Monday, 31 August 2015

Things found by the Sea

Hi, hope you're well.  It's Bank Holiday here in the UK and at the risk of falling into the Brit/weather stereotype, the weather is true to form for a bank holiday weekend (very wet!).

I decided today's post would be about upcycling and making something from nothing. I wanted it to be about on thing specifically - Driftwood.

There is something about driftwood, gets me thinking and there is nothing I like more than seeing something pretty or functional or functionally pretty made from it.

It is more than just a lump of wood, that piece of wood has a story.  Whether it's from a broken pier, jetty or boat and then to make it into something else is what upcycling is all about.

So let's have a look at what I found..

First up is a shop on Etsy called ShoreThingsNE the owner is a lady called Lynda who lives in the UK.  She has some lovely things in her shop like: Pebble Art & items made from driftwood and sea glass.

I love this canvas of Three Men in a Boat and the driftwood plaque below.

Next up is Julia's Driftwood, again on Etsy, this driftwood chandelier is beautiful ... 

All of these Etsy shops so far are in the UK including the next one.  It's a shop called Driftwood into Dreams some of the items in this shop are stunning, I can't feature them all (I will share a couple) but head over to Maureen's shop and check it out.

Up first is a beautiful Kingfisher and then the second is a unique piece of art titled 'Safe in the Harbour' which reminds me of a coastal town, somewhere like Cornwall.

This next Etsy shop is giving a real feel for the Cornish coast.  Incase you're not in the UK and don't know Cornwall.  It is a beautiful area of England in the most south-west tip.  Some of the places in Cornwall are so idealic, right by the sea, plenty to explore and so pretty.

The shop is HSDesignsCornwall and the shop owner is Jen.  I'll share a couple of her creations with you because they just scream Cornwall and the beach and when I look at them I can hear the seagulls and smell the sea air.

The first is of 'Padstow Cottages' Padstow is on the north Cornwall coast..I love the detail in this piece right down to the bunting, flag, trees by the door and the life-ring.

and the second piece from Jen is the Beach Huts on the Harbour.  I love them they are quintessentially British seaside (even though they're found around the world) dating back to the Victorian times when everyone was so much more modest.  I love to see them painted in their bright colours.. I'd love one in my garden, not sure what for (except to house spiders) but it'd look pretty.

The final driftwood work that I wanted to share is not found on Etsy.  The lady is in the UK though and her name is Heather Jansch, you may have seen her driftwood/mixed media sculptures before because they are world renowned.  Heather has a passion for horses as you'll see, check out her website HERE to find out more about Heather and her work, it is truly incredible.  These horses are incredible!

Please check out all of the featured artists beautiful work.

Thank you for reading, please share and enjoy the rest of your day.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Hedley Wiggan

Hi, welcome, I hope you're well and you enjoy this post.

I'm not sure what I did before Pinterest.. I love it, you can find so many artists and their work on there.

Hedley Wiggan is one of those artists. I first saw his work quite a while ago before I was doing this blog. I was watching James Corden's Late Late Show recently when One Direction were on there and they showcased a piece of his work so I decided to check it out again. Hedley is the micro sculptor who sculpted the Harry Styles pencil lead.  Below is a picture of Harry on the Late Late Show meeting his graphite self..

Pencil lead is not the only thing that Hedley sculpts nor is it the only art that he does. We'll have a look at a variety of his work and then meet him as he was kind enough to answer some questions for me.

We'll have a look at a few of the lead sculptures first though seeing as I've mentioned them. I find it incredible when people do things like this, I can just about sharpen a pencil let alone sculpt one! The patience that Hedley must have!

So the next five (technically 8) sculptures are: The Beatles (the John Lennon is particularly brilliant), Venus De Milo (white pencil), cupid, a mouse with a diamond flower and the Hulk! They are just incredible.


The detail in all of those pencil sculptures is just amazing.

As I mentioned it isn't just pencils that Hedley sculpts, he was commissioned by Heathrow Airport to sculpt some of the world's most famous landmarks out of lipstick which were then displayed at the airport.  The sculptures included: Burj Khalifa, Big Ben, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Shanghai Tower.

