Saturday 9 January 2016

Hearts and Eyes - Focus on Eyes in Show Your Face on Friday with Kim Dellow.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I do hope you're finding lots of time to create now that the Christmas and New Year festivities are far behind and the last bauble is safely stowed away until next year!

 Last Friday I linked up with Kim Dellow's inspiring blog 'Show Your Face on Friday', where Kim is challenging us this month to explore how we draw eyes. This week Kim has created a stylised portrait in which she focuses on a pair of large sparkling eyes. I've taken a slightly different path to Kim. I've used the surreal eye that I created last week to make some wearable art that plays with the idea of what hearts and eyes can symbolise. These lines from John Donne's poem 'The Good Morrow' really inspired me to think about the connection between hearts and eyes too:

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest

 I scanned my drawing, re-sized it to fit an MDF heart of around 2.5 x 2.5" and changed the colour to emerald green. It's a little deeper than it appears in the image above.
It was fun to create several of these 'heart and eye landscapes' and combine them with different elements. For this pendant I took the beautiful resin flame from Sandra Evertson's Relics and Artifacts collection, coloured it with green Fresco paints from PaperArtsy and touched it with Treasure Gold. The slightly larger heart has been Crackled Glazed - Teresa Green Fresco over Little Black Dress with some Sara Nauman script added and edged with French Roast and Treasure Gold.
Combined, the elements seemed to call for a little something more! I chose a single word in the end for this one: joy! That's a word that really conveys the link between hearts and eyes to me. What a precious sense sight is. How many times have I been tired or low spirited and then felt my heart soar as I looked up at birds in flight. They are always the perfect symbol of hope, life and freedom among the bare winter branches. And all we have to do is look above our heads to see their exuberance and love of being alive!
The symbol of birds soaring in freedom just captured my imagination as I thought about this and I created more brooches and a pendant using my artwork and little resin birds given to me by my crafting friend Lucy. I used rusting powder on the charms to give a sense of age and some purple gems from a broken necklace. For my text, keeping to the theme of freedom in every sense of the word, I just typed words I associated with hearts, freedom and flight and then combined them to create a very simple 'found poetry' on the pieces.
I experimented with Professor Plum Crackle over Little Black Dress and this time gold embossed the Sara Nauman text.
 I wanted to give the impression of the little bird flying out of the piece to remind us of the beauty there is in wild nature and how free we feel just walking in the natural world and taking in all its treasures. 
Finally, I created something different! I took this Sandra Evertson heart and drew the eye straight onto a wash of Nougat Fresco paint - quite nerve-racking - but I told myself that if it went horribly wrong I could always paint it out! Using pencil, marker and Inktense with dots of Snowflake Fresco, I wanted to create the effect of the bright, exhilarating colours of Mexican Folk Art. This is inspired by Mexican folk art pieces I saw just before Christmas at a fascinating little shop called Milagros in London's Columbia Road.
Thank You so much for taking a peep through my eyes this week! Do pop over to Kim's blog here to see what she and the other artists have created on the theme of eyes. I hope you will be able to have a play at 'making eyes' of your own this week and link them up! Have a happy and creative time until we meet again.


  1. Fabulous eye art again Julie Ann!!

  2. Your eyes are all wonderful, and I love the idea of making them wearable. Hard to pick a fave, they are all GREAT! Have wonderful and creative 2016, hugs, Valerie

  3. Your artistic pendants are amazing! You posses amazing craftsmanship skills and the ability to find creative ways to apply your artwork to functional pieces. Blessings!

  4. The eye on the fresco paint is beautiful. That's a new method. And it combines modern with the medieval technique of fresco. Wonderful job!!

  5. Goodness me, they are stunning.

  6. Absolutely AH MA ZING!! Julie Ann, has Sandra seen these? You truly used her pieces beautifully!
    My gosh these are gorgeous!! I Love the eye with the branches- too cool!!

  7. That is a very creative take on this month's focus on the eyes! Amazing work!

  8. Hi there. please forgive this mode of contact but I couldn't work out any other way. I am the design team coordinator for Calio Craft Parts and would like to invite you along as guest designer sometime this year. if you think you would be interested in this could you drop me an email at
    thank you.

  9. Totally cool Julie Lee. xox

  10. Wonderful art hearts and Sandra Evertson heart is so stunning. xx

  11. Your take on this challenge is brilliant Julie Ann ♥
    Each eye is fascinating and wonderful.
    Drawing directly on the piece worked out great too.

  12. Fantastic to see that magical eye taking its place on some of your beautiful jewellery pieces. And the hand-drawn eye on the Evertson mould is wonderful.
    Alison xx

  13. Very cool new direction you're taking, Julie! I love this just as I love my new brooch and your Magpie art.

  14. Wow! These really are amazing Julie Ann! Hugs, Chrisx


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