Thursday, 21 April 2011

blog break - back in May

I have been a very good blogger this last couple of weeks by blogging on a more regular basis, and trying to keep my blog posts short and sweet and to the point, whilst sprinkling in a few features to keep it fresh and interesting. I'm having a wee break until after all the bank Holiday weekends are over, it's going to be manic at work so a break will be good. I will be back at the beginning of May, with lots of new work to share with you and hopefully some more news on tea towels, galleries and new stockists! Until then.... be good and I'll see you next month!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Featuring .... Natasha Newton - artist

In my quest to make my blog a bit more varied and interesting for you all I have decided (as you might already know) to write a feature each week on an artists whose work I really like. This week it is the turn of the talented Natasha Newton, a professional artist and illustrator living and working in Suffolk, England and Paris, France.

She has exhibited with many galleries throughout the UK, and her work has been selected several times for major shows in London, including winning an award at The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours Annual Exhibition. She is currently showing work on a permanent basis with the Serena Hall Gallery in Southwold, Suffolk, Snape Maltings Gallery, Suffolk, and McAllister Thomas Fine Art of Godalming, Surrey.

Her inspirations and influences are wide and varied, but her recent work centres around her love of nature, birds, and a deep fascination with the moon and the stars. Her artwork - once described as 'simultaneously charming and edgy' - often has a slightly surreal or dream-like quality, and has been compared to the work of artists such as Charley Harper, Maurice Sendak and Edward Gorey, among others. I just love the muted colour pallette that continues effortlessly throughout her work, and her images are so dreamlike in style.

You can catch up with her on her blog here and also browse through her portfolio and older work on her website here

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Side by Side

This is another piece that has gone off to be framed, and it's one of the larger pieces on A3 textured paper. This one was particularly inspired by the topiary trees I saw at Thorp Perrow a couple of weeks ago, and I have really enjoyed making these new pieces. It's called Side by Side and features 4 trees with resident birds. I'll hopefully be releasing all of these new pieces as prints too, so watch out in the Folksy Shop if you like them, you'll be able to get your hands on them very soon!!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Our shelter

Happy Monday everyone and I trust you all had a good weekend. I did, the weather was gorgeous and we just had a weekend at home seeing friends and pottering around. I tried to get Glastonbury tickets again and was as unlucky as last time, so that's it until 2013, will just have to watch it on the TV. Never mind, worse things could happen, quite disappointing but on the plus side I've saved myself at least £500!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

the tree with no name

This is another new piece, as yet nameless, but I'll be having a think this week to come up with something for it. I quite like to go with lyrics from songs for my titles but I'm not getting the musical inspiration I need for this one possibly due to my failure to obtain tickets for Glastonbury on the ticket resale this morning :-( I will get over it, it's just a bit disappointing, after the amazing time we had last year!

I have been  wanting to introduce colour into my work for a while and have been trying different ways of doing this, from collage,which looked ok-ish, layered textured backgrounds (too fussy and detracting from the image) and finally settling on watercolour, which I think looks quite nice thank you very much. It still enables me to use the ink pens I so like to use, but also gives a bit more interest with the varying shades and tones of the paint. I just hope they go down as well as the black and white pictures....

Well, it's nearly Easter, and I can't believe how this year is flying by again. We are about to have one of the busiest weeks ever at work (everyone and their dog will be wanting their repeat prescription, which will no doubt lead to lots of problems and stresses) so an early night for me tonight after a rather gorgeous weekend. Will be blogging in the week and then from Thursday I'll be having a wee break from it for a while, to recharge the batteries, spend some time away from the computer, and think of some new things to tell you about on my return. The tea towels have been ordered this week so I'm hoping that they will be delivered very soon too!!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Never be Lonely

this is one of eight pieces of work that went off to the framers yesterday. I didn't realise how many new pieces I had done until I sat down and counted them and I got quite a nice surprise. I've been quite a busy girl recently, but then that was the plan, as all of my work is now out in galleries and I had run out of originals to take to new galleries. Sooooo, I'll post a picture of each new piece throughout this week, and hopefully get on with some more new work. I think 'creativity' can be so elusive sometimes (looking back to the beginning of the year I didn't think I was going to have a new idea ever again!!) that I really feel I need to make the most of my creative flow at the moment, so I'll be spending my spare moments up in my studio at the top of the garden this weekend and through the week.

