The On In Which I Got The (Pencil) Point!

Wow, what a month May was! I finally got started on Bonny Snowdon Academy course and mind blown!

I feel like I’ve been given the keys to a very special door, techniques I’ve never heard of and colour theory that I didn’t fully understand have all been beautifully explained – let’s start with the art I’ve done in the past….

The gorgeous Teddy!

As you can see it’s a watercolour pencil, with a sketchy feel, now let’s have a look at the more realistic studies I’ve been doing with coloured pencil…

A study of short fur..
A study of long fur…
And the little mouse we did in art club!

I hope you can see that this is going to lead to more realistic portraits! But what’s been happening with the crochet Karen, I hear you ask!

Well for the first time in recorded history there’s stock in the shop!!

All these cuties are waiting for you!

I’ve also been working on lots of monsters, these two sold in the Folksy Spring Market…..

The new mini monsters are proving very popular!

There’s a brand new monster on the block, this is Nox..

Nox is ready to lull you off to sleep, with his moonlit star face and special satchel for you wishes (or worries) and fluffy slippers too!

I’m now open for orders, I have a few orders to process -mainly monster!

Oh and my new rose came out, behold…

Eyes for you from http://www.Sarahraven.co.uk

What’s the coming month got in store? More of everything including a Black Forest themed bear!

Have a super June!

Kisses

Karen xxx

Getting There In A Roundabout Way!

Good Morning Darceys Angels! there is a saying that man makes plans and God laughs, I had a plan to put a video of me painting on here, but it turned out a bit ….meh….and then I got involved with something that diverted my attention for a bit (more of that later) and…anyhoo this is how the week went.

As you know I’ve been designing  Christmas cards, first I did our CEO Darcey…..

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And then to avoid a row our VP Milo had to have one……..

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This ones called Surprise!

Finally, as we are an all inclusive company I thought we had best do a cat design, however our own cat Jasper is a 17 and half bag of bones bless him, so I searched for a stock photo (that means copyright free) and chose this one…….

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as you can see I was so lazy I just screen shot it! I wanted to add some Christmas to it so I replaced her paw with a bauble. Now I expect proper artists have a method to where they paint first but you know thats not my style! look what I did first………..

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Yep! I did the bauble first, what can I tell you I love a bit of sparkle!

After some concentration it ended up like this………..

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I put more of a smile on her and a bit of tinsel around her ear. This ones called Dreaming Of Christmas.

It was at this point that I got distracted in the most useful way, through the magic of Facebook I was made aware of a lovely local boy called Sumner Malik, Sumner is suffering from a brain tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. This is a diagnosis that brings a life expectancy usually counted in months rather than years. Sumner’s family and friends are doing everything they can to raise some money for some treatment that will prolong his life.

Sumner’s story hit me straight in the heart, I have given a portrait voucher to the auction of promises that is being held, and after a bit of a think I have decided to donate 20% of the sales of these Christmas cards to Sumner’s appeal. As soon as they are printed I will let you know and hopefully Darcey’s Angels can show Sumner some love.

In the meantime if you feel generous Sumner has a page on http://www.Justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sunshine4sumner.

Have a super week

Kisses

karen xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

What A Year That Was!

It is one year, 2 days since I started this blog and it truly has been the most amazing year!

When I started I was absolutely convinced that the only person who would read it was my mum!  But that very first blog was read by several people and got my first follower (thanks Mrs P!).

It was also the year that I started to paint again, first with these two, painted for my daughters friends mums!…….

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I started work officially in March and offered a painting as a prize in a charity auction, and things took off from there commissions have flowed thick and fast……..

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I have also crafted until my fingers have nearly fallen off, I will have done three craft fairs by the time you read this, here I am at Seddlescombe Vintage Happening……….

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This was the first time I had sold things I had designed myself, like these hearts…….

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So, in a year when my physical health has declined it is the sheer joy of doing what I love most, and getting paid for it, that has held my head together.

December 10th 2012 was my first panic attack and three years later I am self employed artist! from not being able to walk the few feet to the bin to this seems like a miracle, but like all miracles its hard work, support from all sorts of people and the will to get better that finds me here…I couldn’t be more grateful.

Finally, thanks again to all of you that drop by to this little but very precious space,you will never know how much you mean to me.

Extra big kisses

 

Karen

 

 

 

 

The Proper Task Of Life!

Before we get going, I just wanted to say something serious, I belong to a Facebook crafting community and I have just learnt that one of its members was murdered, Nikki was young, beautiful and talented. As we face this day together, whatever today brings let us all be grateful that we are alive and able to contact friends and family. I intend to be truly grateful today that I am alive.

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said ” art is the proper task of life”, it’s a shame he went on to say a lot of other not quite so nice things because that’s a great quote! So I have been pursuing the proper task of life like a demented person for the last 6 weeks to get ready for my first show. I will be exhibiting the following six pieces at the Lindfield Arts Festival , I thought you might like to see them nd get some of the story behind them.

First up, Dora the dormouse fairy….

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Our woods are home to dormice ( we even have dormice bridges! ), this picture was the beginning of my fairies of Ashenground Wood pictures, I loved the idea of the dormice being snuggled up and cheeky fairies sneaking in for cuddles. If you look really closely, you can see that Dora isn’t even asleep.

The next fairy was inspired by Darcey and her obsession with bluebells….

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I loved the idea of her and Beau the bluebell fairy joining forces to protect the flowers. I think Darcey looks really on her guard and protective in this picture.

