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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas eve :)

Happy Christmas to all my lovely B-og friends. Hope you enjoy a wonderful time with family and friends. I'm posting my little Christmas mouse who is fast asleep in the tradition of the poem 'Night before Christmas' waiting for you know who......? Hope Santa visits you ;)

See you soon.X

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas Traditions

A few more images of a more traditional kind. From foliage to camels and even Mary and Joseph! Hope you are all looking forward to Christmas, with preperations underway. I may have one more post before the big day next weekend.See you soon.

Friday, 16 December 2011

More Stamping!

Just a quick little update on the stamping extravaganza I've been having. I really enjoyed making these, and they are right now, winging their way around the country to various lovely arty friends of mine. Each one a totally unique artwork! I'm a bit worried the blue watercolour might run if they get wet???? and then they may not get to the people intended?? Hope they do! They had to be pressed under some heavy books overnight as the watercolour paper liked curling up? Don't know what they will do if they are put on display :)))) Will be back with some more Christmas art shortly, it's coming round fast now!!!!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas characters

Continuing the Christmas theme, I have created quite a few Christmas characters in the past. I will let them speak for themselves! :o)
When I look back at these characters, some I did a year or more ago, I really enjoyed creating them, I do like doing this sort of thing, you can just sit and doodle and little characters spring up. You know when it's working when it all flows so easily. So enjoyable! I have been doing this for many years, and on the whole it's still a fun job to do.

Above are a couple more, a little more traditional cute, finishing with a cheery bright little robin!
Hope you like them! See you soon Blog friends. I'm in the middle of putting up the Christmas tree, lights are working at least! Hooray!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tis the season to be....Holly

Hello there all lovely blog people, I need to watch my spelling with that opening, as I missed the L out last time and had to correct it quickly :0)
I am beginning to feel a bit like Christmas, so as I work on this subject for a good part of the year, designing Greetings of the season, I shall post some of the things I have done fairly recently. I never seem to tire of doing Christmas images, which is just as well really. I have painted holly in various forms for years, so here are just a few bits and bobs of the floral variety. I always try and mix my greens  from yellows and blues, and the reds from yellow and pink or red, to give some depth to whatever I am painting, instead of just using a green such as sap green etc. Sometimes I do use a straightforward green, like olive, it is a bit different. These separate images will be combined to create either a giftwrap or bags or both.

Whilst out Christmas shopping at the weekend, I went into one of our large Greeting card stores, 'Clintons' if I say so myself it is one of the nicer shops. I had been told that a bag created from some work I did last year was going into their stores, so I was totally excitable to see it there on display, they have also done a gift wrap using the same design. I just had to buy one, and my head swelled to ginormous proportions when the cashier said how much she liked this bag, she thought it was so elegant!! Wowee, I had to tell her I designed it, it was a very pleasant exchange we had, and I then struggled to get out of the store with my ginormous head, Ha Ha. It does look quite elegant though, the foils make it look like etched silver, very clever! Hope you like it.
I shall post some more festive artwork soon, covering various subjects, so come by and see me again soon.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cyanotype shinanigins

Hello there all blog friends. I am divulging some cyanotype shinanigins I took part in a couple of years back. I remembered these after the lovely Geninne on her art blog posted some similar images. I was inspired by a lady I read about who was holding an 'Open house' art event. I went to see her work, it was beautiful. So.....I just had to have a go!  The whole process was quite tricky, from finding the chemicals etc, the right paper, glass to sandwich the foliage I wanted to use, and last but not least some UV light in the form of British sunshine, Ha Ha.
I found a brilliant book on the subject,(see above) gathered all the necessary bits, the only real problem (apart from the chemicals being slightly dangerous, cyanide I think??BIG rubber gloves necessary) was not having a darkroom or similar. I ended up in the garage, one dark night, (husband shouting, what are you doing in there, ??) painting the chemical onto watercolour paper, then trying to let it dry before placing in a black bag in another box and then in a draw. The chemical becomes light sensitive once it's painted on,(I like the brush strokes) so it meant waiting till the next day and hoping for sunshine. I wanted to do mainly Christmassy leaves etc, hence the holly you can see. I ended up with allsorts of floral bits in the end.(can you see the honeysuckle?)

It was a big learning curve to be honest. I now know of a place I could do this, with a darkroom and a UV light, I should/ MUST have another go. My only trouble is I'm not flipping fantastic photoshop wise, or I could do something with the images. Still I do like them, I could maybe try painting over like Geninne has, Hmmmn.....perhaps I'll get round to it one day? I do have some mad moments trying out different things, it all makes for good fun!! Hope you like the blues? I find them quite soulfull :)))

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Sweet Honeysuckle. Update!

