Ta da: I’m delighted to share the Inspire by Kim bear. Made from fabrics that I have designed using techniques including batik, tie dye, dry point printing.
When flicking through a magazine that my friend brought two years ago after my knee injury I saw a bear pattern that I just had to make in my fabrics.
There was a little magic happened when I started making in fabrics that I have created myself. I chose contrasting fabrics next to each other for a colourful, as you’d expect from me no doubt, cheery bear.
I used free machine embroidery to add a colourful heart and make his nose.
Loving the fabric colours meant that I loved the process. The making was also a great boot camp for my sewing techniques as the size of the bear made for small seam allowances which were sometimes fiddly.
The bear is intended to delight. He carries the messages ‘Be’ and ‘Light’ as a reminder not to take things too seriously, easier said than done. His ear has the Inspire by Kim brand and he has ‘Kim’ on his foot, a little nod to the Toy Story films with Buzz Lightyear and Woody each having ‘Andy’ on their foot.
I’m excited to see where this latest make will lead to next. Watch this space and follow my blog if you’ve enjoyed this post. Related makes are:
I have wanted to create a book since I was 7 years old.
The fluffy white Maltese Terrier Dog Sam has featured in each of my paper cut pictures, so I started to feel a story was emerging.
‘Sam’s Adventures’ came to mind and I decided to sign up for a Writing Children’s Books workshop with London-based publishers Nosy Crow. I ticked the box for the option for a manuscript review, and then was shocked when I received an email asking for the manuscript a good time ahead of the course. I swung into action and started to build a book from the pictures I had created.
I didn’t enjoy the process and the publisher’s MD didn’t like the outcome, as the character wasn’t prominent enough in the illustrations.
In the time between sending the manuscript and the course I had a burst of courage in my painting ability and I decided to paint the character and hoped to capture his spirit.
Here are some of the watercolour and acrylics paintings I created of Sam.
Sam was my brother’s dog, we had great adventures in the Alps and Provence together. I loved him very much and although it would be wonderful to have a dog of our own for the time being creating stories for Sam will have to suffice.
On the theme of Sam the dog wanting to fly I created a range of artworks. I scanned my paintings and created a PDF file which I then uploaded to create an e-book through Kindle Direct Publishing. I’m proud to say that the book is now available online.
Update April 2018 – A hard copy of the book is available at my Folksy Shop
The first book was about the scenes, the second book/ iteration was about the character. My challenge now is to find ways of putting the more developed character into unique environments and settings. When I achieve that I will share the outcome. Watch this space. You can do that by following the blog, just add your preferred email address in the box at the top sides of the page. I love welcoming new followers to the fold and won’t clog your inbox.
“My latest paper masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. It is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.”
Read the full story:
I often have an idealistic view of what an event will be like. For instance say to me garden party and instantly an image conjures of pretty bunting flapping in the wind, smiling faces, beautiful colourful tablecloths, bright blooms, pink lemonade with ice glinting in the sun, gorgeous dresses and a cloud leisurely tracking across a vivid blue sky. My idealism can often lead to the reality being a little disappointing. I had seen this as a trait that was negative, that I was being naive and childishly silly.
But I have realised that it is this ideal world imagination that is the magic that can make my special kind of art.
My growing number of paper cut creations, finely crafted like a self-made jigsaw, come from this visual idealism.
Best seen in their original form the pictures are intricate and unique. In their creation is a calm happy place for me, one where I am in that sweet spot between consciousness and subconscious. Piece by piece, thought by thought I cut and stick to form a whole that when I step back I wonder how that came about.
When I was a youngster I would get frustrated that my art did not look like I had envisioned. That I could not recreate on paper the picture that I had in my head. But my paper artworks never start from a whole vision, it begins like a building, first the walls go in place, then I furnish the building with pretty furniture from my imagination and add personal items that belong to the imaginary owners, curated over their lives.
Ta-Da… My Latest Picture Revealed
I very recently completed what I feel is my latest masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. Like the earlier smaller (A4) Beach Huts, Allotments and Ski Chalet (all in the strip above), it is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see, but this new piece is A3 and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.
