~ artist ~ illustrator ~ custom paintings ~

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Poppies, New Cards and A Question Of Size.

We had such lovely weather at the weekend when we went to visit Eldest daughter in London. Perfect weather for seeing the poppy display at the Tower of London.

 This is a creation of 888,246 ceramic poppies to mark 100 years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war. The poppies will be sold to raise money for service charities.

Did you notice in the top picture the bobble hat that Harry's wearing? I made it for him to match a cardigan that I'd made in the summer.

Lovely and cosy ready for autumn and winter. :)

Speaking of which.....    

I hope you don't mind seeing things of the chrismassy sort this side of Halloween ;) but I thought I'd show you my new christmas card designs. The picture above shows my work in progress, with watercolour and my trusty black Pitt Pen (03 size pen for those who like to know these things!) 
After they were printed, I added some lovely silver ink to them to make them sparkle. You can't have christmas without sparkle now can you? Well I can't anyway! :)

Before you go, could I ask you a question?

It's about this post. You see I'm never sure how large to make the images when I write a blogpost and I was wondering if I've made the last ones too big, or have I made the first ones too small? Which size do you find the most comfortable to see when you're reading a blogpost?
Thankyou so much for your comments! xx

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Choices Galore

Thankyou SO MUCH for your very helpful suggestions in my last post. You are all so amazing and very much appreciated! I'll have a renewed energy with my next painting. :)

I hope you've had a lovely weekend. I've had a busy time, what with trying to clear the bottom of our garden which has turned into a mini woodland. This sounds nice doesn't it? but with young trees underneath the weight of a soggy heavy fence, growing sideways across the ground in a desperate attempt to survive, there is a lot more work to be done!

Messy isn't it?!

I've also been busy adding new items to my Society6 shop. Would you like to see a few of them?

 I have lots of mug designs, please click here to see more :)

and tote bags, please click here to see them :)

There are lots of different phone skins and case designs.

and wall-clocks, please click here to see :)

My designs can also be bought as greetings cards or prints,

or if you prefer, a canvas print :)

 And finally, my personal favourites, the cushions!
Please click here to see them all! :)

Gosh that's a lot of choices isn't it? I love to see how my paintings become transformed into lovely items. When my birthday gets closer I'm going to order a few things for myself. My only problem is, I can't choose between them!
Have a happy week! :)

Friday, 26 September 2014

Advice Please for An Artist's Anxiety

In my sketchbook I feel free to make images. My sketches here flow from my hand without thought.

 Why is it so very difficult for me to feel like that when faced with a canvas?!

You might remember these I started last week...

A good start but I personally didn't like them because each part of them hadn't flowed when I was painting. It was as though I had a stern voice over my shoulder telling me to "get it right" with every brushstroke. How intimidating!

This is the one that you saw in the right hand side of the photo. I do love the colours but I felt I was trying too hard with the composition and that was preventing me from enjoying the process. If you're a painter you'll know how badly a painting will turn out if you haven't enjoyed at least part of the making!
So I decided to pretend I was painting in my sketchbook, with no-one to please except myself, and this is what happened to it...

I loved creating all those patterns and the bright pink was a joy to work with.

So the moral of my story? 
I'm still a bit spaced out from finishing this and I have it hanging on my wall so that I can live with it for a bit before I make up my mind about it.
I'd love to know what you think and for any advice on how to please myself and to make that voice shut up!
Thankyou lovely people! xx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Late September Sunshine


It was such a warm and sunny Sunday today, we decided to go out for the afternoon and found ourselves in Lacock. It was so lovely to see so many colourful flowers still in bloom at this late part of September! I remember it was here that I saw the very first snowdrops of the year too. Definitely a good place for growing flowers don't you think?

I'd love to live in a house like this with the beautiful leaded windows and stone window sills. 
It will only ever be a dream but that's ok, I like to dream. :)

 We walked around the gardens near the Abbey enjoying the sunshine, noticing how most of the crops are reaching the end of their growth. It was a lovely warm day but it still felt like autumn, maybe it's the smell, or perhaps the unique light of September that reminds us that Summer had gone?

I wouldn't say no to having this in my garden either. :)

This beautiful creature was there too enjoying the garden and no doubt relishing the visitors' attention each time someone walked by! I'm guessing this tree stump was particularly warm and comfy?

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠·˙

Tomorrow I'll be continuing to work on these two canvases.

Please don't tell me you like them because they both look very different to this now! The colour scheme for each of the paintings is going to remain the same but as for the subject matter....now that's another matter! ;)

See you again soon with an update. xx

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Days and Evenings

The evenings seem to be getting much darker now don't they? Today we had hot sun and then early evening, all of a sudden it seemed, the light was fading and then it felt fairly cold outside. I finally have to admit that autumn is in the air.
I have rubbish lighting in the room where I paint so I prefer to paint in the daytime when I can see the colours properly. One day I'd like to have decent lighting so that I can carry on painting
but for now, my evenings are the time when I do my knitting or crocheting.
This is what I've been making.

It's a little cardigan for my daughter's son. It turned out too big for him but at the rate he's growing it won't be long before it fits him!

