Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Stepping in to step out

What do I wish to step into? That’s the Wednesday Wishcast for this week and never has my answer come so quickly... Why, it’s my very posh cocktail dress – which not only do I need to step into, but I have to do it up too! I have a black tie event on 9th November at a posh hotel in London and the frock I bought for meeting the Queen last year* is more than a little tight. Drastic action required my friends! Have already been on the South Beach Diet for two weeks but need to start the exercise regime. Wish me luck!

*Come on, if you’d met the Queen, you’d mention it at every available opportunity wouldn’t you?

In response to popular request - my meeting the Queen post!

Think positive

I've been bad. I've been a silly girl. I was painting this Victorian young lady yesterday (for The Three Muses Victorian challenge) and tweeted that I was nervous about painting her hat. I allowed negative comments to lurk around my work table. I thought about failure and what happened...?

Well look!

I was trying to be clever - I have this fabulous Paperchase wrapping paper flocked like Victorian wallpaper - the kind that needs a stately aspidistra balanced on one of those ugly china plant stands parading in front of it. I saw matching hat and cloak in these rich fabrics. Well, I saw that in my imagination. Unfortunately what you see now is a disappointed lass wondering why she didn't ask Rossetti to paint her picture instead! Small children snicker in the background at the 'wallpaper lady'.

Oh well. Maybe I'll cut her face out and start again! Or perhaps she just needs more work... (a lot more work)

Keep scrolling and you'll more Victorian play. Local gothic Victorian architecture ghosted with bleach and mysterious figures - one of whom looks suspiciously like an ancestor of Johnny Depp.

Go back further in time my pretties (all the way to yesterday) and you'll find a better attempt at playing with Victorian wallpaper!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


I've been struggling creatively for the last week. A mixture of a heavy workload, a head cold, travel and generally not enough hours in the day. I began to fret. I began to itch (metaphorically!). I had to be creative... But of course, when you're thinking about it so much and then finally manage to grab that illusive hour what happens? Block naturally! I didn't know what to create, I couldn't think of what to blog. Had I forgotten how?

Then I realised what I've been doing all day at work. Writing! Being creative! I might not share those fruits in this particular salad bowl but I would like to assure you they have been happening. And, what is more, I appear to be making my living as a writer! I still feel a bit fake - suffering from those fears that I'll suddenly be found lacking, that everything to date was a fluke. I have to confess I'm feeling the pressure, especially as a freelancer it often feels like you're only as good as your last piece of work. I think we all go through that. I watched incredible singers on the X-Factor cringing with a lack of self belief. I shout at the TV telling them to pull back their shoulders and ooze confidence, to believe, but I guess we rarely listen to our own advice!

I think I've got to 40 and finally figured out what it is I want to do with my life and now I'm in too much of a rush! Right now half my mind is on an unfinished piece for tomorrow's Three Muses challenge - I'm painting a Victorian lady - and fretting over whether it will be good enough to post. The other half distressed that this written piece isn't flowing the way it should, that it seems to lack something... Am I becoming too much of a perfectionist?

Aghrrrr. I'll just post a picture I made yesterday and get myself an early night I think .... after I've finished my painting .... and read this through a few more times ... and ...

(This was also a creation for the Victorian challenge - a digital collage inspired by Victorian wallpaper and those delightful painted ladies that blend into the backgrounds.)
Postscript: A day later and I came across this post on Amelia's blog (a favourite place to visit). She shares some tips on overcoming that creative block.

Monday, 27 September 2010

About Art

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects the senses, emotions, and/or intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture and paintings.
Definition found in Wikipedia

What a mouthful eh? Enough to put you off picking up a paintbrush for life! What is Art? Gosh, I can't answer that!

What I do know is, that when I produce what I consider 'Art' is when I can throw myself completely into what I'm creating; when I am pulled into the piece and lost in a magical maze; when I create for me and am moved by what I create. I think that if we do this with our passion, be it music, sculpture, painting, writing or making intriguing layers in PhotoShop - then it's Art! It's drilling down to the soul and letting all that's in there gush out and be free.

Here's some art that poured from my well today. I think it captures some of the magic of the beautiful city of Valencia. It opens the door on the sunshine, the passion. This piece is all about really looking at what's right in front of you and seeing the story. What do you see?

