Decorating pottery

For years I have drawn a little cat in a hat, useful if you want to talk to someone and they have a fidgety child. I would ask if they would like me to draw them a cat, and then draw this motif, with a pointy hat, and a name tag on its collar so the child could choose the cats name.

I also like decorating pottery so took the opportunity to do so at Trentham Retail village. This is on the A34 near Trentham village, a couple of miles South of Stoke-on-Trent, near the Stoke South junction of the M6 motorway.

There is a shop there selling pottery called the Potters Barn. They have glazes and blank pottery so you can decorate pots yourself. I know it’s usually for children, but I don’t see why adults can’t do it too.

Anyway I painted two cats, so you will see one or the other depending on which hand you hold the mug in. There are various things to paint so I chose a large mug. It cost me £15, but when you think that’s including the firing of the mug, it’s no too bad.

The final result should be bright and cheerful. I added numerous flowers in the background and dots on the rim. I should get it back I a couple of weeks.

Angel

Sometimes I can be a bit soft hearted, soppy, I can’t think of the word to explain it. As I was drawing in Artrage oils this little drawing popped out of the screen do I decided to try and write a poem.

Sorry if its not hard hitting or current …maybe its a bit too like a hymn…

Angel flying so high,

You touch the sky…

Angel give me peace,

Sleep as release..

Angel sing sweet songs of love,

Give us comfort from above,

Angel glowing rainbow bright,

You are such a mystic sight.

Angel share with us your grace ,

Show the beauty of your face.

Angel please  do hear my prayer.

Keep me safe and free from fear.

 

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Paint

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Paint is a wonderful thing,  a riot of colours, a rainbow of tones.

Acrylic for ease of colour use, oil paint for staying damp to ease blending. Water colours for transparency and simplicity, Gouache for more opaque colours over watercolour. The types of paint are fascinating. Each has its own method and technique. Even paints such as emulsion and gloss can be used in Art, and of course spray cans are used for graffiti.

From millennia ago humans have made marks, on cave walls, on rocks, papyrus and paper. Canvas and screens. The need to make pictures seems to have been with us almost from the cradle. Children learn to draw at an early age. Scribbling, then with improved hand eye coordination comes drawing, painting, even writing. For what is language, it is an abstract representation of what was once pictograms. Egyptian hieroglyphics show the link between art and language.

Paint and art invade our society. Art and colour are used to design every day objects. Architecture is a form of art. We need artists and painters in our visual society. Art is there in video games, special effects, what colour your clothes or car will be next season. What palette you decide to use to decorate weddings and birthdays. The list is almost endless….

 

Last year

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Last year the garden was lovely, full of flowers. This ceramic head I made 20 years or so ago was full of nasturtiums and lobelia. It sits on the wall by the back door, its glazed in st Nicholas glaze if I remember rightly. Greeny grey in colour. It was hand built with a flat back and I used wet hand towels to support the face while it was drying out ready for firing.

The space inside it is not very big, so plants that can survive drought conditions are best planted in it.

We are getting our hanging baskets this week and I will try and plant some pots up with begonias, pelagoniums, bizzie lizzies and fuschias to cheer the walls around them up.

I would like to do some more pottery heads, maybe green men masks to make the yard more interesting.

Meanwhile in the main garden the trees are getting out of control. We had some work done earlier in the year but the remaining trees and shrubs have gone rampant because they now have more light.

Still if it works and we get more birds like a chaffinch and a couple of robins, plus nesting blue tits who’s chicks have now fledged , I guess I don’t mind too much!

Purple Heart

I drew a purple heart to follow my colour theme, then realised its a symbol of being wounded in America?

This is not my meaning, I also added extra hearts, which remind me of the flower dicentra spectabile …if that’s what its called?

I love the colour. When I was young I wanted a bike, but because my parents could not afford it they got me a car race track instead  (to be honest I think it was more for my dad?) Anyway there was a gorgeous model of a purple sports car with it, all shiney purple. I had not seen that colour before, having black and white tv, and only cheap felt pens to colour with. I remember some of the other cars to, a turquoise blue estate car and a green Capri type….

I would have liked the sports car when I started to drive, but I ended up with my mom’s old car ( she told me watch out the brakes are a bit worn) which I promptly crashed into a low stone wall on our first trip out in the countryside…but it was because I had to avoid a car driven at about 40 miles an hour which was oncoming from round a corner on a narrow road. It was either a head on collusion, or dodge. I dodged and ended up knocking my engine back about 6 inches. But, we were OK. The car was a write off… the other car disappeared without stopping.

Moral, don’t drive down country lanes when you have only just passed your test!

Green

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Green is the colour of air and growth, oxygen and life.

Without Green we have no breath. Our lungs are starved of 21 percent.

Photosynthesis brings life, gas, food, and clean water. Blue needs Green to make turquoise pools and seas.

The leaves of trees that clean pollution, algae that feed the oceans. Green is life, on hills and valleys, boughs that leap up to the sky.

Green if lost is death to Earth. Green men, green women, green children, without green we are gone. Without it we cannot exist. Hold green tight and keep it safe. or desert will replace us all.

I think this is a bit jumbled up. I dont know whether to use blank verse. I am a bit out if my depth but I want to try. X

Companion Cats

I have had cats for most of my life…

Small ones, big ones, cheeky ones, timid ones…

Inevitably they get into my photos, drawings and paintings..you have probably seen a few of them over the months I have been here. Some I paint from life, as pet portraits, but these are a little looser, cat shaped and friendly. I try and capture their spirit and character as well as their likeness in these pictures.

The photo of my mad male cat, sticking his head up behind the easel amuses me. I didn’t realise he was there till he popped up and looked at me. I took a photo as I may do a painting of him…..

So what next? I hope I get a few commissions as I do like painting animals. We are holding an open studio on 20 May 2018. There will be workshops, an exhibition, stalls and open studios….maybe that will result in some work to do…