Saturday 30 June 2012

Card Proofs

What do you think?

Cotton Bags: Ice and fire, together, with glitter

I added a spot of glitter to the fire dragon, and here it is with its deadly rival, the ice dragon.

Cotton Bag: Black Spiral Dragon

More glitter! This started off as a gothic dragon - all black and purple and red - but then I added some yellow and orange in the background to enhance the contrast and I wasn't quite so sure about the description. "Black" will do.

Cotton Bag: Celtic Ice Dragon

If there's a fire dragon, it's perfectly reasonable to expect there to be an ice dragon.So here it is. I'm not sure that you can tell from the main photograph, but I added some glitter to enhance the icy effect - and because the glitter fabric paints I had ordered arrived in the post yesterday. It might be easier to see in this oblique close-up:

Friday 29 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Celtic Fire Dragon

Everybody knows that dragons (sometimes) breathe fire. This one certainly does! I think it might be a bit annoyed that it's got its tail caught in the loop of the Celtic border, actually.

Monday 25 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Blue Spiral Celtic Dragon

The second stage in the (r)evolution of the spiral dragon design. This fellow is largely done in ordinary wax crayons - apart from the paler green background, which is fabric wax crayon simply because I liked the colour better. I added a few loops to the border to make it more interesting.

Cottington's Poppies - SOLD

Well, the poppies don't belong to Cottington - not as far as I know, anyhow. But that is Cottington's Hill in the background (Mr. Cottington did build a big house up there, but the house is gone, now, and the most significant structure on that hill now is the TV and radio mast that can be seen on this previous painting). No, these are wayside poppies, growing on the field margin - in this case, a wheat field.

Sunday 24 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Spiral Celtic Dragon

The dragon has got longer and acquired wings... he's also moved out of the butterfly house and into a circle (or should that be a disc?). I have plans to sell these bags at a local fete and it occurred to me that the butterflies might be ever so slightly challenging to the masculinity of some potential customers (and other customers might just prefer a disc). Plus, it's always nice to try new ideas out. This one might (r)evolve a little over the next few iterations.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Red Celtic Dragon Butterfly

I don't make any claims for the authentic Welshness of this one, but it will soon be on its way to Wales, to be put through its paces by one of my friends.

It was done with "ordinary" wax crayons, as per my last post. The results are indistinguishable from the fabric wax crayons at this stage.

Stylised Roses

This one's not dated, but I think it was done within a year or two of Fleabane. I think it was painted after I'd attended a workshop on fauvism, a short-lived modern style that emphasised colour, pattern and painterly techniques. Obviously, I didn't borrow very much from that movement in this work, but I did like the idea of the bold black outlines that some of the fauvists used - combined, here, with realistic colours and tonal varation.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Wax Crayons on Fabric

Having nearly worn out the white crayon in my set of fabric wax crayons, I started looking around for a source for something similar. And almost straight away, I stumbled upon this lady's instructions for "Crayon Fabric Art". She says,
I get good results using regular crayons instead of the fabric crayons.
Now, that is interesting. I might have to try that.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Celtic Dragon Butterfly

I was thinking of doing another fantasy butterfly, but I wasn't sure where I'd go with it. Fortunately, I was struck with inspiration at work today. This is based on the Common Blue template.

Only one bag left to decorate...

EDIT(1) And this one is SOLD.

EDIT(2) However, I do have a few large, plain handkerchiefs; here's one that almost matches the bag. I decorated it in pen, because the idea of trying to blow your nose on a waxed surface is just plain wrong. Just in time for the end of the hayfever season...

Cotton Bag: Godrevy

I am rather fond of this subject. And its colours. It had the right orientation to fit on a bag, too - something tells me that a long, narrow landscape like the View from the Dell wouldn't work very well...

I only have two bags left! I shall have to think about what to put on them.


Monday 18 June 2012

Cotton Bags: Common Blue and Camberwell Beauty

The Common Blue is, as you might imagine from its name, widespread throughout the UK. It is, apparently, our most common blue butterfly. Be that as it may, I'm not sure that I see them very often, but that stunning colour is always a treat to encounter. The male is all blue (well, apart from a few black lines and those fuzzy white edges), but the female - while less brilliant - is actually more colourful, with her soft grey blending into blue, and those delightful orange spots.

The Camberwell Beauty, on the other hand, is a rare migrant visitor to these isles; . As might be expected, the name given is the insect's British name (Camberwell is a district of South London). Its Latin name is Nymphalis antiopa, but in North Europe (from whence it migrates to the UK), it is known, variously, as "Trauermantel" (German), "sorgmantel" (Swedish), and "Sørgekåpen" (Norwegian). These names translate to "Mourning Coat", which is the name given to the creature in North America.

