Friday 28 November 2014

New species of moth released on the world

At last I've photographed these little cava moths so I can release them to the world.
You'd think that someone who liked pure wool wouldn't be that into moths, but I like the little fellas, no really!
These extra special ones - Lepidoptera Cavacus - are a new species found in Spain, especially during the summer months, as the label says. 
I made them from upcycled sardine cans, cava corks, cork toppers, fabric, wire and beads.
They're available to order here in my Laura Davies Art Etsy shop 

Sunday 16 November 2014

Long Hot Summer

Hi peeps, well, what a long hot summer we had in southern Spain? Thank goodness things have started cooling down a bit, my head was frying!

I think I may have fallen into a bit of summer madness and my 'art' took a back seat whilst my knitting took over. 

All you knitters out there will not be surprised at how it can become all-consuming. I mean there's the soft and squishy wool, the colours, the patterns and then, the most important part, the knitting. But in that heat I hear you cry? Strangely yes, when many of my knitty friends were laying down their needles and hot footing it to the beach, I hid myself in the cool of indoors and clickety-clacked away.

I'll be blogging about this a bit more over the next few weeks now my head has cooled. But for now suffice to say hi and welcome to my new persona as KnitaFrolic. I even opened a shop on Etsy under that name, take a look if you like unique hand made accessories.

And here's a taster of what this knitting nut was doing all summer...

Tuesday 29 April 2014

A unique voice

Since moving to Spain and changing from Graphic Design, where you meet the needs of a client/brief, to Fine Art, where you answer your own 'brief' it's been a steep learning curve for me.
Identifying what I'm good at and also what I'm trying to achieve/say through my art is still an ongoing process. It's very hard to shake that external client/brief training!
One thing I have found is that I have to release my trained instinct to create art that I think will have wide appeal, and go with what moves me.
For the last 7 years we've been building an earthship, an eco friendly home that we're eager to move into. We're at the final stages of the build - doing the wall and floor finishes - and it's here that I think I'm beginning to find my passion. In using the natural materials, from the quartz rock that is abundant on our land, to the mud, I've found that this love of creating beauty from natural, local elements is where a part of my passion lies.
I guess it's been with me for a while I just haven't found a way to incorporate it into the more classical media of art. I still love drawing. I also love fibre crafts such as knitting and sewing. So how to incorporate all these things into one cohesive style. My one true voice that I will be happy to explore for years to come?
Well, I'm working on it as you can see from the pics below.
Over the years I've collected hundreds of bits and pieces, from rusting metal, to old wood doors, to feathers, lace, fabrics, wools, all sorts of things that are filling up my studio and other areas of my home.
Maybe this year I will finally find a way to turn all these elements (or at least some!) into pieces of art that reflect my one true voice?

The above images show collages onto agave wood using prints of my own images and other elements, both natural, such as the inside of a chumbo leaf, and manmade, such as the lace.

This image shows print experiments onto wood and fabric. Not sure how they will progress, but it's all part of the process, the not knowing!

Thursday 20 March 2014

Copper Moon Kittens

Inspired by a few other Instagram artists I had a go at using copper metallic paint. As you probably already know if you've been to my web site cats are my fav animal, so they are the main subject for this painting which has a slight fantasy edge to it.
I started with a pencil sketch which I then worked into using charcoal and pastels. Then came the fun part with the metallic paint.  Would like to loosen the style up a bit so on the next one I may use watercolour or acrylic splashes. May also focus on the cats faces to simplify the composition.

Friday 7 March 2014

Street Art by Louis Masai Michel

I found this street artist via his Instagram account and was blown away by his beautiful work. I love the way he creates beauty which has an important environmental message behind it.

My favourites are his hummingbird and bee paintings -

Check out his web site to see more

Sunday 2 March 2014

Little feather

Found this lovely little feather ages ago and decided to do a watercolour painting of it. 

First I laid down some general washes with a Chinese brush to create the different areas of colour. Then I started to work into them with the same brush, then a 00 brush. I love doing these little still life paintings, it's very therapeutic!

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Almond Blossom Studies

February is the month of the almond blossom, and I LOVE IT! I get endless pleasure just looking out of my window at the fabulous scenes, and going for a walk is a heady pleasure for the nose!
But how do I capture these feelings in my paintings? Well, in the past I've tried to do representational paintings, which I like but as this is the year of the words SOUL and LOOSEN, see the Choose One Word post of Jan 14th 2014, I decided to experiment a little. I've been trying out pencil gesture drawings, inks and watercolour using a chinese brush and a straw. Here's a few of the results...

This was my first experiment done using Rotring acrylic inks for the blossom, a Rowney sepia waterproof drawing ink for the trunk and a straw onto 180gsm acid free Crimson & Blake 5" x 7" watercolour paper. I'm still sewing sequins and beads into the blossom area.

Next was this. Onto the same paper but using Windsor & Newton watercolours and a straw. The colour has a lot more depth and is brighter. Also, the watercolour allowed me to work into the trunk by lifting out light areas and darkening shadows.

Then came this little one, only 5cm wide. Done on smooth bright white card, I started with a pencil gesture drawing from life which I then loosely painted into with a chinese brush loaded with W&N watercolours. The trunk was done first and allowed to dry. Then I quickly applied blobs of runny watercolour on the blossom area and turned the paper as I blew through a straw to get the spikey haircut effect! I then worked into the trunk with a darker wash and lifting out areas to create the lights and darks. Another layer of thicker magenta was loosely applied to the blossom area to give it more form.

