Tuesday, 17 March 2015

In search of quirky stuff.

Shops Antonia and de Weldaad in the Jordaan

Every year I go home about two to three times and in February was my first visit of the year. I stayed in the Jordaan, an old part of Amsterdam where my dad used to have a house for many years. There are many fond memories of me being there. I share my dad's love of quirky shops and markets so we used to do lots of searching of unusual objects. I imagine he was looking down and smiling when he saw me seeking new treasures for my fast growing collection of odd bits. 

I always feel refreshed and full of inspiration when I get back but my brain needed to process all emotions and experiences being with my lovely family before I could even imagine taking my pencil back to the paper though today I feel I am ready to get back to my easel. I will leave you with a tour of a fabulous shop my sister found in the Jordaan and they sell online so you don't have to feel left out. The video is in Dutch but just seeing what is on the shelves will get you taking a very big suitcase as in that department we may all speak the same language.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

How to use line in your art to create better composition.

Do you sometimes have that feeling that your painting or drawing doesn't feel balanced and you wonder what to do next?

A simple way of bringing harmony to your work is by using lines. Look at the two pictures above. How do they make you feel? 

The painting on the right is much more balanced don't you think? Notice how the leading lines in the bottom corners in the second painting draw your eye in and then around the face. The clever use of a curved line of the shoulder, neck and head area in this painting have a pleasing and softening effect on the composition. Curved lines remind us of the curves of the human body and they communicate energy. 

So you see by just adding a few simple lines you really draw the viewer in and build a better composition.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

How To Quickly Develop your Characters for Illustration.

Have you ever wondered how you could possibly develop the characters for your illustrations swiftly?

Well its easy and it won't need to cost you a fortune. My advice to you is  'Participate in a Daily Challenge'. Believe you me challenges get you really focused on the job in front of you, plus you will learn tons and it could change your life forever and that of your little characters.

Two of my favourite Challenges at the moment are the 29FaceChallenge and the MakeSomething365. What do you think?  Let me know if you join.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Life drawing classes at the Bowery Gallery in Leeds.

While on my travels last year I came across a wonderful small Gallery situated in the heart of Headingley in Leeds. This fine place not only has a trendy coffee shop serving top coffee and delicious local food they also offer a variety of creative classes and workshops.

If you are like me a creative soul I am sure you will find something to satisfy your taste. I did the life drawing class a couple of months ago and I have just enrolled in ceramics hoping that finally the kiln I bought a couple years ago will shake off it's ornament status.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Paper doll play.

I know I am a bit late but I still wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I have lots of fun stuff happening this year so I will share with you when and where.

Only one working week has gone by and I am super busy. Today I wanted to share some new paper dolls with you. These cuties are called Jansje, a traditional Dutch family name, and they are available in my shop right now.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

7 days to feed your creative soul.

If you ever get the chance to go on an art retreat with Gillian Lee Smith I would highly recommend you do this. Just over a year ago I was persuaded by some long term online friends to commit myself to participating in such art retreat. It was a first class experience and the best money I spent for a while, I learnt so many new and exciting painting techniques. I feel my art work is already benefiting and maybe it is even growing up a little.
1) In the Studio in Gardenstown.
2)  Gillian Smith demonstrating her pastel drawing skills to her students.
3) A paintbrush in the charcoal and oilbar technique.
4) A practise painting using an image from the book Pastel painting atelier by Ellen Eagel.

From left to right my bestie house mates for the week Pam, Kate, Phyllis and me.
The place Gillian chose for her retreat was a wonderful and inspirational setting in Gardenstown. This remote village is built into the old red sandstone cliffs in the area of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. When I stepped out of my car I felt like I was stepping back in time which really helped me in getting my mind set in the right gear for painting 7 days undisturbed with the help of the sweetest soul you would ever meet. Gillian just couldn't do enough for you, she was always ready to help well above what I had expected. So I would like to say a massive thank you to her for all that she has done!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Popping back up with the Leeds Pop Up Shop.

