I was asked to make a colourful cushion featuring a bird and flowers with this drawing from a lovely customer:
I thought about whether I might seek such a fabric design, but I didn’t have the desire to go hunting for a fabric, so I designed my own.
Having found painted designs that the dye colours can mush together I decided to try a collage technique, as developed in some of my favourite work, my paper cut pictures.
I firstly prepared papers by carefully painting them with transfer dyes then cut and assembled pieces to build a design. I liked the composition on a cute practice design (above), but felt that the colours lacked texture and depth. So I tried wax relief frottage techniques learned at UAL Chelsea and also hand-painted my favourite flowers inspired by our own garden and a visit to the wonderful tulip gardens of Keukenhof and the Botanical Garden in Leiden earlier this year. I challenged myself to limit colours to the wine red, golden yellow and turquoise Colourcraft Transfer Dyes.
I cut shapes and enjoyed assembling these to form the design for the main panel of the cushion.
Life Coach Elaine Mitchell asked me for an artwork for two Empowered Woman events for International Women’s Day. I’ll be speaking about my journey and exhibiting original artworks for, prints and exciting new products for sale, at the event on 8th March.
Here’s the story of development of the artwork, as drafted for Elaine’s blog…
Developing Artwork For Empowered Woman Events By Life Coach Elaine Mitchell
I was delighted that Elaine asked me to create an artwork for her two International Women’s Day events on March 7th and 8th 2017 at Hotel Van Dyk.
I’m a Sheffield based artist and illustrator with the brand of Inspire by Kim. After a successful career, in travel industry public relations, blowing my knee was the impetus to become a full-time artist. Now creating art and illustration for myself, and my wonderful customers, is the good that came out of major injury.
Elaine’s brief to create a dynamic brand image, demonstrating empowerment, authenticity, strength, warmth, flow and generosity is inline with psyche of the female characters that I create. My characters are their authentic selves and thrive by living this way. The ‘Wonderful Women’ in my Portfolio demonstrate this theme, such as my ‘Leaves Lady’, which I used to promote my April 2016 exhibition.
After giving a lot of thought to Elaine’s brief I sketched a number of concepts. I wanted the piece to have a lot of energy, demonstrated by colour, and to symbolise positivity ahead. I developed ideas using markers, Lino cutting, inks and a great Sheffield made colour crystal product called Brusho.
Elaine loved the a number of the artworks but was keen to change the background colour. The chosen artwork was the colourful figure striding forwards, as her fabulous self, towards a shining future.
I replaced the background with Elaine’s signature green, as used on her website and book cover. I left enough space alongside the figure for Elaine to add information about the wonderful events in March.
Spectra Electra – Elaine asked for a name for the woman, Spectra then Electra popped into my head.
It’s great working which Elaine as she’s so bubbly, positive and fun. I’m delighted that Elaine has asked me to speak about my journey and exhibit at the Empowered Woman Celebration on 8th March at the Hotel Van Dyk.
All the best to Elaine for great events, I’m looking forward to them. For more information on the two events head across to Elaine’s website. To buy tickets for the 8th March event click here.
I’ll be offering original artworks, prints and exciting new products for sale at the event on 8th March.
My largest artwork in 2016 is a commissioned artwork which I’ll be revealing here very soon.
I’m astounded that my blog has been viewed in 82 countries in 2016, I love the idea of my art reaching out across the globe. Thanks to everyone who followed, Liked, commented, bought and visited my art in 2016. I appreciate everything.
I dedicate this post to my dear Grandad who left us this year.
The next post will be looking forwards to 2017. Follow my blog to see that post when it is live.
Fabulous time up high in the mountains of the French Alps yesterday.
The stunning autumn colours and the beautiful blue skies made me feel like my character in my Leaves Lady artwork and video created one year ago this week.
Leaves Lady 22 second movie.
Enjoy this wonderful time of year when nature changes its colour palette in such a dramatic way.
I love creating in sunlight as it makes the colours so rich on the paper.
Whilst on holiday in Costa De La Luz, Spain I drew shapes and patterns from the pool environment on A3 paper, then painted in watercolours.i chose my favourite hues and built layers of paint, which dried so quickly in the sun.
I’m pleased with the final overall effect, it is quite different from my past work and I enjoyed creating it. 😊
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.