I cannot believe it is almost December once again! I had good intentions of spending the year leisurely painting for the Christmas Craft Events, and now here I am again, scrambling to make enough! Nothing changes!
Here is a sneak preview of one of the items I am working on for this year! Every year I make two sided block sitter signs in a distressed fashion! Ok, so we rarely have snow here in the Southend on Sea area, but we can dream about a White Christmas - can't we?
Where to start? It has been literally months since my last post!!! I have had such a busy year, and so many troubles with computers and ---- well no excuses - just time to get back on!
Well I managed to participate in my first Art Trail in the town I live in - The Westcliff Art Trail! This was a great experience, put together by some very hard working people and I am grateful for being accepted and also grateful for all their hard work!
I displayed at a small cafe in town run by a lovely lady and although I did not sell anything, I had some great exposure and thank Lesley frome Chili Peppers for her hospitality!
The other big thing for me this past summer was joining and setting up my shopfront on Not On The High Street! This has been exciting and the site itself is full of beautiful things sourced or handmade by many talented people! I feel humbled to be a part of the group!
I am so happy to be part of it, but have found myself so busy these past months, I have not been able to make the best use of the site up to now. With Christmas looming I am in full swing now making Christmas signs, block sitter signs and ornaments and I will be listing some of these within the week!
Click to view all products to see what is there! Check back soon to see what I have to offer for the Christmas Holiday period!
At the moment, all my items are garden inspired paintings in the style of a vintage sign with distressed paint effects. I love flowers - so I guess that is what I am gonna paint! Well in the summer anyhow!
The hydrangeas painting above is entitled Amelia's Hortensia's, inspired by my mother and her parents and their lakeside home. I spent many happy holidays there and feel such a wave of nostalgia just thinking about their log cabin style home built on the lakefront of Adams Lake in the beautiful Okanogan/Shuswap Valley of British Columbia, Canada. My collection of twenty paintings were all part of a group of happy memories from that time.
All for now as it is late (story of my life - I seem to get a second wind after 10 pm! ) but I will post more soon! I will add a few more pics of my paintings over time!
I love to paint cakes! Cakes are so pretty and painting them does not add inches to the waistline!
These paintings all feature cakes and most were painted for the Westcliff Art Trail I exhibited in during May.
The two large signs painted on cupboard doors feature cakes, teacups,lilacs, and roses as well as words - all of these elements are inspiring to me not only for their visual impact but also because of the memories and meanings they evoke to me personally.
Teacups - well - Connie Parkinson is truly the Queen of Roses and Teacups and I can't help but swoon every time I look at her beautiful paintings! I have a growing collection of teacups of my own - several which belonged to my Mother and her Mother, and a few years ago, I made an altered book titled Granny's Teacups. This book was very personal to me, at the time my Mother was very poorly in Canada and I had not long returned from spending time with her there. As she was unable to return home after that, I brought back her small collection of treasured teacups and these inspired me to make my book about both my mother and my grandmother and the impact they had on me and what is important to me.
Granny's Teacups made me think and reminisce about happy times spent at my Grandparent's Lakeside Home at Adams Lake in British Columbia, Canada, and these memories were the inspiration behind the entire collection of cakes and flower inspired paintings that I painted for the Art Trail.
One memory still vivid in my mind after at least 37 years is an afternoon I spent with my Grandparent's lovely next door neighbour Ina.
Ina was kind and glamorous and very friendly and one day she was decorating cupcakes for the Summer Fair Cake Competition. I was mesmerised with watching her make the most exquisite flowers, bows, loops, and trellis designs on these tiny little cakes in pleated paper wrappers.
I can still picture them to this day and thus my love of them and their pretty forms, and so this is why I love to paint them - that and the fact that I am not, or never will be a Domestic Goddess able to make them myself!
I will leave that to my friend Donna - she makes the most gorgeous cupcakes and is in high demand - thus she has started her own business entitled Let Them Eat Cake!
Summer is here and with it are the roses in bloom, warm weather and sunshine and light! I love this time of year and especially when we have warm days and sunshine (but not too hot - like the garden flowers I tend to wilt if it is too hot!)
I have been so busy lately that I haven't posted in ages and I cannot believe how much time has passed since my last post.
I managed to get twenty paintings of flowers and cakes done for the Westcliff Art Trail, in May! I exhibited in a lovely little cafe called Chilli Peppers. Leslie and her staff are friendly and very helpful, and I am very grateful they allowed me to exhibit in their space especially as Leslie was getting married the following weekend! Thank you to all the staff at Chilli Peppers.
