The First Day of The Rest Of My Life

Last night when I went to bed I leant over to switch my bedside lamp off and just out of the corner of my eye I caught a movement on the front of my bedside cabinet. I looked down to see what it was and there was a butterfly just settling down on the drawer at the top of the cabinet. I watched it for a couple of minutes while it folded it’s wings up into a horizontal position. I wondered where it had come from and how it was even here on a really cold day in January. I managed to gently scoop up the butterfly and let it go out of the window and, as it flew away, it occurred to me that just the day before I had done this sketch of the very same butterfly, what a strange coincidence!

butterfly

I then had to look up the symbolism for butterflies and I found this:

 

2017 The Year In Review

There have been some fantastice mural projects for me this year!

I completed a few animal portraits too!

And also made a few crochet items in my spare time

After 5 years of teaching life drawing to Hen Parties, this year I taught my first Stag Parties!

hen party UK

 

It’s been a productive year!

Here’s looking forward to whatever 2018 will bring!

 

Purbeck Art Weeks_Venue 44

SPhotoEditor-20170531_090508

Laura Evans and guest artist Nina Camplin

Printmaking, paintings and contemporary lampshades

Laura Evans is a fine art print maker specializing in collagraphs and monoprints. Pulling on her background in archaeology and love of the British landscape her work is rich in colour and texture. Her printed fabrics incorporate her love of plants with contemporary design creating vibrant lamps, Laura takes commissions on lampshades and cushions. Nina Camplin wildlife paintings on recycled canvasses.

Location:

7 Sherford Close, Northmoor, Wareham, BH20 4JL

Open:

10.00am-12.00pm & 1.00pm-4.00pm

Directions:

From Poole on A351 turn right onto Northmoor estate, turn left then 1st right down Sherford Drive, drive to the end

Access:

Wheelchair Access

painting collage

IMG_20161211_093145

https://purbeckartweeks.co.uk/venues/44

Purbeck Art Weeks _ one week to go

A5 poster PAW

With only a week left to prepare for Purbeck Art Weeks I imagine many local artists are frantically doing all the last minute preparations before opening their studios to the public.

Whether it is framing, mounting or trying to squeeze in some last pieces of work before the doors open, I expect everyone will be now feeling the pressure. After months of thinking ‘no need to worry, there is loads of time to do that…….’ it has suddenly come around so quickly!

Being a guest artist at Laura Evans’ venue means I am relieved of all the extra stress of having to make sure the house is clean and presentable on top of getting the work ready and I am extremely grateful to Laura for that! As I am not based in the Purbeck area, it would not have been possible for me to take part in this event if not for her kindly allowing me into her home.

Although I do not live in the Purbeck area, many of my previous mural work has been based around there, most recently being the large ‘retro’ poster mural at Swanage Railway.

DSC_1052

It was largely due to the amount of mural work I have done in the Purbeck area that I used to be an honorary member of PAW back in the days when it first started and often took part in the Art Weeks, as well as producing the brochure, until 2010.

The work I shall be showing for PAW this year will be mostly my wildlife paintings produced on recycled canvasses, which have been picked up from car boot sales or scavenged from other people’s junk.

My interest in wildlife painting started when my husband took up photography and we began to spend a lot of time in local nature reserves while he practised capturing birds in flight.

I have several reasons for using recycled canvasses, the main one being that I hate to start work on a brand new blank canvas, I find it a bit intimidating and worry about making a wrong mark or spoiling the surface. Whereas the used canvas is already marked and often has a unique surface texture, which I love! I like to allow parts of the original image to show through within the finished piece, giving the work a character it would not have if it been done on a new canvas. We live in a ‘throw away’ society and I just hate to see waste. I have lots of old work that I would never show again as it is not relevant to where I am now as an artist, so I often paint over my old paintings too.

I am looking forward to taking part in PAW again after so many years break and hope to see you when you come to visit Laura and myself at Venue 44.

For more information about this event please visit the PAW website at https://purbeckartweeks.co.uk

I shall give a list of dates that I will be at the venue closer to the time, I shall try to be there as much as possible, but I know that I will not be there on Saturdays due to my commitment of Life Drawing with the hen parties taking place every weekend.

Pyrography 3

new forest pony_pyrography3

I went to the Wood Fair at Dorset Coppice Group, Bonsley Wood on Saturday and picked up a lovely piece of Hazel wood, which still had the bark on 2 edges. I then cut this piece up into 4 smaller pieces on Sunday and used one of them for my 3rd Pyrography ‘painting’ today “New Forest Pony”.

 

Amigurumi Crochet Animal_Frida the Flamingo

Frida the flamingo3

At my crochet class last week one of my ladies brought in a project she was having difficulties with, it was a pattern for an Amigurumi frog and she had some strange puckering on the rows where the stitches decreased to form the shape of the body. She wanted to try Frida the Flamingo next so asked me to take a look at the pattern to see if I could work out what she was doing wrong.

I had do do a little research as, although I had seen patterns for them, I had never made an Amigurumi animal before. I discovered that Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. Reading up about it on Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amigurumi

I learnt that the Japanese used an invisible decrease stitch that I had not seen before, so I then found a youtube video that showed how to do it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPnIYYNC1oU

Frida the flamingo2

I went on to try the pattern for Frida the Flamingo using the invisible decrease stitch and it gave a beautiful smooth finish, so I decided to finish making the whole animal.

 

I noticed that the rows did not mention any kind of slip stitch at the end or chain stitch for the next row, but appeared to work continuously in a spiral so I had to put a marker in at the beginning of each row so I knew where it ended. I found this helped to make the body flawless as there was no change to the pattern where the rows changed.

The final toy measured 27cm (10.5in) from the base of the body to the top of the head and took me roughly 8 hours to make. In the original pattern the legs were much shorter and were made with pipe cleaners inside, but I thought this was probably not a good idea if the toy was given to a baby or young child so I stuffed mine with 4 strands of ultra chunky wool and left them dangly.

I am not able to post the pattern here due to copyright, but if you want to have a go at making your own Amigurumi Flamingo I did find a free download version for a Baby Flamingo:

https://amigurumi.today/crochet-baby-flamingo-amigurumi-pattern