Featured Artist!

Do you ever do anything on the spur of the moment?  Is there ever a time you’ve woken up and decided ‘yep, I’m going to do this today!’? 

Well, I did just that on Saturday.  I woke up and announced to my youngest that we were going on a train.  She didn’t react with the same kind of enthusiasm: ‘But, I’m busy!’ she groaned, not even bothering to ask where the train was heading. With a little … OK a lot of persuasion … we caught the train with five minutes to spare and she finally cheered up when we arrived at our destination two and a half hours later in Portsmouthnd I managed to squeeze a drawing in, using my 6″ x 6″ sketchbook on the return journey.

  
 We were met with glorious weather and a bear hug from her big sister.  She bounced out of the station and took you straight to a massive ice cream parlour.

   
 It’s been an exciting week.  Not only was I featured in an eco e-magazine sharing about my art and creativity using natural products for painting and my passion for recycling, upcycling and using items found around my home to create, but I am this week the featured artist over on an amazing Facebook group site called DoodleArt 😀

How did this happen?  Well, I posted one of my forty-five minute doodles of my OH and the cat, Nikon onto the page challenge: portraits.  It was selected as receiving being among the top three with the most ‘likes’.  The group runs a different challenge a month, so there’ll be a new challenge set on June 1st.

The irony of the icecream parlour visit and eating in a restaurant, aptly named Giraffe, was that my latest doodle depicted both icecreams and a giraffe all painted using naturally made inks from coffee, tea and strawberries!

  

Advertisements

Latest doodle

Good evening from the UK everyone 🙂 Ever drawn a Shar Pei? Ever wanted to draw a dog that has loads of folds and flaps? My friend’s favourite dog is the Shar Pei. She hasn’t got the space to own her own pup, so instead she asked me if I’d draw her one to frame on her wall. I sketched an outline first in pencil and then began the lengthy task of filling in the spaces, yet still trying to maintain that Shar Pei look.

IMG_4731
There was a risk of over-doing the pattern and part of me thinks I should have left a few more white sections. I’ll look at it again tomorrow when I’ve rested. What do you think?

IMG_4737
Now I’m off to,dream about my next project – I’ve been asked to draw a horse called Jimmy, plus I want to get a sewing gift finished. Night all xx

Salvador Dali

imageJust over two years ago, I had the fun of exploring an exhibition of Salvador Dali in Italy.  Famous for his melting clocks, I was intrigued by this man and his creative moustashes and quirky quotes.  Some can be found on http://www.brainyquote.com

Years ago, I studied Art History and we did a module on abstract art, surrealism, cubism and I admit that it wasn’t my favourite thing.  To link with the Art History, we also had to produce a surreal piece of art work; I created something in pen which was part sheep.  I dare say it’s hidden in the depth of my loft now and I’m still embarrassed by it.  So, what does one need to be able to produce something surreal or fantastical?  My mother always said I had a vivid imagination!

imageI didn’t do a surreal piece tonight, I did a portrait using a Sharpie pen of the man himself, in lino (see above) and to put a twist on it, when it prints, it will print in reverse.  How about that?!

As you can see, there’s a bit more cutting to do, but you get the idea 🙂

Some more stamps … How about barbed wire and Celtic knots?

Trying out carving tiny motifs into household erasers proved a little challenging this evening (but then my daughter had fun colouring in the unprinted sections afterwards!).

2015/01/img_4503.jpg

2015/01/img_4504.jpg
These erasers were even smaller than the tree I shared in the previous blog post. The barbed wire stretches across 1.5 inches! Sorry metric fans!!!

2015/01/img_4244.jpg

2015/01/img_4245.jpgThe border’s all ready to colour in 🙂

Happy New Year!!!

January 1st – a new day, a new year, and a different kind of blog!

Happy New Year one and all :-). My daughter gave me this book for my birthday. It’s poignant because there is one story for every day of the year and each story is 365 words long.

This year I plan to not just present you with a craft experience, but each craft I showcase or explore will have a story behind it. I hope to be able to share with you the highs and lows of creating a drawing a day as I try and improve my drawing in order to finally make a book.
According to my WordPress stats report, I had 7,900 hits on my Squarebird blog over the year. Thank you everyone who has visited, commented, liked and supported me through the experience of writing my first blog. It has led me to new friendships and the discovery of a craft that I love and revisit frequently. It has led to me being able to sell my art and begin workshopping, so others can also learn in a friendly, social atmosphere. It has brought me through trials, where I my patience was tested. An example of this was making the patchwork chicken pin cushion. Not only had a never done patchwork before, I’d also not worked on such a small piece using fabric block panels.
So on the anniversary of my first blog post … Here’s to another 365 days of fun, craft, blogging and sharing. I hope you join me in this next journey. Enjoy your day wherever you are … Happy January 1st! 🙂

20150101-093134-34294531.jpg

Wristies

When a colleague asked me to crochet or knit her a pair of wristies and gave me free reign over colours/style and pattern, I checked out a number of patterns and basically it evolved from 38 chain. I modelled the size around my own wrist and hand length. She hasn’t seen them yet (I said I’d have them ready by Friday), so hope she likes them now they’re finished. I enjoyed making them so much, I’m going to make myself a pair!

20141216-230750-83270773.jpg
The wristies consisted of mainly trebles, so the pattern grew quickly – if I’d opted to do some knitting, they could well be waiting until after Christmas!

Nano update

Well, it’s day 17 of the National Novel Writing Month where there challenge continues – to write a draft novel in 30 days – the month of November.  To keep up the pace, the task is to try and write more than 1667 words a day for the whole month.  I was, I admit feeling I’d run out of steam yesterday as I needed sleep and took a break, but then new life hit the story today and before I knew it, I’d written way more than the minimum word count!  I’m finding the characters are beginning to set the scene and take over; they’ve become more than two dimensional and they have a purpose.  There’s already been a death and an underground explosion in the subterranean world built out of metal cogs.  Of course, it’s a rough draft, but I became excited by what was happening tonight as the characters are acting how they want to act.  Oh, and I went with the name Damascus in the end.  Someone on Facebook made me chuckle by suggesting I went with Damascus ‘brother to Remington’! when I called for suggestions on which name to go with out of a selection of five (Tyvek, Damascus Steel, Yew, MEK, or Glass). I  had various reasons for choosing these five.   The name Yew would have been interesting, depending on whether my potential novel was going to be read aloud or not as you have yew, you (singular), you (plural) all sounding the same, and yew relates to the tree which is used to make bowls, medicine and weapons. MEK referred to the chemical solvent methyl ethyl ketone (used in printing inks).  Glass on the other hand can be smoked, hammered, clear, etched, melted, monoprinting traditionally was done on glass sheets when I was studying printing at college) and Tyvek can be printed on (and notoriously difficult to control on a printing press) and so strong that it can’t be ripped.

Now I’ve reached 26,200 words (still a long way to go for that 50,000 mark), I have a deliberately unnamed character.  His anonymity is paramount for the safety of the rest of the characters.  So, for all you budding writers out there, is it absolutely necessary (in your opinion) to name every character in story?  What do you think?