Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Wood

20170710_224032It had to be something quick and easy ... and rarely turns out quite as quick and easy as intended ... but here it is, a 'wood' gift for our fifth anniversary, made from the driftwood we collected on Salt Spring Island in April, reminiscent of the candle holders we made for our wedding.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Wendy Horler

IMG_8621Wendy and I have been meeting for years to encourage, inspire, critique and support our creative journeys. We both strive (and lets be honest, often struggle) to discipline ourselves into more regular drawing habits, but Wendy can't long resist returning to three dimensions.

She's absorbed by the things she collects from her garden, but lately she's been exploring papier mache using toilet paper. Well, you know my love of toilet roll tubes ... perhaps it was predictable that I'd be fascinated by her toilet roll adventures!

IMG_8632She always seems to come up with magical abstract shapes. I love the different shades of one colour and the simple structures built by putting together. There's something very soothing about the simple shapes from the textured material. IMG_8622
And each structure is reminiscent of something different - a ship, twigs and leaves ... any thoughts?!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Jo Beal's Daily Diary

Mum led me to the drawing diary of Jo Beal.  I would like to do this!  Dare I?
I've thought about drawing my days so many times (I even did it in the Torres del Paine) but I've never managed to keep it up.  Perhaps now's not the time, with two small children?  I'm trying to quell my need to create as there's simply no time, and the itch seems less provocative if I try not to scratch it ... but, oh, I itch!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Smelly Louis

20170514_165127We still haven't run out of inspiration from the gorgeous Smelly Louis by Catherine Rayner. Inspired by this and a 'making paint' activity last summer at Brockwell Community Greenhouses, Feets and I decided to re-create a very mucky, grubby illustration of Louise the dog. 20170514_165416

With a pen each, we drew a quick outline, then took it outside to 'get back Louis' smell'.

Among other materials, we tried: squashing berries (great!); making paint from turmeric and paprika (great, but Feets is prone to adding ever more water ...); mud; leftover coffee (always a goodun); a wet teabag, first smeared, then ripped open; a concoction of flour, water and food colouring ...

Among other techniques, we tried: toothbrush flicking; straw blowing; dragging and printing paint with a stick; sponge printing (turned into squeezing floods of wet sponge onto the painting). 20170514_165234Of course, in the end, the fun that lasted longest was pouring water and mixing ever more paint, finishing Daddy's spice supplies and feeding the concoction to the plants!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Utterly Inspirational Children's Books

Some of our favourite books, I have read so often that I can read the entire thing to Feets, voices and all, without thinking about what I'm doing, and my mind drifts into figuring out how such beautiful illustrations were created. And the common theme among my favourite books is watercolour - creative and with mixed media, but almost always using watercolour. We are very happy, Feets and I, sharing a cuddle, and each in our own world enjoying something beautiful. I should add that a good story is an even more essential criteria (of course) and all these stories win on both fronts!

Here is just a sample of the techniques that have caught my attention.
The Crow's Tale by Naomi Howarth.  Beautiful, vibrant watercolours and composition, smeared with thick black ink when the crow gets blackened by the sun.
The Very Helpful Hedgehog by Rosie Wellesley.  The most simply crafted of this collection I think, but the use of pencil to build the scraggy donkey is, I think, magical.
Puffin Peter by Petr Horacek.  Probably our most longstanding favourite - I read it three times, this morning, and we've enacted it many a time!  This book is filled with wax resist, masking fluid and collage, while utilising all the beauty of watercolour washes.
Smelly Louis by Catherine Rayner.  I've mentioned this book before, but I am never bored by the lovely mix of gentle print (backgrounds) and mixed-media squiggles to create the messiest dog around.

Interestingly, I've noticed that while many books are written by one person and illustrated by another, all of these are written and illustrated by the same person.  People who are utterly at home in their world as children's authors ...

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Tiny Sketchbook Update

sketchbook sketchbook 2I have no idea how people manage things like this with their maternity leave. Indeed, I don't know how anyone manages anything!

So this is all I have to share from my sktechbook in recent months - drawing with more varied media, chiefly inspired by Linda Kitson and my consequent purchase of a carbon pencil.

I am coping with the lack of creative time by a) dreaming up arty projects for Feets and b) writing down all the ideas I don't have time to do so that I can forget about them for ten years.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Work in Progress

20170514_121830 I made a touchy-feely playmat for Feets when she was a baby, using rag rug techniques. For Bean, I've been working on a crochet mat. It may possibly be finished before she leaves home, but in the mean time I thought I'd share the work so far! 20170514_120614
It was inspired by two things ... the need to vacate the artroom and use up all my materials, and by this crochet bag that I was given years ago, which has always inspired me with its 'crazy crochet', varied, textured techneiques.

And, actually, by this crochet reef for similar reasons. 

And by our trip to Mauritius last year when Bean really was as small as a bean (was it really just last year?! I am ten years older!) - so I am making, loosely, a lucious, green island, spilling onto a thin sliver of beach lapped by azure waves ...