Combining reality and fantasy is challenging but fun. I’ve always been fascinated by the way nature quickly and quietly takes over abandoned buildings enhancing their beauty and interest. Here I’ve used one of my beautiful daughters as the subject.
As many of you will know, we own a very charismatic little house in Castel Rigone. Jumble House. It is known by many names. The magic house, La casa dei bambini. The house for children. The creative house. It is a very happy house, loved not only by us but by the many families it has looked after over nearly two hundred years. They have all changed it a little. Doors have been removed, a bedroom has been replaced by a bathroom. Where once a little Fiat Seicento was garaged became first a living room and now is my studio. But, it is retained it character. Because we and others love it so much I decided to preserve its image on a decorative bottle . I also made a video of the process. It can be found on my YouTube channel. (Arts and Craft ).
A plastic ball covered with electric tape. Stick on Eyes and mouth cut from card or sparkly felt or similar. Then just a piece of muslin or cheesecloth. Simple but effective.
Putting finishing touches to the head of witch for life size model. Started with a plastic ball. Covered with clumps of tinfoil using hot glue. Then a couple of layers of newspaper papier-mâché and finished with toilet paper. When it’s dry I will coat with Gesso and then paint.
On a recent trip to the UK to reunite with our family after 18 months, we had a walk in the New Forest. Now, I know that the ponies are famous and very prolific but I’d never actually encountered one of these amazing and majestic BULLS before! What surprised me even more was that a couple were actually having a picnic just around a bush from two of these creatures! So, on returning home I just had to capture one for outside Jumble House. See how to make your own here: https://youtu.be/UmAwV-qtPyo
I illustrated my latest book using collage. During the process I changed pictures many times and used different materials until I was happy with the result. This gave me the idea of producing a few activities for children based on this idea. I call it ‘experimental collage’ because the end product isn’t something you can hang on the wall or stick on the fridge. In fact there isn’t an end product! The idea is to create then change the materials and create a different version. I’ve suggested taking photos of each stage. These could be printed out or joined together to make a slideshow. The materials used are everyday objects ….bottle tops, buttons, pasta etc etc. I think this kind of activity is very good for kids. It shows them that there are many possible outcomes. That there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and encourages them to be inquisitive. To want to explore and experiment. This video featuring the spider is the first in the series. It’s also the easiest. Future programmes will expect more creativity from the viewer.
Yesterday I placed an easel outside Jumble House. On it was an example of art produced by blowing paint with a straw. A technique enjoyed by generations of children.
It’s also one of the methods I used to create the illustrations in my book, ‘Roo’s Magic Colours’. This is the story of Rupert (Roo) who loves painting and, through his art , finds a way to make the ‘boring’ everyday tasks like walking the dog and tidying his bedroom a lot more fun! The book links with a playlist by the same name on my channel containing videos showing how to create these pictures.
Today I will replace this illustration with another example from my book, using a different technique.
Here is the link: