You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2012.
A while back I had one of those on-line moments where you find you’ve bought something you’d never set out to find – you know how one link leads to another, to another and then somehow ends up at PayPal!
I bought a set of 50 vintage Wills’s cigarette cards, all floral from the 1930′s I think.
I was simply taken with the styling of the painting and the colours. In real life they are quite tiny but still very beautiful.
It is also the last day of the ‘paint-every-day-in-May’ which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
It has really got me back into using a sketchbook and enjoying it. I’ve tried hard to just let go and get on with it and let unexpected successes come along and power on past those dire moments (you can always rip it out )
I’ve got in the habit of using it to warm up (like an Olympian athlete! lol) before a big still-life painting session or for some light relief after too much computer time.
It has also channelled my attention into actually putting inspiration into paint like these cigarette cards being out to use, and all those inspiration photo’s that get taken, and magazine cuttings that get torn out…
I feel like I’ve got into good habits and I hope to stay that way now.
And feel free to ask me soon if I’ve kept up the good work.
Hello and how are you? I have been painting, painting, painting (more on that soon) and designing, designing, designing ( for the last live brief of the ABSPD course which has just finished ) This is a design I put together for a competition which wasn’t successful (for me anyways!) and it was a hard lesson in technical, computer repeats. Which is why it’s always good to be able to get back to a paintbrush after a while wrestling with the computer. Which is where I’m off to right now
I can tell you about my week through my ‘painting-a-day’ paintings.
An orchid from the salad at our Thai meal to celebrate being wedded for twenty whole years – yes I did take a flower out of the salad and yes, I did say 20 years!
A pale pink, double-headed Aquilegia which was the only casualty of having a new fence put up down one side of the garden.
A raspberry pink, candy striped Dahlia bought on impulse at a grocer’s shop in Ledbury.
I was in Ledbury (which is a sweet, quintessentially English market town) to drop off some paintings at Shell House Gallery.
Saturday 26th May is the opening day of “Artists Garden” – a group show. I love painting flowers from my garden and so was delighted to be able to join in. While I was there I bought these dahlias and some other fabulous bedding plants to paint, so the cycle continues.
We are enjoying another unusually sunny day here in the UK with hot temperatures and everyone in a good mood. Imagine how happy we’d all be if we lived in sunny climes 12/7!
And that has put me in the mood to share this lady’s wonderful work with you.
Kim Parker is an artist and textile designer with the most wonderful sense of colour I’ve every seen.
As a child she grew up painting but at first pursued a career as flutist. After a while she allowed her preference for the freedom of paint to free her from the perfectionism required of a professional musician.
She worked in some design agencies through the simple tenacity of applying and then proving herself.
She eventually set up her own label and design studio. I know she’s very well-known in America but I don’t think so much so in the UK, although having read her book I spotted a plate that I had bought in TK Max not realising its origin.
I love her spontaneity, the colours she places together and the tones she combines all in one piece.
Her work is like grabbing a huge bunch of mixed, beautiful flowers or walking through a bountiful garden on a sunny day. A day like today.
Here’s some more ‘a painting-a-day’ through May.
I’m still really enjoying the push to paint something fast and free in my sketchbook everyday.
It reminds me what sketchbooks are for…playing!
And it doesn’t matter what comes of it but I do like some of this spontaneous work and I am using up heaps of dried up paint from past palettes and it’s causing me to stumble across colour-combo’s I wouldn’t have otherwise.
It’s all good and the sun is shining too – happy days.
I am trying something new inspired by hearing Jean Martin talk about her working methods.
This years tulips were a resounding success, particularly these big bloomsy pinky peach ones.
I knew I had to capture them in paint and knew they wouldn’t last long once they were cut.
So I am trying a front to back painting (I usually paint the background first and work forward.) And it has dis-orientated me!
But there is nothing wrong with being outside your comfort zone – it is usually the sign of growing pains – which is ultimately a good thing.
This also counts as May 14th, 15th and 16th of ’a-painting-a-day’.
Back on April 26th Dana came across an idea to do a painting-a-day through May.
Dana is a fabulous painter and makes the best use of sketchbooks I’ve ever seen.
I find the way she invents and plays through using her sketchbooks really inspiring.
So I was inspired to paint-a-long too.
So I signed up to join in optimistically.
Then the first of May came around without anyone telling me!
I didn’t notice that by May 3rd I’d already fallen behind.
Than we visited family for a few days, then I went on a computer course, then it finally caught up with me and by then I was well behind.
So I set my mind to catching up this week,
and I have actually enjoyed having a reason to play at whatever I liked in my sketchbook- some patterns, some black silhouettes, some Paris doorways, butterflies…
I have just got printed a stack of ‘inspiration’ photos that I keep taking but never get to draw from, so I’m just pulling them from the pile and painting away.
It’s great fun and never too late to join in too.
Just a little reminder that all images are copyrighted and I’ve asked for them not to be pinned – thanks for respecting this. Claire
I have been painting, designing and trying to break into the world of surface pattern design by entering a competition.
Brabantia bins have an open competition to design for the exterior of Brabantia’s bestseller for limited edition production in 2013.
And I just wondered if I could ask for your help if you are willing to give it please.
My bin is currently around about page 12 or 13 depending on whether you are looking on a laptop or a larger screen. But it gets moved back as more designs are added.
The competition closes June 10th. Many thank you’s for supporting me
On our recent trip to Pembrokeshire I became the junk shop equivalent of David Dickenson (without the perm-a-tan though!)
It would seem that Wales has lots of vintage goodness ready to sell and at good prices.
We found one cold, warren of a place piled high with everything you could think of and not being staffed by the owner. This opened up the opportunity for some cheeky bargaining (I still don’t know what came over me.)
I came away with 3 old wooden storage boxes, two blue and white jugs, a tiny floral jug, a lace work cloth, two embroidered chair-backs and an enamel pan for £15. I quick-stepped it out before the owner came back. I mean when is anything ever as cheap as 50 pence! My gall is a disgrace!!
The next day I spotted two lovely white and blue enamel pieces sitting outside an antiques shop and bartered them down just a little bit.
I have a plan to fill the oval tub with lettuce seeds so that we can grow our own salad this summer and keep it by the back door.
So now the garden is ready for it’s thrifted, vintage makeover (as soon as it stops raining).
We had also been very lucky on a recent family trip to Manchester to come across an antiques arcade. There was beautiful crockery, coloured glass wear, old books, crocheted loveliness and a super wicker basket to carry it all home in.
Heres some of the designs I created in Photoshop after painting the abstracted light reflections.
We were given the brief (and template) to create a gift wrap design and also a greetings card.
I designed six patterns but I’m keeping some private for my surface pattern portfolio. And I successfully followed the tutorial for putting them in a technical repeat :0