In this video by Heathrow, Hedley is discussing the lipstick sculptures and beginning work on one of the intricate pieces of art.

Hedley comes from the north of England and is one of a very creative family, so it's hardly surprising he's so talented. His other talents include sculpting the tips of cocktail sticks, engraving glass and painting.  Here are a couple of his stunning glass engravings..

Aside from all of his work being brilliant my very favourite pieces are two paintings that he has done, one is on a circular saw and the other is on a normal handsaw.  I love upcycling, altering and mixed media in art so these two pieces are right up my street.

Hedley also paint canvases and even murals.  This is a beautiful mixed media piece on canvas.

Right, let's meet Hedley before I get carried away and show you every single piece of artwork he's ever done, I'll share his facebook and website link below so that you can go and explore.

Hi Hedley, tell us a little about you and what you do please.

My name is Hedley Wiggan. I live in Manchester in the UK aged 49. I love to paint things from my imagination, I also create  sculptures from graphite pencils.

What was your earliest creative memory?

My earliest memory, I entered a drawing competition at the age of 8 the prize was a box of chocolates, i entered purely to win the hand of a fair maiden, I was disqualified as the teacher believed I traced my entry, I suppose in its own way it was a compliment. 

Must be easier to see that as a compliment now but not so much when you were 8!  I hope the fair maiden wasn't put off!

Do you ever suffer from creative block and if so how do you deal with it?

I do sometimes have a creative block I tend to just go with it, I find going for a walk with nature as I love all wildlife and anything creepy crawly.

Who inspires you?

My inspirations: I love Dali, Monet and I love Renaissance also.

Do you have a favourite piece that you've created?

It's hard to choose a favourite but when I get a new idea I'm always excited.

What are your creative ambitions?
My creative ambitions for the future would be to inspire others.
How do you silence your inner critic?
I never silence the inner critic I feel it's a motivational thing.
What do you when you're not being creative?
When I'm not creating I love visiting friends and family, I also love watching insects in there own environment fascinates me.
If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you want with you?
My craft art items would be a paint brush, knife and a big tube of paint. 
Where can we find your artwork?   
I do have a website for people just to see what sort of things I do its: 


Please take some time to check out Hedley's website and pages, there is a lot to see!

Thank you for answering my questions Hedley.  Here are just a couple more pieces of Hedley's work before I go.
The first is Mohammad Ali and the second is Spiderman - brilliant.

Thank you to you for reading my blogpost.  Have a great week.


Friday, 21 August 2015

Dorote Zaukaite

Dorote's Dolls are an incredible work of art.  I spent ages going through her Facebook page.  Dorote's imagination is amazing and you can clearly see why she's an award winning artist.

This first doll is called The Fortune Teller, her features are just exquisite and I love her dress and her tattooed arm.

Dorote is from Lithuania.  She studied at Kaunas collegium Art faculty and for over 7 years her background was in Interior and Graphic Design before becoming a full time artist and her dolls have become her speciality.

"You can't be an artist on weekends or just 8 hours a day 
and stop when you go on vacation.  Being an artist
is being born with a strange state of mind and living 
with this never-ending need to create"

Dorothe Zaukaite

With the level of detail in these dolls you can clearly see that each work is one of love.  Every little tiny detail is taken care of from the doll itself, to the clothing and the accessories.  The doll above is called 'Each Bird Needs Freedom'  I love how that's depicted in the underside of her dress.

In Denmark there is an institue called DABIDA, which is the Dutch and Belgian Institute of Doll Artists.  They hold exhibitions to showcase dolls and their website is a showcase for some beautiful dolls.  Their whole website if fascinating!  You can look at all the award winning dolls from previous and current years.  For example the most current (2014) theme was 'Nostalgia'  I love all 3 dolls but 2nd and 3rd for me are just so expressive of the theme, for me anyway.

Back to Dorote one of her dolls was entered into the awards and won first place in the Hannie Sarris AWARD 2013.  It's a beautiful doll called 'Joy' and it's understandable why she won, it is a beautiful piece of art.
The detail is just incredible.  A thoroughly deserved first place, I'm sure you'll agree it's stunning.

Here is a picture of Dorote hard at work, she's painting some eyes here.  Below that are a couple of pictures of the beginning stages of some of her dolls.

