Saturday, 28 July 2012

Why, thank you or should I say Danke schön...

I've been nominated for a Liebster Blog Award! Thanks to John over at Gatepost Pictures who I 'met' recently via Sandra over at Sandraws and whose blogs I enjoy very much for the fact that not only is he a incredibly talented pen and ink artist who draws architecture amazingly well, he is also a very interesting man and every time I visit his blog I learn something new.

Apparently, and I've pinched this information from Linda who passed the award onto John, Liebster translates to sweetheart, darling, dearest one. The award originated in Germany in 2009-2010 and originally, it was for blogs with less than 3000 followers and somehow got adjusted to those blogs with under 200 followers (of which I am one - so whilst, I am glad I qualified for the award, if anyone would like to help me get over 200 that would be lovely too!)

John, on receiving the award had to pass it on to 5 other bloggers and I was really touched by his reason for choosing me, so much so I am copying and pasting it right here:-

'Nicola because her work is always as uniquely interesting as her narrative, and her care for the underdog' - how lovely is that!!

Now, the rules of the Liebster award stipulate that I must choose 5 more bloggers, also with less than 200 followers and so I would like to nominate:-

1. Scarlet from Arroz con Mango - She is a gorgeous lady who draws the most amazing portraits and who lives a very interesting life in the Sunshine State. It was thanks to her that I first discovered Paint Party Friday!

2. Sandra from Sandraws - She and I have a lot in common - we're both secretaries by day and artists by night! She, however, is an amazing photo-realist artist and she just qualifies as she actually has 200 followers, but shush! She's just been short-listed in a cover competition for Ken Bromley Art Supplies and so, if you would be so kind, could you please click here and vote for her incredible teddy bear painting 'Sherlock' to win! Thanks! 

3. Carla Rey from Wednesday wandered - even though I couldn't see how many followers she has on her blog so she may have 1000's I wanted to nominate her as she just makes me laugh with her funny tales of life in her world and I read all her posts in a southern drawl (in my mind, not out loud!)

4. Carol King who is always Painting, Drawing, Complaining! She just makes me laugh with her New York wit and she does cool paintings too!

5. Daniele at Creating Learning Flying - she is a free spirited artist who makes amazing art on toilet seats among other things and shares my love of body art!

Now, I believe I'm supposed to tell you 5 things you don't already know about me but I think I told you 7 such things when I got the versatile blogger award a while back and I can't think of anything else interesting about me, sorry.  So, can I cheat and ask you to click on the link above to re-read what I told you before?!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Rain, Sun, Cats & Cows...

It seems like I've been away from blogland for ages. I haven't blogged since we got back from our holidays with no excuses other than I couldn't face going through the 100s of photos I took hoping to find the odd good one!

Anyway, first things first, I've been working on the latest rainy window painting which is based on the photo S took here.  It's taken me much longer than I initially thought as each little rain drop has its own little reflection which is just a tiny bit different from the one before.  I knew it was time to stop for the day when each little rain drop suddenly started looking like Elvis's head circa 1975!!

Here's a sneaky peek of what I've done so far - still have a long way to go but I'm quite pleased with how it's coming along.

Pretty Industrial - WIP - Sneaky peek of the part of it.
I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday - it's been a couple of weeks since I've been partying and I've missed visiting folk so I'll be round as many as I can this weekend!

Okay, for those of you just here for the art, you can probably go now.  However, if you fancy a wee Irish travel tale, then pull up a seat and read on! (I promise it's not my usual epic tale!)

So we headed off to Donegal on Saturday 7 July with clothes for every eventuality. The rain poured down and my optimistically packed flip flops and pretty summer tops remained buried at the back of the caravan wardrobe as I once again donned my rain coat and welly boots to brave the elements and walk the dogs along the fantastic beaches. 

The view from the caravan the first 5 days!

