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Just like Monet

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Cat's Punky Stuff's Cottage Garden

As both a gardener and an artist I completely understand why Monet created his garden in the 1890's. Currently I am in the middle of a three year plan to completely landscape my garden to create a truly spectacular cottage garden.

As the garden starts to come alive with colour and bird song it is time to start researching for my new card designs, which are usually available by each Summer. The garden is my complete inspiration for all artwork and Stuff, whether it is colour studies and the play of light, or the mystical shapes that become apparent on closer inspection. As I work the garden and create my Stuff, the two grow and develop together due to regular crossovers and incredible similarities.


The harmonious balance between the garden and crafting extends throughout the year, with some months predominantly allocated to the garden and the obvious winter months dedicated to crafting. I religiously plan my year in my bullet journal and strictly stick to it, though sometimes an unexpected rainy garden day may become a cosy crafting day. As I discussed at length in a previous blog I spend Jan to mid April flat out working to restock for the following Christmas, April to August is all about the garden and September is lavender harvest time. I photograph the garden all year round either looking at colour or inspirational shapes and store them in files on the computer.


Alien Hedgerows

My drawing style originates from tattoo designs I created for women; large, feminine and delicate drawings that could be tattooed in small places or expanded indefinitely for larger areas. My tattoo designs were really popular because they were completely unique and so I carried on developing my drawing style which continues to this day. This drawing on the left is 'Brown Hare' which was drawn a few years ago and today is very popular as a 'Hoppy birthday to some bunny special' card. The first card drawings I did were very different but still retained an alien hedgerow feel.

The source of my drawing style stems from close-up photographs of plants and flowers, which I expect to be spectacular this year as my current phone has an exceptional camera. These photographs below show just how much is going on when you look closely at the middle of flowers.

Colour

Having spent one summer totally dedicated to studying colour, I learnt so much that is relevant and important for an international artist. My Etsy shop is open to the world and so it is crucial to be sensitive in the approach to colour. Some countries, religions or cultures see colour with reverence or others with disdain, so it is important to get your colours right. Green doesn't always mean 'good luck'!


One of the most valuable lessons I learnt in the garden was how to use a full colour wheel to blend colours for my drafties. It is possible to smoothly blend from one colour to another by simply moving over one space on the colour wheel in any direction, until you have a path of changing colour.

Below are some of my colour studies that helped me produce the drafties, above. I became fascinated by the way colours changed from one to another and started noticing things like lime and olive greens in the shadows of yellow or purples in the darkest depths of orange.

Form

Taking photographs from unusual angles or focused on small, close-up bits can help to create unusual worlds and strange landscapes. It is always exciting to find a new fungus or fresh frost on an unusual seed pod to get the creative juices flowing. My garden is allowed to grow as it likes though I do control the weeds and water and feed it. Some weeds Iike lawn daisies and dandelions I cultivate and others I pull up if they are invasive or may interfere in the growth of an important plant. This year is going to be great for research as I have newly landscaped a large portion of the garden and have planted a lot of new things. I cannot wait to get out there this summer to discover new colour combinations and then replicate them in drafties and birdies. Quirky new leaves, petals and seed pods will find their way onto this year's new cards.

I am thinking about a new range of large prints of beautiful garden photographs, run through photoshop for an extra bit of rarity. Below are some photographs I have been trialling, but there is a long way to go yet!.

Love in the Mist (large A2 print)

I love this technique as it gives the photograph a loose watercolour look, it's quite simple and pure and I think it's the right direction to be going in. We have this huge printer sitting doing nothing, with everything from multimedia high quality printing paper, packing tubes and spare inks. There is a real possibility this summer to create some really great posters!

Lawn Daisy (A2 print)
Cream Rose (A2 print)








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