Monday, 23 April 2012

Dark and Dreamy

These two paintings were produced in Acrylic paint. No photoshop this time except for cropping off the edges. They were in response to Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber". The first image was from the story Puss-in-Boots and the second from The Company of Wolves. My first two paintings for this book didn't go down too well with my lecturers, but I liked them and they are on my red bubble shop that can be linked via my website (link on the right).  My website will be up and down this week as the web host is updating their IP address.

A bit of the dark and surreal

I was experimenting with charcoal rubbings for this project and inspired by the Pitts Museum came up with some interesting results.

The image on the left is a witch trapped inside a bottle.  It was thought that if urine, pins, hair etc were placed inside a bottle this would attract a witch and she would get trapped inside unable to cause any harm.  The Pitts Museum has an example on display that was found hidden in a house in Surrey.

The Screaming Mandrake on the right was produced from old folk tales.  If a mandrake was pulled from the earth then its screams would kill whoever heard it.  A rope was tied around the plant and a dog used to pull it up by its roots. Experienced witches however, could cast a circle of protection around them.  This was a subject that I encountered whilst writing my dissertation in the third year.  If you are ever in Boscastle, visit the Witches Museum it is full of strange historical items, including the Mandrake plant.

Narrative Project Work

Thought I'd post a couple of pieces that I did in my first semester this year at University, based on The Nightingale and the Rose and The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (two of my favourite stories).  Both stories are really sad and worth reading if you like a bit of dark children's reading.

There's a nice animation on You Tube if you'd like to watch The Happy Prince.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Complicated Macmillan Spread

I thought I'd post another of my macmillan spreads, which again has taken a considerable amount of time.  This spread amazingly consists of over 100 layers in Photoshop and that's excluding the shells!  Watercolour, acrylics, pen and photographs of plasters have all made up this double page spread.  The little snails have jumped out of a tree to escape a mean hedgehog and have ended up a bit battered and bruised.  Poor snails.

I sometimes wonder about this way of working and how I always seem to end of with bits and pieces of painted artwork, snails without bodies and separate penwork, or backgrounds that really don't mean anything to anyone except me. Then I think of the flexibility that this way of working gives me. I can move things about on the screen, change, add or take away different elements, and try out so many different layer effects in Photoshop to achieve my final piece. I think it is worth the hours of selecting and masking and sometimes stumbling upon unexpected results.

14th March Book Launch

Top Left to Right, Illustrators:
Matt Jones, Fifi Sharplin,
Toni Williams and Maria Forrester
I attended the book launch for the children's book project called "Unexpected Tales from Telford".  It was a lovely evening with pupils reading extracts from their stories in front of quite a large audience.  They were so brave!  Afterwards we were presented with copies of our book and indulged in some tea and cakes.  Unfortunately, not all of the team could be present for the event, but I'm sure that everyone would agree they gained valuable experience from this opportunity.