Monday, 25 July 2011

the pony preoccupation

As a younger girl, I admit I struggled to understand why every other eight-year old female was mad about horses. Unicorns, yes. Pegasuses: definitely- the wings are a no-brainer, of course they'd be a cool pet! My Little Ponies: sometimes, and only ever as a companion for my Barbies. I guess you could say I was a bit of a horse snob.
But I have finally given in: they really are wonderful, expressive creatures to draw, and I've had great fun these past 6 months watching them crop up in my doodlings. Here's the latest little offering from my sketchbook this week.  

Did any of you have any animal obsessions when you were younger? I'd love to hear about them!
All nice things,
Mel x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

when i was five . . .

Wonderful Wednesday wishes to you! I have been flat out these past few weeks preparing my submission for the 2012 Bologna Children's Book Fair Illustrators' Exhibition, so for want of something to share with my lovely readers, thought I might spend an hour drawing in my much-neglected sketchbook. This is a little tribute to "Tangled", Disney's latest and perhaps last princess film. I'm sure it's no surprise I fell in love with it!

A few posts back I also asked if you wouldn't mind sharing some memories with me from your childhood; a huge thanks to everyone who contributed. As for me, when I was five I was pretty sure I wanted to trade places with Ariel from Disney's"Little Mermaid", otherwise have hair like Rapunzel. I didn't really buy into the whole girl-in-a-tower thing, but I did approve of the singing and eyelash-batting and long hair in general. In the interim it took to grow my own, I improvised with silky lengths of rope. All of this ended when day when I flew into a strop, having shared my game with the girl next door who took the longest of my two pieces of rope for her own.

What were your favourite movie/ book/ heroes/ characters when you were a kid? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

All nice things,
Mel x

Friday, 15 July 2011

♥ the hearted fawn ♥

I started this little dear in the wee hours of last night and finished him this morning- proof that he wanted to be shared with all of you! I'll be adding colour shortly, but if you ♥ him and his spots, please 'like' him too! 

Have a brilliant Friday wherever you are in the world.
Mel x

Saturday, 9 July 2011

thoughts wanted # 1

Hullo lovely readers, hope you are having a wonderful Saturday night wherever you are in the world. For me, this involves digesting the best ever homemade fish and chips and polishing off another few drawings while thinking about starting a few more. Which is where you good people come in!

For those of you who are already a Grumpy Star fan on facebook, you'll already know about my callout for donations to my thought collection. Every good artist knows they don't exist and can't survive in a vaccuum, and fresh meaty ideas are what I'm after! If you can't support an artist with your wallet, pay with words, I say! I'd certainly love to hear your thoughts on these ideas:

  • What did you want to be when you were five? and,
  • What is your favourite/ most poignant childhood memory?
All contributions will be credited warmly! A huge thanks to those of you who have already shared your memories and thoughts with me; have a bit of a squiz for yourself here. And while we're on the topic of thank-yous: a very warm one to the gorgeous family who stopped by my Palmerston market stall last night, and went home laden down with framed prints for their lovely young daughters. They made my day, not least because they seemed truly to love and want my artwork, but because they were so sweetly and sincerely spoken about their efforts to support local artists.

Have a great weekend everybody!
Mel x

Friday, 8 July 2011

the wondrous cycling piggy

Top of the Friday morning to you all!

Here she is as promised: the colour version of 'The Wondrous Cycling Piggy", with a huge thanks to Michelle for helping name her. Our piggy is hot off the press (quite literally) and I'll be taking along a handful to my usual Friday night market stall in Goyder Square, Palmerston (my permanent spot is between the gym and the library and behind the Indian food van). As always, I make a promise to buyers to keep my editions small and special- there's only ten of her, so get in quick! Unless, of course, you're after the original, which is, as yet, unspoken for!

Have a brilliant Friday.
Mel x

Monday, 4 July 2011

monday is the new sunday - hullo again from blogland!

Hullo dear readers, happy Monday and fear not, I am still in the land of the living! Sundays may as well be workdays; it seems Mondays now are dedicated to exhaling after what has been a series of mental weekends. It has been a massive few weeks all round really, what with workshops, the first Parap Arts Festival, the usual round of markets, starting my five pieces to enter into the 2012 Bologna Illustrator's Exhibition, a day of distraction when I convinced myself it would be a great idea to start making art dolls again (right in the middle of starting said Bologna project, mind you!), and a rather large preoccupation with the chaos that was previously my house. How do people do all this and still hold down day-jobs and raise families?

Here's the progress on Operation Nesting Sans Baby Plans Because We Have a Mad Cat, starting with our loungeroom. The brightly coloured frames we picked up in Brighton when we were in the UK; the bowl of fruit in the pink one is a drawing of Dave's. Pretty wonderful, isn't it? And in the larger frames, gorgeous artwork by the very lovely Nicoletta Ceccoli. My favourite is the one in the white frame above our bed, who makes sure we sleep sweetly. We're planning on painting the studio over the next few weeks, now I've cleared a mountain of crap out of there (ie. closed the cupboard doors on it), which at least might save poor Dave coming home to a kitchen table entirely covered with paints, paper, or, last week on the day I decided the play dolls, synthetic fur. It looked a little sinister in fact, like a swan had had rather a bad anxiety attack and mistakenly decided it might be a good time for preening. Also not a great day for me to wear black.

In other news: for those of you who missed my post a few months back about the Bologna Book Fair, it's well worth looking into the Illustrators' Exhibition, perhaps the most prestigious award for children's illustrators the world over. Besides a rather boggling sum of prize-money and the publishing opportunities awarded to the overall winner, the publicity afforded anyone who gets themselves in is fantastic. Check out last year's selected illustrators to see the width and breadth of the world's best. And then, read the rules of entry and start on your own entry for 2012! Be aware that you need to have a fixed number of five pieces, and I would say, from my observaytions of entrants over the past two years, very very tightly realated to each other in composition, theme and style. And while it is notoriously one of the most competitive prizes to be accepted into, I have made a promise to myself I will enter every year regardless- why don't you do the same! I figure it will be a pretty wonderful day when I finally do get my work shown there and well worth the wait.

This and a few other commissioned pieces have kept me pretty busy painting and drawing-wise these past few weeks; alas, there's not a whole lot of my hard work I'm able to share just yet. This little one though, I managed in a few productive hours of stall-sitting. This isn't a subject I draw too often (and I won't point out the irony of this particular picture with this particular post if you won't), but her pose and faraway look suggested she might be waiting for something special to arrive . . .

Hope you have a brilliant day everyone!
Mel x

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