Friday, 15 April 2011

being out and about

yesterday I had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with a good friend out at Newstead Abbey sketching and it was just what the doctor ordered. It was fantastic to be in the great outdoors in the fresh air getting new inspiration from the beautiful surroundings. I got some great new tree ideas and it's just the right time of year to be able to see the real tree shapes before the leaves come out. It was also great to be able to chat to a fellow creative and bounce ideas and aspirations around. We both made some good decisions about how we want to progress this year and there are some big ideas on the 'to-do' list now!! Watch this space....

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Featuring... Claudia Pearson Illustration

My sister brought this gorgeous work to my attention last week when she sent me the link to the website of Claudia Pearson, an illustrator who studied Graphic Design at our very own Brighton Polytechnic with a first classes Honours Degree. She now lives over the pond in Brooklyn, NY and her work is just lovely. She has had work published in the New York Times, The Big Book of Illustration, and the New Yorker to name but a few and she has recently has her first childrens books published. Her Etsy shop is choc-full of her gorgeous prints of her illustrations, I particularly love the 'foodie' themed work as well as her print of the houses 'Houses all in a Row' which is available in a selection of colours to suit any room. She also has a great range of tea towels and recipe books, I may have to put a couple of these on my wish-list!!

Claudia also blogs regularly and you can read all about what she is up to here and you can also follow her on twitter here

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Balman Gallery, Corbridge, Northumberland

I'm very pleased to announce a new stockist in the North East, The Balman Gallery in Corbridge. It is based in a gorgeous Grade 2 listed Town Hall Building in the centre of Corbridge (which, by the way, has some amazing shops, delis, and eateries too) and they show a range of art and craft, from ceramics to fine art shown over tow floors of light and airy exhibition space. I went to meet them a few weeks ago and they were very interested in working together so I left some of my framed originals and will have some of my greetings cards winging their way to them later this week.

If you are anywhere near Corbridge you should definitely stop by and have a browse, they have some amazing work there, and to be honest I'm feeling very privileged to be working with them. Andy and Gavin were very helpful and gave me some great advice, I'm really looking forward to working with them in the future. If you want to find out a little bit more about them you can visit their website here

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

more topiary

i've got to make the most of all these ideas and plenty of sketching time at the moment, it's all good and I'm really enjoying the process!! Hopefully soon I'll have lots more work to take to the framers so I can get it out to galleries as soon as possible.
I also have a day out at Newstead Abbey planned for later in the week (weather permitting) so fingers crossed I will get even more ideas and inspiration from  the beautiful gardens there.

Monday, 11 April 2011

trimmed and tidy

I hope you have all had a great weekend, once again it's Monday morning and I now have three days at work before I can get in the studio again. This weekend has been abso-bloody-lutely amazing weather in the UK, and it has meant that our plans for decorating our lounge were very short lived (well, we did half of it) before we abandoned that idea and transferred to the garden. We are now all trimmed and tidy, potatoes, peas and runner beans are all planted and we are weedless too. I tell you what you, when you haven't gardened for a while it does make you ache. Yesterday when I (tried) to get out of bed I felt about 80 and could hardly move, in fact thats probably an insult to 80 year olds, I had muscles I didn't know still worked!!

Anyhoo, all this activity has meant I also have loads of new work to show you. I'm attempting a series of topiary trees to run alongside my birds and trees. Still working on getting the trunks right but hey, it has been good to just some new stuff down on paper. Will show you more throughout the week. have a good day.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

tea towels......

