Saturday, 31 July 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Neil Dawson

Last week when I was out and about in Belfast city centre during my lunch hour, I popped into Bradbury Graphics to buy some cellophane pockets for blank greeting cards (for my as yet uncompleted card range!).  As well as stocking a great range of art and craft materials they have a gallery showing a selection of artists' works.  So I had a wander round for a looksee. 

Credit: Neil Dawson

There is some fabulous work being exhibited there right now, but one artist in particular totally blew me away.  There are several pieces by Neil Dawson in Bradbury Art Gallery at the moment and his style of painting is just stunning.  He uses oils and the way he applies the paint reminds me of pointillism - it isn't strictly the same as George Seurat but he does use dots of colour which look amazing especially as the paintings are cityscapes and street scenes which are filled with light and colour.

I was even more impressed when I read the bio on Neil's website as he said that his foundation year at art college actually put him off pursuing art as a career initially in part because he didn't like to talk about his work as he wanted people to make up their own minds about what they were seeing rather than him telling them what they should be seeing. 

This, to me, makes such a refreshing change from what I call the 'emperor's new clothes syndrome' in the art world where, in my personal opinion, there can be a lot of pretension with artists spouting a large amount of bunkum as to the deep meaning behind their work and the critics or the public buying into it and hailing them as the next big creative thing.  When, quite often, you simply see something that inspires you and you want to recreate it on canvas or paper. 

Credit: Neil Dawson

This is what Neil Dawson has done.  He is inspired by the noise, bustle and vibrancy of city life and many of his painting are night time views of London or New York.  He actually manages to make the street scenes look alive with the movement of the people or vehicles and the way the light reflects.  I am just in awe and it again makes me want to experiment with oil paint on a large canvas (ah someday!)

I've attached a few of his paintings here so you can see what I mean.  Believe me when I say that, while they still look fantastic here, viewing them on a computer screen absolutely does not do them justice as it is difficult to see the individual dots of colour that are clear when you view them in the flesh.

Credit: Neil Dawson

I sent Neil an email to ask him if I could mention him in my blog and was totally delighted when he replied saying that he would be honoured!

Credit: Neil Dawson

If you get a chance to have a look at any of Neil's art work in the flesh, as it were, I would totally recommend that you do.  Keep an eye on his website for any upcoming exhibitions. 

Thank you Neil for allowing me to blog about you and for inspiring me to keep on painting!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Putting my stamp on it!

Well,  I mentioned in my last post that I had invested in a bespoke ink stamp for marking the back of any cards/prints etc that I may come up with in the future.  This is just a very short self-indulgent post with a photo of said stamp and how it looks on paper.

I only ordered it on Friday and it arrived yesterday.  I'm really pleased with it so thanks very much to Custom Stamps Online who made it for me! 

That's it, that's all I wanted to say really; I just better get the proverbial finger out now and design some cards that I can put the stamp on the back of!

Oh, news just in - I noticed there were still a couple of pages free on the Fantazya Diary project so I took another one - using the watercolour I did for my blog banner!

I've added a button to my blog as well which links to the Fantazya page if anyone wants more info on it.  Hopefully they'll be published soon - so if anyone is thinking of wee stocking fillers for Christmas (it's never too early!)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Tweakage and greetings

I've been busy the last week or so completing the pointy portrait of my friend's little boy.  I spent 18 hours on it and although it is finished I allowed last night for what I like to call tweakage - I've discovered that when I take a photo of a drawing and then see it on the computer screen I will usually see something I want to tweak but rather than going back to it straightaway I leave it overnight and go back to it the next day.  It helps to do it with fresh eyes. So I did that last night and then had to just leave it alone, tempting though it is to keep on tweaking. 

I don't know if it is a characteristic of me personally or just typical of anyone who creates something arty or crafty from scratch but I tend to be hyper-critical of my art work and usually have that teachers' report card staple 'could do better' running through my head.  Anyway,  I posted a photo of it to my friend last night and she phoned me today to say that she loved it! I am so pleased and hopefully it might be the start of things to come (fingers crossed). Anyway, here it is.

These are the photos I worked from. Mostly the first but with a little bit of the second mixed in. He's such a cutie, I only hope I've done that cuteness justice!

