Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Art Every Day Month

Day 29

Birds at Dawn

I have been working on this piece for a few days. I am happy to say I'm really pleased with it. 

Participating in Art Every Day Month has been really helpful in finding my style. Don't think for a moment that I've worked out what it is yet but I think I'm getting closer. 

Quirkiness seems to be the key. I always seem to be happier with a piece of work if it has a playful quality, either through the expressions of the characters or through the use of colour. In this piece the birds seem to be preoccupied with the business of singing - barely noticing each other. 

Humour seem to crop up in my work from time to time. Recently I did a piece for Illustration Friday called " Vanity" and people commented that  the expressions on the faces were funny - to be honest, it was unintentional, but looking at it now I can see that was why I was pleased with the finished piece. 

Finding out what I like to create is a slow process but I think I am making some ground. The main thing I have learn't is to try to be true to myself and allow myself time to experiment. 

I think I will add this to my Etsy shop. I printed it off this evening and the acrylic paint reproduces really well.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Art Every Day Month

Day 26


Art in the form of a gallery visit and other stuff......

Yesterday I went to London with my family and met up with my sister (who was visiting from Dallas) and my mum. We very nearly missed the train, due to my two boys, who didn't want to turn off their favourite DVD "Outnumbered" Series One. 

They love this show - mainly because they are both rather like Ben - the one in the red t-shirt!  Stay with me on this - there is a reason I mentioned it!

Anyway, more of that later.........

We walked along the South Bank to the Tate Modern and on our way saw the sand sculptures at the Thames Beach. 

We spent a great morning in the Tate Modern. We enjoyed, "The Unilever Series" by film maker Tacita Dean which celebrates the moving image, and celebrates the masterful techniques of analogue film-making as opposed to digital.  We also enjoyed making our on "shadow" art on it too. Not sure what Ms Dean would have made of this?!

After spending the morning in the Tate. We took a leisurely walk over the "wobbly" bridge to St. Paul's passing this performance artist - spooky! 

Outside St. Paul's the protesters tents were lined up in orderly rows. They closed St. Paul's for a while because of a "threat to the public". But that certainly  wasn't how it appeared to us, quite the opposite. The camp was extremely well managed and ordered.  There were tents specifically for the preparation of food, first aid, women and children only, a job centre (to organise the running of the camp), a University tent giving lectures, a tent marked Legal and an Information tent. There is a strict policy of no drugs or alcohol and there were no open fires. The camp was friendly, quiet, extremely clean and tidy and very well organised. 

Wow, they even have a piano!


To end with, some shots of the South Bank at night 

and then to top off a great day the boys met their heroes from "Outnumbered".  They just happened to be on the South Bank filming and  kindly took the time
 give us this photo. 

Thank you Daniel and Tyger, you really made it a day Sam and William will never forget.  

Friday, 25 November 2011

Art Every Day Month

Day 24 and 25

Christmas Nativity 

As you may know I work in a lovely primary school . I love my job. It is wonderful to work with children and I also have lots of opportunity to be creative. This week we have started to rehearse the Christmas Nativity and with that comes the making of the scenery. So I have spent the last two mornings trying to make something out of nothing. Its amazing what you can make from the contents of the stock cupboard, my re-cycling bin, the school skip and the caretakers office and it didn't cost a penny! It is about 7 ft high and made mainly out of old cardboard boxes stapled together. So this is my creative offering for the last two days.......I really love my job......

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Art Every Day Month

Day 23

The Fly!

I took this photo in my garden - Mr Fly was most obliging and posed beautifully. 

Flies haven't got the best reputation have they ? It's not surprising really - we all know what sort of unsavoury places they like to hang around in. But they do have their beneficial side. They help control other insect pests. They act as scavengers and recylers when they feed on decaying waste such as dung and dead animals. Of course, they serve as food themselves for other insects and many birds. Flies are also great pollinators. Only bees and some wasps pollinate more plants and flowers than flies.

 Yes we all know the horrid stories - ugly dirty creatures - but thanks to my new macro lens  I can  see that this distasteful  creature really does have a  beautiful side. 

and some fly stuff to make you laugh..........

The Swedish photographer Magnas Muhr produces his art with some dead flies  and a few strokes of his pencil. 

How funny!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Art Every Day Month

Day 22

Still Life

Here is a little bit of Tuesday Fun for anyone feeling creative. 
I wont give the game away  - but all you have to do is click on the link and draw a stick man. Something funny and magical will happen. 



Monday, 21 November 2011

Owl Babies

My favourite illustration
Owl Babies, was written  by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson
This is an enchanting book about the growth of children, trust and love.  