The art trail itself was a great experience and although I did not sell any work, it was an honour to be a part of it, and definitely something I would love to participate in again.
In June, the Leigh Art Trial ran for a week. This annual event, which is in it's 13th year, is very well attended, and Southend Adult Community College, where I teach Interior Design and Decorative Painting was one of the sponsers. They held their own exhibition of students work from all the arts and crafts courses run at the college and this was a fabulous showing of very talented student work.
I belong to an eBay goup of fabulous creative women,a nd every season we swap with each other!
This spring I received the most beautiful basket of fabric roses complete with a fabric postcard sent to my by the lovely Charlotte! Charlotte is a very talented lady who makes beautifully stitched fabric items! Not only that but Charlotte has her own website - The Homespun Loft - where she sells what se makes alongside primitive giftware and the most beautiful homespun fabrics!
These roses are so beautiful and they also smell like real roses and I am so pleased to have such a lovely gift! Imagine how thrilling it was to open the box and find these roses inside. Charlotte knows how much I love roses and this is a very thoughtful and heartfelt gift!
I have been working on signs lately for an exhibition in May and this is another one for it painted on a shutter type door. I wanted to get in all the things I love to paint - teacups, cakes, chocolates, roses and distressed finishes.
I plan on doing another shutter as maybe a bakery shop with more cakes and such and maybe with lilacs hanging over the same sort of twig frame. I haven't fully decided but I wanted to keep them related somehow. Tomorrow I will work on a series of 6 smaller signs on wood with distressed finishes - all again with a garden theme and next week I want to work on cakes.
This is the plan anyhow - the reality is yet to come and that will determine how much I actually get done. I haven't much time now but I will do what I can in the time I have.
It has been a beautiful and sunny day today - I love the fact that Spring is here and Summer is on the way!
Here is another wonderful blog from the very talented Lisa, who lives in Wales and designs and makes a beautiful range of lovelies which she sells through various shops in England and Wales. Lisa is also the brainstorm behind Crows 'n Roses, an ebay sellers groups full of lovely ladies - all who craft, and all who have become good friends together!
Have a look at her blog and see what I mean! Lisa works full time, and has a family and home to run and she still manages to make so many beautiful items! Her latest treasures are gorgeous chickadees!! I know you will love her special designs!
I have just added a link to the blog of Susan Wymola for you to have a look at! Susan is a decorative painter who specialises in transforming trash to treasure in the most innovative and inspiring ways!
Susan loves to paint roosters, chickens and flowers and calls herself Suzie Cackleblossums! She has also formed a Yahoo group called Chic Chicks which is a fun and friendly group. Susan is now teaching on-line and she designs painting patterns available through her Etsy shop!
Not only talented, Susan is also friendly and sharing and a great gal too! I am lucky enough to have swapped with her in a Chic Chicks gift exchange event and now have several of her pieces of art in my own home! Have a peek at the photos! The Rosy Bugs plaque is made from an old cd, and Suzie has used buttons beads and hearts to make a Rosy Bug plaque complete with roses! Rosybugs is my Etsy Seller name and this is a unique and very special gift! Thank you Suzie!
The chickie is adorable and has slogans which can be changed to represent my moods! Other gifts included native Texan bluebonnets painted on broken tile, a jam jar painted with adorable cherries filled with sweets and another CD painted with Suzies lovely roses! She also sent me some of her fabulous painting patterns which are full of pictures and demos and are well written and easy to follow.
Have a peek through Suzies blog and her links and I guarantee you will have a fun time!
Here is a little sneak peek at one of my signs for the art trail. I love to paint roses and have been painting them now for several years in various styles. I have had a lot of help from Connie Parkinson who always gives me great advice and guidance!
I have since wired this sign for hanging, but I wanted to get picture when the light outside was bright, and that was when the paint was still fresh! I have two new cameras (long story) and they do not work anywhere near as well as my old Kodak, so I am a slave to bright outdoor light!
I have been so busy lately with painting signs for clients and shops that I have not had a lot of time to just post blogs, so I am going to catch up today with a few new posts before I secret myself away in my studio to work on creating new signs and paintings for the Westcliff art trail. This is an art exhibition for artists in the town I live in, and it is where artists exhibit their work for sale in local shops and businesses. I have never participated in anything like this before and so it is a new venture for me.
