‘There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more’
From ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,
by Lord Byron,
published between 1812-1818
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve recently brought my focus back to the seascape I began late last year. Having recently signed up to DeviantArt (you can find me here: hmwillustration) I was excited to delve in to their user-contributed galleries, to sift through hundreds of inspiring seascapes by artists from across the globe. Here are my top inspiring pieces. Be sure to check out the links for more of these talented artist’s work and for full-size versions.
Artist/photographer Paul has many captivating seascapes in his online gallery, and this is one of my favourite. I love the rich colours in this piece, and how the ‘traditional’ expectation of blues and greens that are associated with the sea have been completely ignored.
As soon as I saw this piece it made me feel nostalgic as it reminded me of something I’d see in a storybook as a child. In fact, artist Erin used her favourite book ‘Winter’s Tale’ by Mark Helprin as her inspiration. I love the almost muted tones and the patterns in the sea.
Looking at AnnMarie’s gallery I was surprised to learn she works mainly with acrylic as her pieces have a ‘softness’ I often associate with oils. The colours in this piece was what drew me to this, and it’s not just limited to this piece either. In AnnMarie’s gallery you’ll find tons of stirring pieces, I highly recommend checking out her ‘Golden Wave’ painting, which uses colour in a way that may surprise some.
I have a confession…one that may surprise those who have never met me…I struggle to eat. What most people would find appealing, and indeed class as ‘every day’ foods; noodles, toasties, curry, spaghetti, you name it, I probably don’t eat it. But in the interest of my health, which determines how much energy I have to work on what I love – art & design – I’m embarking on a quest (yes, this challenge feels so monumental that I feel justified in labelling it in such a way!) to challenge the compulsion that finds me reaching for the exact same foods every day.
I’m inviting you, my readers, to follow me on my journey to discover and create nourishing vegan recipes to support both body and mind. Veganism and vegetarianism has always been an influencing factor in my life, fuelling my interest in creating eco-friendly clothing, and using our natural world as inspiration for a great deal of my artwork. In next month’s ‘tutorial’ spot, I’ll be bringing you the first recipe instalment – vegan sushi. In the mean-time, here’s a list of some inspiring and useful vegan-related sites:
Vegan Huggs – A blog packed with recipes, reviews, and more!
Wear Your Voice – A website I’ve mentioned before where a passion for art meets a passion for animals, with truly unique illustrations printed on to t-shirts.
Vegan Supermarket Finds UK – A super useful facebook group run by vegans, for vegans, where you can share your surprising vegan finds, as well as get some great tips on where to find all manner of vegan goodies!
In the interest of keeping myself distracted whilst re-building my strength, I’ve been revisiting a seascape I began last year, yet lost the motivation for. Well the itch is back! and I’ve been compelled to dip in here and there. The tones of blue in the sea are proving to be a source of intrigue, as they’re not as straight-forward as they may seem; in order to achieve one elusive tone, I found myself cautiously mixing phtalo blue, cobalt, a tiny dot of ivory black, and an atom of yellow ochre, before deciding to substitute the black for burnt umber.
The relationship between colours and how they combine fascinates me! Explaining to those who don’t practise art that a blue can contain brown, black, and even ochre, feels as though I’m revealing some clandestine key.
Whilst my home studio is a base for all my inspiration and tools – my pattern folder, old art/craft magazines, art postcards etc, over the years I’ve grown fond of inhabiting a quiet corner of a library – a haven from home. This week I’ve been squirrelling away in the reference section (often good for exquisitely illustrated nature books) trying out Derwent Inktense pencils and making notes for next month’s review.
Costing £29.99 in the Range (£40.75 on Derwent’s website) for a tin of 24, it;s understandable you’d want to ‘try before you buy’, which is where I’ve done the work for you! Look out for the full review next month, which as always will be straight to the point and up-front.
Finally, I want to tell you about the Winter Exhibition at Y Galeri Caerffili, which is displaying a whole range of styles and mediums, and at which my piece ‘One For Sorrow’ is currently on show. The exhibition will run all this month and directions can be found on their facebook page: Y Galeri Caerffili facebook. If you can’t make it in person, you’ll find some images of the artwork on display on their page and on the website.
Full title: An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers
Author: Danny Gregory
Publisher: HOW books (US)
Price: From £8.29 – £18.78
About: A look inside the sketchbooks and lives of 50 creatives, chosen by author Danny Gregory, acting more as a curator of inspirational material than traditional ‘author’.
♥ Ideal for visual-minded people (the very people often interested in the subject matter in the first place) It appeals wonderfully to its target audience. A visual table of contents is one example of the thought put into the layout/aesthetic of the book.
♥ The contents is international, giving the impression of dedication on the author’s part to unearth the creme de la creme of the art & design world. From Scotland to Sweden, Gregory reaches across the globe to compile his top 50.
♥ I can liken the contents to pinterest – You pick this book up looking for ‘creative inspiration’ and are met with a mass of results all in one place. From sketchbook pages, to photographs of work spaces, it’s all inside the pages of this book!
♥ It’s not style-biased. Often our own preferences see us gravitating towards a certain style; in Gregory’s book you’ll find no such thing! The book includes everything from traditional children’s book illustration, to digital drawings such as those by Barry Gritt, and even more detailed work with a more ‘fine arty’ feel.
Where can I get it?
Aside from searching your local library, the book can be purchased at a reasonable price on Amazon. The book was published in the USA, but after having a search around I found it quite easy to source as it was distributed in the UK. Click below to find out more:
From the a tiny Boat House favoured by Dylan Thomas, to JK Rowling’s favourite cafe – we find our creative juices flowing in surroundings unique to our personalities. In this post I’m inviting you to come on a tour of my own work space, and take a peek into a space which has become an extension of myself.
My work space essentials:
daylight magnifying lamp
I find inspiration in the most unusual places, above you’ll see some beautifully illustrated, colourful boxes. These contained coffee, and were just too beautiful to throw away. I love the colour contrasts used and how art can merge with the ‘everyday’. My postcard wall has been building over the years, and is a visual diary of the places I’ve visited and the exhibitions I’ve seen. I also collect quotes and poetry that remind me to be thankful and keep creating when I’m lacking inspiration. The most unusual thing on my wall are authentic 1970’s party invitations (top row) which I found in a junk shop in Cardigan, West Wales; the colours are garish, and I felt they really reflected the aesthetic style of the time.
I used to store my artwork away in folders but realised they were pointless if I left them hiding away, so over the past year I’ve started to fill my walls with work from the past few years that I’ve been happy with. I think reminding yourself of what you’re capable of can be a boost when you’re feeling frustrated and not achieving the results you want with a piece you’re working on. I also have my degree on display for the same reason – to zap any feelings of uselessness and belief that ‘I can’t do it’.