Diane Young

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


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A Day of Play #Peacock #Painting

Playing with paint sounds like fun but for me it usually ends with frustration, perhaps because I am not really concentrating or taking it seriously and I finish up with a number of sketchy paintings which I really do not like.  I have taught myself to try to ignore this feeling as the act of being undisciplined and attempting to have fun leads to discovering new ways of doing things.   So today I have been having some “fun” with textures.

Sketch Painting of a peacock by artist Diane Young


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#Raven #Painting Original #Art

New Raven Original Painting

Here is my original painting which is now called The Gatekeeper in a nice chunky black A3 sized frame, it is a painting of a raven holding a key.    Ravens are a common feature of ancient religion and mythologies from familiars of witches to the supernatural, from the carriers of  souls and associations with good luck, to trickery and foreboding.  According to legend, the  Kingdom of England will fall if the ravens of the Tower of London are removed; care has been taken to ensure that they continue to inhabit the Tower as they have done now for centuries.

Painting framed of a raven and key gothic art by Diane Youn


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Sedna in Animal #Mythology

Stories and Mythology in my artwork

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.

Studio no 71 Totnes display of mythological Sedna Artwork by artist Diane Young


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Simple Tastes; Happy Times for a #Cat.

Happy Cat Simba

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a cat…. hey I will just take up this cardboard box in the sun, settle down and not worry too much about anything.  I mean what else is there to do.   Simba loves boxes, the rustle of some cardboard and his ears are pricked.  Such simple tastes and happy times.

Cat in a Box in the garden happy as can be photograph by artist Diane Young


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Stone Circles and Tree Roots

A Trip to Keswick Stone Circle

Gambolling free these ancient stones are set high up in the Lake District and surrounded by a circle of mountains.  They have stood here for generations against all weathers looking at the stars and even putting up with the Victorians chipping at them for souvenirs.

Stone Circle at Castlerigg near Keswick photograph by Artist Diane Young Stroud Manic Illustrations

Castlerigg Ancient Stone circle in the Lake District UK

Here at this little “beach” at Loch Venachar in Scotland the bank of this tree has been washed away by the loch over time.  But look closely what has the tree got suspended in its clutches?

Tree roots and beach in Scotland photograph by Diane Young Artist from Stroud

At Loch Vernachar Scotland UK

Poor old Mr Rock ensnared by the trees roots, the rock might be superior in the rock-scissor-paper game but it does not hold true here.  One presumes over time the water will erode the roots perhaps, but I think that rock has got a long wait for it to be set free.

Nature rock inside a tree photography by artist Diane Young Stroud

Large rock ensnared suspended by a tree.


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Scotland

I spent most of a week recently on holiday in the Trossachs in Scotland.  Lucky enough not to be rained on, nor bitten by midges (timed it just right)  and well able to enjoy the lush countryside, the watery brooks, lochs and dam, and also the broad and mighty mountainsides from the steam ship The Walter Scott on Loch Katrine.  Loving the natural world here, seeing horned Highland Cows, watching scatty curly horned sheep and a rather domineering greater spotted woodpecker, and desperately trying to spot a golden eagle (like I was ever going to LOL).  One highlight for us was a squirrel hide, set up so that visitors to the David Marshall Lodge (a natural park) could witness the antics of the pesky red squirrel, and even four at once at one time!

Ancient Stone Circle near Keswick Lake District surrounded by a ring of mountains

Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District

Red Squirrel in Scotland eating nuts by artist Diane Young

Red Squirrels in Scotland

Mountains and Loch Katrine photo by Diane Young Artist at stroud

Loch Katrine in the Trossachs

Crow in the Car Park reference for art by Diane Young artist

Service Station Crow

Only I could be found taking multiple pictures by the car of a ragged crow at a service station car park for more art reference!

So the perfect location to stay as we did is The Ridings at Brig O Turk, which is in the middle of everything you need whilst in the middle of the lush countryside, with the Ben Venue mountain as a backdrop.  Beautiful walks, the local pub (The Byre) and the Brig O Turk Cafe with legendary cream cakes!


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Time with the Duck in a Jug

Time to make Artwork

You hear of artists taking months or even year or years to paint a  picture.  Obviously they are not painting at it all the time, just as a writer may not be physically writing a novel over that sort of period either.  I have just finished the painting below, but alongside this one I have four other paintings on the go at the moment.  One of these has taken four months or more since its inception before Christmas.  It is now loitering on a table in my studio sometimes becoming buried in paper and sketches, resurfacing to remind me that it still exists and that I need to pursue the finishing touches.  Initially the painting had a lot of momentum, and I have recognised that areas that go slow or even grind to a halt are where there are areas where I was not thorough in my pre-planning.  It is not the painting but the decision making that can take time.  As an artist I might hope that I will find resolve with time almost as if the painting might just fix itself, but  ultimately the decision may have to be forced.

The Duck In a Jug Painting

The Duck In The Jug below was kind of easy.  I had produced an ACEO some time ago along these lines and so I already knew what I was going to do but then I wanted to do a much bigger painting which was a bit more sophisticated and to throw in  the tulips as an extra feature.

And so now I need to get back to some decision making…

Duck in the Jug with Fox Painting by Artist Diane Young Stroud Manic Illustrations


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Commission for Ireland

It was lovely to receive an email from a customer who has received their commission by post today in Ireland.

“The painting has arrived and I am over the moon with it. So pleased. Thank you very much for painting such a great representation of Morgan and the circumstances of his arrival into our lives. You have captured the magic of the evening so well.”

The image has a number of ingredients requested by the client and ultimately the design was agreed upon before starting the painting stage.  A nice thing about this commission was there was no deadline.  This allowed me to think about the best composition using all the things that needed to be in the picture.  The scene was referenced using supplied photographs of the castle, grounds and Morgan himself. This was not a straight forward painting from a photograph perhaps as in a pet portrait, but more a design about an event which led to this dog, an English Pointer called Morgan having a much happier life.

Commission of an English Pointer painting with gold leaf by artist Diane Young of Manic Illustrations Stroud


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Commission

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.

Childrens books painting by artist Diane Young


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More Lost Things – The Stopwatch

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.

Read more about my story for this image here.

Painting of a barn owl by artist Diane Young 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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Red and Gold

Red and Gold are a favourite combination of mine, as are the colours Prussian Blue, Ultramarine and Alizarin Crimson.  Red, Gold and Blue shine out from traditional Egyptian wall paintings,  paintings from the renaissance, and religious paintings. Many colours are featured in the decorating of elephants for festivals yet I have been drawn to the deep blues, reds and gold so often used, and now echoing the colours of the recent Christmas period now nearly over.

My next Travelling Animal is an elephant.  A revisitation to research I did for a picture of Harvey the Aardvark on his adventures with decorated elephants in the desert.

Embellished with gold leaf, and decorated with a hint of African textile patterns this elephant carries a crane feather.

Decorated Elephant painting with Gold Leaf by Stroud artist Diane Young

Elephants are symbols of wisdom and strength and revered by African cultures. The crane (bird) is also known for its longevity, its lifespan similar to the African elephant some 40-60 years. The crane is also associated with wisdom and loyalty, and folklore has extended its lifespan to 1000 years.

I have combined these two animal symbols to encompass wisdom and power with loyalty.  This has enabled me to show the gentle nature of the elephant delicately carrying the feather of a crane.

We have yet to find out where he is going…….