I went last Friday to a framing shop in Belfast to get the portrait I did of Audrey Hepburn framed.  Next door to the framing shop there is a great craft shop and I'm like a kid in a sweet shop with all the arty crafty things they stock.

I've been thinking recently that I would like to design a range of greeting cards and so have been learning about what is involved and what I would need to get started.  I've already got an idea of a design and am going to start working on that this week.  I bought some blank greeting cards and the little cellophane pockets to put them in and I also treated myself to a bespoke ink stamp for Pointy Pix designs which I can stamp on the back of each of my cards - it was a little more expensive than I bargained for but I figured it would make the cards look that bit more professional and will hopefully over time pay for itself (well, over a very long time perhaps!) 

I'll post my design ideas when they're a bit more concrete - feedback negative or positive will be welcomed!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Diomo Glass

Credit: Diomo Glass

This week I want to give a shout out to Susan, the founder of Diomo Glass.  I have been following Susan on Twitter and Facebook having discovered her gorgeous shop on Folksy recently and because her handcrafted glass works are so eye-catching and lovely, I contacted her and asked if she would mind featuring on my Saturday shout out.

Susan is from Sunbury on Thames and got into glass artistry some years back when she decided she wanted to expand her mind and learn a new skill.  She saw a course on stained glass that intrigued her and when she embarked on the course, she discovered she had a real knack for glass cutting.  Once the course was finished she was lucky enough to be offered a job with a local glass works company. Although she says it was a steep learning curve, it was the best move she ever made and she now does what she loves for a living and as the saying goes 'find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life'.

Credit: Diomo Glass

Susan went on to learn different types of glass cutting for a more commerical approach as well as the hobbyist style she had already mastered.   She still does work for Glasswork Teddington as well as working for herself.  Many of her glass sculptures and leaded lights can be found on board cruise liners and you can learn more about these on

Credit: Diomo Glass

Because there was always so much waste glass left over from her stained glass projects, Susan began collecting it and in the last 6 months or has managed to recycle the remnants by creating gorgeous sun catchers, coasters and sculptures, which you can find for sale in her Folksy shop. 

When I asked Susan what inspires her creations she said that she makes things up as she goes along, usually inspired by the pile of glass in front of her or some mad thought that crosses her mind! The only patterns she follows are of her own design.

Although the crafty side to Diomo Glass is a relatively new venture, Susan says that things have been going well so far and she will just keep on updating and improving her blog and keep on creating her glassy works of art.

Credit: Diomo Glass

Oh, and it's another cleverly creative name this week again - Diomo stands for Doing It On My Own!! 

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Sheep in sheep's clothing (sort of)

The contributor of this photos is Steve Edge

My favourite sculpture in Belfast city centre is one of a shepherd and a flock of sheep outside the Waterfront Hall which was sculpted by Deborah Brown (who you can read more about on the Art Council website link).  I love it simply because it seems so incongruous to see a flock of sheep (albeit made of bronze) in the middle of the city.  During red nose day they all had large red noses stuck onto them and over the last couple of days they have been dressed up in knitted garments which made me smile as I pass them on my way into work each morning.

Turns out that this is what is known as 'yarn bombing' or 'graffitti knitting' (you can read the full story on the BBC website from this link) and it's been done by local crafters to celebrate August Craft month in the city.  Other statues could come in for the same treatment so keep your eyes peeled for that if you happen to be out and about in Belfast. The project is one of more than 40 exhibitions, talks, workshops and demos taking place during August Craft Month. To find out more, visit the CraftNi website.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A blot on the landscape

It was wonderful being off work last week on holiday as I was able to get on with so much art work instead. I started work on Saturday on my first official commission since creating my Pointy Pix blog. It is an A3 size portrait of my friend's little boy. I am doing it in the pointy style using pen and ink and I've been working on it for a couple of hours a day in between (in no particular order) driving up the road to visit my folks at the weekend, walking the dogs, reading my mum's latest edition of Prima magazine, spending time with my lovely husband-to-be and going to my 9-5 job!!

Normally I use Indian ink and a pen with interchangeable nibs (which I may or may not have acquired from the school art room in 6th year – is there a statute of limitations on the 'acquisition' of such things!) Anyway it was many, many years ago and I daresay they have improved enormously since then. That said I think my old art teachers would forgive me, as it has certainly been put to good use and has served me well over the years.

