Connect with Facebook
Phone Us

UK: 0330 22 30 922

( Mobile Friendly)


INT: +44 1337 860 860

(0)Shopping Cart

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Creativity Art Blog

Art & Crafting Hints, Tips & Discussion

  • Artist's Profile: Libby Page

    Libby Page

    Our latest Artist’s Profile for our readers is with Libby Page.  Born in Bath in England Libby is currently resident in Narbonne, Languedoc Roussillon, France.  Libby has a BA in Fine Art specializing in sculpture from what was the Wimbledon School of Art (now Wimbledon College of Art).   Libby currently has professional affiliations with galleries Inspiré in Azille, Southern France ( https://www.facebook.com/InspireAzille/) and Vue Sur Cours, Narbonne, Southern France (http://www.vuesurcours.com).  She has also exhibited in Lyon and the UK but works mainly with private clients.

    WEBconsequence

    What kind of art do you produce and how/ when did you start to get involved with this?

    Moving to the south of France nearly ten years ago revived the passion for colour that I’ve had since I was a child. As I travelled within the region I found myself asking how I would mix up the colour of this cloudless blue sky, the riotous autumn vineyards, the bright spring poppies or the distant mountains.

    Finally it was the Canal du Midi with it’s beautiful tree-lined banks that pushed me to take these colour-filled musings and try attempt to pay homage to the splendour that was all around me. The Canal, as we know it today, is coming to the end of one glorious chapter as it’s majestic plane trees are being felled due to disease.

    WEBPouvoir

    So, not only was I stirred by the Mediterranean colours and the trees whose architectural forms resonated with the sculptor within me, but now I also had a deadline; these trees are coming down fast, each year the canal-scape changes. It is still very beautiful as new vistas are now opening up which were once hidden, but it is changed.

    So at first glance it seems apparent that I am a landscape painter, but there is also a hidden message within the work. Each colour has a meaning of my own invention. So as I paint, I am telling a story or remembering a moment. It is a way of writing in code, my secret diary.

    More here: http://libbypage.eu/coded-messages

    WEBStill Standing

    Is there any kind of medium/ art techniques that you would like to explore in your future work? 

     Used to working with traditional oil paints, I am now making the switch to Cobra, water mixable oil paints. The transition has been easier than I thought because the most important thing for me is colour and they are so good. One of the best sap greens I have ever used! I’m a fan of translucent paint and they match up to their traditional counterparts 100%. The difference has been one of texture. Oil paints have a sumptuous fluidity which is less evident in the Cobra paints. However, a little medium, (or a little water!) soon fixes that.

    WEBGracious

    If affiliated to Gallery/ art collective/ art club, how did you get involved with this?

     

    The relationship with Inspiré in Azille started when a friend of a friend told me about them. I met the owner, Angela Saunders, four years ago and liked both her and her vision for the gallery from the start. She is a pioneer of fine art in a region that is mostly devoted to the more natural pleasures that the land has to offer, namely wine!

    I have only recently been approached by Vue Sur Cours, Narbonne. The owner, Claude Tassus-Bauléry has seen my work evolving over the last few years and wanted me to be a part of her portfolio when she opened her new space in the centre of Narbonne. Very exciting!

     

    If from a traditional art background (i.e. higher education in art) how do you think the institutions you were associated with have formed/ informed your practice?

     I think my most formal lessons were learnt before my higher education started. The fundamentals of colour mixing I learnt at school and the disciplines of constant observation and a disciplined drawing practice I learnt during my one year foundation course. My higher education taught me how to talk about my practice and how to understand what I am doing now in the context of art history and the wider contemporary scene. After that, a job working in an art gallery gave me a glimpse into seeing things from the other side; a comprehension of what people like to buy and also the confidence that it is possible to survive as an artist. However, we learn every day and from every experience. You can be a great artist with no formal training at all.

     

    Who are your inspirations in the art world?

     In chronological order of influence in my life, a condensed list looks something like this;

    Andrew Fraser, Errol Le Cain, Otto Dix, David Elgey, Paul Cezanne, André Derain,    Francis Bacon, Simon Müller, Barbara Hepworth, Yoko Ono, Edmund de Waal, Ronald F Smith, David M Martin, Domonic Hills, David Hockney, Peter Doig.

     

    Where do you get your inspiration from?

     Externally, the Canal du Midi and the light of Southern France. Internally, my faith, my questions, my observations and reactions.

     

    What kind of studio/ gallery space do you work in?

