Friday, 28 June 2013

Handsome Fishermen and the Smell of the Sea.....

  As I mentioned in my previous post...In the last week or two I've started to sketch and illustrate all manor of Seaside adventures. My aim is to put together a neat little collection of summery prints - with an apt and fishy title for my shop.
  I wrote a list of keywords before I got started: Seagulls and sandcastles, pretty pastel beach huts, oversized seashells, boats, Punch and Judy, ice-cream, sailors and sirens, mermaids and fishermen (in polo necks..possibly a mustard colour).......
  Drawing handsome men with rugged faces and a Clark Gable charm is ever so slightly out of my comfort zone......(not that I don't like handsome men with rugged faces and a Clark Gable charm...nothing could be further from the truth!) but its good to give yourself a challenge and I'm now ever so slightly in love with my curly haired, sophisticated, swoony fisherman......I want him to look me in the eye and sing me a shanty!
 Think I'll call him Clark....
 These are just photos of my work at the moment not scans..
I need to shape up his Lifebuoy a little bit but I'm ever so pleased with him.

A very inspiring image - what a beautiful man

Clark Gable...Ahoy there!
  I have plenty more illustrations to work on in the coming weeks so will keep you updated as I go.

  Here is another Summery picture for the collection. I've only just finished this one and wasn't going to include it in todays post but changed my mind at the last minute. I will weave a little story through each of the illustrations as they come thicker and faster - so stay tuned!
  Again this needs to be tidied up a little bit but hope you like it.

  I hope you have a joyous weekend whatever you are up to. Its my sixth wedding anniversary tomorrow so I'm being whisked away to a fancy hotel and treated to an even fancier dinner - so excited!
 Toodle Pip xx

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Swim Capes, Cunning Disguises and a Sea Fairy...

  Oh to have been a costume designer working on an Esther Williams picture.... There would been no end to my Technicolor pinks and yellows, fashionable watery themed swim suits, caps and capes (budget overlooked of course)

    I watched Bathing Beauty 1944 the other day which is Esther Williams first movie. Little did Ms Williams know that when she emerged like a goddess between two seahorses it was the start of a very glitzy career! At the beginning of the film she does wear the most beautiful swimsuit cape/cover up which got me thinking about giving my latest creations some sparkling glamorous capes......

  I could only find a black and white photo of the cape but isn't it amazing!

Dreams in sequins

 I was very interested to hear that out of all her 22 movies 'Million Dollar Mermaid' 1952 was her favourite because she got to play a real person, professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star - Annette Kellerman. She also got to work with Busby Berkeley!

  On to other little bits of news.....

  I'm so delighted my circus prints and Busby Berkeley postcards have been a success over in the shop - thankyou, thankyou!! I will be finishing the 'Cunning Disguises' postcard set this week so will let you know when they go to print. I've also made a start on some seaside sketches (sticking with the watery theme) full of sailors, sirens, creatures of the deep, fishermen (in polo necks) and merry mermaids. I will bring you more on that in the weeks to come.

  So here are some images from my current workings....

Little Fox part of the 'Cunning Disguises' series

Sound of the Sea

  Hope everyone is having a tremendous Tuesday. Lovely and sunny here. x

  P.S I secretly want to wear all the costumes I give my dolls!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Esther Williams Inspired Part 2...

  I've been doing lots of bits and finishing off lots of pieces since I last posted....
  Today I set myself up to work in the garden.... I'm all about 'Esther Williams loveliness' at the moment and the warmth of the sunshine literally plunges me into a technicolor whirl pool of sycronized swimming, swim caps and fab 50's swim suits.... I'm in my element.
Hollywood Mermaid Esther Williams August 8, 1921 – June 6, 2013

Here's a collection of my Esther Williams magazine memorabilia which I've collected from various flea markets.

My two favourites

  I also tend to come over all mermaid whenever the sun comes out here's a few of my latest sketches and illustrations, oh and some snaps of my latest dolls...working progress of course and still sticking with the 'vintage swim' theme.

..sketches done in the garden today. They've not scanned too well as they are just light pencil sketches so I've turned up the contrast a little so you can see.

Esther with her children. I scanned this beautiful pic from my Esther autobiography - to be honest its the only photo I've ever seen of her in a flowered cap!

  1950's bathing suit from Etsy which arrived last week - it fits a dream! I can't wait to wear it later in the year when I go on holiday...... Until then I shall continue sashaying around the house in it with added tights and cardigan....

Embracing my inner Esther!

  Esther meets a mermaid.......

I Got Your Message  Gouache on pastel paper

 I raided my little boys craft supplies for some glitter glue - comes in very handy when painting tips of blue leaves and little circular flowers! The blue cap also has small 60's beads sewn here and there - higgledy piggledy  - and the fabrics for their costumes is late 50's early 60's heavy cotton.

  You can't quite see in these photos but I have incorporated a slight bit of shape into the dolls arms and legs and given them a cartoon twinkle in their eye. These dolls have not only been inspired by Esther Williams and her strong, athletic shape but the constant desire to evolve and perfect my dolly.

  One of my old Esther Williams inspired pieces from June last year....

SOLD a long time ago I'm afraid

2012 design

I love this picture. I've never been able to add this 1951 LIFE magazine to my Esther collection despite my efforts - beautiful. I shall keep searching.

  Hope everyone is having a tip top Wednesday! x

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Circus Prints in Shop!

Whimsical Circus Prints on sale 
  I have just listed a small amount of circus illustrations in my Shop. I produced these whimsy paintings back in March/April... I was hoping to create a whole bunch more but time ran away with me and I had to move on to other things. I still have lots of rough sketches though so when the mood takes me I will be putting paint to paper and creating a few more circus scenarios. Again there are limited prints in the shop today but I am aiming to produce more. Which is your favourite?
  I'm now working on a set of postcards with a working title of Cunning Disguises..........Not sure how many there are going to be yet but so far I have 4 designs completed. I have sketched all manor of costume clad portraits from sheep to bubble bees! Not all will make to final set though. Hope you like them. These are photos of my work not the final scans.

  Happy Thursday! x

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Esther Williams

  Been sketching a fair bit this weekend so I just wanted to show you my little illustration inspired by the strong, beautiful and oh so glamorous Esther Williams who died last week on June 6th.

  As a young girl in the 1980's my weekly dose of an MGM Technicolor movie brought the fabulous Ms Williams to my attention.....She will forever inspire me and my work and I'll never tire of her glittering, aquatic movie musicals. Goodbye to another legend x

Pure Joy! Esther Williams swims with Tom and Jerry in Dangerous When Wet 1953

Esther Williams August 8 1921- June 6 2013