Wednesday, 14 February 2018

WORKING PRACTICE, NATURAL COINCIDENCES

The weather has been awful, so I have spent several days snug in my shed. I am working on some ideas for a project that will appear in the Autumn. 
 Yes I am once again absorbed with entomological collections housed by museums. I am at the drawing stage and thoroughly enjoying the mixed media process.
I start off with white acrylic printed texture so that I am not faced with a white page. Perhaps a bit of wax mark making...not that apparent  in this image
Then fun with acrylic ink, there is almost colour here, not like me at all!! 
I will then progress by working into the surface with collage, more white paint and drawing. 
Gradually moths and labels start to appear. 
Wings emerge from the mixture. 
More white paint, more definition. 
I like to allow the initial ink patterns to describe the marks of moth wings.
The drawings take on a life of their own, dark background or light...I quite like both.
These moths are generic shapes and patterns,
reminders of moths we may have encountered.
With all this looking and drawing going on I am beginning to make connections
with some enamel experiments I made just after Christmas. 
Particularly these 2 pieces...bugs, moths and now nests.
All roads are leading to this subject matter as this week I found an old wrens nest in a winter tree in our garden. Just look how everything is connecting. I just love coincidences. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

IT'S NATURAL

It is this time of the year that I find myself trying to fend off those winter blues.
These visitors to my garden really help. Not only do they lift my spirits, 
but give me an endless source of inspiration. 
I adore these little ball of feathers  hurtling through the garden and
can't wait to start a new piece based on this plump chap. 
To raise my spirits further on a cold damp day Mr Brown and I jumped in the car and went to the very exotic, Stratford on Avon .
We found ourselves in the Butterfly Farm enjoying the warmth, tropical vegetation and these flying jewels.
This wonderful display of emerging Atlas moths 
was a sight to behold. 
Strange fruit indeed. 
At every turn there is colour and the
gentle movement of equisite
butterfly's and moths sailing through the air.
 Lots of ideas, but more to the point a delightful way to fend off those dismal winter blues.


Saturday, 30 December 2017

GOOD BYE 2017

I appreciate that Christmas can be an overwhelming time, sometimes the culmination of a difficult year. We all expect a great deal from the festive season, I know I put myself under more pressure than I need to. From decorating the house, finding the ideal gifts (sometimes making them) and cooking heart warming food. This year I added pressure by filling empty crackers because I couldn't bear the rubbish in bought ones. But looking back on my Christmas just 3 days after everyone has gone home, I realise that I choose to do it this way and probably could not do it any other way.
A few things have been different this year. Rudolf had a frosty, wintry look about him and he hung front and center over the fire place.  
My eldest son threw himself into creating, culminating in a wreath making session with his girlfriend. He has ended the year with the discovery of pompom making, can't wait to see where that leads.
The whole family pitched in this year, helping with decorating and cooking. Daughter and youngest son delighted us with winterslaw, and chocolate salami. Fabulous.
All around the house are reminders of making Christmas pasts. I had a year where I could not stop making crochet snow flakes and stars, that garland kept me company in the kitchen.
This year saw the second family bauble challenge. I found these hanging jars in Hobby Craft in November. We all made one including my sons girlfriends and arty chums. I have to say I know what next years task will be!!!
Yes Father Christmas still comes to visit my 3! There is always a making kit in their stockings. When they were small it was to keep them busy while lunch was being cooked and it still has the same purpose even though they are in their 20's. Christmas morning found them making a fridge magnet with the pack of Magnet paper from Tyger. Spot the pompoms? 
One of my greatest joys at Christmas is the fairy swap I make with my chum and talented artist friend Caroline McCatty. I think this is swap 14. We decide the theme at the point of swapping, so next years fairy is decided...!!! This year I have to admit was my choice, Forensic Fairy, yes we try to alliterate and this was not an easy theme to portray in fairy form. Mind you last years Film Noire Fairy caused me problems. These fairy's look great together, it shows how different we are, forensic gloves being key to one and macabre science body parts in the other. As usual I feel so lucky to be owning my fairy and will treasure it, thank you so much Caroline.
Can you guess who made which?!!

Thank you everyone who has followed, supported, come on workshops or poppped into the yard:ARTspace, bought my work and just been there for me in 2017. 
Here is to a creative and exciting 2018.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! 





Friday, 29 December 2017

GETTING CREATIVE FOR 2018

So here I am in between Christmas and New Year. I have got my website up to date, sorted out a newsletter and now a blog post. This dose not make me super human, just trying to fill the gap left by my family going home after several days with a full house over Christmas!!
I do try to keep my hand in and this holiday finds 
me doing a bit of research and development. 
This little sketch book is for a 3 day summer school I am planning for next year. 
Not on the web site yet, but details are going out in the newsletter. 
I find developing pages 
very soothing. 
You may notice a little festive influence.
I have to say I love the monochrome snow brings to the landscape, always inspiring.
Walks have had me constantly bird spotting. 
And there is always the odd garden visitor.

But it has not all been work, I have had some fiddly fun too.
I go back to childhood makes at Christmas, these peg angels were made several years ago. 
This years peg fairy's have become very pantomime dame and
I had the joy of participating in Viv Sliwka's alternative angel workshop at the yard:ARTspace in November. 
Inspired by the weather and as part of a family decoration challenge I did some stitch drawing and made a snowy lantern.

All in all it has been a full on season, cooking, decorating and generally having fun. I hope you have had an equally cheery season and have lots to look forward to in 2018. 









Tuesday, 19 December 2017

A VERY CREATIVE TIME

I find Christmas exhaustingly creative...I can't resist those festive makes. But before that has really taken hold I have spent the last week or so
making new collagraphs these will be editioned after the glitter has settled in the New Year. 
Inspired by the winter birds in the garden, I have 
put together a set of birds on milk bottles.
Card and glue plates, simple is often the most effective. 
While enjoying new inky pleasure, I have also started a new sketch book. 
I found that the wintery weather has inspired me. I also 
miss the discipline of, Draw a Bird a Day! Never thought I would hear myself say that?? 
There is a cunning plan here which I will reveal at a later date. 
But in the meantime I am enjoying lots
of mixed media and birds. 
No surprise there really!
I have arranged a series of prepared pages so that I can snuggle into the shed between Christmas and New Year. It is too easy to emerge after the festivities feeling a bit lost, so I always arrange a buffer to avoid that dip.