Although I love the glossy effect that Indian ink leaves on the page once it has dried, it can be messy and there is always a risk of the nib 'blobbing' (that is a technical term or if it isn't then it probably should be.) Recently I discovered Sakura Micron Pigma pens which are used for technical drawing and illustration and come in various thicknesses of nibs. I sent away for a couple (they are available on several different websites) just to see if they would be any good for doing pointy pictures as an alternative to using bottled ink and I was pleasantly surprised and more than a little bit converted.

As the ones I ordered all had the same size nib (a very tiny 0.25mm), on Sunday S ordered me some more in different sizes (by the way, he deserves a very special thank you not only for buying me so much arty stuff but also for walking the dogs and having my dinner ready for when I get home from work so that I have as much time as possible in the evenings to get straight into my portrait).  These ones are by Faber-Castell though so I'll have to wait and see how they compare. As larger nibs will make larger dots it will hopefully then not take quite as long to cover large shaded areas (I don’t cheat and just 'colour in' - it is all really made up of dots!)

As well as pens and storage bags I was also treated this weekend to a really brilliant book called 'How to master the art of drawing Landscapes' by Sarah Hoggett and Abigail Edgar, a brilliant artist whose work you can see if you click on her name. I mostly do portraits and have just dabbled in landscapes in the past although it is something I want to do more of. This is a great book which not only covers every artistic medium you could think of as well as the numerous variations of each one, it also gives you step by step exercises to follow to perfect your use of each of the mediums and it covers all sorts of landscapes including the specifics of sky, sea, lakes, towns and countryside. I haven't used oil or acrylic much and want to learn more about painting in those mediums so this is the perfect introduction to that.  As soon as I finish my current piece I plan to experiment with landscapes in acrylic so this book will come in very handy for that!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Portfolios, Pencils, Paints & Puppies

Although I have all the essential accoutrements necessary to draw and paint, now that I have decided to make art more than just a hobby I decided I should also update the tools of my trade. On Friday I treated myself to a new A2 art portfolio as I need somewhere safe to store my completed pieces where they won't get bent and damaged. I found the one in the photo in W H Smiths and it was reduced in the sale which was even better.

Then, while I was sketching in the facial features of the portrait on Saturday, my fiancé, S, went off to the shops for some bits and bobs for himself and came back with things for me instead (I love those kind of shopping trips!). He bought me a great wee bag/storage box thingy called a 'click n go' tote from a company called Art Bin. This is an American company based in Ohio according to their website (and I'm not on commission for recommending them either by the way!) but S picked this one up in TK Maxx! This is perfect for keeping my pencils, pens, brushes & watercolour field boxes in instead of having them rolling around loose and in mortal danger of being chewed to bits.

Let me explain - some months ago I was working on the Labrador pointy portrait at the kitchen table (which, until my lottery numbers come up, is essentially my art studio). Rather than take all my gear back up to our computer room (known as the den) at the end of the evening, I lazily left a plastic bag containing all my brushes etc in the middle of the table.

However, it was about this time that the pups were exploring their surroundings to see just what mischief they could get into while we were out at work. I came home one day to find that not only had they managed to get the bag from the middle of the table (they are only West Highland Terriers so I still don't know how they reached it!), they had ripped the bag to shreds and totally decimated the contents which included the plastic wallets containing my pencils and brushes. Out of over 30 brushes only 1 or 2 survived unscathed and some were never recovered at all – at least not in any recognisable manner. Thankfully I hadn't left my art pad on the table so at least it remained unchewed. Now my brushes and pens are safe in my Art Bin storage bag I just need to make sure not to leave that within puppy chewing distance.

Pups looking like butter wouldn't melt!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Hannah's Hands

Credit: Hannah's Hands

This week I would like to give a shout out to a lovely lady that I discovered on Etsy when I was looking for bits and bobs for my wedding in November.

Tanya Stark is originally from Ontario, Canada and moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania after meeting her husband and getting married. She started making jewellery about four years ago after being employed in a family friend's bead shop. She learnt the basics and became hooked!

