Saturday 21 November 2015

Show Your Face on Friday - In the Style of Elena Polenova

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! I'm a little late linking to my favourite 'Show Your Face on Friday' blog this week. By the time I'm ready to publish this it will be Saturday! I try not to miss, as since discovering Kim Dellow's wonderful blog I've become totally addicted to drawing faces. If you haven't done so already, please do check out 'Show Your Face' and - if you can - add a link to any face or faces you might have created this week. Last week I was unwell, so I don't think I got round to visiting many of the wonderful artists linked up, so this week I will try to remedy this. It's still November so the theme is to share established artists who have inspired us, but any portrait art you would like to share is fine. Please check on how to participate here.
I'm still very much in the illustration zone. Last week I mentioned the fairy tale illustration of Elena Polenova and I think her very Russian style of illustration really seeped into my imagination after seeing her work for the first time last winter. Although I did not consciously aim to copy her style, some brooches I wood burned this week seem to me to have been influenced by the colours from her art and the style of her illuminated pages.
What I love about illustration is that it gives you the freedom to give a face to anything you want to!
Do you - like me - often see faces in trees?
Looking at these again I'm beginning to think that a collection of Christmas tree ornaments on the theme of trees with faces might be quite effective - a whole talking forest!
I wonder what these little characters are saying to each other as the snow falls gently onto their branches?
I have also been creating a Christmas ornament that features a face as its focal point.  I wanted to create something a little different on this resin heart from Sandra Evertson's Relics and Artifacts range.
From about the age of seven to eleven, my Christmas stocking always contained a ballet book of some kind and one year, as a very special treat, my mother bought us tickets for the ballet. My mother's cousin who lived with us for a while and who I loved because she told me such beautiful stories bought me a vinyl record of Moira Shearer telling the story of Swan Lake to the accompaniment of Tchaikovsky's ballet score. The milk white tutus like swans' down and all the glitter and glamour of the Dance became synonymous with Christmas for me from then on!
In the ballet, based on Russian folk tale a young maiden, Odette is under the spell of an evil magician and doomed to live as a swan by day and a maiden by night. I painted Odette's portrait straight onto the heart at the centre of this ex voto heart, using PaperArtsy Fresco paints in Nougat with a touch of London Bus, which I quickly wiped away around the cheeks. The  surface was really great for painting on and I added definition with a fine, black pen. The swans are a painted charm defined with a little Treasure Gold.
I painted the edge of the heart with Little Black Dress, then added a layer of Crackle Glaze and , when this was dry, I painted over with Antarctic, Blue Oyster and Teresa Green Frescos. I added some glitter and some Shaved Ice mica flakes along with these leaves from a broken brooch, painted and gilded and some painted resin roses. I created Odette's feathery head-dress using PaperArtsy Metallic Glaze mixed with Snowflake with a tiny piece of Indian mirror at the centre, which I hope will reflect the tree lights.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. The tree brooches are on sale in my Etsy shop, but each year I like to  have at least one new Christmas ornament. This year it is going to be some of my own art work on my Swan Lake Relics and Artifacts heart.


  1. don't know where my first comment went so I'll say it again...your new ornament is gorgeous Julie ann...a work of art!! you'll have to post a piccie of it on your tree :-) and your little trees are so cute and probably saying brrrr it's a bit nippy lol!! hope you feel better soon and would love to see you at the P A party xxx

  2. This tree face jouses are just amazing and an adorable ornament as well!

  3. I can never resist looking for faces and animals in tree trunks (and clouds come to that). It's so much fun. I love your friendly trees with their kind faces and little fairy doors. You Swan Lake heart is breathtakingly beautiful. I really can't wait to see where she comes to rest. Lx

  4. Fantastic faces, you are a star! Hugs, Valerie

  5. These are beautiful - love the trees with faces (yes, I often see faces in trees) but your ballet inspired heart is just stunning. Hope you're feeling better today.

  6. Love the tree faces - I've always loved the thought of tree spirits, and these evoke that feeling. The face on the heart is stunning, as are your finishing touches!! Love that you were inspired by such a beautiful ballet/story. xx Lynn

  7. Fantastic. Faces are your medium, you draw so well. xox

  8. The tree brooches are so cute & I love the heart, it's beautiful. And yes, I often see faces in trees.

  9. Hmm! You will have me looking at trees now. ...I already see faces in the clouds, wallpapers and tiles! Your tree faces are wonderful! I love your Swan Lake heart - I remember having a little book about ballet dancers and continually turning to the page with a young Margot Fonteyn! Hope you are having a great weekend! Chrisx

  10. all are entirely stunning! you always inspire. xo

  11. absolutely Exquisite piece Julie Ann!! The face you painted of Odette has to be one of my all time favorites! Gorgeous!!
    Your trees are very sweet too, but Oh I am in love with that face!
    I do hope you are feeling better dear friend, I too was down and out a bit- guess it's that time of the year! Be well- sending hugs
    xo Jackie

  12. I love everything about this piece, the crackle, the swans and especially the face xxx

  13. fantastic work and beautiful ornament,love it.

    hugs jenny

  14. Beautiful portrait! And the story was very special as well. Thank you for sharing it with us all. :-)

  15. I adore your tree brooches Julie Ann, and the ornament is exquisite! xxx

  16. Julie, thank you for visiting my blog, dear, , here on your blog, at once I`m in fairy land and memories pop up, from being a kid, watching a ballet in TV , and me hopping and turning around on my "toes" :-) Your ornament is simply stunning, so filled with beauty and fairytale ,and all the components you gathered makes Odette the most perfect christmas ornament, in your home.
    The little tree brooches are the sweetest and love their faces, which I also see when meeting a tree !!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Julie- xxx

  17. I love your little tree characters - I agree, the faces appear all over forests as you walk through!

    The new tree ornament is absolutely beautiful - a Nutcracker Snow Queen who will look just wonderful on the tree.
    Alison xx

  18. Oh these are wonderful! I so love the heart ornament!


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