Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Seven Random Things

I was tagged by the lovely InkAndGinger to list seven random things about myself - i've never done anything like that before, so why not? :)
  1. If i'm anywhere high, a bridge or top of a building, I have a fear that i'll suddenly throw myself off
  2. I wished when I was younger that I could grow a beard
  3. I've got a bit of a problem with taking up hobbies and then giving them up 6 months later
  4. My boyfreind makes all the food and is a great cook, if it weren't for him i'd be living on sugar sandwiches
  5. I have a book reading addiction of the highest order - mostly pulp fiction i'm afraid
  6. My favourite activity after painting is dancing
I tag - Elista , Asking For Trouble, Middle of Nowhere & Unordinary

On a totally seperate note, a very rubbish thing happened. About 3 weeks ago I sent one of the hand painted brooches to the very lovely Michelle.

It hadn't arrived after a long period of time, we were hopeful because I had to fill out a customs declaration and sometimes that takes time to get through, but when it still hadn't arrived I decided to refund. If it turned up later then great and if not - then a nuisance but maybe it would be returned to sender...Unfortunately, neither happened. It turned up with Michelle, minus the brooch, with an ironic 'We Care' message. The package had been ripped and as Michelle pointed out, it didn't look mechanical. How depressing.

From now on, no original work of any kind is being sent without being signed for/registered. It's really quite an upsetting experience, and I hope everyone else who might put stuff in the post will take heed from this! I've been entirely too trusting about posting things....and this is a good kick up the backside! Fortunately Michelle is a very understanding person and we're both just hacked off with the post system...it could have been so much worse.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Very quick update

The last few nights i've been ill, so consequently i've been drawing and making little things rather than getting on with the theatre. Even so, the theatre is basically finished, it needs some varnish, it needs the front glued on instead of blu tacked...and so forth. Here's some shoddy photos...I'll take better ones soon.
The girl and her dragon completed

Unusual angle, you can see more of the depth - bad photo i know

Dreadful photo ok, but it shows the gold highlighting in certain areas.

I scanned all the parts of the theatre except the very back and reconstructed it digitally - gives a better idea of the different parts. I'm considering making a construct your own - smaller version. Not sure though - will take time to prototype making something like that.

So, here's some drawings - which are for sale in the shop now.

And here's the bear that at one stage was going to be part of the theatre, but it wasn't working out for him. So I dug out an old brass frame I got in an antique shop and put him in there, he looks quite regal. His name is Mr I Don't Know. He came about from a story my freind tells her daughter at bed time and he was a character I had to invent on the spot for this story. Anyway, he's also for sale in the shop.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Great Artists

I love discovering new artists, this is actually someone i've loved for a long time, but it's possible he's not as well known abroad or right now as he was here once upon a time. Patrick Woodroffe is a British artist, best known for fantasy / sci fi art but he's also done a lot of children's books. Anyway, he's one of my favourites, so here's some images to inspire!

This is by no means the best selection, the best images i've seen are in his book 'A Closer Look at the work of Patrick Woodroffe' where he explains some of the techniques he uses to create his oil paintings. He also paints on plastic and cuts it to create images of fantastic creatures which he places in real surroundings and photographs. I think he's wonderful, and the main point is that he always aims to present a positive and uplifting message in his art.

He reminds me a lot of Terry Gilliam in that respect. I read something Gilliam said once which I loved but I can't find anywhere online, so to paraphrase - People often think that making fantastical art in terrible times is burying your head in the sand, but this is precisely the time when imagination is most needed.

Friday, 25 January 2008


I've been meaning to make a website for ages, and although this is really rushed, I felt it was better than nowt. It's just images with image map links - very remedial - but it serves it's purpose in it's limited way :) Here it is!

The theatre continues (In fact most of the website design is scanned part of the theatre) . I just need to glue parts in place now - I would have done this today except last night was my pal's birthday and we went out for cocktails - French Martini's - ever tried one? I highly recommend! Anyway, I woke up this morning with the worst sore throat (I woke up very early because I was having a dream that I was trying to eat some kind of sandpaper...nice) of course I also had the complimentary hangover with associated delerium. So, me andRobin went and bought fish and chips and then had apple pie and ice cream. Of course we also had a wee bit of whiskey to celebrate Burns Night ( Robin even managed to belt out one of his songs) - Here's a little Robbie Burns:

The Rigs 'O Barley

It was upon a Lammas night,
When corn rigs are bonie,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light,
I held awa to Annie;
The time flew by, wi' tentless heed,
Till, 'tween the late and early,
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed
To see me thro' the barley.

