Saturday, 30 October 2010
A bit of fun for Halloween. Tomorrow my son gets his first foray into the world of trick or treating aka collecting a large quantity of teeth-rotting substance. Given that the tooth fairy has had to pay us two visits this week already, I think I may have to put some form of rationining into motion on our return. He is fully prepared with pumpkin bucket and terrifying mask.
I'm thought I might go in disguise too (so the neighbours don't know who it is out begging!).
Interesting to see just how much has been 'spent' on Halloween in the UK this year in comparison to 'ye olden days'. Check out that link to a BBC news item. Spending in the UK has increased 23-fold since 2001!
I've been learning 'whimsey' from Tam at Willowing this week so thought I would use the new skill to spooky effect for Illustration Friday 'spent' and Sunday Sketches.
Friday, 29 October 2010
It was fairly inevitable then that this week my hands have been pulling crimsons and ochres out of the paint box. I'm also rather enamoured of being inspired by the words of others and Mr Shakespeare came to mind.
Indeed William it does; yet there is something quite special about Autumn too - all that 'mist and mellow fruitfulness' as Mr Keats had a habit of saying.
This piece is my Queen of Samhain. I confess to being a little behind the times (or possibly in front) when it comes to my knowledge of this ancient festival, so did a spot of research and it turns out that 'something to do with Halloween' did indeed just about cover it! Here's what I found on Wikipedia
Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half".... It has some elements of a festival of the dead. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.
This piece came from the burning embers of the bonfire, the melting of leaves into earth and the turning of the season. The Queen of Samhain watches from the fire's edge and reclaims that which is hers ready to bring back to life come Spring...
She is for a new art challenge on a new creative community which I am only too pleased to share. Why not pop along and meet another regal figure - The Queen of Creativity herself at her Castle. She has raised the drawbridge and all artists are welcome.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Let me explain. I was pondering what to create for Inspiration Avenue this week with the delightful selection of word prompts provided. I would also be required to grunge up my creation for a vintage, rusty or aged feel.
I turned to my old friend Ms Google and searched for some inspirational quote to kick start the creative juice. Who should be waiting for me but Flavia herself. Having tangoed her way here last weekend in a philosophical mood, here she was again and spouting more little gems of wisdom.
Tonight she wishes us not to:
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
I'm not entirely certain what this creation is any more! It began life as a designer hat for the Three Muses Challenge. I was pondering what was in vogue at present and so grabbed a copy of that illustrious publication, borrowed Philip Treacy's Muse and shaped and formed a living breathing monster of head gear which sat atop this poor lady's head. Philip's Muse sure is a strange lass, make no mistake. Perhaps he keeps her under a tighter reign than I managed, because after the hat was finished then she really went to town with my paints and inks. I'm not entirely sure what to make of her. Are you? (You may need to enlarge to see the bizarre details of the millinery).
I won a hat design competition once. I bet you're impressed now! However, perhaps I should explain before you go thinking I'm some sort of fashion genius... It was a team building exercise involving large quantities of chocolate, cardboard, tissue paper and glue. In a task reminiscent of The Apprentice meets Blue Peter we were required to design a new concept in chocolate complete with packaging.
I came up with the idea of hats in a hat and so six pairs of sticky fingers got to work moulding and shaping until we had an Ascot-style hat with reams of tissue and feathers sat atop a box of choccies squished into the shapes of jockey caps, bowlers, baseball caps and even a fez! There was no one fired in my team I can tell you. In fact, we left weighed down with the spoils of the competition - chocolate naturally!
Got to dash, going out to a comedy evening.
The piece is made of collaged magazine snippets over and under acrylics and inks.
Saturday, 23 October 2010
“Behind closed eyes, colors fade and blend into beautiful new creations. Fate is left at the shaking hands of our imaginations. Places new and amazing, faces remain unseen. How, then, does our heart feel as if racing in the anticipation of a dream?”
I'm not sure what you should look at first today. My initial sketch, the finished version or the breathtaking spectacle that is Vincent & Flavia's Argentine Tango in the clip at the bottom of this post. I think you should certainly have the sensual musical accompaniment, for this piece most certainly is infused with liberal does of Latin passion.
