Wednesday, 24 July 2013

"Come live with me in the sea" said she......

  And the heat goes on...(if you're in the UK)
  I have to say I've been yearning for more cooler climates, especially in this last week. Someone hit the nail on the head the other day and said its like living in a constant hot and humid Tennessee Williams play - I couldn't agree more!
  Anyway my three little mermaids are almost complete and I've made a new acrylic painting to accompany the Glynis 'Call of the Sea'  (Clark the fisherman will be coming soon too - fingers crossed)
  I wasn't sure which caption I preferred so I have prints of both.
"Come live with me in the sea"  said she  Acrylic on canvas 
My Heart is Weary for Waves  Acrylic on canvas

  Merry Mermaids......

  Again I have used craft wire in a few strands of hair to give it that wind swept, breezy look. Their tails are made with a modern fabric - but a nice one. Its 100% silk dupion and I've added vintage lace at the bottom for their fins.  I've also added various beads, twine and seaside findings into their hair for a bit of mermaid glamour. Their little corsages are vintage bits of raffia haberdashery and bikini tops are made with scraps of vintage material (the one on the right is yet to get hers though)

  I really hope you like them, I've so enjoyed making them, even in this hot weather. They're very eye-catching and would certainly cheery up a space. Finishing them off tonight with some shell and starfish bag accessories.

'Cause her hair was green as seaweed.....'

"Come live with me in the sea," said she,
"Down on the ocean floor;
And I'll show you a million wondrous things
You've never seen before."


Ann Blyth, Dora Bryan and and Glynis Johns as mermaids along with my makings.

  Lets hope the school holidays are full of fun and we have a nice mix of warm and breezy weather. I'm quite partial to a dramatic thunder storm myself and since my little boy slept through the crescendo of scary claps and bolts the other night, he's rather hoping there'll be another soon.



Thursday, 18 July 2013

Call of the Sea...

Call of the Sea  Acrylic on canvas 

  If you've been an avid follower of my blog in recent weeks you'll note a distinct amount of seaside and beach adventures afoot. Throughout these fishy capers the charming seaside maiden Glynis has been our central character. Most of the illustrations for this project have been whimsy gouache affairs but I felt the urge to paint Glynis in a heavier medium, so chose to paint her in acrylics (as well as make her into a doll with a similar pink haired pal called Tilda). Hope you like her? (I listed 3 of this print over in my shop yesterday but I'm afraid they've sold out already! I will list a few more in the coming weeks) I also have a desperate desire to spend a little more time in the company of Clark - the polo neck sweater wearing fisherman - so should the holidays bless me with any time at all, he may well be next in line for the acrylic treatment.

  Pencil and ink sketches of Glynis....

  Just a few more days now and we will be diving head long into the Summer Holidays. I'm trying to wrap up projects, do shop listings, and tidy neat little piles of unfinished characters. I can hardly believe my little man is at the end of his first year in school, I'm so proud of him. I'm also at the end of my first year working solely on Curious Pip. It's all been very exciting. I'm so happy - not to mention lucky - to be able to stay at home exploring my funny little world through making and painting. I feel like I've got the best job in the world. Its taken a lot of hard work, but I kept going because I felt there was a market for my work. Thankyou to all those who have graced their homes with a slice of Curious Pip, I really appreciate your support.

  There may be a few less posts during the summer as I will have less work to share, but rest assured I wont be switching off completely (not possible anyway!). I still have a few illustrations and paintings in my head for the seaside collection, look out for those over the next few weeks as well as keeping an eye on my shop for the prints.

  Obviously you can't have a seaside collection without mermaids, so after finishing a pink haired mermaiden illustration (see previous post) I set to work on bringing her to life! I have fashioned her hair in the same way as I did the Glynis dolls... adding wire to her locks to make it look like its blowing the wind. I'm also going to give her some bracelets, trinkets, more shells, pearls and sparkle....isn't she just peachy!


"So over I jumped and she pulled me down,
  Down to her seaweed bed
A pillow made of tortoise-shell
  She placed beneath my head
She fed me shrimp and caviar
  Upon a silver dish
From her head to her waist was just to my taste
  But the rest of her was a fish"
Verse from an old Sea Shanty

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Shell Headdresses, Sea Serpents and Mermaids.....

 Glynis and her pink haired pal have been beach combing......
  My little corner of the net has been a delightful beach affair of late, with this seriously hot weather it's so well suited to all my current dollies and pictures.
Shells, pearls, twine and bits of dried seaweed (from Lyme Regis 2 years ago - Its amazing the things I have knocking about!)

Think I'll call this doll Tilda. She has a slightly more Victorian style costume

'Pardon me but I've not met a sea serpent before' Gouache on pastel paper

Here's my mermaid from pencil drawing to completed illustration below. I like working in gouache but I do sometimes use both gouache and watercolour paint together.

