Sunday, 27 March 2011

And the winner is...

All names written out, folded, put in a big cup and got hubby to pick one out and the winner is...... MARY CHEZ! (names from my blog went together with names from facebook and Marys entry was from facebook).

Thankyou to everyone who entered my giveaway! More mini canvases as well as lots of other artwork can be purchased from my etsy shop and fans of my fb page or blog followers can have 20% off for the next week by entering the code- FBGAM01 at checkout. Thanks again!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Giveaway Time!

I've spent the last couple of weeks setting up my Sketchstitch shop on etsy and now that its really coming together I've decided to hold a giveaway - starting today and running until next Sunday evening. All you have to do to enter is leave a link to this post or my facebook page somewhere mentioning this giveaway- maybe on your own facebook page, twitter or blog. Then either under this post or the giveaway post on my facebook page leave a comment to let me know you have done so. I will choose a winner at random next Sunday and they will win the mini canvas in the photo below. This little lady is painted in acrylic with vintage papers collaged on a mini canvas measuring 4 inches x 4 inches, coated in a matt varnish to protect it and initialed on the bottom right hand corner.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Sketchstitch v Coramantic

Well its been a bit longer than a week since my last blog post - I did finish the painting I showed you though and a few more similar ones. I've decided to list my newest work in etsy and folksy. I think I will explore this style of artwork further and play around with subject matter, I'll keep you updated on this work through this blog. However, by no means am I saying I've found my style- and just to complicate things even more I've started up a new blog and etsy shop called Coramantic (my middle name is Cora and it sounds a bit romantic and frantic).

Coramantic is a bit like Sketchstitch' ugly sister, this will be my home to explore ugly cute work. Most of the work you will see at the moment has been done in gouache and ink. If you like this work I'd love for you to come and join me at my blog, shop or facebook. Its another branch for me to explore and its very early days yet.

I have noticed that my work seems to swing through different moods so its suited me to split things up like this- well I think it has, we'll see how things go. Just out of interest I'd love if you left a comment to let me know what you think of the two styles and if you have a preference, it really helps me to get some feedback x

Monday, 7 February 2011

Its all in the eyes

Since my last post I have been busy experimenting further with acrylic paint. I'm starting to develop a growing collection of unfinished pieces while I practice with subjects and technique. Below is one of the first paintings I tried, I've been in the habit of working from imagination without much sense of direction or control and I'm still undecided if this is a good method or not- I'm leaning towards no, in the ongoing search for 'my style'.

I had in my mind I would like to do something a bit prettier so here is a snippet from the next stage. I painted some little ladies out who were quite similar in features to the cats I had painted previously (I have lots of artwork linking from one stage to the next but I'm hoping just to show you some of the key stages).

When I finished the painting I sat it in my living room for a few days, kept looking at it to decide what I did and didn't like about it- in the end I decided I liked the spontaneity of the brush marks but felt that she was lacking in expression. Here's where we swing to the next extreme. I though why don't I try painting a lady but with much bigger eyes, full of expression- well to be honest she just looks startled but have a look at the picture below to see what I was playing around with (none of these paintings are finished but you get an idea of where I was going with them).

I stopped painting for a few days and went back to working in my sketchbook, playing around with ideas and in particular expressions. Its amazing how changing the size of some eyes or the distance apart they are can change the whole look of a face. Below is a photo from my sketchbook of a girl I drew that I finally thought- I like the shape of her face, the size of her eyes etc (my hubby said he liked the one on the right hand side better- I told him to go away).

I drew the girl out on to canvas and have just started to paint her in. Below is the painting in its first stage and I think I am still happy with her features but we'll see how it goes. I will hopefully complete this one (if I don't go of it- I am, terrible, TERRIBLE, for this- liking something one minute and hating it the next. I'll go to bed thinking that's working and come down the next morning and think what on earth!). The latest drawings I've been doing are not too dissimilar to what I was working on a couple of years ago with florabob and thornbob.

I know how important it is to take some time out at the moment and experiment with my style until I find a place I am happy with. I want people to be able to look at my work and think oh that's a such and such (yes, I'll come up with a new name at some point too). I wont be listing anything on folksy or etsy for the time being until I sort out where I am going. I'll probably post back in a week or so, so we'll see if I've completed this painting or moved off in yet another new direction. It was reassuring from my last post that I'm not the only one to go through this phase, I just hope thats all it is.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Moving on

The last week or so I've been busy with some new paintings. I've been exploring combining elements of different work I have done in the past. I've tended to swing from high to low before through extremes of creepy or cute- I think I am starting to reach a balance between the two that is true to my own personal style.

In the past I've always tended to work in gouache for more lighthearted work and oil paint for the darker stuff, until now I had never tried acrylic. I feel I can get the controlled/expressive balance a lot easier using the acrylic, I cant believe I've never tried it before. I'm going to spend the next few weeks just getting comfortable with the paint and exploring the new images and characters I've started to create. In the photo below most of the paintings are still a work in progress and are not completed yet but it gives you an idea of what I've been up to.

I'm not sure I'm happy with the name Sketchstitch any more- I have an urge to tidy things up and start afresh. Over the last year since I started my blog I have been exploring so many different areas from sewing creatures to illustration and fine art. Dabbling here and there really but I've gone back to pretty much where I left off when I graduated nearly ten years ago. I studied textile design and by far my favourite subject throughout the four years was visual studies- exploring mark making, materials, creativity and imagination. All the other blogs I read everyone seems so focused and clear in their direction, I'd love to know if any of you reading this have experienced this style finding I seem to be going through.

Monday, 17 January 2011


I thought I would share with you some of the new ACEOs I've been making recently. ACEO stands for art cards editions and originals- they are small peicies of artwork to a size of 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches and can be made in any medium. They are a popular afforable way of collecting small peicies of artwork. I have been experimenting a lot lately with colour and texture and introducing a bit more of a 'textile' feel to my latest work through layering and collage.

I have painted these ACEOs using gouache and added texture by combining text from a vintage book with segments of torn hand painted papers. I have thought about adding some stitched areas to them and its something I'll explore in the near future.

I listed the above ACEO on Folksy this moring and it sold rather quickly. I've painted a few in quite romantic colours as I thought they would make a nice little gift to pop into a valentines card, I'll try to list one or two everyday in my shop.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Giveaway time!

I've decided to hold a giveaway this week- starting today and running until next Sunday evening. All you have to do to enter is leave a link to my facebook page somewhere mentioning this giveaway- maybe on your own facebook page, twitter or blog. Then either under this post or the giveaway post on my facebook page leave a comment to let me know you have done so. I will choose a winner at random next Sunday and they will win the three items shown in the photo below- an original aceo, a card and an A5 drawing. Good luck!