20 January 2015

Snow time

Winter has hit Wooler. Brrrr!

Early this morning it was foggy - but very beautiful.

Foggy house

Lunch time I decided to walk back along the “top” road from Wooler - the main road is such a BORING walk.
The top road is much more interesting but it does undulate rather too much!  All good exercise though. 

Wooler walk back0 panorama

Wooler walk 3 panoroma

Wooler walk back1

Wooler walk back2

Almost home when you’re at the bridge, you can see the roof of the studio.

Wooler walk bridge

Home!

Coffee!!!!!

Wooler walk house

3 January 2015



My mum.
Who died on New Years eve from a short but intense illness with cancer.
Just 7 weeks after diagnosis (we thought we had 4-5 months).
Much more sudden than we, or the medical profession thought.
She died peacefully in her sleep - a relief from the pain and suffering caused by a rare and aggressive cancer.

I shall miss our phone calls, our walks on the beach and paddles in the sea - in all weathers, either bare footed or in wellies.

I’ve planted tulips (in tears) that I knew you would never see.  This year I did grow chrysanthemums that you loved, you did see me get the gardening bug, you saw your grandchild grow to be a teenager.

I’ve lost one of my dedicated blog readers too.

When I wrote these pages I often had you in mind. 
I’m writing this in advance, before I travel down to the West Midlands to make all the necessary arrangements that are required.

I’ve recorded lots of Elvis, Buddy Holly and more rock 'n' roll to give you a good send off. 

Miss you loads xxx

A review of the sketchbook art.

 As you know I’ve been following Donna Downeys "48 weeks Mixed Media Art Class".

Unfortunately life threw a huge wobbly in November when Mum was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive cancer.  

I thought I would cheer myself up and recap on the journey so far.  
It’s been an amazing year, I’ve learnt so much, made so many new friends too.
It’s making me question my approach to my whole art practise. 

I’m almost finished, ten weeks behind but determined to get to the finishing line.
As Donna said to me - I’m not 10 weeks behind, I’m 40 weeks ahead of those who never started.

To week 39 collage

 

To week 39 collage1

To week 39 collage2

To week 39 collage3

To week 39 collage4

To week 39 collage5

1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to Everyone.
I wish you all peace, love, creativeness and happiness for 2015.
Helen xxx 

Sketchbook Work; Buddha and Butterflies.

Buddha butterflies close 1

Buddha butterflies close 2  

Buddha butterflies close 4

31 December 2014

Ming @ The British Museum

The final part of my London adventure took me to the Brisitih Museum to see the Ming exhibition and a general wander around including my favourite room, number 33.

I took 235 photos, below are selection of my highlights.

15 11 2014 British Museum

15 11 2014 British Museum1

Room 33 has been reorganised with many more sculptures out on stands.
I was transported to India for an hour. 

 

On News Years Eve I’ll leave you with Ganesha, the God of new beginnings and learning, the remover of obstacles and a patron of the arts and science.

Raise a glass to 2015, its going to be a challenging year but I know I will come out stronger in the end.

IMG 4970

 

 

30 December 2014

Kiefer and Moroni at the Royal Academy

Continuing the blogging of my London visit…...

RA

The Royal Academy for two very different exhibitions.

The outside installation gives an idea of what I found inside.

A large and poignant sculpture…  very simple really, but with a huge message about war.

 

RA install

 But first - (expensive) coffee in cultured surroundings. 

RA cafe

The Kiefer Exhibition. 

I was unsure about this, would I like it?
I’d taken some time to read up beforehand and very glad I did as it explained the artists background in Germany and his exploration of war.
 

I managed to take a few snaps on the phone. 

I was BLOWN AWAY.

 

Wow.

And double WOW.

Keifer 1

The scale, the textures, the colours.
All of it spoke to me. 

I just cannot forget this exhibition.


Keifer 3

Kiefer 2

 

Then upstairs to Moroni.

What a contrast.

He is hailed as one of Italy's best C16th portrait painters, capturing their likeness and that “something extra” that gives life to the painting. 

Moroni poster

 

After lunch I headed to the British Museum….

 

Fishes

Sketchbook work;

Fishes!

Fish 1 close

Fish full

Fish close 2

25 December 2014

Seasons Greeting!

Happy “insert festival of choice” to everyone…. 

Whatever you think and celebrate at this time of year I hope you have a good day / week.

For us the celebrations start with Yule and the Midwinter Solstice.  Very important to have the light returning.  

Today we have opened presents from family and friends and are about to sit down for lunch.

Presents have included 6 scarves!  DH came back with five from India, one a Kashmir stole and four of the finest silk in beautiful hand dyed colours.  I was given money to buy my own present s this year from parents and decided on Mahabi Slippers, a necklace from Anthropologie, a scarf woven by a friend and a book on Indian ornamentation.  My lovely friend gave me candles, a stunning steampunk watch and much more.  DH also gave me a voucher for 4X4 off road and winter driving tuition!  
A wonderful, electic mix!  
Perfect for me.

