Friday, 27 February 2009

Fitting it all in

'Little Red, kite flying'

You know the trouble with being a creative person is that there is always something else you want to be doing. Whilst working on my most recent piece; 'Well & Joy' I found my mind drifting towards crochet projects after purchasing some beautiful hand made ceramic buttons from this lovely lady at Incy Wincy Stitches with which to adorn some crocheted corsages!

Anyway, before I drift off into a reverie of buttons, cashmerino wool and the like, I felt I had to share my illustration piece with you, and in all its completed glory, here it is!! You can see a bigger version here.


'Well & Joy - the finished piece'

Id love to hear any comments you might have about my new work!
So, as is quite usual for me, I now have several projects on the go at once. There are neither enough hours in a day or enough days in a week to get everything done, but its ok. Its actually the delicious thoughts of creating all these lovely things that make the journey of life worth travelling. Corsages, illustration work, childrens art workshops, hand crafted cards...its all these little bursts of inspiration that make the duller parts glow. To overcome the frustration of perhaps bursting at the seams with so many things I want to do (and future projects include making a book bag with some gorgeous Amy Butler fabric and a blind for our kitchen) I have to make notes of my ideas whilst they're fresh in my head, maybe scrapbook some pictures from magazines etc too.
With the ideas and thoughts safely down in the art journal, I can happily return to wiping small jammy hands, laundry and other dismal sounding chores.
Its all about sparkling from the inside.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Spring, Cards and Art Randoms

Gorgeous tiny irises in the back garden

The other evening it felt surprisingly mild outside, well, for February at least so I took the opportunity of the good light and grabbed a couple of soul lifting, inspiring spring photos of things that are blooming in our magical garden. Just after I took this picture and decided to bring the washing in, a stunning little kingfisher flew over my head!!

Pretty 'Denim' primroses outside the back door
Now the season is on the turn and spring is very much in the air, I am turning my thoughts towards card designs for easter, birthdays and mothers day to name but a few upcoming occasions, and today I completed three cards. They are fairly time consuming, being totally hand crafted but much love goes into them and I thoroughly enjoy creating them. You can see a few pics below of what Ive been up to.

Handcrafted Wedding Invitation

'Vintage Heart' Hand Crafted Birthday Card

Vintage Flower - Hand Crafted Birthday Card close up
You can see the Vintage designs at my website where they are currently up for sale!

As well as card designs, Im also turning my attention to equally pressing matters, and that is the creation of 3 pieces of work which Im going to be submitting for approval to the lovely folks at the Great Sheffield Art Show. My selection day isn't til mid May but theres alot to do before that, as well as completing the said work I also have to get them beautifully framed (and Im always delighted by the gorgeous peeps at Curo who have worked wonders and miracles with my art work before!)

At the moment, Im dreaming up ideas, sketching things and jotting down notes. Ive chosen acrylic and oil pastel to work with on square canvas boards and the work will be of an illustrative nature. I can't share much more than that because the ideas are still pretty hazy but I'll share more along the way as things develop!

Time for a cuppa.....

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Beginning and Ending

a small corner of 'Well & Joy' ~ new work in the making

Beginning a new piece of work is like starting out on a long journey. A mixture of emotions descend as I finally start putting my idea onto paper or canvas including excitement, impatience and a small sprinkling of apprehension because this is the image my mind has been working on for days, if not weeks, before it makes its inevitable pilgrimage out into the real world.

When an artist starts a piece of work, its like suddenley divulging the deepest fathoms of their soul, their most cherished secrets, their most intimate imaginings. All of a sudden, people are going to be able to see your ideas. For some this can be a huge step to take, alot of us, me included have at some time or another become a victim to the power of the 'blank canvas syndrome'.
We question whether we have the ability, we can often stop ourselves before we have even begun by picturing the finished piece hanging in a gallery on a pristine white wall in a beautiful frame, and the sheer enormity of this responsibility sends us scurrying away to clean out all the kitchen cupboards, because thats much more necessary and important than making a huge imagined mess on a canvas. (and all this before we've even took out a pencil). It all comes down to being afraid of failure, but if we dont set ourselves up with high expectations at the start, then how can we possibly fail?

Its so important to feel loose about creating, about starting a painting or piece of art. The more work I do, the more I realise that it has to be about truth and meaning, its definately not about where it ends up or whether its going to be a masterpiece - its more importantly about releasing an idea that has been nurtured by your soul, has been tossed about on a sea in your dreams until there is no other place for it but out in the open. As an artist you may be familiar with this feeling, it becomes an urge and at that moment you have to make a promise to yourself to begin this piece, and you have to promise not to attach any outcome to it other than the journeying through the creation of it, from start to finish.

So thats a bit about starting your art work.

Knowing when to finish is another thing altogether :)

the now completed 'Love Sits Waiting'

For me, I get a feeling that the picture Im working on is nearing completion and I have a process I go through to make sure I feel it really is finished.

A painting suddenley starts to reach a point where its coming together, you are no longer working on adding big patches of colour but blending together finer details and adding bits of mixed media etc. Its from this point that a clear awareness descends, I am taking strong notice of where the picture is going and the marks I am making are done more conciously than in the beginning. Its very important to pay attention now because its easy to overwork a painting. I tend to come away from a piece as soon as I feel tired, or if I notice that Im adding colour thoughtlessly, its better to leave it and go back to it a bit later.
In some cases, I have left a painting several days as something has not felt quite right, and in one instance I turned a picture towards the wall as I couldn't bear to look at it I felt so much annimosity towards it! But time can give you the space and clarity you need to decide where to take the painting. From these steps I make my way towards the end and it really is as simple a thing as suddenley thinking and feeling..

Thats It.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Material Art

Having being gifted with a rather beautiful sewing machine this year, I decided to try and make a small picture for our home using scraps of vintage fabric, and I came up with a material version of my 'little red boat', (which you can see in my Moon Fishing and Dream Haven prints).
As well as this, work continues under cover of darkness on a new batch of paintings, the second one is about to be started after putting finishing touches to the first one earlier today. Im quite excited about how this work is evolving, and whilst it feels slow at times, slow is better than not at all.
Lots to do...Im away and will catch up with you again soon
J x

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