Behind the Artwork: Conversations with Ursa Major

arts, drawings

Conversations with Ursa Major‘ is my latest finished piece from my current work. The series itself focuses on the subconscious, dreams, fantasy, emotion and reality. Each piece has an element of the ‘real’ in it but it is quite hard to translate as the viewer. 

What is the work about?

To be honest, none of my work is wholly about one thing. It often starts as one thing and transforms into another. This piece in fact began as an underwater theme, but it turns out that I am not quite done with my planetary/space exploration. I’ve always been fascinated by space. Looking at the stars has always had an effect on me – they make me feel so small, they make me feel quite insignificant which is quite calming actually.

Story time: When I was 4 I wore glasses for the first time therefore I saw the stars for the first time! – it’s a moment that I’ve remembered ever since. (a little cheesy I know, but so true.)

Why Ursa Major?

Well, Ursa Major is also known as the Great Bear and as you can see, this piece features a bear – I wanted to give a earthly form to the stars (I seem to like a challenge). Personally, when I’m feeling trapped, stagnant or stressed out I like to either escape to the sea or take a little bit of time to myself out in the open air. I guess you could call it a form of meditation – hence the pose of the female character.

What medium did you use?

Again, like most of my work this is a pastel and graphite drawing – A1 in size! 

How long did it take to make?

This one took a while, probably about 3 full days in total – it just kept transforming. 

Do you plan to continue your ‘spacey’ series?
 
Honestly, I don’t think I have a choice, it seems to be subject that won’t leave my head, spherical imagery seems to appear even when I don’t mean it too. We’ll see. I’ve never been so creatively excited by my work as I am now though. It’s a great feeling to have! Plus the vastness of space mixed with subconscious and fantasy is certainly a challenging subject matter.

What’s next?

Well, I actually have a drawing in mind (almost a plan) but to tell you what it was before it happens would make it much less exciting…you’ll just have to wait and see – it’ll probably change anyway! Who doesn’t love a little bit of unpredictable chaos anyway? Haha.

Thanks for the questions and the interest in my work – you make me smile. Until next time.

Behind the Artwork: ‘You Can Have my Body But You Can’t Have Me.’

drawings

More answers about more artworks…

What is the artwork about?

On first glance this seems like a romantic piece, whereas, in my head it’s quite the opposite. The two ‘lovers’ dance on the beach under the eclipsed sun. The male holds the female with a firm grip; he’s so afraid to let her go that he’s holding her too tight and metaphorically suffocating her.

He’s desperate to control her, but she cannot be controlled and will not. She bends submissively but her outstretched arms demonstrate her desire to be free. She knows that he has her physical body but he will never contain her spirit – hence the title ‘You can have my body, but you can’t have me.’.

Is it based on real life?

Not one specific moment, but it is however inspired by past relationship experiences. Often in a relationship (not just romantic) you will find that one half of a pair is often trying to dominate the other either by clinging on too tight or being elusive! I’m not a cynic, just observant…haha.

Your work often illustrates writing, is there written work with this one?

Yes there is, but it has not graced the internet with its presence yet.

What medium have you used?

Graphite, pastels, chalk, eraser and ink.

What was on the playlist for this one?

Honestly, I can’t remember but the Pretty Reckless’ song ‘Prisoner’ definitely inspired the title.

If you have anymore questions, either get in contact or comment below.

 

Behind the Artwork: ‘Under the Influence, Losing Control’

drawings

To continue my series about my current work here are a few questions about my newest work; ‘Under the Influence, Losing Control’ and about my art practice itself…

What is the artwork about?

Well, as the title suggests it’s about losing control, and letting something (or someone) take the reigns even if you don’t really want them or it to…

You can be influenced by anything and anyone. Some people are master manipulators whereas others are just easily manipulated. Some are both. Most of us are both.

What medium have you used?

This one is mainly pastels and graphite.

What do you do when you have ‘creative block’?

Spiral and self-destruct (just kidding…ish). Nothing irritates me more than not being able to create anything. Usually when this happens, I am getting in my head too much and not allowing things to happen…’organically’…(I hate that word). The best thing to do is to get out into the world and you’ll find your inspiration. Personally the sea for me is one of my favourite places to go when I’m feeling particularly not creative. 

