Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas Time is Hare Again!

I apologise for the terrible pun, but I'm feeling in a Christmassy mood and have painted a few little canvas's. My brother gave me a pack of tiny A6 canvas boards for my birthday earlier this year - and at first I didn't quite know what to do with them...A6 is really, very, tiny! My preferred medium is acrylic - it just so happened that I had bought quite a lot of it and oil pastels, and both don't really translate to...tiny! So I kept the canvas's for a time when inspiration struck.

Hare running in the snow - December 2013. Acrylic paint on A6 canvas board

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Drawing on the Magnificient

I started my blog earlier this year with the intention of regular entries showcasing some of my artworks with some personal musings - however, I do realise there's been somewhat of an hiatus. In early spring, a friend asked whether I could illustrate a children's book that she had written - she explained her intention with the book, and naively, having never illustrated a book before, I said yes. Without previous experience, both of us really didn't understand the magnitude of the undertaking at the time - literally it has taken us all summer...and autumn!

Magnificent Me, Magnificent You - The Grand Canyon
A Children's Activity book. Front Cover.
Click on the images for larger versions.

She initially saw my drawings/paintings and liked the way I worked and felt we would make a great team for her ideas. I work from the heart and explore love and light, and her ethos is to support children both physically and spiritually. She focuses on well-being through yoga - not just bendy stretches, but healthy mind, body and spirit. I always feel that any focus on health through any tradition has to be good thing, but because of my beliefs, we agreed that there would not be a religious aspect to what we did.

Illustration for The Grand Canyon children's book

I instantly loved her book's storyline, ethos and idea. The story focus's on twins Crystal and Leo who have a wishing mirror that transports them to a new place and follows their journey of discovery, not only of themselves, but of the world around them.  They learn about spiritual traditions from different cultures and discover how to bring these practices into their everyday lives.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Artists, Exhibitions and Inspirations

So, yes, I realise that there's been a bit of a hiatus between my last entry and this. So I best get on with things then...

I've been checking out other artists and open exhibitions within the locale as I'm interested to see the type of work that's out there and how my art compares. Today I visited the Herts Visual Arts (HVA) Summer Exhibition which is held in Harpenden, a very pleasant leafy Hertfordshire town in England, UK. So not only did I have the opportunity to peruse art and chat to artists - I also enjoyed lovely afternoon which absolutely required a visit to one of the charming pubs in the area!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Of Tides and Currents

The weather in England is so changeable, that's why us Brits are forever discussing the weather as a topic of conversation - it becomes part of who we are - forever ingrained in our cells. I visited Pembrokeshire in Wales, UK recently, and true to form the weather changed day to day and unfortunately for me, not for the better.

The sea at Pembrokeshire, Wales - painting
The Wave © Angela Cutler 2012
Pembrokeshire is a lovely part of Wales - mostly quite rural with small towns and some picture postcard seaside towns like Tenby. However, the draw for me is St. David's on the farthest south-western point jutting out from the peninsula. St. David's, the place, is so called due one of the holiest men of Wales and their patron saint, born at about 500AD. An historic cathedral was built in his name and in its time was one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Christendom. That all has past, but the cathedral still stands and attracts a host of tourists from around the world. A little further out, off the beaten track, if you care to explore is the supposed spot that he was born and raised - a small chapel sits here named after David's mother, St. Non, as well as a sacred spring whose water's are said to heal the sick.

St. David's, Pembrokeshire © Tony Crook
Even after all the centuries have passed, here you still feel the past pushing against the present; fervent Christianity has waned here, belief in saints and healing water are now no more than curiosities. However, the area is so steeped in its history that you can still feel this exude from the granite it sits on. When I visited, the weather closed in, the sky turned grey, a stern breeze blew and it rained and rained. Far from putting a dampener on my holiday the weather somehow lent an ethereal feel to the place - the light was not just grey, there was a shifting of subtle hues which gave rise to a mood that almost made you feel time could shift easily and magically from the present to the past. There was nothing else to do with my time here except explore and when the weather further closed in, sit quietly and allow the atmosphere to soak in. It's little wonder this area draws so many artists to live in or paint the place. As I sat on the headland being somewhat battered by the weather, I could not help but feel imbued with the history and rugged beauty surrounding me.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side

I am the Flame - Lion/Jesus inspirational drawing
I am the flame. © Angela Cutler 2013

I have always had a connection with nature. As a kid I would be fascinated by whatever I could find in my garden - what we as adults find ordinary, was extraordinary to me then. I even remember as a toddler sitting watching ants industriously scurry by, I'd watch spiders spin webs and wrap up flies, I'd try and find caterpillars, so that I could put them in a jam jar and watch them turn into hard, crusty crysalis's; then transform into butterflies...mostly 'cabbage whites' as I recall. I was just amazed by the enormous variety of life and lifeforms, of colour, of everything living. I have two older brothers who brought home a plethora of unusual pets - grass snakes, toads, lizards, stick insects. As I grew older, I'd watch and feed the garden birds and then later, we did have some more usual pets - a goldfish from a fair, a mouse saved from a zoological supplies shop, gerbils and fancy rats; we never had a dog or cat. I would also watch all the David Attenborough nature programmes on TV, read natural history books too and my favorite place to visit was the zoo - I got to be pretty knowledgeable about the flora and fauna around me. Much later, I almost read Ecology at University rather than Art. Almost.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Glastonbury - A Kind of Magic

Out from the Darkness - Badger Glastonbury drawing
© Angela Cutler. Out from the darkness, May 2013 
Anyone who has visited Glastonbury, UK, knows it's a spiritual mecca for an eclectic mix of everyone for many centuries. The history of the area goes far back in time to prehistory and myth. There are links to King Arthur who is said to be buried in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey which is now remains in ruins - how true that is I don't know, but it's always been good for the tourist trade. Other myths say that Joseph of Arimathea visited the Isle of Avalon (Glastonbury) and stuck his staff into the ground so that every year an unusual thorn bush blooms out of season. There's long been a reverence to female Goddess power linking it to the landscape and two famous springs adjacent to each other flow with red iron infused water and the other with fresh clear mineral water.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Zen Inspired Logo

So I hope you have noticed the header for my blog with its new logo for Soul's HeART. What else could I design except a zen-inspired circle. The circle is such a universal symbol of life, of the Universe, of wholeness, unity and of something without beginning or end. I try and paint from a place of feeling hence the heart, so I blended the two together to create my new logo.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Kimpton Art Fair and is Art Fair?

The art fair had some notable local and regional artists and some of the pieces were very obviously professional artists and their reputation well deserved. Other art pieces were by keen and enthusiastic amateurs and it's good to see that they supported the local community and weren't put off by thinking their art was not deserving enough to be there.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

So I've started...

So Blogging is one of those activities and social media things I said I would never do...well, what's the point I thought. What do I have to say? Well, I don't know is the answer. But as a developing artist and illustrator, I do want to share with you what I'm doing, what I'm working on, my pictures with you, my interests and maybe a few art and design tips. So...we will see what develops over time. Watch this space as they say! And yes, that's me Angela Cutler, below. Why am I standing in a graveyard?