30 August 2010

cathy cullis

Cathy works in a range of mixed media to create images and objects that are monoprinted, painted, drawn, stitched, machine embroidered, montaged and paper mached. And as a poet, words often interweave through her works - evoking dreams and memories - in small, incredibly detailed fabric and stitched works, limited edition zines and artist books. She brings a kind of Victorian sensibility into her practice - vintage fabrics and photos and titles such as the 'Romantics' series support this, and it is not surprising that the prevailing subject is that of the female figure/character. And they're beautiful. With her latest monoprints, Cathy explores a more abstracted form, taking her right back to her college days, and it's brilliant to see these resonate next her other works. Her new 'Autumn' selection will be available from the 6 September, alongside a new zine which she hopes to produce quarterly to reflect the seasons and her current obsessions and dreams.

Links: Cathy's blog, shop, flickr

24 August 2010

flying backwards | yowie birds 2

Just to prove that... well... (clearing throat) yes... my little obsession with Yowie birds extended beyond the work below! The first drawing is from an exhibition several years ago, and the island (part of the 'movement for expanding east' series) is from my last exhibition. Still really like both of these.

22 August 2010

flying backwards | yowie birds

Once upon a time in a land far away, some little brown plasticine birds gathered to hold in their mouths, little watercolours of Yowie birds. As they do! (The maker had become quite obsessed with the little plastic toys, and started eating quite a lot of cadbury chocolate to reveal the treasure within, because all she really wanted... was the birds. Not any of the other animals or trinkets. Just the birds.) Then, the little brown birds found themselves transformed into a pint size painting a bit further down the track, but this time they held little paintings of guns in their mouths, or were they hairdryers... one could never be quite sure.

21 August 2010

tad's nest | petra freeman

It's always difficult to choose a fave when it comes to animation goodness - as there are just too many that vie for my affection! But one that continues to play in my mind, and you'll see why, is the glorious film 'Tad's Nest' by Petra Freeman, commissioned and produced by the brilliant UK initiative Animate Projects for AnimateTV 2009. Definitely check out this site, because they have commissioned work by many of the key figures in British animation from the last twenty years. Great great stuff!

'Tad's Nest', which is a paint on glass film, is all about the spontaneity of continuously working, and in this case, on a light box. Here, she can change the composition ever so slightly, images journeying from one to another, frame by frame. As a self confessed compulsive drawer who draws everyday, a repetition of imagery has prevailed in her work, so it's no surprise that she has further explored her artistry through animation. The film is a very personal recollection of a childhood memory in Cornwall, and the title translates to 'the place where eels mature and are sent on their journey back home using only memories of sensations to guide them'. Petra talks about the process of making her glorious film here, and I also found a great blog entry that covers the history of her work.

Links: Tad's Nest animation, filmed Petra Freeman interview, Animate Projects, The Lost Continent blog: the films of Petra Freeman

19 August 2010

little gentle



It's funny how things turn out. I had it in my mind to highlight the work of Laura Ferrara next, when lo and behold, this very lovely woman just happens to be the first person to post a comment on my blog. Thank you so very much, I am more than delighted.

Laura has two blogs herself, one called 'littlegentle' which is a stream of images accompanied by a word she 'happens to like' (a small example: tepid, brine, wig, frost, elucidate, bludgeon, winsome, obelisk, kingdom, chimera, twine, midsummer, lark, cellar, hirsute). And little gentle is indeed what they are... softly drawn in pencil and coloured and smudged ever so slightly. These are soulful creations by someone who knows how to consider her space. They allow us to ponder the tenderness and the tension of a simple, but considered mark or implied movement. Larabee and Liza is her personal blog, a natural extension of herself which includes postings of her images, paintings and inspiration. Her paintings are equally wonderful, as she manages to convey the qualities of her drawings with ease (or is it the other way around?!). There's a dreamy quality throughout where the figure morphs and plays with subtle compositions of backgrounds, minimal landscapes, objects and gestures.

links: littlegentle blog, Larabee and Liza blog, Etsy shop: emerson's bookcase, Flickr site

16 August 2010

the family gallery

clearing for heightened octave

Funnily enough, it was my mum who bought this at an exhibition a couple of years ago at Chapman & Bailey. I thought it was such an odd choice for her. When I asked her why this particular one, she simply replied that she liked the fact it was about music. It hangs in a beautiful wooden frame on the main wall of her little apartment, and I just love seeing it when I visit, as it's one of my favourite drawings.

