Rise Like Lions

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This latest watercolour is a little less straight-forward than my usual whimsy. Taking the starting point of the fable ‘The Lion and the Mouse‘, the project quickly escalated in my mind to include a bit of a miss-mash of interlinking ideas.

I was intersted to learn that:

Sculptors turned to the fable in the 20th century. One of them was the maker of church furniture, Robert (Mouseman) Thompson, who came by his name for incorporating a mouse into most of his carvings. He did this legitimately in the Church of Our Lady and St Michael in Workington, Cumbria, where the underside of one of the seats in the choir stalls, installed in 1926, depicts the fable of the lion and the mouse.

Which made the fable even more personal to me, as this is my home town! Included in the background then are a few nods to Workington – mainly the hills of Scotland seen from the working port, a schematic of Curwen Hall and a few local buildings.

Lions and mice naturally lead one to think of Aslan, and Lewis’ depiction of Christ’s crucifixion on the stone altar (harking back to the ram in the thicket and all manner of christian iconography), and for me I cannot look at this scene without remembering The Mask of Anarchy by Shelley. It seems we have lived in the shadow of the Peterloo Massacre, whether wittingly or not, ever since. I certainly cannot accept ruling class ideology in an age of austerity when we see uber-billionaires and oligarchs given carte blanche to destroy the lives of the working class and the planet with impunity. Harking to the sentiments echoed in Civil Disobedience by Thoreau, the idea of resistance to dark forces of state sanctioned violence still remain relevant today. Freedom, liberty, democracy, these inalienable rights that we take to be self-evident are continuously undermined and circumvented by those who would seek to prosper from our enslavement.

I think it is my favourite piece of poetry of all time, and this one, oft used verse, could not be said better:

Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!

In today’s terms the slogan would be ‘We are the 99%’.

In the painting the sleeping lion is being rescued by the mice, working together, small but plentiful. He rests his head on the black and red flag of anarcho-syndicalist as the traditional (A) symbol “Anarchy is the mother of Order” lies underneath.

It’s a theme I hope to return to.

Block

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Untitled

Untitled

I’ve been facing something of an artist’s block recently. After working on some commissions and things that I can’t talk about right now, I just felt stuck and uninspired, and that was compounded by me comparing myself to amazing people and realising how far of the mark I fall.

Very demoralising.

I’ve since finished a Foxy Farmer piece (above), and trying to work through my need for perfection and approval. Goodness, art opens up a lot of baggage! I need to unstick myself somehow.

How do you work through a block?

Acrylic and Collage and Projects, Oh My!

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These past couple weeks I have been crippled by self doubt and despondency; I have just worked through it by getting back to my sketchbooks, playing with ideas, making collage and just getting marks on paper (or canvas). I’m not sure where all of this is going, if anywhere. I’ll just put one foot in front of the other and see where this path takes me.

Green Man Art GIVEAWAY

Green Man Art GIVEAWAY

Green Man Art GIVEAWAY

Green Man Art GIVEAWAY

Green Man Art GIVEAWAY

Green Man Art GIVEAWAY

That’s right! My first EVER giveaway as Green Man Art!

To celebrate this new venture – new blog, new Etsy, with new art – I thought we’d officially declare this shop open with a bang! The giveaway is this canvas tote bag with original (signed) art on the front and back, plus a pencil case and quality Derwent pencils and erasers inside for good measure (to get your art going!).

Entering is easy!

1. Goto THIS INSTAGRAM photo, and enter a comment, tagging a friend with an @ sign in the same message.

2. Then SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER and then leave another comment on the instagram picture telling me you have done so (I will check!).

Both requirements are necessary to be included in the draw!

I will pick a winner in one week and announce on Instagram.

Good luck!

Introducing ‘Downloads’

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Hello!

Well, as promised I’ve been very busy getting ready for a new shop update (new shop new update? something like that). I’ve been a very busy bee and transferred all the prints over from my personal Etsy to Green Man Art Etsy Store whilst adding some NEW prints of a few collages! I know! I’m excited too! I aim to get even more work scanned this week to make available for sale by next week – including landscapes and abstracts.

I have also been working on a notepaper set – whimsical collage notepaper, with a couple cards and bookplates thrown in for good measure, but this is where Etsy, or rather European Law, fell apart. VAT laws here for e-goods are hard to negotiate, and a few storefronts have basically said it’s up to the shop owner to sort the mess out. I don’t blame them, because they’re a new level of hell. To circumvent a whole raft of migraine-inducing paperwork all PDFs, downloadable files and e-goods will now be sold from THIS site using an off-site cart (confused? Yeah, well just be grateful you don’t do my tax returns). You will find my new NotePaper Set in the new DOWNLOAD page.

But there’s more! I have gathered ALL my downloadable PDFs from years gone by and included them on the same page – sewing patterns AND knitting patterns. (If you want to read a bit more about those old patterns, then you can take a look on my personal blog here for more information.) And in keeping with being a good blogger, I aim to include FREE downloads soon – and these too will be on the DOWNLOAD page.

So. To recap: NOTEPAPER SET for SALE on the DOWNLOAD page.

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Out of the Workspace

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

Green Man Art Collage Qalballah

After making a tentative start last week, this week I dove right in to collage work, and apart from all the annoying, itty, bitty pieces of coloured paper littering my floor, I’m loving it! I’ve mostly kept to the landscapes of my beloved Lake District, but one flower print made an appearance, because, ohmygoodness, can it be spring already?

I finished up my fairy tale, as suggested by the good people of instagram, have started another, and I have one more I want to do based on those suggestions. And then I’d like to make another fox print!

My new business cards arrived today, cementing, in my mind at least, the break I have made from being Debbie who doodles and sometimes sells her things, to Green Man Art Studios where generating art is what I do and what I want to do. Feels big.

I’ve also moved from my personal Etsy store to my official Green Man store, and will be shifting the few prints I have over to that one this evening.

But wait! There’s more! Because this week I aim for another shop update – new prints, from the fairytales and fox prints, to my landscapes, abstracts and collage. Major update. Can’t wait. I will post on instagram when it’s live.

Talk to me! What pieces of art are you loving right now?