Koi Carp

There’s an aquarium store near us that have a large indoor pond just inside their door. In which they keep large beautiful koi fish.  It’s the sort of set up that most fish lovers would love but I am sure would cost a bomb or two to achieve your own, not considering the upkeep, maintenance and space.  I don’t think I have seen too many of these since I moved over here if any apart from the one at this store.  My 3 yr old daughter likes the fish but what she really loves is that if you go to the till the other side of the door you can buy a pre-measured out little pot of fish food for a dollar and feed the koi.  The excitement and thrashing that ensues from the feeding frenzy, as their big mouths open to gulp down the tiny pellets gets giggles and raucous laughter from S.  So every once in a while we visit the aquarium store so she can feed the fish.

We have actually been doing this a while, yet it hadn’t made it to this blog yet.

But I have recently been trying to reorganize my digital devices which I use for my art.  Even when I hand draw or paint with traditional medium I still use technology to scan it, finish it or tidy it up and enlarge, before I share on this blog. Other times I use it to actually make art from scratch with my different apps and programs I have.  But I am pretty bad at transferring and deleting things and so it’s gotten to the point of clean up and tidy up or not be able to do anything more.  Digital memory is limited it seems more than my memory on a Monday morning, during a caffeine ban.  One of my favorite and go-to creative apps is the Art Rage for IPad app, which was struggling to process the simplest of tasks thanks to the multiple large as possible multi-layer works it had saved all waiting to be transferred or finished.  I can no longer ignore spring cleaning my digital files and work. So I have been trying to do it here and there, especially when it comes to inside the apps, which I found have quite a few pieces not finished.

And then I saw a fish, an unfinished fish, a whole lot of effort put in already fish, but no where near finished.

 

A fish in need, Koi in progress long forgotten.

A fish in need, Koi in progress long forgotten.

And then I remembered our walks to feed the fish and S’s squeals of laughter and happiness.  And that this fish has been waiting for more detail since 2013, poor poor lonely forgotten fish.

How could I leave it for so long languishing, with all the memories it represents? Clearly I had lost momentum during the creative process, probably from loosing my nerve.  I tend to get scared about ruining a piece and back off for a breather.  This breather apparently took a year.  Well I clearly couldn’t leave it any longer.  So I pushed through the uncertainty about what direction to take it and started making progress.

Close up of the nose details in progress.

Close up of the nose details in progress.

 

In Progress Koi Carp close to being finished. Screen shot of the work in the Art Rage app which I am creating it in.

In Progress Koi Carp close to being finished. Screen shot of the work in the Art Rage app which I am creating it in.

I was surprised how little time it took to finish considering how long it took me to get to the point in which i found it. I came to the conclusion that it’s my dithering and lack in confidence in my directional choices that make it such a long creational process.  The minute I chose to ignore those little voices and just go with the flow it seemed to speed up.

But as always I had a last minute wobble with the eye colour.

Screen shot of Koi Carp in progress within the app. With lighter blue eyes.

Screen shot of Koi Carp in progress within the app. With lighter blue eyes.

I realized whilst on screen the darker blue version was striking, but in print the lighter blue would stand out more.  So I decided to make both versions. Why not? This is the benefit of digital art. you can create different versions of things with simple tweaks quite easily without having to start over on a canvas or board.

So here they are my two versions of the same fish.

Dark blue eyed koi carp.

Dark blue eyed koi carp.

And with a lighter touch.

Koi Carp version two with lighter blue eyes.

Koi Carp version two with lighter blue eyes.

I think it works. I am glad I didn’t go whole hog on the water swirls, as I think that the plain black areas of the water add a nice touch and stop the water from overwhelming the koi.  I have to admit it makes a nice mirrored fabric print design.

And more so I have something finished to represent all those memories of S and her screams of laughter and giggles whilst feeding the fish.

I think it’s probably time we take another walk back to feed the fishes.

 

 

Oh that flirtatious little dandelion.

It’s Valentine’s Day coming up and I bet when you think of flowers and romance you envision red roses.

But there’s another unappreciated plant that would also fit the romantic flowers category, though when I tell you what that plant is you might not believe me.

If anything this plant probably brings to mind childhood play times in the grass, fairies, wishes, free snacks for pet rabbits and if you are like my husband, sheer loathing.  As the designated person in charge of the grassy areas on our property, this plant is a thorn in his side. To be pulled and discarded at first sight.  It’s not something he wants in his garden (not that the dandelions care about those wishes), no doubt any romantic connotation is far from his mind when he sees one.  But if you look up the symbolic meanings of this plant, then you might be in for a surprise.  For something so supposedly unwanted, the results sure are poetic and beautiful.

There’s more than one meaning for this plant, and I shall focus on only one for this post.  One that is quite appropriate for a certain popular day that’s coming up, Coquetry.  The definition of coquetry is “a flirtatious manor or flirtatious behavior”.  And by plant I mean a very well known garden weed.  This fluffy little guy.

That flirtatious little dandelion puff n our garden... It's floriography meaning is coquetry.

That flirtatious little dandelion puff n our garden… It’s floriography meaning is coquetry.

