With the success of the first set of crafting stamps, we realised it was time to make things official. So we set up our business – Pen and Lens Artwork Ltd. I’m the pen, Julie is the lens.
What we do is simple enough. Julie is a dab hand with the camera and captures images wherever she goes. These images are used either for her flowers, flatlays, or affirmation cards, or her colour therapy / psychology requirements, or by me to create the quirky houses seen on this web site.
She will also visit the site of commissioned work to record the detail for me to create a caricature of a house – so I can expose the inner character of what is sometimes a bland piece of architecture.
I hope you like what we do – email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
For six months I have been working with Lesley and David Wharton, of Chocolate Baroque, craft stamp makers.
Back in March one of my quirky ink buildings was spotted by Di Oliver (Tando Creative) who suggested that it would make a good rubber stamp. She put me in contact with Lesley, and, after a phone call, a deal was struck.
Today, 2 October, was the culmination of our efforts. A set of four of my stamps were revealed on television. The show was Hochanda, a hobby, crafts, and art shopping channel aired at 10:00. The show was presented by the enthusiastic Leonie, and Lesley demonstrated the stamps.
It was a good day to launch a new product, there was lots of interest, and plans for future releases. Here are examples of the first set. Check out the Portfolio page for my other illustrations.
Visit Chocolate Baroque to order your set.
(There may be a delay until back orders are complete)
Today it rained. I think the heat wave we’ve had beats the 1976 records.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been at my most productive in the mornings, before the sun gets round to the back of the house and makes the studio hot. I’m not a lover of hot weather. In England the heat usually brings with it humidity, and together with the levels of pollution here in the south, it is a most uncomfortable heat. By lunchtime I’ve given up and gone looking for a cooler spot.
The hot summers I’ve been in, in France are different. I have worked next to a roaring garden bonfire when the daytime temperature has been 40C, and it has not been unpleasant. The atmosphere was dry, and relatively unpolluted. It really is a ‘different kind of heat’. The local gendarmerie told me to put the fire out. Not the done thing during the summer, apparently.
The rain kept me indoors, but I completed three projects. They aren’t for these pages, but they’ll appear somewhere else, later. So, it was a good day!
I am always open to offers, and if you want a picture of your house, or shed, or whatever, that is not quite true to life, but conveys the soul within, please get in touch … email@example.com will do it.
Summer seems to have arrived now, and it is good to work in the studio with loads of natural light.
Interest in my artwork is increasing. There are one-off commissioned pieces, and interest by a decorative rubber stamp manufacturer, and this week I have been asked to provide illustrations for a poetry anthology being written in Australia.
So, not only is the weather looking bright, but also – as the very old TV advert said – is the future.
I am always open to offers, and if you want a picture of your house, or shed, or whatever, that is not quite true to life, but conveys the soul within, please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org will do it.
Spring didn’t really arrive, but we are now starting to get some better weather as we run in to summer.
Our days out, and general wanderings (see @moodymeanders and @juliemoo1960 on Instagram) are a source of much inspiration. For Julie it is the flowers, gardens, and colourful shop displays. Her camera is always locked and loaded, ready to store another memory.
For me, it is the architecture, houses, shops, factories, old, new, interesting; vehicles, machinery, rusty, shiny, that set me thinking. How can I capture the soul of the object?
We will be visiting National Trust places during the summer, they cater for both our needs – and there is usually a quiet corner where one can enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake.
The day after we returned it snowed! What a welcome.
A couple of new posts have gone live. One of my favourite cars, the Shelby Cobra 427, was created with Derwent Grafix pens using only dots, a technique known as pointillism. That took longer than usual but I’m pleased with the result.
Today I posted the Harbour Master’s office. It’s an old building that lends itself to a bit of artistic licence. I can never tell tell what the finished product will look like. Where to next?
New images will appear soon, but for now I am in the Mediterranean enjoying warm days under blue skies.
Each year, around this time, we come to Cyprus in the hope that we can have a week away from the cold and damp of England’s winter. This year has been particularly dreary with a period of Siberian winds and their sub-zero temperatures. It brought heavy snow and a chill not experienced for many years.
But for now there is unbroken blue sky, the thermometer says it is 23C, and all is peace and tranquility. Next week we fly home again, looking forward to the spring arriving in England’s green and pleasant land.
A recent commission has been delivered, and the customer is pleased with the result.
Karen Barclay of Karen’s Quilts had a new studio built in her garden. She asked me to draw ‘The Shed’ so that she can use the illustration on her business cards and blog.
Featured in the picture are; Karen, Treacle the cat, Oliver the dog, Cheryl the crow, and Lance the knight.
You can read Karen’s side of the story, and compare it with the real shed here. The chalet/workshop/shed was made by Tuin, a Dutch company supplying quality buildings. The story about it’s delivery and construction will appear on Karen’s blog soon, too.
If you want to view your house, or other building in a different light, contact me for more information.
Although we are well in to the new year, the web pages have only just started coming together.
I’ve trimmed away what doesn’t fit and started a new portfolio page for my illustrations. I hope you approve, but if you have any comments or suggestions, please add them to this blog. There will be more changes.
As Buzz Lightyear says, “To infinity … and beyond!”
[For more info go to my arty-crafty blog]
It’s been a busy couple of months. It all started with the 2017 BADFA convention, a day out in London, and a Ministry of Mixology weekend. I was glad to have a long weekend at Easter just to recover.
The BADFA 2017 convention went well. Peggy Harris came over from Tennessee to spend the weekend painting with us, Suz Humphreys made time for us on the Friday, and I took a ‘mucky mixed media’ class on Saturday.
Lighter sessions were had on Friday night – Kim’s fun night with a quiz and modelling balloons, and Saturday night – a Powertex demo by Claire Holmes. You’ll have to visit my other site for details
We held the event in Crick again this year. So far we can’t find a venue to beat the price, service, and central location. Chances are we’ll be back there next year.
On Tuesday after convention I took Julie to London for a photo day. She learned in her class while I played tourist. I hopped on and off the tube, sightseeing, and ended up at the Science Museum for lunch. Other than losing her on the Underground between Euston and Waterloo, it was an uneventful day.
But the following weekend was full-on, again. Ministry of Mixology in Coventry with France Papillon and Kate Crane; guest appearance by Andy Skinner. The two days were filled with all the usual MoM fun; France on Saturday, and Kate on Sunday. An evening of make’n’takes filled the bit in the middle.
Then it was back to earth, and a return to work – but inspired with lots of ideas and projects.