I just HAD to share these pictures of my final tea towel designs, the proofs arrived on Thursday and I can't wait to get the order, 100 of each, and another design in the pipeline.... another little thing ticked off my list of things I want to do..... things are really starting to happen here now!! Once I have the order delivered they will be going on sale in my Folksy shop and should also be available to buy at my other outlets, which I will let you know about at the time. Have a great weekend in the sunshine everyone!!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Work in Progress - more blossom

This isn't what I thought I would be working on today, but it is what I am working on today!! In fact I have started three new pieces today, two in colour and one in black and white. While the paints on the first two were drying I started the black and white topiary piece but when the colours on 1 and 2  had dried I just had to get on with them. Once I had started with the black ink work I couldn't seem to tear myself away and the hours have ticked by with only the sound of the iPod on shuffle playing my fave songs and the birds singing outside. It's quite addictive as once the form of the tree begins to take shape I just can't wait until it's done so find it hard to stop until it's finished!! Although now I really can't ignore the rumbling tummy telling me it's time to eat something so I thought I'd come and share my pics with you and have a cup of tea!!

I just love feeling like this, loads of ideas and not enough time to get them all down on paper!! It makes the creative void that was January seem a million miles away, thank goodness!!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Featuring... MaiAutumn - Christine Lindstrom

I promised you a new slot on this blog featuring artsist whose work I have discovered on Etsy/Folksy etc. As you know I have a bit of thing going on with 'birds' at the moment so I just have to share these gorgeous images which belong to the talented Christine Lindstrom.
Christine was raised in central New Jersey and enjoys cooking, gardening and reading many, many books. She received her BA in painting in 2008 and is currently living in Asbury Park, NJ. You can see her beautiful work in her Etsy shop here. As well as her paintings and illusrations she also designs jewellery and home decor. She has been featured in quite a few US magazines so it's well worth taking a look at her work. You can also see more in her website here and read up about what she is up to on her blog here  It's a real feast of eye-candy so why not pop by and have a look.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

initial sketches

and here are the beginnings of my new work!! Very sketchy and just getting the hang of these new topiary shapes but I have big plans for this... starting tomorrow I have two full studio days of painting and drawing... bliss!! Watch this space and I'll be showing you the fruits of my labours (hopefully)!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

inspiration for new work

wouldya take a look at these funky trees? I found them on a day out with my Mam last weekend when we went to Thorp Perrow near Bedale in North Yorkshire. They have given me some fab new ideas for bird and tree illustrations which I started working on yesterday. At the moment they are just a rough bunch of sketches in my trusty sketchbook but on Thursday they will hopefully be transformed into something bigger and better!! And I have some new pens too... roll on Thursday... only one more day to work and I'm in the studio...

Monday, 4 April 2011

blossom tree

finally finished this weekend, and I'm extremely pleased with the results. I was aiming to introduce some colour but didn't want to lose the clarity and wanted to keep the image clean and tidy. This is the first completed piece in my new series of trees.
The next ones I am going to work on were started in my lunch break today with a few quick sketches in my sketchbook. I can't wait to show you them and am REALLY looking forward to my studio days at the end of the week. Watch this space people....

Sunday, 3 April 2011

blossom tree in progress...

I've had a great Mothers Day up North with my folks, in fact an amazing whole long-weekend with my family, the weather has been good and I also visited a new Gallery, who have taken some of my framed work and, as a result, I now have no originals left here at home... which means I REALLY have to get my ass into gear and get some new work made and framed as soon as possible. I have three new galleries who want to see my work.... eek!!

This is the 'Blossom Tree' and it's nearly finished. It was inspired by all of the gorgeous trees out in blossom at the moment. I'll post some pics of the finished work this week, but I also have some new ideas brewing, inspired by a visit yesterday with my Mam, to Thorp Perrow in Yorkshire. The daffs were out in their full spring-like splendour but there was also a row of topiary trees which I have taken lots of photos of and can't wait to translate into ink..... oooh, v exciting!!!

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