I am so sorry I have been out of the picture for so long. It wasn't my intention to disappear without saying as little as a 'I will be back soon'. It just kind of happened and then it felt strange to say 'he folks I am taking a little break'. Still I have returned and have lots to tell and show you. One of those things I like to share is that I was invited to participate in the Etsy Leeds Pop Up Shop.  Can you spot a Lottie or two?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The secrets life of a stalker revealed at Paper Saturdays.

Welcome to Paper Saturdays, our weekly get together of sharing all art made from paper, on paper or with paper. Please feel free to join if you enjoy connecting with other artists. Scroll down to the bottom of this post.

If you read my posts regularly you will know I set myself a challenge in sync with the 29 face challenge of creating a paper doll a day. This originally was an easy task because I had collected lots of material to start drawing from but now I am running out of this and I find it harder to put the little touches to the dolls.

I am sat stalking my willing victims on Facebook for hours on end, looking for that something extra which I feel make the dolls even more personalised. I never knew how much fun it would be to creep into the role of a stalker but how time consuming! So to cut a long story short, it is harder to keep up with the challenge then I first anticipated therefore lots of my dolls don't have arms and legs yet but this will come at a later stage. I hope you will follow me to the end as your support has been greatly appreciated. Now it is over to you.

If you would like to take part in Paper Saturdays this week please
  • Link a relevant post with your art in the mr linky below
  •  Mention and link Paper Saturdays in your post so others can find us too
  • Feel free to use our button.

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Monday, 22 September 2014

The lovely Clare from ClareWillcocks nominated me to go on blogtour with you, her and others. I feel so honoured to know Clare, she is an amazing artists. I love just about everything she makes. Her drawings and her paper art oh my goodness I wished I had such a steady hand. Just bellow her photo are some examples of her work.

Gorgeous art by Clare

now it is my turn

So what can I tell you about me that may interest you, well as you may be able to tell I am a very serious blogger. I have a little studio companion called Lottie helping me out. This little girl lives deep inside my heart and she refuses to grow up which is fine by me. Together we create illustrate and make paper art. I love to connect with other bloggers and one way of doing this is by running a weekly blog get together at the weekend called Paper Saturdays. Feel free to join whenever you wish.

1) What am I working on? 

At the moment I am working on lots of different things. I have just finished a few toothpick holders like the ones bellow and then there are the paperdolls. I love anything to do with dolls so I thought lets see if I can make a doll a day. So far I have five finished ones and tons more on the drawing table. I am also starting with some wall hanging dolls but so far all I have done today was cutting out the templates. 

Oh and I nearly forgot, at the moment every evenings I am doing some Lottie embroidery, it is like drawing with cotton. A very fun project which I will certainly repeat.

2)How does my work differ from others of my genre?

3)Why do I write/create what I do?


4)How does my writing/creative process work?


Again that is simple. I create art and while I am doing that I think about what I want to say about it. I don't like to use too many words so my posts are often very short and sweet, a bit like my answers I guess. I don't think too much about my creative process I often just do what I feel is right.

I am not really sure how this part of the blogtour works but I am supposed to nominate some other bloggers. I have no idea how many So for now I would like to introduce you to my daughter Fae who runs a super duper new life style blog called Soda Berries. I know she is my daughter but she is a fantastically talented photographer. Please go and check her out.

   If I need to nominate more people I will be back with an update later on.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

I could have picked something easier.

Looking back at what I had set out to do 21 days ago is not as easy as I thought, no on the contradictory it is supper hard work. I was aiming for one personalised Paper Doll a day but really never thought it through properly. I had no idea to how much time I needed to get them all ready and assembled.

Yesterday I promised to give you a little update on Paper Doll number 15, Clare Willcocks. I didn't have a good start with the doll because after cutting her out I lost a leg and then I found out she had two left hands. Nevertheless I  have now arrived at the place where the doll is ready for her second coat of varnish and then on to the best part of the whole process where she comes alive and is ready to leave the studio.

Would you like to follow my daily process please come and visit me on Facebook or Instagram.