I created the Ice Cream artwork with new colour understanding after studying the relationships between colours. As a result it really pops off the page.
So here it is for your visual consumption. Have a Flake with that.
Hot Days Eating Cool ice Cream is a design made entirely from pieces of paper cut into shapes to make a bright, colourful work of art. The design feature an ice cream cafe on a sunny day. The ice-cream maker also sells the delicious ice creams out and about in the sparkly ice-cream van.
Two girls are at the cafe to enjoy ice-cream and a small white dog trots by to in the hope of a little chocolate or sweet treat.
In the distance people enjoy the fun and thrill of a rollercoaster ride and a plane flies overhead to spread the work about the wonderful ice-creams.
This is my first paper cut work that prominently features people. This was a challenge, at first I painted people and cut and added those, but later recreated them in paper and am happier with the paper characters.
Here are some details from the picture… (watermarked).
And now the fun starts on creating canvases, fabric and products which will take the picture out and about and on the move in the world.
I am seeking an art agent or art business mentor/manager to assist my art out into the world. Please share my post so that it can find its way to the ideal person to help.
If you’ve enjoyed this post here are related posts to feast your eyes and imagination on. Enjoy!
I will let the pictures do the talking on this post. Following my knee injury I got creative to aid visualisation, positively affirm and channel healing energy.
This couture knee character was warmly received on Facebook so I continued to be creative with my knee however following my Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction surgery I was a little restricted on my knee art, so had to turn to the other knee and non contact art.
I didn’t want to risk contaminating my wound by doing anything directly on my dressings. So for this final, at this stage, piece of knee art I stuck stickers on acetate and captured on a photograph. The icons represent things which I will be able to do when healed and when I look at my knee I see those as opposed to the dressings. Where next? If you enjoyed this you might like to see my Knee Injury Drawings – Art Challenge 20 where I sketched my initial injury experiences – click here to view the post.
Following on from the success of my paper cut pictures I decided to increase the scale of my work and embarked on a picture twice the size this time A3.
To see the original blog post with my paper cut picture of beach huts, a ski chalet and allotments huts click on this image.
I love the sun and sea so decided to create a landscape picture featuring huge sun, green hills, a village and put the Maltese Terrier character, Sam, large in the picture as he looks on from an approaching boat.
I built the picture, gradually adding detail. I used some paper and canvas that I had painted for a background for a different picture and used those to build the background, adding a pearlescent effect and texture as they were painted with pearly acrylic paint.
Due to my knee injury the picture was completed over a few months. The beauty with the paper is that items can be replaced, moved or removed. I do like the medium for that, so much more flexible that paint. Also its not necessary to wait for something to dry before continuing the picture.
I intend to use the picture, and the previous paper cut pictures for a picture book with a story about the dog Sam, so I added in aspects from the other pictures at the sides of this latest picture.
The picture has aspects inspired by aerobatics flying in New Zealand, the clock tower building inspired by my studio, the sailing boat by sailing in Australia and the flags from the Royal Yacht Britannia, the dolphin by trips to see them swimming in Tenerife and boats by my long standing desire to paint boats in Mexico.
Completed yesterday the picture now looks beautiful framed in a white wooden frame. When I showed my relatives the picture the response was warm, one family member said that it made her feel happy, I was taken aback and if my art can make people feel better then that is wonderful.
if you have liked this post please subscribe to my blog so that you will be alerted when I post upcoming challenges, I am open to suggestions of what art challenge to do next, you can post suggestions in the comment box. Many thanks for viewing my blog, if there is someone who you think might like to see my Art Challenges please feel free to share a link with them.
I looked around to see which companies were offering photo printed soap bags and chose a company that I could see and feel the quality.
I decided to get a number of the bags printed to gift and sell.
I created two different models of bag, both featuring the beach huts picture on one side and then on the other either the allotments sheds picture of the ski chalet. The different bags will appeal to different people.
I was disappointed that there was a delay with the order which took the shine and excitement away. When I collected the bags I felt that they needed a little more detail to finish them off. I decided that adding a zip pull would give the product more finesse and better overall effect.