I love the story of how her Etsy shop got its name - Tanya has a daughter who is almost three years old and is called Hannah. When she first decided to open her shop on Etsy she figured that any of the money she made from her handcrafted jewellery would most likely end up in Hannah's hands one way or another and so Hannah's Hands Creations was born! Tanya told me that now that has taken on new meaning as Hannah is becoming fascinated with all the multi-coloured beads and ends up with her hands in Tanya's bead drawers exploring her supplies!

I have attached a couple of my favourite pieces here but there are so many more pieces to choose from in Tanya's Etsy shop. I love this little paw print necklace - probably because I am so in love with my own two wee pups and this was originally created in memory of Tanya's own dog who passed away which choked me a little bit, I have to admit!

When I was looking through the items in Hannah's Hands Etsy shop for inspiration a few months ago, I spotted a really pretty crystal and pearl bracelet which I thought would go really well with other items I had bought for my wedding. I didn't actually need a bracelet though so I emailed Tanya to see if it would be possible to have it made into a watch instead. Tanya was really helpful and gave me different options as to how I would like it so that it was truly custom made for me. I love it and can't wait to wear it on my big day!

Credit: Hannah's Hands (my bespoke wedding watch!)

I asked Tanya where the inspiration for her designs comes from and she said that she is motivated by colour. It is usually the color of a base piece which draws her in and she will then create something around that particular piece and colour. I would definitely recommend having a look in Hannah's Hands as not only does Tanya have many designs already created for all sorts of occasions, she is more than happy to create a bespoke piece just for you. As a satisfied customer myself, I can vouch that this lady loves the customer connection just as much as creating her jewellery. As she says herself, it gives her a huge buzz to help create the perfect piece for a wedding or special event and to know that people enjoy her work.

Thanks to Tanya for letting me blog about her talent for making beautiful jewellery.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

It's been a good day!

Yesterday I decided that I needed to introduce Pointy Pix to facebook as well as Twitter. I didn't read the instructions properly though and went and created a whole new profile and then asked all my existing Facebook friends to add Pointy Pix as a friend. This morning, a good way through this process, I realised that I should actually have created a Page instead of a Profile so I had to start from scratch deactivate the profile and create a page instead.

However, it wasn't a completely wasted exercise as I do now have a Pointy Pix facebook page up and running and linked into my blog so hopefully some more people might be intrigued enough to have a wee gleek over here. I also got my very first official commission as Pointy Pix - a very good friend of mine has commissioned me to do a portrait of her cute as a button little boy!! I am very excited about starting this and only wish I didn't have to go back to my real actual bill-paying job tomorrow after having 4 days off! Still, this was always going to be a 5-9 venture, at least in the beginning so I will get a start on it tomorrow evening as soon as I get home from work and then fit as much as I can into the weekend.

I also finished my banner today which I have just spent the last hour footering around trying to get the right size. Hurrah, it's finally in place and I like to think it brightens up my blog a little!

In case anyone wonders, it is a lovely wee town square in Krakow where we went on a long weekend back in January this year.

Anyway, it's been a good day all round and hopefully this is just the start!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


So, I've been doing a lot of online research over the last couple of days checking out the blogs of other artists and crafters and joining forums - trying to find out as much as I can about this virtual world.

Yesterday I came across an art/design project entitled BeaBiographer which is an initiative by The Blind Project. This is a worthwhile charitable organsiation based in Delaware, USA and made up solely of volunteers using their talents to empower victims and survivors of the commercial sex trade in Southeast Asia. The Blind Project is creating a sustainable style brand called Biographe. The aim is to empower the women and children entrapped into a life of sexual slavery by teaching them marketable job skills in fashion design and production and offering them a new way forward.

The BeaBiographer is a design competition that invites the general public to help tell the stories of the victims and survivors through their designs. There are 3 different stories told based on the true lives of the women the Blind Project aims to help. Based on one of these stories I have come up with a design which I have submitted. My idea is entitled 'Unshackled' and depicts the story of one woman 'Em' who you can read about on the BeaBiographer website. Her story did not have a happy ending at the time of writing but the concept is about writing the next chapter of her life and hoping that she finds a way to become unshackled, figuratively and oftentimes literally, in the same way that she helped other women to be free.