This wisteria sign was made for a client for her cottage home. I have never painted wisteria before and so getting commissions for flowers outside of my comfort zone is a great thing for me - as it means I add something new to the flowers I paint. My style of painting is loose and can probably termed more impressionistic than realistic, and is of course based on strokework derived from traditional folk and decorative art. I am a decorative artist as I paint art to decorate interiors, and I work primarily on wood which is often in the form of signs, furniture and interior accessories, but I also paint on canvases too. I think all art is decorative to be honest - as it ultimately decorates walls and interior and exterior spaces.
I think wild violets are the sweetest little flower and I love how they grow anywhere! This little clump found a home in a hole in the pavement and I could not resist taking a photo of them! Some of their friends found a home in a wall nestled amongst the bricks/stones using the smallest amount of soil to feed and provide a display. I call it wall art!
I love flowers - and I love vintage china and if it is old china and has flowers on it - I am happy, happy, happy! I couln't help photographing the blossom on the plate! Ok - I know the blossom is a spring thing, and the roses are a summer flower, but I still couldn't resist the combination!
As a painter, I am always looking at flowers closely to see how they are made (basically!). These blossoms I collected in 2006 to observe and I photographed them to add to my inventory of inspiration. As of yet, I stil have not painted blossom,- perhaps now is the time to think about that!
Here it is - already Easter Monday and soon the holiday will be over!
I love the spring in England - the flowers are so fresh and the birdsong is all over the place as robins and blackbirds fly about gathering bits of straw and such for nests. When the blossom is on the trees I think of ladies in frilly ballgowns and I wish I had room in my own small garden for one of those ornamental cherry trees smothered with the overblown blousy pink blooms. A whiff of wind and they decorate the grass below! A rug of pink petals - wouldn't that be something!
Thank you Stephanie from My Calico Heart for helping me add websites and blog links! Stephanie makes the most gorgeous fabric items and is a fellow member of the Crows 'n' Roses ebay group. Have a peek thorugh her blog for pictures of what she makes - she has the most gorgeous angels and hearts made for her Christmas craft sale! I am not surprised you had a great sale Stepahnie!
Because of Stephanie's help I was able to add two website links today - St. James Place the webite of Connie Parkinson, and also the link for the online store - Vintage Home.
Connie is an artist from California who paints the most exquisite roses, teacups and cottages! She teaches, designs pattern packs for sale and has five published painting instruction books, as well as a teaching video and CD rom - all available in her on-line shop! Have a peek through and don't forget to look at her gallery and her Rose Gallery. You will be amazed at her talent! Not only mega-talented, Connie is also very nice and extremely helpful! My goal is to get over to America and be in one of the classes she teaches all around the USA and Canada. She is teaching In Las Vegas next week at the creative painting convention.
Vintage Home is the ultimate website for anyone who loves the vintage look and lifestyle. Clare and her husband sell the most wonderful array of fabrics, paintings, china, and homewares through their UK based site - and it too is just a feast for the eyes! Have a peek too at her blog - it has gorgous photos of her home and the treasures they find! I find myself wanting to live in these pictures! Her website is newly updated and is beautiful - I love the colours and the feel to it all.
I myself am in the middle of making lots of distressed signs and block sets for a craft sale this weekend. I am in a mood for coffee and cakes and so this seems to be the running theme - both colour and motif wise, and I hope to put together a few cupcake signs and hearts to take with me on Sunday to sell. (Well that is the intention anyhow!) My own coffee break is at an end and so I will go and get back to the paint!
These roses are so gorgeous and I love all the colours together. They bloomed early in 2005, and the varieties in this shot include Madam Caroline Testout - an old hybrid tea climber (c. 1901), Charles de Mill - a beautiful deep crimson rose of the Gallica family(c. 1790), Constance Spry - the first David Austin English rose and so beautiful (c. 1961)- and it grows so strong it climbs high filling the air with it's gorgeous scent! the one at the topon the left is Zephirine Drouhin (c. 1868), another old climber, this lovely clear pink rose is delightful in bloom.
At this time of year my thoughts are preoccupied with the fact that summer is on it's way and with it - my roses will be in bloom. To tide me over until that time, I try to paint as many roses and flowers as I can!
I painted these tissue boxes in 2005 and sold them on eBay to ladies across the pond in America. During 2005 I sold a lot of painted roses and hydrangea articles through eBay - all to ladies in America.
I learned how to paint them by purchasing a video from Ros Stallcup in Virginia. I have had the good fortune to paint with Ros in the UK twice and she is a fabulous teacher and a lovely person, and she is also an amazing painter. I have all of her books and use them often to teach myself new fruits and flowers to paint.
