Saturday, 28 November 2015

Show Your Face on Friday - Inspired by Kay Nielsen.

Hello and Welcome to Magpiehaven, Followers and Friends. Life is getting busy in the Magpies' Nest as I try not to let Christmas sneak up on me this year. It's still November, but I know that once we hit December, the days are going to fly by and it will be Christmas before we know where we are - with me feeling completely unprepared! I'm not ready this week to link up with Kim Dellow's great 'Show Your Face on Friday' blog when it actually goes live; but we do have the week to be inspired and to link up our faces so I hope by Saturday my WIP will be at a stage when I photograph it! For the whole of November Kim has been introducing us to artists who inspire her and providing links to where we can see their beautiful work and, of course, we can share artists who have inspired us too. 
If you haven't taken a look at Kim's inspiring blog, please click here and learn all about this great way to practise drawing faces and link up with other artists.
This week I was asked to make a brooch with a face, a bird and the word 'Heart' on it. I ended up making two! As I worked on these miniatures, I had Kay Nielson's incredible illustration for Scheherazade at the back of my mind so it is his work that has inspired me this week. If you click here you will find the Wikipedia entry for Nielson and the image that inspired me is here. Placing the two brooches side by side...
on this blue fabric, I was reminded of journeys through mysterious lands under starry skies. I wanted to create a canvas now with 3 little 'face' houses, each with a story to tell.
This is as far as I've got this morning! I have my 3 Scheherazades each with a bird of freedom and peace to release into the world. I now need to embellish their head-dresses a little, put them aside and start to create a world for them in the background. At the moment I'm not sure whether to place them in a desert oasis under diamond stars or on the shore of a turbulent sea or among the marble, mosaics and fountains of a grand palace.
I also created three more little brooches this week, which I will probably put in my Etsy shop over the weekend. I have so much fun creating these little characters who I can imagine inviting us in through the tiny doors of their miniature houses. They make quite a crowd when I put them all together!
Then I placed this little person here and another idea for Christmas tree decorations formed! The question is, will I ever find those tiny wings to add and will I have the time before Christmas to bring all these ideas to fruition?
If you have the time this week, do pop over to Kim's 'Show Your Face on Friday' and add a face maybe inspired by an artist who fires your imagination.


  1. oh Julie Ann- I do know what you mean about Christmas sneaking up! I am trying as well to get things together and maybe be ahead of the game- still- to be seen! heehee
    These are darling my friend as all of your pieces are and I was delighted to see that one of my friends,Renee Zarate had used one of your faces in her art! Fabulous! I must visit your shop!
    I do hope you find the tiny wings you speak of and that everything comes together as you planned-remember to stop and relax in between! lots of love Jackie

    1. OMGosh! I completely forgot to say that I just love the pieces with the birds of peace- how wonderful these are! xoxo

  2. So fascinating to follow this glimpse into the creative processes in the magpie's nest! The brooches are absolutely stunning (lovely to see the Scheherezade inspiration picture too), and I love that it was the photo-taking which triggered the next stage of their journey. The birds are a beautiful symbol of the hope for peace, whatever world they end up inhabiting on the canvas.

    A winged brooch would also be a thing of beauty. I hope you manage to find some extra weeks before Christmas!
    Alison xx

  3. Love your brooches, they are totally fantastic. Hugs, Valerie

  4. Your brooches are well worth the wait. They're SO beautiful. Excited already to see your angel decorations. They will be wonderful. I can't wait to see. Have a good week Julie Ann. Lx

  5. AMAZING brooches are these..wonderful!

  6. Looking fabulous Julie Ann! I've done nothing I meant to this afternoon...

  7. Absolutely beautiful! Love your inspiration - Nielsen is one of my favorite illustrators, and you've captured that lovely one just perfectly. Love your idea of adding wings....I just love your little faces, and the ones here are exquisite. Looking forward to seeing how your ideas evolve.... xxx Lynn

  8. Oh I am so happy I managed to stop by and immerse myself in your world even if only for the shortest of time.
    I love the notion of the three on a canvas and those birds are delightful, did you create the birds by hand, possibly with clay? I know that you will most certainly weave a tale around them and it will all come together under a magical sky.
    We need to speak to the powers that be to allow you some extra time between now and Christmas, shall we negotiate for say another 5 hrs to each day?!! I am just being selfish because I want to view the ornaments which are swirling around in your head.

  9. Your faces are stunning. Love your brooches!

  10. oh my,what a amazing broches,love the little faces on it,very beautiful,love them.
    happy weekend.

    hugs jenny

  11. Such beautiful little pieces of art! I love the idea of adding wings to your brooches! xxx

  12. your brooches are just gorgeous!! I love all the details on such small substrates. I'm feeling the Christmas rush to move and get things done too now that our Thanksgiving is done and December begins this week!!!!

  13. Faces and their house like blocks are amazing. xox

  14. I have just looked through your post twice - wow Julie Ann! If you do find some time I look forward to seeing more - I have been making felted angels and have become quite addicted Chrisx

  15. They are completely stunning.

  16. (Tee hee... watch out for the Ceremony of Carols round my way on Monday!
    Alison xx)

  17. Your brooches are beautiful, Julie Ann, and I love the Scheherazade tale,

    Lucy x


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