Not everyone likes the disruption at Christmas time!
One of my artist friends who trained on the Access Course at my local College was Rachel Markwick. For some time she had been painting and explored her craft further on the course. We had so much fun it was a truly bonding experience for us mature students.
But simply wanting (and trying) to progress in the art world is often not enough. For each of us it is a different process and often time has to pass, where creativity takes us to both good and bad places, and may be quite a balancing act where there are commitments other than just a desire to be creative.
Then a few years ago Rachel’s creativity took on a completely different look involving her inherited collection of stamps.
From Van Gogh’s sunflowers and hilly scenes of Stroud emerged the Stamp Lady of Stroud.
There is a story behind the use of stamps in Rachel’s work, but to fast forward somewhat she makes clever, endearing and detailed images from stamps from all over the world. From ships to owls, and from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to International flags there is so much detail right down to the fish in the sea and the people in the arches of the Colosseum.
When you see artists exhibiting their wares at Christmas Fayres or in the high street hoping to catch customers in the festive season spare a thought not just for the hard work and creativity that goes into their craft. Some time will have been spent agonising over pricing before an attempt at selling either original work or prints. Framing is a conundrum, customers like to buy items ready to hang but how do you choose a frame that works with the image and works for the customers taste.
With prints and cards there is plenty to frustrate the eager artist. Enduring a fickle printer is a test of patience when it starts spitting out blank paper or prints which are off centre, the wrong size or the wrong colours and then horrors of horrors sometimes it will not work at all.
Mounting the image is an issue of its own, lining up the print and taping the print, mount and backing board together in a professional looking way before putting into a celophane bag. By the end of it all the place is littered with off cuts, cut fingers, bits of tape everywhere, torn up prints and hopefully the printer has not been despatched out of the window.
You may have guessed that I have just completed a printing session ready for a Christmas Fayre at Horseworld Rescue Centre, Bristol, UK next weekend. Leaflets, notices and business cards are ready printed too. Just need to pack a blanket, hot water bottle and a flask.
Oh and in case you were wondering the printer is still where it should be, in the studio… 🙂
Reindeer are thought to be the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light. This helps them see things in bright snowy conditions as the ultraviolet light creates sharp contrast with objects other than snow. Their noses are also specialised and designed for increased internal surface area which allows cold dry air to moisten as they breath in.
There are very few reindeer which are truly wild, some roaming animals are escaped domestic stock, and even the reindeer on the Tundra (just below the North Pole) are owned by Saami herdsmen.
Soon I shall start thinking about christmas shopping, but already my ACEOs have turned to the Christmas theme and even have a little gold paint on some of them. Here is Christmas Mouse who has happened upon the fairy at the top of the tree…..
I was approached by a poet writing a children’s book using a poem she created about a bright red bird. She sent me some stanza’s of the said poem and wondered if I might be inspired to create ACEOs with her poem in mind.
The poem “Santa’s Songbird” is about a blessed Red Cardinal, a North American bird rather like the Green Finches of the UK but with feathers of a vibrant red colour.
And so here he is, in all his glory.