This is for all of you out there like me who aren't going out to parties tonight! A bit of New Year fun! My two love 'Horrible Histories' and so do we... they're a silly bunch but its a great way for kids to learn a bit of history, and very funny! I couldn't resist this one too...
Happy New Year everyone! Take care wherever you are, see you in 2012...
Hi all! Hope you have all been having a happy and healthy Yuletide! Just a quick spur of the moment post here to run this by you.... I'm toying with the idea of updating my blog header, so I am trying this one out of the Ravens I painted recently... What do you think? It changes the feel of things quite a lot and the blog's identity I think, so the question is to those of you who know me and my blog quite well by now... does the old header portray me and my work better? Should I leave well alone or is it time for a change? I'd love to know what you think! Here's the old one...
A slightly belated Happy Solstice to you all, and I hope the turning of the year brings you good health and happiness! Our Green Man watching over our hearth is wearing a holly crown in his Holly King guise... perhaps I should hang some pressed oak leaves or acorns there now as traditionally we pass back into the light half of the year and the reign of the Oak King. I really like this myth in its various forms and have often thought I'd like to re-tell it as a picture book for children... definately a future project I think!
I strayed upon this image below a couple of years ago by an artist called Raven Willowhawk which I really, really like. I haven't been able to track her down to link back to her, but I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it in the spirit of appreciation of such an evocative image and her considerable talent. I just think its a really nice depiction of this myth and it struck a note with me.
By Raven Willowhawk
This also makes me think of the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which I must find a good translation of to read again. The copy I have is all in Olde English and very hard to decipher! But I love the story and the language full of rich description and symbolisms...
So, I'll leave you now with a couple of very funny videos we did with our little elfin ones which really help to get into the festive spirit! Hope it puts a smile on your face - it did for us! Take it away Elora and Elswyth...! Hope you enjoy them!
This wild sky with its wind hurled messengers seems a very appropriate painting to show you tonight as I sit writing next to the window that is rattling with the night's savage temper of storm. The wind and rain outside are ferocious, seething around the house, flinging icy spats of rain against the glass... that hollow boom, powerful, elemental, ominous... I'm glad to be inside, wrapped in layers against the drafts!
This is a painting I have made for my sister in law on her fortieth birthday which was today! We framed it for her in the workshop in dramatic black and gave it to her as the storm began to gather its furies in the twilight... It is of 'Huginn' and 'Muninn' - 'Thought' and 'Memory', the two Ravens that accompany Odin and bring him knowledge of the world. They are birds of portent, and it is said that Odin gave them the power of speech, and their presence in turn gives him another of his many names - 'Raven God'.
Here are some more closeup details...
I love the unpredictability of using watercolour washes like this, I have an idea of what I want - the colours, the dynamics... but the joy of it for me is watching the paint move to its own purpose, not quite knowing where it will rest, the beautiful living quality of the paint... I love it...
I used my Artists Rotring ink pen over the wash rather than under it to get a deep crisp black...
I intend to do a series of these on a larger scale, a project that's been burning in my mind for a long time now... but as ever just waiting for that precious elusive spare time! I can hear the Raven croaks, the wingbeats invisible in the back of my mind, the ravelling winds rushing... they are crying to be painted! I am pleased with the result of this first attempt, and its the first painting I've managed to produce for what seems like ages. Our business devours all our time, especially at this time of year, so it is a small victory for me to get it out there! Hooray!
Ooh, the wind is really howling now, lamenting like a wild bereft thing out in the wide dark, crying for the lost and forlorn with a throat of night and emptiness. I'm off to make some cocoa with extra chocolate and full cream milk! Hope you liked the painting :)
What fun we had last night at the debut gig of my husband's latest new band 'Mutineers'! With a name like that of course there was a strong pirate theme going on with most of the audience dressed as pirates too, and lots of Aaaars! The name comes from the fact that the drummer's great, great Grandfather was hanged for piracy during the American War of Independance for smuggling sheep, if I have all my facts right!
I thought I'd do the proud wifey bit and show you some (very bad blurry) photos.... My husband Tony is the lead guitarist (the one dressed as a pirate... oh hang on!)
Pirate Dad and his two piratey rascals!
The acoustic set - Tony, Ju and Wendy
The second set was good loud rock with everyone up dancing till the end...
Little Pirate Elswyth
This ones very blurry but gives a closer impression of the energy of the show... Tony in all his bands does a lot of larking around and daft dancing, which is great fun to watch!
First of all I'd like to thank Lynn of Beneath the Bracken , who does wonderful evocative paintings and mixed media art, for sending me a blog award! I've not had one of these before, but it was lovely to be thought of, so after a quick study up of the rules I will certainly have a go at joining in!
So what I gather is that this award is to be passed on to five blogs you enjoy, each with fewer than 200 followers. Upon receiving one the idea is to:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you . 2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. 3. Copy and paste the award on your blog. 4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers.
Hmmm, so who to pick, there are so many great creative blogs out there and many more yet to be discovered. I've chosen some writerly ones and some arty ones that I really enjoy, so please do check them out!
The Twirling Dragon - The wonderful art of Kim Kincaid who is always so generous in sharing her learning curves, new directions and works in progress... I admire and learn!
WOL's River of Stones - This is my favourite of WOL's three lovely blogs (her others are to be found here at The Owl Underground and WOL's Poetry Place ) Some lovely Wordcraft going on here which I really enjoy, thanks WOL! The Studio Window - I love wood cuts and engravings and Cornish Printmaker Sue has a lovely blog here where she shares the fascinating journey, stage by stage from sketch through to the final proofs... always makes me itch to have a go myself!
Seven Miles of Steel Thistles - There is such a wealth of fascinating literary knowledge, of mythology, story and language here on Katherine Langrish's brilliant blog... I could get lost here for hours! A treasure trove for any writer, or reader for that matter!
The Golden Fish - This is a really inspiring blog I discovered a little while back combining beautiful images and words. I've been really enjoying these poems and stunning photography!
And so, now for a bit of prouid Mumness! To continue from the lovely Mr Fox picture done by my daughter Elora above, here's the rest of the series of drawings she was doing that I was rather taken by! She has a big thing for foxes and I thought these were so full of fun and action, great characters...!
I am Carrie, an aspiring illustrator and writer, slowly (very slowly) building a portfolio for children's illustration. I am mother of two little elfin folk - Elora and Elswyth (who can squabble like young trolls!) I would love to share with you the things that inspire me, my love of literature, art, mythology and wilderness. And if perchance some of these things strike a chord with someone else out there, it would be a wonderful bonus and I'd love to hear from you.
my mum's paintings
please click to see more of her work...
websites of artists and illustrators I admire and aspire to...