This is a great opportunity for artists and designers to showcase their work while at the same time helping to raise awareness of the plight of many women and children in Southeast Asia.

The closing date is not until 15 September and I will be calling on everyone I know to vote for me between 16 September and 7 October - I will be making as much use of Twitter and Facebook as I can to generate votes! There will be 5 finalists for each of the 3 survivor stories (15 finalists in total). The winning entry from the finalists will be decided by the competition judges and will be incorporated into fashion items, printed for a gallery exhibition and used in advertising campaigns so you can imagine how amazing it would be to win. There are already some brilliant entries on the BeaBiographer website but you never know, maybe mine might strike a chord!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Fantazya Diary 2011

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to enter a submission for the Fantazya diary 2011. This again is something that Leanne Woods kindly told me about when she was giving me advice on the various websites and arty/crafty things that I should learn about as a new art blogger.

Basically Lucy Baribeau came up with this idea in 2008 whilst thinking that she would like this kind of diary for herself. It is open to anyone who promotes their art on the web whether they are an artist, crafter, photographer, musician, poet or in any other way creative. Each person can select a page or two from the diary and submit their own design. This must also include the date in three languages (English, French and Spanish) as well as a description of the type of work they create and their website details. It is a brilliant way to see your work published and to help raise your profile. It is a huge bonus that it is free to enter.

When I found out about this project I contacted Lucy to see if there was any availability left and optimistically opted to take two date pages as I imagined I would have a few weeks to complete and submit them. So you can imagine the sinking feeling I got when I discovered the closing dated was 12 July (I only applied on 10 July!) Anyway, not to be beaten I decided to use a piece I already had (a pointy portrait of a chocolate labrador) for one page and then it was a bit of a busy day yesterday trying to complete a second piece in time for submission! Luckily I managed to start and finish the second piece (a pointy portrait of Audrey Hepburn) in time and got them off yesterday evening. I have also put my name down for the 2012 diary so that I will be better prepared for that one!

Anyway, I think this is a great idea as a way of promoting artists and artisans and I am very much looking forward to the diary being published (various friends and family members may find copies in their Christmas stockings this year!)

After finishing the portrait of Audrey Hepburn yesterday evening I was planning to start a new design today - I need to create a banner for my blog and have an idea in mind of how I would like it to look. Today being 12 July and a public holiday in Northern Ireland I had every intention of getting started but the weatherman got it beautifully wrong with the forecast today and instead of the heavy rain showers we were expecting it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day. Now, as anyone from Ireland (North or South) will tell you, sunny days are few and far between on this Emerald Isle and so what was I meant to do other than to take full advantage of it!

The pups needed to be walked and we discovered a great big park (the entrance to which I drive past every day without ever having known it existed) so we had a good run around with them there and on returning to the house I have to admit that the lure of the sunshine, a deckchair and a good book in the back garden won out over sitting inside and working on my banner.

I am off work until Friday though so I will get back on track tomorrow and hopefully will have said banner in place on my blog before Friday (as long as the weatherman is wrong again tomorrow that is!)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Leanne Woods Designs

Credit: Leanne Woods
As I said in my last post, I am planning to give a mention each week to another artist or artisan whose work I admire or who has been influential to me in some way. This week being the first of these 'shout outs' I thought I would mention someone who I met only briefly (she trained me up in my day job to replace her before she went off to be a full-time mum and also venture into pastures creative!).
Allow me to introduce Leanne Woods. During the short time I worked with Leanne, I knew she was a dab hand with all things baked (having sampled the delicious and totally diet-demolishing chocolate cakes she would bring in to the office!). I didn't however know just how creative she also is when it comes to handicrafts.

When I was deliberating over creating my blog and wishing out loud I could make a living from doing what I love, a mutual friend suggested I have a look at Leanne's blog and shop on Folksy to see just what she has been up to since she left the daily grind of the 9-5. I was hugely impressed with the items for sale in Leanne's shop and the way she had set up her blog. As someone who can barely sew a button back on a shirt, I have mucho admiration for anyone who can wield a needle and thread and come up with the sort of quality, quirky and original handicrafts that Leanne makes.

