Thursday, 31 May 2018

Art Element Tidepool Theme Reveal Blog Challenge

Last month Lesley from the Art Elements team posted the challenge of Tidepool and today, 31st May is the reveal.  (click on the link to read the original blog post).  

May has been a busy month for me as I am getting ready for the Flame Off  which is a glass fair in Uttoexter.  I am both exhibiting and teaching a small class of 12 on Saturday 2nd June getting people hooked on the art of whimsy beads in glass making.  My little cat Gordy has been recovering from last months set back so I have been spending a lot of time with him getting him active and 'fattened' back up. We have had lots of lovely sunshine which has been great for getting Gordy into the garden but not so great for glass bead making as it has been too hot by 11 in the morning to light the torch and cook in the studio.

I was however inspired by the theme of Tidepools.  I remember as a little girl we lived in Cornwall near the beach and I loved walking on the sand after a good storm - I do love a good storm.  The waves would be crashing to the ground splattering foam and sea weed across the beach.  The smell of salt and fish, of damp sand and mildewy rocks that are seeing the sunlight after the dark of the storm, assaulted your nose.  The skies would be coloured in pink and purple with fading grey on the horizon and the tidepools, or rock pools as we call them here in the UK would be teeming with life.  You could see starfish, anemone, sea weeds in all shapes and colours, small fish and limpets that had been trapped as the sea receded.

These memories sent me into the studio very early in the morning to create glass fish, in my style...  


 ..and every good tide pool has to have a shark.. right!






I had fun creating my tide pool fish in glass, obviously they are not your normal visitors to these little rock pools nestled by the cliffs here in the UK but you just never know they might just live there if you look hard enough.


On a rummage through my cupboards of art supplies and beads I came across this beautiful cabochon by Jenny , one of the members of the team, she had gifted me this piece when I first joined the team.  I love the colours and the swirls, it just reminds me of water and Pisces.  I am a Piscean.  So using it as my muse I painted some goldfish (I am still learning my watercolours but loving the journey, I am finding painting so restful and relaxing... which after years of hating them and being so frustrated by my efforts I am finding using them something of an enigma!  


This finished doodle illustration is not perfect, far from it and the fish are not as whimsy as I imagined nor are they realistic enough to pass scrutiny in the art circle BUT I rather like it!  I love the colours and of course the 'doing' was something that gave me much pleasure.  I stuck this on the front cover of my new sketchbook so I get to touch it and see it every day. 


As with the 'sketchbook' piece I have found I am quite taken with creating mixed media flat illustrative work at the moment.  I like creating levels of depth and combining cut out pieces to give a more 3D but yet still flat look.  The other thing I have found is that when creating a 'full sized' finished piece of work I get easily bored and distracted.  This is quite a revelation for me as I have never really understood or 'been into' mixed media pieces but I have found, I think through creating small glass sculpture animal beads and then dreaming up silly stories for them, that that is my niche.  Small but lots of it!  


I have been reading a lot of fantasy stories on my Kindle - another move from the norm for me.  It wasn't until my ....ahem...  40s ....that I realized I love these stories of magic and folklore, before I read widely but it was biographies and classics like Little Women, Where Angels Fear to Tread as well as more modern works like The Colour Purple,  and the likes of Joanne Harris, Lollipop Shoes and Chocolat.. but I digress...

My latest, reading, passion has been for stories of Selkies and the sea which has set my imagination off for this challenge.  
I wondered what you would see if you gazed into a rock pool and there amongst the star fish and the shells was a Selkie in seal form.....

I used very rough watercolour paper for the 'base' or background, tinted in shades of yellow ochre, light violet for shadows and maybe a touch of grey.  On this I painted star fish, shells, rocks and sea weed as well as the Selkie himself.  I cut these out and arranged them how I wanted using a raised mount to give me depth.  On the mount I put my person looking in and some more shells and rocks.  I wanted to give the illusion of ripples on the water, another level and for this I used some clear film cut into ripply shapes.  I rather like the over all effect and have plans to create more like this.  This way I can indulge in my love of quick, immediate and 'movement' in designs, small pieces and link them all together.

I hope you will hop around the other blogs that took part in this themed challenge and I will try and do the same over the weekend, although as this weekend I will be melting glass in Uttoexter I suspect it will be early next week before I am able to do that.

Guests
Deborah  


AE Team Members:

35 comments:

  1. Laney I have been so eager to see what you would make for this theme, I was hoping to see fish, and yes you did them. They are gorgeous, and made me smile.
    I love the selkie picture too, I'm sure you have so many stories to tell about him you could write a book :)

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    1. thank you lovely lady and yes I was nagged at Flame Off about that book!