I'm going to show you some more of her dolls and then Dorote was kind enough to answer some of my questions so we'll meet her.

Victoria and Albert

Dorote has a range called ' Tiny Tender Demons ' they live up to their name, each doll is around 21cm tall.  They are made of white resin and have about 20 articulation points making them very posable.  No matter how small they are Dorote still has a huge amount of detail in each doll as you can see from the two dolls below. 

Aren't all these dolls just beautiful.  There are lots more to see on Dorote's Facebook page and her website (links below).
So now let's meet Dorote....

Hello Dorote...

Tell us about your art and what you are doing right now..

I am a Doll Artist, creating unique dolls

What is your earliest creative memory?

Unless drawing on my family wall tapestry in my Grandfather's room counts, I have been drawing since I can remember.

Do you ever suffer from creative block and if so how do you get yourself out of it?

If I am working on something and I am stuck at some point and don't know how to solve it, I make myself go and do some boring mechanical work.  That way while the hands are busy my mind can be working on a solution.

Who inspires you?

I do not have particular people that inspire me.  I often stumble across artists on the internet and when I read their story I think 'wow, I am not alone there are people going down a similar path who are successful'  Such moments are a relief and inspire me to move forward, but it's not one particular artist.
Generally my inspiration comes from the world around me, nature, humanity, my own emotions and personal perception of the world.

What is your most favourite piece of artwork that you have created?

I have two dolls which are anthropomorphic that I love, one is called 'Sovereign' and the other is called 'Dream Seller' 
Dream Seller is a fox like creature travelling the world selling dreams and Sovereign is a cat like animal who is beautiful and full of character.  

Dream Seller


What are your creative ambitions?

It is hard to talk about ambitions really, I just want to implement my creativity in all the ways that come into my head and to live happily ever after.

How do you silence your inner critic?

I never silence it, I listen to it carefully and follow it's advice.  I am very self demanding and my inner critic helps me grow.

What do you do when you're not being creative?

I'm always being creative whether I am cooking, doing chores or walking the dog creativity is not something you can turn off for a couple of hours and then turn back on again, it's always there.

If you were on a deserted island, what 3 art/craft items would you like?

A knife, an axe and something to cut stone so I can sharpen the knife, I have stone age tools then.

Thank you Dorote, please tell us where we can find your work?

Dorote's: Facebook
Dorote's Website:

Thank you for spending the time to answer my questions Dorote, I've really enjoyed getting to know you and your work.  Your dolls are incredible and I will look forward to keeping up to date with what you are creating.

Please check out Dorote's FB and website, she is an incredible art

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Hannah Dale

Hannah's story of her artwork business is inspirational to me. Hannah has a business called 
Wrendale Designs UK, it's the kitchen table, cottage industry family business story.  

Studied Art at school, Zoology at College, married to a Farmer, living in the Lincolnshire countryside with her family, Hannah started painting animals, hares, geese, rabbits, dogs etc and the business evolved from that with her Husband and their team now running the business, Hannah is free to create.  I love to hear a good success story.

The great thing about Hannah's work for me is the expression that she paints. Everyone single one of her artworks has that feel, you can almost hear/see what's happening, what the animal is thinking/feeling/doing like Hannah has taken a snapshot of something that's happening rather than painted an animal.

The duck below for example, the work is called 'Crash Landing' and that describes it perfectly. There is a feeling of this landing isn't going well!

I don't think there is a creation from Hannah that doesn't make me feel something or have a narrative going on in my head, yes I give voices to animals lol, you don't? 
Another of my favourites is entitled 'The Pink Ladies' love them, they just know that they're fabulous dahling!

I think Hannah's Zoology range are my favourite, although it's hard to say that when all of her work is incredible.  But the baby Rhino chasing a Butterfly is just magical, Hannah has captured that perfectly.  Her background in studying animal behaviour definitely comes through her artwork.  How gorgeous are these Giraffe, especially the young one.

Hannah's artwork can be found in lots of different formats on her website e.g kitchenware, stationery, prints etc.  Hannah has won awards with her artwork at the Henries Awards on more than one occasion, they are awarded to people within the greeting card industry.