Yup that’s right I am talking about the dandelion.  Dandelions are flirty.  Bet that’s not something you would have ever thought before reading this.  And if we are really honest, a lot lot cheaper than the Valentine’s Day standard of red roses.  But somehow I don’t think my husband will take up giving me dandelions as tokens of affection.  And the real thing whilst quite pretty once gone to seed is quite quite delicate.  One breath, or sneeze and you’ve got a bare stem.

This little, delicate and fun garden weed, with its surprising floriography meaning inspired me.  So I broke out the green ink again.

drawing in green ink, with a dropper. This is how my inkblot art starts.

drawing in green ink, with a dropper. This is how my inkblot art starts.

 And I started making some green grass inkblots.

Fresh green inkblots before the details of the flower have been added.

Fresh green inkblots before the details of the flower have been added.

 This time I went with silver pen instead of gold like the roses.  I felt the silver suited the green and the dandelion puff much more.

Close up of the silver details being added.

Close up of the silver details being added.

 After a few stolen work minutes here and there I finally had something finished.

Coquetry Floriography Inkblot of the Dandelion. Finished piece.

Coquetry Floriography Inkblot of the Dandelion. Finished piece.

I am pretty happy with how it came out.  It even looks good in a white frame.

Originals of two floriography inkblots featuring Dandelion/Coquetry (left in frame) and Ivy/friendship (right)

Originals of two floriography inkblots featuring Dandelion/Coquetry (left in frame) and Ivy/friendship (right)

 And as I have enjoyed creating these inkblots, and learning about floriography so much, I am going to set you all the challenge to join me.

Lets blow up our social media with beautiful flowers, plants, and beautiful sentiments.  We can fill the internet with secret messages and learn about floriography together.

I want you to share pictures of a plant or flower in your feeds be it facebook, twitter, Google+, Tsu, Pinterest, or even Instagram. It can be a photo or even a picture you drew or created.  Along with the flower or plant’s name, it’s floriography meaning and the tag #FloriographyInkblotInspiredMe so we can all see see it. Come on lets communicate through flowers and plants on the internet. It will make a pretty change in our news feeds from the usual image content we see and share, and you might find some of the meanings surprising.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you share.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. May your days be filled with coquetry and love.

Are you having a Merry Christmas?

 

We celebrate Christmas in our house.  And this year V was off work for both Christmas day and Boxing Day (it’s a Brit thing), so we have had a busy week.  Actually with two days of friends and family dinners and another play date and dinner for S, it’s been a really really busy week.  And with that and being busy to the lead up to Christmas I never managed to finish my artwork for my Christmas post.

So I’m sneaking on now to share it with you and to just say…

Hope you had a happy holidays and have a great new year.  And thanks for supporting me, my art and my blog.

I’m looking forward to sharing more art with you in the new year.

These two inkblot art pieces were inspired by a beautiful poinsettia I bought this month.

Green and red Poinsettia floriography inkblot artwork. The Poinsettia ~ Good cheer and success.

Green and red Poinsettia floriography inkblot artwork. The Poinsettia ~ Good cheer and success.

The poinsettia has more than one floriography meaning that i have found through research.  This piece depicts the meaning “Good cheer and success” which no doubt is connected to it’s popularity as a decorative Christmas plant and it’s association with Christmas.

 This second piece is another inkblot artwork featuring the poinsettia plant… this time leaving out the green ink.

Floriography inkblot of a poinsettia with the meaning of purity.

Floriography inkblot of a poinsettia with the meaning of purity.

From research I have found it stated that the Aztecs gave the meaning of purity to the poinsettia. And that they used it’s red leaves for dye. Sometimes you learn more than you expect when studying up on something simple.  Look up the meaning of a plant and end up reading a page on the Aztecs, their sacrifice beliefs and where they got dye from.

See you in the New Year everyone. Good cheer and success to you all!

Messages in Petals

Since we bought our current home and finally had our own garden, we been getting into gardening and growing things.  Well if I ‘m honest, it’s mostly been a lot of my enthusiasm and ideas and hell of a lot of V’s physical input and gardening.   Anything from roses to tomatoes and squash we have been trying to grow it.  With perhaps more emphasis on the edibles rather than ornamental plants. Having great fun growing, picking and eating the fruits of our labors….OK mostly V’s labors and my direction.

With all the new flowers and plants growing in our gardens and in the neighbors gardens I didn’t have to look far to find sights that inspired me.   I had previously bought some mini red roses and planted them in a planter on my patio and they were in full bloom.

My mini red roses.

My mini red roses.

I wanted to do something inspired by the beautiful red roses. I had also been recently reminded of the subject of Victorian Floriography, which I wanted to learn more about.  The basic premise of Floriography is that every flower or plant has a meaning attached to them.  And by understanding those meanings you can convey secret messages or sentiments to others through flower arrangements or even individual flowers.  I bought the book “The Language and Sentiment of Flowers” by James McCabe. Which is essentially a flower meaning dictionary, where you can look up either a specific flower for their meaning or a sentiment to find a flower suggestion.  I’ve really enjoyed reading this book. And have found it very helpful when researching this project. Though I have come across one or two plants  not included so far. I do recommend this book if you are looking of a Floriography dictionary.

