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"Ma Jungle" Antoine Guilloppe, Cut paper illustration

Recently I bought a beautiful book which I would like to share.
I have just found this video which shows it off beautifully. It is called "Ma Jungle" and is by Antoine Guilloppe, a French illustrator. Each illustration has a layer of intricately laser cut paper which turns to reveal the rest of the image. Beautiful!

Twisted tale

I have always loved illuminated manuscripts with their rich colour and intricate designs. Beautiful organic shapes and Celtic knots twist and mingle to create wonderful fantasy creatures. Decorative capitals set the tone for the text to come saying "read this carefully!"

Then there is the actual historical side where I imagine monk's sitting in a freezing room writing and painting for hours and hours on end until their backs ached! Some of them write little grumbles in the margins about their suffering, how their hands ache or how cold it is, how bad their tools and materials are!

In the spirit of this style of design I have created an image featuring my little owl Hephzibah. It is watercolour and features twists and turns and curls.

It was actually very therapeutic to draw and paint in this style but then I didn't have to do it on calf skin in a cold library, in an unheated monastery in Ireland using a candle for light!



from Book of Kells f45R

from Book of Kells f202R

from Book of Kells f114v

Reference Book of Kells Reproduction from the Manuscript in Trinity College Dublin.
Thames and Hudson, London 1977.

Swim School

I have been continuing to see how I can make repeat patterns from my previous images. It is really interesting to try and think about the way an image can be used and reused for several purposes. It can be redesigned for a new use. I like this idea of being resourceful so  I made a pattern from the original design above which could now be used as a fabric design or it can be applied to paper for a use other than the original one.
I also did some work on photoshop and created a digital collage which generated a completely different type of image from my original mackerel design. This is a great way to make the most of designs and be creative with what you have already got.

Watercolour Experiments

Since I am doing some watercolour painting I did some experiments to see how the pigment can be manipulated to create effects which could be used in the creation of an image.

It was interesting to see how the pigment moved when the methylated spirit was dripped onto it. This could be used to create some interesting bubble effects. As well as dripping the methylated spirits you can also paint it on with a round brush.

The salt on wet paint created some beautiful delicate effects.

Life imitates art, again!

Is there anything as sad as a birdless wing? I felt a little bit sick when I opened my front door to find a lorikeet wing on the mat! Wings are symbolic of freedom, of flying and soaring above the world and leaving your troubles behind. It seemed so sad that such a bright colourful, and no doubt noisy bird should end up in this way!

I have my suspicions about who did it too.....  
The wing theme continued as my daughter brought me a beautiful dead butterfly.  Hopefully it died a more natural death after a long and fruitful butterfly life. 


It is ironic that wings should feature so strongly in my week as I was painting owls and especially thinking about colourful wings. Sometimes this happens, you paint something and suddenly that thing is everywhere. It happened when I was painting my cat narrative also.
The little owl I was working on here has developed a personality. She is now a she...(a good start), and she is called Hephzibah, a Hebrew name which means "my delight is in her".

To- wit-to-whoo

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved owls. I don't know why this is but I have vivid memories of drawing owls again and again. I remember seeing a few up close. The father of one of my childhood friends rescued one and brought it back to health and I remember seeing it in their shed. It just sat there blinking at me with it's big round, orange eyes. It wasn't a bit scared and in fact it was peaceful and relaxed. Maybe that is normal for an owl, to sit there cool as a this why they appear to be wise? Another time I saw a beautiful barn owl sitting on the roof of my uncles house. He called me outside to see it. It was one of those special moments you remember for ever. Isn't it amazing how we are so moved by creatures that we don't normally see.

I am working on a narrative about an owl so today I have been playing with stylising owls and feathers. These are a few sketches out of my journal.