Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The fairies keep coming!

So, I wrote before about starting the #100dayproject and doing #100fairies. Back then I had no idea how much I was going to get into it and how much time it was going to take.

What I initially thought was going to be variations of my little glitter style fairies have turned into explorations of faces and techniques.

I have started to play with Procreate, an app for the iPad, where I can develop sketches that I did earlier in the day, usually when Tabitha has some food!

These images take an hour or so to do, but they also are stories of characters that have potential to be turned into fully fledged stories.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Me and my girl

So, this is a little bit about the fun I get up to with my little girl!

I wake up next to my beautiful little girl every morning and  smile at the random comments she makes first thing. For a 22 month old, she has a remarkable vocabulary and understanding. She can identify seagulls, pigeons and crows from their calls and so she often says the name of the bird she can hear.

This morning she said 'group hug' and so we all cuddled and I marvelled at how lovely it was.

The sunshine has been making life a lot easier and a lot more fun. We walk the dogs up the field at the end of the lane where we can look at horses and plane spot, or we go to the top of Sennen where everyone can run around happily!

I really like to exercise and I miss being able to go for long walks, but I have discovered that yoga outside is something that I can do when it's warm. Tabitha tends to bimble around and this gives me the space to stretch without getting bounced on! So, this is great progress for me and I'm starting to have a much more regular practice again.

Today Tabitha delighted in saying 'abradabra, frog, frog, frog' where I pretended she had turned me into a frog, bouncing around and croaking. She then magicked me back to being mummy and hugged my leg each time! Very cute! 

This was inspired by Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom which has made a big impression. She is pretty obsessed with the fish Big  Bad Barry and talks about him a LOT! 

I try not to let her watch too many programmes, but sometimes it's the only way I get anything done. She's happy and safe and I manage to make dinner or get some painting done without going crazy.

She's a pretty lively baby and she is always on the go. To be honest I'm pretty happy when she falls asleep as this gives me a little bit of a breather. 

Some days I look forward to a little more calmness and regaining a bit more of 'me', but then the thought of this, of all the closeness, cuddles and newness, coming to an end is unthinkable!  It's been such an incredible experience that it makes me determined  to appreciate the moment. 

We go to bed early together and read stories or cuddle until she falls asleep. I'm lucky if I can slip away. She is fine tuned to my presence and wakes really easily when I'm gone. I just thank goodness for my iPad and that I can get on with lots of things! 

And, to be honest, I'm pretty tired by then too. It's nice to snuggle up and I know that these moments are so, so, precious. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Competition winner,

The winner of my competition for the feather fairy picture is........ Lindsey Wallace! Congratulations!

Lindsey suggested that I wrote posts about my life with Tabitha and that is something that I would love to do too!

I also wanted to give a runner up prize to Sheila Sayer who wants to see a video of me doing my work. I love this idea and shall look forward to doing it! It might be a little while though as I'm going to have to learn some editing skills!

I've really appreciated everyone's comments and feedback! It makes me really happy when I see that someone has taken the time to read and comment! Thank you so much!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

100 fairies

100 fairies

Well there is something about a creative project that I can't resist. Perhaps it's because it makes me feel like a student again, being sent off into the world with a suggestion and an idea to create. There is the need for discipline and also the search for a greater learning.

This is something that I love to do and so when I came across the 100 day project I was immediately inspired to join in.

The 100 day project was actually inspired originally by a teacher who tasked his students to create anything for 100 days, but that 'anything' was the same thing. 

"For years, Michael Bierut led graduate graphic design students at the Yale School of Art in a workshop that he called “The 100 Day Project.” The premise for the class was simple: each student chose one action to repeat every day for 100 days. For example, one student made a poster in under a minute every day for 100 days; another danced in public every day and made a video; another student, Rachel Berger, picked a paint chip out of a bag and responded to it in writing for 100 days."

So, last year Elle Luna and her friends hash tagged their projects on Instagram and found that the camaraderie and accountability was incredibly exciting.
The project was so successful that it is running again this year and I'm excited to have begun my hundred day journey!

Of course, it won't be exactly the same thing. After all where would the fun be in that? The joy comes in the little differences that occur, that are exploited and directed to create something new.

Of course I had to choose to create 100 fairies! And of course I don't really have the time, but my fairies were built for speed and repetition! What I am looking forward to is playing with pattern and incorporating new elements into my work.

