Sunday, 11 December 2016

'Earth and Sky' Watercolour/pen and ink design

My new design was inspired by a recent walk through Sherwood Forest. Its all about the experience of looking up into the tree canopy, watching the birds in flight..contrasted with looking down at the earth beneath my feet, where fungi erupt and creatures leave their footprints..of course, there are no longer bears to be found in Sherwood..but that is where a little bit of imagination comes in!
'Earth and Sky' by Gill Rippingale
Detail from 'Earth and Sky'
Detail from 'Earth and Sky'

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Pyrography Art - 'Sky Moot'

This little double sided Pyro Art piece is made from a slice of my favourite Pyracantha wood.
  I've taken inspiration from looking up at the forest canopy, and watching birds in flight.
'Sky Moot'

'Sky Moot'

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Tiny Tableau of Doves

A short while ago I created a tableau of Crows. This latest project repeats the process with doves.
  Nine tiny doves are individually hand painted on slips of watercolour paper which have been pre-stained with ink to create interesting background colours. The slips are then arranged in a pleasing fashion and stuck onto background card for framing.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Recent Pyrography Art

I love to draw, and am fortunate to be able to earn my living this way. My pyrography jewellery pieces are popular and keep the bills paid..and in between making these pieces I try to find time for the traditional pen and ink work and watercolour painting which is my first love. There is often a crossover between my designs on wood, and designs on paper, which are often tiny and always very detailed. I quite often become fixated on a particular image..creating a wood design and repeating it with watercolours and inks to create different effects,
   Here are pictures of recent pyrography pieces..
A selection of jewellery and small keepsakes

Birchwood Tablet design 'The Refuge Tree'
Birchwood Tablet with 'Elen of the Ways' design

Thursday, 27 October 2016

An Autumn walk through Sherwood Forest

A great lover of trees and forests, I escape the city from time to order to re-aquaint myself with their earthy scent, the beauty of sunlight filtered through leaf, the birdsong, and mysterious magical atmosphere. I'm fortunate to live only an hours bus ride from the famous 'Sherwood Forest' of Robin Hood fame. Sherwood is an ancient forest with a large variety of tree species, but particularly noted for its ancient Oaks. 'The Major Oak' is the largest, oldest and most well known of these, but as you wander through the forest you come across a number of other beautiful old Oak trees.
Song of Robin of Sherwood
As I stood beside the Major Oak, a Robin perched close by.. And sang for me a wistful song, of how it feels to fly
Above the verdant forest green,
Above the forest red,
O'er the forest clothed in bronze..
And when the leaves are dead
To nestle in the branches, await the call of Spring..
When forest shall awaken,
And birds shall sing..sing..sing!
  As I walked the forest on Friday, signs of Autumn were everywhere. There was a chill in the air, with only occasional glimpses of sunshine, yet the forest received me well. I paid my respects to the Old Major, but soon moved on, as there were several people I took a quiet path, weaving between birch groves with golden leaves falling like confetti, and some beautifully gnarled oaks, where I gathered handfuls of acorns. As the end of my visit drew near, I doubled back to bid goodbye to the Old Major, now standing alone in the late afternoon gloom. As I stood in admiration, a sudden trill of birdsong began close by, and I was thrilled to find Robin of Sherwood perched in a thicket and singing loud and clear, the Song of the Forest. It  was the perfect ending to my day in the woods..
Enchanted Forest
The two 'faces' visible in the great trunk of the Major Oak.
  As is often the way of things, the tree effect has been percolating through my mind gently, the first fruit of which is two simple rhymes, inspired by some of the trees in the forest...  
Delicate Birch
'The Major Oak'
Dancing Birch

We dance by night ( though not by day)
At break of light we stop and stay
Until nightfall, when stars are peeping
And dreaming forest lies a -sleeping
Then we rise, to dance and sway..
until there dawns a bright new day.
Sunlight on leaf..

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Mini Pen and Ink Tiles - 'Murder'

Since I had so much fun creating my mini Rune tiles, I thought I'd have a go at something in a similar vein. So here we have a collection of individual, hand drawn, pen and ink crows..framed together to create my 'Murder of Crows'.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Weekend Project - Paper Rune Tiles

This little project brings together quite a few of my particular 'loves', as it involves messing about with inks, making tiny treasures..and Runes!
  I begin with the hugely enjoyable preparation which involves wetting my watercolour paper, applying a weak watercolour wash, then dropping ink splashes onto the wet paper, and letting it all run together!
  Next comes the boring wait for the paper to dry!
  Once dry I can begin to measure out and cut my tiny 'tiles' which measure about 3 x 2 cm.
  Then its time to begin painting the runes, one on each tile, I use white gouche, which stands out nicely against the dark background.
  Finally, each rune is given an additional outline of fine black ink and some added dots..
Runes done- its time to play! I shall be using these to arrange into different patterns and make 'words'..
  Ideas for similar projects are already bubbling away- watch this space!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Pen and Ink Miniature :'The Shamans Tree'

This little drawing on watercolour paper was created using pen and ink outlines over a watercolour and ink wash, then filled in using ink and gouache.

