art where his teachers were Eric Ravilious and John Nash. In later years he illustrated for the Golden Cockerel Press. I think his cockerel is amazing and the Suffolk church wood engraving is beautifully detailed. You can find more work by him here at the Chappel Galleries.

Striding Cockerel Wood Engraving

John O'Connor - Striding Cockerel

Suffolk Church Wood Engraving

John O'Connor - Suffolk Church

We have had beautiful weather recently and spring has gone wonderfully mad providing us with gorgeous nature scenes like the bluebells below. The first two I photographed today and the bottom one a short while ago. The woods and lanes are full of blue and the fragrance is intoxicating. We are so lucky in England to have 80% of the world’s bluebell population.



Bluebells Three

These great cushions below are by textile artist Maxine Pharoah.
You can more by Maxine on her website here.

Bluebird Cushion

Maxine Pharoah - Bluebird Cushion

Dancing Chick Cushion

Maxine Pharoah - Dancing Chick Cushion

The lovely blossom of the past few weeks are past their best now. Sadly they don’t last long. I took these shots a little while ago when things were at their peak. A gorgeous blue sky behind helps.



The artworks below are a continuation of my Kantha embroidery theme of my last post. They are all by Asian artists and the first three remind me of the illustrative style of Kantha. I particularly like the way they have rendered the trees. The final two show the lovely graphic and colourful quality of Indian art. You can find these and other examples of detailed Indian art on the Indigo Arts Gallery site here.

Punam Kaln – Holy Cow And Mango Tree

Punam Kaln-Holy Cow and Mango Tree

Sudha Kumari – Deer In The Forest

Sudha Kumari-DeerInTheForest

Sudha Kumar – Holy Cow

Sudha Kumar-Holy Cow

Montu Chitrakar – Kalighat With Fish

Montu Chitrakar - Kalighat Cat With Fish

Baua Devi – Two Girlfriends

Baua Devi - Two Girlfriends

I was very pleased to come across a very talented scraperboard artist the other day. His name is Tom Boulton and he specialises in scraperboard, linocut and mixed media landscapes. I absolutely love his hare scraperboards particularly. They have a wonderful dark and mysterious quality to them although his other work is just as good as you can see for yourself if you visit his website here. He shares the site with his equally talented photographer wife Julia. Just click on an image to start and then go to “next” in the bar at the top to see all the work.

Hare And The Moon

Tom Boulton - Hare And The Moon
Orchard Moon

Tom Boulton - Orchard Moon Scraperboard
Hare On The Run

Tom Boulton - Hare On The Run

Hare In The Meadow

Tom Boulton - Hares In The Meadow

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back Again

It is good to be back to blogging again. Many thanks to the ladies who drew my attention to Live Writer when Blogger let me down. Once I had ironed out a few problems with photo size it wasn’t too difficult to get my head around. The good thing about Live Writer is that you can insert pictures instead of them always appearing at the top of the blog. Very useful if you have missed out a vital picture or worse, deleted one by mistake. I have a bit of an issue with borders round the pictures so if anyone knows how to get rid of the borders on the right and bottom of the photos please let me know. It wouldn't look too bad if it went all the way round.

I have had this painting below as a drawing in my sketchbook for ages but thought it would look sufficiently spring like to produce now. It is actually traced from my hand but elongated in photoshop for more elegance..haha. I do like to find interesting places for birds to nest.



Days Of Sunshine And Of Rain. A quirky little digital piece.
The artwork was inspired by the title I heard on the radio.


We had a wonderful day geocaching at Redbourne this afternoon. The signs of spring were everywhere and very abundant. The church below is quite beautiful, inside and out, with rows of pollarded limes. I have some more photos of the church to share next time. The flowers of spring are really lovely like the forgetmenots below and the gorgeous cherry blossoms. So many flowers and so little time to appreciate them as they don’t really last very long.



Cherry Blossom


The beautiful collagraphs below are the work of printmaker Sarah Ross-Thompson who takes the wonderful Dorset countryside as her inspiration. She has lots more like this on her website gallery here and she also explains how to make collagraphs.


Sarah Ross-Thompson - Hillside


Sarah Ross-Thompson - Wintershill

I used to see a lot of Hannah Swain’s wonderful fairytale etchings at one time but she is not seen as much today. She is the first printmaker I knew who painted their etchings by hand. You can find some more of her work here on the Two Blind Mice site but they are very tiny and not easy to see.

Hannah Swain - Soft In The Middle

We visited the beautiful ancient market town of Thame a few weeks ago for geocaching purposes. I have photographed a lot of the very old buildings before but I don’t think I have taken photos of this one, probably due to vehicles parked outside. (Owners of beautiful old buildings should never park their vehicles in the vicinity because it ruins visitors photographs..haha).



I spotted these lovely cushions through a shop window…closed alas. I love the graphic plant design.


I first mentioned getting the gorgeous book below in 2010. It was recommended to me by blogging friend Shirley who knew of my interest in Kantha embroidery. It is an absolute wonder of lovely images of Kantha work and is quite huge. I have only dipped in and out so far but will get down to some serious reading soon. I love Kantha because it is in the style of very detailed illustrations but in embroidery. I like the restricted colour palettes too. I have tried a few pieces myself but I am not up to displaying standard yet. More practice needed. In the meantime I can immerse myself in all this wonderous beauty.



I discovered Liz Somerville’s lovely work a while back. Liz is an English artist who graduated with a textile design and now concentrates on printmaking and painting from her Dorset home. She is inspired by Ravilious, Nash and Bawden – also favourites of mine – particularly Bawden. If you visit her website here you can see examples of her landscapes, architecture and seascapes. I love the quite retro colour palette she uses and the flowing lines of her landscapes.

Eggardon Dip


Still Tree – Quiet Hollow

Liz Somerville - Still Tree - Quiet Hollow

Five Trees 5


White Tree