It all about that beige

I am usually a colour junky. My own personal style is a maximalist bohemian. But there is something very nice, cosy and calming about completely beige decor. Also because it is not something I would use in my own home, I love that other people do.

The warmth from ambient lighting, earthy terracotta and dark wood captures my eye. This is a series of photos I took in Luang Prabang, Laos and Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

Enjoy this little bit of beige love.

 

 

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Lost In A Story

I was blessed to live a childhood filled with real exploring, sailing and abundant storytelling.

This digital illustration is based on a sketch of mine. It is inspired by both real and imaginary adventures and treasure maps.

It is about the simple joy of being lost in a book; immersed in a storybook world created by words and imagination. 

This sketch has been sailing around my studio for months now. It was time to turn it into a full colour graphic illustrated print. It is blue, teal and sleepy.

 

You can find this design in my ETSY store.

I admire the patience and commitment of my parents, to read so many books out loud to me, in front of the open fire on the couch. While the particular details of the stories have faded, I still cherish the fiery spirit of adventure of the young at heart.

Dwell On Lovely Things

This was a quick sketch I did one night while lying in bed. 

It is about those moments when negativity starts to descend like a thick cloud, hindering sleep.

Instead of letting those thoughts grow, choose to dwell on lovely things.

 


This digital illustration is about the power of positive thinking to ensure pleasant dreams. Choose to to surround yourself with the things you love and focus only on good thoughts, let the others drift on by. For me a happy place is a field of sunflowers.

 

I like the skewed flat perspective of this design and a peaceful but happy colour palette. This design is available in my ETSY store as an Extra Large poster.

The First Swim Of Summer

Summer is fleeting in the far south of the equator. There is tell tale signs that the much anticipated warmer days are about to start. Usually the wait feels long. Then comes the blue skies, the scent of summer wildflowers in the dunes and slightly longer days. The wait is over and I am ready to take the plunge.

 

The water is still cold. Not icy but cold enough for only a quick dip. Skin feels warm after. Salty exuberance takes over. This moment is bliss. This is the very start of many more beach days to come.

I created this series of 5 square designs, capturing the elation of early summer beach days.

The colours match with the palette of my Seafoam collection.  I drew these about the same time. I don’t usually create square artwork. I had to adjust my usual visual proportions.

Each design can be printed as large as 30 inches in high resolution. Personally I think these would look very cute printed as small square mini prints, resting in a neat cut wood block. Something to glance at on the shelf as you grab the car keys or daydream in the office.

Mirror Selfies

This is me playing around with digital collage selfie portraits. First I start with a simple lead pencil sketch. Then digitally I use a mix of vintage textile scans and graphic illustration on my tablet to create a surreal collage drawing.

These are not self portraits but are inspired by the plethora of mirror selfies photos on the online shopping platform Depop. Many of the sellers on Depop are small users, posing in their bedrooms to sell their vintage and funky secondhand clothes and accessories. There is no shortage of mirror selfies to study with endless scroll.

I am fascinated with how social media and mobile phone behaviour is changing our society. In these portraits, the face is obscured by the phone, giving a thin veil of facial anonymity. I like this pose, as to me it also symbolises the take over of phones in our life and the erosion of face to face connection. It is of course also an effective way to photograph yourself wearing clothes, when you are both the model and photographer.

I particularly like playing around with digital collage using floral and tribal batik and ikat prints. The antique tapestries I use, are high resolution scans of real cloth from the 16th to 19th century, sourced from across the globe. Most of my batik prints come from Indonesia and are well over 100 – 200 years old. The florals are French and English cotton block prints. European flowers and earthy natural wax designs together give a gorgeous blend of wild femininity.

 

 

Part of my bread and butter income as an artist, comes from selling printable art on ETSY. I have an extensive collection of vintage textile patterns that I have digitally restored. I like to leave some of the age markings to preserve the character of these glorious old pieces of fabric. It takes time to edit cloth fragments to create a usable artwork. In the process I fall in love with the intricacies of each textile. I usually know before I even start the pencil drawing, what tapestry I plan to use in the collage.

In the real world and digitally, I am a collector of fabric, particularly cloth made with traditional heirloom techniques and delicate embroidery. Over the years my love for fabric moved from the sewing and homewares space to incorporation into my arts practice. Digital collages are a way for me to indulge in my textile love and the maximalist aesthetic without physically hoarding more than I already do.

There is 3 mirror selfies in this set, created as a 16 x 16 inch square artwork. I have listed these on my ETSY store here. These would make a good addition to a gallery wall with a jungle floral boho vibe or used as a digital avatar.

So which mirror selfie girl resonates with you the most?

Whimsy and Delight

Digging back through my sketchbook, I found a couple of early pencil drawings of mine.

In a playful mood this week and harbouring a desire to tie up loose ends in my quest to be organised, I turned these two drawing into digital artworks.


I left them largely how I drew the original sketch, choosing to keep the simplicity. I love colour but for practicing pen and pencil drawing I am forcing myself to use only a lead pencil. Adding the colour to each design is the best part of creating the digital piece.


I am reading “No More Starving Artist” by John Paul Fischbach at the moment. In this book he says that artists create emotion. Emotion is both the benefit we provide to people and the need in the market we satisfy.

 

I am trying to figure out exactly what emotion I provide. This will help me connect better with my customers and grow as an artist. I tend to just create what flows within me, so working backwards to find the need is not intuitive to me at all.

I have always loved textiles and flowers. 

Looking at these two new designs, I like to think there is an emotion of childhood nostalgia, innocence and curiosity. Flowers I think provide contentment, delight, gratitude, positivity, purity and love. 

I particularly seem to gravitate towards the 60s and 70s depiction of florals. They beam fun, happiness, groove and style. The mustard yellow design is inspired by an original retro tablecloth. 

These drawings don't belong to any specific collection of mine, although the colour palette is similar to my Sea Foam series. If you do fancy a bit of floral whimsy and delight on your wall, I have listed both artwork designs on my ETSY store

This is also my new blog. Hello. 

I expect to be visiting here weekly to share a glimpse into the world behind Unratio.