Monday, June 27, 2011

Birds and More Birds (Mobiles)

 Indigo Birds
Three birds and two clouds.
Materials used: hemp and embroidery lace, two indigo blue African fabrics with different patterns, one cream coloured fabric (also African), black felt, wooden and glass beads, vintage lace, stuffing and drift wood. The birds, their wings and the clouds are stuffed. Each bird is unique and it's perfect for any room, although I'd not recommend it for a bathroom.
The mobile took about 3 days to make and will be in my Etsy shop shortly or you can contact me for details if you're in a hurry. :-)

Teal Love Birds
The cutest little love birds sitting on a swing facing each other.
Materials used: silk pods (2 shades of teal), wooden and glass beads, guinea fowl and teal/black coloured feathers, sequins, buttons, hemp, felt, driftwood.
The mobile took about 1 day to make and will be in my Etsy shop shortly or you can contact me for details if you're in a hurry. :-)

Sorry for the poor picture quality - it was very windy. I'll try and take some better pictures soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dissembling - Age of Technology


First in a new series called "Dissembling"
dis·sem·ble  (d-smbl)
v. dis·sem·bled, dis·sem·bling, dis·sem·bles
1. To disguise or conceal behind a false appearance. See Synonyms at disguise.
2. To make a false show of; feign.
To disguise or conceal one's real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance.
From The Free Dictionary
The series is about the different guises and masks we wear.

This particular image, the first in the series, is about the way technology changes us. From the internet to the way we interact with each other to the way it allows us to hide who we really are and what we look like to the effects it has on our every day lives from the way it brings us closer together to the second hand nature of many of the things we experience.

Just in case you're wondering, I don't think technology is an 'evil thing' but I think it sometimes changes and affects us and the way we live in unexpected ways and it's important to consider what is happening to us with technology more and more taking over.

All others images/textures/brushes my own:
  • MM Industrial Textures Set - my own
  • MM Sky Textures Set - my own
  • MM Crack Brushes Set - my own


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Girl with Dreams - Cover - Girl with... series

Sub Title: Catch them when you can
This is the final image in the series and the cover for my Redbubble calendar. All images in the series can be seen here.

Again, a romantic image at first glance, but like all others there's a little bit more behind it. When we begin our lives (hopefully) we're still full of dreams, looking forward to growing up and becoming an adult as a great adventure and often with much impatience. We hold the key to fulfill our dreams but life is not always gentle and there are many dark clouds at the horizon. This image includes elements from some of the other images and is the starting point for all of them, the same way as we hold the key elements for our life when we are young, it just depends on what we make of them.
Backgrounds and Textures
Brushes and Actions
All other images/textures/stock/brushes my own.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Girl With Ribbon - Girl With... Series

Sub Title: Entanglements
Again, a deceptively romantic and sensual picture with a totally different message. This is about the traps we set ourselves and the traps we're caught in - from self perception to role models we find ourselves tangled up in sometimes barely visible constraints - the way we look, the way we behave, what we're supposed to do and what we want to do - signified both by the (outer restraints) spiderwebs and the (inner restraints) ribbons and bow. The sky and clouds can be seen two ways - the striving for 'enlightenment' and the freedom from the restraints we seek, or maybe it's just about the way we often walk around with our heads in the clouds, totally unaware of the constraints that hold us back? There are fragments of fairy tale princesses in there as well - I can see Rapunzel and he hair, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White both asleep and all of them waiting for Prince Charming. However, in real life there rarely is a Prince Charming to rescue us and, personally, I'd rather rescue myself. LOL

You can see the whole series here:

Backgrounds and Textures
Brushes and Actions
All other images/textures/stock/brushes my own.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Collaboration of a Special Kind

DeviantArt are currently holding a competition for a Colossus for the game RIFT (last day for entries today). My son and I decided to take part and to collaborate on a (hopefully winning) design. We spent hours discussing the initial concept, idea and name - you can see the rules for the entry here. Then we spent more hours sketching our ideas and agreeing on what the final colossus should look like. Much of everything changed during the process and the actual drawing of the design. Altogether we spent about a week and a half on it.