I tried a few different ways of creating the zip pull and had a bit of a shock that my eyes aren’t as good for sewing as they used to be. Oh those cross stitches I used to create with just my naked eyes. This time, even with glasses on, I was struggling too see clearly enough.
I searched through my sewing box and found some ribbon I bought a few years ago and had never used. One worked well with the chalet picture, one less so but that worked well with the allotments and beach huts pictures.
I experimented with how to stop the ribbon from fraying, sewing, burning with candle and then with hair straighteners. I settled on burning with matches as the most effective option, but too long and the ribbon would turn black.
At first I sewed the zip pulls on all sides, then tried just sewing a line across, then finally found that I could do it more neatly by just doing stitches at the end of the zip and then secondly through the furthest whole of the zip. This final option was also quickest, although each bag took longer than I expected, as I was eyesight challenged.
So having completed the sewing I felt that the bags needed some kind of label or branding to finalise the designs and overall first impression.
My husband bought me some scissors with different shaped cutting blades, I added a vertical wraparound strip then tried watercolour painting small labels to add a final presentation detail.
Please with the final results and they have been met with delight from loved ones.
The amount of detail in each of the paper cut pictures meant that I wanted to find a way to enable people, who weren’t able to see the original pictures in real life, to be able to zoom in and see the features. If you haven’t seen the blog post that was Art Challenge 13 – Paper Cut Pictures you can enjoy it at this link. I wanted to move elements of the pictures to bring them to life, but having glued all the picture aspects in place I was too late. I therefore decided to animate the pictures through the choice of stills I used and also by drawing the viewers attention to aspects of the picture by using relevant sound effects. The first picture I animated was the allotments picture, I was keen to keep the animations short and to the point so that the viewer would hopefully keep watching to the end. You can watch each of the three movies by clicking on the images below – they are all around one minute long.
The second picture I animated was the ski chalet, I found this less charming as there weren’t as many ‘characters’ birds and so on, as in the allotments.
It was some time before I could gather the courage to animate the beach huts picture. As this picture was the first paper cut picture I created I was afraid of an animation that did not do the picture justice. I was worried but am pleased with the result. With all of the pictures the choice of music and sound effects is so key to the atmosphere created in the videos.
How I Created The Animations I used the Stop Animation app on my iphone to photograph each picture. Then added the video to Apple iMovie and titles, sound effects and finally the sound track. I am proud of the paper cut pictures and hope that more people can enjoy the detail of them through these short animated videos.
A couple of months ago I created three pictures from cuttings of the lovely patterned including paper by Simple Stories. The first picture was inspired by a visit to the Lincolnshire coast, Chapel St Leonard’s to be specific, where I was enchanted by a wonderful row of brightly coloured beach huts.
The second was a ski chalet, inspired by our visits to the resort of Courchevel in Les 3 Vallees in the French Alps. The third was inspired by the allotment sheds that I see on countryside walks near my home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
I wanted to share these paper cut pictures on the blog as they are art works that I am very proud of and as they grew and developed on the paper were a delight to create. Secondly I wanted to show them as I have been working on an Art Challenge which refers to them.
With each of the pictures I started with no vision of what I would create but built the pictures up piece by piece as I went along. In doing so I was able to layer aspects of the picture, add something, replace it if i liked. I enjoyed the freedom of the medium to be able to change and tweak the pictures and add aspects as they popped into my head. Something that I don’t feel would be possible with painting unless you were using oil paints and they had chance to dry in-between.
Each of the designs features a small white dog, sadly our Maltese Terrier Sam died after I had created the first picture so I added him, then featured him in the chalet and allotments pictures as a tribute to him.
I was delighted with the results and proud to display them, I also had some bags, mugs and t-shirts made with the first design of beach huts which were gifts for friends and family. I also added the designs to products at my Zazzle Shop – click on the link to go there.
I will be posting short, (1 minute) animations of each of the pictures. If you would like to see those please revisit the blog next week or subscribe to receive a notification of when they are posted.
I really enjoyed creating the pictures and the nostalgia of the scenes, if others can enjoy seeing them that is wonderful.