Saturday, 13 February 2016

Show Your Face on Friday - Daisy's Story.

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven with Valentine's Day just around the corner! Once again I'm a little late to the party over at Kim Dellow's 'Show Your Face on Friday' blog; but if you look here you will see that you can link up portrait art to Kim's blog all week, even though she goes live on a Friday at 10.00 am. I've learned so much from Kim's blog and the contributors over the months that I've been linking up and I'd like to say a big Thank You to her for sharing her faces with us each week and making it possible for us to share and learn from each other too. If you haven't done so already, please do take a look at Kim's blog and find out more.
This week I've been working in my story journal again. I'm due to begin a story-telling and art course with the amazing Robin Laws at the beginning of March, so I've been flexing my story-telling muscles a bit before we begin. I was asked by an artist whose work I really admire, if I would create a miniature triptych for her which included at least one animal's face.
And Alphonse, the lute playing Tiger was born! He is much in demand at the court for his sweet and haunting compositions: love songs that transport the listeners to fairy kingdoms! This commission set me thinking that I don't look at animal faces nearly enough, so I made myself a Pinterest board of arty studies of cats' faces and I began to look closely at our cat, Daisy! This made her a little uncomfortable and she gave me some rather grumpy glances! Usually, though, Daisy has a gentle, faraway look in her eyes that suggests she might be meditating on days gone by and this plus a conversation with my son about Daisy's possible past lives inspired my journal spread.
I slapped lots of Gesso onto these pages in my old art book on Composition and Perspective, before stencilling and stamping and brayering. I then drew this portrait of Daisy in my little Shakespeare sonnet book before collaging her - and her rather special locket onto the page! The bodice of her dress has embroidered on it the galleon her beloved ship's cat sailed away in and depicts his guardian angel leading the way!
Daisy has had so many lives - way more than nine - so she has difficulty remembering them all. She needed the Magpie to lead her into the forest and help her to find that locket she lost nearly 500 years ago!
Remembering her lost love and his musical skills gives Daisy's spirit wings to fly back in time! I collaged a tiny copy of her face, scanned into the computer, onto a Tim Holtz tissue butterfly.
I've been thinking about Renaissance faces as well as exploring the world of miniature art at the Victoria and Albert on Friday. I'm still enjoying drawing on Crackle.
 And here are some portrait sketches I did in my little, altered book of sonnets.
This book is small enough to carry in my bag, so I can sketch anywhere with Inktense pencils and work on these quick and scrappy sketches some more when I return home.
Thank You so much for stopping by my blog today. I have been getting really behind with following and commenting on friend's blogs of late. I will try hard to get round to visiting and being inspired by you all soon, I hope. Have a lovely, creative weekend.


  1. have had time to study this on the pc now, and it looks even more impressive than on the tiny phone screen! Look forward to hearing more of your story telling art!

  2. What a fabulous post - I love the story of Daisy and the magpie! Daisy may have given you grumpy looks but she looks great here! Your renaissance faces are superb and capture the look perfectly! Realised that I totally missed last week's post so off for a look now! Hugs, Chrisx

  3. I so love your sweet stories JulieAnn!
    The kitty is so precious as is her little butterfly time traveling self! Delightful!
    I do love your book of sonnet portraits, but have to say I am particularly drawn to the crackle face- she is just gorgeous!
    Happy weekend my friend! xoxo

  4. Another treat of a post, Julie Ann... the triptych with Alphonse the lute-playing tiger is wonderful - the delicate figures either side gesturing to draw our attention to this master of the strings. The faces in the sonnet book and the tiny crackled heart face are all beautifully done - drawn, tinted and brought to life so well. But it's the pages with Daisy and her romantic story which have captured my heart completely.
    Alison xx

  5. An absolute feast!
    A lute playing tiger ... but of course! The strangest thing of all, it seems to make complete sense in the world you create.
    The miniature book of Sonnets as an art journal is a wonderful idea especially as you can carry it wherever and study faces in the crowd.
    Daisy's story is one of wonder and you certainly captured a far away look in her eyes and isn't she so beautifully dressed!
    Beautiful crackled face. Julie Ann, only you could make wrinkles look this beautiful!!! The colours are so lovely and you capture such character and depth in your faces.
    I need to read through this post once more just in case I overlooked anything.

  6. I LOVE your art and the stories that go with. I truly enjoy all of it! The cats head on the butterfly? WELL that did it.
    Can't wait to see what you do next.
    Victoria, BC

  7. You are a creative and artistic storyteller Julie Ann, when's the book coming out! Jo xx

  8. Beautiful!! I love the story of your cat with wings! I hope to see your stories in print soon! I love the musician triptych! Mums the word!! Looking forward to viewing it IRL.

  9. I love the stories that you weave around your wonderful characters Julie Ann! Beautiful sketches and pieces of art!
    Alison xx

  10. These are delightfully charming illustrations and stories. I love the depth you achieve in your artwork with the shadings and dark tones. Blessings, my friend!

  11. These are absolutely stunning.

  12. Oh Wow Julie Ann, I'm blown away by this post, sorry it's took a while getting here. Fabulous faces as always. Enjoy your course, would loved to have done it with you. I love Robin's work. Sadly I missed it! Hugs Debs xx

  13. Wonderful pages Julie! Oh! cats had nine lives and they lost almost them memories... I see!! But they are know-it-all face. This pages is fabulous and your story too!! xx

  14. Beautiful portraits and I love your little character Daisy.


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