Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Seasons Have Changed




Right outside my back door grows a virginia creeper. I watch it change dramatically through the year and constantly marvel at how it can grow back so beautifully from how it looks today in the winter. It seems almost impossible.
I've had a difficult couple of months with health problems and a busy time with family things and my exhibition so my art making has taken a back seat. I'm still knitting and crocheting though and I've almost finished the jumper I'm making for Middle Daughter. For fellow knitters, you can see the details here if you like.

As I've got no new artwork to show you, I'd like instead to show you a lovely little film about the artist Del Kathryn Barton. I came across this a while ago and kept it in my favourites folder so that I could watch it again. When I'm missing my painting I like to look at other artists' lives and work. I hope you enjoy watching it too. xx

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Passion For Colour

It might not surprise you when I say that one of my favourite places to be is by the seaside! I mentioned in a previous post that I'm planning an exhibition with my friend Peri. What better place to have our exhibition than in the beautiful town of Dartmouth?!

Here's the view looking down towards the castle. I took this the other day on a walk through Kingswear.
We're showing our paintings at the Flavel Arts Centre which is very close to Dartmouth harbour. We're busy getting things ready, finishing paintings, making lists and sorting out cards to sell alongside the paintings.

I've finished packaging them all up and I was going to take all the cards for the exhibition but then I thought it would be a nice idea to have some in my Etsy shop to so that everyone can have a chance of buying them. So here they are:

This is the one of the christmas packs, each with 3 different designs.

Please click here to see more details of the christmas packs.

The other card designs I'm selling individually.

There are 5 different designs, each one blank inside for your own message:

See one there you like? :)
Please click here to take you to the greetings card section of my shop.

A Passion For Colour
An exhibition of paintings by Jessica Stride and Peri Taylor

8th December ~ 3rd January

The Flavel Arts Centre,

If you're on Facebook, you can see the event here.

Thankyou so much for visiting today! xx

Monday, 26 October 2015

An Odd Week

I don't want to bore you with tales of how I've had a cold which turned into something nastier so please scroll down to miss out this bit if you like, I won't mind! :)
 I very rarely go to the doctors and prefer to wait for my body to heal itself but this time the pain I'd developed in my back was so relentless day and night I had to at least find out what was causing it. 

It turned out to be something called sacroilitis. There was no escape from the severe pain unless I stood up or walked when it would then change to an ache which was more bearable.

Anyway, the doctor prescribed strong painkillers and anti inflammatories which made me feel like I was in a dream. I couldn't do any 'proper' painting because when I do a painting, it takes a lot of time and concentration so instead I sat briefly each day and made a drawing.

 The drawings you see here are the ones I did during this time. I did one each day starting from day one with the picture at the top of the post.

I've had to stop taking the tablets because I started to get bad side effects but my back's a lot better now.
So that was my very strange week!

It's been a while since I've listed and sold my paintings on Ebay so I thought it was about time I gave it another go. I'm selling my 7 x 9 inch mounted watercolours. They're all ready mounted and measure 7 x 9 inches. If you'd like to buy an original painting for a christmas gift, this could be your chance to find one at a very affordable price!
This 'Gypsy Caravan' painting above can be found here if you'd like to have a look. :)
Here are the paintings I'm listing for sale, please click on the links underneath each one to take you to their Ebay page:

 Thankyou for looking and sorry about the medical details, I hope it wasn't too much information for you! ;)
Have a good week! xx

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A Forest Painting and Some Woolly Ramblings.

'Edge of the Forest', mixed media on canvas.

 This week I've been working on another landscape painting, this one's on canvas and believe it or not started out its life with a big boat in the foreground covered in roses. I thought I'd taken a photo of it at that stage but I've looked through all my pictures and it doesn't look like I have. I'm afraid you're just going to have to imagine what that looked like, sorry!

This one was worked on in the same way as before, building up layers of paint and collage paper, aiming all the while for a balance of shapes and colours. I finally came to a point where I decided that the cottage needed a doorway.

 Here's a close-up (above) of how the cottage looked at this stage, I liked it like this but I felt it needed a door.

So here it is with a door and with the walls painted a brighter shade of peachy orange and the green tree to the left a little more finished. I'd changed the foliage against the house at this stage too but still I wasn't happy with it.
That tiny little yellow bush, lovely though it is, had to go...

I added a couple of tree-like forms in front of the cottage and made more of the dark green shape underneath.
It was now complete.