Sleepy Hollow

We went back to the same campsite where we stayed at  Easter last year when we'd had a very unusual but nevertheless fabulous heatwave for the entire week. This time, instead of getting up early to make the most of the weather, we'd wake up to the thrumming of rain of the caravan roof and just go back to sleep. Even the dogs had no interest in getting up. More than happy to lie sleeping till after 10am. We never sleep that late but lounging around,reading books and watching David Attenborough wildlife documentaries (we forgot our stash of movies and raided my mum's 'free with the Sunday paper' dvd collection instead!)seemed like a perfectly relaxing way to pass the time while the rain bounced off the windows. We were on holiday in Sleepy Hollow after all!

Sea Urchins

We were baffled that first evening to find hundreds of sea urchins washed up along the shoreline but we happened to hear a local radio report a couple of days later advising of a red bloom of toxic algae floating off the Donegal coast killing marine life, which would explain it.

One of many sea urchins

Many sea urchins
Credit S: Another sea urchin
Cutest Kitten

There was a new addition to the campsite this year, an adorable little kitten that one of the owners had found wandering all alone nearby. She'll be the best socialised cat in Ireland by the time she's an adult as pretty much every one who came and went had to pick her up for a cuddle or two! I used to sneak out to play with her when the dogs were lying knackered after a long run on the beach!

Credit S: The cutest kitten
Credit S: The inspiration for my last doodimal!
Cows on a beach

On Wednesday the weather finally improved and we even had an outbreak of sun in between the showers. We visited a different beach to the one we usually went to and were more than a little surprised to see a herd of cows lying down at the far end. We met a local lady who said they were there quite often and that as long as they were lying down it was ok but if they stood up we'd best not get too close as they'd chased her down the beach once and she ended up running into the water to get away from them!  Well, we didn't want to take the chance what with two very yappy wee dogs to get the cows all irked so we gave them a wide berth. We were on the same beach again on Friday when they all started strolling towards us over the sand dunes-really quite a bizarre sight - and, as they stared at us impassively yet with a slightly threatening bovine undertone, we sidled off up the beach as quickly as we could, willing Brodie not to clock them and start her incessant barking.

Making their way down one by one
Credit S: Cows on a beach! Seriously.
Sunburn and sand

The start of the week..
The end of the week!
Thursday and Friday were lovely. Blue skies and plenty of warm sunshine albeit cooled slightly by the gale force wind (you can't have everything) We walked along various beaches and sand dunes again and I even seized the day and took my boots off so I could feel the sand between my toes like folk in countries with normal summers get to do as a matter of course.  We even managed to unearth our sunbeds and spent a couple of hours relaxing on the little grassy corner beside our caravan. Of course, curses to my fair Irish skin, I got sunburnt in the shape of my tee-shirt neckline because I hadn't been optimistic enough to pack sun cream!

Credit S: Reuben practising his levitation skills!
Credit S: Reuben giving us a wink and a smile!
Credit S: Not to be left out, Brodie practices her handstands.
S spent a lot of time taking photographs. I spent a lot of time seeing the perfect shot in my mind's eye and getting frustrated with my camera's inability to capture said shot (or rather my inability to use my camera properly) Inevitably, my batteries and/or my patience would run out long before S had finished being David Bailey. Therefore, for the most part, as always, the best photos on this post will have been taken by S.

Credit S
Credit S
Credit S
Anyway, that was this summer's caravan trip. The weather mightn't have been as good as we'd hoped but it was definitely the most relaxing, lazy week we've had in a long while! 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

It's the last Summer of Colour but why not liberate your art...

Donegal Kitten Doodimal for week 6 of Summer of Colour
First things first, thanks to Kristin who linked my blog last week to the Summer of Colour hop so I didn't miss out on week 5 even though we were in the wilds of Donegal without internet access!

Watermelon Ice
This week is the last week of Summer of Colour and the ice cream flavour is Watermelon Ice which looks lovely actually! I can't believe it's over already - I've had so much fun doing doodimals every week in colours I would never think of using were it not for the ice cream prompts! 

This kitten doodimal was the only art I managed during our trip (the details and photos of which I'll bore you with later in the week!)and I had to wait until we got back to find out what colours she should be.  I used artistic licence with the green partly because she had to have green eyes and partly because I smudged paint on the background by accident and had to cover it up!! Anyway, the outside of a watermelon is green so it's not too big a leap!

