Sunday, 21 December 2008

The Art of Recycling

I am a real horder, I can't throw anything away and I've been saving up stamps, old paper bags, magazines, old tickets, postcards, fabric, beads, broken china, bits of metal and plastic and scraps of anything, ever since I can remember. I like to think that I'll eventually use all the junk in a massive artistic outpouring of beautiful collages and altered art sculptures. I love patchwork, collage and mosaic partly because of their potential for recycling old rubbish into beautiful new works of art.

Kaffee Fassett's books on patchwork were a real inspiration to me and have so far resulted in 3 baby quilts, 4 cushions and 1 and a half full sized quilts. I've got a massive collection of fabric scraps taking up boxes of space. Gaudi is another icon and inspiration - Barcelona is beautiful because of his amazing architecture and mosaics. Again, I've got boxes full of broken plates, cups and tiles. I just love the mix of colours, textures and patterns.

The beauty of rubbish as art is that anyone can do it. I've got a fantastic book about 'Outsider Art' full of the amazing creations of hundreds of people from around the world. Nek Chand's garden in India is one of the most amazing, hundreds of mosaic people and animals in a concrete, landscaped garden. I'd love to see it one day, if not have a go at creating something like it! For now I'm sticking to paper, with a bit of collage and mixed media. There's something really additive about collecting and creating. I think it's a combination of the colours, patterns and images and the act of creation that I enjoy. I can't get enough!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Ghost Tree Prints - Velvety loveliness!

I recently ordered a few prints of some of my paintings and digital artworks and I really love the results! The quality of the colours and printing is excellent!

I've just listed these three beautiful original digital Giclee prints, my 'Ghost Tree' series.
These were created from an original mixed media painting which was then digitally enhanced to create these stunning, colourful designs. The Giclee print is a long lasting image, printed to the highest quality.

I can't do justice to the beautiful quality of these prints - they are so velvety and rich! The high quality lightly textured paper combined with the archival inks produces a luxurious and velvety finish, with rich deep greens, reds, purples, golds and blues - vibrant and beautiful!

These would look fantastic framed as a set, or individually. Beautiful trees, lovely rich colours, stunning quality prints!
All three are available in my Etsy shop

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Etsy Visual Artists Street Team

I've just joined the VAST team, for Etsy Visual Artists! It looks like a great group of talented artists :-) And I've made my first post to their blog: My first VAST team Blog!

Here is the painting I posted for my blog, it's the latest in my experiments into slightly abstract, slightly cubist still life and it's called 'Yellow Vase':
I'm really happy with it, I love the blues and the contrast with the mustard yellow - gorgeous! And I had great fun with the patterns in the background. I've uploaded it to my Etsy Shop, so it's up for grabs!

The other painting I've posted to VAST is this watercolour called 'Church'. I really love this too, again, slightly experimental with the stylised trees. I was a bit shocked to see how much I've reduced it to! Oh well!

To see all of my VAST Sale items you can go straight to this link:

There are some fab bargains! I've probably been a bit too generous because I'd really like to kick start my sales! :-)

Monday, 3 November 2008

Blue Monday

Blue Monday
Originally uploaded by Franny B
As I was uploading some of my latest paintings to my Etsy shop I couldn't help notice all the blues.
I love blue and it shows!
Here is a small selection of the original blue art available in my shop at the moment :-)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Secrets of the Saucy Seaside Postcard & The Big Draw

Russell-Cotes Art gallery and Museum is an architecturally fantastic building which holds a great collection of art assembled by the husband and wife collectors Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes.
It's a great gallery and this weekend we went along to see the Saucy Seaside Postcard exhibition.

The exhibition is a window into the past, showing the workings of the Yorkshire based card company Bamforth, including a great documentary showing the men behind the postcards.