For my next project I have an idea of the colours I want to use and I've seen a pattern I like too. On the Ravelry website is says it's fairly easy to make but I think they mean it's easy for an expert and that's not me. I might have been a knitter for a long time but I tend to stick to stitches I'm familiar with!

I did a sketch of how I might like it to look. I say 'might' because I'm unsure of all that grey. I'm a bit greyed out after making the little cardigan and pine for some brighter colour. We'll see. Here's the sketch above on the left hand page of my sketchbook. The other sketches are just doodlings and they're nothing to do with it, so ignore those!
Will I be able to do it? 
If I do manage to tackle it, I'll show you in a later post. :)

Meanwhile, during daylight hours I've painted two more mini-mounted watercolours.

The White Hare painting is now listed in the shop here.

And it had to happen didn't it? 

As you might have guessed if you've seen my previous posts, all those harbours I saw during the summer have influenced this!

Listed here in my Etsy shop.

Thankyou for visiting! See you next time. xx

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Gypsy Caravan Love

Before I went away on holiday, I did this sketch (above) of a gypsy caravan. They're so pretty aren't they? 

The caravan on display at Bristol City Museum

Since I was tiny I would go to the city museum and look in wonder at the caravan they had on display there, finding the inside so cosy and welcoming. Everything inside is so carefully designed and so clean and shiny. I used to love the cupboard at the back where the bed is, with decorated doors to keep the chill out. 

Now I'm also intrigued how someone can have all their possessions inside such a tiny space but still make it feel so homely. I'm sure I remember being able to go inside it but maybe I did but wasn't supposed to!
Nowadays you definitely can't go inside because they have glass across the door. Such a shame but I guess that's how they keep it from getting damaged with time.

I thought it would be nice to make a painting with a gypsy caravan as part of my Mini Matted series. :)
 First of all I thought I'd better look it up on Google so that I have some idea of how it's put together. My drawing is very loose and impressionistic but I like to know how it should be in real life before I start. I found this...

(Right click on the picture to see it larger.)

What a lovely drawing and how very informative too! Needless to say my own finished painting is quite different to this, done in my own style and of course lots of colour! :)

I've mounted it already, so it's easy for you to display

and it's now in my Etsy shop at £18 + p&p. Any currency is accepted by Etsy, and I offer shipping to any country.)
I hope you like gypsy caravans as much as me and come back again soon to see what I'm going to be making next.
Thanks for visiting! xx

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

New Mini Matted Paintings

Hi there! I'm back in studio action again from this week and I want to start by showing you a new section I have in my Etsy shop. :)
It's called 'Mini Matted Paintings'. I decided that I'd like to make some more affordable artwork to sell so these are slightly smaller than my usual ones. I don't know about you, but I find that smaller artwork is more difficult to display on its own so to make these paintings more substantial, I've mounted (matted) each of them so that they're ready to either display as they are, or alternatively you can put the ready-matted painting into a glass frame too to hang on your wall!

close-up showing matting (mount)

I have 3 paintings in this size so far and as I make each one, I'll add it to this section. I'm in the middle of making another one right at this moment so stay tuned!
x x

Saturday, 30 August 2014

A Week in Cornwall ♥

Hello bloggers! I'm sorry I haven't been out visiting your blogs for a while. I have a very good excuse you know :) because I've been away for a while in beautiful Cornwall discovering new parts that I haven't been to before! This top picture I took at the lovely Prussia Cove.

Here's where we stayed, Porthleven. It can get very windy here and the storms hit it very hard last winter. The weather was calm and warm most of the time while we were there, so I was able to walk along the coast path to take this picture of the town.

My memory of the Lizard Peninsula is of dragging horizontal children through the wind to look at the view! It was actually Lizard Point that I'd been to before and this experience had delayed going anywhere near there again, so when I saw Mullion Cove for the first time last week I was amazed at how stunning it was!
Mullion Cove was spectacular and I thought how it must be the best place around here, until that is, I visited Kynance Cove!

Oh my goodness what a paradise it was. The cafe there had the tastiest food too!

I took my sketchbook with me and made a few quick sketches while we were out and about.
Below are people near Smeaton's Pier in St Ives watching the seals who have no fear of humans, I expect they know where the fish will come from later in the day! 

Another very picturesque place we visited was Helford.

 The cottages there are so pretty. Piano music drifted in the air as we walked around the village, how very perfect!

 Cape Cornwall is somewhere I've been to many times in the past and the summer heather is so lovely and soft underfoot.

 There was a basking shark in that water! Don't bother making the photo larger to try and see it, I didn't manage to capture it on camera because it moved so quickly and every time I clicked, it would disappear under the water!

We wanted to avoid the dreaded A30 holiday traffic going home so we spent some time in Polperro on the way home.

 It's been many years since I've been there and I'm happy to say it was as lovely as I remember it. :)

Thankyou for visiting me here today. My Etsy shop will reopen again on Monday with some new paintings for sale. I'd love it if you came back here to see them!

I hope you've had (and are still having!) a lovely summer. 
x x