Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A Spring journal of random thoughts

It's the season of Lent. I wasn't in the mood to give up things but after learning that the English word for the forty days of fasting preceding Holy Week means 'Spring', I felt inspired to mark the lengthening days (Lent and lengthen have the same Germanic roots) with a small sketch from life and a few thoughts.

The cheap brown paper spiral bound book I'd bought a few weeks ago was perfect for my #LentNotes . . . and instead of the usual photos of cats, hens and flowers I will be posting one page a day on Instagram

Each page takes between 10 and 30 minutes and is like a drawing meditation, time out from the day's necessary tasks.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

My designs for Rathfinny Music Festival

Alongside my prints and cards I produce from my own ideas and designs I am increasingly asked to work on commissions. I can only tell you about them here on my blog, once the client has launched/printed/published their project; I keep an eye on their web sites to see if I spot that my work has gone public.

Well, today I noticed that a lovely project I worked on just before Christmas was on the Rathfinny Estate web site, I was asked to supply decorative illustrations for a wonderful music festival they have planned for this June, more info here.

This is a spread from the festival programme.

I worked with oboist Emily Pailthorpe of the London Conchord Ensemble to visualise and bring to life the images she had in mind, inspired by the music which all has links to the sea and also to the art of the Bloomsbury group as seen at Charleston, which is near the Rathfinny Estate. She had in mind something like a 1930's art textile design, it needed to include a whale, a sail boat, a Venetian gondola, grape vines and waves . . . one wave had to be morphing into a violin's scroll.

I suggested creating a single image which could be cropped and taken apart, a bit like a jigsaw of the images Emily had in mind. Sam, the designer working on the event publicity supplied a pdf template as a guide for where the different elements needed to fit.

I'd set myself a tricky challenge! But it came together and this is the result . . .

If you live down on the Sussex coast near Alfriston, look out for the posters and publicity, maybe you will be lucky to go along to 'A Sumptuous Weekend Festival of Chamber Music and Wine in a Sussex Vineyard' – doesn't that sound a particularly splendid event?!

This wasn't part of the original brief, but I love how the designers have used part of my illustration for the sea in this map of how to find the Rathfinny Estate.

I haven't yet visited the vineyard but I hope to in the near future. And it was really interesting to work with Emily and to transfer her 'sound pictures' into a linocut.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Eric lived here!

Never believe everything weather forecasters say . . . yes it was chilly, yes it was cold in the wind BUT LOOK it is SUNNY! the sky is BLUE . . .

Let's go for a walk . . .

After working this morning (there are a few photos on Instagram) and needing to visit somewhere after lunch we found ourselves in Castle Hedingham this afternoon. 

I'd printed off a walking route and we set off along the north Essex farm tracks . . .

. . . and sunken lanes glowing in the sunshine

About an hour and half later we were back in the village 

I wonder who lived in this elegant brick house near to where we parked the car?

OH! well well!

And just around the corner from Eric Ravilious's former home is a rather marvelous tea room . . .

. . . very nice cakes and a pot of Suffolk Blend Tea!


More photos of our walk can be found here.

Have a lovely weekend

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Projects and deadlines


I thought I'd drop into my blog for a few minutes before getting down to work . . .

First, thank you for all the kind concern about my Ginger Studio Assistant, he has taken all his medicines and is so much better – in fact he is very chipper!

Next, another thank you, Cath Greene has awarded me this:

a Liebster Award for this blog. You can read more over on her blog Cath Greene, as with all memes it comes with rules, questions, nominations. I rarely take part in these, I know some people love them (#artchain on facebook is very popular at the moment) but I find them a bit of a chore - I doubt they are meant to be – maybe because I would want to take time and do the task well and think carefully about who I'd pass it on to and I really do have a lot of more important things to think about already this week . . .

Which brings be on to projects and deadlines

When I started this blog I was working full time on projects for publishers, supplying dozens... no, many 100s of illustrations for educational books. There were deadlines too, some were very scary indeed! For each publisher I drew a different style of digital artwork, sometimes I would have to swap styles 2 or 3 times a day. I began to think, "what if I was known for just being me?" – but what was me? This blog has really been about my search for my own 'style'.

Last year I had a solo exhibition of my prints, I was hugely grateful to Helen at the Church Street Gallery for inviting me to do this and everything was displayed beautifully (I didn't have to do a thing except deliver the work, turn up and enjoy) BUT - I have to admit that I didn't enjoy the experience, it was outside my comfort zone. Maybe that aspect of being an artist isn't for me, maybe solo exhibitions will always be weird/uncomfortable experiences? Will I do it again? Maybe, but I'll wait for the right time. The problem is me - incidentally,  neither do I enjoy coffee, scented candles, strawberries dipped in chocolate or musicals.

I love working on my own designs and prints, I really love producing my own range of cards and marketing them. But a little bit of me missed working with other creative people - writers, editors and art directors. I thought, wouldn't it me nice if occasionally someone asked me to contribute one of my designs to be part of their project . . .

. . . then, BOOOM! this happened . . .

So, if I'm not around on here, or Twitter or Instagram or Facebook (but I don't like FB much anyway) I'm sure you'll understand why. And, I'm sorry not to be able to tell you what the projects are but they'll gradually be revealed over the coming months. And I'll blog about them.

In the meantime, I still plan to make time to enjoy some walks outside and work in the garden - especially when the sky is blue! And I'll put my photos on Flickr.

A Bullfinch on the Cherry Plum tree
in our garden this morning

Well, I'd better tackle one of those projects!