Friday, 7 May 2010

Home Front

'Patchwork Owls'


I've been working on some animal/bird character sketches this week, and this is one of them above ~ I'm calling them the Patchwork Owls.
These are what I call my Paint Sketches, I work from pencil sketch drawings and then render them with colour. They are only small, about 10cm square and give me an excuse to play. Oh I like my paint sketch time very much indeed! There is no pressure to perform and execute a brilliant piece, its just painting for paintings sake (if you get my drift)...working on a Real Painting involves a bit more pressure at times, and attention to detail, and blending, and so on...paint sketching is just simple, wonderful, messing about.

In my mind I have a whole zoo of animals that are waiting to be put onto paper, and I've really enjoyed doing the owls, I want to work with the animals expressions a bit more as well.

It's been a while since I really did any animal characters...I think the last ones I painted were for my nephews a few years back. I did each of them a painting when they were new to the world, one was of a train full of different creatures with a letter on each little carriage spelling the eldest's name, and the other was a procession of elephants walking trunk to tail with a lettered coverlet spelling the youngest nephews name. These were done in watercolour but I find myself working more and more with acrylic nowadays ~ I love the way it dries quickly and how you can layer the colours over one another to give some great depth, and you can also water them down so they are almost as transparent as watercolour paint.

I have also been sketching some ideas for my next Small Original, I was over the moon delighted to sell the one I showed you last week (Tulips & Boats) and it is now happily on its way to a lovely new home.
The next painting will most likely feature the following: Beach Huts. Sea. Bunting.

...and, I will post pics as soon as it's done!

So how are you all this week? Have you had the awful cold snap that we have had here?? My goodness, we took ourselves off to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park on bank holiday Monday and nearly froze to death, despite putting several layers on! We also got caught in some icy cold rain showers and had to shelter in some bluebell woods (right next to a badger set) 'til it passed over...but it was worth it, the Wildlife Park is a fairly new attraction in these parts and we really enjoyed it. The Lemur experience where you are allowed to walk through their compound is magical, they are swinging about in the trees right above your head, and sitting not a foot away from the path you are walking on, warming their little tummies in the weak sunshine!

I think with this shock cold spell, I have been driven to a spot of nesting. Brownies have been baked (thank the Lord for Rachel Allen) and much crochet has been done of an evening. We have read lots of books and magazines, built lego towers, napped, made dens under the dining table with blankets, had a thunder storm and lamented the loss of all the blossom on the cherry tree, thanks to nasty gusty winds that blew it all off. We have pretty much harboured ourselves at home this week and I must say, I have enjoyed it very much. The gentle pace has been quite necessary.

Here is a little peak into our world of home made egg cosies, books, the Tiny Allotment (aka a patch of dirt in the back garden), crochet, and other bits and bobs:

Talking of domestic bliss, I have to tell you that I shocked myself the other day. My iron broke. And that meant I had to get a new one...oh dear, I actually felt quite excited at the thought of a new appliance...good grief, that would never have happened 10 years ago!! And so, the new iron was purchased, as was a dinky Cath Kidston ironing board cover (luxuriously thick and pretty) to replace the old one which was so thin you could see the metal through it. Why oh why did this delight me so much? I don't especially like ironing to tell you the truth but there is something about a New Iron and a New Cover that has me itching to get my hands on a fresh pile of laundry and get cracking. Perhaps I need help, or perhaps this is what happens when one is sequestered away in the confines of their home for several days...

Anyway! Im going to have a cup of tea and the other half of my lunch time brownie now - I want to say 'Welcome' to some lovely new followers (eek, they're nearly at 100, how did that happen??), it's nice of you all to stop by and please do say "Hello" if you feel like it, it's always smashing to hear from you, and it means I can come and visit you at your little blog too!

I hope you have a warm weekend, and I will catch up with you all again soon.

Mucho love,
J x


* Edited to add that the above mentioned Cath Kidston ironing board cover sadly had a tear along the seam and so it has been sent to the land of Returns and I am left with the above mentioned tatty one for the time being!! (Heart actually sank upon discovering it, my dream of ironing amongst the colourful flowers horribly dashed! Bah!)


