Monday, 30 August 2010

Art of England contd.

J T Burke caught my attention because again he is another artist who recycles to create his pieces.
He does not used scrap materials or old newspapers but instead disguarded bits of jeweller to create new images full of excitement and sparkle.

Burke says, 'When I sit down in front of my computer to create an image, I usually select a certain piece of jewellery that has caught my attention and begin working around it.'

There is something magical and mysterious about his work. He is trying to create a Utopian Paradise for the viewer to enjoy. The pieces make me want to almost step into them and explore the surroundings.

Art of England

Son of renowned artists, Celia Paul and Lucien Freud is Frank Paul. He was born in London in 1984 and wanted to be an artist from a very early age.
Frank Paul's illustrations are somewhat provocative and sinister.

There is something fragile and captivating about his drawings. There is a sense that the figures in his images are constantly trying to gain something or get to somewhere that is never in reach.

I think the reason I have been drawn in by his work is because of the stories we can make up about them. There is no definite or precise tale being portrayed in his illustrations but rather the idea that something is forever out of reach, not fully making sense.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Peepshow contd.

Another artist that caught my attention was that of, Marie O'Connor. Like many of the artists that are featured on my blog she is another favourite because of the way she manipulates and plays around with scrap materials.

Marie O’Connor’s works are often made out of found materials and objects of little value, things that we often put to one side and never consider again. The materials she uses include: fabrics, photocopied graphics, papers, buttons and cotton/threads.

Really love the simple use of material that have been chosen to create something quite charming.


I just happened to be looking on the Peepshow website and the work of the founders. I was drawn to Miles Donovan's work in particular.

The above set were produced for BA High Life Magazine to accompany an article based on style cities.

I love the collage feel they have to them and the bright use of colours captures my attention.
I feel the colour pallet used in each composition works effectively because there is not a variety of colours but a minimum of two or three shades which harmonise well together and keep the images simplistic.

Polly Becker

I have always loved the work of Polly Becker. She portrays very simple ideas in interesting and exciting ways. Her little characters are beautifully created and crafted.

I think her choice of materials and pieces to make up her work are used to their best potential.

Here is some of her assemblage work:

This is an illustration depicting the difficulties of balancing work with personal life for an American Lawyer Magazine. I love the boldness of the message and how simply she has conveyed it yet so effectively.

I love this particular piece, illustrating a feature on America's eating habits.
The way she has incorporated food and sweets into the illustration is interesting and successful and also a direct link to what she is illustrating in the first place.

I find her work very inspiring and I love her use of ephemera and the way she composes pieces.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


Just a quick post to say I've finally got an on-line Portfolio up and running thanks to my good friend Megan Thomas.
Feel free to check it out...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Cornelia O'Donovan

Cornelia O'Donovan is an artist whom makes her work from using pen and ink, drawing, cut-outs, 3D pieces and also moving image.

The theme/subject matter running through her work stems from researching into urban landscapes, superstition, domestic voyeurism and folklore.

She tends to work towards creating a language written in pictures.

I think her work is very beautiful and charming. Her pieces are extremely playful and vibrant which immediately draws me in and grabs my attention.

The top black and white image has some beautiful quality of lines running through it and some interesting contrasts being made from the softer lines against the much harsher, bolder ones.

The bottom image of the horse is a little sewn piece which I find very sweet and charming. The mixed elements of sewing and drawing etc is a nice little touch too which just adds extra depth and character.

Above, 'Fighting Rabbit' is an A2 poster print of nature V nature. It is so bright and bold and exciting which is what I love about her work.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Nadia Tsakova

Yet another artist I came across in the Artists & Illustrators magazine is the works of Bulgarian painter Nadia Tsakova who has explored the romantic side of England's commuter capital that is London.

Nadia Tsakova refers to London as her 'fascinating home.' Her work reveals her passion and love for the capital. Her aim is to capture beautiful moments that often people don't see and capture them to make these moments last longer or even forever.

