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Friday, 21 September 2012

A Butterfly theme

Peacock Butterfly WOW

Red Admiral, who wouldn't open those beautiful wings for me!

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
Hi there blog friends, the post today has a theme of butterflies running through it. They seem to have been in my garden, in my thoughts and in my artwork, so here goes......Above, those in the garden recently, attracted by the Buddleia flowers. My Buddleia flowers later in the season than most, and the last of the summer sun has brought these beautiful butterflies in, what a delight!  I've been a relaxed sort of busy recently, trying to do some paid work...,going on days out walking,.... doing some spec work and on a teeny tiny screen print course for half a day.  
Screen for hand screen printing
 The screenprint course was at the 'Art House' in my home town. It involved printing using simple stencils that were cut out of newsprint. I had to quickly come up with an idea the night before the course, and Butterflies popped into my head. I have to admit I had not envisaged these colours, I would have gone for something less garish and more toned, but we were working in pairs, so colours had to suit both people. It was all a bit manic again, I think 4 colours was a little ambitious in the short time we had, as we printed 8 pieces each. The time just flew by, and we had to work like crazy. It was just a great experience discovering what can be done, with such simple equipment. My image turned out OK. But I played safe and didn't overlap colours, so registration was fairly easy. There were some excellent prints produced once again, unfortunately I didn't get any photos, as time was so tight.One girl did a Rob Ryan style design, and as you have to cut the paper stencils out, it made total sense and turned out so well, it was of some birdies in a tree. (should have got a photo).
Paper stencil for each colour, it's those butterflies again!

3 colours printed here

Final colour added.
 I would definitely like to do some more of this kind of screen printing at home. I will have to get myself a screen! The possibilities are endless for this technique. Excellent course all for £7 !!!

My indulgent project at home has been a large watercolour of Cottage Garden flowers. I try and think of subjects that might work well on Greeting Cards, but that I like too. Below is my process of working, starting with sketch ideas, using my own photos if I can, the one below was from Sark, some Hollyhocks that were beautiful. The idea was to have a white picket fence with flowers typical of a cottage garden.
First stage of artwork, the Hollyhocks.
 I decided to paint all the flowers first, then masked out the white picket fence in order to paint in some of the greenery below.

Masking fluid going on.

Greenery washed in over the masked out fence.
At this point, when I'd washed in the green, I decided that I didn't like the regimented line up of the flowers. So I (very bravely for me) started to paint in some feint loose flowers in between those already painted. I was really quite pleased with how they turned out! Just off the cuff, making it up as I went along!!
Finished piece, complete with 'Painted Lady' butterfly!
This artwork is about A3 in size. I needed to work a bit bigger than normal to get some of the loose watercolour effects in, it's not easy to do if they are so small.
I hope you've enjoyed my butterfly ramblings, we've had some colder weather today, it's feeling much more like Autumn, which I believe officially starts tomorrow? I've been planting out 100 tiny pansies, something I don't normally do at this time of year. I have bulbs ready to put in also, all with the promise of some delightful flowers in the spring and hopefully through the winter too! See you all again soon.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Art for the love of Sark book

 Hello Blog friends. As promised I am back with some of the images from this beautiful book I had bought for my birthday. All of the artwork is stunning, showing different aspects of life on the island of Sark. The wildlife ones are just gorgeous. You can see below an illustration showing the butterfly that I took a photo of whilst we were visiting. There are such a variety of styles of work, all of them are so accomplished. I shall just post some of my favourite images, they really speak for themselves!
Spot the butterflies as seen in my photo below!
Speckled wood, now I know what it is from the book!

Love these paper cuts and the wooden sculptures

Darren Woodheads works are particular favourites

Beautiful bird captured here so simply, Darren is from West Yorkshire, which is my home territory!

Love this work in progress artwork.

Long tailed tits, so strikingly portrayed, I love these little pink birds, they are more common now in the garden.

We stood in this very spot looking out to sea, over the thatched roof house.
I hope you can see all these images from the book. They are all beautiful. I have still so much to look at within the book, and some of the writing is very moving. There is also a DVD of the artists, which I have yet to see! I'm sure it will a fascinating insight into their work.
The weather here in the UK has been quite lovely of late, that's why I've been missing from the blog. In between finishing off some work at a steady pace, because my eye is still not 100% , we have managed some wonderful days out in the sunshine. I think it's all change next week at some point, it's going to have an Autumnal feel to the temperature? Eeek. I've so enjoyed these balmy late summer days.
I will be back soon with some more creative pieces, but I hope you've enjoyed seeing these!