Thursday, 24 June 2010

Yet more treasure!

Yes, my work has been included in another Etsy treasury. This time it is all about graphite and my picture for my pencil drawing commission has been included by the fantastically named CreepyDolls. How honoured am I. The other work is beautiful and imaginative so it is even more of a thrill. You can find the treasury here.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A little treasure

My Mona Lisa beads have been included in a Mona themed treasury on Etsy. How cool! Thanks to Inkspired for adding them. If you want to take a look you can find the whole treasury here.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Bits and bobs

Just updating with a few handmade bits. The notepad is made out of recycled watercolour paper and mattboard for the cover and recycled diary pages. For years I bought 'day to view' diaries (one day on each page) and at the end of the year I still had many pages that had not been written on. It seemed such a shame to just throw them in the recycle bin so I now use them for scrap paper and making notepads and do my bit for the environment.

The bee ornament was made as a swap gift for the hostess of a Wendy Vecchi inspired twinchie swap. The back side of the ornament was decorated using painted matt photographic paper. I discovered that not only did it take distress ink well it doesn't come off the way the ink can on some other substrates. The ink was put in a mini mister, sprayed on a craft sheet and the paper swished through the diluted ink. Got some pretty effects too.

These are the twinchies for said swap. Two inch square and decorated with distress ink, the Tattered Florals die and Wendy Vecchi stamps. The flowers were also stamped with my own Tiny Squares stamp found in my Etsy store. I just hope the other swappers will like them.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


create & buy custom products at Zazzle

Several months ago I opened a Zazzle store and then did very little with it. Zazzle allows you to put your own designs, photos, art, etc onto merchandise without having the financial outlay of getting stuff printed and then having to store it yourself. In short, it's print on demand. There are a number of these companies now, the best known being Cafe Press, but I chose Zazzle because of it's good name in artistic circles and the fact they use Paypal as a payment method. However, other than a couple of t-shirts and greetings cards my Zazzle store languished, lost and alone in the Zazzle vaults. Without advertising my store heavily few came to visit. I had a total of twelve visits and no sales over the months it was active and I'm sure most of them were visits by me. So I figured it was time to add a few more things and see what I could do with it. So far I have put badger and fox coloured pencil pieces online as well as a pen and ink panda and my graphite Stanley (rottweiler). At the moment I have t-shirts, greetings cards and a mug. There are a few more ideas lurking in the back of my mind and hopefully some will appeal.

If you want to take a look you can find my US store at* and my UK store at* They are both the same and the products originate from the same warehouse but they use different currencies. And if you have any ideas on which of my art you want to see on products, or which of the Zazzle products you would like to see my art on, then please do leave a comment.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


I forgot to add my Matisse inspired badger last week when I updated Challenge Gillian. Matisse, in his later years, created art from cut paper but on a large scale. My Matisse badger is only little, 8x11 inches, but is created using gouache coated paper. Let me tell you, it's a messy business cutting out gouached paper. The design was inspired by Matisse's 'star' encrusted pieces like The Fall of Icarus and Icarus, Jazz. But anyone who has come across a badger on a moonlit night will recognise the ghostly figure shining beneath a carpet of stars.

The other pieces are my first attempts at zentangles. 'Doodles' to most people, the art crowd have taken them back to their hearts and are playing with patterns and shapes again. They remind me of some of Franz Marc's work where he used a framework over animal shapes that were then painted in different tones and colours. Although these are really simple to do they might just have a place in my experiments with colour.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Challenge Gillian - with a twist

This month I have been trying out some new thing with my art. With the brighter weather came an overwhelming desire for colour and something different. So I bought myself some books on the art of van Gogh and researched Matisse, the Fauvists and the Expressionists. Lots of fun. Armed with a little extra knowledge (and my book on Franz Marc) I tried to paint a little differently - with wild abandon using pastels, oil pastels, acrylic, watercolour, graphite and coloured pencil. These paintings are the result of my experiments.

First of all, I have the one piece of detailed work that I worked on this month. At about 16 hours of work it certainly took a lot longer than most of the other pieces. For those of you who have followed my blog for a while you will recognise him as Stanley, my sister's Rottweiler. The following brightly coloured pieces would certainly be seen on a dark night. I thought they might make nice greetings cards. The horse is heavily influenced by Franz Marc's work but the badger is all my own.

I also bought a book called Painting Abstracts by Rolina van Vliet. It gives lots of exercises for becoming an abstract painter and I have included a few of those exercises that I produced myself. I know, not the most ... what can I say? ...The most attractive, especially if you have no interest in abstract. But some of the colours are pretty. Ultimately I would like to combine the abstract background with a detailed painting to make my art a little unusual. A bold background to a painting might make a decent alternative to no background at all. Backgrounds have always given me trouble. I have never known where to place my animals when I am painting them. With a drawing you can get away with that. But paintings often need something more. This is my attempt to find an alternative.

This blue, red and yellow one reminded me of being on the coast, with sea spray battering off the rocks. Wish I could say it was deliberate but it was just a happy accident.

So there is certainly lots of colour this month. I hope you enjoy them.