Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Creative Wednesday - Illustration Friday

In an attempt to get some finished drawings done, I have decided to have a go at 'Illustration Friday'. A nice, simple idea - a topic is announced every Friday, and you add a link to your illustration of the subject (which doesn't have to be drawn specially - you can use existing work too).

The topic this week was 'dusty', so I've drawn Dusty Springfield, (the woman mascara was invented for!). I added a background in Photoshop. I love using Photoshop, and I love drawing by hand on paper - I'm just trying to work out how to combine them. I'm not sure my scanner is up to the job. Anyway, I'm happy to have produced something.

I think I need deadlines to get things done, otherwise I leave things unfinished. (Like leaving my tax return until the very last minute - finally submitted it last night!) So I have given myself until the end of February to produce some finished work with the intention of creating prints from it. Not sure if I'll create anything worth reproducing, but if anyone has any hints and tips on digital art prints, I'd love to know.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Ah, It's a Girl Thing

This post is a follow-up inspired by the comments on my last post. Thank you all - it was very heartening to know that I'm not alone with my nostalgia for those kitschy flower-power cards. I particularly liked Sue's comment about being in the local newsagent, looking at cards and gift wrap. That certainly struck a nostalgic chord. (Although I always had to cover my school books in odd ends of wallpaper.)

Anyway, it got me thinking about why these images have such an emotional pull. It often seems to be connected to memories of my mum. For me, it's all about the late 1960s and very early 1970s, when I was about 8 to 10 years old. Certainly an age when I was young enough to still like the things my mum liked. And also, I think, an age when I was probably becoming more interested in 'feminine', 'grown-up' things.
I didn't have particularly girly toys or books, and I played all my brothers' games, so maybe this was my point of difference. At that age, I got cute floral birthday cards that looked like this, whereas my brothers got cards with god-awful paintings of fishermen, or a photo of some books and a model plane.

I also think at that time I was identifying with all those feminine things that my brothers didn't share, like going through my mum's jewellery box (I loved that), and getting interested in my mum's clothes, make-up and magazines. The bright colours and bold designs of 1960s florals obviously appealed to my childish sense of design! My sister is 12 years older than me, so was already grown-up by then, and had fashionable clothes, like the memorably wild, lime-green, psychedelic floral bell-bottoms with matching tie-front top. (Do you remember how they were called bell-bottoms, before they were called flared trousers?)
Colourful wallpaper was another favourite of my mum's, and I vividly remember some of the wallpaper we had. I was delighted to salvage some odd rolls of vintage wallpaper from the family house. This very 1970s design I chose for my bedroom as a teenager, and have now used on the front of these Ikea drawers.
My mum really liked all these bold, floral designs.  As in so many things, I find I am, as ever, my mother's daughter.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Start as you mean to go on

My first weekend of bargain hunting this year was a good one, and I'm especially pleased with this wonderfully kitsch Spanish bag. I love it! I managed to go to a table top sale, a jumble sale and several charity shops.
I don't really go in for New Year Resolutions, but I am always trying to kick bad habits and plan how The Rest of My Life (starting tomorrow) will be so much better. So I came up with a plan for my new streamlined life. Step One - cut back on buying vintage stuff. I want to spend less time buying and selling vintage and devote more time to making stuff. Obviously I still like vintage, but I'll only buy the really good stuff that I really really want. 
Apparently I really, really want an awful lot of stuff, as these pictures of the weekend's haul demonstrate. This doesn't seem to be going according to plan...
Although I have to say that it was Mr Kitsch who thought we should keep this tiny little biscuit tin. I just wanted to keep this cute tin of Mary and her lamb...oh, and all the other stuff (including more clogs - how did that happen?)
I am also trying to collect things which take up less room, like vintage greeting cards and other paper ephemera. However, I'm getting a bit obsessed with collecting cards, and ended up ordering a couple of bundles from Etsy. This group of cards and wrapping paper scraps came from the States.
At the moment I'm particularly interested in these kitsch 1960s floral cards. This style of illustration makes me strangely nostalgic. It seems to tap into my memory and emotions in a way I can't quite fathom. I keep thinking about exploring it by trying to paint in that style, but I'm not sure I can. I tried a few drawings, and I know there's something there I want to use, but I'm just not sure how.