Three baby owls, Sarah, Percy and Bill, wake up one night in their hole in a tree to find that their mother has gone. So they sit on a branch and wait. Darkness gathers and the owls grow anxious, wondering when their mother will return. But, at last, she does, and they bounce up and down with joy, welcoming her home.

For years and years I have read this book to my children. It is my absolute favourite. There is something magical about this book. It is so real and relevant. Anyone  who has feared even the briefest moment of separation will empathise with the baby owls.   The rhythm of the text  is a  joy to read out loud. This book is, in my opinion, a beautiful, expressive,  work of art. The textured backgrounds describe the moonlight  on the tree bark so brilliantly. The high contrast in the illustrations draws you into a midnight woodland scene and the gives the reader a sense of the isolation felt by the owl babies. 

If I had to choose one of the illustrations to be my favourite it would have to be this one - the owl babies mummy returns. There is something so perfect about the owl babies positions - the hopping and skipping - the eye contact with their mummy - they seem to bounce up and down in their excitement right before my eyes. 

So there you have it  - my favourite illustration - ever! 


Art Every Day Month

Day 21


Couldn't think what to paint today, so I went for a little  walk (and I mean little!) around my tiny garden and plucked a piece of ivy from the wall. I planted it when we moved in 6 years ago - it was a tiny little thing, not even one foot tall, but it has  grown  remarkably  - as ivy does - and has managed to climb right over the 6ft wall and into next door! whoops - I hope they wanted ivy too. 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Art Every Day Month
Day 19

Wishful Thinking

I went to Winchester today to start my Christmas shopping. Winchester is a beautiful town and where I studied for my Fine Art Degree. It's quaint old streets must of got into my bones today - because this image suddenly popped into my head. The cobbled streets, the old fashioned shops and the connection with my partners family who used to live there and had dogs. I think I must have been stirring up all those memories in my melting pot mind and by the evening out popped this little creation. For me, visual pictures help me remember and retain events and feelings. Somehow they link up a whole host of visual memories, not just what you can see in the picture, and prevent them from fading. 

Friday, 18 November 2011

Art Every Day Month/Illustration Friday
Day 18


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 17

Well it was Face Painting  today!

Today I went straight from my day job to do Face Painting at the big shopping centre in Southampton - West Quay - with my friend Berni. We have run Busy Bees Face Painting  for 4 years now and it is something in my life which gives me a huge sense of pride, because we started it from nothing. We do parties and corporate events. Tonight we painted alongside a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory event for 4hours - it flies by because we always have a huge queue. One of the children wanted to be a Oompa Loompa - bless her - so I did my best. Here are two children that  I painted this evening.

and from a few other events.....

pretty Halloween witch

 from the Tim Burton film "The nightmare before Christmas"

green monster

 My son William wanted to be a Tiger


....and this is just a picture of me before I've put my make-up on in the morning!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 16

At the beach

A quick little sketch  - can you tell I miss the summer?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 15


I started this  sketch with the intention of creating a lovely happy sunny scene,
  - and it maybe just me - but, now it's finished, I think it has quite an eerie feel about it... 

(poor girl - perhaps some features might have helped!)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 14
Illustration Friday

This is what I have been working on today. I think it is still a work in progress (as you can tell by the masking fluid!) - but I quite like it in it's unfinished state - might have to put it one side for a while and look at it again with fresh eyes. 

I have been taking part in a fantastic E-course for all arty minded creative souls out there called Creative Courage.

It has been a wonderful courageous journey of knowledge and discovery. Along the way I have met some amazing people  - my fellow Creative Soul Sisters! Between us we have created a supportive network of like-minded artistic friends. I simply can not put into words how grateful and lucky I feel to have all these wonderful people come so suddenly into my life. It has been great to share work and support others.  It was just the tonic I needed. Today the course comes to an end but I am so lucky to be able to say that I know that the journey has really only just begun. I look forward to a creative and courageous future with my new artistic friends.

To celebrate and focus the topics we have discussed in the course we were asked to produce a  personally relevant  Creative Courage Road Map.  The journey starts here..........

Here are some close ups

Sunday, 13 November 2011

 Art Every Day Month - Day 13

Jellyfish sketch

A Grand Day Out!

I spent a Grand Day Out in Bristol yesterday with 2 lovely friends, Kris and Fiona.  We chatted and shopped, ate, shopped, chatted, ate, shopped and ate some more.

Bristols Christmas Lights are quite amazing - enormous light bulbs and lots of light sabers.

This is Raymond Blanc's restaurant "Brasserie Blanc"
- look at the chapel at the back - 
that's part of the restaurant too!
And at night!

We had afternoon tea in Patisserie Valerie


The return journey was interesting......

It took us 5 hours to get home as power lines had fallen on the railway track causing cancellations by the carriage load and a diversion - quite an adventure!