Tag Archives: art inspiration

Art Challenge 33 – My First Art Commission!

My first art commission!

My good friend commissioned me to create a painting for her for real money! She explained what she wanted the fundamental message of the artwork to be and it started to form in my mind over a few days. I asked some questions about the brief and when she told me how she envisaged it lots of different coloured bubbles rising from left low to high high with lots of vibrancy and energy, her view was very much what I had seen in my mind’s eye.

I considered whether to take an academic approach to the artwork, studying bubbles (the key element) their structure and working on sketches and preliminary drawings and practising, or taking a new canvas board and diving in to build the artwork and making it develop on the board, seeking information and researching as I went. This approach is partly thanks to the influence of the Mixed Media Art learning from Kelly-Rae Roberts. The techniques I have used in my Mantra Artworks came into use.

My friend mentioned a dancer in the brief, I drew figures in movement in my Art of Skating and Knee Injury Drawing Art Challenges. I wanted the figure to demonstrate joy in her pose, and having studied danced the pose also had to be technically correct.

Art Challenge 17 - The Art of Skating
The Art of Skating. Copyright Kim 2014

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Here are some images made into a movie to show how the artwork took shape and developed.

I really enjoyed working to the brief and creating for a good friend, I worked her energy, essence and my knowledge of her into the piece and found that I also had to add my joy, in terms of the colours, energy and some glitter, for the piece to be truly joyful. It was tricky to know when to stop, I worked on the piece over a two week period, sometimes for 4 hours, some times two minutes. I liked being able to go to the piece as ideas came to mind, whenever that was.

In my studio enjoying the buzz of my first commissioned artwork.
In my studio enjoying the buzz of my first commissioned artwork.

My friend entitled the piece Rainbow Dancer. The painting is in transit to her at present in the Middle East and she’s also ordered a number of day to day items featuring my artwork so she can have it with her wherever she goes. I have put artworks on useful items on Zazzle, I like the idea of art brightening up everyday items and activities. Here’s a link to my Zazzle shop.

A scan of the final piece, it doesn’t do it true justice but gives an impression of the piece.

P.S. I scanned the sections of the picture in the hope of stitching it together, something I hadn’t done before and wasn’t sure how I would. It came to me that I could place the four scans at the extremities of a layer and then overlap and smooth the joins. That feels like a breakthrough skill for my armoury, I can create larger artworks now, knowing I can digitise and reproduce them.

Hopefully this commission will be the first of a number. I’m open to discussing briefs, if you would like a bespoke artwork please contact me.

Related posts to enjoy next:

Art Challenge 17 – The Art of Skating

Art Challenge 20 – Knee Injury Drawings.

Art Challenge 33 – Garden Art Makeover

As the warmer weather drew me outside our garden replaced our lounge as my knee rehabilitation and rest space. I love our garden as its a safe space away from the bustle and busyness. A private haven for relaxing, time with loved ones or nurturing and growing beautiful flowers.

The spring tulips, my favourites, had done their blooming and so the garden was ripe for some additional decoration, as part of my development as an artist I wanted to branch out beyond our own walls and extend my art into our garden space.


I have wanted an ‘In the garden’ sign for some time as gives a hint of the magic of the garden behind the house and for me conjures an image of someone happily wiling away the hours tending to plants, helping them to climb, grow and be their best and most beautiful . As I had been bought a Welsh slate sign that was perfect. I used acrylics to build a picture and am hoping that Yacht varnish will protect the paint from the weather. I’m happy with the picture and the atmosphere it creates when hung at the front of the house. It’s a pretty way to ensure we don’t miss deliveries and to save friends and relatives waiting and knocking when we wont hear them.

I then used the sign as a basis of a mantra artwork, adding extra images of flowers from our garden and a picture of the first little birdhouse. I added text in my current favourite photo app Phonto. I love evolving pieces of my art, giving them extra wings to reach hearts and minds. Having planted the seeds, tended and nurtured them into flowers there is a lot of my joy in this artwork.

I added solar LED lights into the climbing plants, they are ideal as no wiring, energy or remembering to switch on and off required, some lanterns I had won in a raffle and some artworks from a local shop that was closing down – an ice cream VW camper van for me and a Mini Cooper for my husband.

I love adding colour to the garden when it’s time to wash our pinks and reds – my favourite wash day.

I added the birdhouse that I had painted – see Art Challenge 31 and painted three smaller bird houses to hang and add interest to hang by the roses. I painted a convex mirror that I found at a reclaimed shop in St Annes On Sea, so that it could reflect the beauty of our garden. We added extra plants and an Indian lantern that caught my eye at TK Maxx and painted a terracotta pot with acrylics.

  

  

 

   

It’s not so sunny in the garden just now but it’s lovely to sit and write in the open air in our lovely garden.

 Possible future additions…

I may add a name to the shed in the beach hut style and maybe accent the structure of the shed for effect but for now I’m satisfied that the garden now feels more arty, personal and intriguing.

Related posts:
Art Challenge 31 – Bird House ( not shed as my husband called it.)

If you love gardening and working the land then you’ll enjoy my Allotments movie – just one minute of bliss.

Art Challenge 24 – Knee Art For Healing

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. IMG_2382

Patriotic pilot knee – I drew a smile on my knee to make it feel happier. I then thought that the brace hinges look like headphones. This then became the first knee art character.
Couture knee – my favourite, inspired by a magazine feature about hats

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.

Please send love and healing light – don’t worry I

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. image 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.

