Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Happy Hens Collage Obsession

Happy Hens is my Collage obsession piece this week. The theme is eggs, so I thought, 'what came first, the chicken or the egg?' The chicken I decided.
              In the UK at the moment there is a lot of public distrust of the food Industry because of horse meat being found in all sorts of meat products, as a vegetarian for over 30 years this does not affect me directly but I think it is good that people may start to question where their food comes from. So these are my happy hens, a torn paper collage incorporating gesso and acrylic paint. I used pen and ink to draw the little egg details and daisies and some wax crayon to create a textured sky. I've always fancied keeping hens and if I ever do this is what I want them to look like......Happy :)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

View from the Uffizi

My Artists Playroom entry  this week is a collage/pencil/watercolour of Florence cathedral seen from the Uffizi Art Gallery roof terrace. The challenge to use orange and blue or 'blorange' was very appropriate as I just returned from Tuscany, where everything is terracotta and brilliant blue, My post yesterday showed a small selection of my photographs. I have a feeling Florence will be influencing me for some time to come. I usually choose blues and pink/greens in my work, rarely orange, so I am pleased at the vibrant result. If I had to choose my favourite combination it would be 'magencerulean '( magenta and cerulean blue) but now I'm wrapped up in all things Florentine that may well change!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

An Italian adventure

I have just returned from a fantastic trip to Florence and Pisa.

I have always dreamt of going to Florence, I visited Venice a few years ago and made my mind up then that Florence was next on my must, must, must do list! I love Italian Renaissance paintings and the 'Uffizi' gallery in Florence has the greatest collection in the world. Including the beautiful 'Birth of venus' by Botticelli. Nothing really prepares you for seeing iconic images like this close up. As it was February the galleries and museums were very quiet..

The weather was cold but clear and bright....
The Americano coffee was great ( can't do espresso, sorry :) )
The cakes were yummy!!
 The views were breathtaking along the river Arno..
 And also looking down into the valley from the Pitti palace gardens...
And everywhere, sculpture......from the famous....
Michaelangelo's David
 To the not so famous..
Beautiful cathedrals....

Fabulous churches....

(me doing a little shopping :) )

Dark atmospheric streets...

And the most wondrous architecture ...
around every corner...             
 This trip has fuelled my appetite to see more of this beautiful country...
I took zillions of photos of sculptures, patterns, ironwork railings, fabrics.... loads of ideas for loads of projects, just not enough hours in the day......

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Love hearts

 The APR challenge this week is especially for valentines day, This little heart is very special. I made it ,and around 60 others like it as wedding invitations for my daughters wedding last october. I had to make it simple as I had so many to do,so I used skeleton leaves and torn mulberry paper, I still look at it and smile remembering such a special day. She works in a chocolate museum called York's chocolate story which is a fabulous chocaholic adventure. Visitors learn the history of chocolate making, watch chocolates being made, and taste the final result...YUmmy !!! There is even a chocolate cafe selling all things chocolate.. not sure how she drags herself in to work each day :)


 I did a little sketch to celebrate the sweet things in life........

I'm off to Florence in a couple of days so will be having a little blog break, but hope to return with lots of Italian inspiration soon............ciao :)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Postcard happiness

A lovely surprise today!! My first Artists in Blogland postcard arrived..
It is beautiful, painted by a wonderful Artist called Tina Wittmer, unfortunately I cant find a related blog or email address to thank her for this beautiful card, but if you happen to stop by my blog Tina, thank you so much, I LOVE it :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Ran out of time( updated post)

  Collage Obsession post update,                                                                                                                                                              This weeks Collage obsession challenge is 'Time'. Rather than go down the route of clocks and timepieces I decided to concentrate on how time changes things, Age and decay if you like.... Things often become more beautiful with the passing of time.This is a mixed media collage of the ruins of St Mary's Abbey, York, North Yorkshire.                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                   I took some photos last summer when visiting my Daughter who lives in York and the collage is based them. The ruins can be found in the museum gardens in the centre of the city. I love the way the greenery pushes through the stonework.The ruins of St Mary's Abbey, first built in 1088, are all that remains of one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England. It is a beautiful place...

I loved the contrast between the greenery and the old stonework.

I did a bit of messing around with the image.. Im not very good at this sort of thing but I wanted to play around with contrasts.

As an update I tried to link it up to the obsession site but the link didn't work, then it shut so I missed the boat....

looks like time got the better of me. :)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Lady Nancy

It was my birthday recently and swirlygirl made me a beautiful canvas....

Lady Nancy is gorgeous.... :)
I also received this gift... A fabulous cat balloon.....

How cool is he? However his presence in the household is not appreciated by all......

There is a bit of a standoff situation at the moment, Ill keep you posted. :)

Banoffee pie :)

Fairy cakes

 APR Challenge

This weeks Artists playroom challenge is 'whats in your pantry or cupboard'. I pondered a while over this.... I'm a bit of a health food fanatic, so my cupboards contain dried chickpeas, butter beans and other such treats, not particularly exciting to draw or paint!.. However...

One of my cupboards is a little more colourful, it houses the cake decorating goodies! I love decorating cakes, I used to do it fairly regularly for friends birthdays, now not so much as I really don't have time, but I do love all the bright hundred and thousands, sugar strands and candy balls despite my health food puritanical ways.. I must admit though I enjoy looking at them more than eating them, I think all those E numbers would send me haywire :)

work in progress watercolour, paper and gesso

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Messing about with maps

Collage obsession maps

The Collage obsessions challenge this week is 'maps'. Rather than complete a finished canvas I have been experimenting in my sketch book.

  I tore up pieces of map relating to the Scottish Highlands, and stuck them into my sketch book. Then I put layers of colour onto the page, purples greens and browns.

Then once dry I cut the sketchbook page into squares and pasted them in a grid pattern and added gesso. I like the way maps seem to have thread like qualities with the red A roads wriggling through the patchwork landscape. I used red ink to go over the roads and then used red silk thread to form a grid around my map shapes.