     

    I have a wee room in my home, 3m x 4m. North light and neighbours peep through the window. I’m beginning to outgrow it now but it has been so nice working at home with my cat.

     

    What advice would you give to people who want to get involved in art?

     

    • If you are nervous, it shows that you care.
    • If you want to be good, don’t give up practicing. If something seems impossible, carry on practicing until it is easy.
    • Wear many hats. Once the first hurdle of learning how to make your work well has been leapt over you will still need to learn how to market your work and plan your time effectively to meet demands from galleries or private clients.
    • Enjoy it. Or stop. There are easier ways to make a living!

     

    What do you think is the importance of art to society?

     

    Like an oasis in a desert, like a question posed by a child which exposes the fact that the emperor is naked, like bird song,

     

    Art is vital.

     

    WEBPigasse 2013 Anne

     

  • The Mysterious Disappearance of Flake White

    Why Can't I Find Flake White?

    Flake white is getting increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain in the art supplies world, so we thought we would explain to our customers why.

    The short and simple answer is that Flake White is made based on a lead white pigment.  Due to the toxicity of lead many companies have decided to stop producing the paint.  However in the UK and the EU lead white pigment is not actually illegal in ARTISTS paint as long as it is packaged in child proof containers, however it is illegal in other products.  The relatively low amounts required by this portion of industry has led to a decline in production of the pigment in general.  This means it is more difficult for companies producing the paint to obtain lead white and also more expensive, leading many to stop production altogether as the product becomes financially inviable.  The companies which do continue to produce it raise their prices as production cost increases.

    The alternatives available for artists who want flake white are fairly limited.  Zinc white and Titanium white have virtually replaced flake white in many paint ranges but both of these paints have fundamental differences.  Titanium white has a higher opacity and tinting strength which means it can overpower tints more easily than flake white.  Some artists also complain about its chalkiness when compared to flake white.  Zinc white is less opaque than either flake white or titanium white and is weaker in tinting strength.

    Companies like Windsor and Newton also produce substitutes such as  flake white hue.  This is not a genuine flake white but an equivalent such as cadmium red hue.  However given the rising costs of lead white and the difficulty in obtaining in it many artists will have to consider making the switch to one of these options sooner rather than later.

  • Mixed Media Hearts

    Valentine Hearts

    Artist & Illustrator Kim Anderson, is very much into painting hearts amongst other gorgeous designs. But her mixed media hearts are just magical right now.

    You can see why her hearts are just amazing. Her use of colour is fabulous and, her style is just beautiful. We have been following this artist & Illustrator for a  few years on Facebook and on Instagram and, literally fallen in love even more with her work as time has gone on.

    kim anderson 1

    kim anderson 2

    This Heart below in particular is one of our favourites. The textures are exciting and lively, as are the vivid colours Kim uses. Loving the bubble come water ripple effects of colours created through Kim's technique. Would it not be just wonderful to be able to create this yourself? Why not give it a bash.  Mixed media artworks are lots of fun to do and, the exciting thing about mixed media is just being able to experiment with various art materials you enjoy using - or have not even tried -and seeing what happens.  Magical really!  The artist uses inks, pens, acrylics, craft foil & gold leaf to create her stunning mixed media works.

    kim anderson 3

    Kim also paints stones in the exact same way - stones that she picks up and produces the most striking hearts in the exact same way she does on her canvasses.

    kim stone 1

    These stones are examples of what she does. They would make perfect gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, valentines and more.

    kim stone 3

  • Creepy Crawlies: What’s In Your Paint?

    Do you know what makes the colour in your paint?

    When we are thinking about what art supplies we use, most of us don’t really think about where things like pigments come from.   In this modern age it is easy to assume that most pigments are manufactured in laboratories and that there is very little that synthetic production cannot do.   However you might be surprised by what gives your favourite colours, or pallet staples their distinct hue.  Understanding more about how your paint is made and where it comes from adds another dimension to your creative process, and it can also help when we are trying to understand why some materials cost so much, or are so hard to obtain.  We’ve put together a little article to give you some facts you may not have know before!

