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…

 

 

New Work: Seahorse

design

Over the last few months I have been working hard creating new drawings and experimenting with a few different themes. I always come back to sea creatures and woodland animals, sometimes with the addition of a mysterious lady. My most recent project however has been designing illustrations for notebooks and other illustrated gifts, which are due to be printed very soon (in the next coming week) once I have finalised all the designs.

One of my favourite new designs is my Seahorse; he is utterly majestic, in my humble opinion – ha! They really are marvelous little creatures and truly unique to look at, so are a great subject matter. But, that’s enough of me waffling about it, here he is in all of his glory:

seahorse artwork

This drawing is a combination of two drawings: the seahorse and the seaweed together with digital painting. I can’t wait to see the final product printed.

Sorry that it has been a long while since I have posted a blog, but you can see what I’ve been up to on my work in progress page or by following @gracescreations on good old Instagram.

I really enjoy Instagram, it’s a great platform for connecting with other artists and finding really beautiful imagery. I’m a convert.

Have a lovely Saturday.

New Project…Under the Sea

arts, drawings, fantasy

I have always loved the sea, well looking at it at least. There is something magical and breathtaking about it and of course it is home to some of the most wondrous creatures and plants.I love a good coastal theme too so it was on natural to use the ocean and its  contents as a source of inspiration for my artwork and illustration.

My new project is based on the sea, but like many of my drawings or paintings I wanted to include and element of storytelling. This combination of themes can be seen most plainly in my jellyfish series of drawings…here is a preview…

Number 1

2015-06-22_20.19.36

Sometimes you plan drawings…sometimes you don’t – I find the ones that aren’t planned are stronger. This concept wasn’t planned, it just happened. A3 in size it is a larger piece. It is part of a series, you’ll have seen snippets if you follow me on instagram.

Here is another drawing in progress…

IMG_20150629_215126

 

And another, but this one involves digital painting…

IMG_20150711_081727

 

So this is just one side of my under the sea theme, there shall be more to come, I’m really enjoying exploring the depths of the ocean!

 

…It’s Windy

drawings

Happy June everybody!

That’s right, it’s June and it feels a lot like winter. To celebrate this wonderful fact (I’m not being sarcastic…I swear…*ahem*) here is a very British June inspired artwork/sketch…

wind

 

This bird seems happy enough to be wearing a scarf at this time of year…I’m not sure I am!

Growth [New Artwork]

illustration

 

 

 

I’ve been sketching a lot lately, and I’ve created a rather strange drawing that I’ve aptly (in my opinion!) titled; Growth. Of course, it is just a sketch at the moment but I’m hoping to refine it and create a fairly large drawing from it. But for now let me introduce you to the brand new sketch from my collection:
img002

 

 

Sketch, Scan, Paint!

animals, paintings

 

 

 

It’s Sunday evening and guess what…I’ve finally got a scanner again huzzah! This means that I can finally start uploading some high quality images of my latest sketches and artwork, my blog has been rather sparse for the past few months, but no more! I’ve got a new art studio/office type thing, and everything is set up. Unfortunately much of my work is bigger than  A4..for some reason I always prefer large pieces of paper. To celebrate my new scanner setup, I’ve got a small pen sketch and a new digital painting in progress for you.

fawn drawing

Fawn pen sketch

Painting of fox

Digital Painting in Progress

As you can see the fox started off as a pencil drawing and is currently being coloured. He may be far from finished but he is looking very happy! I love creating digital wildlife paintings and drawings, it really is a lot of fun; each animal has its own personality and/or mood so expect to see a lot more, but there are also some new fairy creatures to come – I do love having my own studio (the desk is massive!). I can look out of the window and see Lancaster’s castle; a great source of inspiration (even if I don’t draw castles). Anyway, it’s time to get scanning, sketching and maybe sleeping. Happy Sunday evening everyone!

Mr Fox Gets Colour!

animals, arts, illustration

Mr Fox Gets Colour!

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything new and technically this is just a colour of an older drawing…it’s not finished either but as you all know (unless you’ve never visited before) I like to show the creation of my work in stages..so y’all should come back 😉

In other news I’m getting a new computer so you can expect more work to appear over the next few weeks and months. I shall be updating my site – it’s all very exciting isn’t it?