Corn rigs, an' barley rigs,
An' corn rigs are bonie:
I'll ne'er forget that happy night,
Amang the rigs wi' Annie.

The keen eyed among you will know that this song is the theme tune for The Wicker Man movie.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Valentines cut

On a totally seperate tack, I recently got myself a Craft Robo (I think they're called Wishblade's in the U.S) and it is my favourite tool of all time!

For those of you who don't know what it does it basically cuts any vector shape you give it into certain depths and types of card. I bought it because I would like to be able to print and cut dolls/small theatres for people rather than them having to cut them themselves. We'll see how that turns out. Meanwhile I made my first proper thing on it this week, a valentines card for people who are tired of teddy bears and kittens:

The white card is cut away to the heart shape and then I put a piece of red card behind it and voila! It's amazing how finely it can actually cut. For these I have to do a double pass on the card but it can do that with such precision....I spent about 20 minutes just watching it do it's thing last night...It's a thing to behold. Anyway, the cards are for sale in the shop.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Theatre update and some slightly better pictures

So last night I finised the dragon off, I was a bit dissappointed once i'd assembled him...Something was wrong...I realised there was too much green and blue going on.

So I quickly revised the colouring on his tail and other wingy bits this monring...that's not finished yet but I couldn't resist trying him out in position - nothing is permanently installed yet, it's all being held together with blu tac and bits of string until it is completed...so it's kinda wobbly looking. But it gives me an idea about what's needed.

The first thing is another layer of larger sea at the back behind him. The next thing is that...somehow I want to be able to change the scene of the girl and the dragon to a bear catching a fish....It's just something which has been bothering me .... I want 2 scenes...and i'm running out of time...I haven't even started the young lady - I feel like I haven't washed or eaten properly or cleaned my house in weeks...It's all gone skanky again.

Anyway, I plan to work till my fingers start shaking tonight and see what kind of progress I can make.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Another Theatre Update

Well, once again I feel like i'm fighting against the tide with progress, however some progress has been made! I have attached some bad pics of the progress - I always take pics at night after a day of working one something - I promise once complete there will be bright day light pictures!

A full shot - bit grainy, sorry

You can see the gold edging on the waves here

Some more details at the bottom

Hanging up, terrible photo but you can see the start of the outside decoration

A scene of chaos! I got half way through today and felt all glum because I couldn't move without standing in wet paint or gluing myself to my tea cup....Anyway, I abandoned the mess to eat dinner and blog and try to forget it exists! Till tomorrow!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Quick update

Well, the paper theatre continues afresh after a shaky start with a hang over and a juicy new novel....it's amazing how much time I can fritter away on that kind of thing! I have 2 weeks to finish this and I will post photos tomorrow once i've recharged my camera batteries. In the meantime I have a new Limited Edition Sea Life Print in the shop here. It's my favourite so far.

And I just recieved this lovely drawing from PenAndPaper. She also has a great blog here too!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Thank you! And some progress

So the first thing to say is Happy 2008 and Thank You! To everyone who reads this blog and buys my work. You have all been incredibly encouraging and kind to me. As a thank you, the first person to comment will get a surprise gift :) - so, comment and i'll get in touch with my email address so you can give me your postal address... I think that's probably the best way of doing it :)

Here's some progress shots of the theatre...it's frustratingly slow progress, and today I felt I had to actually clean the house and myself! Yes i'm ashamed to say people that I had become a total skank. I think the great idea about getting old is that you could just scud around in your ripped dress covered in paint with dishevelled hair and feel like you'd earned the right.

Cut & gessoed pieces of wood for the the theatre surround

Mixing the basic colours for the whole thing. This is the only way I can work, if I don't mix base colours for everything upfront I get confused and irritable part way through :)

The base colours painted onto the front. This took almost 2 days to do completely! This is because to get total flat coverage with Acrylic inks you have to go over each layer several times.

Details added to the top.

More details on the top and the back panel beneath to show the contrast between the reddy/orange and the blue/green of the backdrop.

A rather desaturated picture of the top and bottom details

Bottom details up close
Full picture - not that great but there you go. There's one last set of things I need to do - the lettering on the top and bottom banners. Also I started painting terllises up the sides and didn't like them so am now having to go over them....phew..I actually thought it'd only take me 3 days to do this front panel but it's taking an age. I'll also be doing some gold edging when all of the details are finished. Then i'll assemble the box istelf and start doing the paper bits! I have another fortnight scheduled off this month so I should be able to finish it. Hopefully without personal hygiene slipping too far ;)