I've been pondering this quote for all day, for when I was searching for inspiration for the Illustration Friday 'racing' theme, it leapt out of google at me leaving the most intriguing sketch in my mind. As I cycled round the reservoir and mixed a little spice for my Thai meal, I've been soaking up what it means and allowed the Muse to flick through my books and magazines and delve into my art boxes and see what she could find. It turns out that she simply had to turn on the television and watch a bit of Strictly...Flavia stands at the edge of the dance floor and closes her eyes. The music begins and the hypnotic notes course through her blood and begin their control of her feet. But not just yet. She waits and sees the colour of the dance floor in her imagination, feels the movement with the beating of her racing heart and the passion, yes the passion calls her and she is ready. Her eyes open into the dark stare of Vincent's and she steps onto the floor...
Phew, I feel quite flushed after all that. Be still my beating heart!
Friday, 22 October 2010
Thursday, 21 October 2010
I really love expressing my creativity and interests here on this page, This blog along with my previous blogs are a way to express myself creatively. Blogs are such a great way to connect with so many like-minded souls, and the sense of connecting, getting inspired and opportunity for growth motivates me to keep on sharing my own unique voice, mind and heart with this world. I wish with all of my heart with this new blog to motivate and inspire others to live creatively, because after all, we find inspiration from each other and art has an incredible power.
As a blogger, as someone who like many others proclaims myself as 'self taught', I follow my gut in creating something even when the concept behind a piece isn’t clear in the beginning - or even at the end! In my posts I admit that I enjoy experimenting or that I have learned a new technique by much trial and error and keep on going and trying, (and honestly I know I still have so much to learn). I thought: Yes, I need courage to be brave enough to put my artwork and my experiments out there for others to see. And yes, I need a playground, to remind me to stay grounded and not to take myself too seriously, and the rest of the name is part of who I truly and deeply am and believe: Imagination, beauty and love.
Over the years my life's path has taken me in many directions which is a good thing - my present is exciting at this very moment, I am so grateful for that! So, I have blown a little wish out there and hopefully will become a reality when the time is right. I have many many reasons to feel that will happen sooner rather than later ;-)
visual journaling, mixed media art work, cooking and gardening. On occasion I would also like to offer and share little reflections or life poems of what I am feeling at the moment.
There are so many!!! it is difficult to name names, but I really enjoy both the life stories and craft of Mary Ann Moss And Lori-Lyn Hurley.
There are so many more techniques, materials and art supplies involved in my art nowadays. Practice, confidence, and the desire to offer more is a part of that. Recently, I tried a hand on assemblage involving vintage knick-knacks, some old photos and fabric which was fun.
For this, you are going to need your imagination, a pen and several scraps of paper.
Are you ready? Doodle, doodle, doodle to your heart’s content! Another one I love and you can see clearly in all of my artwork is textured tissue paper with acrylics.
I grew up very close to my grandmother who was besides a seamstrees, cook, crafter, and many more things, also a gardener. From her, I learned the names for every tree, herb, plant, wild and delicate flower.
Breathing deeply, practicing kindness, taking nothing personally and seeing EVERYTHING as an opportunity to learn, grow and to live in the present moment. So that includes spending time with my loved ones; people watching; reading to be inspired; browsing around farmers' markets, thrift stores & flea markets; being outdoors; enjoying a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of wine; and
my solo dates - I'm especially good at these! I seek solace at home, in my garden and with my art. Nurturing yourself is definitely good for the soul; in return you get the clearest mind and a heart at ease.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Monday, 18 October 2010
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Friday, 15 October 2010
Deep in the woods lived a creature who rarely saw the light of day. She was old and tired and had seen the moon's waxing and waning more than anyone else she knew.
As I tramped through the sodden lawn the symphony became louder. I could hear voices now too, an excited chatter mixing with the wind in the dry leaves tumbling to the ground from the trees. I fought my way through the brambles and undergrowth somewhat bemused at the quantity of pumpkins I was finding along the path.
At last I came to the gap in the trees where a winding path lay. It was a track I had never ventured down before but I am not sure why. Some reason or other always pushed me in a different direction. Today though the music and conversations called me along its enticing trail, I pulled back dead branches and flicked away strings of sticky cobwebs.
The strangest of sensations began to overwhelm me. I felt as if in the midst of a crowd yet the path was deserted. Something pulled on my skirt and I felt a cold breath on the back of my neck. I wanted to turn and run but that music... it bewitched me... I sped up but not in the direction of home.
Come join the Halloween party over at A Fanciful Twist if you dare... where hundreds of revellers will spin tales, weave magic and scare you witless!