Is the ‘girl’ you?

Maybe, maybe not. Partly yes, partly no. Probably mostly yes.

What was on the playlist for this one?

Cosmic Jokers! For reasons that I don’t think need to be explained. If you want feel like you’re floating whilst creating some spacey art, well, I’d seriously recommend ‘Cosmic Joy (A)’ and (B). Do it.

I also listened to a lot of Sexwitch again whilst creating this one (because I love Natasha Khan & Bat for Lashes). In my head the piece has a kind of occult feel to it and what is more appropriate than a band called Sexwitch? Listen to ‘Kassidat El Hakka‘ and you’ll get it. Hopefully. 

How big is the work?

Again it is an A1 drawing. The vibrancy of the colours and the contrast between deep blue and the bright red is something I really like about this one. It has a real energy about it.

There you go, more questions (mostly the same) about a different artwork. Until next time. Goodbye.

 

Behind the Artwork: ‘Blurring the Lines Between Fantasy & Reality’

drawings

Greetings. It’s been a while since I have updated this blog, but I’ve had a few questions about my artwork. So I’m going to do a series of blogs (I hate the word blog) about each piece of work. First we have one of my personal favourites; ‘Blurring the Lines Between Fantasy & Reality’.

What is the artwork about?

Have you ever been in that state where you’re not too sure what is real and what is imaginary? Well, that is what this piece is all about, hence the title; ‘Blurring the Lines Between Fantasy & Reality.’ It’s when you just wake up from an intense dream that feels so real that for just one moment you believe that it is. 

I wanted to create a dream-like, fantastical (and I guess sci-fi!) kind of vibe with the use of blurry and cloudy marks. The female figure is clear whereas the other figure is fading away into the clouds, but she is trying to keep a grasp – she is clinging onto fantasy, not wanting to be dragged back to reality. The subconscious plays tricks on us; it has the power to confuse us and alter our perceptions. 

What medium have you used?

Well, this piece began with graphite powder, sanguine powder and an eraser. I then worked into it with pencil and ink, then i did get a bit crazy with chalk pastels, charcoal. I like to mix loose marks with more controlled ways of working.

What influences your work?

Many many many things. It sounds cliche, but drawing really is a part of me. I almost feel like it is my subconscious trying to find its voice. I generally don’t go into my drawing with any kind of plan, it just kind of emerges and then develops a meaning, or a narrative as I go. 

Does music influence you?

This question comes from one of my Twitch viewers (that’s right, I live stream on Twitch Creative under the name of dangerunicorn). This probably comes from my eclectic mix of music that I play whilst working on stream haha. I’d have to say yes it does, but I wouldn’t say that it is a sole influence. It definitely effects the types of marks I make and sometimes the general feel of the work. ERAAS, Glasser, Sexwitch, Biosphere, Bat For Lashes, and Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve featured a lot in the playlist whilst creating this one!

How big is the work?

Each drawing is A1 in size, the paper varies therefore the finish of each one can be different. I like to experiment with different media, it’s fun. If you’re not having fun or committed to creating it’ll show in your work. I mean if I’m not in the mood and I start to draw, it just doesn’t work! You can’t lock yourself away from the world all the time.

Well, that’s a few of the questions I’ve had about this work, I hope the answers are good enough. If you have anymore, ask ask away…

 

 

Well it has been a while since I have posted an actual long blog post, sorry about that I’ve been rather busy!

Good news, I now have an A3 printer it is absolutely fantastic! Now I can make some really high quality prints and originals as some of my work has never been seen physically on paper. The plan is to print, frame, and exhibit. I missed something important off that list…oh yeah, sell. My online shop has been bare for quite a while, well that is about to change…well in the next week or so.