Now I knew what my inspiration was going to be I had to decide what felt right as a medium.

A few years ago I went through an artist’s ink phase, and subsequently got into inkblots. Where I developed my own style/method of drawing with inkblots, which created some beautiful prints.  Mostly these prints revolved around flora inspirations and abstract shapes as those subjects seemed to suit the style this method resulted in. This felt light a natural fit for my new project.

I used this method to create part of my new logo which you saw in my last blog post.  My mediums of choice for this project will mostly be artist ink, pencil and pen (in this posts case oil based Sharpie), on paper.

You can never have too much ink...that is artist ink.

You can never have too much ink…that is artist ink.

And because I like to be a bit different I like to paint and draw with pipettes instead of brushes.

Not the usual artist tools

Not the usual artist tools

So I spent a little while making a mess with ink and having fun.

The beginnings of an inkblot drawing.

The beginnings of an inkblot drawing.

After it's pressed.  Not as pretty. A true inkblot now.

After it’s pressed. Not as pretty. A true inkblot now.

After that I let it dry before I went on to add the details and finish it.

So for this post I went with a specific flower and then looked up its meaning/sentiment for my inspiration rather than the sentiment being my starting point.

As I already stated, I decided to start with the red roses in my garden. So all that was left was to look up roses and their meanings whilst the ink dried.

A single red rose. Love and Simplicity.

A single red rose. Love and Simplicity.

According to some of my research roses especially red ones, generally stand for love in floriogrpahy.  But variations in colour, or even type of rose or number of blooms and if open can dictate a change in meaning. Therefore if a red rose stands for love and a single rose stands for simplicity one could interpret a single red rose for a simplistic love.

Once all was dry and I was able to pencil down some details taking a lead from the natural flow of the inkblots I ended up with two different red rose prints.

Both I gave gold pen details. Each one construes a different sentiment based on my research of floriography.

The first print features a bunch of roses on their stems with leaves.

Bunch of red roses stand for love.

Bunch of red roses stand for love.

The second piece was a single rose with some leaves visible.

A single rose stands for simplicity.

A single rose stands for simplicity.

Whilst red roses are said to hold a floriogrpahy meaning of love a single rose can sometimes mean simplicity. Therefore you could construe a single red rose as a declaration of simple love.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed making these pieces and learning more about floriography.  And I can’t wait to make more, so watch this space as it may become a regular subject on the Inspired Me Studio blog.

Yoo-Hoo I See You

 

Since I started selling my art on Zazzle and Spoonflower, I have realized that being social is a necessity to get my work seen and perhaps make one sale. And since then I’ve been on steep learning curve as to what marketing means to an artist.

Many think that selling your photography or artwork on a POD site (print on demand website) is a simple and quick way to make money from your creative efforts.  But it’s anything but quick, simple and by no means easy.

Starting out I expected to spend majority of my time creating the art, followed by creating designs for POD sites from said art and finally promoting. But the reality has been in fact the reverse. I have at times spend majority of my time networking or socializing, followed by designing for the POD sites, and then some artwork. Which may not sound like a big deal, except for me it matters as my time in the to create is already short.  But I still do it anyway. I do it because because without networking and socializing nobody would see my art, or my blog.  Let alone my art of the POD sites.  Often I do it religiously, sometimes I take a break for a couple of days, or more.  I follow advice I have been given.  And I try all the social media networking/marketing advice I find.  Post regularly and I try to not go a huge amount of time between blog posts (which is hard because I don’t like posting till I’ve completed a project which may be more than one piece in my mind when I start out.  But through all of that I sometimes…….Actually quite often find myself looking at the screen like this.

Peek a Hoo, I see you!

Peek a Hoo, I see you!

And wondering Do you see me?

You see for the most part, the only time I can see someone has read my blog, or liked my work, and designs is if they tell me.  Be it through a simple like or comment, even an email, or a simple mention, share on their profiles and pages, or re-tweet. Without those I can’t tell what you think or if you have even read what I have written. Yes I have statistics for this website…but they are very vague. It doesn’t say if you liked something….sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the visits from genuine folks and the bots or spammers with their dubious shoe sales.  So often when I publish new posts and network on all the different social sites, I sometimes wonder if anyone sees me? Sometimes it feels like I am talking into the massive abyss that is the world wide web. The proverbial tree in an internet forest.  If I post something and no-one is there to read it, does it make an impact of any kind?

I create to be creative as it is what I love.  And I also wish to show S that you can still try to do something that makes you happy even if its not a nine to five that’s guaranteed to make a living.  So I wont stop doing so, because I cannot see who’s listening to me.  And I wont stop sharing in case someone is.

So I shall just have to continue to be inspired and create.  And I shall continue to share.

And I shall probably also still often find myself staring at the computer screen,

Peek-a-hoo

Peek-a-hoo

still like this looking for that  spec of encouragement.

Still wondering are you out there? Can you see me?

Multi-color Barn Owls Print Bath Set
Multi-color Barn Owls Print Bath Set by InspiredMeStudio
Look at more Barn owl Toothbrush Holder and Soap Dispenser Set at zazzle