G is for Gloves – an essential piece of ski kit as cold hands cam spoil the day. I love it when fresh snowflakes fall on my gloves and remain there whilst their intricacy can be observed. I’ve noticed this most often when on a chairlift in snowy conditions.
I created these snowflakes using free motion embroidery and secondly with icing sugar.
Mittens are great alternatives to gloves for children, and for extremely cold conditions. Good quality ski mittens have separate fingers spaces inside, to add to their warmth.
Key ski items also starting with the letter G are Gondola, for non skiers, this is not the Venetian boat but one of the popular ski lift types, and also Goggles.
Goggles are as fundamental as gloves for well-being and comfort for cold temperatures and snowy days on the mountains.
This illustration is for Gondola, Goggles and Gloves. There’s also one other thing that starts with a G, to be spotted.
Watch this space for the letter H illustrations and if you’ve not seen them previously you can see the previous illustrations at these links….
The latest instalment of my Ski A-Z for the letter ‘F’
There is flow and freedom in skiing which can feel like you’re flying. I love it when gliding along on skis on the mountain tops can feel like flying. Often birds can be seen flying in the valleys below.
I wanted to capture this feeling in this artwork. A sunny day is a must to conjure this magic feeling.
I feel this sensation of flight most in Les 3 Vallees above St Martin de Belleville and Meribel, when heading in the direction of Val Thorens.
The feeling of flying got me thinking about how Olympian Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards must be the British person who has most experienced a feeling of flying on skis. Unusually Eddie, originally a downhill racer, first ski jumped as an adult. In a feat of courage and resolve he created a new British ski jumping record of 73.5 metres, the equivalent of jumping over 6 double decker buses.
I contacted Eddie (his given name is Michael), now inspiring people as a motivational speaker. I asked him about how skiing can feel like flying.
Eddie Edwards, said, “To fly……. is to be free!!”
I wanted to create an illustration which captured the freedom of flight mentioned in Eddie’s quote, along with the joy he demonstrated to the crowds after his Olympic ski jumps.
I don’t usually have a person in mind when painting faces for the Ski A-Z characters, I’m more trying to demonstrate joy and emotion in the expressions of the skiers.
A big thank you to Eddie for the quote, and the inspiration for the illustration.
Finally here’s a very short animation of the Fly, Freedom, Flow painting with a delicate ethereal stitched wing, to bridge between reality and imagination.
So, next up is the letter ‘G’ watch this space and follow to be sure to see the new work as it’s created.
Many people missed out on skiing this winter or had their seasons cut short. I hope that my artworks can give a positive vibe, to spark feel good memories.
If you’ve not seen the previous ski illustrations I’ve been working on you can see them at these links.
The most special night of the year the nights when the Kindness Cup is presented. A great celebration for the winner of the highest accolade.
I initially cringed at the magical worlds brief but quite enjoyed it in the end, right about the time I started adding fairy lights to the illustration.
The Brief: The ‘Magical Worlds’ prompt for #portfolioclub for this month got me thinking about ideal worlds, and how it would be if kindness was valued above all else and was the greatest achievement of success.
Life in this alternate reality would have cultivating kindness at the foundation of its values. It would be life’s work to be kind.
The brief had an ‘ethereal’ prompt and a defined four colour palette, which are not my normal colours therefore this was challenging, but I enjoyed working with them.
I spent time this year drawing trophies for illustration work to promote tennis club events for social media posts and on winner’s certificates. This work informed the development of the Kindness Cup.
The Kindness Cup with the cast iron work of the Paris Metro, which inspired the design. I love this art deco work by Lyonnais architect Hector Guimard.
I made the characters into silhouettes and gave them LED lit balloon and light up tulips. Added a little mist for atmosphere. The fairy lights, a fuzzy moon and multicoloured stars light the scene.
I cringed when I read the brief for September’s #portfolioclub “Folk Costume”, but illustration briefs aren’t always going to be something I’m jumping up and down to illustrate, so I ploughed on, trying to keep an open mind.
However I have enjoyed the exercise; probably because I decided to illustrate a costume based on my favourite things, the sun, nature and rainbows. If Inspire by Kim was a country this would be the costume, echoing the beauty of life.
This was an early drawing where I was developing the idea of the costume mirroring the environment.
I developed the idea whilst travelling so in black pen and then added colour digitally.
the Inktense version was less effective.
This concept then started to feel a little fluffy and idealistic and wasn’t saying enough about my causes. So I had a think about what the costume would be for this theme…
I might revisit this alternative concept but the first concept felt incomplete. I came to the conclusion that either way a folk costume should be illustrated using fabric.
So I free machine embroidered the design onto a shiny fabric from @sunnybankmills.