Ben did the intial concept, name and art direction, whereas I spent hours on the computer trying to put them together, LOL. It was fun (mostly). ;-)

Here you can see the process:
Ben did the original sketches for the weapon and face of the death colossus and came up with the name Blind Watcher. In the end we decided on a sickle shaped staff rather than a sword and the mask (although we kept the original idea of a plague doctor mask and no eyes) changed considerably.

Here is my colour sketch (first time I ever actually tried to draw something in Photoshop rather than Painter) of the mask/face:

Next, was the background. This was created completely from my own photographs - mostly taken at Holme Beach, Leiston Abbey, Audley End and sky pictures from all over the place. We wanted a dramatic backdrop for the colossus.
MCN :: CJ3EH-EBDT2-28U46

I then spent days (literally) drawing the colossus in Corel Painter, ready to put it into the background. Here's the final:
MCN :: CMTXA-8EAT9-5S784
The hour glass and rib cage were part of the original concept, the rest - the watch, the playing card and the halberd at his back evolved during the drawing process. The mask and eyes changed considerably too. The tattered cloak was part of the original design.

The whole process was totally out of my comfort zone. For one, I am not used having someome else telling me what to draw, LOL. However, it was great fun and I think this picture is much better than anything I could have produced on my own, although it was hard trying to combine the ideas Ben had with my own style and some parts of the image were incredibly hard to draw, e.g. the rib cage and a convincing hour glass. I spent ages giving all the tatters of the cloak a different texture and then, in the final stage, blending everything together.

To finish off, here are a couple of Ben's sketches. He's so good (I think) and I am so proud of him. The sketches were drawn using a book called Drawing & Painting Fantasy Figures as a reference.


Wish us luck! :-)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flower Power - Dandelions, Peonies, and Pink Hawthorn

Here are some of my latest flower photographs. All are available as prints (framed, matted, laminated and canvas), posters and greeting cards on my Redbubble account. Just click on the Redbubble portfolio in the sidebar on the right or click on the images below (framed, matted, laminated etc).

I love dandelions - there's something so magical about them, especially dandelion clocks. :-)

All other images/textures etc my own.


Don't you just love dandelions? This one is just perfect.

All other images/textures etc my own.

MCN: CR3X6-3RT31-N44HL

Peonies are absolutely wonderful; I love their texture, colours, and scent. One of the most marvellous flowers around, no wonder they're used so often in Chinese art.
This is the first in a series of peonies with different 'moods'.

All other images/textures etc my own.


This is the second in the Peonies Series. I love the depth of colour and sensual feel in this one.

All other images/textures etc my own.


There's something special about hawthorn - it's soft and sumptuous and even in your face bright when it's pink with those wonderful intensly green feathery leaves and the start branches with the thorns as a contrast. This is one of my favourite shots of the pink hawthorn.

All other images/textures etc my own.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Girl with Pea

Sub Title: Working on it
This is another image in my Girl with ... Series. 
Everyone must know by now how much I love fairy tales and how much I hate the way women are depicted in them - unlikely role models for our daughters. The Princess and the Pea seems to be one of the worst of them - I ask you, a girl chosen to be the future queen because she looks pretty after having been out in a storm and because a pea hidden under her mattresses makes her bruise... Hmmm. 
Well, this is her daughter, struck by the same 'pea affliction' she decided she was having none of it, so now she's attempting to desensitise herself by surrounding herself with peas, hoping to cure the disease... 
However this is also an image about mothers and daughters and the need to rebel against your mother and all she stands for - Princess of the Pea's portrait can be seen standing in the corner looking with surprise and disapproval at her daughter's shenanigans.
Model 1
Model 2
Backgrounds and Textures
Brushes and Actions
All other images/textures/stock/brushes my own.


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