Made from two photos taken in Valencia this weekend and a grungy mask from Shadowhouse Creations. For Mixed Media Monday - Art.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Filling the well

I've been soaking up the sun and feeding my soul with inspiration. I've sat in pavement cafes, savoured the soothing sensations of sweet and creamy ices and climbed tall towers. I was supposed to back here today spouting lyrical paintbrush in one hand, keyboard under the other... but you know what... maybe I need a little time to digest and allow the thoughts to regroup (some rest might not be a bad idea either!).

In the meantime I leave you with the beginning of my Valencian door obsession which became somewhat uncontrolled and led me to some Spanish secrets. More on this soon I promise.... I'll leave you to your imaginations as you ponder what's behind this one.

Back shortly...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

All I want is a room somewhere

Miss Doolittle to the stage please...

Ah yes my loverlies. I want a room somewhere - one I can fill with my creative supplies and make mess in (and art!).

How I would love an abundance of studio space with a large work table in front of a window overlooking the gardens – maybe a stream flowing close by where the occasional deer might stoop to drink and herons kindly pose while waiting for their elusive lunch. All my paints and materials could be organised and neat (well, let’s scratch that last part, because we know that isn’t going to happen!), but there would certainly be enough space for some separation and organised chaos to occur. Cupboards, cupboards lots of cupboards...

The walls would be alive with inspiration and ideas – jottings on the back of napkins, scraps torn from magazines and delicious doodles.

The pc would whirr quietly in the corner whispering to me of digital magic... and all my beautiful art books would be close at hand and well-thumbed....

I'm wishing with the Wishcast crew again - What do you wish to have an abundance of?

The image is a decorated envelope I sploshed together in a rather haphazard manner for the Three Muses challenge which was... you guessed it... decorate an envelope! I wasn't going to bother posting it since it looks rather a mess, but hey I need something to add a splash of colour to this post so why not? I tried using masking fluid for the first time. Pretty cool stuff... I likey.

Somewhat under the weather this week so creative output has been low and early nights high on the agenda. I have to be better by Friday because I am leaving on a jet plane for a spot of culture and fun in Valencia!

Monday, 20 September 2010


I've collected buttons as long as I've collected clothes. With every purchase I diligently remove the little plastic ziplock bag and place the spare buttons with all the others in the plastic purse I keep with my (very small) sewing kit. Sometimes I even sew buttons back on, but not very often. Did I mention before that sewing brings me out in some sort of allergic reaction.

So, hoarder that I am, I now have quite a collection. Most of the clothes that they would be spares for have long since made their way to new homes. It's a good job I kept them though, because otherwise what on earth would I have made for the MMM challenge 'buttons'?

Dipping into my other piles of accumulated potential art supplies (what my Mother would call rubbish) I found a length of tough wire, my home-made paper beads and some silvery spacers all tangled up with gorgeous pink raffia...

Behold my heart - a celebration of clutter love!

What do you hoarde?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Comfort zones and stepping there out of

Pushed myself a bit for Sunday Sketches. I've been wanting to try and draw a realistic full figure for ages. You'll have seen a swish in the right direction recently with my mermaids but I've deliberately kept them quite stylised and simplistic.

I've been trying to persuade my boyfriend to pose but he seems somewhat reluctant... can't think why... I mean I wouldn't put his picture up here for all to see would I?

Well, he's let off the hook, for as the fates would have it, I was presented with with the perfect life model by Kelly. She's inviting visitors to her blog to practice some figure drawing with her and she kindly presented some beautiful poses to help us do just that.

I won't pretend this was first attempt, but it was fun practicing and I had to keep myself occupied because boyfriend was in a sulk. His team conceded a goal in the last minute of added time taking a win to a draw. He was not happy readers... not happy at all....

Next week.... I might just draw some legs!

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Ode to Autumn by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring?
Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies
I adore this poem. I wish he'd written a poem Ode to having more time in the day to spend reading romantic poetry... but he didn't. He was too busy writing one called Ode to Indolence then contracting TB poor man. Why were great artists so tortured?
This photograph was taken last Autumn (and played with in Photoshop this very morning); a moment in time captured by camera as the Spring flowers and Summer berries metamorphosis once again and return to the earth to begin life again next Spring. My entry for the Inspiration Avenue weekly challenge.

Friday, 17 September 2010


It's been a day where the universe seems to be slipping into alignment. Just as one thought flows through my soul, so someone pops up to affirm it and tells me "Yes, you're doing the right thing". I feel like I'm on the edge of something special today and it feels good.