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  2. I'm so glad to see the challenge inspired you so much Laney - your glass beads are as every adorable and the fish are just lovely. Your selkie piece is very special though and I love the perspective and layered effect. Have you seen the film Song of the Sea? If not it's a real treat:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Song-Sea-David-Rawle/dp/B016AGCU32/ref=sr_1_2?
    ie=UTF8&qid=1527765298&sr=8-2&keywords=song+of+the+sea

    Thanks for taking part in the challenge.

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    1. oo not seen that one, I will check it out thank you :D I loved this challenge ;)

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  3. Laney, love your shark and fish! And yes, they are totally in your style and have such personality! And your watercolors are wonderful as well!

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  4. I always love seeing your glass bead creations. This shark is just perfect! As are the fishies;-) I love your goldfish illustration with Jenny's cabochon but your selkie piece...adorable. I love the depth you created and the addition of that plastic film to create some ripples was brilliant.

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    1. I love that cabochon of Jenny's it is really beautiful. Glad you like the fish, they make me giggle :P

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  5. I love the glass fish gang, each with a character of its own! Love the watercolor with Jenny's bead, it fits in in a very natural way and I'm impressed with the multi-layer sketch.

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    1. thank you :D those fish do make me smile :D

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  6. Omg that shark is HILARIOUSLY great! Love your work...in all its great and funky fun forms!

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  7. The glass beads are just adorable! I love your watercolors too, and it's wonderful that you've incorporated textural elements in them. (And like you, I find that I too am able to do things better in small amounts and tiny spurts.)

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    1. it really is easier isn't it? little and often :) thank you for stopping by.

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  8. First off, loving the shark to bits and that blue/purple fish is just gorgeous and knows it!!!
    You know I always love your watercolor and ink but I love the added depth to your framed piece. I really connect to the reflective (both literally and figuratively) aspect of this piece of art as well by having you looking in and the seal looking out. Just so creative and makes my imagination fly!!!

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    1. you say all the right things Raven!! I am so glad you like the pieces, I am in awe of your creativity!

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  9. I always so enjoy seeing what you create for a theme challenge! All the fish beads, they all made me smile! The shark is simply a cool guy! I also have to agree: Your illustrations are adorable! :)

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    1. thank you :D I did enjoy this months challenge it was very inspiring :D

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  10. I love your tide pool fish. They are all very cute. Each seems to have its own personality. Well done!

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    1. Thank you Kathy, you just never know what lurks beneath the waves :P

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  11. I like all the fishies, but I love the shark as I have always been fascinated by sharks.
    And then there are the illustrations. You, my lady, are really so talented!!

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    1. Thank you x must admit if all sharks were as smiley as this one they wouldn't be very scary at all :D

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  12. Love your glass fish and your title pool drawing is very special!

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  13. Laney what wonderful pieces you created! I love your glass fish especially your shark (such a cool shape) and the second fish with the shiny bits! Your gold fish are charming but that last piece is my favourite! I love the way the girl is looking into the picture and all the different layers, I shall look forward to seeing more pieces like this!

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  14. OMGoddess, those glass fish are awesome! And who knows what you'll find in a tidepool? Anything could be just lurking under the surface! Mixed media beckons to me also, as do selkies and other folktales. Could you, would you share some of your reading list with me?
    Alysen

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    1. Thank you Alysen. I read just about anything from 'stuff' I find on the internet to free Kindle books. I am love Brian Froud and his book Fairies in there are some wonderful folk tales https://www.amazon.co.uk/Faeries-Brian-Froud/dp/0810995867

      I have read many Selkie stories, both short and novel length but I am rubbish at remembering titles - just recently I have read this one

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076BXN2R4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      It is what I call a 'easy read' it is a nice story, a bit of a 'trashy novel' as opposed to a classic but the writing is lovely and the way the author describes the island can take you away from your life, which I think is what these books do best. x

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  15. Its me looking for selkies! I felt very connected to the last dimensional watercolors. You are speaking my language. I think the goldfish look fab - as if they have found a crusty treasure from a wrecked galleon! You were so prolific! Wonderful!

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    1. thank you lovely lady... I too like to look for Selkies, something about the romance of the sea.... I love that cabochon it just reminds of Pisces and of course I am Piscean ;)

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  16. I so adore the whimsy in your work. The shark bead is the absolute best.

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  17. Love the fishies... and the shark is so cute! Your paintings are the best though, glad you've stuck at it with the watercolour, they're amazing! I was just about to recommend Song of the Sea and saw Lesley already has, it's one of may favourite films and the artwork is beautiful, you'll love it!

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  18. I think your little shark is my favorite! ;)

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