Thursday, 18 August 2016

semi abstracts

I enjoy working in a semi abstract style, primarily my passion is pattern and colour and these two pieces illustrate this. The first' spruce ridge' is on canvas and as you can see combines torn paper and paint.

This much larger piece is on wood. Entitled 'on a clear day' it is a flow of pattern and colour.Inspired by the views from Northern Skye looking east towards the mainland, in front are some of my small 3D croft mini collages which combine paperclay and paper.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Eagle bowl

Long time ago my followers may remember my mermaid bowl...

mermaid bowl

Well i hadn't done a collaged bowl for some time and I wanted to try something new. So here we have my eagle bowl! Made with torn paper and acrylic paint on a papermache substrate. I made it to hang on the wall rather than sit as the bowl shape collects the light and it reflects the gold on the sea eagles feathers. Skye is the home to a couple of eagle species, Sea eagles inhabit the cliffs surrounding Portree bay where little boat trips go out on eagle spotting trips. I've been on several, one in particular saw the eagle fly right down over our boat, a magical experience!

The idea began in my sketchbook

then was painted in black gesso

Then I added the paper fragments

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Beneath the surface...

The world is a very different place...

All is not what it seems.

Mixed media on canvas.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Spring showers

Short and sweet show and tell today,
another of my pieces made for my recent exhibition at Skyeworks.
A combination of torn paper and acrylic paint.

It is one of my largest pieces and one with which I had a long battle with the foreground to get right.
I wanted it to look free and semi abstract so it was hard not to get too fussy. The silver pieces of rain which float from the sky are silver leaf which glistens in the light,

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

mosaic croft houses

Long, long ago...well to be honest in April i think, I gave you a sneaky look at my little paperclay mosaic pieces. 
Well I haven't got round to showing you what I actually did with them!
I know, I know... should have explained a little sooner, but better late than never.

They became these little 'croft house mosaics' all individual and unique.
Made from my hand cut paperclay tiles. I stamp, carve and paint each tile then fit them together like a little jigsaw.

Little beads and jewels are also set in the clay



And finally presented box framed and ready to find new homes.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

A tale of two halves

Flodigarry Island
This week a post of two halves.
To begin, a mixed media collage made for my pieces of skye exhibition at Skyeworks.
This was one of my largest pieces, and one of the first to sell. It has gone to a lovely new home very near this wonderful view!
Mixed media is a very broad term and encompasses so many styles and mediums. My tale of two halves begins in my comfort zone, making mixed media collages in my own, rather messy and multi layered technique.
I'm not really happy unless covered in glue and paint splatters!

The canvas early stages begin roughly painted then collaged with various papers. Then I gesso over the paper edges. (I hate to see paper edges and when dry use a power sander to blend the paper into the gesso and paint) Most people who see me begin to take a power sander to my canvas visibly wince in disbelief, but it gives it the right surface for further layers.

The surface becomes multi layered and very textured, I add gold metallic pieces too which make the surface difficult to photograph well!


Anyway.....I did say this was a tale of two halves....

My blog usually shows things I'm happy with, but as an artist much of my time is spent messing about and experimenting...some of these go wrong and end up in the bin or covered over and begun again...tha'ts life. ;)  Well I thought I would share a little of this side of the coin.

Last weekend I went to a mixed media workshop run my Emma Louise Wilson. I particularly like Emmas ceramics so when I found out she had a course I thought I would go try it out.

Emma Louise Wilson beautiful delicate ceramic pieces

The appealing thing about it was that she works so differently to me. I often find that to learn best you need to step out your comfort zone. 

Emma louise wilson mixed media piece

As you can see Emmas work is very different from mine both in both style and in subject matter. The day was going to be challenging! No paint splattering or power sanding here!

Challenge 1 - I found It difficult to not draw flowers.....we were meant to draw free unrealistic flower style shapes. In retrospect I should have done this with my non dominant hand, or blind drawn them. Mine look far to real and fussy. Strange because I normally am very free in my drawing style. 

I also found it difficult not yo use my favourite colours, I think we all develop a favourite colour pallete, and it isn't a bad thing to try something I kept going... 

And then I found it difficult not to paint in a painterly style... I should have been trying to make it more stylised and flat instead of worrying about shadow and form. 

 Oh no that yellow is wrong!!! At this stage I would probably have start covering it in paper, but instead it was more paint, monoprinting and using a pen to draw into it......eeeeeeeekkkk!

By the end I can safely say that if I was at home I would have covered it all in gesso and started again!....I found it ridiculously difficult to change my style during the process, It was a bit like trying to copy someones handwriting, I had to concentrate really hard and when it is was done it didn't look like me at all!  Infact when I showed the photo below to my daughter she couldn't tell which was my painting.
But regardless of my  failed attempt at a stylised still life I did enjoy the day and Emma was a great teacher, and very generous in explaining her techniques which as you can see all the other talented ladies were able to follow beautifully.

And I did learn to do this....

making little strips of collaged paper on the top of masking tape. Now this is something which I can already see as a future development in my wild sewing, I think I may be able to sew through the masking tape! Watch this space....

Think I'll stick to what I know best....

;) splattering, gluing and power sanding.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Watching and waiting in blue

Firstly I will say that my blog is as always a place where I show my weekly arty meanderings, I don't get personal or political. However in the real world I am hugely passionate about politics and  how they affect each and every one of our lives.
 Within the U.K the past week has been tumultuous, turbulent and tempestuous. I was saved from  losing all sense of sensibilities by an email via facebook from a lovely lady in Australia who had seen my collage watching and waiting last year at Skyeworks Gallery when she was on holiday on the island. The original watching and waiting sold but she wondered if I could make something similar.

watching and waiting
    So, as a wonderful diversion from watching our political representatives become similar to rats fighting in a sack I set to work making a new watching and waiting in blue.

Started making lots of layers of paper and paint on a 10inch x 10 inch wood panel.

and ...... Mr hare is finished !!

Now on route to his new home. I'm sure the climate will suit him better in Australia, Its a bit stormy in the U.K at present!!

Hoping the next few weeks bring some sort of calm collective perspective.