Thursday, November 8, 2012

the battle axes...

I have been looking at old family photos {which my Grandmother used to call the battle axes} recently and have been inspired to create these little images on old envelopes.  I have been collecting  old letters, stamps and envelopes for a while... some dated from as early as 1880's up to 1950's.  I just love drawing and painting on the old paper, it is so soft.  I have kept some of the really old ones and am not sure whether I will draw on them or not?  

Some of the old  photos were printed as postcards and there are quite a few that are faded so I am endeavoring to incorporate that feeling in these pieces.

{my grandmother is the little girl sitting on her mother's lap... apparently I looked exactly like she did when I was younger}

Monday, October 22, 2012

blob of yellow...

 A few things I have been working on lately...

Yellow was never a colour I had really used much so I decided to push myself and extend my colour palette a little.  I actually really enjoyed the exercise... you can't help but be happy with a blob of yellow on your brush.

I have always painted my girls facing forward so I thought I would have a go at a side view...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

while he was sleeping...

Have been watching Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter recently... I always thought when I was younger that something special would happen to me like it did to Harry and Frodo.  To be picked for a great quest that would lead to an amazing adventure... I am still waiting for my time {although you don't see many 40 year olds saving the world... sigh

 Anyway, back to reality... I started this one last night while Ben was sleeping and she has inspired a series of angel type characters {are there such things as bad angels}?

and here is another set of masked heroines, which  I finished last week and have now added to my etsy shop... I also have a green set on the go too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I have been working on some more of my little masked heroes... these ones are French and were based on knights, Joan of Arc type thing and one of my most favourite songs... wunderkind by Alanis Morissete.  Will be adding these to my etsy shop soon...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

new little guys...

I have been working on a series of these little guys over the last few days.  I am really happy with them and I actually learnt quite a lot while making them too.   They involved painting, drawing, cutting, gluing, stamping and colouring... and I have an idea for using them in a pattern design as well so there will be a bit of photoshopping involved as well... Yay!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

words have wings so speak good things...

I think I'd mentioned that I had bookmarked this year as my year of knowledge and so far it has been more than I would have ever expected.  Apart from all the information and guidance it has really made me think about what I am doing, what I want to do and where I am going... really big scary stuff.   One of the big things that came up was that I really wanted to get more drawing into my work.  It is a hard feeling to put into words but I feel like I am needing to re-invent my style a little, put more of myself in there.  

So last night I had a little play while I thought about what I love doing... and what I love doing is this: painting {smallish}, cutting things out, drawing, collage, working on paper and telling a story.  I also love working in photoshop making {surface} patterns from my images.  I think I can incorporate all of these things into my art work?   So I am thinking that for the rest of this year and maybe some of the next year {as well as being a year of knowledge} it will also be a year of play, re-invention and discovery.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

big big big painting...

I have been filling my brain and time the last few months with Flora Bowley's Bloom True course.  Being such a small, tight painter it was quite scary to be face to face with a 750mm square canvas!!!  But the way Flora guided us through her process it was quite liberating and so nice to know there was no such thing as a mistake. 
after layer 1 & 2
after layer 3
after layer 4
after layer 5 & 6

after layer 7 & 8

after layer 9

after layer 10

Unfortunately I didn't take any shots of the layers that made up the following painting, so this is as far as I have gotten with this one...  I have called her 'little red'.

Can you see the wolf in the background?

I really love the bit on the bottom left hand side of this one.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

pattern mad...

Making patterns is like a bug and once you start it takes over and you can't stop!!!  but it is a fun addiction.  We have finished our first module and have a few weeks break till the next one.  If anyone  is interested in joining me for the next one click here!

here are some of my latest patterns...

{these ones above were inspired from a problem I have... forgetting to water my plants}

{and these are some birds that were inspired from the wrapped walnuts}

I went to Auckland last weekend with our design students to the Semi Permanent design conference... I was totally inspired by Kelli Anderson, she was an amazing speaker and I really like the way she thinks and approaches her work.