    Slimy Substances

    Tyrian purple is a dye produced from sea snails which can be traced back as far ass the 13thCentury BC. It is the dye often associated with Roman robes of state; the cost involved in the production meaning only the rich could wear it.  The production of this purple declined after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and was totally replaced in the late 19th Century by synthetic equivalents.

    snail

    Beetle Bugs

    Perhaps the most famous of these dyes/pigments is that produced from the Cochineal beetle, a small parasitic insect which lives on and off the prickly pear cactus.  Cochineal dyes are used in makeup and as food dyes as well as in paint.  The colour comes from the Carminic acid which the beetles produce to protect themselves from predators.  The beetles are harvested and then dried and crushed to produce a powder.  The use of these beetles is believed to have been developed by the Maya and Aztec and was then brought to Europe by the Spanish after Columbus landed in the Americas.  In the 19th century its use declined as synthetic dyes became more widely available offering an easier and cheaper alternative.  However as with some natural dyes cochineal has experienced a re-emergence as concern over toxicity of synthetic dyes has grown.  Cochineal is proved to be non-toxic and non- carcinogenic.  Today there are major production sites in Mexico, Guatemala and the Canary Islands.  The colour produced is considered to be stable, and it is one of the most resistant natural colours to time, light, oxidation and heat, even more so than many synthetic dyes.  If cochineal has been used in paint, carmine will be listed as one of the pigments.

    cochineal

     

    The Kermes insect which is found in oak scrub in the Mediterranean was an earlier equivalent for Europeans of the Cochineal beetle.  They also produce a brilliant red dye when treated in the same way as the Cochineal bugs (but based in the kermesic acid which they produce).  After the importation of the Cochineal from the Americas the use of the Kermes insect declined because although the colour produced is similar in intensity cochineal dye is 10 or 12 times more effective and stable than kermes dyes.

    kermes

    Lac insects also produce a red dye which can be manipulated with mordents to produce a range of colour from violet to brown. The dye is used in natural fabric dye for wool, silk and sometimes leather. However it is the glassy resin which the insects coat themselves in whilst they mature from larvae which is their principal product.  Once processed this resin is made into shellac, the only commercial natural lacquer.  Shellac is used in varnishes, paint, printing ink and sealing wax amongst other non- art products.  The principal producers are India, Thailand and China, with smaller production lines in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

    So next time you reach for a product you might know a bit more about how it’s made!  Whilst some people are put off by the concept of these production methods it is worth bearing in mind that many of these natural dyes are actually safer for you than the things p

  • Colourful Art

    Colleen Ranney

    colleen ranney 1

    Artist, Author and Poet Colleen Ranney creates the most stunning and colourful, textiley paintings and writes poetry and many books too. Colleen was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4 and has gone from strength to strength through her life. To read more about the talented lady read her biography.  Colleens purpose is exposing hidden truths through the expression  of poetic art which she produces in this beautiful textiley form.

    Lovely Colours

    The colourful artworks are intense and inviting and, grasp your attention quickly. Below are just some of her amazing and beautiful paintings. I for one know that I would love to walk around in her beautifully painted scenes. They are far too inviting and just looking at them I feel i am part of the painting myself.

    meadow-trail-by-colleen-ranney-colleen-ranney 3

                                        meadow-sky-by-colleen-ranney-colleen-ranney 2

  • Handmade Resin Bracelets

    Bracelets embedded with Plantlife

    Designer Sarah Smith at Modern Flower Child creates beautiful and unique natural looking resin bracelet and other jewellery for you to purchase and enjoy. Embedded with real flowers, shells, bark, grasses, foliage's, dried ferns and even peacock feathers and any other organic materials. She produces something very different and unusual, leaving a stunning unique finish that you can wear and show of.

    The plant-life Sarah uses for her jewellery makes are frozen in time inside these clear time capsules.  The whole process can take up to as much as three weeks from original design to the pouring of the resin, curing, and then the shaping of  the final piece. Look at just how beautiful these plant-life bracelets are. Sarah's one off designs are all done by hand - and by herself alone (she is a one person business) therefore not made on any machine and the tiny bubbles, bumps and slight imperfections found on her designs are all part of her unique hand produced jewellery makes, making them that extra special. To learn more about the artist visit her website.

    resin bracelets 1 resin bracelet 2 resin bracelet 3

     

  • Spiritual Art: Mandala

    The Sacred Circle

     

    19e29bd085d7fe4fd202a5fd53dbf342

    Art has, probably from human beings earliest attempts, often had an association with the spiritual and mystical elements of existence.  Before the written word art and images were the way that human beings communicated experiences, culture and beliefs.  Art continues to be a way in which many experiences in life which are beyond words can communicate between human beings, especially across cultures when language is not shared.  In this first article in the series, we are looking at Mandala, a sacred and spiritual art associated with healing and meditation.

