This is my completed owl artwork, as begun in the previous post.
Owls are such enigmatic creatures, and I have done many paintings, drawings and also an etching of these fascinating animals which you can purchase here. I enjoyed using plenty of gold pigment ink and pigment based coloured pencils on Stonehenge paper, thus creating a very decorative folk art style reminiscent of the naive artist Henri Rousseau and also traditional icon art.
My fascination with owls continues….
Here, I am using beautiful Swiss made Caran d’Ache colored pencils on my favourite Stonehenge paper. I am inspired by the work of the Primitive / Naive artist Henri Rousseau and his rich, textural and beautifully illustrative images. I have briefly sketched the outline and then layered the colours as I go, including pigment gold and silver ink for decorative highlights.
Today I did some life drawing with a model in a session attended by about 20 other artists. I enjoyed having to work fairly quickly, and I decided to use a mixture of conte pen and wash, blue wax crayon, and a 2B pencil. Figure studies are a great way to work on one’s technique and style, and also to interpret reality in a unique way…
I was rummaging through some old artwork and found this photo of a commission I did about 16 years ago (I was about 18 I think) for one of my brother’s friends.
It is a large drawing- about an A2 size (poster size) and took a few months to complete. It is extremely detailed, and I do not find the time these days to do such elaborate work but would like to return to this wonderfully meditative process of creating art.
- she is the creation in the centre of her own being and imagination, from which all things are borne like stars in a galaxy….
I have been looking through my beautiful Art Nouveau books that I have been collecting over the years, and have been inspired particularly by the amazing artist and designer Alphonse Mucha.
His imagery is so beautifully and sensually executed, whilst still being functional – as so many designs of this era were. He drew on Celtic motifs and from the immense source of designs that we find in Nature- sinuous vines, flowers half closed, insects, women, leaves, stars and trees…can’t help but feel inspired !
-I have been wanting to do an unusual fairy design for a woman’s fitted T-shirt for a while and the gorgeous Art Nouveau style suited the image I had in mind perfectly – flowing, subtle ( which can be hard to find on clothing these days) and with a vintage feel :
A soldier rode up on his tumbling black horse
to the woman under the Tree,
“What are you waiting for ?”, he said
“For Death”, answered she.
He asked “May I wait by your side?”
“Sit down” she beckoned him there,
and he sat beneath the shadowy branches
As she began plaiting her hair.
He watched as her fingers parted her tresses-
turning this way and that ,
and she gathered some flowers, grasses and clover
and knotted them in with her plaits.
” What are you doing?” asked the soldier,
Desire creeping into his heart
” I am gathering my possessions around me
before my funeral may start.”
And he saw how lovely she was
There in the shade of the Tree
“Surely you are born of this meadow
and lie waiting in it for me…”
He took off his armour and he took up his sword
as he brushed the hair from her face,
and he entered it into her body
with beautiful sly, gentle grace.
She clung to him whispering softly
so that only the Tree could hear
This has been lurking in my psyche for a while now…so it’s time to get it out !
I have always been a bit disturbed by the circus coming to town, so maybe this is my attempt at exorcising what should be a fantastical experience, if not coloured with a bit of darkness…
It is being painted to a soundtrack of Nick Cave – “Your funeral…My Trial” – especiallly The Carny – this song has an amazing rendition (as well as “From Her to Eternity) in the Wim Wenders movie “Wings of Desire”. It is sung during a pivotal and very powerful scene in the film – the whole movie just captures beautifully all the themes that move me – romance, sadness, life, death and the Circus….
so here is the Greatest Show on Earth – soon to be completed -
it’s been 4 weeks, and slowly all the characters are coming out in pencil, gouache, pen, a few tears, lace, ribbon and watercolour:
…I was thinking of the old Victorian Circus posters, all faded and worn with an air of Magical Realism, advertising the Carnival Sideshow of the Imagination…
….nearly finished ! I have added some beautiful vintage ribbons which add to the festivity..
This painting is available for sale. The Limited Edition print run has sold out but you can still purchase a note card from my online shop here.
well- that says it all….
I have all the paraphanalia spread out before me…gas burner, hard and soft wax, old dentist tools, craft knife, sand paper -
here is a photo of the sketched idea and the current state of the carving…it should be finished in a month or so- and will be here on our website amongst all my other original jewellery designs when it is!
Just finished this painting of what I think may be a self portrait with a swan.
Again, Blue is the colour of a certain emotion…. we are both dreaming of something…flight, perhaps ?
It is done with watercolour, gouache and pen on a beautiful 100% cotton rag Italian paper -and I think one of John’s gorgeous recycled timber frames in white Federation moulding will be perfect for it!
Thought I’d quickly post this collage of new Dragonfly works that I have obsessively been painting on scraps of lovely paper left over from my Printmaking.
They have been great to do -mostly because I love depicting dragonflies whenever I can, on whatever I can(T-shirts ,Bags, Prints)
The first one is a dragonfly sojourn at midnight under a full Moon – kind of dark but I like that … and the black & white drawing is still a work in progress, so we will see how it develops. The bottom one is a Japanese-style watercolour painting on beautiful handmade Mulberry bark paper from Thailand – this kind of textured natural paper is really interesting to work on – it is not a watercolour paper so does not allow the paint to blend on the surface- more suited to quick line work. Here is an original for sale.
They were very popular during the Art Nouveau era as they are so stylistically suited to the flowing organic forms of Nature depicted by the designers of that time. Tiffany and Lalique have some of my favourite pieces of dragonflies- so inspiring !
I just wish things were made like that still, with care and great imagination; that’s why I have been slowly developing my own range of Art Nouveau Jewellery. -in honour of this forgotten era
thanks for looking – there will be some darker stuff coming soon….
I am really missing having a cat around the house as I have always grown up with them and found these beautiful creatures a constant source of inspiration and comfort. So I am bringing their spirit through into this A4 drawing about the exquisite beauty and tranquillity of a sleeping cat…they almost look like they are lost in faerieland when they are asleep ! I am working on it slowly, while sitting at our market stall at Glebe Market, Sydney.
I used to do a lot of black & white drawings when I was a student, filling in all my lecture notes with little illustrations. There are some of my older works on my website and it is really wonderful to be doing this sort of finely detailed work again.
Listening to p.j harvey’s new “White Chalk” album with it’s simplicity and haunting emotion reminds me why I love this way of creating. Drawing in freehand, with only the barest of pencil lines to guide the progress of pen on paper – it is a good meditation and a great way to gain drawing confidence and freedom of expression ! Guess we’ll have to see how it turns out….but the path to creating is often more fun than what is at the end….
27 February 2008
Finally finished this – here it is ! …it kind of got spirited away with itself…