Here is a link to her TED talk where she talks about similar things to the talk she presented us.

and here is a picture I took outside the Auckland City Gallery... the blossoms were an amazing red, it almost hurt your eyes looking at them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

something a little different...

I have been unhappy with my 'painting' style for a while now it leaves me feeling really unsatisfied and unfulfilled, the whole process has become mechanical and unfun.  In fact when I say paining it is a bit of a lie, they have become more collage than anything else.

After starting the Surface Pattern Design course it has really bought back my love of drawing.  I have been thinking lately of getting more drawing/illustration into my work and less collage.  So yesterday I played around with the idea of total drawing, the first one was from an idea I found on pinterest... I must say I had so much fun!!!  I made a lot of mistakes and some of them turned out to be happy accidents!  I am excited again!!!... and I can see something like these above might even be able to be used in a pattern design?  Maybe for a little girls night gown fabric or something?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

crazy obsessed...

{steampunk fairies}

A few months ago I had never heard of the term surface pattern design... now it completely fills my mind.  I want to turn every single thing I have drawn into a pattern, I am crazy obsessed.  Every pattern I have done so far has been from an image where pattern was not the intention.  But I think next I am going to try and design something specifically for a pattern design.   We have been talking about colour this week in my Surface Pattern Design course, something which scares me a little... But I have started a folder with some 'moodboards' that I can go back to for inspiration or make up a new one for a project.  They are really great for getting all the elements you want in a design together before you actually start designing. 

What are your favourite colour combinations?

Monday, May 7, 2012

3 good things and some bad news...

I thought it might be fun to wrap a few things and then draw them, so I half wrapped a walnut with some thread... from my drawings of the wrapped walnut they kind of turned into fish. The little cross on the outside of the circle was because I was mad at my connection point, the circle never joined perfectly. But that little cross became a part of my little motifs. I then experimented where I started the circle and the cross became a mouth or an eye. I like the cross as a mouth with a little the fish in his belly, like he is a bit naughty for eating the wee fish... which I think might have been his little brother.

I took these fish from above and used them to make the pattern below

Good things... 

1.  I have been having so much fun the last week with pattern design... seeing patterns in everyday items like walnuts and feijoas and then doing lots and lots of drawing from these discoveries which is leading to some interesting stuff {see above pictures}.

2.  I recently purchased a Intuos5 tablet and I can see it's going to be a valuable tool in my studio practice. 

3.  I have got together with a dear old friend {he is not old, we are old... if that makes sense}? and we are going to work together to design a website for me.  I am so super excited about this and will keep you updated!!!

The bad thing...

1.  My little pirate girls, garden bugs and steampunk girls didn't get accepted for the card company... they said they were not their style.  A small part of me had a feeling that they might be a bit left of what they would be after butthere was a large part of me that was hopeful that they might like them... oh well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

seed pods and things...

I have just started the Art and business of surface pattern design course... and I am so bloody excited.  Doing this stuff for the rest of my life would be like heaven for me.  I am totally blissed out!!!

The top pics are some of my drawings from collections of stones and seed pods below {I couldn't help but draw a few little pod people}. 

Yesterday was ANZAC day so we had the day off.  I decided it was going to be a photo taking/drawing day... I had so much fun finding all sorts of interesting things... which meant the house ended up in a huge mess!!!  I was a girl possessed.  Then I thought it might be fun to go to the beach in the evening, so we strolled along collecting treasures and I quietly thought about those ANZAC men.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

in the middle of a storm...

{sometimes there was a storm in her brain}

I have signed up to a four online classes and had bookmarked this year as a 'year of knowledge' I just didn't count on that knowledge being so complex and life altering.  So now everything is up in the air and swirling above my head in a huge mess {I was walking outside the other day and I looked up and there was a little patch of blue right above me, but all around it there were a whole lot of nasty fluffy black clouds, I had a little bit of fun naming the clouds... website designing cloud, art show cloud, gallery cloud, work cloud  etc...} I am positive this is all part of some sort of process that I need to go through and as hard as it seems now I am determined to see it though and push forward a little bit more every day.