Feed me!

Teasle

I posted this photo on Facebook last week and someone wrote ‘Feed me Seymour!’

I guess it does look a bit like the plant in the film ‘Little Shop of Horrors’! It’s strange how life imitates art, or vice versa. Photo of teasel, taken outside the forge at Etruria Industrial Museum on the Trent and Mersey canal in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.

Cat plant support

I bought this beautiful cat plant support today from my friend that runs #Sculptedsteel (on Instagram). I already have a larger cat sculpture from her but I think this is really elegant especially with the curl at the end of its tail. It’s about a meter tall and ideal for a climbing plant to support it as it grows. I will find something to train up it.

Art for sale

I have four new paintings up for sale at Etruria Industrial Museum cafe. This is Etruria, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. This Saturday and Sunday there is a steaming weekend at the Flint mill when the Steam engine that was used to provide power to grind bone and flint to be added to clay to make fine bone china. Come along and see the working steam engine and maybe stop for a cup of tea in the café if you happen to be near Stoke on Trent.

Industrial Museum

Final work in progress for tomorrow. Its a painting of Jessie Shirleys Bone and flint Mill at Etruria Industrial Museum. Using a similar technique to the other three. I have been working hard on them all.

I sometimes get painting fits where I paint for days. This is one of them. I have an idea in my mind and I want to explore it. I also think it’s the influence of my illustration course I just finished. I have realised I can experiment and come up with more ideas when I’m painting.

On the easle today

Another in the textured landscapes series I’m creating. After getting the first painting accepted into the three counties open exhibition in Burslem School of art, I now have the opportunity to put some paintings up for sale at the Etruria Industrial Museum cafe. I decided to try and use a similar style to create colourful and striking landscapes. I’m using a different size of pattern, smaller than the Waterfall painting and more intricate. I want to evoke wild flowers in a summer landscape with Westport Lake in the distance.

Hand cranked music

Using a handle, the owner of this small but pretty organ was playing at the Etruria Canal festival today. The birds on to of the organ sang and whistled too. They could work independently of the organ and it was good to hear their beautiful sound.

I think the mechanism must drive bellows that sends air down the different pipes of the organ. I didn’t look at the mechanism but it probably runs on cardboard/wood slats with holes and slots cut into them to hold the organ stops open for different lengths of time in order to play music. Presumably the music changes speed depending on how fast the handle is spun round.

People

One thing that was missing from my drawings today were people. And the museum area and festival were crowded. I tried to rectify this by drawing a woman in front of the steam roller and a couple walking hand in hand away from me towards the forge that is on site. The blacksmith there, Charis Jones, runs a business called Sculpted Steel. I am sorry I didn’t get to see her but I spent most of my time drawing as you can see!

It was probably the biggest gathering of people I have seen for months. I wasn’t quite as nervous today, but my heart was still in my mouth!

Urban sketching

Rooves, around the back of the Etruria Industrial Museum today. Drawn with felt pens. Took about an hour as I was trying to get the red and green moss that was growing on them. The corrugated iron or other metal was hard to capture. I tried hard to get the shading right in the bright sunshine. This was done with Stoke Urban Sketchers who met up for the day at the Industrial Museum site.

Art for sale

Some of my prints and necklaces for sale at Etruria Industrial Museum today inside the cafe. I really like the way they have been displayed. One thing about being an artist is the gamble that people will like your work enough to enjoy it and even buy it. The trouble is that I paint things that ‘speak’ to me. If I try and paint something I think people will like I don’t get the feeling out of it and it doesn’t seem to work. Do all artists feel that way. In the same way I don’t like doing the same or similar thing over and over. I get bored. Probably too easily. I just have to create…..