Monday, 27 February 2012

Patchwork and Daffodils

The patchwork design I began last week has found its way onto a few products on Zazzle and I intend to create more from it this week.

As planned, I put the ‘blocks’ together on the Zazzle site but it was very slow-going! 

Making all the pieces exactly the same size on Zazzle was time-consuming so I had another try at fitting them together on my computer before uploading the whole piece, keeping my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t run out of memory. At one point I did get a message saying that Windows was increasing my memory and warning that some requests might be denied in the meantime, so I left it alone for a while and went off and did a few jobs around the house.

When I came back I was able to continue and this cushion has the larger pattern on one side and the smaller one on the reverse –

This Ipad case is a good example of what I mentioned last week – I hadn’t anticipated that the pattern, when repeated, would turn out to have such a prominent 'slanted' effect!

Meanwhile, spring seems to have begun to arrive in my garden. And seeing buds on the daffodils, I felt a strong urge to paint some! The daffodil is the Birth Month Flower for March; it is also the traditional Welsh flower featured on St David’s Day cards, as well as Persian New Year cards.

So I decided that treating myself to a bunch of daffodils when I went shopping would be money well spent. But I was disappointed to find that the only ones left in the shops were the short, straight-stemmed kind with no leaves – really boring and not at all what I was looking for!

One of the things that I love about daffodils is the way they move, ‘tossing their heads in sprightly dance’, as Wordsworth wrote.  Somewhere I have a sketch from long ago of just a couple of long-stemmed daffodils, with their leaves and I remember that it was their ‘gesture’ that appealed to me and compelled me to draw them.

But the nearest I could find in town was a little pot of tiny daffodils – apparently I had left it too late for a bunch! -  so I bought it and began to draw them. I often draw flowers over and over from different angles before I paint them. It’s almost like 'getting to know' them so that when I come to paint, their shapes are really familiar to me.

The trouble with this particular pot of daffodils, the only one left in town, was that all the flowers were facing inwards! So I took a bit of ‘artistic licence’ and  moved the left-hand clump over to the right when I drew them, to make a much better composition.

I had hoped to try out my new water soluble crayons at last and I started out with some lovely blue sugar paper to give a bright sunshiny background. But the colours, dry, weren’t strong enough to show up on the blue background and the paper didn’t respond at all well to being made wet.

So I moved on to some watercolour paper. That worked better, but I felt that the effect of the crayons was too heavy for my ‘tossing their heads’ daffodils and I ended up painting them in ordinary, transparent watercolour, after drawing them with watercolour pencils.

I hadn’t wasted my time with these various experiments, though, as with each attempt, I became more familiar with the 'personalities' of my daffodils. My scanner didn’t do a particularly good job – the yellows came out too pale and the orange was a strident red. But I made some minor corrections digitally and I'm quite pleased with the multi-purpose end result –


One painting has formed the basis of several ranges of cards. But in case you're thinking that I've saved time by using one design for several occasions, these, with all their variations and their search engine-optimised titles, descriptions and keywords are going to take hours to upload! It will probably take me all week - at least!

But I also have an idea sketched out for a ‘Thank You’ card for the lovely staff at the Endoscopy Unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, who were so kind and went out of their way to make me feel as comfortable as it's possible to be with such an uncomfortable procedure, a couple of weeks ago. 

I can't wait to get started on it . . .



Crystal said...

Oh I just love the bag Judy! And the daffodils are awesome. Daffodils are blooming everywhere around my neck of the woods.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Crystal :)

I've been out this morning and noticed that the daffodils are just beginning to open here. (The ones on sale in the shops come from the Channel Islands where they are grown specially early.) I don't want to pick the ones in my garden until there are enough of them that it won't leave gaps.

Country Mouse Studio said...

The denim patches came out beautiful. It really does look like denim and the daffodils are precious. I love the color combinations you used in the cards.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Carole:) I've created a lot more products with the patchwork now - even a tea pot and mugs! But I'm still busy uploading the daffodils . . . but the pollen from the real ones is affecting me so, sadly, I've had to move them out to the garden.

Jean said...

Sweet flowers!

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Jean - glad you like them :)

jane maday said...

Hi Judy,
Thanks for visiting my blog the other day! I've been playing with my watercolor crayons too.Funnily enough, I like the effect I get when I put down a wash of acrylic paint first. I do wish we had flowers, but it is still too early here in Colorado for any blooms. My indoor plants like cyclamen are doing well though, so I will have to content myself with that.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jane - just seen your lovely bird and blue flowers on your blog and it's made me determined to find time to try out my crayons too!

architecture associate online said...

Patron of cushion and bright colored daffodils are mind blowing