Gosh, time is flying by, and it’s been a while since I posted. Summer is passing, and yesterday I smelt the first odour of Autumn waft past – faint, but on nevertheless on its way, with trees taking on the first hint of their bright and vibrant cloaks they will wear for the next few months.
I have always found it such an exciting time, of new beginnings and chapters in our lives – children are now back to school, rising gradually through the year groups, and students are embarking on adventures to new cities to start universities and placements. Such anticipation.
And I too am about to embark on the final year of my Masters – a journey which has gone far too quickly – rather like an express train than a slow steam train. So, in my time away from you on this blog I have been busy preparing for this year by creating artwork (the next blog post I promise), but also doing a long overdue update on my website. I have created so much work that I wanted to include, with many little friends and characters that demanded their places on it, their pleas too loud to ignore.
The Opening Page of My New Site
There was a lot to think about with this site, as I have so much that I wanted to show the world and include in it, yet also show a commonality through all my creations – from my textile designs, narrative paintings and prints through to my illustration pieces. Despite the many ways of working, the theme is there – magic! Whether it is transforming the world into a more magical place using textiles, exploring magical and Wiccan themes or seeing the world through children’s eyes, it is magic that binds them all together.
Sometimes I have been asked why I do not choose one technique and focus on it. My answer was that rather than distracting from each other, these varied ways of working compliment and feed each other. Many of the artists I identify with (Leonora Carrington, Gustav Klimt, Mac Chagall and Frida Kahlo ) felt the same – designing costumes/clothing, writing plays, and, as with Frida, her physical presence becoming as recognised as an icon just as much as her paintings. There are so many ways to express ourselves – and I choose the most appropriate one for my theme or narrative.
When defining the pages for the website I really struggled as to what to call them – Fine Art, Paintings, Drawings? And also, how to classify certain pieces – was it a painting an illustration? Some pieces were over a meter tall, and were created to go on the wall, so surely not an illustration? Yet they have been used as book covers, and in contrast smaller sketchbook pieces were completed and framed as artworks. It was not an easy task, but I hope that the visitor to the site sees the headings as loose guides rather than strict boundaries.
I suppose here I must ask, what is Illustration, and what makes it so different from Fine Art, if indeed there is a difference? According to Toni Fitzgerald, the lines thankfully between the two are blurring, with finally, acknowledgement that there is indeed a “Fine Art” element in illustration. And with the trend of many illustrators being both the author/illustrator they are more able to chase the personal muses and ideals that Fine Artists (supposedly) had the freedom to chase. So thankfully, in my opinion one no longer has to choose which field to pitch their tents in…. the fence is down and the gate is open…..
And as we can see from artists such as Shaun Tann, Oliver Jeffers, James Mayhew, Catherine Rayner, Catherine Hyde and Jackie Morris there are plenty of stunning artists who make, draw, design, paint and sew beautiful creations that are used in a myriad of different ways and who do not limit themselves to one field or an other. They are artists, as am I.