Better go and light the candles on the table!  

Driftwood tree

Trees snow

22 December 2014

National Gallery Visit

Hard to believe it was over a month ago I was in the National Gallery looking at these paintings.

Sometimes I look at these famous pictures for real - and I’ve seen them so many times - that I don’t think I really SEE them.

So on this visit I looked for the details.

Caneletto - Venice a regatta on the Grand Canal 1740.

Caneletto  Vencie A regatta on the grand canal  1740  full

Who are these people gossiping?  What are the talking about?  Are they waiting for a boat?

Caneletto  Vencie A regatta on the grand canal  1740 

Another picture from Caneletto (Venice 1728)

Caneletto Venice 1728

As well as the grand buildings there are men and women going about daily business.  Children too - Look at the mother leaving her broom and rushing to help her toddler.

Caneletto Venice 1728 2

 Constable 1820 - Straford Mill.

I’ve never seen the horse having a drink before.

Constable 1820 Straford Mill 2

How about the children fishing?  You can imagine the conversation of these two, looking down to see if they’ve caught a fish for dinner.

Constable 1820 Straford Mill

Who could fail to love Hogarth and his humour?  (Hogarth, 1743, Marriage a la mode scene 4).

Hogarth 1743 Marriage A la Mode 4

Religious paintings don’t generally capture my imagination but who could resist these pinks, reds and oranges?  Still vibrant after five hundred years.
(Workshop of Durer 1500-1510)
 

Rkshop of Durer 1500 10

Rubens is a master of drawing the eye from the very front of the hedgerow - with all the flower detail - along and into the very back of the painting  
(Ruben Autumn Landscape 1636)

Rubens  Autumn Landscape  1636

Turner - Dido building Carthage 1815

Before Turner discovered the use of the colour yellow he painted scenes such as this.  

Turner  Dido building Carthage  1815 full

Are these people looking at maps?  What are the children talking about or are they playing a game?

Turner Dido building Carthage 1815

Another Turner  - Fishermen cleaning and selling fish - before 1807, detail of the woman working, the men drinking (and making deals?) and the fish arriving.

Turner before Fishermen cleaning and selling fish 1807 close1

And two more pictures I must show you.  Another Turner - Odysseus 1829.

I was standing looking at this when a guy commented on how wonderful a painting it was.  
I had to smile (a stranger talking to me in London!) and said you could almost feel the warmth radiating from the canvas.  He agreed.
 Lovely to share the moment with a total stranger. 

Turner 1829 Odysse

This painting always makes me stop and look.  Delaroche - The execution of Lady Jane Grey 1833.

Very much a metaphor for a woman being manipulated by a man into the position he wants her to hold. 

The execution of Lady Jane Grey  Delaroche  1833

 

 

 

5 December 2014

**SALE** DIGITAL WORKSHOPS

**DIGITAL WORKSHOPS SALE***

My workshops are all on sale until the 31st December due to new VAT regulations coming into force on 1st January.
**SALE** Download now for just £6.99 (usually £9.99)
89 FINISHED

**SALE** DIGITAL WORKSHOPS

**DIGITAL WORKSHOPS SALE***

My workshops are all on sale until the 31st December due to new VAT regulations coming into force on 1st January.
**SALE** Download now for just £6.99 (usually £9.99)


Cover shot

4 December 2014

**SALE** DIGITAL WORKSHOPS

**DIGITAL WORKSHOPS SALE***
The UK Government is bringing in new VAT rules, from 1st January - ANY digital product will be liable to VAT if sold to another European country. Not just that but I will need to register for VAT (threshold is £0), register to hold data under the Data Protection Act (as I need to collect three pieces of info to tell me where the buyer is located) and submit VAT returns. Refusing to sell to other European countries infringes the law. The idea was to catch Amazon etc.... BUT the government had NO idea of the number of small businesses - like mine, that would be affected. 

My workshops are all on sale until the 31st December. Hopefully ETSY will be able to put measures in place, though at the moment it seems not. As for the design books I'm working on...... well, unless I can afford to publish them (not) its been a whole waste of energy and time 

**SALE** Download now for just £8.99 (usually £12.99)

Mini tower PDFCover

3 December 2014

Sketchbook Work; Bee Beautiful

 Here is the latest offering from the sketchbook.
There is not a lot of sewing happening in the studio as I’m spending a lot of my time 290 miles away - my mother is seriously ill and has been in hospital since November 5th.

When I am home I’ve been juggling paperwork, a new bathroom being fitted and this week the decorator …. not to mention my gorgeous son who needs mums attention and a husband I occasionally see in passing…. 

Week 37 close 1

Week 37 close 2

Week 37 close 3

Week 37 close 4