Diane Young

Artist ~ Printmaker ~ Painter ~Every Picture tells a story ~ Artwork ©Diane Young


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Archival Snail – Art Forever

For many years I have put together frames for myself for both original and prints making  sure all my materials are archival.  Snail Sketch593

In the beginning I did not know what “archival” actually meant in terms of the art industry.  It does not just mean putting financial documents away for x years in an archive!  It means using materials that go the distance, as far as is possible, say 100 years or so or more?  The problem with non archival material is that the substances leach into the paper and damages it beyond repair.  The best way to frame art is to make sure all the materials used are archival meaning that nothing nasty will damage or discolour the paper and it will last the test of time looking as it did when it was first put into the frame.

My son’s drawing of the snail was framed when he was very young.  I threw it into a cheap frame.  The frame was not the problem as it was made of real wood and glass.  The backing was cardboard giving no protection from the atmosphere.    The tape which I stuck the artwork to the mount was masking tape, a  poor choice as it has acidic chemicals in the glue.   The back was not sealed with any tape which in some cases can lead to midges and so forth getting in behind the glass. And there is more.  It was positioned in a kitchen with a low ceiling meaning it was affected by steam in the atmosphere.  It was also near a window.  The worst possible environment!

Tape damage and speckles on the back are from external substances, and except for the white stripe around the front the paper where the frame protected the paper it has been discoloured by the atmosphere and also the sun.

It is now a very faded snail picture.  But hey ho.  He is 21 now and now makes super fabulous art images.  But we do still love the snail, faded but now framed properly.

It is best not to have your valued art (either by money or by sentiment) in view of the sun.  If you really have to then splashing out on special glass which has UV protection would be a good idea.  There are alot of MDF frames about now, so make sure the art is protected from uncovered areas of this acid substance perhaps with some archival tape, or a layer of paint.

Tape for holding art in place and sealing the back are available as archival materials specially for the purpose, mounts are available acid free, and provide a backing board made of a piece of archival mount board to separate the art from the frame back itself which may be made from inferior material.

Don’t forget if you are printing your own prints there is inkjet paper available which is archival too.

If you do not know what you are doing with all this, get your artist or your framer to do it for you and you will keep that lovely picture just as it was.

If you are local then look no further than Lesley, she can frame anything.

 

 


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Strange Owls and Coincidences

Sold! From  Studio No 71 in Totnes, my Barn Owl with Stopwatch original painting with gold leaf.

Barn Owl with gold leaf by artist Diane Young at Studio No 71 Totnes

Barn Owl framed

This weekend after a trip to Dartmoor we dropped in to collect some work from Studio 21 which has a great position at the bottom of the High Street.  The shop is small but packed with interesting things to discover; pictures, sculptures, plates and bowls and glass and pottery and more!

Not only did we arrive on a day when a customer was about to purchase one of my original paintings, but Studio No 71 had also sold a framed Moongazing Hare print of mine during that day too.

How strange, not to have sold for quite some time, and then two in one day and when I was visiting!

It is so nice to meet the individual who likes my art enough to buy it and hang it on their wall.  An image that I have formed from my imagination strikes its own chord with another person, and off it goes on its own journey, in this instance wrapped and strapped onto a bicycle!

Grateful for time with friends and walks on Dartmoor just as the season is turning and when such coincidences are a delight.

 


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#Artist #Cats – Chalk and Cheese

Photo of Cleo by Diane Young Manic Illustrations

Sometimes you just have to take photos of your cats. We have plenty of these guys already. They are both moggies and completely at odds despite being mother and son.  Cleo above is built like a British Shorthair, short in the body and very bouncy, and at times rather neurotic.

Simba below is cool, laid back, huge in size with a long puma body and massive fangs.  He cannot be bothered to meow for his food, or stand up even.  He just lies on a chair, let’s his mum do all the pleading, and barely ever breaks into a trot.

 

Photo of Simba CAt of Manic Illustrations


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Ibis in Gold

To compliment my recent Elephant in Red and Gold here is the Ibis. The Nile was central to Ancient Egyptian life and religion.  The Egyptians of old believed that souls of the dead were transported across the Nile to reach the afterlife in the presence of Thoth the god of knowledge, who was represented as the Ibis bird.

Painting of an Ibis representing Thoth in Greek mythology with a gold moon by artist Diane Young

The Ibis is of ancient evolutionary origin, its fossil records going back some 60 million years.  Carvings of the Ibis can be found on many Egyptian monuments; they were also mummified and buried in the temples with pharaohs.

 

 

 


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The Owl and The Pussy Cat Setting Off

So pleased that I have sold my first print of this painting “The Owl and The Pussy Cat Setting Off”.  There is something very confirming about people who are willing to part with their hard earned cash to give your artwork a loving home or perhaps be given as a heartfelt present.  Since I found inspiration from The Owl and Pussy Cat poem and designed and painted them “Dancing” by the light of the moon and “Setting Off” in their pea-green boat I have been enlightened about the connection with them being sought after in association with wedding celebrations.  Seems quite obvious now…..