This Parrot strutting his stuff is titled 'Parrot on Parade', perfect title. The horse below is called 'Gloria' I just love her mane and the Penguin giving a happy skip show two examples of Hannah's greeting cards.

I am sure you can see why I love Hannah's work, the humour, the expression and the movement just makes me happy. Hannah is a very talented lady, so let's meet her.

Hello Hannah, tell us a little about you..

My name is Hannah I'm 33 from Melton Ross, near Brigg in North Lincolnshire UK.

Tell us a little about your art and what you do?

My first love is painting animals.  I am a Zoologist by training and I studied animal behaviour.  I used to do a lot of field work as part of my degree and would take a sketch both with me.  I think this is where I first discovered a love of painting animals (although going back through my school sketch books, I think it was probably already there)  I paint mainly in watercolour but occasionally dabble with ink, acrylic or oils.
I love the softness of watercolour and I tend to build up layer upon layer to get the end result.

What is your earliest creative memory?

I have always been creative - I learned to knit and sew at a very early age and was always writing stories.  My mum was a wonderful seamstress and taught me how to embroider and later to sew with a machine.  She bought me my first set of watercolours when I was about eight and I used to paint illustrations to go with my favourite books.

Do you ever suffer from a creative block and if so how do you get yourself out?

I wouldn't say I'm ever short of ideas, I usually have two or three in my head and if I am stuck doing paperwork for a few days I'm itching to get onto the next painting.  I do find it difficult to paint under pressure and if I'm working to a deadline I can spend days working and come up with nothing I'm happy with.  I find the best way is to have a day away from it doing something completely different and come back with a fresh pair of eyes.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by all kinds of different art, I've always loved the work of Peter Howson and Jenny Saville and more recently I'm intrigued by the work of textile artist Mr Finch.

What is your favourite piece of art that you've created?

I have recently created a series of limited editions and I'm really proud of them, my favourite is a painting of three fox cubs called 'The Afternoon Nap' 

What are your creative ambitions for the future?

I feel very privileged and lucky to be able to make a living from my art and I'd be happy just to keep doing i!  I'd love to become more well known, our ambition when we started Wrendale Designs was to become a household name, we still have a way to go!

How do you silence your inner critic?

I wish I knew the answer to this!  I am never totally happy with what I paint as it never looks quite as good as it does in my head.  I have pieces that I can't even look at because I am not happy with them and no one else can understand it.  I tell myself that the sense of dissatisfacton pushes you on to be better, but it's not a nice feeling to be constantly disappointed about your work.

I can complete relate to that feeling on nothing I've ever done is as good as it is in my head either, but then I don't have your talent.. but like you said it pushes you not to be complacent, I suppose.. keeps you on your toes!

What do you do when you're not being creative?

I have three children under six so I have very little time for anything other than work and family, I enjoy pilates and seeing friends - when I have the time.

You're on a deserted island, you can have three art/craft items what would they be?

A lifetime supply of oil paints, brushes and paper - I would love to be better at painting with oils.

Love that answer, not what you're most comfortable with but the perfect opportunity to hone something you want to improve at.

Finally, where can we find your work Hannah? 

Twitter: @wrendaledesigns
Facebook: Wrendale Designs

Please go and check out Hannah's art, I defy you to not have a smile on your face by the time you finish.

Hannah, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.  Your story and artwork are inspirational I wish you all the luck in the world and continued success with Wrendale Designs.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Where To Find An Artist's Work Online.

Being an Artist is not an easy route to make your living, as almost any Artist will tell you.  Fulfilling your passion of being an Artist is not the easiest way to pay the bills.

As a creative person your skills lie in creating your art.  But in order to make a living from that Art you also need to become your own PA, PR and a specialist in online and offline Marketing as well as juggling family, working and life in general.  

The purpose of this blog was just to create awareness for Artists and if I can create even the slightest bit of awareness for the amazing work that these Artists do then I'll be happy.

Over the years I've known some incredible Artists who work tirelessly on their art and then nothing happens with it.  It doesn't fulfil it's incredible potential for a number of reasons and that's very sad I think.  When someone has poured their creativity, heart and soul into a piece of art for it to not be seen and appreciated I think that's a shame.