At last I got round to finishing the honeysuckle I started earlier in October? I am quite pleased with it, I maybe should have put more green leaves in?? But overall it looks how I wanted, with some swooshy bits around the little stamens. I sometimes think I would enjoy doing Botanical Illustration? Possibly a course in it, I always love those sort of floral images. Sorry the light wasn't too good when I took the photo, it was a better day actually, but direct sunlight was too glaring! Hope you like them? I am feeling the need to paint birds, I have been taken with the blog 'the tiny aviary' and Dianas beautiful work on there!! but I have other things on right now. I need to push myself and do it!!!!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Window Shopping

Hello blogland. It has been a very dull and grey week here weather wise, it's made it quite tricky seeing artwork in the poor light (I have just got some new specs too). I have been working on some 'speculative' pieces this past week or so, for my agent ' Advocate' they gave me some ideas to work on, one of which was a shop window, so I took some nice photos on our trip away recently, and put these to good use on the artwork. I often take photos of anything I think may come in useful, it's just finding them again when I need them that can be tricky!! I used the above to create my new artwork. Hope you like them!
I'm back on to the 'Honeysuckle' now, so will post an update soon.
 Bye for now.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Stamping fun and Inspiration

Hi folks, I managed to put the finishing touches to my Christmas cards yesterday, stamping the snowflakes on,it was fun. The chalk effect inks worked well I thought, I just need a bit more dark area to put the snowflakes on, so I will keep this in mind when I make some more. I also used a stencil and my finger to get some different snowflake shapes in there. The metallic inks I had didn't work so well on the dark colour, but they may work on other ideas. Hope you like them? I shall be sending some out for Christmas, If I have some nice comments, I will send one or two out to my lovely bloggy friends :) Not sure how these give away things work, but I'll try my best!

I wanted to include some inspiration I have had for a few years now, a magazine excerpt I saved, showing the work of a talented artist called, Cath Read, she has her own website if you'd like to see more. These are worked in Pastel on a dark background, she really makes the light and bright colours work so well against the dark, and I think they shine so lovely. I am going to have to have a go at something like this with pastels, I shall try and study what she does, and find a subject to suit that I would like to do. Something floral I think?  Hope you like these too (Melody).
Bye for now. Jules X

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Crafty update

I just had to further pursue the Robin Christmas card I had stamped earlier. So late yesterday afternoon,(after doing some sketching for work) I mixed some lovely blue colours which I thought would come close to the colours on the book cover that had inspired me. It was a bit tricky working in the artificial light,(the clocks have gone back and it's dark at 5 o'clock,) as I wanted to blend the colours together, wet in wet, from light to dark. Natural light would have been better because I ended up trying to hold the card up to the strip light to see how the water was drying on the surface and judging the right time to put the paint down so that it would spread nicely, but not be a washout! The first blue went on really well, the other two I ended up blobbing them on, rather than trying to wash them in, as it continued spreading quite a bit. But I was happy with how they looked. Finally I added some salt, to create a snowy, frosty fuzz,( too much on the first one) which worked quite well too?
 Looking at them afterwards, I am very pleased with the colours, they are quite close to the book, do you think? But, I may need to move the stamped robin down within the card shape, to give me more room for the next stage of stamped, chalky snowflakes.Hope you like them so far, these are just testers really.  I'm looking forward to the next stage, will keep you posted.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Week off, Castles and an Angel in the clouds

I have taken this last week as a holiday week. I was feeling quite tired after all the work I'd been doing lately. So I spent time in the garden, tidying and planting some bulbs etc, things to look forward to in the spring and to enjoy now.

Then we decided to take of up t'north to Newcastle and Northumberland for a couple of nights away. We stayed in Newcastle and travelled up to Bamburgh Castle,(see above) a place I have wanted to visit for some time. Well, it was wonderful! The Castle is on the edge of the sea, with dunes going down to a wide , white, sandy beach. We got a lovely mild sunny day, so it was really nice to walk along the beach. I loved the dunes, it's a long time since I've seen any, so it was a lovely surprise to see them here.
We drove further down the east coast, called in at Alnwick, to see the castle where they filmed some of one of the Harry Potter movies.
Throughout the day we had some lovely food at all the various stops, finishing off with a meal at a pub early evening, extremely nice!

Our journey home took us past the 'Angel of the North' Anthony gormelys fine sculpture, looking splendiferous against the rather atmospheric clouds! We rounded off the trip by calling in at Massam, in the Yorkshire Dales for Lunch, there was an arts festival on, with Morris dancers and other events in the market square. Had a lovely lunch, visited a fab gallery with lots of nice prints, etchings etc, which nicely tied in with what I had been reading about during this break, (Artist and Illustrator, my magazine treat). All in all a very enjoyable few days.
Back to the grind next week! :)