Here they are “Setting Off” on their adventure.


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Sketchbooks Be Gone with You!

Yesterday I started an attempt at declutttering.  What should I keep and what should go?   I headed for my bookshelf and targeted some old sketchbooks having decided to photograph pages I liked and store them digitally instead.

Diane Youngs Art and sketch books in my attic studio.

In amongst artist and nature books are malingering sketch books from over many a year.

Some of the sketches have sentimental value, and are a visual diary hinting at events and places sporadically over the year. Some of the sketches were a means to an end.  They were good practice for observing and drawing.

Other sketches were experimental when I had been involved in course work and attempting to work outside my usual method of creativity.

So I took sketchbooks which were not essentially full of great stuff and photographed those images I felt connected to and transferred them to my computer.  The nice thing about looking back at sketch books from years gone by is that a lot of the images look better to me now than when I created them. The space and time that has passed makes them feel like they are not quite so firmly attached to me allowing me to be less critical.

The other nice thing about storing the sketches digitally is that they take on a more professional look on a screen than in the sketchbook.

I agree with the declutter theory that you feel lighter and freer without hanging onto lots of stuff.  This is a start but I still have a long way to go.

Sketch of a flamboyant flamingo by artist Diane Young Sketch from life by artist Diane Young of a young boy Mixed Media  2004 Coursework by Artist Diane YoungSketchbook characters  2004 by artist Diane Young  Sketchbook showing collage and drawing by artist Diane Young

A variety of pages from 2004 Sketchbook – from life, mixed media and character development.


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Painting Stories: Freddie and Digger

So, what is going on in the picture?

Digger the dog and Freddie the Goldfish a painting by artist Diane YoungIf an image captures your imagination you may find your own internal dialogue emerging as to what is taking place in the picture. I make ACEOs with my own narrative  in  mind and often show them to my family and find that they in turn arrive at their own (sometimes surprising ) conclusion as to what they think is going on with the characters in my ACEOs.  

I love to start the story and hope there may be a variety of possibilities for a story to be told.  

Decide yourself what is happening here between Digger and Freddie, and then see below for what I had in mind. My description for this aceo goes something like this : “Digger could not be sure but he thought that Freddie was trying to tell him something…..”

My narrative could have been…. “Looking at Freddie Digger was not sure if Freddie  actually liked him.” but I decided that it would be “Freddie kept glancing at the Fish Food and looking at Digger hoping Digger might take the hint and gives him a little snack!”

Go on surprise me with your story line…..


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Painting Stories – Harvey the Aardvark

Harvey Loves Rainbows

There was something special that Harvey was looking for.  Mouse was hoping that Harvey would find it very soon.

“We need the rain to find one of my favourite things” said Harvey  “There is no other weather that makes something so beautiful.”

At last there it was….

Harvey and the Rainbow ACEO Painting by artist Diane Young

Harvey has been out and about on his antics with Mouse, Digger and other animal characters .  He still has so many things to see and do.

Until next time…..


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Mind shifts and New Paintings of dogs.

It is strange how your mind and thoughts can dance around a subject or a project and produce means or obstacles, pathways to enable action or absolute resistance.  One minute you have one mind set, then suddenly you can see things quite differently and are able then to make a change or take an action that you had not considered before.

ACEO painting of a wolf by artist illustrator Diane Young of Manic Illustrations

ACEO Painting of Wolf Portrait

This process is no doubt with us more often than we realise, but for me produces itself very readily in the light of day when considering the redesign of my website.  I have had a website for many years and it was pretty clunky for quite some time at the outset.  But the amount of times I thought I had reached an optimal design moment were many.  Time passed, my mind shifted, and suddenly it would be made quite clear to me that improvements would yet again have to be made.  In a way it is a little like producing a painting, you think no more can be done, you put the thing away. Then some other time you stumble across the same painting and you can see straight away how to make it so much better.

In all the years I have been painting I could never  for one moment have envisaged making miniature paintings sized at just 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches but found myself having an eureka moment (a sudden shift in thinking!) nearly a year ago after tightening up my painting style, and acquiring reading glasses.  Since then I have produced several ACEO paintings each week featuring funny character animals or more realistic style animals too.  They have been listed and  sold each week on ebay in a special category for ACEO art cards.

A year hence, and I have been wondering how to develop my art further, today a new possibility has surfaced in my mind relating to pets and in particular dogs.   Here is a taster of my current work in progress…..more to follow 🙂

Belgian shepherd dog portrait painting by Diane Young

I really do wonder why my brain cannot follow through in the first instance?  I am sure there is a good answer for this  which at this time is unbeknown to me.

It is of concern that whilst my mind can play tricks on me and  can often ensure that I avoid action or end up procrastinating for what amounts to be in reality no-good-reason at all, but I am grateful that at other times it can reveal fresh ideas, shifts and visions so that even I can surprise myself with brand new possibilities.