nikon f4, kodak gold 200, developed by carmentica film lab
Last month, Aneurin and I made an impromptu visit to Peak District. We were camping in a lovely campsite near Buxton, and Bakewell just 15 minutes drive away. We spent the first day visiting Bakewell for late breakfast, setting up our temporary home, and searching to buy camping hook up plug so that we could have coffee in the mornings!
In second day, we found out how unfit we were by walking up a very steep hill to Peveril Castle in the village of Castleton, but the beautiful views we got in the end was definitely worth it. We then visited Eyam, a ‘plague village’ that went into voluntary quarantine, and because of that it is one of best-preserved villages in the area. We also went to beautiful Eyam Hall and its gardens.
I took so many photos they will be distributed in next few posts. Next time, I’ll tell you about our Mam Tor circular walk, naturally with more landscape photos featuring some cute sheep I met along the way!
In August, I was finishing my butterfly series and as many of you know, I turned them into a print and notebook. Read all about them here. Small tortoiseshell butterfly in particular (1st picture above) seemed to be the favourite. I had a few print requests when I shared the picture on my Instagram. I love that one of the customers actually bought it for her son’s bedroom because his first ever sign (as in sign language) is ‘butterfly’ and she sent me a photo of it framed, which looks really pretty.
In my last daily art post, I talked about setting myself a challenge, to step outside my comfort zone when painting, so I’ve been painting countryside views from photos I took in Peak District. They are not the greatest but when I finished it (3rd picture above), I was pretty chuffed with it! It was my first landscape painting after all. It was hard and time consuming I wasn’t confident while painting it and then with fresh eyes, I was like OH that is lovely! I want to continue this intention to challenge myself every now and then.
In related (AND exciting) news, one of my illustrations has ‘made it’ in the tattoo world! My line drawing, drawn from still life, of eucalyptus was chosen by a young lady that found me in Instagram and had the top part of said illustration inked on her back. I couldn’t be more touched to know that there’s someone that love my work enough to have it inked. Here’s a picture of my eucalyptus illustration for comparsion.
I’ve just finished my fifth sketchbook. This time last year, I realised that even though I had been an artist for as long as I could remember, I had never properly owned a sketchbook – I was a hardcore perfectionist back then, so if I messed up a drawing in my sketchbook I’d tear the page off and eventually gave up with the idea of owning a sketchbook.
I was silly, wasn’t I? Sketchbook is meant to be a space for you to practise and experiment . I can’t remember what triggered it but I decided to let it go and made a pact with myself, that I’d continually own a sketchbook and draw away, no matter what is the outcome. At the beginning, it wasn’t an easy trip – I was itching to tear off some of the pages I didn’t like, but by Christmas it wasn’t difficult anymore.
However, looking back at all my sketchbooks I’ve owned, I would say I am a ‘safe’ sketch-er. I occasionally drew with pencil and then fine liner over the top so I have a neater drawing in the end. I used fine liner 99% of the time. I stuck with subjects I usually draw. Basically, I didn’t go wild in these pages.
So, I am making another goal within my intention to own sketchbooks –
Be a wild sketch-er!
I had a little collection of art cards and prints to put up on my studio wall front of my desk but there wasn’t enough to fill out the space, so I bought originals and prints from three of my favourite artists – Mirta from Modern Botanics, Cathryn Worrell, and Lily Anya (click links below images to visit their shops). This is what my wall look like so far, but I will be sharing better pictures when I blog about my studio soon. It is really nice to see those special pieces every day, knowing that they were made by genuinely lovely people I admire.
Leaves and Pods Lino Print
Set of Two Hand Printed Botanical Postcards (similar)
Marmite Art Print
Original Hand Printed Feather Lino Print
Mushroom Original Lino Print
Have you bought from small businesses recently?
Last month, I was looking through a pile of old paintings I did years ago and saw old butterfly painting, which wasn’t very good. I vaguely remember painting it and got frustrated because I hated it.
I then decided to start painting butterflies again. I looked up the most common butterflies in Britain and listed them. I slowly went through the list painting 8 butterflies in total. They were received well over at my Instagram and I went ahead with my plan to turn them into a print.
I got them printed on notebooks, A4 prints, and A3 prints. I absolutely love the end result. I initially thought about adding handlettered titles like my Culinary Herbs print but I decided against it and let the artwork speak for itself.
See more of my butterfly series here. Which one is your favourite?
Images taken by Yasumi, Stranger London
After launching my handmade clay necklaces on the shop, I was approached by the lovely Yasumi from Stranger London – an online shop filled with thoughtful and lovingly made accessories, homeware and jewellery. She asked me to make bespoke clay beads to add to her wall hangings, where she’d sell on her shop. She specifically asked for three to be painted with pink dashes and other three with black dashes. When the beads were dry from the painting, they were varnished with few layers of eco-friendly, odourless and waterproof sealer so they stay in good condition for a long time.
Needless to mention, I was thrilled and honoured to be involved in Stranger London in small ways and I absolutely love how they look in the end.
It was a pleasure working with you, Yasumi, and thank you so much for trusting me to make beads for you!
You can buy them here:
‘Moon Rabbit’ Ornament
I was slowly improving from feeling uninspired few weeks before. I think starting my butterfly series helped a lot, and it was a hit! I wanted to do more oil paintings but with less work coming in, I couldn’t afford more canvases and paints that was running very low. The weather was glorious, apart from some random rainy days (which was also pretty beautiful though), I was inspired by British countryside hence the bird I painted from my front garden (1st picture), this windowsill painting (I really don’t like it!) and those butterfly illustrations.
My thoughts while being creative every day in July:
// My persistence was impressive – painting butterflies were surprisingly not easy so I ended up painting some of them twice for me to finally be happy with them. It was totally worth it now I have new products featuring them! Keep your eyes out for them as they are going to be listed on the shop super soon.
// Painting this windowsill painting that I didn’t like, I wanted a challenge and to do something different. I wanted to try paint something bigger than a painting of object with white space around it, which is my usual style and that is fine – I just wanted to see what I am capable of! It freaked me out that painting a ‘scene’ was harder than I thought and I am trying not to let my fears take over. I have few ideas floating around and I hope I nail it next time!