Sold! From Studio No 71 in Totnes, my Barn Owl with Stopwatch original painting with gold leaf.
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.
Sedna is mythological figure, a Goddess of the sea for the people of the arctic.
The Myth of Sedna
The young girl Sedna was tricked into marrying Raven, and later when her father tried to rescue her by kayak a raging storm brew and her father threw Sedna in to the sea in order to save himself. Her hands clung to the side of the boat and he beat them until her cold and frozen fingers fell into the sea and became sea mammals. Sedna sank under the sea and was transformed into a sea goddess, able to conjure up storms with her rage whereupon shaman must swim down to calm her by combing her hair.
The Innuits survival is dependant upon the success of their hunting animals. From this is derived a great respect for the animal kingdom. Part of the myth is that Sedna holds onto the animals if she is displeased with the people ( so that they will not be successful in hunting them) and untangling her hair is part of the process of calming her.
From this story I created my image of Sedna with fishes swimming amongst her tresses of red hair, she is looking up to the light of the sky on the surface of the water. The image at the bottom is a painting done some time later showing Sedna sleeping with three seals.
These three paintings on the left seen below featuring Sedna are for sale in Studio 71 in Totnes.
This weekend my focus is on painting a commission. I am concentrating on this whilst dealing with an ear worm, an expression which does make me squirm somewhat. I have been listening to the line about not messing with Major Tom from Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes track for several days now. The painting is going well despite the interference! To my glee there is in fact a true story to this commission about a dog arriving at a castle one night at Christmas.
Below is cropped section of a painting which I did some years ago when I was putting together a children’s picture book idea. I dug it out of my folder as like my current commission it is a night time scene. This image was for a story about a jealous kingfisher who steals a peacock’s tail feathers whilst the peacock is sleeping.
I love storytelling whilst painting, whether it be a fully formed story or presenting narrative for possibilities that the imagination can cast from before or after the moment in the painting itself. Here is a visual excerpt from the Tiny Tale Of Kingfisher.
Just a few tiny details to add and my Barn Owl will be completed.
This is another image for my series of Lost Things (along with the Lost Pearl and the Golden Bell) and a continuing theme of gold leaf moons. The captivating Barn Owl. Both feared and venerated throughout history and a variety of cultures the owl has been associated with both evil and wisdom. Thankfully superstitions such as its association with witches have died away and we can count ourselves lucky if we manage to enjoy a glimpse of this fascinating night time hunter.
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.
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.
A variety of pages from 2004 Sketchbook – from life, mixed media and character development.
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 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 🙂
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.
I have been wrestling with this image for some time. At times my art direction fails me, like when I choose a design that really is too small for an ACEO, still I did my best and now it is time to relax and have a beer.
Evidence seems to suggest that elephants do not like small animals running frantically around their feet particularly as they cannot see them properly. Naturally in the wild quick moving small animals like snakes are a danger and so elephants would try to get away from them as quickly as they could. This may be the reason that elephants appear to be afraid of mice.
Fable featuring a mouse and an elephant
An ancient fable tells the story of a duel between an elephant and a mouse for the position of king among the animals. The elephant sat and laughed at the mouse until the mouse climbed into his ear (or in another story his trunk) and nipped him hard and drove him mad until the elephant ultimately admitted defeat.
I like my elephant and mouse to be friends, so here they are.
So I was sitting on the sofa for the latter part of the evening . The TV was on, then suddenly I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye, against the dark colour of the sofa something was moving, creeping. I had already got rid of a live mouse in the morning, it had surely not enjoyed the trauma of being in a house with cats so much that it had returned?
This thing had just come out from the corner of the sofa, from behind me, in the gap between me and the sofa. This moving thing came into focus. It was a BIG version of the BIG house spiders.
It’s pace was steady, thankfully away from me. It was definitely unperturbed by my presence. I can deal with these spiders usually in a quiet manner, usually with a glass and a piece of card but NOT when they have seemingly been ON me. Eurgh, it had probably been hanging inside my fleece before I put it on, Ewww, or crawled on me, then off me onto the sofa. Why is it that I have to emit a small squeaky shrieking noise or strange sounds of disgust at this point? Is this evolutionary, or learned? Is it a girl thing? It really is reactionary and kind of ridiculous. That spider gave me the heebie jeebies because it had probably crawled on me. He finally left by being ejected from a glass over the hedge in the dark. No doubt he has found his way back by now….or perhaps he is on some other unsuspecting person’s sofa…..
Not the actual spider. I think mine had a smirk on his face!
After agonising over the fact that perhaps my website should not have a sombre black background I thought I would change it. As always you cannot really tell what works and what doesn’t. Some peeps say one thing and others another. Actually in my heart of hearts I am not a purple person and so I feel my website page will revert to its black background very soon. Today was a blue cat day. This image was done a short while ago….Moody Blue Cat, with New Moon…
Following on from this and completed today…….is Blue Kitten with Ping Pong ball. This image is a characterisation of my own black cat Simba when he was a kitten. Now listed on ebay for 7 days.