Here is some of her work:

The reason I'm fond of her work is a similar reason to that of Caravaggio's mainly because of the skill behind the image. The way in which she has captured the reflections on the pavement so beautifully and carefully really fascinates me.

Referring back to her saying that she wants to capture beautiful moments that we pass by, 'Reflections' is the perfect example to define this. The fact we take for granted crossing the road, it's something we do in day to day life but she has somehow really brought some depth and interest to it within her painting.

The painting is so realistic it almost appears like a photograph making me want to reach in and touch the people or feel the water on the floor.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

ClarkArtLtd-Modern British Art

Clark Art Ltd are one of the major galleries in the country specialising in Modern British Art.

Geoffrey Key's art work stood out to me on the list of artists:

I just thought his figure and horse were very inventive and playful. I particularly like the obscure shapes used to make up the charming little characters.


Looking through the Artists & Illustrators Magazine I was pleased to see the works of Renaissance artist, Caravaggio. He has always been a personal favourite of mine not because of his content but because of the skill in the painting and the way in which he captures light so beautifully on figures to really bring and image to life.

I love the way he depicts shadows and adds copious amounts of detail to his paintings.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Artist & Illustrators Magazine cont.

George Butler is a freelance illustrator inspired by his location. Rather than photographing his surroundings he illustrates them.

During the summer of 2008, George was travelling through Azerbaijan, documenting the people of its capital Baku with simply a sketchbook and ink.
He has also visited France, Italy, Tunisia and Algeria.

Some of his illustrations:

I love how the images have an urgency about them and you are left to make your mind up about the unfinished figures.

Artist & Illustrators Magazine

Whilst scanning the magazine I was drawn to look closer at the work of Natalia Ustinova.

'Das Kapital' - Mixed Media Collage

'I enjoyed using different shapes, tones and shades in this collage.
For me, creating art has to be fun and this is reflected in my work,
especially when I experiment with new materials and techniques.'

I really like how there is the use of a real newspaper and textured wallpaper against the illustrated elements, the mix brings the image to life.

Final swap finished

I found it really hard to get started with this final piece but eventually sat and played around on Photoshop for a week until I was satisfied.

Here is what I came up with:

I altered the background with some textured paper and rearranged the original composition. I think the transformation from megan's original piece to Doms reworking and finally to what I came up with is so exciting.

It's quite amazing how the slightest alterations can completely change something.

Summer Project Recap

The third and final switch has been made. I have now received Megans piece that has been worked on by Dom:

Here is Megan's original image:

Once Dom worked on the piece the image went from the above to this:

This final switch is proving to be the most difficult at the moment. I thought it was particularly hard to initially put my mark on someone else's work with the first swap however I think the problem now is whereas with the first swap there were still tweaks and changes that could be made or little alterations that could be added however by the time the final piece gets to you after two swaps there seems to be more of a finished feel to the work.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Louisa Blackshaw

Louisa Blackshaw is an Illustrator in her final year of University based in Bristol.

Whilst I was just browsing over blogs I came across her work and thought she had done some really cute stuff!

Really charming little illustrations. The birds look fun and exciting and have a real child like sweetness about them which I adore.

I think this scene is simply beautiful and intricately put together. There is a kind of patchwork style about the piece which is nice and the use of subtle colours fit really well together.

Monika Zawadzki

I was drawn to the works of Monika Zawadzki predominantly because of the simplistic, bold and eye catching imagery.
Monika lives and works in Warsaw, Poland, she produces very recognisable work based on minimalistic but strong imagery.
The artist is interested in interpersonal relations and social problems. She uses graphic symbols as a way of linking art and sociology to communicate with the recipient. She concentrates and analyses extreme social attitudes that result in domination or exclusion. For example: Feminism, racism and homophobia.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Edel Rodriguez

Edel Rodriguez, born in 1971 in Hanava, Cuba is an artist who produces work ranging from conceptual to portraiture and landscape.
I have take a particular liking to his poster work and his conceptual pieces.