I lay in bed last night thinking - which itself was something as I was so tired, I thought I'd be more likely to drop into an abyss of sleep! Earlier this week I'd revisited a page in my notebook where I'd written some goals a couple of months ago. I came across them by accident and they seemed suitable distraction from what I was supposed to be doing so I read them through. Something incredible happened. I ticked things off. Yes, I had written goals and achieved them. I hadn't just thought about what they might be or considered writing them. I'd done it and... I'd done it!

I'm going to write some more this weekend - keep adding to that magical list. My current contract at work is shifting slightly so I'll have a bit more time to focus on other aspects of my business. I want to take a bit of risk (time when I'm not directly earning money) to lay down some future investment (when I hope I will be). I'm going to have some faith in myself and listen to my heart before I suddenly wake up one day and realise that I've let opportunity stroll right on by without even being invited in for a cup of a tea and a natter.

I started thinking too about my blog profile - the one where it says "I'm going to be a writer". Lots of people tell me I already am one and deep down of course I know I am. It's how I earn a living for a start! Why then does it exist here as 'future tense'? I resolved to make that change.

This morning I logged on for a breakfast blog browse and what do I find? Jamie Ridler giving out these buttons? Is this not cosmic karma (whatever that means?). It feels like the creative fairies have taken out a billboard ad that's screaming at me - Hey you! Wake up and smell the coffee... Jamie wrote her post for Happy Friday and I'm going to join her with mine. Let's all grab the buttons our hearts tell us we are and wear them proudly!

But that isn't all. I met a friend for lunch about to make career changing decisions. I preached what I don't practice - guiding her to follow her heart and grab opportunity by the neck (never mind inviting in for a cuppa, tie it down and marry it I say!). I realised what I was saying. It's what I know deep down. My heart is calling - very loudly and incredibly insistently...

But it doesn't end there... Oh no.... I bought a book (admitedly on this subject, so this isn't quite the coincidence it might first appear...). Here's the opening quote from Creative Awakenings by Sherri Gaynor which I read for the first time not half an hour ago:

What in your life is calling you?
When all the noise is silenced,
the meetings adjourned,
the lists laid aside,
and the wild iris blooms by itself
in the dark forest,
what still pulls on your soul?

In the silence between your heartbeats
hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Name it, if you must,
or leave it forever nameless,
but why pretend it is not there?

The Terma Collective, "The Box: Remembering the Gift"

Could there be more? Why yes, and it's not even half past three... Sophia at Blue Chair Diary poured out her heart on her blog today too. I sat here to write this post but got distracted enough to visit her site on my way and just you read what she wrote...

The Universe does indeed work in mysterious ways. Perhaps I should check out my stars for today... Mystic Meg says:

Your mood is determined, your mind focused and you can take control of your future instead of being swept along by events. You can handle fitness plans and get valuable information about the kind of work you want. Tonight is a mix of fun and surprising love developments.

Hmm, interesting, very interesting... Watch this space...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


My wonderfully supportive friend Sharon sent me this beautiful key chain explaining that 'since I have seem to have a foot in many worlds, it would be sure to hold the keys for taking me wherever I wished'. A treasure indeed! It twinkles its spells at me daily. "Believe" it whispers and I close my eyes and wrinkle my nose until I'm whisked off on adventures with the elves and the fairies.

One place I often stop to visit on these travels is Sharon's enhanting Plumrose Lane to meet the creative sprite who dwells in its hidden nooks. We've been working together on weaving some words for her creative business and, of course, she created my new blog template. You really should visit. Come, take my hand and follow me through the whispering mists and take a deep breath of the intoxicating magic... Maybe we'll meet Plumrose herself...

Many ingredients whirled in the air as I waved my paintbrush over this piece - collaged papers, fragments of stories, musical mystery, coloured pencils (prisma and inktense), alcohol inks, rubber stamped script and a new purchase - modelling paste which gave that wild tangled texture to her hair.

This creation serves many purposes. First and foremost it is a thank you to Sharon - I wanted to capture something of the magical spirit of Plumrose Lane for her. I'd also like to enter it into a couple of challenges.

Mixed Media Monday - for trying something new - my modelling paste! What fun this is - although it does take hours to dry... Next think on the shopping list is that crackle stuff...

