Friday, 23 April 2010

St. George's Day post!

Hello hello! I'm currently working on a few long term projects that aren't quite ready to share just yet, and as it is St. George's Day I decided to share some photos from my gallivanting about the UK. These celebrate the lovely Bradgate park in Leicestershire, former home of Lady Jane Grey (and current home of a herd of deer).

See that tower way off in the distance? That's Old John, and trekking up to it is something of a rite of passage for a lot of Leicesterites. Having only been to the park once before I had never done it, but this day I finally decided to make the journey.

Most of the way is just a pleasant trot over a couple of fields, but that last part of the ascent is surprisingly steep!

And at last the summit is reached! The traveller is rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding park, countryside and even the city way off in the distance. It's at times like this that I wish I had a camera that could do it all justice.

That's the view back the way we came. It's quite a way!

After the descent we come to the remains of Bradgate House where Lady Jane once lived. When I see red brick buildings I'm always tempted to assume it's from the Victorian era, but this was once a fine old Tudor pile (though the intact buildings are in such good shape you wouldn't necessarily know).

They've made this tower into a dovecote, with wooden shuttered entrances and everything.

And a far-off glimpse of the famous deer.

Kids playing in what I'm assuming is the River Lin. Fishing nets, paddling and picnics, a day out worthy of an Enid Blyton book (except the girls weren't left at home baking this time).

And so concludes this special Brit-themed post! Take the time this weekend to hit up one of the many national parks dotted all round the country, you'd be surprised at how much green space there is, even near the large cities. They're national treasures folks, so make the most of them!

Monday, 12 April 2010

An Extra Long Super-deluxe Bumper Special Edition Post!

Greetings all, happy Easter!

You may have noticed that I've been rather absent from the internet for the last week or so. As I mentioned in the previous post, this was due in part to work load, but also because there were various family engagements to attend over Easter. Both of my parents and my mother in-law have teaching jobs, so the Easter break is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with them. So, barely had I returned to London from visiting my fiancé's family in County Durham than I was on the road again, this time to visit my parents in Leicestershire, where I am currently. In the last week and a half I have spent a grand total of two and half days in my own flat! Living out of a rucksack can be a bit draining but it's been wonderful to get out of the city and see what's going on in the rest of the UK. Mostly it's business as usual, although I have noticed the alarming number of shops that have closed down, doors shut and windows boarded up. It's a sad state of affairs, but life carries on.

Anyhow, now that I finally have some time to just sit and type, I'm making this post an extra-long, super-deluxe bumper special edition, featuring not one but TWO new pictures for your edification (unless you think they're utter crap... though I hope that's not the case, that would be deeply embarrassing).

The first I mentioned last post, an illustration of the letter L (below) for the lovely Natsuki Otani over at Illustration Rally. After much deliberating I decided to do something uplifting, and chose L for Love (also, doves are such gorgeous birds!) It's up now on their blog so do pop along and have a gander at all the other lovely illustrations. All the pictures in the alphabet thus far are also up on Society 6, so if you like what you see, be sure to promote it!

The second piece was made as part of an art-exchange, where you send off some of your work in the mail and receive work by others in return. It's a lovely way to make your day more exciting as you await the mail, to see other people's work and hopefully make some great contacts. I can't wait to get home and see if there's anything on the doormat! For this one I did another of my favourite birds: the wren. I'm really enjoying doing these more stylised, decorative bird pictures so I'm thinking it might be fun to do a whole series of different birds. So many different things I want to do, but where to start? Decisions, decisions.

As a final little treat, here's a few pictures from my garden, which I have recently been working on. This was spurred on in part by the warm weather we've been enjoying recently, and also because my aunt wanted to come and see my flat. She is a wonderful woman, about as far removed from the formidable Aunt Agatha of Jeeves and Wooster fame as it is possible to be. However, she is always very elegant and neatly dressed, and I didn't want her to see the tip that my living space had become over the last couple of weeks! A panicked frenzy of cleaning ensued, which was handy because I really need motivation when it comes to things like that. If I have the option of relaxing or cleaning, I tend to find that I'd much rather sit and draw, or read a book.

Anyway, the garden looks much better for some sweeping and tidying, so the next thing on the agenda is to do some weeding, and get a bath and some food to entice more birds to visit. So much of the outside space in Britain is made up of people's back gardens, so it's really important for them to be as wildlife friendly as possible. And it also makes looking out the window much more interesting!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you next time!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Art Nouveau Barn Owl

Hello folks!

Just a quick little post today to share my latest illustration with you. I do love writing longer ones that are a bit more informative, but sadly it isn't possible at the moment. I'm having one of those seasons where the minute you finish a piece of work, you immediately have to start working on the next thing. The picture below was made as a submission for Cheapzine's upcoming book about art nouveau, which shared its deadline for entries with the Working Class Awards, both of which I managed to enter on time, just. No sooner had I finished the picture than I had to start working on a piece for an art-exchange, and an illustration of the letter L for Illustration Rally. Phew, I see a long day of drawing and painting ahead of me tomorrow! I'll be sure to put the results up here when I'm done. Wish me luck all!

Oh and just in case you were wondering, it's another barn owl. I seem to be a bit obsessed with them of late. And the flowers on the wallpaper are cornflowers and corn marigolds. Cheers for reading, as always!