Archive for April, 2016


Peace, calm after struggle, metamorphosis, transition… they are all meanings put to the symbol of the butterfly but what do they mean to you? They can be large, elaborate insects but also small and unassuming. They do what they need to do, what comes naturally to them, completely unaware of their beauty and the effect they have on us.

This week’s prompt is to create an image of or that includes somewhere in it, large or small, a butterfly.


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At the moment I have this thing for this particular abstract branching, tree type shape.
It’s cropped up in quite a lot of my sketchbook work and at least two paintings so far without intention, now in this page too.
It’s strange as I don’t plan to incorporate it it just gets painted in. I’m still trying to work out just what it means to me and what it’s pointing me towards.

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Desk altar 1

My main altar shrine space in my house is full of colour, crystals, candles and things that I find inspiring reminders of my spirituality. For my desk altar I wanted something cleaner, purer and simpler since my studio space and desk itself gets cluttered enough already.

Desk altar 2

It took a couple of sessions with the gouache paints but I’m pleased with how it turned out in the end. Simple knotwork with just a little blending of two tones of purple and green (my two favourite colours).

Desk altar 3

And here it is with a few bits on it. The candles were a sale find in Sainsbury’s from their winter collection, a hagstone, crystal, seed pod and a small glass bowl complete the set up. I like to have a candle on each side of my altars/shrines which is why I only painted the central area of the back.

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Whether I can tell what it is or not, whether it is supposed to be something or not, abstract art has always held a special place in my practice because it is so open to interpretation and, to me at least, is an incredibly intuitive process. Colours, shapes, compositions and forms all come together in an often deceptively simplistic manner to make us think about the way we look at the world. What seems to be simple actually has a depth to be found and a meaning that is as individual to us the viewer as the piece of art is in itself.

This week’s prompt is to create an image inspired by abstraction.

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Week 15 SurreallismMy image this week turned out a bit creepier than I had originally intended. I used collage and paint for a change, starting with a picture of a pretty lady with flowers in her hair that I found in a magazine.

I started playing around with black paint over the top along with red and white which really struck me as the colours I wanted to use on this page and it morphed into this. The eyes and lips were all added to tie in with the ones I originally placed onto the main image, it was a theme that I felt needed to be balanced out over the rest of the picture.

I don’t generally work with faces much, particularly facial features because I find them hard and I get frustrated when they don’t turn out like I have them in my mind. I get far too picky with my drawings and paintings of them and when I create them in my art journals I tend to leave the faces blank or add text over the area where the features should be. This week’s prompt was fun for me though as I felt I could play around with something I avoid and not worry about what it looked like in the end.

The speech bubble I found and really wanted to include somewhere fit in a way that overlaps onto the next page. I’m interested to see how this interacts with next week’s prompt.


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Surrealism is all about thinking outside of the box; regular mundane images in strange and random compositions and themes. One of the most famous surrealists was Salvador Dalรญ with his melting clocks, long legged elephants and dreamlike landscapes. There are loads of amazing and inspiring surrealist art images to fire up the imagination and take us to that dream world where we concoct our own odd mixtures and themes. I love how strange and interesting surrealist art is. It was one of the ‘genres’ I did a project on for my A-level art qualification but I haven’t really revisited it since then, at least not purposefully.

This week’s challenge is to create an image inspired by surrealism.


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I swear I make these prompts harder than they need to be on myself.

It’s safe to say that pointillism is not my thing, at least in the pen drawing sense, which is what I went for in response to this week’s prompt. I have absolute respect for people that draw this way on a regular basis. I’m pretty sure they are crazy but they do have my respect.

I decided to draw something simple and mundane with my Faber-Castell PITT artist pens. I grabbed a paintbrush from my desk and set to work. It was hard going. Building up dots was difficult for me. The natural instinct to sweep in shading and blend with my hands like I would with charcoal overwhelming and not being able to swirl colour around? It was so far from the norm of my practice I nearly gave up on it.

I did finish the drawing though and I’m pretty happy with the end result. I think that if I had enjoyed the process more I probably would have spent longer building up and blending the dots but I was very aware of not wanting to do too much to it after all that time making dots. In the end sometimes, for me at least, it’s better to just stop and take what I’ve created and the lessons I learned from it than keep pushing for improvements that could well ruin what I’ve already done.

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