You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.
Have your ever heard of the Five Languages of Love? If not you can find out about it here. Well here in my house we all know that my No 1 understanding of love is Gifts (I know I sound shamelessly materialistic but there you go!)
And so it was one day that my sweet husband came home with this book, just because… what a man! It’s beautifully designed, interesting and inspiring – the book that is
Orla talks about how her childhood has shaped and affected her creativity, especially her taste in colour which has been influenced by growing up in coastal Ireland. I didn’t know anything about her rise to fame and success and so it was interesting to read her biography.
She explains how she collates inspiration in many ways, from many sources (which was also said on the ABSPD course too.) Orla’s tastes are Mid Century Modern and graphic and she finds inspiration through magazines, postcards, spontaneous photo opportunities and trawling junk shops. On keeping a sketch book she says ” This is as much about learning how to look as it is about creating a resource of imagery that might suggest various avenues of exploration to be fruitfully pursued at a later date…You never know when it might be useful.” And that IS good advice I’m learning.
Orla Kiely has a unique eye for colour which married with her signature prints makes something unique to her. I didn’t realise that Stem print was about 10 years old and that every season they play with colours and textures to up date it and say something new. It’s amazing that a relatively simple design idea has got such versatility. It will truly be iconic of our generation.
I found Orla’s approach to designing quite restrained and planned but she says “Colour is an incredibly powerful element in design, as it is in life. A short cut to the emotions, it is almost visceral in the way it connects with our moods and feelings. A poppy-red scarf wrapped around your neck on a grey November morning warms your spirits as surely as it keeps out the cold.”
It’s often the way when a designer becomes a big brand, that it’s the tip of an iceberg that has been growing for many years. And so it was fascinating to read the Orla Kiely story through from their small beginnings.
Here’s some happy flowers to herald in some great news. Earlier this year I submitted three of my paintings for the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 2012 exhibition and was so delighted that two have been pre-selected for a final, in-the-flesh viewing. Wow.
So they have been framed, labelled, wrapped and sent on their way to London with the Picture Post courier and oodles of hope, crossed fingers and anticipation. Good luck girls!
Oh man, that has been the most fun! I’ve got to play this game again
It’s been so much fun reading all you guesses and here is the first clue…
Yep – it’s the red polka dot one.
I kind of liked the whole Bakewell tart play on images and it looks clean and sharp.
Thanks for playing along, I’m going to do this again someday. Big smiles to you.
One of my favourite things to do when setting up a still life to paint, is to rifle through my fabric cupboard and try out different patterns and colours for possible backgrounds. Photographing them and seeing it tried out on screen somehow crystalises the choice for the front runner to go ahead and star in the show.
So lets play a little game this week… leave me a comment saying which background you would have chosen and lets see if great minds think alike and I’ll let you know what I went ahead and painted
This is my first finished project of 2012 and it feels like I’ve spent 2012 years knitting it!
In my head I like to think that I’m the type of woman who loves to knit in silence whilst contemplating the intricacies of the universe. In reality I like a simpl(ish) pattern that I can click-clack through while talking, listening or half watching something.
This pattern is quite a simple repeat of six rows but early on I made quite a few mistakes that meant I unpicked as many rows as I knitted because one lost stitch meant un-doing the whole block of pattern. From that moment on I could only work on it in a monastery type silence! Slow progress then…
Just before Christmas I popped into town to endure the obligatory walk around the German Market and happened to walk past this exhibition while it was open and what a piece of cultural relief it was!
Lost In Lace is an exhibition designed to challenge the traditional view of lace, both lace making and it’s uses.
The way that constructions are used to barrier, screen or shape a space is both amazingly done and beautiful.
The Gas Hall is a huge, quiet, polished room that is exceedingly quiet and all that lent it’s self to making the exhibits feel more magistic.
This is the most amazing laser-punched lace made of some kind of silicone which looked just like fabric. I wanted to touch it to find out. In fact I said (too loudly) to my husband just that and the steward came running over to stop me!
But what a beautiful piece of hanging art.
There was such ingenuity to the construction of these textiles. The definition of lace is “A delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open web like pattern.” This is more like origami meets lace.
This was the piece that had the most impact on me because as I stood admiring its colour and pattern I realised there were readable motif’s in it.
On closer inspection you could see army figures, bombs, helicopters, tanks etc all laid out in repeat, snowflake-like patterns.
I was really struck with the association of thought between fine, gentle, fragile lace and the rough, devastation of war and military life. Clever, very clever.
This screen or curtain looked like a night-time city scape.
But for me this piece was the jaw dropper. You can watch a time release video of the artists constructing this over many days, simply by pinning black wool from floor to ceiling making it denser and denser.
The ethereal dresses hung in the middle of this huge web created a ghostly narrative. It was quite chilling to be near; the web did make me feel like I was going to get caught up too. It was an emotionally evocative installation.
It’s on until February 19th and is well worth a visit. Oh and don’t forget to go into the museum itself and enjoy some tea and cake in the Edwardian Tearoom.
Painting this set up has challenged my New Year resolutions about eating less cake! How long can one observe a cupcake before wanting to eat it?
Luckily this is one of a batch that go in and out of the freezer on still-life duty so are too yucky to even contemplate eating (the Fox’s Party Ring biscuits haven’t been so lucky but more of that another day!)
I really adore the colours in this painting. Navy blue may be my colour of 2012. Pantone are slow to catch on to my trend setting!
The birds-eye angle is quite strenuous to paint unless you are a giraffe or lying face down suspended in a hammock (no I’m not!) I’ve also done everything in duplicate so that I have whole items to scan into Photoshop and play around with later.
I just popped in today to share this amazing photo with you. There are somethings that an iPhone camera aces – great skies and amazing low-down shots. I was stunned at how this photo came out as all I did was lean down and shove the phone right up to the mushrooms. What came out was a fairytale kingdom, a mushroom palace, a whole world where little people live in secret.
As a girl I used to love Molly Brett illustrations and would dream up and draw little animal kingdoms living in tree roots in woodland. This discovery above, would have fired my imagination no end. In fact I would probably have taken it as confirmation that Molly drew from real life!
Who knew that knives, forks, spoons and other assorted cutlery could be so much fun to draw and paint?
I have tried to adopt an approach developed in the course I was on recently,
trying out the same item drawn but using different media,
looking at whole shapes and sillhouettes,
and flattening 3D items into flat patterns.
Last year I bought a box of vintage cutlery for 10 pence a piece and some really funky spotty cutlery in gorgeous colours.
Today I’ve been playing mix and match…
…putting together lovely spotty handles with brightly patterned plates…
…and beautifully crafted vintage silverware with delicate a Victorian plate…
….looking for an eye catching combination…
…or harmonious mix…
…to begin painting.