I have a fascination and interst in Rococo design - the art, the interiors, the fashions, the decorative items, the china, the fabrics, the paintings - and I can't help but think of Marie Antoinette when I look at these roses. This is another view of the James Galway roses - and all the frilly edges, and the tightly pack blooms, the number of blooms on each stems, and the sheer size of the plant itself (this is a large shrub rose and it climbs on my fence and would take over the whole garden I think, if it just had a chance!) just makes me think of Versaille in the 18th Century and Marie Antoinette on all her finery!!! Imagine a full skirt with roses like this as trim! Fit for a queen.
I love roses - not only to paint them - I also love to grow them and the roses I love the most are the Old Roses - the vintage roses - Bourbons, Albas, Musks, Damasks, Portlands, Gallicas and Centifolias. The shapes, colours and scents of them in bloom is eye candy on a warm June day!
I also love the English Roses from David Austin and this one is a climbing James Galway rose - and what a lovely sight it is in full bloom! It is a miltitude of colours with a warmer centre paling to the edges, and has a lovely scent too. I love cutting roses and bringing them into the house!
With my new ambitions to make more of my blog, I am also going to add more picures to my blog - being comfortable with resizing and posting pictures is something I have to come to grips with too, so here is my effort!
These three signs with painted roses are the first three things I posted on eBay way back in May of 2005. All three are in different styles, and this was an important time in my mission to learn to paint roses. At the time, I absorbed every bit of information I could find about how to paint the flowers I love most and at this time I was buying painting books and patterns through eBay from the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK (when the occassional one came up!) and even from Israel! Almost very artist I could find who painted florals or roses - I added to my collection.
These three signs are painted using three different designers patterns from the books I bought between 2004 and 2005. The small rose is adapted from a Jenise Jackson design, and the two roses on the blue sign behind are an adaptation of a Pam Childress design. The roses on the cream ground are from a pattern by Connie Parkinson in her book called A Classy Affair.
Connie is a fabulous painter who paints the most gorgeous roses, and she teaches at conventions and seminars throughout the USA and Canada, as well as publishing books, pattern packs, videos, dvd.s, and articles for painting magazines, and she has been an enormous inspiration and help to me in my quest to learn how to paint. I will try to post a link to her website so you can have a look-see! I am not sure if I can do that here so will check out the options! Prepare to drool when you look through her work -a feast for the eyes!
Well, it has been awhile since I posted anything on here and so I am going to make a new effort to do so now! This has been prompted because just a few minutes ago I chanced on an Etsy sellers site and found a lovely digital OOAK Blog Banner from castleandcottage, and I am waiting for it to be sent! How exciting!!!
Impulse buying is usually not a good thing, but having just bought something on a whim means that I now have to do something about my blog - make it look more interesting - and make it have a bit of a personal feel to it. This banner will add WOW factor to it - and I have the task of figuring out how to do that! Just now, I have learned how to make my blog more intersting by changing the background and font colours!!!
2008 ended with big changes in my life with the death of my Mother in Canada and so I made the trip back from the UK for the funeral and to spend some time catching up with my brother. It is just the two of us now, (our father passing 7 years previous, our oldest brother passing 38 years ago), and both of us with our own memories of our parents, brother and childhood.
This year - 2009 - I am determined to accomplish as much as I can on my list of 'Things To Do Before I Die'. Maybe that sounds morbid, and I don't mean for it to be -I just realise that time is tick, tick ticking away, and if I intend to tick (sorry!) off the list of my goals and aspirations, I need to get started now!
One of those ambitions/goals is to get to grips with computer technology and get over my fears of it! A good starting point is for me to pretty up this blog and finding this lovely banner is the perfect place to start!
Keep an eye out for it - I will get it up as soon as I can! I can hardly wait!
Throughout my entire life - art has been my biggest interest. Since my first remembered drawing of a robin with extremely long legs, I have not stopped playing with art. I attended Fashion College in California, and worked as a designer in London for several years. Motherhood followed and I did what I art I could in whatever time I could find. That journey led to decorative painting, furniture painting and interior design. I was lucky enough to be able to study Interior Decorative Techniques, for 4 years on a City and Guilds course. Since then I concentrated on pursuing the art of rose painting, and these beautiful flowers, which I have loved since childhood, have pervaded my life in all aspects – clothing, home furnishing, art and gardening. I do all this surrounded by my two wonderful teens, Lara and Jordan and my hubby Dave, in our Edwardian home with a garden full to bursting with literally dozens of old vintage roses and gorgeous English Roses! Told you I was mad about roses!