I have a lovely friend who is an Artist and some of the things I've seen her create just blow me away, she has an amazingly creative imagination.  Some of that work has been sold but so much has not been seen by enough people (I will share her work with you at some point because she's truly dedicated to all she does).

So, in this blog post I just wanted to direct you to a few places.  I'm sure most of them you'd have heard of before.  I've included all their links for easy access.  

I love flowers and one of my favourite flowers are Peonies, so what I decided to do was search for Peony on each of these sites and share one thing from one artist.  So let's see what we found..

Etsy - Probably the most well known site where artists and crafters sell their creations.  My favourite thing to do on Etsy is search by colour, especially when not looking for something specific. You can find so many unique things on there.  The great thing about Etsy, artists from all over the world use it.

So my Peony from Etsy was by Blue Shed Studio - this watercolour just captures everything I love about Peonies.  Blue Shed Studio - Marie, is based in Bristol UK.

Saatchi Art Gallery - The largest online Art Gallery.  You can find drawings, photography, paintings, sculptures.  They offer a curator service and have an extensive selection of art that most people would probably never have access to.

The Peony from Saatchi is from the artist Simon Barlow who is from Australia, I love Simon's art I would love one of his huge wall pieces in my home. This isn't the one that's being sold on Saatchi because I couldn't save it so here is another to showcase Simon's work and if you follow the link through Simon's name you'll see the other one that I love on the Saatchi website. I do think this is as beautiful as the one I saw on Saatchi.

Folksy - Is the UK version of Etsy, a smaller site in terms of numbers of people using it but the principal is the same and if you're in the UK it's a great way to support artists and crafters from there (I think it's predominately UK artists that sell on Folksy, I may be wrong but I'm sure it is)

Bristol in the UK features twice on this post randomly anyway....

I found this painting in acrylic on Folksy by Siparia a.k.a Carla James, I love the boldness of something so beautiful

Society6 - This is a fantastic site to get some really unique gifts while supporting Artists.  Art is uploaded and then it can be purchased in many different ways.  It can be chosen as a piece of clothing, an item of home decor, phone or laptop case, mugs and cards (among other things).  If you're looking to busy something for someone or even for yourself Society6 is a great way to start. They often run special deals e.g free postage, % off etc so check it out.

The Peony from Society6 is from Viaina who is from Germany, I love how translucent and light the petals look.

DeviantArt - A great community site for artists.  It allows artists to share and promote their work.  The great thing about DeviantArt is that it was created by artists, they know what it's like to try and get your work out there.  As well as being a supportive community site you can also purchase art as well.

A beautiful Peony drawn in red biro by - ShelleySupernova on DeviantArt

Zippi - Is a relatively new community site for artists to sell their work in a variety of different ways. I love how community sites encourage artists to share ideas and help each other.  You can purchase some great gifts featuring original art from Zippi.

Something slightly different from Zippi.  I chose this Peony Fairy from Helenfaerieart love this, so pretty.

Well that's just a few of the places to find art and handmade items online, there are a lot more.  Check them out because you never know what unique gem you will find. As I mentioned a lot of these sites often offer % off or free delivery so definitely worth a visit.

All of them also have Twitter accounts so you can keep up to date with new featured art and artists. I'll link their Twitter accounts below just click on the names and it'll take you there.

Thank you for reading, I hope that you visit some if not all of the sites above to explore, I guarantee you'll find something (if not 1000's of somethings!) that you'll love, while supporting the talented people showcasing their work.  

All of the Peony art is just beautiful and in different ways and different medium the beauty of that gorgeous flower has been captured by each artist.  Please check out the links to their individual work.

I thought I'd share just one more piece before I finish (I love Peonies so much it was hard to contain myself just to the ones above).
Finally then we have a beautiful Peony crafted from cold Porcelain.... it is just stunning. 

I found it on Etsy and the artists name is Tatyana Kazayeva, she is from Italy and her Etsy shop is Villa Paradiso like every other piece of work I've featured she has captured the femininity and beauty of the Peony perfectly.  I love how thin and delicate each petal looks...beautiful.

Twitter - Etsy  - Saatchi Art Gallery - Folksy - Society6 - DeviantArt - Zippi