Friday, 28 June 2013

Drawing Down the Moon

Drawing Down the Moon

I finished my piece for L'innamorato at the PottersWife Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana later this year (Sept)
The exhibition is curated by Dan Hudson and Aunia Kahn and I'm very happy to be invited to take part.
The theme loosely translates as The Enamoured and we were asked to explore an interpretation of moments, feelings, experiences which have left a sense of awe.

The particular feeling I chose to explore was a slight "out of body" sensation at times when you are reduced to feeling very insignificant in the scheme of things, and not in a bad way, just in a very humbling way.

I once had this sensation whilst looking at our moon, thinking of the hold it has on our planet. The realisation of the vastness of the universe and how we are such a tiny speck in comparison, for a moment those thoughts became a blank, an timeless lapse of not "being". I am still enamoured by the moon and it features very often in my work as a constant that has a hold on us and inspires awe and wonder. "Drawing Down the Moon" is a wiccan expression of drawing power from the moon and I think it fitted well with the piece.

The other time I experienced a similar feeling was coming face to face with a fully grown tiger. I guess being seen as a bit of meat will remind you of your own insignificance pretty well.
Years ago I was lucky enough to have a behind the scenes tour at London Zoo where a friend of mine works. The moment the tiger came in to be fed just feet away from us and fixed you in his gaze I had that feeling, the hairs stood up on my neck and I just felt that "reduction to nothing" in the face of such beauty. There were some lovely experiences with the big cats that day, we got to scritch the old lion through the bars, he seemed to love the attention, stretching full height so we could stroke at his tummy and measure our hands against his paws. What will always stay with me most of all is the Tigers direct gaze.
So I chose to put a cat in my piece, the kitty is based on some sketches of my cat "Coco" although the markings are different. Coco is no tiger, but sometimes I think she thinks she is, like most cats probably.
 I also have an little nod to Ancient Egypt with the Ankh and the "worship of cats". It is safe to say I have been "enamoured" by cats for a long time.

We chose a really ornate frame for this piece, something different for me and I'll try to share some pics before she heads off overseas.

Drawing Down the Moon- Ink & Gold Leaf on Illustration Board

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Sent With Love
Here is the little blue tit I have been working on. We have a pair of these cuties in the garden just now, they are busy building a nest and its so sweet to watch them work as a team- Their new home appears to be in the top of one of the drying green poles, which happened a few years back too.
It's a little love token piece and maybe a "house-warming" gift,  for our new fluffy blue neighbours.

This one is framed in a sweet vintage style frame with an arched cut mount and will be a new addition to the exhibition "Folklore, Figures & Feathers" currently at St Peters Heritage Hall, Station Road East, Peterculter, Aberdeen. I'm showing my recent bird works alongside some beautiful portraiture and figuritive works from Tracey Swift. We are open each weekend, Sat & Sun 2pm-4pm during June. If you want to pop along for a chat and a cuppa, we will both be there.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Along Came A Spider
I just finished my "spider" piece. It's called "Arachnid" and is for the Bad Apples Artist Collective monthly drawing theme which was "phobia".
I don't think I have a phobia of spiders as such, I can happily play with a little "money" spider or watch one weave its web at my window, the big exotic ones are quite fascinating and beautiful too although I'm not sure I'd fair well face to face with one. The spiders that make me shiver are the huge and very very fast garden spiders which sometimes appear in the house, they kind of sneak up on you and skitter along really fast all raised up on their long leggy legs (I know they have the long legs to carry their young or eggs underneath them but it still freaks me out a bit and my partner is definitely in charge of catching those and escorting them back outside).So I kind of "cheated" on the theme as I wanted to draw something pretty and I know Arachnophobia is a common one. Maybe its more about getting over a fear of spiders :)

"Arachnid"- Ink Drawing. 

The original will be up for auction or purchase on the Bad Apples Facebook page from the 28th June- Please ask if you would like more details on her in the meantime.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Seeking Wren
Another little birdie piece complete- This one is the first in a pair of "Hide and Seek" wrens that I'm working on. If you have young children you will know all about computer games but there is nothing more fun than all those old traditional playground and street games. I think we forget how to stop and "play" when we get older outside of organised sports and things so these drawings are about the "importance of play" at any age. Next time you are crossing a stream, why not stop for a game of Pooh Sticks (guaranteed to make you smile).

On the Drawing Board
Sometimes I will draw and ink an artwork to completion and other times I might have a few drawings that are just bursting out and anxious to get onto the paper. Right now I have a few of these that I'm working on and hope to share them soon- I have a "spider" piece for the Bad Apples monthly theme "Phobia", A Frog Prince, Leda and the Swan and my Drawing Down the Moon piece in various "stages". Look forward to sharing them with you soon. This little wren is waiting for its "play mate" too and there is a blue tit in the works.

Hope to squeeze in some play time today too as the sun is out :))

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Drawing Down the Moon
I have started a quick sketch which will hopefully become my piece for a themed show in the US later in the year. Much more to come and I thought I'd open up a post just for this set of WIPS and more news about the show. Its the first International curated show that I have been invited to show in and I'm really looking forward to it. Watch this space...

Drawing more or less worked out and here is the first bit of inking....

Silence is Golden
My latest piece is about enjoying silence and solitude, both things I find help my creativity. One of my favourite times to draw is late evening just after my partner has gone to bed and my little drawing space feels still and silent. After a while I become very aware of "nature noises" like the rush of the river behind our house and then the owls start hooting, I guess they are quite noisy but I never think of those sounds as breaking the silence if that makes any sense.
I chose a little screech owl as his very name seems like an absolute "racket" but I'm sure he has his quiet moments and I'm sure he must enjoy them as much as I do.
So far I have not spotted an owl in the wild here but clearly there are many right outside my window and one day I'm going to venture out in the night and see if I can find one of my drawing companions. I have a very happy memory of an encounter with a Barn Owl whilst holidaying in the East Neuk of Fife last year, he swooped right down past my head and it was such a thrill to see that spectral flash of cream against the black and starry sky. My first wild Owl encounter and I hope not the last, my own "neighbours" are being more elusive for now.   

Silence is Golden- Ink & Gold Leaf on Illustration Board- Original on Hold for Junction Arts Birthday Exhibition "Bird"