    Mandala, which translates roughly as circle in Sanskrit, are artistic spiritual and ritual symbols present in many of the religions of the Indian subcontinent.

    They represent the universe and can be seen most commonly in Buddhism and Hinduism, however they also appear in other religious iconography and have more recently been incorporated into some western psychological theories and practice.

    Mandalas are used to focus the attention of practitioners and also as a form of worship through creation.  The Mandala work of Tibetan Buddhist monks is becoming particularly well known.  Monks combine the creation of Mandala with the technique of sand painting.  Monks may spend days or weeks creating elaborate Mandala using this technique, usually in groups.  Once the design has been completed it is usually swept away.  This is to remind practitioners of the impermanence of everything.  You can watch a video of this process here:

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYVcjFhpsHc

     

    The Tibetan mandala is considered a spiritual tool and practice which aides the devotee to gain deeper wisdom and compassion.  The designs are usually predefined and each one’s particular balanced, geometric patterns represent different deities and as a whole represent the oneness and wholeness of everything.  Although Tibetan mandala share elements with other religious traditions, the sand mandala is particular to this tradition.  The creation of the sand mandala is believed to work as a guide to help ordinary minds on their path to enlightenment as well as providing purification and healing.  The process of sand mandala creation also incorporates specific music and mantra chants which transmit healing through the invocation of the blessing of the specific deities which live with the mandala.

     

    In the Tantric tradition the mandala is used to totally absorb the attention of the practitioner during meditation.  Through a process of total contemplation, the idea is that the practitioner should eventually be able to recreate a perfect visual image of the mandala in the mind.

    When the sand mandala is finished, they are swept away.  The impermanence of the work is to remind the practitioners and any audience of the impermanence of existence.

    Although the Mandala is commonly associated with Eastern traditions, there are similar elements in Christian iconography such as the designs employed in stained glass window designs.

    More recently Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst, pioneered the exploration of his own unconcious thought through art making and noted that the circle was a recurring spontaneous motif.  Jung’s familiarity with Eastern religious practice led him to call these crawings “mandala” even though there are fundamental differences.

    Many therapists since then have acknowledged that this type of structured artistic creation can reorder the inner state of the creator.

    f477939aab9d5b99064d4d326f0deccc
  • Adult Colouring Books

    Colouring Books for Adults

    Adult colouring books have taken storm and become very popular to many. Illustrator Millie Marotta has produced a a number of colouring books for grown ups. Animal Kingdom and Tropical Wonderland are just a couple of them. Millie produces these spectacular intricate and very detailed illustrations for you to enjoy colouring in and, in some of her colouring books she even leaves blanks in her illustrations for those to be able to hand-draw their own images and doodles also. The idea of these adult colouring books are a therapy in itself as it allows the consumer to go into another world and just let go. These colouring books help those who suffer mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and more. Allows them to focus on what they are doing and to be able to relax. Also, they are good to help you forget about your worries or problems, and de-stress from a very busy working day.

    Why not pick one of her beautiful colouring books from Amazon or any other online retailers for yourself or a loved one for Christmas?

    You can learn more about the illustrator here and be sure to watch this video below

    https://youtu.be/XnOAiZivzrY

  • Apple Pen for Ipad Pro

    Introducing the Apple Pen for iPad Pro

     

    Apple recently recruited the gifted artist James Jean after interviewing him to promote their new Pencil Stylus that pairs perfectly with the new iPad Pro. James is a Taiwanese American visual artist who is know for both his fine art gallery work and commercial work. The gifted 36year old has  put the pencil stylus product to good use by drawing out his amazing imagery directly onto the tablet itself which you can see here.

    james jean 2

    The pencil stylus is just perfect for apple iPad Pro as there are many different things you can acheive with this novel technology on the iPad Pro itself plus the great thing about it is that you can draw and be creative with it. The battery life lasts hours but when needing to charge up it just takes taking a part of at the end of the pencil and has a connection on it that you place into your iPad Pro allowing it to charge. . You can produce broad or single strokes with this wonderful tool and it has been designed to feel and look like a familiar tool. Watch the video  below to see just how works and how creative you can actually be with this apple pencil for the apple iPad pro.

    https://youtu.be/iicnVez5U7M?t=87

     

    You can see from the close up picture of James Jean drawing here for the Apple pencil that the pencil leaves true sketch marks making it look like a real physical drawing as if on paper.

    james jean 3

    You can see his work just here on his website.

Items 1 to 10 of 232 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 24
BackTop
Post your comment

iartsupplies.co.uk ~ trinity arts