I have been wanting to use a cozy homestead as the focus of an illustration for a long time. The palette in this week's challenge seemed to suit the mood of a cozy, indoors moment. I sometimes wonder if I should begin illustrating more often as I find so much joy in creating worlds rather than mimicking what I see on a landscape. What you see is somewhat of a dream home for me: kitty cat by the wood burner, comfy chair and clothes, warm cuppa, Georgian window, a sweater waiting to be knit, stacks of books to be read, and socks warming naturally. Hope you feel cozy and at home when you look through.
I sketched in the darkest color on the palette so I would have the definition at the end (see picture one). Then working in thirds I applied the three additional colors. What I mean by "working in thirds" is I added three locations for each color to make the piece feel balanced. Then I could add dabs here and there to create more depth (see pictures two and three). Once the initial watercolor was painted I then went in with watercolor pencil to add details to items like the flower pot, curtains, and yarn. It was somewhat difficult to mix the colors correctly but made it in the end!
In a recent trip to Holkham Beach, I found footprint patterns littering the sand. I was followed the path of the beach-skittering birds had taken, enamored with the simplicity and beauty of their print. After photographing a number of them, I have recreated these prints into shapes with watercolor. I plan to create a new pattern design for my product shops.
My photo library is filled with bits and pieces of inspiration. These photos are taken of landscapes, a quirky position of colorful umbrellas, scraps of broken plate on the ground, patterns in brick lines – anything that catches my eye by marking the checkboxes of shape, form, color, function, balance, so on and so forth. Each of these photos is kept until used, though some have been neglected for years. But all this to say, process is not instantaneous. It takes time and consideration, needs to be true to the world at that time.
Each person has their way of using inspiration. What's yours? Comment below.
I'm pleased to reveal the final 2020 commission piece. It was the sole project for the last two months and I'm so incredibly pleased and proud of how it has come to life.
I have to be honest – it was incredibly difficult to keep this commission a secret for so long. The piece was a Christmas gift and it had to be kept a secret as its for one of my amazing friends. During our last catch-up he mentioned wanting something for his house and I had to steer him into not buying something until "after Christmas". I'm not one to be devious so this was terribly difficult!
We visited Belvoir Castle this past weekend. It is a family favorite. The home is so lovely and who doesn't love visiting a film set? (The Crown was filmed here!) We always end up with an arm load of future presents for the girls, goodies for a delicious meal, and one-of-a-kind loose leaf tea from the Engine Yard. As we drove into the car park, there is a rolling view of the fields below the castle that are magnificent. In an artist daze, I left my family and wandered towards the view snapping photos as I traveled. Don't worry, my husband is used to this by now :) Below is the first painting created the day afterwards.
Collectors will have the chance to browse the Just Beyond collection in a beautiful and modern virtual exhibition space. By using a computer mouse or keyboard arrows, one can "walk" through the space and view the artwork on the walls.
I'll be reshooting my artwork this weekend (morning light has beens superb lately) and get my art into the virtual gallery in time for the Collectors-only pre-launch on September 4th. I'm considering one wing for the framed originals and one wing for giclée prints.
If you build an exhibition, send me the link as I never turn down a gallery visit.
(Flow of consciousness entry) Exploring the qualities of the complex relationship between mother and child, in addition to the self (adult female and mother). My initial thoughts are to create representational shapes of the roles. How do they interact? How do they interpret each other? Maybe think magnets - cycle of repelling and drawing closer, repel, draw, repeat. What shape is a child? What shape is a female or a mother?
In response to a quick sketch exercise created, a friend mentioned 3-D glasses. This has stuck with me as I think through how this relationship would be best described or transcribed or created or... . The layering of two colors, the creation of another color where overlapped is quite representational of this relationship. Cyan and yellow, green? Magenta and yellow, orange? Is magenta associated with female too often? Would blue be too strong or infer different meaning? Could I use ink? Watercolor? Screen print? My brain is completely overflowing right now! More to come.
"Bourgeois uses the spider, both predator (a sinister threat) and protector (an industrious repairer), to symbolise the mother figure."
I first learned of Louise Bourgeois in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Gardens in Washington, DC. This was in our pre-kids era and we used to go for jazz and sangria on hot summer nights, dipping our toes in the pond. Wandering through the gardens, my intense fear of spiders kept me from one of the most fascinating interpretations of the "mother". It wasn't until I visited the Bilbao Guggenheim that I really felt a connection with these sculptures (still couldn't touch them though) and the artist Louise Bourgeois.
Quietly exploring her exhibition space along, my husbands rocking our sleeping one year-old, I realized some of my negative feelings and experiences toward "Hollywood" motherhood were being validated in an unexpected and pleasing way. Even now, thinking back, I'm not sure I can put the experience into words; I just remember the experience being quiet and loud, and eerie and comforting, simultaneously. To say the very least, it was unforgettable.
However, all that being said, I have been looking back in my archives and found this screen print from my days at university. Created with canary paper and conté crayon, the piece displays a struggle of two selves contained in one body. It seems internal struggles have always peaked my interest! I am thinking of taking this piece and using it as a baseline for my next fourth trimester series.
As always, would love your thoughts.
So I began to think, "Well, what can I change? Where do I start? What do I know? I know women. I know motherhood. I have felt the struggles. I'll start there." So by combining my fervor for the BIPOC community with that of women's struggles, the Beach Women collection was born.
- "Girl" has been defined as human female child
- "Lady" has been defined as a polite or formal way of referring to a woman or a woman of good social position
- "Woman" has been defined as adult human female
Names are very, very strong. These paintings are most decidedly women of unnoticeable class but noticeable age. I have changed my language and used the correct term to reflect this finding. In correcting this error, I'm now interested to find the definitions of nouns given to adult human females and help others identify the correct terms to use when regarding an adult human female. Below is a list that will be updated throughout time.
While most of my paintings have been architectural lately, the pictures I had taken from a past trip to Bergen, Norway have recently caught my interest. I've had trouble with mountains and depicting the many trees, rocks, angles, etc. with watercolors. This is my process for this particular fjords piece.
Bergen has recently come back vividly into my memory with the reclamation of an old laptop. It's just short of a miracle to have all of my photos and videos from 2016-2018 back.
This is a cityscape view of Bergen during a walk to the KODE modern art museum.