Part Two – Paper Cut Pictures

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.

Click on the picture to see the Paper Cut Pictures blog post

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.image

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.

Seaside Village .Copyright Kim
Seaside Village .Copyright Kim

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.

Art Challenge 20 – Knee Injury Diary Drawings

As I waited for my husband to return from the hotel buffet, feeling all guests eyes on me with my new leg brace and crutches I decided to draw.

My ski knee injury was a guarantee of a need to be patient and go with the flow. It is just a few shirt days since the accident. Trying to diarise my experience through biro pen drawings is a way of expressing my experience and is a subject on which to practice my art.

This is the first drawing of the knee shake as the ligaments damaged.

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The pictures of the subsequent experiences and days follow.

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I realised that I can draw myself better than others that I have to be wanting to do the drawing as when they are half hearted then I rush them and they are not as good. I realised that faces are tricky when they are small. Some of the pictures are my point of view and some are me stepping back and drawing what I think I looked like at that time.

I am pleased with the drawings from these first four days, will continue to document the experiences in this way. It will be busier when I get home but at present there is little I can do but sit and rest my leg between meals and toilet visits. But we are making the best of it and I appreciate the small things which one usually would take for granted due to their normality. It’s a learning.

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This was the bruising at the back of my knee about 10 days after the injury.,

Update February 2020

Later MRI and CT scans showed. I did the ‘Unhappy Triad’ – complete tear of ACL, medial ligament tore from the bone, and I damaged my meniscus. Was three years to get back to skiing and five to get back to the pre-injury control. Had an ACL reconstruction and millions of exercises. But it was a life changing/affirming experience. When there’s not much I could do, I wanted to be enjoying what I was doing. That is where art saved me.

Related posts:

Ski Illustrations

Emerging From Injury To Produce Art Exhibition

Art Challenge 24 – Knee Art For Healing

Art Challenge 18 – Gingerbread House

I decided I was going to make a gingerbread house but it didn’t feel right to make a random cottage so I decided to copy a real house.

The fact that the house was taller than wide made it a structural challenge but I drew the structure, did a lot of planning and watched YouTube videos that showed different ways to hold the structure together.

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I followed Mary Berry’s Gingerbread recipe and created my own templates and left space for fairy lights to be inserted inside the house. The fairy lights gave a homely feel to the house as they lit the windows made of melted boiled sweets. It was a challenge to get smooth lines with the icing and to have a steady enough hand when adding the decorative detail. I am not a big icing fan so didn’t want to go overboard in terms of flavour and also to loose the likeness of the house.

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It was a challenge, enjoyable and delicious when it came to eating it. The house made a great centre piece and conversation point for our festive celebrations.

Here’s a short video of the gingerbread house just 1.5 minutes long. 

Twin Girls Picture – Art Challenge 16

Having seen my paper cut pictures (see the pictures in Art Challenges 13 and animated in Art Challenge 15) my friend asked me to create a paper cut picture for her twin daughters. I said that I would but that i did not know when it would be. I let the concept work itself through in my mind and then one day in my studio having come across a die cut word ‘Twins’ I decided to create the picture. The twin girls are just 18 months old, but I felt that if i reflected baby aspects in the design that it would be redundant in just a few years. Instead I decided to make the design timeless, girly and hopefully as cool if they look at it at 5 years old as 15. Much beyond that I can’t account for or extrapolate what their experiences will be. IMG_1232IMG_1233 I first added a background then started to create and add girly elements to the die cut word, roses, sunglasses, guardian angel wings, princess crowns, hearts and some more general happy days symbols kites, flying, hot air balloon, sunshine, stars. I added words from the Simple Stories craft paper ‘wonderful’, ‘sweet’ happy’ and so on. I added some glitter paint in places. IMG_1235IMG_1236 Having chosen, cut, created and stuck everything down I then started to think about the background and what colour and texture would work best. I found that no one colour worked behind the whole word so I tried putting two different sheets together and after trying many combinations I felt that pink and apple green worked best. I also quite liked that there were two colours as after all the girls are two people and individuals. Having stuck the word onto the paper (really hope it stays stuck.) I then started to think about how to add the girls names into the design in a non-cheesy way.

Twins Pic Completed Picture. Copyright KIm 2014

After much practice ands feeling fearful of messing up the Simple Stories paper I had selected I painted the girls names. This was quite a step forward to mix painting with my paper cutting, I am normally afraid that I will spoil the picture. I chose a white frame for the picture and will be giving it to my friend this afternoon, I hope she likes it and that the girls can appreciate it throughout their early years.

Twins Pic Framed and Ready for Delivery. Copyright Kim 2014

Thank you for viewing this post, if you haven’t already seen my Beach Huts, Ski Chalet and Allotments paper cut pictures you can see those in Art Challenge 13. If you would like to see further art challenges please subscribe to the blog, or if there is someone you know that would like to see the blog please share it with them. Many thanks, Kim x

Art Challenge 13 – Paper Cut Pictures

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.

Chapel St Leonards Beach HutsBrightly Coloured Beach HutsLincolnshire 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.

Grab Beach Hut 2
Beach Huts. Kim 2014
Chalet Picture copy
Ski Chalet. Kim 2014
Allotments. Kim 2014
Allotments. Kim 2014

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.

Sam
Sam

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.

Tote Bag. Kim 2014
Tote Bag. Kim 2014

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.

Update: If you liked this post you can see animations of these pictures at this link Art Challenge 15 – Animating Paper Pictures.