Credit: Leanne Woods

I always dreamed of being able to make my own clothes and even went so far as to purchase a book about knitting for dummies a while back, convinced that I could be whipping up my own cardies and jumpers in no time. I got halfway through a very basic 'knit one, purl one' scarf when I dropped one stitch too many and said scarf got relegated to the back of the cupboard never to see the light of day again.

Mind you, not only is Leanne a full-time mum designing fabulous handmade gifts and accessories, she has been writing in her blog 'See the Woods and the Trees' for about two years and also has another blog called 'Simply Food' in which she details the many receipes she cooks up. Alongside that she is writing a cookery book which she manages to squeeze into her already pretty busy day. That's what I call multi-tasking.

After looking at Leanne's blog and having created this one, I sent her an email to ask if she would mind me giving her a mention and also picking her brains on all things bloggy as she obviously knows what she is doing. Not only did she reply in the affirmative she also gave me a tonne more information on blogging and what other websites to register with as an artist as the best platforms on which to sell your work. I intend to spend a large part of today doing just that.

I hope you will enjoy reading through Leanne's blog as much as I do and that you will be equally impressed with the handmade goodies she has created.

Thanks to Leanne for letting me blog about her and for all the new sources of information she has pointed me towards. I am off now to try to complete my submission for the Fantazya Diary 2011. You can find more information about this if you click on the link. Mind you the closing date is 12 July so I better get cracking!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The completion of Marilyn & other things I've accomplished since yesterday

Well,  I finished my Marilyn Monroe pointy picture last night.  I'm pretty pleased with how it has turned out and am now just trying to decide who to 'point' next.  Or I may start work on my blog banner to take this blog and make it my own as Simon Cowell might say!

Other things I have accomplished since yesterday include:-

1) Learning how to hyperlink! So now you can now check out George Seurat's work to see for yourselves just how he managed to apply pure unmixed paint in millions of dots to the canvas to create those amazing images. I will learn to do that with oil paint myself one day.

2) Started following other blogs that interest me - you can see who I follow on my profile page.  There are so many amazingly talented artists and artisans out there. Of course, technically they could be seen as my competition, but I like to think everyone has something a little different to offer as we all have our own style of painting/drawing and our preferred medium and personally I love to see how other artists work and to keep learning from that - I certainly don't know everything about the art world, far from it and I like that there are blogging communities out there where people can learn and help each other to improve upon their skills and know-how.  There are so many artists out there who I am in awe of and why wouldn't I want to let other people know about them?

With all that art love in mind, I intend to do a 'Saturday shout out' each week to highlight the work of someone who I happen to think is pretty amazing! (As long as that person doesn't mind me linking to and/or mentioning them of course!) Stay tuned for my first Saturday shout out this, er, Saturday (obviously!)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

What have I learnt since yesterday?

So, approximately 1 person has read my blog (my lovely husband-to-be!). He loved it but I don't think that counts (especially not as he is already the proud recipient of a caricature presented to him on our first anniversary!)

This isn't the best shot as I should really have taken the picture before I got it framed but like anything, it is a learning curve, and in my defence at the time I didn't foresee me wanting to upload it to my very own blog. Also, no one reading this has any idea what he looks like so can't possibly know if it looks like him or not - take my word for it (imho) it does! He is Scottish as I mentioned in my profile and he enjoys hillwalking hence the walking sticks and being up a mountain (although in fairness he doesn't ever actually wear a kilt on our hill walking jaunts as anyone who knows the Mourne Mountains would attest - even in summer the wind fairly howls up them!)

Still, as far as having any followers on my blog, I know these things take time - possibly weeks, months; maybe even years. What steps have I taken since yesterday - well, let's see:-

1. I have changed my twitter name from Simplep1xie to PointyPix to keep it all linked together so that the few followers I have may be slightly intrigued and pop over for a looksee.

2.I spent whatever free time I had last night (in between entertaining two very lively wee pups who follow my every move!) trying to find out more about blogging and what I need to do to improve my chances of actually being read by someone other than my immediate family!

3.I then spent about 3 hours working on a pen and ink stippling portrait of Marilyn Monroe. I should hopefully have that finished tonight if I get working on it as soon as I get home (and after I walk the pups).