  1. Julia, I am so excited!
    :) Lovely patchwork owls, they made me smile!
    Sending you sunshine!

  2. Ah Julia, I am having post envy!!!!! Sounds like you had a nice time out despite the cold! We all went to Chichester on Monday. supposed to be a nice little historic town, it was freezing and raining, the boys were like ice blocks and moaning, we didn't get to see anything! What a day! It's nice sometimes just to be in and play dens and bake. I LOATHE ironing, and everything I own always desperately needs to be ironed! Ooooh maybe I should invest in a new they do ones that actually iron without you doing anything? Ah, I think that might be called 'having someone collect it all and do it for a fee'!Hummmm, might have to look into that one day! I love your pics and your paintings are as beautiful as ever. In total awe my lovely! Have a fab weekend....lets hope the weather improves a bit! xxx

  3. Hello Julia, What a great post. The paintings are fab but I especially love the egg cosy. How talented you are!
    Hope you have a good weekend. Take care x

  4. Beach huts, sea, bunting - can't wait to see that one! I love the owls' expressions too! x

  5. Hey Julia, sounds like a week of bliss!
    Have another brownie for me!

  6. I love your patchwork owls, they are soooo sweet! I look forward to seeing some more animals.
    I know exactly what you mean about the new iron!!! Been there, done that, got the new ironing board cover!! lol :)
    Vivienne x

  7. Always a pleasure to hear and see the happenings across the pond in your neck of the woods Julia!

    Have a wonderful weekend. : )


  8. Loving those patch owls and your lovely photos. Glad you had a lovely week cuddled up in a warm house.

  9. I want the owls hehe! I really must start painting or at least drawing again. But some people like you have such incredible talent to put on paper what is in your immagination.
    I know what you mean about the ironing. I am the first to run at the site of the laundry basket but when things are new and shiny I'm there!

  10. While you are still excited about ironing, can I drop my pile off? I could help you finish the Brownies too!! I am so kind to you!!! Lovely paintings (as ever) I love the colours you use, and I loved the sneaky peak around bits of your home. Ive not done the Wildlife Park yet, but its on the list!! By the way, I just made you 100 followers! xxxx Lots of Love xxxxx

  11. Hi Julia, I love your little paint sketches, in fact they look like finished pieces to me! It's very cold here down in the southwest too, but your outing to the wildlife park sounds fun, it makes me want to go to see some animals now, it's been ages since I have! As for your new iron accessories, I think that bringing colour to boring jobs is a great idea. xx

  12. love the owls - I hat ironing and my DH normally does the bulk of it so perhaps I need to get a CK cover!

  13. I adore those little patchwork owls (and I'm not at all biased towards owls as you know).
    Looking forward to seeing more animals in this series soon.

    Jacky xox

  14. I like the patchwork owls very much julia. They have so much character! It is very cold here at the moment and quite uninspiring. I may even catch up some ironing later today!!! I think I am in need of a new ironing board cover too!!! x

  15. Patchwork owls 'golly gosh' two of my favourite combinations......patchwork and owls - perfect and soooooo loveable.

    If a new iron and CK cover is all that is needed to enjoy the mountain of iron growing at the top of our stairs then definitely count me in.

    I hope your all feeling better and the nasty bugs have retreated?

    take care and have a fabulous weekend,

    Nina xxx

  16. Such sweet owls, they are just crying out for a hug!

    I love time at home, no dashing about and stress - just enjoying play time and homemade yummies, bliss.

    I'm thrilled for you that the other painting sold so quickly - shows you got the pricing right!

    enjoy the weekend, x

  17. Hi Julia,

    Hope you are feeling much better now - sounds like you're having some good times:)

    I look forward to seeing more of your animals!!


  18. Sorry, I can NEVER get excited about anything 'iron' related..our time living on a boat taught me it's not needed if you 'fold' quickly and properly...well, that's what I tell myself..
    Love your quick cartoon paintings..

  19. hey Julia, thank you for stopping by and the lovely comments - at the minute we are grabbing every bit of sunshine we can . Your owls are so cute and as for Rachel Allen , I'd be lost without her ...

  20. Hi Julia
    I have been doing some catching as I haven't had much time for blog browsing lately! I do like your ripple banket, so very pretty!!!

    I don't like ironing either. I'm not very good at it. Too many years of someone else doing it for me (I used to use an ironing service)But about 6 years ago I decided that I should really do it myself as it is money wasted and better spent on something else. I am about to replace the ironing board cover, might well look at the CK ones!

    I love your style of painting/sketching, your characters are so very sweet and charming. I love the facial expressions and rosy cheeks of the children you create.

    Sounds like you are feeling so much better!

    Take care
    Isabelle x

  21. What a fab blog. I really love your owls.
    A x


Hello, and thank you for visiting my Blog today. If you would like to leave a comment, I'd be delighted to hear from you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...