Sunday, 26 May 2013

Here is my latest bird piece. Simply about people gone but not forgotten. The bird is a "Mourning Dove" native across America. I hadn't realised that this is the week of America's Memorial Day when I was drawing this so it turned out to be a rather timely piece. Hope you like it :)

"Remembrance"- Original available at my June Exhibition with Tracey Swift at St.Peters Heritage Hall. Our show is called "Folklore, Figures and Feathers". Hope to see you there.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Little Red Riding Hood
I managed to squeeze in a small piece for the Bad Apples Artist Collective Auction this month, I wasn't sure if I would have time. The theme was Grimms Fairy Tales and my process went a bit like this-

- Speed read lots and lots of Grimm's Fairy Tales in the hope of finding a nice interesting and more obscure one to do............but then settle for an old favourite that I've depicted a few times in the past already.

- Do a small work, 2-3 hours max to fit with the low starting bid.............but then faff about with the piece over 2 weeks and do much more detail than intended.

- Stick to my tried and tested signature ink style.........but then have the bright idea to add some skin tone with coloured pencil and spend another couple of hours smoothing out the patches as I'm a little rusty with the medium. 

But here she is and after all that I quite like her.....

 Red- Ink & Coloured Pencil on Illustration Board

The Bad Apples Artist Collective are a group of International artists on Facebook who are probably defined loosely by an underlying pop surreal, illustrative style often with a focus on figurative works but not always. It's an exciting and diverse collective which I'm really happy to be part of.
Every month we get our "followers" to pick a theme which we draw/paint and the original works go on auction on our Facebook page. It often throws up interesting themes which take you away from your usual subjects so we all have a lot of fun with it. The Grimm Auction opens on the 28th May and runs for three days. Starting bids are just $75 plus shipping and there is a new "buy it now" option on day one.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Here is the final wall piece for my June show. I'm not quite finished on the bird theme with more small works to be added throughout the show as many are already flying away to new homes.
I'm also really pleased to be taking part in the Junction Arts birthday show in at the end of June which is on the theme of birds too.

This one is about companionship and the sort of comfortable relationship that allows you to be yourself completely with another. The sort of relationship that doesn't feel like hard work, doesn't need drama or compromise- its just a good fit. It can be about love or about friendship or family, those people who are closest and special to you.
Its a little affirmation that wherever you are there is someone who is that special companion, a partner, a spouse, a soul mate, a parent or a wonderful friendship. Maybe my little cardinals are still searching but ever hopeful, maybe they have already found happiness together but one thing is certain, they are just comfortable to be who they are. 


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Jay & the Jewel
This one has been in progress most of the week so happy to be finished, lots of layers of blue here and I really enjoyed doing him.
The piece is about how we covet beautiful things. It's human nature to collect precious items or to adorn ourselves and we have been doing this since primitive times. My own personal weakness is gemstones and jewellery I guess and I probably have more than is actually possible to wear.
The piece is a reminder that the most beautiful jewels are to be found in nature, the living, breathing creatures and plants that make our planet what it is and how we need to look after it. I could go on and on here about what we don't do or need to do but it's just a simple message I though about when drawing a lovely Jay, so common but yet so exotic and precious too. Hope you like him :)

The Jay & the Jewel (Ink on Illustration Board). For our June Exhibition at Peterculter Heritage Hall "Folklore, Figures & Feathers" with Tracey Swift.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Nights Are Drawing In
My inspiration for this piece was rather spontaneous. My friend Robin Key has been very kind and encouraging towards my art. I exhibited with Robin at North East Open Studios last year at Aberdeen Waldorf School and look forward to that again this year. Robin is a fine art jeweler working in precious metals and precious and semi precious stones (which I also love). So this piece is literally a Robin with a Key. "The Nights are Drawing In" is probably a native Scottish expression I think- to describe the dark nights in the lead up to winter when the clocks turn back. It's a bit out of season to be drawing a wee robin red breast but I really wanted to include one in this series.

My next 2 pieces are celebrating common yet very exotic looking birds from the US- The Blue Jay and the Red Cardinal. I enjoyed doing my cheeky Cardinal so much that I'm doing a pair of them and I wanted to do another Jay after including them in my "Jackalope Garden" piece. After those I plan to get back to my Pheasant drawing, which is not quite worked out in full yet.

Original currently on reserve for a viewing


Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Wise One Waits
Here is my latest piece- a wise Barn Owl. This piece is about "patience" and trusting that good things will happen at the right time. I sometimes think that's a very good attitude to have in life or maybe at least the balance between "making" things happen and allowing things to unfold.
Just as I was writing this the wonderful CURVY publication from Australia featured him on their face book page, a wonderful and unexpected surprise !!