It's so easy to reuse certain shapes or colours that are almost ingrained habits. I want to discover new shapes, new flowers, wing shapes, fairy hairstyles, fairy homes, fairy animals! It's exciting just thinking about it! It doesn't matter that I don't have the time. It's just one of those things that I will find the time for because it gives me permission to explore the things I really want to do! 

Join me on my journey at #100fairies. Discover other people's projects at #100dayproject.
Read more and join in www.thegreatdiscontent/100days

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Fairy artist interview - Autumn Rosario Hall

I fell in love with Autumn's work as it captures the close relationship between the magical and the natural world so beautifully. I was delighted when Autumn agreed to be interviewed, so please join me on a little faerie journey!

What has led you to be a faerie artist? Have you always had an interest in faeries?

I was raised on fairy tales from the Brother’s Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Narnia etc. Like most children, I was fascinated by faeries. But unlike most children, I did not lose this interest. As I grew, I became more interested in folklore and folk-tales from many cultures. In this way I was able to keep my belief in faeries as my understanding of them grew.

I’ve also always loved creating. For me, my love of painting and my love of faeries are tied very close. Growing up, my main drive to improve as an artist came from my desire to paint faeries that were truer to the vision I had of them. As an artist now, painting faeries allows me to communicate the sense of wonder and enchantment I find in nature and life in general.

Have you ever had an encounter with fairies? What do you think faeries are?

I believe faerie to be nature spirits. They are neither wholly benevolent nor wholly malicious, but exist somewhere in between. I encounter faerie when exploring muddy riverbanks, deer trails, and crumbling farm houses. They are the deep forests, but also the small overgrown woody places in town. They are the possibility of magic. Faeries do not exist in some other realm, but in this one. If one takes the time to truly look they will find wondrous things. I try to show this wonder in my art. And, yes, I believe I have seen them, fluttering out of the corner of my eye, like leaves.

Could you describe what it is like to live where you do? You refer to prairies quite a lot and that is a very different landscape to what we have in the UK. Are there particular flowers or elements that you find particularly faerie?

I live in Iowa, which is located in the middle of the U.S. This is farming country, so there are lots of fields of corn, cows, and soy beans. I grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River and was lucky to always live close enough to a little bit of woods.

I’ve always found places where water meets land to be enchanting. The water is full of light, and life, and sound, and tree roots twist into the streams creating cubbies where faeries may hide. Once I found this old gnarled tree whose roots had pockets that held water. As I stopped to look, a frog jumped out of one of these pools in the roots. I was so surprised that such a large frog had fit into the pool so I stirred it with a stick to see how deep it was. It was actually quit shallow, too shallow for that frog to fit. I suspect it may have been a faerie in disguise because when I next looked it was gone. Whenever I find a tree with twisted roots I think of faeries and when I see hollow trees I want to climb inside.

As for the prairie, it is very beautiful. At first it may look like just a bunch of very tall grass but if you look closer you will see vibrant thistle, golden rod, oxe eye daisies, edible mints, and lots of dragonflies and bees. There are also little tunnels trough the grass and everything rustles and whispers in the wind. Tall grass prairies used to cover most of Iowa, but have largely disappeared due to over farming. I’m very interested in prairie restoration because so many native species, like foxes, and bees, and owls rely on the prairie.

Your writing is really expressive too, how important are stories to your art?

Stories are very important to my work. I don’t want to be an artist who just paints pretty pictures. Each painting starts as a story about a moment. In each painting I seek to hint at this story. Some series of work are based more around a theme or notion. My current series focuses on the idea of summer’s passing. I just feel that there is so much enchantment in the air of late summer, so many stories. And it’s made all the more sweet because of the sense of impending loss as summer fades. My head is constantly full of stories that I wish to paint.

What is your favourite fantasy book? And what is your favourite fantasy film.

My favourite fantasy books would have to be The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees. I also love all of Holly Black’s novels, Harry Potter because I grew up with it, and lots of Charles de Lint. Two of my favourite fantasy films would be Labyrinth by Jim Henson and Castle in the Sky by Hayao Miazaki.

I’m always on the lookout for new fantasy or imaginative films to watch. l love collecting stories.

Is there anything that you would like people to know about?

Hmm. I think I would just encourage my fellow faerie lovers to get involved in any local sustainability or green groups. I guess I’d also like people to know about my website because it’s where I share my story for each painting and I’m also working on a blog to share faerie info and tips on living greener and connecting with nature. I also love connecting with people so feel free to shoot me a message or an email any time.

Please take a look at Autumn's beautiful website for lots more fabulous fairy pictures and to learn more about Autumn herself.

Or you can connect with Autumn on Facebook