I decided to draw her next as I am fascinated with the 50s and early 60s and think the movie stars of that Golden Era had a quality that is pretty much missing nowadays. All that old school glamour when women were women and men were well, apparently pretty misogynistic by all accounts actually! Still, the petticoats, the dresses, the tiny waspy waists, the shoes, the fact that it was perfectly normal and even expected to be a housewife once you got married (husband-to-be will be rolling his eyes at this point!). I know it is probably a terrible thing to say after women burned their bras for equality and whatnot but honestly, I would love to be a stay at home (dog) mum as I could spend all day creating new artwork! Hey ho, it isn't to be and so I will concentrate on building up my portfolio after the normal working day is done.

I intend to work on a series of portraits of famous faces as that way anyone reading can decide for themselves whether or not I have managed to capture the likeness. I will do some in pen and ink and some in watercolour caricatures depending on what the person's face best lends themself to.

Anyway, time to go and do some more of Marilyn. I'll post the picture soon.

Monday, 5 July 2010

So, what's the point?

Well, it looks like I have finally joined the world of the blog and no longer just as a curious observer. I have no real idea how this blogging malarkey works but I know if I am ever to let people know who I am and what I can do then I need to 'put myself about' in a blogging stylee!
So, firstly, I suppose I should say why I have created this blog. Well, as my profile says, I love to paint and would love to make it more than a sometime hobby. I have been painting and drawing for many years and even been commissioned a few times to create specific pieces for wedding presents and other gifts. Being artistic has also proved very useful at those times when money was too tight to mention and I could rustle up a caricature or two by way of a Christmas or birthday present (unfortunately you can really only do this once per person in your family/social circle!)
I don't have a specific style that I stick to religiously but I do like watercolour and indian ink and usually work only in these two mediums either on their own or combined.

I have a fondness for caricatures which I try to create without the (to my mind) unnecessary cruelty of exaggerating features of which the subject is no doubt probably already quite self conscious (I had one done on holiday years ago and the street artist made my chin rather more Jimmy Hill-esque than was strictly necessary!) My caricatures feature large heads on small bodies and the 'essence' of the person will be captured in either their clothing or what activity they are doing in the picture . I did start off trying to do serious portraits but found that my faces always seems to have a certain cartoony aspect to them and so decided to go the whole hog and deliberately make them caricatures and be done with it.

I do however do more serious likenesses using pen and ink and millions and millions of little tiny dots! Years ago while doing 'A' Level art I discovered a love of Pointillism (or stippling as it is apparently known when done in black & white) & find that although applying each and every dot is immensely time-consuming it is also very therapeutic! That's also how the name came about for my blog (and as yet not quite finished website) - Pointy as in Pointallism - do you see what I did there?!
Credit must be given to George Seurat who was the founder of Pointillism - I don't yet know how to do the whole hyperlink thingy otherwise I would link you right to somewhere that would tell you all about him but you should definitely check his paintings out - his work is amazing.
Now I don't for one minute think that my work is anything like that of Monsieur Seurat - he used unmixed paint in little dots which forces the eye to mix the colours together rather than doing it on the canvas - much like the way television and computer monitors do. And he was amazing at doing that. I don't do this as I mostly work in black and white although I am practising with oils at the moment to see if it is a medium I could work in.
The closest I could describe the portraits I have done in black and white would be that it is like newspaper print - when you look closely at a picture in a newspaper you see that it is made up of millions of dots - that's what I do by hand and the likeness comes about as a result of the light and shade on the subject's face.

I love animals of the domestic variety especially dogs and recently did an ink picture of a chocolate labrador which I have attached so you can see what exactly it is I am mostly waffling on about! I was asked to paint this for someone whose pet it was so it has been sold but I am happy to take commissions if anyone who reads this would like to immortalise their own pets in such a way!

This blog is very much a work in progress for me and I will hopefully improve the layout and look of it as I begin to find my way around the strange land of computer speak - I have a newfound respect for bloggers now I see just how much I don't know about all of this! I will also try to get my website up and running as soon as possible - I am working on pictures as the moment as unfortunately most of those I did in the past were given to the recipients before I thought to photograph them for use on a website.

Thanks to anyone who does happen upon my blog by accident and who has managed to keep on reading to the end!


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