Thursday, 30 July 2015

Miniature Pen and Ink drawing 'Enlightened Owl'

Here is another little Owl design which I've created to fit a small brass
Working on watercolour paper, I started with an ink wash for the background then used a combination of pen and ink and gouache to build up the design..
The picture measures seven centimetres

frame measuring seven centimetres.
  Owl glides in silence into the picture from the enchanted blue night sky..bringing peace, kshanti ( forbearance.. tolerance..patience and acceptance) and Wisdom (represented by the small Tibetan 'OM' symbol)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Painted Double sided Miniature 'The World Turns'

This little paintings measure just five centimetres square.
  I used thick watercolour paper and painted my Owl and Geese designs on both sides, using a mixture of watercolours, inks and gouache.
  I wanted to create two complimentary designs in order to make full use of the tiny copper and glass frame with side I decided on a theme of Day and Night and settled on the Barn Owl to represent night, and the Geese on the wing to represent Day...which could in fact be dawn or sunset.

  The wording also expresses the same theme : 'The world turns' on one side and 'Night becomes day, day becomes night' on the reverse.
Barn Owl for ' Night'
The picture measures 5 cm

Geese for 'Day'

Monday, 20 July 2015

Pyro -Art Piece : 'Family Tree'

This lovely piece of pyracantha has all the characteristic lumps and bumps!
The piece fits nicely into the palm of my hand.
The design continues into the base of the wood slice.
'To thine own self be true'

Just room enough for a small bumble bee...
I've just completed this design on Pyracantha, which was commissioned by a customer who requested a tree design, to include these creatures representing members of the family..together with the family motto 'To thine own self be True'.
  This is a good chunky piece of my favourite pyracantha wood, with lovely bark markings and all the usual knobbles which characterize the wood! My design flows with the wood shape and covers all exposed  areas .
Owl looks down from his perch in the branches..

Hare looks up into the tree..

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Local walk ( Belper, Derbyshire) Summer 2015

A lovely spot for a little cloud watching..
Wildersley Farm Building
These Blackberry blossoms anticipate Autumn..

A recently shorn sheep chooses an odd pose for my photograph!
A Skipper and a Meadow Brown Butterfly take shelter together amongst the grass.
I adore these red grasses...
Bees are among the many insects attracted to the colour purple

The meadow flowers are home to all kinds of insects...

Soldier Beetles

Already some flowers have gone to seed..

Continuing from my previous post on Belper Parks, I'm sharing some photographs taken recently (12th July 2015) during a short walk across meadows close to my home in Holbrook Rd, Belper. This is a short circular walk I take regularly, with lovely views over 'The Chevin'. The footpath runs alongside farm buildings and across meadows filled with grasses and wildflowers which are a haven for insects. There are sheep pastures and a small densley planted copse of mixed trees. One of the things I enjoy when walking here are the sounds of bleating sheep often mixed with birdsong and from time to time the haunting calls of buzzards circling high above. There is often a breeze here in these uplands..ensuring that the walk involves a complete sensory experience to uplift the spirit..
Stone walls keep in the sheep and frame views over 'The Chevin'
Down in the valley runs the train track for Midland main line
There are some narrow gaps to squeeze through..

The path runs along beside farm buildings then into open meadowlands.


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Painted Miniature 'Heron Wood'

'Heron wood' GMR 2015
This little painting, which I've popped into a small brass frame, was created using watercolours, with definition  added using pen and ink, and a touch of gouache..
  Magic is in the air as Heron rises in flight in the midst of the forest..

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Beauty and uses of Pyracantha Wood (Firethorn)

Sprays of cream coloured tiny flowers are followed by berries in the Autumn.
I have Pyracantha growing in my own small city-centre garden, and love to watch the birds feasting on the berries..
This art piece was inspired by the spirit and shape of the Pyracantha section.
This small Pyracantha branch is on its way to being a wand. I believe pyracantha to be both magical and powerful., highly suited to wand making...I have removed all the side shoots and thorns, and stripped some of the bark. I will leave a small portion to retain the character and integrity of the piece.
The wand has been sanded smooth, leving visible the dark spots which were the thorn growth points. I see these as miniature power points, spread along the length of the wand.
I have added  runes.
This piece is strong, characterful, and tactile ...
My finished
Pyracantha Wand
Pyracantha Pendant
Pyracantha Brooch
Two Art Pieces created using Pyracantha. You can see  more on my 'Pyro-Art' page.

The thorns are extremely sharp!
Three years ago when I started out with my new pyrography machine, I knew absolutely nothing about pyrography..or wood, so I just set to experimenting with whatever pieces came my way..and learned through experience. One of the first oddments of wood a came acroos was a small slice of Pyracantha , also known as 'Firethorn'. It is a very common garden shrub, also planted around municipal buildings..almost ubiquitous; useful in the garden as it bears colourful berries for winter colour and also good for attracting birds..still easily passed by without a second glance. If you have a pyracantha in need of pruning you are unlikely to come away unscathed! The thorns are exceedingly sharp, and protrude at all angles..sometimes tucked away in the nodes of branches..and very strong. As it turned out, the slice I had aquired was  unusually large by normal standards - it was a slice of the 'trunk' of an old specimen, about 5.5 cm in diameter, whereas these shrubs mostly spread out with a lot of twiggy growth but not much trunk. I was pleased with the result of this early design, and then went on to experiment with other woods, gradually gaining an understanding of the qualities I needed from the wood as I began to develop my own style. It became increasingly clear that, as with my traditional drawing and painting, I desired to create detailed designs on a small scale..and this required special qualities in the wood. Fruitwoods proved to be good, also Hazel and Birch, and yet three years on Pyracantha remains, for many reasons, my favourite wood. I love it's character and growth style - it is quite knobbly, with beautiful bark, and has to be tamed..due to those thorns! It isn't easy to find larger pieces, but working on such a small scale means I'm fortunate to use garden clippings which most people would discard. In fact, I have not come across anyone else using Pyracantha in pyrography! This is most likely because the majority of Pyrographers work on a much larger scale, so for them pyracantha simply would not be an option. Perhaps you could leave a comment if you or someone you know does so...
Pyracantha bark is grey in colour , with distinctive markings. Small nodules cover the surface in some varieties. Very characterful and eccentric is how I would describe this wood! Perhaps that is why I adore it so!
Pyracantha can be sanded to produce a beautfully smooth surface

It is quite unusual to find pieces  as thick as this