To celebrate my blog reaching 100 followers I anounced a little giveaway last week. Whenever I enter a competition I'm never one to complain about a small response, as it increases my chances at winning (teehee)
So Astera, thank you for your insightful comment, let me know your postal address and I would love to send you this watercolour and a postcard to show my gratitude!
A couple of glimpses at "Grey Rose" as I was working on her....
The first few layers of watercolour....
And after an intense day of painting, her detailed dress is completed. Stripes are much harder to paint than spots, I have discovered.... but I do love the final effect!
PS. This isn't her final title. I'm having trouble. The folktale she was inspired by is called "The Black Faced Young Lady" - but I decided to veer away from that image. She has eleven sisters who turn into wolves (see the previous post!!) but titling the triptych "Twelve" or "Twelve Wolves" or similar seems blunt and uncreative. I'm stuck.... any suggestions?
Following on with my Hungarian Folktales illustration project, these shadow puppies are going to be part of a triptych – the central panel of which will be the girl I previewed in one of my last posts.
In the story twelve royal brothers find themselves in an abandoned castle. During the night a girl comes to the oldest brother in his dreams and tells how she is the oldest of twelve girls who have been imprisoned in the castle. To set them free he and his brothers must not leave the castle for twelve years, twelve months, twelve weeks, twelve days and twelve hours. When the prince tells his brothers this in the morning they all scoff and get ready to leave. At the edge of the woods the eleven brothers are set upon by eleven wolves and driven back. When they next attempt to leave they are turned to stone. The oldest brother spends the duration of the curse in a lonely exile, occasionally visited in his dreams by the oldest of the sisters.
I like that in the tale the wolves that attack the brothers could be the ghostly sisters, but they could also symbolize the shadows lurking within their own souls, within all of us.
Grey mornings are for sitting at my drawing desk, listening to Cat Power, staring at my drawings and thinking…
Yesterday I received a wonderful gift from the Art Museum in Győr: a bundle of beautiful hand-made paper made just for me. I am a paper fanatic, so you can imagine my joy. The ragged uneven edges are the most beautiful part of paper like this.
My mind fills with all the possibilities…. Oh, what to paint on them…
Speaking of hand-made - I ran out of my supply of little moo business cards. Instead of ordering new ones I spend sleepy mornings and late nights painting my own.....
I was just notified that my art and artistic-self were featured on the design site "Lost At E Minor: for creative people" by Tiana Vasiljev, so I'm pretty thrilled. Take a little peek if you feel so inclined:
Also, a very talented artist (and I am lucky enough to be able to call her my dear friend) has painted a portrait of yours truly that she has shared on her art-blog, skip over to Laura Jade Art to gaze upon her incredible work!
(How amazing is she? I love the texture on the face!)
Lately I’ve preferred to start work and finish one piece before beginning on another, but I had to halt progress on my last piece (the descent) as I didn’t have enough reference material at hand (where is a coral reef when you need one??)
So I began work on this next one, and I have to say, I am just a little thrilled at how she is turning out.
Originally, because of the folktale she was inspired by, I had intended to paint the piece in monochrome blacks and greys, including her face. But I just can’t imagine it. She seems so soft to me, and I felt she was crying out for a paler palette. When I am undecided like this I will often do a little colour study like this one:
The base line-work for a new painting.... she's going to be a lot more detailed than this, I wouldn't be suprised if I don't finish her for another few weeks!
Perhaps because of this I've been working on multiple pieces at once. I'm finally getting to taste what being a "full time" artist will feel like, and I think working on several pieces at once should help keep things moving and fresh. Well... that's the theory anyway!!
Hurray!! You little lovelies just helped my little hide-out here reach 100 followers!
I find it strange and wonderful that the 100th follower happened to be one of my dearest friends (what took her so long?) But that makes it extra special (Luna you're number 100!)
But as promised, I said we should do something special to celebrate. Being far from home I can't offer a Giclee Print like I usually would, so instead.....
Leave a comment below to show your support, (feel free to include any shmoozing about what it is about my work that you like, I love the insights people offer!) and a week from today (that'll be the 28th of October!) I'll pick someone to send a few of my postcards to, as well as a hand-drawn thank-you card!
Thanks for all of your support darlings, it keeps me strong and focused!! xx
I have always loved the idea of Autumn. And here I am in Europe, with the natural world beginning to go out in a blazing bravado of colour, ready for the steely coldness of winter who is fast approaching with unforgiving relentlessness.
I feel Autumn is the saddest, but most beautiful season.
I made a trip up to the herb garden and arboretum of PanonHalma, a 1000 year old Benedictine Monastary high atop a hill south of Győr. There in the chilly Autumn air I collected interesting looking twisted leaves... fuel for the next painting...
Winter is definitely on it's way here in Hungary. My breath hangs heavy in the air and my nose and fingers are numb and red in the chilly mornings. And it is only mid-Autumn. I have just moved into a little dorm room all on my own in the local University in Győr.... where for the winter I will be leading a small drawing class!
The view from my window looks out onto the river bank. I can just make out the water beyond the trees going on it's slow way. I am SO grateful I have a view of a natural scene to inspire me at my drawing desk, I think I would suffer creatively If I had to stare at a concrete wall all winter long.
The only "souvenirs" I allowed myself whilst travelling Italy and London where postcards from the Art Museums I visited. I spent my first night sticking these up for inspiration..... and I began on my newest drawing!! She's quite large isn't she???
Next step is actually preparing for my classes. I am very nervous, I've never taught an unruly group of college students before!!
Pages from my moleskine sketchbook. I have never been inspired to paint the landscape before, but on my first day in Tuscany I was so overcome with how incredible everything was I found I could not NOT sit out on a hill and sketch the scenery spread out before me.
In a previous post I mentioned that I had created two small watercolour sketches as a show of my admiration for the work of two of my hero's. When I met Chris Riddell in London, this was the piece of "fan-art" I had created of his character Ottoline from his children's series by the same title.