  You will see I have slightly changed the position of the arm for the final illustration - oh the beauty of photoshop!

 There's a lot of talk about mermaids ...Gouache and watercolour on pastel paper

  I took huge inspiration from Ann Blyth as Lenore in 'Mr Peabody and the Mermaid' 1948 for my pink haired siren. I just love Ann Blyth's cute little fringe!

    Hope you all have a glorious weekend x

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

More Seaside Follies.....

  Phew its hot!! I'm finding it a little hard to get going this week so I'm blaming it on the weather. Really hoping to make some headway as we skip on through the week though as I have so many unfinished pieces lying around and I'm desperate to add their finishing touches and list them in my shop.
   Myself, husband and little boy headed off to Tenby last Thursday evening for a very sunny, seaside weekend. Sampling the seaside smells, eating fresh fish, collecting sea shells and building sandcastles has provided me with plenty more inspiration for the 'seaside adventures' illustration project.
  An adventure indeed......
Underwater Follies Gouache on pastel paper
  Little details.....

  The last time we were in Tenby was October 2012 which was an Autumnal/Halloween holiday. The soaring temperatures this last week certainly gave Tenby a very different feel to our last visit.
  As part of our long weekend we went on a boat trip to the beautiful island of Skomer just off the coast of Pembrokeshire. It's so full of fantastic wildlife and this time of year it's home to hundreds and hundreds of puffins (the most characteristic of all the sea birds in my mind) We count ourselves lucky to have gone on this little adventure as the trips get very booked up - Such a treat!
  I love this next photo taken by my husband, It seems to capture a funny little human quality - that maybe only I can see?  
   Talking of little characters.... Isn't it funny how someone you've created on paper suddenly leaps up from the page and jumps straight into your suitcase - I just had to take Glynis along for a beach backdrop photo.
This is taken on the window ledge of our holiday flat


  Gorgeous inspiration......

So many beautiful images. top left: vintage photo with starfish, The Sea Fairies by L Frank Baum, Glynis, bottom left: Nursery Playmates illustrated by Agnes Richardson, old Rupert annual, vintage mermaid illustration.

  Also I just had to share this short Disney film from 1938. I used to watch lots of  Disney Silly Symphonies with my little boy when he was about two. This one was his favourite (mine too)

  Silly Symphonies - Merbabies

I'm going to add a few shells in her hair maybe...

Drawing pictures in the sand...
  Lets hope our lovely weather continues. I'm not much of a sunbather (unfortunately I don't have the colouring to turn into a honey golden goddess) I'm afraid I'm rather pink - and burn very quickly. I do like working in the garden though I have to say - providing I'm sat in the shade and am covered in SPF 50!
  Much love xx

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Glynis and her Seaside Adventures.....

  At the moment I'm really enjoying illustrating seaside scenes and making the most of creating pretty heroines, caddish fishermen, talking seagulls and friendly sea serpents. I couldn't help but make my central character - I'm calling her Glynis - into a hold in your hand, pop on the shelf figurine.

  She wears quite a simple ensemble in her striped swim suit, but I've worked on making her hair all beachy and wind swept by adding thin wire into her golden locks. By doing this her hair stays upright and gives the impression its caught up in the wind. It took me a while to get it how I wanted it but I'm really happy with the way its turned out.

'Hello'  Gouache and pencil crayon on pastel paper

I may rework this sketch so she's part of a bigger picture but unsure yet

I love shells and have quite a few knocking about my house. The perfect prop for wind swept Glynis.

  Since I've been such a 'beach and underwater adventurer' lately I just have to share with you this next beautiful discovery. I love vintage children's books and I'm pretty proud of my collection but I'm mighty miffed at how this gem ever escaped my radar...until now...
'Priscilla and the Prawn' by Bryan Guinness and illustrated so beautifully by Roland Pym. The tale was first published in 1960 and is the story of an upper class lassie and her underwater seaside adventures. I'm on the look out now to purchase this treasure - my book shelves will be all the better for it.
  These illustrations are just heavenly. I love the colour palette, 50's illustration style and Edwardian theme..

  I love this one..It seems travelling by shell and seahorse is a rather lovely way to travel!


  Other little bits of inspiration....

Pink haired Pip, 50's boat print, handsome fisherman, vintage shell headdress and accessories, Glynis Johns as the Cornish mermaid in 'Miranda' 1948, a Norah Wellings vintage sailor doll, beautiful seahorse and a scan from one of my old children's books

  I got so excited about the wind swept hair I decided to make Glynis a pink haired pal!

  And I also made a start on another illustration...(this is a photo so not too clear and obviously unfinished)

'Forgive me but I've never met a Sea Serpent before!'

My desk