The Three Muses - the printed word. Well, it seems to be my trademark to include some collaged old book in my paintings so this was an easy one - plus I have my gorgeous old script stamp adding its poetry. There was actually a touch more old book in this painting but I'm afraid it disappeared under layers of paint and paste.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


I'm amazed at how much my life has been changed by my art and how influenced and helped by the online tribe I belong to. I'm awake early on a Sunday and diligently doing my Suzi Blu Siren class homework - sketching out some mermaids and familiarising myself with drawing a body and a tail! It's an absolute pleasure just playing with pencils and trying to form a 'realistic' shape. Neither sketch is perfect, but that doesn't matter - it's all the fun of experimenting and sharing those results with your friends online. It's all part of the journey... (gosh, I'm starting to sound like someone on a talent show...).

Mermaid 1 was based on a picture of a lady I found sitting clutching her knees in a magazine. She was in a bath and clearly dreaming of being a siren of the sea, so I indulged her in her fantasy. I thought a rear view might be an easy one to try (but it wasn't!). Adding a tail instead of legs was also 'interesting' and I ran out of paper as you can see, but I loved the idea of the mermaid looking out to see and dreaming... Perhaps she is dreaming of being a lady seated in a bath clutching her knees?
Ha! After posting, I realised she's missing something vital - her other arm!

Mermie 2 was proper Suzi homework based on her instruction. The interesting colour scheme leaked through from the other side of the page where I've been experimenting in background techniques! I think this creature may be a little wide on the hips. Perhaps she's been indulging in one too many oysters... I think the trick here is clearly to get your tail length in proportion, too short and she'll look stumpy and have trouble swimming away from sharks.

I think I should mention here that this is an Irish freshwater mermaid. Of course, you can't actually hear the music where you are, but I can. She's playing Riverdance and perfecting her Mermie moves...

Naturally, as it is Sunday and these are Sketches, I am posting them over on Sophia's site where you can swim along and take a look at what the other participants are creating with their pencils and pens...

Saturday, 11 September 2010


It's amazing what you can learn with a return to basics. The prompt at Inspiration Avenue this week was about simplicity. What better way to paint then than without paintbrush or indeed any other tool?

I simply dropped some ink onto paper and then blew on it rather fiercely. It ran across the paper with wild abandon, little tendrils escaping out in every direction and mixing in with its neighbour.

Little spiny sea monsters appeared on the page - well they did after I gave them some googly eyes. They look a bit like exotic fish. If I didn't know how to paint pretty cool spines before - then I do now!

Below is the original uncropped scan. The more observant among you may guess that a little photoshop colour manipulation may have taken place (their agents insisted... vain creatures!)

Now, while we're on the subject of "simples", then I simply couldn't resist letting the very proper Aleksandr Orlov tell you a thing or two about his special species...

Simples ;)

Friday, 10 September 2010

Toffee takes a trip

I am a slightly disgruntled bear. You see, I was supposed to be taken on adventures last week and photographed in situ. I had high hopes of trips to the movies, rides on slides in the park, picnics in the woods with other bears and opportunities for making mischief.
Instead, what do I get. I'll tell you what. I get to watch typing. Yeah, that was real fun I can tell you. It was time for some stern words...

At last it looked like we were going somewhere. I sat in the front seat of the car (with my seatbelt on naturally!) and we travelled for miles to a place called 'work'. I took a careful peek out of the dark bag in which I had been shoved. It looked a fascinating place with multi-coloured flags flying from the ceiling and friendly folk looking very busy.

I sat on the desk and watched ... (you guessed it - more typing!), then we went out somewhere far more interesting. The friendly folk at 'work' were also helping out some nice old ladies and gentlemen in a local care home. They had volunteered to tidy their garden, paint the fences and plant some bulbs. I met these nice old dears called Betty and Maureen.

Things were looking up, but then what? ... I'll tell you what.... Two days sitting in a dark handbag!

And to think that this was supposed to be a task from The Happy Book. Yes, HAPPY! Humph... short-changed I was! I'm off to see what the other participants got up to this week - bet it was more fun than sitting in a bag.
The excuse I got was that "it was such a hectic couple of weeks at work; I didn't have time to play with bears and take photographs... I didn't even get a chance to start the second happy book assignment. I'll be playing catch up for weeks"...
Well, what do you say readers? Shall I accept this excuse and give her a cuddle so she feels better?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Finding stories

With just one texture/background I got from Playing with Brushes on Flickr, I grabbed some holiday snaps and created these evocative 'old' postcards!