Original Reserved

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Thank You
A big thank you to Gallery Heinzel today for featuring my peacock piece "Sovereign" in their ArtMag advert. ArtMag is a free publication which can be found in most galleries throughout Scotland.
Our show "Animal Inspirations" which includes my year long project "Whisper of the Sith" is now showing at Gallery Heinzel until the 1st June.

You can preview all the works for sale on the Gallery website. Gallery Heinzel subscribes to the Own Art Scheme which gives interest free loans on original artworks (payable over a 10 month period and subject to credit check).


Two Little Wrens
My next two bird pieces were both Wrens- so tiny and cute and round. They are both on the theme of "Love". The next one is in progress and will be a wise Barn Owl, one of my favourite birds to return to, look out for it soon. The birds will be part of my June exhibition at Peterculter Heritage Hall.

 I Give You My Heart- Ink & Gold Leaf- Original Reserved

The Key to My Heart - Ink & Gold Leaf

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Take me where the wind blows

Here is my next little bird piece. This one is about freedom and being spontaneous. I love to watch the swallows and swifts at this time of year darting about and making their nests and knowing that their sense of "home" is just a fleeting seasonal thing.
I have a disability which requires careful management and "pacing" so just popping out to do something new and spontaneous is difficult and I "forget" to try new things often because of that, sometimes just seeing my obvious limitations. My idea of being spontaneous is often something really mundane like matching up my sock drawer and although this feels like an achievement its not really and truly something "fun".  
So another little "affirmation" piece to remind me to try harder at finding fun things to do :) I hope it makes you think of having adventures too (however big or small). 

Take me where the wind blows- Ink & Gold Leaf

Reserved for a customer

Friday, 10 May 2013

Time Holds the Key

Today was a nice day and I got to thinking how the heavy spring showers made everything look so green and fresh, even my old blind cat seemed to enjoy the rain today and I found myself watching the birds from my window- three fat wood pigeons (which really need to find themselves into my art soon), a rather nosy blackbird and a huge crow who took a long time preening and cleaning.

I had some great news that another of my Whisper of the Sith pieces has sold at Gallery Heinzel- "The Queen of Elphane" and tonight is also the opening preview of The Aberdeen Artists Society Exhibition at the Art Gallery. Mum has kindly agreed to go along and give me a review of the night, as I'm not well enough to go in person, so she should be quaffing wine and enjoying the art right about now :)

My new planned works are mainly more birds and maybe some wildlife thrown into the mix. I am preparing for a small works show in June so that will keep me busy this month.

Here is the first new one "Time Holds the Key"- Ink and Gold Leaf

I am trying to achieve a connection with nature whilst transferring very human notions and ways of thinking in these new bird pieces. When I post my works online I often get people giving their interpretations of my work which I love. I guess the idea of this blog was to explain my "thinking" behind each piece. I've just about got used to that now so here's a bit about this one-
I used a cuckoo to represent "time" as the bird has been immortalised as so many little wooden effigies in the classic cuckoo clock timepiece. It's a reminder of the constant that is "time" and about living in the moment. Not so much a spiritual piece but one of quiet contemplation and noticing "the small things". Maybe also a reminder that the "bigger picture" is always blissfully out of reach and if we think too much, work to hard, forget to stop and pace then we miss so much and time moves on relentless and regardless.
I think this piece is a little "affirmation" to myself and my need to rush against time more often than not. I hope you like it and can relate to it too.

Original now reserved for a customer 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Whisper of the Sith Exhibition and More Good News

Thank you to everyone that came down to the opening of our Gallery Heinzel show "Animal Inspirations" where my Whisper of the Sith works are on show. I've had some really lovely feedback and 2 pieces have sold already in the opening few days.

I'm hoping you all have a chance to get down there and see the works in person.  The gallery subscribes to the "Own Art" scheme which means that you can pay for original artworks over a 10 month period (interest free) so its a great way to collect (subject to credit checks).

Gallery Heinzel
Thistle Street
Exhibition Dates 27th April- 1st June

Sold Works

Whisper of the Sith

My other exciting news is that "Jackalope Garden" was accepted into the Aberdeen Artists Society Juried Show which takes place at Aberdeen Art Gallery every year. Its our biggest juried art event and I am very honoured that she will be shown in such a grand setting. The show opens soon and I will share the dates when I get them.

Jackalope Garden

I have been doing a little set of ACEO drawings based on Mythical Creatures and the Jackalope has appeared once more. ACEO's are trading card size (2.5" by 3.5"). Thought I'd share this fun little fella (others include a Unicorn, Dragon and Sith Cat). These minis are for The Bad Apples Artist Collective Birthday ACEO Auction. The theme was "pink".

Candyfloss Jackalope

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My finished dragon girl piece, she will be flying off to her new home soon.

Today I'm doing a fun little ACEO project- One will be a Robot for the Whimsical Lush Bot-Off and then a few of these miniatures for the Bad Apple Artist Collective ACEO Auction, to celebrate our first birthday.