Lastly was this done on A4 smooth bright white 110gsm paper. I started again with a gesture drawing done from a photo I took of a tree. I worked across the trunk and branches with round strokes using a 7B pencil. I then applied a watercolour wash and let it dry. Once dry I flicked blobs of watercolour roughly where I wanted the blossom to be and blew randomly with a straw in all directions. I like this effect the most, but the paper is way too thin for this type of very wet work. 

I'm now going to be looking for a smooth bright white heavyweight watercolour paper to continue with these experiments.

Monday 10 February 2014

Valentine's Day - say it with flowers

February is the month of love and no flower says love like roses. These rose painting canvas prints would make a special Valentines Day gift which would last for years. They're available on Zazzle along with lots of other products featuring these paintings, from postcards to coasters to throw pillows. All the products can be personalized too, so you can add your own personal message, names or even photos. Take a look at my Zazzle store here.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Mixed Media Studies

These are a couple of mixed media studies I did last week. Both are done from life using Derwent graphite watercolour pencils, a dark wash pencil, watercolour and acrylic.
The paper I used for the antique teaspoon is handmade with bits'n'pieces in it. It's quite lightweight so I was surprised at how well it held up to water.
A close up view of the antique teaspoon

The seed head was done on heavy weight watercolour paper.
I also did a study of two antique dessertspoons in NPtR on my ipad mini. Did I mention that Dave's brother, John - writer of the App NPtR - gave me his ipad mini when he was visiting a couple of weeks ago? Yes! An ipad mini! Now I won't have to sneak Dave's away from him when he's not looking.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

3D resin art

I've just discovered Riusuke Fukahori's 3D resin goldfish paintings. They're AMAZING!
Apart from the inspired and laborious technique involved in creating a piece, what I love the most is his delicacy of touch when creating these artworks. I can see these being copied by mass market suppliers, but I don't think they will be able to capture Fukahori's artistic interpretation of the subject.
These are my favourites;

Photos courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Free 2014 Calendars

I made these calendars earlier using a couple of paintings I did in the NPtR App on Dave's ipad mini. It's running the most up to date version which has taken me a bit of getting used to with it's new menu layout, but with the extra features it provides is well worth it. My only problem is prising the ipad mini out of Dave's hands!

So, for Tizzy Roses I imported one of the photos I took in october of a bunch of roses from our garden. Here in Spain we have a second spring where all the roses come back with a flourish after the hot summer. Anyway, once in NPtR using the skull brush I swipped across the screen quickly to get large and expressive strokes then I started working into the roses with slower strokes and a two finger swipe. This allowed me to pick up a lot of detail. Once I was happy with this background I imported a photo of Tizzy, our youngest cat, and used the slow, two finger swipe method to pick up her face, concentrating on the eyes and nose areas. Y voila!

I used the same method for the "Dark Angel" painting except I used a combination of the chinese character and the single dot brushes, plus there was a third photo of a wing.

Even if this App wasn't designed and written by Dave's brother I would still love it. It's a fast and fun way to create paintings using your own photography. I take a lot of photos as reference for my art but sometimes it's nice to play with the actual photos making them into paintings in their own right. Give it a go here.

The calendar part of the calendar came from where you can make your own customized calendars - brilliant!

My calendars come as jpgs and can be printed onto A4 paper or card then trimmed to size. They show the moon phases and national holidays for the uk (Tizzy Roses) or Spain/Andalucia (Dark Angel).

If you'd like one for FREE click here to email me (tell me which one you want in the message area), you will automatically be subscribed to my newsletter and I'll email you the jpg.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

My first design job for 2014

A very dear friend is celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary this year with a blessing, renewal of vows and party afterwards. She asked me to look at an invitation for the event.
The pictures show the design featuring one of my favourite artists - Gustav Klimt. His The Kiss is such a beautiful painting and so, erm, Golden, it's perfect!
Josephine will print the invitation double sided onto A4 to be folded into an A5 card. The patterned panels are made up of a couple of dress sections from The Kiss pasted together in Photoshop, I used the rubber tool to soften the edges of the join. The hearts are also made in Photoshop using the lasso tool to create the heart shape which a section of The Kiss was pasted into - they look a bit like butterflies to me.
Josephine asked for the very beautiful poem by Kahlil Gibran "On Marriage" to be included if there was room. It fits perfectly on the back with the full image of Gustav Klimt's The Kiss which finishes this Golden Wedding Invitation card off very nicely I think. The only other thing I did was tweak some of the photos in Photoshop to improve quality, a little bit of tonal balance fiddling and taking out dust and scratches.
As a thank you Josephine is giving me some of her home grown, organic and very delicious olive oil - yum!

Party Invitations available on Zazzle

The job above was done for a friend and is specially designed for her. But I do have a range of invitations for weddings, engagements, anniversaries, birthdays and general parties featuring my own artworks. These can be customized to suit your own requirements and even have a selection of custom postage for America. The wedding invitations generally have a full range of wedding stationery available as well, from save the date postcards to table plans. Check out my Zazzle store.

Choose one word...

So, another year begins and I've been reviewing my art and deciding what I'm going to develop this year. After reading a refreshing article on New Years Resolutions and how yet more lists are just so complicating to life, it suggested choosing just one word to describe what your aims are for the year. At first I thought that one word couldn't do it, but now I've chosen my word I realise how elegantly simple it is. No lists, no pressure, I just remind myself of my word whenever I start to lose direction. So, what's my word? Soul.

But anyone who knows me, knows that I couldn't just choose one word. Not that I like to complicate my life or anyfink (ha, ha). It's just that another word would be good for back-up, call it a way to expand on my first word. So, my back-up word? Loosen.
I'm going to apply these words to all areas of my art and life and see what happens!