Top original was over-exposed, but layering on this background and blending with a linear burn gave it a real vintage feel. It reminds me of old cine film my Dad took of my sister and I in the 70s. If you listen carefully you can hear the camera tape whirring around the projector...

This one turns from an overcast beach in July last summer into something far more atmospheric. But perhaps the colours are too bright. Shall I try adding a sepia filter?

Ah, now we're talking. The filter on its own didn't work. First I took out the saturated colour then adjusted the brightness. Then a warming filter added the effect I was after. Now there's story. What do you think? A postcard from Gladys to her best friend Edie in August 1939 telling about the incredible German artist she met while on holiday in Cornwall and their whirlwind romance. He's gone back to Berlin for now, but she carries his ring on her finger and the result of their love inside her. It will only be a matter for time before they are together again...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Anyone notice?

Well, I hope you did! What do you think of my new look? I felt it was time for a little refreshment of my blog and really wanted to include something of my own in the design.

What I didn't know though was how to put it on my blog, and make a fancy banner and get the template to work and... you're getting the idea.

So, I clicked my heels three times and called out to the fairy Godmother of Plumrose Lane - she the purveyor of phantasmagorical designs and curator of whimsical treasures. You can find weaving her magic here in her shop hidden in the hedgerow or on her blog.

Just follow the silken trails of enchantment and breathe in the scents of anticipation... She waved her magic wand and the spell was cast....

We took one of my paintings and a photograph I'd taken of a mysterious looking stairway that seemed steeped in story and this is the result. Now, it's probably about time I updated my profile...

Monday, 6 September 2010


She's rising from the ashes of her old life, casting off the shackles. She's ready to take on the world.
Phoenix represents a part of me. I'm reaching back into missed opportunities from my youth and taking a new artistic direction. It's time to take more risks, to tread where the timid fear and grab more of life. It's time to believe in what I can achieve (note, I actually wrote 'might' there first then resolutely deleted such a negative word). When I'm painting I feel so euphoric - an emotional rising!

This piece really gives definition to the term mixed media! She began as a sketch on cartridge paper - just a face. She took form with prisma colours then was cut out and glued onto some prepared tougher acrylic paper. In the meantime, I made my collage texture sheet brayering colour onto some watercolour paper then cutting up the result into 'feathers' which formed her headdress and gown. Black pastel gave some depth, then I glazed and painted her face, added some inktense, more prisma colours and just kept playing!

She is for Mixed Media Monday - 'warm it up'. This is the textured sheet I made to cut up for feathers.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Suzi Sketches

Yes, it's another girl face - just call me a stuck record. But hey, I like drawing girlie faces and this was part of my homework for my Suzi mermaid class. As soon as they appear on screen from the scanner I always seem to spot bits I want to change - more intense shading required this time.

I know what you're thinking though. She doesn't look much like a mermaid. She appears to be missing vital body components like, well, a body for a start. And her colouring seems a little too lifelike. Well, this is just face sketching practice. We move onto scales and seashades next... Can't wait!

When my son likes one of my girls he tends to kiss them. He's romantically advanced for his six years. If I mention the name of his current classroom love, he comes over all wistful looking, pops his head on one side and sighs as if awestruck by her beauty and charm. Fortunately his love is requited. I have a little love note she wrote him to keep for posterity. She writes that she loves him and he is her best 'frend'. It's so sweet and adorable.

I'm posting this for Sunday Sketches. Do feel free to pop along and join in. I finished last week's and posted if you wanted to see.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Found objects

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing".
Camille Pissarro

My creative forage through blogland this year has opened up so many new and interesting artforms. Last summer's 'Wreck this Journal' experience in particular taught and encouraged so many new techniques, not least of which was incorporating the stuff you find lying around into your art.

I find something rather magical in those two words - 'found objects'. What wonderful stories are waiting to be told? What were the circumstances that led the artist to find that watch strap? Whose was it? Why was it lost? What an amazing story prompt a piece of art can be.