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
I was lucky enough to find this photograph of Great Great Great Aunt Victoria for the Three Muses' Vintage challenge this week. She was quite a gal about town and absolutely adored hats - just look at this striking feathered creation. Having read her diaries, I am quite certain it's an Augustus Treacy, who was rather fond of the Ostrich feather in his millinery and apparently kept a flock of the birds in the garden of his small home in Balham.
The more observant among you may recognise this lady as she has graced these pages before, only last time her head gear was really rather an embarrassment. It turns out the picture I captured was at her fitting and should never have seen the light of day. I committed the sin equivalent to posting a photograph in her undergarments. Her ghost, who has visited me nightly since, has been most aggrieved and warned me to put the situation right at once. She's rather fierce, so I thought I'd best do as she asks.
So here she is in her finished finery and full technicolour. Thank you my readers for your encouragement to finish this piece. I fear I would have abandoned poor Victoria without your kind words. She's very grateful! As you can probably guess, my top version has been given the sepia and grunge treatment in Photoshop.
Sunday, 10 October 2010
My post today however has little to do with the calendar - it concerns shopping - more specifically the purchase of clothes!! (If my boyfriend is reading this he will by now have switched website to something boring about computers since the mere thought of shopping brings him out in a nasty rash).
Don't you just hate it ladies when you have in mind the perfect outfit yet no designer, shop or online boutique seems to have taken the same journey down the imagination?
Not even my boho favourite Monsoon will oblige this season. So, I'm turning to bloggers for help. Here, I've sketched what I'm after. If anyone spots it anywhere, do be a kind soul and let me know where I can purchase!
Long floaty skirt with perhaps two layers. A beaded hem for added charm. Low cut tailored tunic with embroidered details and maybe a few beads sewn here and there and something that glitters in the sunshine. What do you think? Anyone seen this for around £100 all in?
Of course, it was Paris Fashion Week, which probably deserves a mention. Not that I went or anything, but I did see some pictures - does that count? I rather liked this piece of woodland magic by Alexander McQueen. If you want to see more, then pop along to The Bottom of the Ironing Basket - Simone has a wonderful post. I do enjoy visiting her blog - always so many beautiful photographs of which this was one.
Friday, 8 October 2010
Still, at least I'm two days ahead of schedule on this Mexico theme which can't be bad! A chance 'lift conversation' with a colleague at work has pointed me in the direction of a programme called 'Getting things Done' by some guy who reckons he knows how - a certain Mr David Allen. Anyone familiar with this? I bet he's really smug and the kind of person who fills out his tax return 5 years in advance.
Do pop along to 'the Avenue' and see the Mexican-inspired creations of all the other wonderful creative souls.
Well, at least I've done something interesting this week!
Biggest achievement this week: Finished the entry for Marketing Team of the Year - will we win?? Hope so!
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Monday, 4 October 2010
Naturally you can pay yourself an hourly rate and attempt to add on a cost for supplies (1/100th of a tube of cerulean blue, 3mm of peach pencil, one sheet of acrylic paper etc..). Then there’s depreciation – how long will that paintbrush last (especially if I forget to clean it)?
But what about your talent? The originality of the idea? The skills involved in execution? How on earth do you place a price on the contents of your imagination and the splashes of your soul that end up in some pieces? Artists like Van Gogh put their heart and soul into every painting, I think that man in particular gave more than he had.
It’s a grey old area make no mistake.
Take this piece. While I didn’t time it, I guess she took around three hours. I used paints, pencils, modelling paste, fibres, wax (I even had to buy an iron as melting wax on the same iron I use for pressing my delicates is obviously going to end in tears. Mind you £3.50 for a bog basic steam number from Tesco can’t be scoffed at!).
Then there’s the costs I wasn’t anticipating. Redecoration and carpet cleaning... Using a pump spray to give that delicate coat of speckled paint to her face caused not just a blue face my friends. The language was not so clean as the stream shot out at a bizarre angle covering everything on the table and finishing up all over the magnolia walls.
Attempt two took me outside into the garden... and back in again with muddy feet all over the carpet.
And so, as I ponder putting her for sale in my shop. What exactly should I be charging?
This is my first ever entry to Illustration Friday – a challenge site I’ve been meaning to join in with for about a year. Well, finally I managed! The theme is ‘Beneath’. My mermaid lies beneath the waves waiting patiently for her prey. I liked the eventual effect of the watery face – trying to imagine what mermaid skin might look like – a touch of camouflage perhaps. If I’d painted her tail, you might spot a barnacle or two!
Sunday, 3 October 2010
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Could it be magic? Yes, I think it probably could!
Friday, 1 October 2010