I'm going to be exhibiting this painting in Dartmouth during December along with my friend Peri. I'll post more about that soon.

I'm still not well but a whole lot better than last time I posted here. I've had some lovely peaceful walks along the coast to blow the cobwebs away and I've been spending the evenings with some lovely colourful wool.
Shall I show you what I've been making?

I fnally finished my jumper. I started this months ago but I'm very happy to say it was finished just in time for the colder weather! I haven't made a jumper for myself since I was in my early twenties and although I used exactly the same knitting pattern as I used then, I had to make it a couple of sizes bigger to accommodate several years of indulgence. ;)

I made a pair of fingerless gloves for Middle Daughter. She works outside some of the time and I thought these would come in handy. This looks like the same yarn as the jumper doesn't it? It's not. I unwittingly seem to go for the same colours each time. (In fact I've just bought some new yarn that looks like both the ones in my jumper AND the mittens, oh well.)

Finally, I'm using up my colourful collection of acrylic to cover some tatty old cushions. I've nearly finished the second one that you see there. 
If you're a knitter or crocheter, you might like to find me on Ravelry where I post my woolly makings.

Bye for now, thankyou for coming to visit and enjoy the rest of the week! xx

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Evolution of a Painting

I'm very happy to say that I've finished the painting I've been working on over the past few weeks, yay! 
Sometimes a painting can take so long that I imagine it'll never reach the end! This one was made during some challenging personal times and maybe that's one of the reasons it took me so long to finish. The strange thing is, that throughout the making of it I kept on thinking of the word 'peachy' and although I felt far from peachy, I decided it would make a nice title for it so I've decided to call it 'Feeling Peachy'!
Here's what it looked like at the very beginning, acombination of collage papers and acrylic paint. I fell in love with that beautiful patch of orange quite quickly and my feelings didn't change as you will see!

I painted the sky mauve and the beginnings of buildings and trees were appearing.

Here's a close-up showing the house I painted, a stage further than the last picture, it looked like it was here to stay but providence had other ideas!
I paint intuitively and therefore have no plan of the subject matter or what colours will dominate. I make layer upon layer of shapes and drawing until I feel there's a harmony throughout the picture.
The imagery reveals itself to me as I'm working. I love the layering effect because I feel it gives so much depth and mystery to the painting. This can take a long time but it's a way of working that can occasionally happen quickly or like this painting, can take an age!

And so it had to be. The big house had to go and in its place seemed to be a smaller green one. At this stage I was trying to convince myself the painting was finished but I kept getting niggling feelings about the way the little green house overlapped the lighter house on the right hand side. I wasn't comfortable with it.

So I changed it...

I also removed the row of green flowers that were on the left hand side and added more detail to the patch of green next to my sacred patch of orange. ;)

I'm very happy with the outcome, it always amazes me that throughout the process a painting can look to me such a mess a lot of the time and then things begin to click into place until finally everything is as it should be.
And that's the reason we do it isn't it? :)

I'm not going to be offering this painting for sale yet because it's going to be part of an exhibition I'm having with another artist in Devon. More about that in a future post. Please click here for more details.

If you find that you quite like this painting and would like to have it as a beautifully framed print or a tote bag or a rug (yes a rug!) or something else, I've listed it for you in my Society6 shop. Do pop over and have a browse, there's loads to see! 
So I'll leave you with a few examples below and say a big thankyou for coming here today and for reading down the post to get this far. :) I've been quite ill this week but I'm slowly recovering. It's nice to have reached the weekend and have time to relax a bit isn't it? I hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy looking at my new designs. xx

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

New Prints for Autumn

So autumn is finally here. I love the sunshine this time of year, the long shadows and low magical sunlight. Having said that, every year I try to resist the fact that summer is over, wanting the season to stretch as long as it can but this year I'm making new plans for my shop and retocking it with lots of new items!

I've been asked many times if I have prints available from my paintings so I thought it was about time I stocked up the shop with oodles of them!
 Each one is printed on Epsom archival matte photographic paper and the colours are clear and bright, hard to tell them from the originals.

Each one is printed A4 size and have a white border to make framing easy. Please click here to take you to the print section of my Etsy shop. ~ There are lots to choose from!

Now September has started, I'm starting to work on bigger paintings again, playing with paint and colours. I shall be back soon to show you my progress.
See you then! xx