Thursday, April 24, 2014

One many possibilities!

 I think one of the things that initially drew me to creating digital illustrations, rather than 'proper' paintings/drawings was the endless possibilities of manipulating them in the future, without the consequence of altering the original. Because drawings are so precious, to work into them really has to be 'your thing'...and it's not mine. I'm just too...fearful!
So for today's post I wanted to show how one drawing has turned into lots of things (this isn't even the half of it!)

I can't exactly remember what started me off with this piece initially, if it was a call for submissions or something that I had a dream about (often my drawings are based on dreams)...but this is one of the first loose sketches. I think this one was actually for Doodlers Anonymous, they were putting together a colouring book.

Because I didn't make it into their colouring book, I decided to make my own, Philophobia, which is available for purchase. See the last page...look familiar?

All your problems are in your curls, which was part of The Invisible Circus show evolved from the above. 

And now, I am getting a few bits together for a yoga studio down the country, which has kindly offered me a spot. I've been messing all morning and wanted to share (as I find the 'making of' images just as interesting as the finished piece. I love process...) And people always say - god, how do you do it...I can't even begin to work it out. Well, without spoiling the magic, because really that's what its is, here's the next best thing.

I don't think this lady is anywhere near being retired. Her potential and variations are literally endless. Check back to see her finished for this piece entitled Breathe out so I can breathe you in soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Artists do all the things

I think the main attraction of living in the country is being able, to literally, put down roots. I know you can do that anywhere, really, but there is something about the space, gentle sounds and natural patterns that certainly appeals to me in a big way. And here, I can do all those things, those things I was desperately missing while I was away in Galway for college.

I don't think I've ever seen the Cherry trees this full of bloom!

The Blackthorn, Cherry Blossom and Cherry trees are in full bloom absolutely everywhere. Delicate tulips are bumping off hardy daffodils (now at their end) and my low aquilegia is battling a…well I don't actually know what it is, it's some sort of shrub that looks dreadful until it literally bursts with almost fake looking pale pink flowers against quite dark leaves…I may have to put manners on it today. I can see the Turn cap lilies crowning, the crocosmia is beginning to look like something. The onions and beetroot are in, and with any luck I'll get the various pumpkin/squash and marrows in this week or next. Hopefully the peas, spuds and whatever else we have will go in soon too. 
I say this every year but it is incredibly satisfying to grow your own. Whether that's a little herb patch, hanging baskets of strawberries (the only way, by the way) or a veg plot. Even having your own cut flowers is, for me anyway, pure joy. I love collecting them and arranging them all over the house. It brings colour and life everywhere and is truly magical.

Because I forget the names of things and where they are, a friend told me (duh) that you can paint stones (which we have no shortage of) and then weather-proof them with clear nail varnish. Now I have markers that are vernacular!

 I got stuck in to making some new little baby owlies over the weekend also. I had forgotten how much I enjoy making them, and their almost alchemical qualities. How a bundle of material and some buttons can go from looking like something that is 'left over' to something with a personality and soul.

"Buta", a tiny paisley owl being sewn up Easter Sunday in the wonderful, glorious sun.

Finally, as wonderful Frieda Kahlo said "dress everyday for paradise". Whatever your idea of paradise is. Don't let what other people say or think sway your own personal expression. When we live at our highest possible level, that energy radiates from us and effects those we come into contact with. You provide healing and bring joy just by being your purest self.
For the craic, I get totally dolled up to go to work. I probably to go a little over the top...more is more, right? :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I think our relationship with colour changes throughout life. I used to not be able to entertain red at all, but in the last couple of years I've begun to appreciate it and sneak it in (admittedly forcefully) to my surroundings and wardrobe. Beige (tea, oatmeal, and browns) put me to sleep, but I've learned how to manage them and appreciate their gentle, grounding effect. Spring...Summer (what season is this officially now?!) used to be vibrant greens, soft pastel pinks and baby blue - I don't know if that stems from advertising or environment? But this year Spring is very much white, yellow and grey.
The bleeched white of the blackthorn in bloom - all of a sudden - like fluffy white clouds pinned down by the thorns. 

Not to mention the daffodils and narcissi, which are a riot of tones and textures. They are positively neon on dull days, and nearly vanish completely in full light! 

Grey is that soft colour that allows white to really show its brilliance and takes the sting out of yellow. Oh the glorious sun! How we appreciate your visits! 

1 litre Jupiler beer stein picked up in a charity shop in on Monday, chazzing with a dear friend. I love it's soft grey against the brilliance of yellow and cheeky pink. It's also a beautiful shape and has a wonderful weight to it. I can't imagine drinking beer from it though, it would be quite a workout!

My 'whites'. Nothing epitomizes a fine day in Ireland more than a washing line. Ignore if you can the chem trails in the background...