I then painted the design with fabric paints from @colourcraft.
Next stage was to hand sew and embellish the dress.
Here’s the completed work with embroidery silks, thread, metallic thread, glass beads and crystal organza.
With an idea to create doll I drew sketches then began assembling pieces of fabric that I had created through exploration with free machine embroidery techniques and heat sensitive fabric paints.
I’ll be demonstrating how to design and colour fabric in this way at a workshop on Sunday 2nd June. More details here and to follow.
I arranged the fabric pieces I’d created and stitched them together on my beloved Bernina before free motion embroidering further details of my favourite things, swimming fish, tulips, spiral shapes, hearts and flowers.
Once I had the assembled and embroidered a length of fabric I drew pattern shapes and then cut them from the fabric thinking carefully about the placement of the different designs, details and colours, so as to create a striking bright design and balance where the colours popped against each other.
I stitched the legs and arms front to backs and she started to take shape.
My optician had asked me to capture my colourful Johann Von Goisern frames with my artwork so this seemed a good opportunity for a shot for this. The optician called it ‘frames and threads’ and shared it on their social media.
As the doll has two facial expressions one eyes open and one in calm restful bliss I needed only a little hair. I had a small piece of the bias binding leftover that I had pressed with magenta coloured heat sensitive paints, and wax relief of Passion flower tendrils, for the draught excluder project.
Turns out she’s a sun lover, I spotted her relaxing in the sunshine as I rethreaded my needle.
This work gave rise to the idea of placing supportive words and phrases on a doll to reassure and inspire the owner when life feels its most challenging, I’m going to develop that idea further.
Try it yourself:
All of these pieces of fabric were plain white when I began this project. Using heat sensitive paints I added colour and design to the fabrics to create something unique and original.
You can learn and explore these wonderful dye and stitch techniques, creating with colours and designs that you love to make something beyoutiful and uniquely you.
Join me on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced in Sheffield. 10 – 4 pm, £60. A wonderful day, no experience necessary.
You can book now by messaging your interest at this link.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this work.
I’m off to draw the doll now in different poses and develop a story around her.
If you’ve enjoyed this post these are other projects that you may enjoy seeing…
What an experience Inktober has been. An ink drawing a day for 31 days. This was my first #Inktober.
Week One, Week Two, and my favourite week Week Three, drawings are at these clicks. Interesting to feel the progression and development of daily practice has had on my drawing skills, I feel that I use and hold the pen differently and can mark the paper more accurately. My typography and lettering is much more how I’d like it to look as I try to convey different energy in the words.
It’s been great to part of something global and see what different responses have been created to the prompt words (pictured). The challenge was to draw and instagram a drawing each day for 31 days.
I’m looking for live illustration briefs to get stuck into so if you have one please give me a shout. I’ll be developing these drawings further under the guidance of your illustration tutor, working on sewn art and ski fitness for November too.
Here are latest highlights from my Instagram feed. I like Instagram as I can send my work across the planet and people near and far can see it, maybe in far flung places that I can only imagine. From my life to theirs in an instant. Shared interests found.
It’s been a busy time with my Foundation Studies final exhibition. My products exhibited for the first time after months of hard, but enjoyable, work at The Workstation in Sheffield City Centre.
I remembered my intricate paintings of the white dog Sam, completed a year ago, on his journey as he hoped to fly. I shared a previously private video of the ebook. You can watch this, 55 seconds movie, here.
Work In Progress – A rare sunny no breeze day meant I was able to work outside on my next intricate paper cut picture. This imagined scene is inspired by the Brighton’s seafront, with a tearoom, vintage style dress and ladies wear shop, and next a beach goods shop. This is the latest in my series of paper-cut pictures.
For a family birthday for an avid French Alps skier I turned a microfibre glasses cloth into zipper bag on my wonderful Bernina sewing machine.
I hand painted, printed and sewed a shower cap as my final exhibition product. Wipeable lining from my friend’s Sheffield haberdashery emporium Direct. Loved the pink satin binding – a beautiful find from Berwick Street, London.
I made a video of my recent work to promote my exhibition.
And finally my dress design fabulously modelled by Lucy.
As I don’t post everything on my blog here’s the latest from my Instagram feed. I like the instantaneousness of Instagram and the global reach. Lovely to think of someone thousands of miles away viewing my artworks.
I continue to develop my learning of developing repeating patterns, this time using a watercolour and metallic mandala, based on techniques learned whilst studying with Jessica Swift’s Pattern Camp.
I like to take a peek at photos I took a year ago and saw this painted lady. I added a face and replaced the background to make a vibrant image with the mantra – Stride On – You’ve Got This. A positive nudge for anyone who may be struggling with January Blues.