Double- sided Pyro Art Piece 'Feather'

This tiny Birchwood Tablet measures just 3,8 x 5.5 cm.
  My design covers both sides, with a short verse written around the edge,
  One side shows Eagle in flight across a starry night sky..a feather has become dislodged, and begins to fall...the reverse side shows a megalithic stone under the same starry sky. The falling feather has come to land beside the old Stone.
  Words around the edge read;' Magic occurs between Heaven and Earth'.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Painted Miniature 'Under the Sun, Beneath the Moon'

Staying with the foxy theme, here's a new miniature, measuring 9,5 cm x 7cm.
  It was created using watercolour paper with a variety of watercolour washes, overlaid with pen and ink outlines, and filled in with gouache.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Meditation on Harmony

This little painting measures just 12.5 cm. I used stiff watercolour paper and a combination of watercolours, pen and ink and gouache to create the effect of delicacy, clarity and refinement which the image required. An alternative vision to my recent pyro piece 'Among the Stars'...

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Pyro Art Piece 'The Night Wolf'

This small Birchwood rectangle measures just 5.5 x 3,75 cm. I've used it to create a tiny keepsake on a wolf theme....A young questing wolf enters the Forest of Dreams, where he is fortunate to catch a glimpse of the fabled 'Night Wolf' as he sweeps across the sky! Such a vision brings joy and happiness, yet this will be just the beginning of the path our young wolf is destined to follow....

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Pyro Art Piece : 'Among the Stars'

This slice of Applewood measures 6cm in diameter. I've used it to create my latest pyrography work called 'Among the Stars'.
  Is fox sleeping..dreaming..journeying..or ascending into heaven..? I leave it to you to decide...

Monday, 4 July 2016

Drawing inspired by Samye Ling - 'Benediction'

My last post was about a visit to the Tibetan Buddhist Temple complex Samye Ling, in Scotland.
  Since that visit I've been busy working on a drawing which attempts to capture the flavour of my time there.
 The drawing has taken almost a month to complete, and here it is!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Samye Ling, Eskdalemuir, Scotland

I thought I would share a few of the many pictures I took on a recent visit to the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery Samye Ling in Scotland. Not only are the temple and grounds very beautiful, but also the rolling hills, woods and river which provide such a picturesque and magical setting. Indeed since my return, as I've reflected on my time there, I cannot but imagine that for a brief time I inhabited a Pureland..

Samye Ling seemed to me a realm set apart, where time is experienced differently, birds and animals are fearless, and everything points to Dharma.
   Odd occurrences began soon after my arrival by train at Lockerbie, where I needed to connect with the bus which would take me on the last leg of the journey..
  Somewhere between Lockerbie and Eskdalemuir, on an empty road surrounded by hills, the bus broke down. Having dropped off the handful of other passengers already, only myself and one other were left on the bus. While we waited for a replacement  to arrive I sat staring out of the window, taking in the scenery. All was still and quiet with just a faint sound of sheep bleating in the distance, and late afternoon sunlight casting beautiful shadows. I became aware of some swallows swooping nearby, and suddenly one flew through the open door of the bus, right past me, and out again! A few moments later we were on our strange!
   Nothing prepares you for your first view of the Stupa as the road bends round, bringing Samye Ling into view. Next thing you know, the bus has disappeared, leaving you standing in the road, gaping..baggage at your feet. Two people are sitting casually on a wall by the entrance, laughing together quietly.
   I walk around the grounds, drinking in the beauty of the evening, and new sounds - yes, the unusual experience of a sound I have never heard's a first. It's the sound of the prayer wheels gently and rythmically clicking in their endless motion. A soothing and mesmerizing sound. Swallows are swooping and whistling around the Stupa.
   A couple of hours later I'm lying on my bed, still listening to the sound of birdsong outside my window and wondering what the time is. Strange, my watch still says 8.30. I'm sure it said that some time I check my tablet, which tells me that it is actually 10.30! The evenings are so light here, I had not realized..and it seems my watch has stopped for good. I wonder what has caused it to give up the ghost today of all days..?!
  I spend the next two days in a variety of ways. Walking beside the wonderful River Esk.. Exploring the inspirational Peace Garden, planting potatoes in the kitchen garden as part of my voluntary work, and of course time spent in the breathtaking Temple itself, The magic of waking at 5.30 am to the sound of the dawn chorus and making my way in the fresh new morning to the Temple for Tara prayers will stay with me forever..
  In the early hours of the day I am to return home, the fire alarm goes off in the building where I and two other ladies are accordance with the instructions on our doors we gather sleepily outside in our assorted nightwear and await the maintenance man. He made all the necessary checks, but could find no fire..and no explanation as to what had set off the alarm. I thought it a fitting end to my extraordinary visit.