These 2 illustrations may look very similar! However the one on the right has some extra holly leaves. If you can tell me how many extra leaves there are (on my comments) then I will put all winners names in a hat and whoever I pick out on Friday 12th will receive a signed print of this drawing (without the extra leaves!). You may need to click on the image to see it more clearly.
Didn't think I would get it done this week but while waiting for some work to be sent I managed to do 'Hot air balloons' for Illustration Friday. In the summer evenings you can see these balloons taking flight over the south downs, it's a surreal sight as they hardly look as if they are moving. Of course they don't have my patterns on them - I wish . . .
Beautiful sunshine on a late afternoon walk to the harbour.
Went to Brighton last night to see Randy Crawford, she has the most beautiful voice I think I've ever heard (apart from JoJo that is!). We took my Mum and Dad, as we first listened to Randy while on holiday with them in the South of France many years ago - the evening brought back lovely memories. This second blog of the day is for my Dad as he was complaining that I hadn't done one for December yet and I've missed Illustration Friday this week too!!
I've been submitting an illustration every week to Illustration Friday for nearly a year now and it has made me become much more productive with my drawing. I've also felt part of a creative and inspiring community which is great, as I work from home and sometimes don't go out for days (apart from walking My Jack Russell that is!).
I've recently been given 2 awards from Yoon See for 'I love your blog' & 'Artistic blog award' which is a great honour. I love the the way she generously extends her friendship to everyone.
I'm really into the 'ripple effect' of how reading one blog leads on to another and another . . . it's a great way of finding new friends and other artists that inspire me so here's the links to some of the great blogs that I've discovered through Illustration Friday.
Aimee - for inspiring words - in more ways than one!
It's been a cold but sunny day here today in a wintry kind of way. I'm always fascinated by the patterns the sun makes on my walls especially when it is reflected through glass vases or creates weird shadows of objects in its path. Couldn't resist including My Jack Russell who found a lovely warm and sunny spot - he was actually quiet for a few minutes.
While walking, we came across these gunera plants - their leaves were massive - if you think the fence posts were over 3 feet in height - it was impossible not to stop and stare. Apparently they grow above the cess pit of the house! Say no more . . .
Obvious I know - but I'm on the last lap with Illustration Friday this week. Despite lots of thought I couldn't get wise old owl out of my head. I wondered why an owl is considered wise in folklore and I think it's because they operate at night and so are linked with magic.
This is my drawing put through lots of filters in photopaint.
Strings of beads, line drawing for Illustration Friday. These are beads that I've collected over the years from broken necklaces - some silver, some glass, I keep thinking I'll re-string them one day but I never do . . . Click on image for a better view.
This is the first drawing of the squash I did that led on to the 'packed' illustration.
I've now found out more about growing these from seed - they are known for being promiscuous! Apparently I should pollinate them by hand if I want to retain the variety as they can cross-pollinate, then I would need to put an elastic band on the top of the flower to stop any insects crawling inside. Sounds like a bit of a palaver to me. I haven't had any problems before and I rather liked the shock of all the strange shapes growing.We tried some for lunch yesterday, they were yummy and, as we're still here, not poisonous!
My allotment is packed with all these different squash this year which is very strange. For the past 2 years I've grown butternut squash which I love, I've collected the seeds from them and grown them from these seeds, which is what I did this year. So I was more than surprised when no butternut squash grew - only all these weird and wonderful varieties. Apparently, as I've now found out, if you keep using the collected seed, they revert back to their source as they are a hybrid. So I'm laden down with all these fascinating shapes and colours but not sure if they're edible!
I drew this a while ago and it was my inspiration for Illustration Friday's subject of Island last week. We had a wonderful family holiday here last month and it's a place that is really close to my heart. I've started drawing these maps now when we go away - I enjoy doing them and they remind me of good times. Maybe I need to get out more!!
Although I dread Autumn coming because it means the end of Summer and the dreadful countdown to Christmas, I actually love it when we get beautiful sunny days like the past few have been. There's nothing nicer than walking on a crisp Autumn morning looking at all the beautiful colours and there is definitely a different smell in the air - with the added bonus of finding mushrooms and collecting damsons and blackberries too.
While we were away we saw these beautiful sail boats. This picture does not do them justice, the vibrant colours, the vast expanse of sky and ocean which made the boats look so vulnerable. The sight filled me with joy.
A couple of years ago I bought the book 'In Praise of Slow' by Carl Honoré which had a real impact on me. It's all about slowing down in our hectic world and savouring the moment rather than thinking about what you are going to do next. Making time for each other - slow food, slow cities, slow sex.
July 27th celebrates the first Slow Sunday in Britain where we are urged to bake bread and help save the planet, to garden, to walk, to paint, to read ... whatever.
Today we're going for a swim, Gray's made the bread and later I will lay the table in the garden and we'll sit and sloooowly eat a leisurely meal of home grown vegetables and enjoy a cold bottle of rosé. Who knows what will happen then! What are you doing today?
Last weekend we cleared the bottom of our garden to create a shady area to sit in. As it has a few trees we decided to grass it over and keep it fairly wild rather than pave it. We levelled it all out and sowed the grass seed. That is where the problems began.
No matter how many barricades we put up, My Jack Russell can still find a way in. He hops over the wire netting or squeezes through a tiny gap, scampers over to the tree, cocks his leg & scampers back.
Then there's the blackbird - he's working so hard to feed his young that I cannot shoo him away from the seed, infact I often find him fat juicy slugs from my veg garden and leave them on the lawn where he can find them.
And yesterday I saw this little wood mouse, munching away. He always used to be eating our vegetable left-overs in the composter which we've moved to another part of the garden so I didn't have the heart to frighten him off.
Will our lawn ever grow? I don't think it stands much of a chance with this lot!
I used to love buying all these sweets - sherbet fountains, love hearts, swizzle lollies, refresher chews, sour worms. I'd stand in the sweet shop clutching my pocket money savouring the moment. It took me ages to make a decision. Now I don't eat sweets, apart from Haribo star mix that is, oh and I've just had the lemon refresher chew and most of the love hearts . . . .
It was a lovely day yesterday so we made a rash decision to shut down our computers and head to the beach with a picnic. It always seems more enjoyable doing something like this when you really should be working! I won't tell if you don't.
I've had these peonies for three weeks and to me they as beautiful now they're dying as they were alive, the petals have turned to thin tissue paper and the colours faded to dusky pink. These pictures are an experiment with my new camera settings although I've no idea how I would replicate the one above!