March 6, 2012 § 17 Comments
Man, it’s hard to get that first post out of the way after a blogging hiatus! I’ve been away so much longer than I ever intended – especially given one of my 2012 resolutions was to fatten up this famished blog. Never mind, lets pretend we’re all operating on some ancient, slightly longer calendar… HAPPY NEW YEAR! : )
Life has been busy busy around here. I’m juggling work on a new online portfolio, printing for my pending Etsy shop and trying to catch the last precious moments of summer between being fried and being soaked.
There’s been a few hiccups, particularly with Gocco supplies. Nehoc have sold out of B5 screens and their inks are dwindling rapidly. I knew Gocco was on it’s way out but I also ‘knew’ that they had supplies for another four years, factoring in panic buying. But apparently panic buying has been completely nuts – which makes complete sense. After all, it’s not just buying in a bit of a hurry, it’s PANIC!!
Like ‘Greased Lightning‘, I ordered inks from Japan, grabbed what screens I could and bought a vault* to keep them in. But after organizing a 24hour armed guard* and cradling a large mug of camomile I realized that the whole thing actually isn’t all that bad. It’ll force me to design very carefully to suit what the Gocco does best and it’ll move me over to other printing methods – which is great because there are so many lovely techniques to try.
Sadly opening my Etsy shop has been a bit delayed but on the bright side printing is now at fever pitch. So thankful that I’m working on a natural subject that makes the most of all of the Gocco happy accidents – loving those dappled leaves.
p.s. Do check out the link, it’s hilarious!
* Truth stretched beyond all recognition
September 8, 2011 § 19 Comments
Spring has truly sprung. All the tell-tale signs are there – I have an awful *SNIFF!* snotty cold and the littlest possum and I have been madly cramming small jam jars with ‘suburban wildflowers’ (ie. a loose term including anything rangy that no one will miss).
I’m grateful for these scrappy little bouquets. I’m no green thumb, I have no lush borders erupting blossom – but I am working on making my foxy card part of a series of four sleepy woodland creatures. So it’s helpful to peer at the intricacies in each flower and steal design ideas from the best source possible. Of course the upside of having a cold is I can stick my nose right in each one; pollen hasn’t a chance of getting up there… Bees, however, are another story.
Hope you’re enjoying the changing seasons wherever you are. Happy Creative Space Thursday!
September 2, 2011 § 10 Comments
Hi there. Somehow a couple of weeks have snuck between posts. It’s all MOF’s fault (aka a Month of Finishings). After my last post I realized that I am completely serious about it. Yikes, that almost sounds responsible…
But I have to tell you about Jane…
It was fantastic! Was there ever any doubt. I decided to leave the novel till after seeing the film to enjoy it in it’s own right. I’m glad I did, it didn’t disappoint. Mia Wasikowska captured all of the complexities of Jane beautifully. Michael Fassbender was the perfect Byronic lead. And the production design was breathtaking. I particularly loved the wonderfully dark night scenes. Not a single hint of blue ‘moonlight’ in the background. Creaky Haddon Hall was swathed in inky black pierced only by a low flickering flame. Lots of long menacing shadows. Perfectly chilling!
At it’s end I was ejected onto a dark empty street dazed and completely satisfied. Itching to somehow capture that oppressive atmosphere on paper. The contrast between the stoic rigidity of society at the time and the wild natural world all around it intrigues me; feeling reflective of the imprisoned passions within the people themselves. It reminds me of Jane Campion’s ‘The Piano’ that way.
The images above were discovered on Flickr. I love the intense colour and atmosphere in each of them. The first is one of a fascinating series of rare Daguerreotypes owned by Rob Stevens. Some of these priceless objects were dug up in flea markets - imagine that! I love the subjects intense, almost burning, gaze. Such an intriguing portrait.
The two breathtaking landscapes below it are by photographer Irene Suchocki. Do check out her work. Eye Poetry, the name of her site is the most wonderful description of it. Every image has a beautiful narrative quality that I find completely compelling.
I’ll have things to show v.soon thanks to MOF. Sure feels good to say that! What pops up may seem a little all over the place but at least my pile of loose end projects will be shrinking. And now that the spring cleaning bug has bitten that has to be good.
Images | 6th Plate, Rob Stevens | Spying on a Tree, Irena Suchoki | Il Sentiero, Irena Suchoki | Jane Eyre 2011 Movie Poster detail, Design by BLT & Associates | Jane Eyre, Tiffany Lin | Pencil sketch, Alisa Coburn | To view larger or for licencing click on image titles. Images by Rob Stevens and Irena Suchoki are used with kind permission and are subject to copyright.
August 11, 2011 § 19 Comments
Currently making another foxy brooch as a gift for someone very sweet. The work flow hasn’t really had too much flow about it. It’s been more stitch, stop, stitch, stop. As new brooch ideas pop into mind and I hurry to scribble them down before they evaporate. Stitching turns out to be perfect for daydreaming. Maybe I should do it more often.