Edel's work has featured in various places, including 1998 New Visual Artists Annual and 2004 Communication Arts Illustration Annual.
His work has also appeared in five picture books, stamps for the U.S Postal Service and on posters for films and Broadway/theatre shows/productions.

Edel is a regular contributor to the New Yorker Magazine and was a director at TIME Magazine for some time.

I love the simplicity of the pieces in particular the top image of the poster. I like the use of a limited colour palette making the piece bold and effective to grab the audiences attention.

My favourite piece I came across on his site was the bottom image, which he produced for TIME magazine. I think it's lovely how it's not a clean cut piece but beautiful marks have been made from printing are still evident on the paper.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Alexis Mackenzie

Alexis Mackenzie has been a freelance illustrator and artist for seven years.
She composes collages by hand on paper using a large variety of sources from her library collection that she has been keeping over the years.

Alexis describes her collages as being, 'sparingly composed and seamlessly put together. '

Each collage tells a narrative and each very different and unique which is something that appeals to me.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


After looking back at Dom's Fortitude (summer project) piece that I worked on I felt there was just something that needed to be added and so went back and looked over it again to produce:

I simply re-added some of the original texture back into the head and a small tear drop shape to imitate blood dripping from the dagger.

I think this has just added a bit of extra interest and given the next person more to work on, without completely 'finishing' the piece.

Red Nose Studio

Whilst doing a bit more research for my blog I came across Red Nose Studio.
The creative drive behind the award winning Red Nose Studio is a man named Chris Sickels.
He builds 3D puppets from a variety of materials and then illustrates them and animates his creations.
He uses a variety of materials, including; fabric, cardboard, a combination of wire and general found objects. I love how simple use of materials can be used so creatively to produce something entirely brand new and beautiful.

He says, 'these found objects can often be the deciding factor in the size of the puppets for an illustration.' This is a very true statement which makes a lot of sense. Sometimes we don't work to a format but rather work around what we have.
He goes on to say, 'It's not always in your complete control, so you have to work with the objects instead of trying to bend the objects to fit your idea.'
Again another valid point that I find myself agreeing with. When I was creating the Lion for the Summer project, I worked with whatever bits and pieces i could get my hands on rather than choosing perfect and precise materials. This way it was much more spontaneous, challenging and exciting.
Some of his work:

The bottom two images in particular caught my eye and reminded me of the work I produced for 1984-George Orwell. The format of the images and whole idea of making puppets and photographing them to position onto some kind of ticket.

Red Nose Studios' Illustrations can be seen in Magazines, Newspapers, books, advertising and packaging.

I love the characters and charm Chris Sickels' puppets each hold. They are full of life and interest, each with their own little profile.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Adding my Mark

After much deliberation deciding what to do with Dom's piece I tried a few methods before coming to any conclusions.

It was difficult to distinguish just how much to re-work the image so as to leave enough for the next member to play around with.

I chose to simply alter a few distinct areas of the work rather than attack the entire piece. I focussed on the dagger and the head of the elephant.

I tried to stick to the theme of making 'things' like with the lion I produced.
Experimenting with making items, I started by creating a dagger/weapon from card and scanning it in before piecing it all together in Photoshop.
I was not pleased with the quality of the outcome and did not feel it fit in with the work successfully, therefore I dismissed this initial idea.

After searching around my house for alternative objects to use for the making process, I came across a large box of scrap materials and so decided to have a play at working with them.
I began by scanning in a range of fabrics and narrowed them down by using the most appropriate.

I arranged the scanned elements/textures into Dom's original piece to put my mark on the work.
I also added texture to the head of the elephant, included some detail to the eyes and finally added some spot colour to the design.
I feel that by adding these small elements they have brought more character and life to the overall image and have brought a comic value to a rather serious piece.

Here is what I re-worked:

Here is the finished piece after being re-worked:

Overall I am pleased with the small elements I have included/altered despite being worried about going near it at first!
I have also learnt and taught myself a fair amount on Photoshop by having to work in this digital way so am pleased that I pushed myself.

This piece will now be sent on to Megan to put her mark on and become one complete image.