Sunday, 23 December 2012

Nice New Paint

So I'm one of those people who has their birthday a little close to Christmas, (my birthday was actually on the 15th). I recently asked the incredible illustrator Laura Callaghan what watercolours she used because her pieces are always so vibrant and she told me she used Schmincke. They were a brand I had only seen every now an again but I've been getting bored of my own set and wanted something a little more special and with a little more punch.

I was actually lucky enough to receive two sets! One larger set and one that'll be great for any inevitable short backpacking trips. 

(for some reason my camera made the colour go a bit strange here) One even came in a beautiful little case. Can't wait to try them out!

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Journal of Wild Culture

I recently entered a jamboree for The Journal of Wild Culture. A fantastic looking online magazine about to relaunch that describes itself as " exploring the broad and fertile intersection between culture and the environment. " So far their twitter feed has been full of interesting articles and art focusing on rather a wide range of things but the articles catching my eye focus on juxtapositions between our technical modern world and that of the natural world surrounding us. Basically the magazine sounds right up my street so I had to enter!   I ended up sending them a couple of pieces from my Tribe project and I received a wonderful email from their assistant editor telling me my Spirit Bear piece had received a unanimous YES from every judge and that they wanted to send me this beautiful book! I've had a little snoop through it on my recent long bus ride up to Scotland and it's full of those questions you ask about the environment but never really got a proper answer to. And even better than that each question is accompanied by a full page illustration. It even features work by some of my favourite illustrators. I will definitely be doing a post on some of my favourite things from inside this beautiful book.
A huge huge thank you should go out to Sarah Lester and Wild Culture for this lovely gift as well as choosing my work. It really does mean so much to me.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Museum of Curiosities

I recently visited that absolutely incredible pop up gallery Museum of Curiosities. It occupies a few little rooms hidden away in Soho and good god I loved it. I even went back for a second look, not so sure if the friend who accompanied me the second time enjoyed it as much as I did haha! It definitely made for a strange experience but that of course made me like it more.(A few of these pictures are from my phone from my first visit as I actually forgot to take pictures of certain things when I went back with my proper camera so I apologise for any graininess.)

You can just about make out the tiny skeleton clinging onto the moth.

This reminds me of Neutral Milk Hotel for some reason.

On my first visit to the museum I went with my dear friend Charlotte who pointed out this skeleton that we think is a cat skeleton. It led her to tell me about her pet cat that had died and how they dealt with its body and we ended up swapping stories about our pets that we had lost. In that moment it was almost like a lot more meaning was placed on the bones around us. It was like displaying bones and stuffed animals was for more than just a fun curiosity but it was a way of remembering those animals that had died and showing our respect for them after death and our continuing love for them. It made me think rather more deeply about my collecting and the reasons behind why I do it.   

Amazing work by the world famous Swoon.

There was a room downstairs with the door open but no lights on so we weren't sure if we were allowed inside. It looked like a store room. We were curious so I turned my flash on and took a picture inside the dark room an low an behold, a unicorn!
I can't recommend the Museum of Curiosities enough but hurry, it closes at Christmas! 

Presents for the Future, Tags from the Past

I have so much to blog about and it's sort of overwhelming...I need to find my discipline I had when I was away! Right now I'm a bit ill though so while painting in bed is a little tricky I am very much able to edit and get a good few blog posts up or indeed ready to post. So while I get on with that here's a little picture of my Christmas wrapping. It's a robin skull! If I had the money I would have bought real little robin skulls an wedged the recipient's name on a little scroll through it's little eyes...Festive! Alas I will have to make do with little paintings, perhaps this is better considering most people don't share my err...slightly more curious sensibilities..