Again Darcey was responsible for the inspiration for Riley the rabbit fairy

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Yes, you guessed it, she was chasing the rabbits across the field and I could almost see a fairy leaping along with them, is it just me that sees fairies?

Before you ring the authorities, I changed direction and did a picture of The Joker……..

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This character has undergone many incarnations but I really like this one, this Joker will appear in the new film Suicide Squad, scheduled for release next year.

Years ago when I was horse mad, I was able to recite the names of the three horses that are the fathers of the modern day thoroughbred, this picture represents……..

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The Godolphin Arabian, Arab horses are so elegant, so graceful they remind me of ballet dancers.

Finally, it has to be Darcey…….

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My clever, loving, brave, mad as a bag of badgers Cavapoo, it is she that has accompanied me on numerous walks in the woods, it is she that finds where the fairies live, it is she that snores while I paint, because I only work While Darcey Sleeps!

Next week sees a return to normal service and the promised tutorial, get yourself to the charity shop and buy a short sparkly mini if you can, all will become clear….

Kisses

Karen

Art , Beauty, And A Spangly Mini!

The family Lorenz took itself of to London this with a simple mission of buying ourselves something pretty! We also wanted to give Carys a pre-results stress buster. Here is what I bought.

First, I into Selfridges for some Charlotte Tilbury eye crayons…….

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I needed a new Bronzed Garnet, I didn’t need an Amethyst Aphrodisiac but couldn’t resist it’s green eye enhancing powers!

Across the road to Marks and Spencer as they stock the marvellous new perfume range – Shay and Blue, I have had a tester of their salt caramel scent and really wanted more…..

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Just £30 for 30 ml and there are a range of lovely single note scents to choose from.

What followed was a hike to Hermann Ze German for a genuine German hot dog, it was well worth the walk to Soho, but I completely forgot to snap it!

Refreshed and rested, we dropped in to Cass Art for supplies, again I had things I needed, like paper and paint but these watercolour markers fell in to my bag as well…..

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I then succumbed to a bag for life from there that featured a particular colour and on the flip side detailed paintings that feature this colour…….

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After we allowed my husband some time in the comic shop, we finished off in Beyond Retro, as always stuffed to the brim with vintage clothes, I bought this……….

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Don’t panic I shall not be wearing this sequinned miin! But I will hopefully be turning it into a bag, if I get my act together it will be a tutorial.

Finally, I have the best of news that I wanted to shout from the rooftops but was banned from doing so- my dear daughter got 9 As and 2Bs in her GCSEs!!! This kid has spent e last few months tied to her desk so I am so happy she has been rewarded.

I have to run to an MRI now so…

Shakey kisses Continue reading Art , Beauty, And A Spangly Mini!

That Was The Week That Was!

It has been super busy at WDS HQ, at the start of the week I delivered this painting….. image This is the gorgeous Kobi, my first all watercolour picture and I Think it came out well. Once he was safely in the hands of his owner, I started prepping for two events I have coming up. The first is …. image For this I have made more of my tattoo hearts….. image I have also started some Liberty brooches like this one………. image I will also be making more bears, I have some black curly fur and pastel pink suede that’s going to make a lovely girl bear. The second event is an art festival in a neighbouring village. I have committed to six paintings and I am hoping to do a spread of subjects; there will be a couple of fairy paintings featuring animals that live in our local wood, I have started the drawing for the Dormouse fairy who I think will be called Dora, the mice are asleep but Dora is pretending……… image I will do some animal portraits, I will definitely do a horse, probably this one…….. image And for a change of pace some comic fan art, I am slightly obsessed by Jared Leto as the Joker in the new film Suicide Squad…… image Not to everyones taste I know but a good stretch for me as an artist. So that will keep me out of trouble this coming week and at then next weekend we get to welcome this little sweetie…… image This is is Milo a 9 week old toy poodle who we hope will be a lovely best friend for Darcey! So who has plans for next week? What’s on your desk or work table? Let me know I’d love to hear what’s cooking with you. Kisses Karen

Art For Arts Sake ( And Some Money!)

It is has been an exciting week at While Darcey Sleeps HQ! I have sold my first painting! Mine is a new business and I have done a few “freebies” to generate interest, a few weeks ago I decided to run a special offer on Facebook which meant that one person could get a picture for £10. This is the picture of the lovely Sprocket….

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The owner loved it so much he paid me £20! But he could have paid me 50p the joy of someone liking my art so much that they will part with money is hard to explain. So, now I’m officially an artist I thought you might like to see a little of the process.

First, I receive the pictures usually via email, these poppets are my next commission …….

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I use heavy weight cartridge paper and I like it to be A3 as that seems to me to be the right size for a painting. So first I sketch, I have a range of pencils …..

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I don’t measure or use a grid pattern, I start with what seems like the key part of the picture, in this case it was the white dog….

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Once all the drawing is done it’s time for colour, at the moment I’m using water soluble pencils….

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I try try and concentrate in sections but in reality hop from place to place….

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When I started this blog I did a blog writing course and one of the exercises was establishing what made your creativity flow, for me it’s having the telly on while I draw! I find it stops my brain thinking about shopping,housework,what’s for dinner you know the stuff! And the programme has to be something that holds my attention:- Homeland, Fortitude, Hostages and the Blacklist are some past and present favourites. Once my non creative mind is quiet then my creative mind can flow.

I have finished the picture but can’t show you until the birthday boy receives it!

So what gets your creativity flowing? Do you have any special processes? and any telly recommendations are gratefully received!

kisses

Karen xx