It was also a chance to see original sketches and paintings for the postcards and cards. One of the most interesting things about the exhibition was the selection of Valentines cards which included Valentine 'warnings' - which ranged from hints to nosey neighbours not to be so gossipy to personal attacks and threats!
This weekend Russell-Cotes was also hosting some Big Draw events. The Big Draw is a UK wide campaign to get everyone drawing! This October it's the 9th Big Draw with events at over 1000 venues including galleries, museums, libraries, shopping centres and schools.
See the Big Draw site for more info:

I managed to miss the morning's tuition session, but I still had a go at drawing this sculpture. I spent a couple of hours but could have taken longer over it. I did get a couple of tips from the tutor but I couldn't stay long enough to get her feedback on my adjustments. It's not quite right but it was good practice!

Russell-Cotes Gallery site:

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Poster

I love those Flickr tools!
This poster was created from my original watercolour painting using fd's Flickr Toys

October is breast Cancer awareness month!

In the UK we are entitled to free mammograms on the NHS but this isn't the case in the US.

Clicking on the Breast Cancer site means that sponsors donate free mammograms to those in need. Visitors pay nothing. Mammograms are paid for by the site's sponsors and distributed by the National Breast Cancer Foundation. To help click here

In my mosaic pic I've selected a few of my prettier paintings. I chose a little pink border for it but it doesn't quite show up!

Saturday, 18 October 2008


Wow, I've been blogging for only a week and I've been tagged! Thanks Hens Teeth! :-)

Tagging Rules

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog
2. Share 7 interesting/random facts about yourself on your blog
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, leaving their names as well as links to their blog
4. Leave a comment on each of their blogs to let them know they've been tagged!

Seven facts about me....

1. I love quizzes, trivia, puzzles and all things quizzy. University Challenge is my fave quiz at the moment, even if I can only get a handful of questions right each week. Unbelieveably, my parents were both on a team that competed on Uni Challenge - it would be fantastic to get a copy of the footage some day!

2. I once had to check for bombs in the toilets at Kings Cross station. I was working there as a cleaner at the time and apparently it was standard practice before important visitors - I think Prince Charles was visiting that day. Cleaning Kings Cross was actually preferably to some of the other jobs I've had - the worst was definitely working in a bank call centre.

3. I collect things - Jugs, postcards, fridge magnets, marbles, Agatha Christie novels and snow globes - to name a few.

4. I've had tea with the Queen. Not entirely true, but I did go along to a garden party at the palace when I was about 15. I can't remember much about it apart from my lovely pink outfit and ridiculous pink high heels.

5. I love Fred and Ginger films - Carefree, Swing time and the Gay Divorce are some of my faves. I also love Hitchcock films - Vertigo, Rope and Notorious are just amazingly good!

6. I love music - pop, jazz, folk, country, indie, opera, dance - as long as it's got a great tune, beautiful vocals and great lyrics!

7. I play football but never watch it. I'd recommend it to anyone - 5 aside girls football, it's a great laugh, good exercise and a great way to unwind!

Here are my 7 taggies - your turn! :

Sigrid Frensen -
Linda Hammelman -
Calvin Tang -
Mary Ellen Golden -
Suzanne Smith -
Lizzie T -
Sarah and Rachel -

Monday, 13 October 2008

Step by Step - Botanical painting

Some of the photos are a bit too dark but I managed to remember to take a few as I painted this picture of three Sycamore leaves. View the set as a slideshow , or have a look at the set on Flickr for some notes on each of the steps.

I love to Scrapblog!

I can't remember how I discovered Scrapblogging but it was instantly addictive! I haven't done any scrap-booking since I was a girl and I'd never thought of digital scrap booking.

Scrapblog is a fantastic site, it makes it so easy to put together digital collages from your own photos and from digital scraps that the site provides under themed headings.

This is one of my first attempts at a digital scrapbook of my floral paintings:

Friday, 10 October 2008


Inspired by beautiful blogs like Sigrid's: ,
Gustavo Aimar's:
and France Belleville's:
to name a few, I've decided that I need a blog to display my artwork and tell you a bit more about the process, trials, highs and lows of my artistic experiments...

This is me - not sure why I look so confused but I was working on a commision which was going quite badly!


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