Looking at these it occurs to me that I have no trouble what-so-ever with starting a project in a ‘gung ho’, completely enthused kinda way. But finishing something, well that deserves it’s own ticker-tape parade complete with marching bands, epic floats, parade balloons and a speech by the Queen!… Well no, it’s not quite that bad. Maybe this month should be dubbed a month of finishings or MOF for short. A month just to clear the decks. Then next month I can run amok on new random wanderings, Maria Kalman style. I loved this fab TED talk she did, so inspiring!
Speaking of inspiring, don’t forget to pop into Our Creative Spaces. It’s inspiration central!
June 14, 2011 § 9 Comments
There is something a little romantic about foxes. I have to admit before living in London I’d never given them much thought. Never wondered if there were anything in the sly, craftiness badge. But late one night, on my way home through the sleepy streets of Southfields I came face to muzzle with a sleek red fox apparently out for a stroll. I stopped, he stopped. We both stared for what seemed like an eternity. Then, having deduced that I wasn’t much of a threat, he continued on his way. You’d guess a little more briskly and in the opposite direction, since I am a tad larger. But no, no, no. He strolled right past me. Right under my nose at an entirely leisurely saunter. Bold as brass.
That’s a kind of confidence you just have to admire. And to be cunning, to be a trickster I imagine you would have to have bucket loads of the stuff. Which brings me to the title of this post. I finally have a project I wanted to try out on my Gocco, and since it’s been, ahem, quite a while since my last Gocco frenzy I may need a bucket load of daring myself.
So this last week it’s been all busy-ness on paper rather than online. Designing, illustrating, mixing inks, working out how the whole registration thing works, playing with how much pressure to apply etc. etc. and writing lots of notes for next time. Oh yes, there most definitely will be a next time, I already have a design in mind. I’ll post some pics of the finished print soon and hopefully the winter light will play nice.
p.s. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments about my little snoozing fox. I can’t tell you how chuffed I am that you like him and you took the time to say. You are sweeties one and all! I’ve just finished nestling him in his packaging and he’ll be on his way tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done, so far there have been so many gorgeous brooches. Such a fab idea Susie!
May 26, 2011 § 41 Comments
Behind the scenes I’ve been working on a little secret project. I signed up for gorgeous Susie’s Flower Press Brooch Swap not a hundred percent sure if I could do it justice but wanting to give it a try.
So here is my little friend all finished and napping peacefully in the grass. (As it turns out felt is pretty forgiving. Phew for that!) Sadly I can’t tell you who he’s for but I hope she loves him nearly as much as my girls do. I’m going to have to watch them like a hawk till he gets to the P.O. Now all I have to do is settle him into some super comfy packaging and off he goes to his new home.
If you are thinking of using felt for a project like this I recommend visiting Melissa at her beautiful blog Tiny Happy.
I found her brooch tutorial wonderfully helpful.
Visit Our Creative Spaces for lots of wonderful creative goodness. Make sure you’ve a cuppa in hand and some time up your sleeve, it’s hard to drag yourself away. Thanks Kirsty for setting up such a swanky new space!
May 18, 2011 § 6 Comments
Lately I’ve been drawn to the palette in these beautiful images. Nut browns, Delphinium purples and mustard yellows. I love the sombre feeling of the purples and browns and how even just a touch of yellow instantly lifts them. Speaking of brown, did you know that nut brown was the most loved colour of the Edwardian Era? It’s true. So much so, it was thought to be very unfortunate to be blonde. I always wondered why brown was ever present in early 1900s clothing and homes.
I love putting together image montages, it’s become a valuable part of the process for me and a lot of fun. It helps finding an atmosphere for an illustration. But I’ve been wondering whether it would be even simpler to start up a Tumblr or Pinterest page like this or this… hmmm.
Images | Untitled, Lesley Kerr | Misty Forest, Tariel | Edwardian Portrait, Otto Sarony Co. | Life is Love, Yves | Morning Awakening 1876, Eva Gonzales. To view larger or for licencing click on image titles.
May 6, 2011 § 10 Comments
So here is my latest illustration, albeit at semi scruffy pencil stage. There’s a bit more to tidy but I’ve really loved working on this one so far. Now I’m itching to play with some colour. Hope your weekend is fun too.
Happily it also falls easily into this weeks Illustration Friday theme.
May 6, 2011 § 3 Comments
Just popping in to post some work in progress roughs.
Working on this illustration it’s easy to be completely absorbed in this era. The contrasts that exist within it are stark and completely compelling. I’m fascinated by the Edwardian love of the great outdoors, of wonderful wild gardens, picnics, boating and plein air painting and yet this was a society trussed up in a rigid system of old fashioned etiquette and class structure. Having said that, who wouldn’t want a time machine to go back and see those Gibson Girl cinched waists, enormous ‘Merry Widow’ hats and ride the Daddy Long Legs.
February 19, 2010 § 8 Comments
… is the only thing to do in the middle of an ultra steamy Australian summer. Time to find a beautiful breezy seaside cottage, or maybe even an underwater retreat .
On the drawing front, I’ve been going for a looser style than my usual in an effort to trick my control-freak perfectionist gene. So far so good, perfectionist gene has not noticed and seems to be completely preoccupied with the state of my shoes. Hope your weekend is blissful!