Monday, 31 March 2014

Insects, Photography and Folk Music

It's been a very inspiring weekend.

Firstly, my very talented friend Beth (or Westie to me) came over for a creative weekend. She has very kindly photographed my latest creations for me. I have been working on some insect jewellery. I've always loved curiosity cabinets and specimens in museums, so I decided to have a go at creating my own 'specimens'. All of the insects in my jewellery are printed copies of my original watercolour illustrations so no living critters were harmed in the making of these!

The jewellery will be appearing in my Etsy shop very soon, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek. My photography skills are shoddy at best, so a huge thank you to Beth for doing such a wonderful job!

Red Admiral Pendant

Ladybird Bracelet

The second part of my inspiring weekend was going to see Emily Smith live at The Artrix in Bromsgrove. This was a surprise Mother's Day present for a very unsuspecting Mum, despite me playing the 'Traiveller's Joy' album every single time I saw her for over a week!

We actually discovered Emily Smith and her band in quite a bizarre way; when we were at a Patty Griffin concert last year, the two people sitting next to us mistook me for her. Sadly I had to disappoint them as I don't have a Scottish accent and can't sing a note in tune! We were so curious about her though, that we looked her up and loved her music!

We had a fantastic evening and I thoroughly recommend going if you can catch the rest of the tour. The Artrix definitely wins our prize for best wheelchair facilities and friendly staff. They really couldn't have been more helpful. We're already planning our next visit!

I love the storytelling in folk music and now have a newfound appreciation of surprisingly cheerful murder ballads! Here is 'The Twa' Sisters' from a different performance.

Here is a little video of 'Traiveller's Joy' taken on my phone last night:

To top off our perfect evening we even got to meet Emily and her husband, Jamie McClennan, who were both lovely!

Monday, 3 March 2014

What's in my sketchbook: February

This month I discovered a book called 'The Bible of Illuminated Letters'. It's a really interesting resource because you can find out about the history of illuminated letters and how these have changed over time, but also learn step-by-step how to create your own.

I didn't have all of the inks and materials to hand so I just had a go at sketching a few of the examples out. I then did some speedy colouring with good old felt tip pen.

Ottonian 'K'
Gothic 'Q'

Neo-Classical 'E'. I think this style of lettering is my

Whenever I teach drawing to children, I always make sure that nobody uses a rubber. I think, especially in your sketchbook, the best way to learn is by making mistakes and drawing over your work until it looks the way you want it to. To prove that I practise what I preach, I've included a sketch of a deer that I've altered. I began by sketching a deer skull and then added the features to it. If you look closely, you will see that I changed the position of the nose because it was initially too low.

Unsurprisingly, I have some new books, so March's sketches are going to be all about anatomy!