I have often seen deer, foxes and wild boar whilst driving the mountain roads at night. The marmots we see emerging from hibernation in the spring, enjoying eating crocus as the snow melts away. I once encountered an imposing bouquetin at high altitude by the glacier near Val Thorens. We would also see herds of bouquetin grazing and fighting on the slopes of Champagny Le Haut. Mountain hare tracks can be seen from the chairlifts indicating their nocturnal presence. Whilst driving by Lake Annecy a family of five wild boar crossed the road ahead of us, parent and their young, so cute.
I also painted a Eurasian brown bear which lives in the Caucasus mountains of Russia, where we skied over bear tracks in the snow. Next to our hotel was a woodcarver’s yard where he whittled life sized bears from huge tree trunks. I chose a small carved bear as a souvenir of the trip. To read about heli-skiing in Russia click here.
My first composition (below) felt predatory, I needed a less confrontational arrangement of the elements.
Therefore I chose a tower of animals, united in assistance for the story’s main character, painting them in a less literal style for the final artwork.
I’m determined to keep learning and growing my skills through study of theory and techniques, practical art and colourful exploration. You can follow my blog to see work as it develops and the projects progress.
My intention is editorial illustration work, ideally the cover of Flow magazine, and commercial artwork for ‘change for good’ marketing campaigns. The big dream is an interactive art TV programme.
I have skied since I was 5 years old, thanks to our local council taking the bold steps to build one of the first artificial ski slopes in Britain.
I decided to illustrate a subject matter that I know well and began painting ski equipment, there is a lot needed for a day on the snow.
I’ve been working on a number of ski icons as part of this project. Here’s are the pieces so far throughout this email…
The ski slope was our playground. We trained there, made friends, raced, jumped, fell, got up and enjoyed skiing in all weather from baking heat through drenching rain to the delight of freshly fallen snow.
Often travelling with friends and the local ski club we travelled to the Alps for the added magic of real mountain skiing.
More to come on this project as I’ll bring these elements into compositions for editorial illustrations and marketing campaign visuals. So follow my blog to see the development of this work.
I have been busy painting skiers, ski lifts, and most recently I started to paint some of the additional snow based activities such as snowmobiling.
One of my favourite pieces in the project so far is this Parascending painting.
I’ve found an ease to this work, knowing the subject matter and working from experience. I love these watercolour paints, they’re lush hues and a delight to create with.
If you’d like unique, eye catching visuals for your marketing campaign, editorial or activity you can email me at email@example.com
It’s been a productive January with ski illustrations and two sewn projects.
I’d love to know what you think of this work so please Like if you do and comment below. I’m keen to reach people who will enjoy my work, so if you’ve a friend or colleague that springs to mind please share this post with them.
“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 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.