Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Rare Treats

The Hepworth Gallery.

Hepworth close up.
 This past week or so has seen me have some ups and downs. I had migraine for 4 days last week, which was just so awful, I can't eat or drink properly and nothing seems to work in getting rid of it. I have tried many things over many years and was hoping they were going as I've not had such a bad one for about a year. But hey ho, every cloud has a silver lining, and after I emerged from the cloud, I had a lovely day out with friends.
But firstly I managed a trip to my local gallery. I don't really like going on my own to galleries, don't know why, and after this trip I will go more often as I enjoyed it very much. The opportunity to see some lovely artwork, for free, should not be missed. This gallery was opened quite recently, and I have to admit to criticising the building as it was going up, and still do to this day. It is very different, it cost millions and I think it looks awful, see above for the outside shots? It looks so grey and rather like a bunker? If it were painted white or cream, I think it would look so much better and funnily enough there is a little model of the whole gallery inside the shop, which is white and looks quite sweet.
Inside spaces are something else
 When you get inside the building it's a different scene. The spaces are huge and airy and do suit the exhibitions.
Informative boards explaining Barbara Hepworth work.
Barbara Hepworth came from Wakefield. She worked at a similar time to Henry Moore, who came from Castleford, not far away, which is where I was born. They are both hugely famous sculptors. Their sketches and other work appeal to me more, and are quite brilliant.
Hepworths work, these are small sort of thumbnail pieces.
 As well as the sculptures in the gallery, there are other works featured. These change over the year. On my visit, the work of an artist called James Tissot was on display. The paintings were beautiful, how he captured the material on the dresses etc, quite lovely. Below are some of his paintings. I took a photo of the blurb and then the painting.

 The gallery is on the edge of the river, over which a busy road runs. But my eye was taken by a heron busy fishing on the weir. The huge windows in the gallery allow you to walk right up to them and it feels like you could step out, it is a bit unnerving?
Fisherman at work.
 Trust me to spot more birdies, a lovely grey wagtail, perched on top of the flag pole(below) I think it may have had a nest in the boat below?

Grey wagtail.
 Next I had a trip out to Saltaire, to see the 'Open House' festival and the makers fair. I met up with my lovely friend Wendi and her sister Carol, and we had a great day. People open their houses to display artists work, it may be their own work, or others. The terraced streets run in rows and were built for mill workers, many are still cobbled and really quite quaint, it's a fascinating insight.

Salts mill and the cobbled street.

Kate Lycetts art
 One of the artists work we saw, was someone my friend Wendi admired, and she bought  this beautiful print which was a birthday treat. Kate Lycett is the artists name, such lovely work. She has a website  I'm sure you could see more there.
My lovely friend Wendi, with her birthday treat.
Inside the Victoria Hall, there was a 'Makers Fair' which displayed the work of craftspeople. I thought the standard was extremely high, some brilliant work in there. I could have spent a fortune, if I had it. I just bought some little bits and pieces.  Below are listed some websites of the makers I particularly liked if you fancied taking a peep.    gorgeous fabric pot holders, wallets, pictures etc.   beautiful jewellery  unusual ceramic pieces, bottles etc.     paper cut detailed cards etc.
See you all again soon with something of my own, possibly inspired by the lovely work I have seen! :)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Oh those blues...and a little pink too!

You remember those blues from my last post?? I've been working on some ideas I had for using them. I've also used parts of my Cyanotype prints that I blogged about ages ago, (those are the leaf prints to the left on this photo, they are basically sun prints, a special dye is painted on to watercolour paper and then it's exposed to sunlight, with leaves etc in-between, great to do...just got be careful as it's cyanide in the paint!)

I've worked on 3 images so far, Bluebirds, to the left here. My original intention was to use bleach on the blue surface, to create a washed out effect, but it bleached too much and so I used a white ink to paint on the blue in this case.

Dragonflies came next, I think with both these subjects I had a 'Sympathy' card in mind to design for, the blues just seem to lend themselves to this I felt. They have a lovely calm feel to them?  I have had too many Sympathy cards to buy lately, and some are just so awful?? I've tried to create something tranquil and peaceful, hope you think it works? Dragonflies are used in a book for children to try and explain death. It uses the fact that dragonflies leave one world under the water, they creep up out as larvae and then transform into beautiful winged insects to fly off into another world. Those left behind cannot follow, until it is their time. Quite a lovely way to put it for children. 
My final image below is using the shape of a Dove, I've used my Cyanotypes only as the patterned background here. I'm not sure this one is finished yet? I thought this could be used as a 'Wedding' idea, as Doves are used as subject matter for this, I may create some confetti shapes to go with this one? I've been doing these little creations on the computer whilst waiting on book decisions. Not far to go now on the books, I will soon have finished the 2 religious ones. I'm hoping I get samples eventually, as it's not been mentioned thus far??

 Out in the garden things are definitely growing like crazy now, despite the fact that it's still not too warm here? I took a photo of these little daisies a few weeks back, they have now gone daisy crazy, and I absolutely love them. They make me smile very time I clap eyes on them.
 The flower in my hand is one of some freeby bulbs I got when I bought the tiny daisy plugs, they are very pretty too, the centre looks like it's been dipped in orange paint, love it! These smell gorgeous too, like jasmine almost, I think they are a narcissus, but you can put me right if you know better?

I am hoping we get some warmth soon, I'm still wearing my winter coat, and I had my gloves on the other day whilst walking the dog!! This is May, for goodness sake. There was snow down in the south too.....weird?? Hope it's warm and sunny wherever you are, although I know there has been some strange weather going on around the world?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Who gave that putty rubber legs???and other ramblings....

there he is, sloping off....
 I've been busy working my way through my little book illustrations, and one of my 'pet' hates is my dratted putty rubber managing to hide from me, can you see him up above,he's off again, this time he went under those sketch papers, he can get onto the windowsill, down on the floor, in-between papers, Grrrrr, I shall have to keep my eye on him! These are some of my ramblings over this past week? I haven't lost the plot, honest :)
Female Sparrowhawk.
Just two minutes after I took the photo of my putty rubber, I glanced out of the window to see Mrs Sparrowhawk on the prowl, she knew that birds had flown in the shrub ahead of her, she flew around the back of the shrub, after sitting and listening a while, but this time flew off empty beaked. I've sat and watched her having a 'snack' many times before now!She swoops in so low and fast, marvellous!

Mrs Blackbird first....
Then after the Sparrowhawk had gone, the birdies took a dip in the sunshine. I don't take great birdie photos, unlike my lovely blog friend Kathleen, on her 'Trowel and Paintbrush' blog, but these birds taking a dip have made me laugh this week.
Then Mr Blackbird, ducking his head under the little bit of water.

Out on a very nice ramble in the beautiful, warm sunshine this bank hol weekend, I spotted these little birds in the grass, I thought they were plovers of some sort, but I think they are Dotterels, as seen on the page below? What do you think? They don't look so bright in my photo, but that stripe over the eye is surely them.

Beautiful Wharfedale.

We enjoyed a walk through Wharfedale and then lunch at our favourite Tea room, Yum.
Me descending the stile.
I've also been messing around with some lovely blues, I have plans to do various projects with these. I've done one already, more to come on this! The lovely squirrel mop brushes are great for swooshing on textured colour.