Mr. Common Blue is now SOLD.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Cotton Bags: Peacock, Comma

Two more butterfly bags. I'm going with real butterflies for now - there are some absolute stunners out there. And that's just the native UK species.

Saturday 16 June 2012


There's been quite a lot of craft and not enough art in these parts of late, so here is an old painting of some weeds that took my fancy back in 1998.

Cotton Bags: Three Butterflies

In the order they were created, here are three butterfly-decorated cotton bags. There are no paintings to go with these; in fact, two of them are pretty much straight out of my head. I'm sure that you can tell which is the "real" butterfly, despite the fact that its forewings are, in fact, too short.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Rioja

More wax topped off with pen - this time an Edding 4600 textile pen. 

I rather think that this one made the transition quite well. Thing is, there might be a time and a place for carrying pictures of open bottles of wine around, and I'm not sure that I can think of many...


Link to the original painting.

Cotton Bag: Watership Down (1)

The original oil painting, Watership Down (1), was quite a popular image, so it seemed like a good idea to try and render it on a bag. However, the subtleties of a predominantly green landscape may be pushing the limitations of my methodology. The wax version looked poorly defined, and so I tried using the coloured fabric pens. The resulting image is, possibly, a little lurid.

But maybe it still works, after a fashion. What do you think?

Monday 11 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Botallack Chimney

This cotton bag was a bit of an experiment (made yesterday evening). A while back, before we acquired the fabric pens, I bought some fabric wax crayons. The children found them difficult to use, but they do have a decent range of colours (15), and they're a bit more subtle than the pens. A bit too subtle on their own - I ended up adding a bit of delineation with the black pen after I'd pressed the wax image.

Pressed. As in ironed. I actually ironed this bag twice!

But it's more fun than ironing shirts, isn't it?

Anyway, it seems to have worked quite well. The colours mix and blend quite well, and - as I'd hoped - the square boldness of Botallack: Chimney looks pretty good on a bag, although, of course, this is a much sketchier version.

I might have another go at a different picture-of-a-painting-on-a-bag some evening soon.

Friday 8 June 2012

View From The Dell - more pictures

I promised you a better picture yesterday, and it's here - but you'll have to cast your eye across the in-progress shots first. It seemed like a good idea. Notes about when each shot was taken can be found below the "final" image.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Painting from Photographs

Every time I work from a photograph I have to justify it to myself. I have a number of "valid excuses" for such aberrant behaviour, including it would have been too cold (Watership Down in the snow, Godrevys 1 and 2), it is too far away (most of the Cornish ones), there isn't really anywhere to park my easel (Study in Yellow, View from the Dell), it was moving too fast (the sea at Godrevy) even it doesn't exist any more (View from the Dell). A simple there isn't enough time is a bit shaky (even now that I'm working full time again), but I did use that one on its own for the Greenham Common Fire Plane.

View From The Dell

The Dell is a road in the village I live in. It turns into a track as it goes up the hill and out of the village; it's the start of most of my walks. At one point on the track, there is a field gate with a stunning view over the downs. Until very recently, there was a ramshackle metal shack to one side of the gateway, inside the field. I doubt very much that the farmer has had any use for this construction in years, and I can imagine that some people thought it an eyesore. But I rather liked it. It was distinctive, and its rusty corrugated iron complemented the colours of the landscape. Its semicircular profile echoed the curves of the distant downs. Its scruffiness lent interest to the scene.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Cotton Bag: Lego Lady Artist

Is this the start of a new sideline?

I acquired a modest set of 6 fabric pens (red, yellow, blue, green, brown and black) over the Jubilee weekend. They were sort of intended for the children, but I couldn't resist trying them out. We already had a job lot of  these cotton bags, and when I discovered that the framed Welby Church 1 (which I delivered to its recipient today) fitted comfortably inside, I decided that the bag - which had become part of the gift - needed decorating.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Pretty Pictures

... can be found by clicking on the Gallery tab at the top of the screen.

Some recent pictures:

Face to Face: Clamp Set

This is a subsidiary post to Face to Face: Some Commercial Solutions to Transporting and Storing Wet Canvases.

Face to Face: Clips

This is a subsidiary post to Face to Face: Some Commercial Solutions to Transporting and Storing Wet Canvases.

Face to Face: Some Commercial Solutions to Transporting and Storing Wet Canvases

Further to my post on cardboard painting carriers, I have come across a couple of commercial solutions to the problem of carrying wet paintings that are not excessively expensive or heavy. Both of the solutions considered here involve holding two canvases, of similar sizes, a small distance apart from one another. If held face-to-face, the theory is that they will protect one another.