Thursday, 18 July 2013

The magnetic pull of the north...

'Sunrise and Silence' - Acrylic on Canvas 23.5cm x 30cm

This week, I've had a real urge to paint a landscape in acrylics based on the Big Skies, Little Planet idea just less whimsical but still not entirely realistic. So I had a go at creating a landscape that came pretty much entirely from my imagination but that was inspired by the real landscape up here in the far northern highlands. I made up the sky, added some hills and decided to include the ubiquitous wind turbines which are, for better or worse, part of the landscape up here these days.  They proved the most difficult of all with S pointing out, just when I thought I was finished, that they should be symmetrical, and mine weren't. Cue much huffing and puffing and trying very hard to re-do them without ruining the sky in behind them!

By the time I fixed them up as best I could the light had gone out of the day so apologies for these photos - they're pretty grainy.

Anyway, apart from the wind turbines, I'm quite pleased with the result. I just really enjoyed slapping the paint on and using my new favourite technique of paint spatters for wild flowers at the bottom and stars at the top.  It was refreshing to go with my intuition rather than studiously working from a reference photograph. I have assigned S with the mission of photographing cute cottages/hilly landscapes/amazing skies so that I can build up a reference library though, as I think I'd like to do more of these landscapes.

Sticking with the Big Skies, Little Planet illustrations, when I was at John O'Groats with my sister last week, after seeing the choice (or lack thereof) of souvenir fridge magnets on offer, I had a light bulb moment where I thought perhaps if I could turn my little illustrations into magnets I could maybe sell them to some of the local shops. Seeing what was currently on offer, I reckoned there was definitely a gap in the market for quirky fridge magnets and so, I ordered a bunch of blank plastic fridge magnets on-line and have made them up from 12 of the different scenes that I did.

Big Skies, Little Planet  fridge magnets

After work on Thursday, I took 12 (one of each design) into one of the local shops, Eye Candy, which sells lots of lovely and unusual locally crafted goods. They bought all 12 from me with a view to ordering more if they sell well! 

I'm going to try a few other shops as well and definitely take some up to the souvenir shop at John O'Groats that helped spawn the idea in the first place!

If you want to catch up with my other post in the last week, here they are:

                 A farewell to Summer (of Colour)

I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday and will try to visit everyone I can over the weekend.


  1. That's some magnificent sky. I hope some day to see it for real. Ok, I know it's mostly imagined by you, but I bet somedays/nights the sky does look like that and I want to see it. With the northern lights dancing.

    Clever girl to come up with those refrigerator magnets! What a great idea. I hope they sell out quickly

  2. Loving your latest painting Nic and such a great idea to turn your SOC pieces into magnets........wishing you well with the sales. Happy PPF, Annette x

  3. the painting is awesome and I love the smooth washes of colour in the sky against the textures of the splatters.... just lovely ...and congrats on the magnet sales... sure they will fly off the shelves... xx

  4. I love your atmospheric landscape painting, that sky is gorgeous. caithness does have some fabulous sunsets wih those long summer days. Those fridge magnets are a brilliant idea!! How inventive, you are right most of the stuff availiable is tartan and tacky, you are on to a winner here!!!

  5. That sky is absolutely amazing! And those fridge-magnets! What a great idea! I didn't even know you could order them online. Have to look it up because I've been wondering for a longtime how i could make magnets ... Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. What a great idea the fridge magnets are!! I bet they sell loads!!
    I really love wind farms - I think they are beautiful and tranquil - and so much nicer than huge chimneys!!
    The landscape is so lovely - I really like this series and I can tell how much you enjoy them - It's written all over the canvas :0)

  7. I adore it, and would be terrified to try something like this. Happy PPF.

  8. I adore this one Nic, with the gentle stars in the sky and the beautiful colors...just so dreamy. HPPF!

  9. Great landscape including the turbines! We have lots of them over here too :-)
    And great idea with the magnets!

    Happy PPF
    Ilona xx

  10. Thai's magnificent!Happy PPF and hugs from Brazil!

  11. fabulous canvas Nic and how cool that you're selling your art on magnets!!!

  12. I'm excited about your magnet idea, they're just darling, I can't imagine them not selling well. And I really love your canvas...

  13. These are so awesome. I do like your landscape too.

  14. Awesome magnets and I love your kitchen. Sure is clean;)

  15. I like your painting big sky little earth, you have captured that feeling.

  16. I hope they sell fast, they sure are adorable!
    The sky painting is beautiful ♥

  17. Your landscape is just gorgeous - love the sky colors and the splattered flowers. I know nothing about the wind turbines - so I would never have known!! You did a wonderful job of carrying the design around to the sides of the canvas. Those magnets are great - I bet they will sell quickly.

  18. Your painting is stunning, I think the wind turbines really make the piece. I just love those fridge magnets, I know they will sell really well.

  19. Love your open sky painting! It's so peaceful and relaxing to look at. And congratulations with the magnets! I also recently turned my prints into magnets, so it can be pretty fun to make a whole bunch. Best of luck, and thank you for your kind words on my post as well. Happy PPF!

  20. Very beautiful and lovely. Your sky painting is SO moving. :)

  21. beautiful landscape, there is nothing I like more than big sky!
    Your kitchen looks wonderful, I love that doggy bed, made my heart squeeze!

  22. Oh wow! Congratulations on your order! That is SO cool - I love that you saw a gap in the market, went for it, and were immediately rewarded. So fab!
    AND thank YOU for all you did for the SOC this year. I loved your weekly offerings and to see you experiment with your new technique. I too look forward to doing it all again next year and in the meantime, will see you around PPF :) Kristin xoxo

  23. Those magnets are very exciting I hope you sell piles and put even more of your art on them!! Congrats! Oh and when I tried to click on the kitchen pick my virus protector stopped me....

    Beautiful landscape too!

    Hugs Giggles

  24. I really like "Sunrise and Silence", Nicola. Beautiful color transitions.... Plus this really leaves me with the "feeling" of silence.


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...