Thursday, 29 March 2012

Cigarette Cards

So while I wait a little longer before starting my new project I decided to visit my dad. While I was dads I was doing my usual clearing out and I came across a gift that my grandma's husband gave to me when I was a child. Finding this gift in amongst all my old books was like finding hidden treasure. The images were so delightful, I thought I'd share them with you all here. Obviously I won't be selling these!

My mum has been busy buying some botanically inspired postcards for me, and she has come up with some right gems. Since then I have been busy keeping an eye out for them too, but now I am also going to keep an eye out for cigarette cards with botanical drawings on. I wish we could do something like this again in the modern era. Such as when you get an app for your gizmo's you also get a free collectable card like this or printed pictures on the backs of till receipts. It's all about getting the art out there to me and cheering up the masses.  

 Daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)

A nice habitat illustration of Yellow Iris (Iris pseudoacorus)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

I have been very quiet lately

So I have disappeared off the face of the world wide web for a while, enjoying some well earned rest and sunshine. The weather is formidably good here in England and the gardens at Kew are stunning. All the Magnolia tree's have come into blossom this week and the sticky buds on the horse chestnut have weeping, bright green leaves erupting from them. Beautiful.

So after my weekend in Dorset I have done a little bit of sewing and reading and a lot of tidying! I am hoping to start my new project soon - maybe after the Mars and Venus retrograde. I need a title for the new project, and until I have found one I am not going to fully elaborate on the idea. But I will say it involves several large scale paintings and will probably take many years to do.

Surfing the net I found this brilliant artist - Lucy Sparrow. She really appeals to my sense of humour. I also like the way she works.

Lucy Sparrow ©

Lucy Sparrow ©

Other news: Stephanie Ayres - my good natural history illustrating friend - has now got her sponsoring webpage up and running. Stephanie is an amazing artist and you can see her work here and here. She is off to Borneo to illustrate the flora and fauna of a rapidly disappearing ecosystem. I think her work is very important. If you want to sponsor her, please visit this link:

I have just bumped into Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art - great to see her and her group. They picked a good week to come to England. You can read about her trip here.

Rachel Pedder-Smith's painting is on it's way to the gallery this week. This is going to be a short show, so if you can find the time to come and see it, I recommend that you come. Rachel will be in the gallery on the 31st March from noon. She'll be standing near her painting ready to answer any of your questions. For more information about this event please click here.

A section of the Herbarium Specimen Painting
Rachel Pedder-Smith ©

My colleague has written a nice piece about a section on Rachel Pedder-Smith's painting here.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to see the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy on Friday night. This was a great slot as it was not too busy. I was absolutely blown away by this exhibition. It made me feel like I had to pick up a brush in that very moment and start painting. David Hockney - The Bigger Picture is full of inspiration and it is great to see an artist using nature and the natural landscape as their subject. It was fabulous seeing how people reacted. The visitors would often come off the busy Friday-night streets of London with a scowl on their face, and their heads facing down, eyes fixed to the floor. Then you'd see this transformation (me included). Shoulders rolled back, heads up, mouths either open or with a great big grin and lots of laughter and general joy. The visitors were all very polite and courteous, which you don't always get with this types of exhibitions. It was lovely to see.

I left the exhibition feeling totally nourished.

This is what art is about for me. It should be there preliminary to make people feel good, and then maybe offer something up for discussion.

I hope to be back sometime soon. With news about my new project.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Lilium orientale

This has been drawn using a brush rather than a pen. I have to say I prefer this way of drawing, especially when arranging compositions as it makes your movements more 'fluid'.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mein Mandelbrot #1

Something different... This is what I've been working on since my portfolio was finished - it makes a nice change! It's my computer chip of my brain. I what to do a set of them.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Kelemen Gabriel

Gabriel Kelemen ©

I saw this work by Gabriel Kelemen and thought it was amazing. I love the detail, the pen and ink work and pretty querky nature of it.

His flickr account is here.

Gabriel Kelemen ©

Monday, 5 March 2012

A bed of work!

And that's not all of it!

Just had to get it all out and look at it. Really rather satisfying to seem them side by side.

The 3 portfolio pieces so far - still got a bit of work to do:

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Sweet Pepper

Capsicum annuum var. annuum (Grossum Group) 'Douce D'Espagne'
F, B and 2B pencils

I don't feel that this is finished yet, but it's a start. I might do another one a bit darker next time.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Polly's Getting Darker

A few more layers of paint have been put on Polly. She needed it! This is while I wait for my magic eraser in the post... I still have some more work to do on her, but I am glad she's getting there, if a little slowly!