Megan Nolton, of Art Shark Designs, created this awesome print representing her hometown – but her shop also includes many prints representing other cities, including Philly, Venice, and Portland. Trained in graphic design, Megan also fancies printmaking and painting. Her “city love” prints are created using a Gocco printer and the red umbrellas are delicately added with watercolor. [Read more…]
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday period and are enjoying a fun 2011 so far. This week I’ve rounded up some great handmade items to celebrate a wonderful part of our lives – our pets. My two cats were feeling a little neglected during the holidays as we spent the week away from home – and they certainly let us know, by making a huge mess of the house to welcome us home. But we can’t help but forgive them as soon as they jump into our laps and look at us adoringly. Here’s to those furry friends who drive us crazy, but who stick with us through thick and thin!
I love Gemma Correll’s illustrations, many of which feature a pug based on her dog, Mr Pickes. Gemma describes the print above as a comment on internet culture using her favourite characters, a cat and a pug. Gemma’s illustrations decorate a range of products in her shop, including prints, cards, stationery, T shirts and tote bags.
This print from erasercarver is of the artist, Carrie’s two rescue cats – who coincidentally resemble my two kitties! The initial sketch was made the first time Carrie found them curled up asleep together. She wanted to capture the peace that they had finally found in her home. Carrie uses interesting processes to produce her prints: “This is a four colour reduction print, where the lino block is destroyed during the carving process. Starting with the lightest colour, areas are cut away from the carving material to create the lightest base layer, then a run of prints is taken. The next layer has more cut out from the material, and more prints are taken and so on, and until the final black layer is cut and printed.”
Sara Norwood’s work blurs the boundaries between textile design and illustration. Each item Sara makes tells a little story in some way. She has always been fascinated by animals, and they appear in her work repeatedly. “I am inspired essentially by everything around me, ranging from nature to urban life. I am a big kid at heart and admire anything a little magical or off-beat.”
Artist Helen Dalgairns has had animals in her life since she was a child and thinks that cats have taught her how to properly relax, as they do this well! Helen’s impression of cats is that they are self indulgent creatures and only do what they want to do. “Anyone who has lived with a cat knows that they relish the sun and throughout the year my cat Neo always finds some sun rays and once found she does not move for anything, expect for some food. This illustration is based upon this purely self indulgent activity,” explained Helen.
Indira drew this print for her two year old daughter, who loves their neighbour’s dachshund. Indira’s work is inspired by daily life, nature, people and colours and I love the clean lines and bright colours used in her work.
I’d love to hear your funny pet stories – go ahead and share them below!
I first came across Helen Dalgairns’s bright and eye-catching work when researching a product profile inspired by my cats. I Her print of a cat basking in the sun (above) stayed with me as I thought about how it captured the very essence of most house cats. I was intrigued to learn more about Helen and her work, and to share it with you.
Helen lives in Hull, in Northern England with her husband and a black cat called Neo. Working full-time as a youth worker with the local council, Helen illustrates in her spare time, creating visual artwork that depicts her love for cats! She loves to use bold colours, patterns, vintage, nature and animal humour. “I have also recently started to introduce some human creatures into my artwork, mainly pretty ladies and their cats. The first of this new work is illustration ‘No:1 Crazy Cat Lady’ [below], which was inspired by the many crazy cat ladies out there.”
Helen says she’s always been “obsessed with drawing” and studied art and design at Hull College, with a focus on illustration, photography and textiles – sounds like a perfect mix! After graduating, Helen didn’t create much artwork until about three years ago, when she started creating and selling her work. “One day I had this creative urge, I realized I was not utilizing my creative skills to their full potential, something was missing from my life including the opportunity to express things in a visual way. I wanted to introduce some colour amongst the grey and I wanted to create artwork that made people smile.”
What keeps Helen going with her busy dual lives is knowing that her artwork is making its way into people’s homes, and particularly when she gets positive feedback on her pieces, “especially when someone shows appreciation for your vision and creations, this is very special to me. Buyers and visitors have often shown me things I have never even noticed about my work.”
My husband and I have collected many pieces from one our favorite artists, Leia Bell. We are especially fond of her venue posters that she has designed over the past decade. It’s always thrilling when one of our favorite bands has been married to Leia’s fabulous art! The lines in her work remind me of block cut prints and her bold use of color is unique and happy.
Leia writes this about herself:
After graduating with a BFA in Printmaking in 2001, I really had no idea how I could ever use my fancy art degree until I started hanging out with Phil, the owner of the rock venue I frequented (it’s called Kilby Court, if you were wondering). He suggested that I screenprint posters for the venue– small, colorful, eye-catching pieces that would also be collectible to the townsfolk. The plan seemed to work beautifully, for not long after I would hang up my posters, I’d walk back by the same spot and they would already be swiped. So then it began.
Aside from being an artist, Leia is also a mother to three young children. I am always inspired when I read about artists who also manage a family and a business. I’m sure there is never a dull moment! You can read more about Leia here.
These featured pieces are some of the posters that I have in my personal collection. Leia has posters, art prints, paintings and drawing available over at her website. Go see what you can find!
Matthew Parker is a photographer with a distinctive point of view, and an incredibly unusual technique for sharing that point of view. He makes photographic collages, but don’t let the word “collage” let you think of chopped up, scattered, and randomly pasted-together images. Matthew’s photographic collages take the same time, planning, and critical decision making that any master painting would take.
Each collage starts out as a sketch. As a trained architect, Matthew is drawn to objects in the built environment, and how structures interact with their space. After sketching out how he would like his subject to appear, the camera comes out. Instead of chopping up photographs to create the individual collage elements, each piece is actually a single, complete, unaltered photograph, which was deliberately framed and angled to follow the lines of Matthew’s original sketch.
In addition to viewing his subjects through multiple angles, Matthew’s collages also add an element of time. The collages are made up of multiple photographs – more than thirty, sometimes approaching one hundred separate images – but they also span multiple time periods. Sometimes the photographs are taken over the course of a single day, or a time span of several hours. Some of the collages include images from several different months or years – all taken from the same spot, and all of the same subject.
Adding the element of time allows Matthew to portray how moods and atmosphere change over the time of day, or seasons of the year. The variations in the images allow the viewer to experience the subject in a way that a single photograph (or even a real-life visit) never could. Matthew’s collages are a totally unique way to understand and experience a subject.
Because of his background in architecture, Matthew is very drawn to the abundance of beautiful buildings in Washington DC. But one of his favorite subjects is the cherry blossoms, because the look of the blossoms change so dramatically in different light. Additionally, images of crowds are another favorite subject. People are never static, and multiple images layered on top of each other really help the viewer to feel like they are actually part of the crowd.
Matthew’s customers also love images of the cherry blossoms, probably for the same reasons he does, but also because they are such an iconic symbol of Washington, DC. If you see one you like, you need to act fast, because all the prints are limited edition, and won’t be available forever. New collages are always being planned, but there is no set schedule on when new ones will be introduced. After all, it could take years to capture all the necessary images!
Matthew is currently working on a collage of the tidal basin that has already been three years in the making. It’s not hard to imagine the difficulty of capturing the cherry blossoms during their notoriously short lifespan, and finding and maintaining the exact spot in the tidal basin days, months or years apart!
There are plenty of amazing collages in his current collection, depicting beautiful scenes of Washington DC as well as other cities. He’s even open to suggestions for new collages. If you have an idea, drop him a line and let him know!
You can see all of Matthew’s work at his online gallery, as well as purchase prints in various sizes from his online store, or from the National Building Museum shop. Also, you can visit Matthew’s web site to find him at fine art and craft shows in the DC area.