Barn owl in monochrome

Black and White Version

This image looks particularly good in A3 both the colour version seen on this http://graceowenart.com/gallery-2/wildlife/ page so I shall be doing some lovely, high quality prints of this image. At the moment I am creating more wildlife art than fairy art, but I always like to create something a bit mystical or magical about the paintings I do so, I’m never too far away from the wonderful world of fantasy. I do love Imagine FX (a magazine dedicated to fantasy art)

Anyway, do keep checking back for more art etc and I’ll reveal when my shop is launched with all its new stock! Yay!

animals, arts, illustration, paintings, Uncategorized

Spring Sheep…

animals, arts, design, illustration, Uncategorized

Hello,

Ok so I started this sheep painting a while ago and I’ve been working on and off with it. I think it is finally finished, yaaaay bring out the Champagne. I’ve been working on my illustration style for children etc. I have so many different styles of work to choose from now…Anyway, here is the sheep…

Image

It’s a bit of a pain sometimes this digital painting lark because I’ll paint it on my laptop and then I’ll look at it on a desktop and it’s a completely different colour or brightness. Looking at it again I think I could add more wool texture to my sheep’s body.

Now, for most of you who often read my blogs and follow my art, you’ll know that as well as wildlife paintings I produce a lot of fantasy work. Now I’ve recently come across a fantastic fantasy illustrator called Neal Murren. I found out about him from ASOS, yes the online clothing shop, I recently bought this fantastic creation  http://www.asos.com/ASOS/Neal-Murren-for-ASOS-Oversize-T-Shirt-with-Rabbit-Man/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2606312&SearchQuery=neil%20murren&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=White

I fell in love with the rabbit design. It is in the style that I love as a lot of my drawings are of this bizarre nature. I’d love to make one with my own with my designs as well. Then I went googling his website, there is some amazing art/illustration on there so just pop his name Neal Murren into google and prepare to see some great artwork.

Hope you are all well!

The Owl and the Pussycat – New Art!

design, illustration, paintings

New Art

Posted on March 21, 2013

Hello all!

Just a short post for you to introduce you to some of my new digital paintings…

I wanted to produce some more illustrative work and create some more animal characters. So here is a kitten (who I have yet to name – help!) and we have Oswald Owl who I created a while ago.

Image

Image

I will be working into this owl painting and adding some more detail to the branches and the fence in the background.

I’ve also been sketching away…here is an osprey! Image

 

and a cat…but not in a hat.drawing of cat

My Characters need names, so if you have an ideas post them below 🙂

Fairy Tale Art Competition – Voters choice

Uncategorized

Hi everyone!

A couple of weeks ago I entered a Fairy Tale Art competition on Fineartamerica.com hosted by fairy-tale artist, Philipe Fernandez. I am happy to tell you all that I came in 1st place for the Voters Choice Award! So thank you to everyone who voted for me and put up with my blogs asking for votes, it really paid off. I now have a place on Philippe’s website as can be seen here: http://www.fairytalebuzz.com/Pages/monthlyartcontest.aspx

painting of fairy

I entered my artwork Fire Fly into the competition (above) and I am very proud of this achievement so again thank you! I shall post some new artwork soon.

 

Fairy Tale Art Competition!

Uncategorized

Hello all!

I’ve entered a fairy tale art competition on fineartamerica.com so pleeease vote for me! You’re allowed to vote twice and you don’t need to be a member on the site or American you can BE ANYONE or ANYTHING to vote 🙂

Here are the links to my art in the competition:

http://fineartamerica.com/contests/fairy-tale-art.html?tab=vote&artworkid=6634643

http://fineartamerica.com/contests/fairy-tale-art.html?tab=vote&artworkid=6634622

I have entered my Firefly painting:

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and Sleeping Spring;

Image

I would really really appreciate your votes 🙂 so thank you in advance! There are over 500 entries so I’ll need them haha.

In other news, my graphics tablet gave up on me and my new one arrived yesterday. PC world refunded me everything thanks to its 1 year guarantee! (great stuff!) so I’ve been starting some new fairy digital paintings and here is one of them in progress;Image

it will undoubtedly change substantially from start to finish. Her face is a little ‘cartoony’ at the moment and I’d prefer it to be more realistic. I will update with my progress soon! I’m doing two paintings at once so I’ll have a lot to share. I’ll also get around to blogging about other artists and their work soon instead of just going on about myself heehee.

Remember to vote for me (please) and thanks again…Until next time! Goodnight!