My personal Christmas card is a bit late this year. It features the family gathering around the fire which starts to light and be bedecked with bows of holly. But #itsbeginningtolooklikechristmas. How is it with you?
Hope you all have a jolly Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
I’m finally feeling Christmassy as another PingSweetie corporate Christmas card wings its way over email to some eager employees. Well perhaps that’s a bit over egging the pudding, but it’s nice to festive up an office block and add some snow and a ribbon here and there. Makes me smile.
If you have a toddler or baby to buy for this Christmas an animal train cushion will be the cat’s pyjamas! Two to choose from, but they work really well as a pair. I’ve entered them for a cushion design competition, and they are on sale for a limited time at Ohh Deer.com. Bring on that #pillow fight. You can see the front engine at http://ohhdeer.com/animal-train-1-cushion and the carriage here. Hurry, SAVE THE PANDA, (and bear, tiger and giraffe) offer ends soon!
Very excited to say that PingSweetie prints and cards are now on show, and available to buy from Birdhouse Studio and shop in Winchester. (For a limited time only).
BirdHouse Studio showcases artists and sells a colourful range of original designed jewellery, greetings cards and gifts. The majority of the vibrant and creative stock is designed by the proprietor, Sarah Green. Other brands on offer include: Sandra Isaksson; Bliss Home; Full Spot; Danish company Rice; and London based company, Hiro & Wolf. And now of course PingSweetie FAB Illustration. (While stocks last).
So come along and browse the lovely things at Birdhouse, right at the top of the High Street, Winchester. And of course, bring your friends.
4 Romsey Road, Winchester SO23 8TP. Opening hours: Tues – Sat 10-3, Sun 11-3. Closed Mon.
Chuffed to see a sketch of mine on the cover of our the June issue of the local mag, along with a few nice words inside…
Woolston based graphic designer and illustrator, Alison Bates, is casting her sketch book aside and replacing it with an iPad. Alison’s colourful graphics have always been illustrative but drawing on an App called ‘Paper’ is leading to a whole new watercolour-style portfolio.
“It’s the quality of light that appeals”, she says. “The luminosity of drawing on a tablet makes it brilliant for drawing things like glazed tiles and plate glass on Victorian buildings, I’ve drawn ‘The London’ and The old National Provincial bank on the high street as well as ‘Wooden it Be Lovely’ here in Woolston. Also it’s great for drawing the sparkle of the sea, the shine on food, sunlight and just about everything I like.”
So what next? “I’m drawing an ebook using the app and will be doing a lot more sketching.”
Alison’s drawing of the Itchen Bridge on the cover can be seen in the ‘Urban Sketchers’ Exhibition which is on at Southampton Art Gallery until 14th June. For commissions and designs for print and web and to see more of her work go to www.pingsweetie.com
AKA, first try drawing with the iDive Housing. The iDive looks as cool in the flesh as in the pics. It’s beautifully made and really well crafted bit of kit. The idea behind it if you’ve not been following my commentary, is to be able to have an interactive iPad that is fully functional at depth, with a little help from a regulator to regulate the pressure. It was designed originally as a solution to inputting data on coral on the sea bed. A function it is perfect for.
However I’m looking to take it diving and sketching in situ. Why, when I can just as well take a photo? Well drawing in situ is rewarding in itself and the challenge is to record the way YOU see it which can often be less flat and more ‘alive’ that a pic drawn from a photo.
And it IS challenging. Firstly I had to work out how to supply it’s gas source. I couldn’t quite work out how to fit my CO2 canister without it discharging all the gas at once (need more of a diagram there being not a tekkie sort of person) so I opted to fitting it to a pony bottle with a first stage. In the 3m pool test I realised quite soon that the edges were my ‘palette’ appears weren’t going to be reliably responsive and I had to make sure I had the tool I was going to use selected before the dive.
So what was it like at 7m? Well it still being 10 degrees (England, early April), I opted for keeping my 2mm gloves on while drawing. And the result not surprisingly IS sketchy. I really wanted to spend more time drawing but the responsiveness of the iPad through the housing just didn’t seem to be there however much I fiddled with the pressure release mechanism. BUT it was amazingly Zen! Drawing myself in an mirror at the bottom of the Andark lake while I was exhaling bubbles, I have to say was wonderful in an Alice-though- the-‘Looking-Glass sort of way. Can you imagine if you are an animator or art director on a film like The Titanic or Finding Nemo? Storyboarding in water would really add dynamism. And me? Well I can’t wait to try it out on a wreck dive shoot. I may not be able to draw the whole thing in situ but since my finished illo of the photographer, Terry Scott above, took me a couple of hours, that was never going to be the aim. However I hope to get some good action sketches, play around with the possibilities and show off some more underwater artiness soon. Do watch this space.
Urban sketchers is a nonprofit organisation, founded in the USA, supporting and representing a grassroots global community of sketchers. The mission to record the places we live and where we travel through drawings. The Southampton ‘chapter’ has an exhibition at the Southampton City Art Gallery until to celebrate Southampton 50th Anniversary of City Status. running until 14th June. I was very pleased to meet some more urban sketchers in the flesh and to be included in the exhibition with this illustration of the Itchen Bridge I drew on a sunny morning. (Drawn on my iPad of course!) More iPad sketches here
I’m SOOOOO excited! I got an unexpected parcel all the way from California today. I get to play with what must me THE present made for me. iDive. A housing for an iPad that will allow me to draw underwater INSITU! DRAWING and DIVING my cup runneth over. How cool is that?! Waterproof and water resistant housings have been around for a long time but if you read my earlier post I explained on local radio that there difference with the iDive is it’s interactive. It’s constantly replenished gas pocket (air or CO2) is regulated to the ambient pressure of water around it allowing the touch screen to function without it being crushed to death a la ‘Titanic artifact’. So I hope to do some underwater drawing, actually underwater. So far I’ve drawn from photos taken by my photographer diving friend Terry Scott once back on dry land. I’ll have a go at trying it out @AndarkDiving in the pool over Easter then take it out for a trial run as soon as we can organise a session. Will hope to be updating here soon! Read more at from my earlier post from BBC Radio Solent and at http://idivehousing.com
Earliest memories in The Guardian Saturday 28th March. My drawing above. The words read…
My earliest memory… We were living in Istanbul, visiting Ephesus, I was 5. I can see the taxi interior really clearly. There’s a beaded wobbly hand stuck on the rear window with a sucker. The back seat is encased in see-through ruby plastic which makes it look extra shiny. My doll is lying on the seat. The vinyl face has melted in the heat, when I pick it up the face oozes out of her bonnet. Family lore says that mum’s nylon ‘Elizabeth Taylor’ wig also melted in the taxi, but what it was doing there wasn’t passed down. That was the end of my ‘Bitty Beans’ doll. I still have the replacement, but she does not travel.
If you missed it, you’ll find my contribution with a few others in the on line Guardian Witness section https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/54e5d756e4b0bf4351a24735?page=2