The next project I'm taking part in is Kat's Liberate your Art postcard swap. I took part in this last year and I enjoyed it so much I decided to join in this year as well.  The postcard swap  involves sending 5 postcards with prints of your art work to Kat together with some printed address labels.  Kat then sorts through the 100's of postcard she receives and posts 5 of them, chosen at random, back to you together with one of her own designs.  If you link up on Kat's blog you can see who else is involved and the closing date to join is Sunday 15 July so link up quick!

You can choose to write a little message or a quote or anything at all on the back of the postcards you send off (just don't forget to put who you are on there which is what I did last year!!)

So, I decided to use the doodimals I've been doing for the Summer of Colour as my postcard illustrations, although I've done 6 and I only need to send 5 postcards - I think I'll send all 6 and Kat can keep one for herself!

Liberate your art postcard swap 2012

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The not so terrible twos...

parrot doodle doodimal illustration
Parrot Fashion

So, I’m going to try and cram a whole heap into this post.

Firstly, happy blogaversary to me – Pointypix is two years old today! It’s been a pretty good two years, creatively speaking, and even though I’m not quite able to quit the day job just yet, I have sold paintings, had a few commissions, been to a couple of craft fairs, made some great online blogging friends through blog hops like Paint Party Friday, Summer of Colour and Kat’s Liberate your Art postcard swap and I’m slowly getting together a body of work to try my luck with galleries with.  So I definitely feel like I’ve come a long way since I started blogging two years ago

Secondly, I sold my owl painting on Monday!! My sister had a friend round for dinner at the weekend who loved the pig painting that's up on my sister's wall so my sister showed her friend my blog and she only went and bought the owl! Yay!

Anyway, week 5 of Summer of Colour is this crazy ice cream flavour:- 

Wild n Reckless Sherbet

It looks like play doh mixed together – I'm not sure how natural those colourings are but I don’t have to eat it, just use it for inspiration in my illustration!
The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the colour scheme was some kind of exotic bird and so I decided on a parrot – there’s no tale of woe to go with it, I didn’t watch a sad show about a parrot and as far as I know no rare parrots have gone extinct this week so you'll be happy to know that it’s just a painting with no eco-rant behind it!

Not so colourful Parrot

We’re off to Donegal in our caravan for a week on Saturday morning stopping off en route in Derry, my home town where I’m having a girly night out with the friend who moved to Shanghai earlier this year so apologies in advance if I don’t make it round everyone at PPF this week.

I’ve posted this on to the Summer of Colour Facebook page but won’t be able to link it to the blog hop on Monday as I won’t have internet access (so if some kind person would like to link it for me, that would be great, if not I’ll just have to miss a week!)

I’m also linking it to Paint Party Friday as I didn’t get near any of my other works in progress this week so they’ll have to wait until I get back from holiday.

See you all on 23 July and could you all please ask the Universe nicely for some sunshine for Donegal – am not sure how much fun a week in a caravan in the pouring rain will be with two energetic wee dogs!!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

And then there was none...

I already knew what animal I wanted to do for this week's Summer of Colour before I knew what the ice cream inspiration was so although these are not the colours I would ever have chosen for this particular Doodimal™ (doodle animal - d'you see what I did there?!), I still wanted to do this illustration. The ice cream flavour is another one I've not heard of before - Strawberry lemonade punch - a combination of pink and yellow, as I say not the colours I would otherwise ever have used together!

lonesome george giant tortoise pinta island galapagos islands
Lonesome George  - Watercolour and Ink Doodimal

This is an illustration of Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island Giant Tortoise who died last Sunday on the Galapagos Islands.  As his sub-species of tortoise has now effectively gone extinct, it's kind of a big deal for the planet, I think, and so I just wanted to do a wee tribute to him and yet another lost species.

In happier news, if you read my post on Friday, you'll know I entered my Giraffe illustration in the Art of Crafts' animal craft competition on Pinterest - well, thanks to everyone who liked/repinned it for me, it won 1st prize!!


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