This week the challenge at Inspiration Avenue is combining found objects into your art. Well, I have to confess that I'm a bit of a hoarder. I collect interesting things I find on my travels with a view to making something... someday.... and naturally, I rarely do! So today I went to my stash and pulled out this rusty piece of metal I found in the road by an industrial estate, some intriguing twigs that I picked up from a beach in Skiathos and a packet of sequins that had fallen on the floor someplace and a charm that once belonged on a keyring but fell off into the bottomless pit that is my handbag. I took them outside for a photo session and what do you think I found waiting for me on the garden table? A ladybird! I very politely asked her if she would mind joining the composition. After she explained very patiently that not all 'lady'birds are in fact female - nor are they indeed birds - Cedric, as he preferred to be known was only to happy to pose. He wasn't very good at standing still mind, so I don't expect him to be forging a new career as a male model.

Once I had my shots, I retreated out of the early morning fog (which does seem to promising to lift any second) and got to work in Photoshop. I found some wonderful textures in my files, the first of which had me jumping with excitement - a book! For was not the point of this post about the stories that came with the objects! Source for the book background is playing with brushes.

Not content, we played some more... Source for this background here. Now all that remains is to think up some stories!

One of the original photographs from the shoot!

Thursday, 2 September 2010


Meet Concerto - my finished sketch from Sunday. I know it is a most ridiculous name for the poor girl, but it's the first word that popped in my head (well, I was listening to a spot of Rachmaninov at the time). I've been playing with my Inktense pencils and they are like.... really.... intense... man....

They remind me a little of magic colouring books I had when I was wee lass. An image was printed on the paper and you painted just with water and revealed colour! It was almost as much fun as painting by numbers - why did they never give you enough paint?

I thought at first that Concerto may be Mexican (owing to the influence of the vast quantities of this cuisine I've been scoffing lately), but those green eyes could only be Irish. What do you think?

If the phrase 'Mexican food' has you immediately craving quesadillos, then you must check out this cookbook by Thomasina Miers. I have my head buried in it (and my mouth enjoying the fruits thereof) most days...

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


First to share is the winner of my giveaway. Without further ado, I turn to the randomo generatio machinio (not sure why it's called that, but it sounded fancier).

Drum roll please....

Hear it whirr into life and those numbers begin to rattle around inside.....

25 entries plus 1 extra for Paula as she was actually my 200th follower!

And the winner is....
Well done you. Do you want to drop me a line with your email and we can do the address thing.


Now there was another side to my giveaway - I wanted something in return and you gave in bucketfuls - artistic inspiration.

I'm rather chuffed with myself. What a cracking idea to ask you to share your most admired artists. I've been on a virtual gallery tour all week and have been whisked on a whimsical journey into the imaginations of some very talented creatives.

I'd like to share a couple of my personal favourites from your suggestions, plus a few of my own. I do love how a visit to one site takes you to another, and another. It reminds me of popping into the National Gallery just to look at the Canalettos for five minutes and suddenly finding myself 10 rooms in and immersed in a Van Gogh!

Why not click on a link or two and allow these artists and their muses to show you around a gallery or two. You can also click back to the comments of my giveaway post and follow the other recommendations too.

(c) Henry Asencio

Henry Asencio paints vibrant and contemporary figures with a freedom of brush stroke that breathes life into his works. This link takes you to his work as shown on Vinings Gallery. If you pop along to their home page, you'll find many more talented artists. Including:

(c) Charles Dwyer

Charles Dwyer. Now, this his is a direction I wish to travel with my mixed media work. I would love to spend a day or two observing him at work. Or maybe mix him with a little of...

(c) Teresa Magel

Teresa Magel, whose dreamy portaits I came across on Onessimo Fine Art from where you can find yet more talent and inspiration like...

(c) Jennifer Scott McLaughlin

Jennifer Scott McLaughlin whose wild and seemingly carefully considered flower doodles. Surely fairies live among these florals... Which leads me on nicely to:

Celtic Photography (Angela Jayne Barnett); if you believe in fairies, maybe you should take a peek and step or two through this door... I think it could very well be quite magical!


Autumn approaches

It's the first of September - already there's a nip in the air and spiders are out to catch me with their silken threads. I've missed my friends at the Three Muses so was most desperate to join in this week with their nature challenge.

I've made some digital art with lots of layers, filters and a touch of magic. The file is high res, so if you would like to download it as a background to your own creations then do feel free. The flower photography was my own, the rust texture over the top came free from Night Fate Stock (sorry, I can't find the link).

Don't you think that autumn's colours are compensation for the ending of summer?
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