~ artist ~ illustrator ~ custom paintings ~

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Could it be the Fastest Month of the Year?

Don't you find that once we get to November, christmas approaches quicker than most of us can cope with? I expect it's because it's a very busy time trying to get all those jobs finished in time for the big day don't you?
This year I'm having a sale before christmas to make your gift buying a little easier on your purse. (Which we all know gets s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out of all recognition by January!)

 I have lots of new goodies in the shop like christmas cards and christmas wooden hangings.

 I have original watercolour paintings

and prints

and to cheer up these dark days of winter, you'll find bright and colourful paintings on canvas!

So if you've had your eye on something in my shop for a while but you're counting the pennies, then look no further. :)
I'm offering a massive 30% discount off all items in my shop during November. Just write the code NOVEMBERSALE at the checkout and your discount will be taken off the price. Do please click here if you'd like to have a browse! 
But don't forget,

November flies by in a flash!
:) xx

Friday, 7 November 2014

Musings of a Tree Lover

Trees are magical aren't they? When I wander through the woods I imagine what it could be like to live there. When I was a child my brother and I were always making dens using whatever we could find for walls and a roof. I'd happily spend hours doing this but I think he'd get bored before I was satisfied that it was habitable! There was one time, I decided we'd laboured long enough for the day and we sat inside it while it rained. The next day it had gone, probably other kids in the neighbourhood couldn't resist smashing it up. I didn't mind, it was a good excuse to make another one!

How amazing this stream would look if I was a very tiny creature living amongst the trees.

 It could be quite dangerous if I tried to cross it but I seem to remember Thumbelina travelled on  a leaf so that might be a good idea as long as there are nibbling fish and a butterfly around to help me!

You'll sometimes see trees in my paintings, I'd love to create the fairytale world that is in my imagination, in paintings such as this...

(detail) John Anster Christian Fitzgerald (1819-1906)

When I painted the mixed media painting below, I imagined the feeling of the woods at night. It's appropriately called Midnight Woodland. ;)

There's that butterfly that could pull the leaf along! ;) It's still available to buy in my Etsy shop if you'd like to own it. :)

I love to be in the woods at any time of the year. The photos at the top of this post were taken a few days ago, a warm mild day in autumn but now I shall leave you with a few moments in the woods earlier this year. Listen for the birds!  xx

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Hearts and Ovals for Christmas

Thankyou for your lovely comments on my previous post, they are very much appreciated and I love to read each one. :) If you've been to visit my shop lately you might have noticed that my artwork has taken a little turn recently towards the festive season!

The idea for these designs started with a sketch I made in my sketchbook and I discovered how much I enjoyed making the effect of  brightly coloured patterns and colours in contrast to a black background. It really makes the colours pop. Here it is below..

I've been wanting to paint onto wooden shapes for ages so I took the plunge and bought some little hearts and ovals made of plain plywood.

 The painting began! I loved how the paper sheet on my table became covered in heart shapes as I painted the base coats in black. :)

I made up the designs as I went along, working on several at a time to let the layers dry.

Each one is different.

And here we are with the finished pieces! These are my angel hearts, my personal favourites. :) I think you can tell that I loved using the gold paint!

The backs of the wooden shapes were fun to paint too!

 The oval wood shapes have a little hole at the bottom as well as the top so I thought that would be perfect for making a beaded tassle using embroidery thread and beads from my vast collection!

I used gold paint for that chrismassy look, I love how it shines when the light catches! I finished each one with a coat of varnish to protect the surfaces.

Each one has a silver thread so that they can be hung on a christmas tree or window.

I sold a few as soon as they were made but I have lots left, so if you're interested in buying one of my little wooden hangings, please click here to see the hearts, and click here to see the ovals.

Thankyou so much for visiting me here today, I wish you a very happy week! xx

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