Monday, 31 March 2008


This is Stanley. He is an eight week old Rottweiler and, unfortunately, not mine. He is my sister's. She already has one dog called Oz (pictured fast asleep) and Stanley is running him ragged. Don't let the sleepy photos fool you. Oz is not amused, I can tell you. The looks of disdain Oz gives us speaks volumes. Anyway, I was puppy sitting yesterday and, boy, does Stanley have energy. I have not been so tired in ages. (I went to bed at 9pm last night and slept for twelve hours!) However, try as I might I just could not get him to pose for pictures. Every time he sat down and looked cute I didn't have enough time to grab the camera before he was up again and running, chewing, jumping and doing a few less savoury issues that I will not mention. However, having him come to visit will give me an opportunity to do some sketches. I hope I will post some soon.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Playing Favourites

Seth at The Altered Page has been running a project recently called The Pulse. It aims to connect artists with one another and to inspire creativity and communication. Well, in my opinion the project goes well beyond this. The current phase is called Playing Favourites - a blog based exhibition of artists' favourite pieces that they have produced themselves. It is a wonderful collection of artwork by more than 45 artists from all over the world - including me. There are books, paintings, collages and assemblage, to name but a few. Every day there is a new medium on display. Please, go take a look. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

House of fun

During my web travels a few weeks ago I noticed that miniature, collaged houses are becoming popular. Or have been popular for a while and I have just found out which is entirely possible as I tend to be one step behind everyone else. The shapes range from simple, arrow shapes to slightly more elaborate ones. So I figured it was time to call in Super Gill - mistress of templates again. Whenever I see something that takes my fancy - an unusual card shape, a box or base for a collage, I design my own template. Being a sucker for detail I enjoy figuring out how things are put together. So I looked at the houses other people had made and came up with my own design. I have posted a few of the finished houses here.

Saturday, 22 March 2008


My favourite web sites are those involving books so Amazon plays a big part in my life. The other day I was browsing through it when I came across Luxury Ducks like this one . I chose the tartan one for obvious reasons (I'm Scottish) but they come in a wide variety of colours and patterns. I love rubber ducks. They always look so self satisfied. So these ones took my fancy. But they also got me thinking - why not collage my own duck. Not a propper rubber duck but a flat, card version. So in pops Super Gill - mistress of templates (AKA me) and rattled off a duck template. My first collaged and decorated duckies are included here. Considering it is Easter I figured it was topical and they are just a bit of springtime fun. I have also included my Star Wars inchies, mentioned in the last post.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Lord of the Inchies

I have added a few pictures here of things I have been making recently. Some more microscope slides and some inchies. Someone on the 1x1 Inchies group made a suggestion for a new swap this week. I suspect she did not expect very much attention to be paid to the suggestion but, wow! Everyone was so enthusiastic. Her suggestion? A Star Trek inchie swap. I have been a member of several Yahoo groups for a couple of years and have not seen a suggestion be accepted with such enthusiasm. The idea expanded and evolved over the week and now we are having a Star Wars and Lord of the Rings swap too. The Yahoo art groups I am a member of seem to be made up primarily of women but it seems there are a huge number of sci-fi and fantasy fans among them. I am so pleased. I grew up with sci-fi and fantasy. My Dad was, and still is, a huge fan so it rubbed off on me. So my first set of inchies were made last night and I have added the photo here. The inchies are simply a layered background of white and green with silver embossed edges. I made tiny ivy leaf embellishments like the cloak fasteners given to the fellowship in the first LotR movie. I used polymer clay and silver plated wire and drove myself one step further to insanity in the process. The LotR swap isn't due until the summer but I was inspired and now at least they will be made in time. Today I am working on the Star Wars ones (due in April) and will post them once finished.

Thank you!

I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who commented on my recent drawings. It was so nice to read such supportive comments. It certainly helped me and I have been getting on with my assignment drawings. They will be finished soon.

In related news - today I accepted my first commission in over a year. A lady who bought one of my paintings last year asked me to paint her cat. The poor kitty is not very well and not expected to live so it really is something special. I hope I can do the cat justice.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

No arty party

So, I have been doing this art course for a few weeks now. How's it going? Slowly. I was so up for this course. It was meant to rejuvenate my desire to paint. However, I knew the first assignment involved drawing non-animal elements and realised that it would be a problem. I was right. I have been struggling to draw some fruit and a plant. And I chose those two items because they were as near natural objects as I could get - the alternatives being spanners and tools, saucepans, a jam jar of pencils or a pile of washing up. To quote Dorothy Parker (I think), 'Oh, what fresh hell is this!!!' I cannot put into words how much I HATE still life. My tutor figures that she can tell alot about an artist's ability by seeing these items in graphite. I'm struggling. It's not that I can't draw them - I am just not inspired to draw them. I can find a million and one things to do instead of sitting down and tackling them. Anyway, enough complaining. The assignment will be done. I'm not having it any other way (that's my stubborn streak talking). On the plus side the final part of the assignment is to draw a really cute labrador from a photo. That is when the fun starts. I have scanned the apples I have drawn and the unfinished pot plant as a way of kicking myself into action. If I put them up here I will feel obliged to keep going with them and not take too long about it. That's the theory anyway.


You would think spammers have better things to do with their time than skip through arty blogs adding their 'links' to the comments section. It would seem that my blog is particularly attractive to them. Last week I quietly returned to non-moderated comments hoping the danger had passed (and hoping that the spammers had read the post below - silly me). Unfortunately more spam comments were added today. Can you tell I'm annoyed? I really appreciate that people leave comments for me and it angers me that some folk use this facility to pass on information that is neither relevant or appropriate. The offence to others that might be caused is also a worry. I hate that people cannot see their comments immediately now. It gives a sense of satisfaction to see one's comments straight away. Grrrrr! I hope it won't deter people from leaving comments though. As I said below, I love to read those comments. It's nice to know my things are spreading a little inspiration and a few smiles.

Friday, 7 March 2008

More cards

This week I have produced a couple of cards using printouts of my own paintings and some hand painted paper. I have spent several years trying to sell my art to card companies but to no avail. Card companies are driven by fashion as much as the clothing industry. Unfortunately the fashion these days is for naive, cartoon-like cards. They are not to my taste but card companies appear and disappear very quickly. They have to pick those designs they can guarantee will sell. Which leaves alot of artists out in the cold. Printing my own cards would cost an arm and a leg so this is the nearest I will get to my art being used on cards - for now at least. The other card uses an image from Dover - the Easter bunny. I was particularly pleased with the blue 'ribbon'. I sliced some self coloured paper into 1.5cm strips then rubber stamped them with a slightly darker ink. Patterned ribbon is very expensive here so this makes a nice (and cheap) alternative.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Meeting Aesop

As you may have noticed I have a guard wolf on my blog. Aesop's the name, guarding's the game. Hopefully he will keep those spammers at bay. Although he is rather too cute to be considered fearsome. I first came across these little add ons when my sister got a tiger called Inigo for her Bebo site. About five minutes ago I discovered that they can be added to blogs and just couldn't resist. OK, so I'm having a second childhood.