in search of trees 1 & 3, climatology reader 1

It also really surprised me to see my sister and her boys get excited about choosing works to take home, I was so incredibly chuffed, and was once again quite intrigued by the choices. Gotta love wonderful supportive family! Thankyou my lovelies xx

14 August 2010

treasure frey

Etsy, for those in the know, is all about discovering fabulous work in the online shops of even more fabulous artists and makers. If you haven't heard about it yet (I'm always so surprised when folk haven't!!), then you really need to set some time aside and hit the site. A good way to introduce yourself is to check out the home page showcases, treasuries (which are little member curated galleries highlighting a diverse range of work and objects being sold through Etsy) and don't forget to view the 'favourites' section of a shop you stumble across and like. It's akin to heading to a website and exploring the links page, then clicking to look at the next website's links page, etc etc - you end up being lead on a wonderful meandering journey in the wider ether. There's really great stuff out there folks!

One person I came across on my way, is the talented Treasure Frey. Her images fit oh so comfortably into the body of work I've been showcasing to date. Both Treasure Frey and the equally talented Dr Kennedy Jones (see post below) were included in a recent treasury by Suzanna Scott of Etsy shop 'sushipot', and there's no denying why I like the work of these two.

links: Treasure's website, Treasure's Etsy shop

12 August 2010

in search of trees

I really enjoyed drawing this series, so here's a couple of examples that accompanied the last work I posted.

09 August 2010

birds emerging at c minor

birds emerging at c minor

It really has been a while since I've had the head space to draw, so I thought it would help to get me going again by posting one of the last works I did - and... which just happened to sell! Thank you to that wonderful person... can't believe I walked in just at the right time to meet you!

08 August 2010

a rare bird

There's a wonderful tender beauty in the work of Portland (Oregan) artist Julianna Swaney - a folk inspired, woodland aesthetic, brushed in water colour, autumnal tones - devine. It's this approach to picture making and story telling that originally drew me to earlier works by artists such as Amy Cutler and Marcel Dzama (both extremely difficult to find a good representation of their works online) - all three sharing a similar palette. And one can't ignore the fact that there's been a more recent explosion of contemporary artists finding a voice in this style - it's easy to understand why. Julianna's work is currently on show at Blackbird Attic in Beacon NY, and it's a crying shame (yet again!!) that I'm stuck on this side of the world. The great thing though, is that she has two wonderful blogs, 'Oh My Cavalier' her drawing blog known to many, 'Rare Red Bird', a shop and a facebook page - all to enable you to love her even more!

Links: Oh My Cavalier, Rare Red Bird, Big Cartel Shop, Marcel Dzama, Article on Amy Cutler via artnet

04 August 2010

dr kennedy jones

From a name scribed in the corner of a handwritten prescription from the late 1800's, the alias Dr Kennedy Jones was born. Hollie Chastain brings together the poetics of coffee stained pages, splotches and scribbles, vintage images and her own line drawings and cut out paper, to create wonderfully engaging mixed media works that I just love. For me personally, what resonates most, is the performative nature of many of the pieces - staged characters (often greyscale, but increasingly less so) play with flourishes of colour and movement, and an overriding feeling of playful investigation (by the Dr!) rings true.

Links: Hollie's blog/website, Dr Kennedy Jones Esty shop, Interview with Art Hound

01 August 2010

camilla's craft

Swedish artist Camilla Engman has gathered a following which is oh so well deserved. As a painter, graphic designer, illustrator, publisher and one of the team behind the fabulous Studio Violet, she's an inspiring force for many, including moi. Her paper works in particular have reminded me how much I love this way of working, and I'm currently having a play with a series of collages/drawings to depict my Shetland Islands, Eshaness Lighthouse stay last year (yes folks, it WAS sensational!).

I bought her book 'The Suitcase Series' from Uppercase last year. It blitzed the blogs after it was released and when I received it in the mail, I knew why. Beautifully designed with some lovely little added extras thrown in, the book details the lives of artists and designers, which we all know... is always a good thing!

via: Camilla Engman, Uppercase, Studio Violet