Tuesday, 27 November 2012

How to print an elephant!

I've become a bit obsessed with producing elephant themed artwork at the moment. I've been doing lots of paintings but I thought the perfect medium for an elephant is a collagraph print as it would be great for achieving the textures and lines of an elephants skin.

I'm always getting asked how I produce my prints so I thought I would photograph each step as I went along (and I'm amazed I didn't get my camera covered in ink!)


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Animal Art


I'm getting slightly obsessed with painting animals at the moment!

Sadly we lost my gran a few months ago and while going through all the many letters, photos etc we found lots of the drawings I had given her over the years, many in little frames where she had displayed them throughout her bungalow. Every one of them was of an animal so I think my obsession must have started at a very early age!

Most of my early drawings and paintings have disappeared so it is nice to have a few to look back on. Luckily even then I signed and dated everything so I now have a unique record of my work.

This little horse I drew when I was aged 12.


Another horse from when I was 12.


Little doggie from when I was 13.


My dog Kasia from when I was 18 (she did have a lump on the side of her face, its not just a wonky drawing!)


 I'm still painting dogs and horses, although cats do feature quite heavily now! 


And my painting style is a bit more dramatic!




 But I don't think my style has changed too much over the years and I'm still obsessing over animals!

Clare xx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Cats

My boyfriend calls me the mad cat woman!

Nearly a year ago my 20 year old cat died and I was completely devastated. I'd had her from the age of 3 so was lost without her. Over time, knowing the coast was now clear, all the neighbourhood cats started creeping into the garden and having some cat food left I didn't want to waste it so started feeding them (and encouraging them in!)

Zack
My favourite is Zack, he is a huge black and white cat that I have seen around the street for years but only recently discovered his history. He belongs to the fencing yard a few doors down and was found as a tiny kitten in a bag of sand that was delivered there and they have kept him ever since! He looks a big bruiser but is a little softy although he loves swiping at any hands left dangling! He has a rip in his ear and only one canine tooth left but loves being tickled under his chin!

Just don't tickle his tummy or you will have no hands left!
He goes from house to house looking cute and asking for food when the yard isn't open and has a regular appointment with the house opposite for his Sunday lunch leftovers!  

He used to love sitting on our bin in the sun and flirting with my cat through the window but she hated him and would hiss and then hide under the bed! He now comes in and has lots of food and fuss and can often be found on the sofa having his Sunday afternoon snooze! I love painting animals so thought I would do a watercolour of him and it was so popular that I just can't stop! I now have so many paintings of him (you can see where the mad part comes in!) and have now started printing him everywhere! He even has his own range of lavender scented bags but don't tell him as it would ruin his street cred!




His favourite toy a piece of string!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Pet Portraits

My Commission!
I love painting animals and have painted pet portraits for friends and family and always really enjoyed it but last week I had my first proper commission from the general public!! 

It was for a very cute border terrier for a birthday present. I had a decent photo to work from so I thought no problem this will be fun. I printed off the photo to start work and then found myelf getting distracted by something else. I sat down to start again and then something else distracted me! This went on for a while until I realised I was actually scared of starting the painting and kept putting it off! I think because it was a proper commission and a present at that it was scaring me from even putting brush to paper and its always daunting seeing that white piece of paper looking back at you! Normally I will just dive in there and see what happens and if it all goes wrong well it doesn't really matter. But this one had to look like the dog and I had to please someone other than myself!
 
Luckily once I started painting it all went well and I really enjoyed painting her and hopefully next time won't seem quite so scary and I'm actually looking forward to seeing what my next commission will be! I've put on my advert for the pet portraits any animal accepted so I'm half expecting a spider or lizard one day which could be quite interesting!

Clare xx




Monday, 28 May 2012

ACEO

Since I discovered ACEOs at the end of last year I have been experimenting in the world of tiny paintings! 



An ACEO for anyone who doesn't know (and I had never heard of them until November last year!) are Art Cards, Editions and Originals. Basically a tiny painting/drawing/print/etc which must be 3.5 x 2.5 inches, about the size of a playing card, and as I have discovered very collectable!
 
Since January this year I have sold 45 mini paintings and have collectors all over the world! 

When I first started I thought how am I ever going to get any kind of detail into a painting 3.5 x 2.5 inches!! Strangely enough though it has helped my painting style. I have become a lot looser and I am now able to capture an image in just a few paint strokes. Also it has made me a lot more confident in my painting and I am experimenting a bit more. Some of the images I see working so well as an ACEO I am now trying as a big painting and having some great results. Also it means I can use up all the hundreds of animal photos I have taken over the years!

Clare xx
ACEO version




Acrylic version 50 x 60cm!
ACEO version
Acrylic version 50 x 60cm!



Monday, 7 May 2012

Queen of the Castle!

Morpeth Castle
Just got back from 5 days in my very own castle and I still can't believe I was allowed to have a whole castle to play in! It was Morpeth Castle in Northumberland, quite a drive but well worth it!


Window halfway up the spiral staircase!
Spiral Staircase
 The castle was amazing (my boyfriend knows how much I love castles so it was a really special present from him!) it was really secluded up a narrow lane and completely closed off from the modern world. Once I opened the huge wooden door it was like stepping back in time with a stone spiral staircase right to the roof and ramparts you could walk all the way round (and drop boiling oil on anyone going past!) I must have ran up and down the spiral staircase so many times that first day as my legs were so stiff the next day!

The view from the castle ramparts!
Inside it was really tastefully decorated, very comforatble but still keeping to the period with long oak dining table and antique furniture everywhere. I kept expecting someone to pop out and tell me not to sit on the furniture! It was also a bit spooky, lots of creaky windows and floors, especially at night!

We also visited quite a few other castles in the area and I took over 400 photos! I'm now feeling quite inspired so expect there to be lots of castle themed artwork coming soon!

Clare xx