Monday, 24 March 2008

Cards, Gift Boxes and Gift Bags

I love Geishas!!! I was wondering round Lakeland one day when I spotted some Geisha silhouette cut-outs, and of course I had to buy them. This card also combines Amy Butler Sakura (meaning blossom) matt paper with a hand-stitched image of Oriental poppies. I'm really into stitching on paper at the moment- and I'm currently working on a picture of the Japanese goddess Sengen (the goddess of blossom and Mount Fuji) in a similar way.

One of my favourite boxes, it seems almost Oriental in style. When I started making these boxes and bags I got a bit carried away- as usual, and ended up with nearly 50 of them. I figure that if they don't sell I will simply use a few of them as wedding favour boxes. All boxes are made from cardstock, and embellished with cut-outs, ribbons, brads, rhinestones and charms.

Another favourite- I rather like the shape, and strings of pearl beads are my new thing of the moment!

The two above were originally made for the Ostara season, they are big enough to contain a few small eggs, but sadly we may have to wait for the next one now!

Take away carton! I like this shape so much I'm considering creating a set for Halloween.

Set of three boxes which turned out pretty but really quite small. I suppose you could put really tiny gifts in them but otherwise their purpose is purely decorative.
I love this shape, it opens from the bottom, and is decorated with brads, cut-outs and paper ribbon.

These are a good size, so much so I had toyed with the idea of making a few more and using them to containg altered mini- books and such. What do you think?

As Seen.. um Somewhere Soon....

Audrey is number 2 in my open series of art dolls, this one follows much the same process as doll number one (see images below) but combines my new discovery of chipboard shapes and joss paper from the Chinese supermarket.

This picture entitled "Midnight Feast" is a very recent piece, and a rare example of a piece that is purely painted, I've resisted the urge to embellish and stitch into the canvas and it is actually quite free-ing to be able to go back to basics. The theme is probably quite dark in terms of my usual fairly cheerful subject matter, but I am interested in the darker aspects of nature, and natural impulses that occure. It came to me while watching a friends cat tormenting a moth, and put me in mind of the dead birds we used to find in the garden- often killed by a neighbours cat. I wanted to paint in the style of Halloween Whimsy art, but couldn't resist adding a little gold paint however, and I actually think it works!

Carousels are something I really enjoy, I see them as useable sculptures, very much a multi sensory experience, and they tend to crop up frequently in my work. This piece depicts a carousel horses head in close up, and eventually I think it would be fun to recreate a whole entire horse in fabric collage on a large scale. This piece is very much a "re-cycled bits of old scraps from the bottom of the sewing box " kind of picture, and is another example of layering pieces to create a whole image. In keeping with my usual style I've used bold textiles, and embellishments.

When I was in Paris a few years ago I came across an abandoned carousel dumped in the oddest place. The image stayed with me and inspired this 20cm by 20cm one of a kind piece.

The piece is made up of different fabrics layered and stitched together and embellished with beads and sequins. The carousel horses are re-cycled from a christmas decoration which I then painted over because I'm quite picky and I din't like the manufacturers colour scheme. This picture reflects my approach to colour and texture quite susinctly, I tend to be drawn to create very bold pieces. The background is red felt, attached to a canvas frame, the back of which is painted red, and the whole thing is surrounded by black ribbon tied off in a bow at the bottom of the frame. The bow on reflection could be considered a bit excessive but considering the piece as a whole I felt it a little pointless trying to tone it down!

This piece has been somewhat on-going, up until fairly recently I kept going back and adding extra bits, and at one point re-created it completely. Now I have finally decided it is finished and I must say its about time!

I think my biggest hurdle with this picture was my limited colour pallet, (a self imposed constraint I thought would be easier to stick to than it was) there are only four colours in use, which means I used texture and embellishment to combat the sense of unfinished-ness (I know-!) I felt with the picture.

As a general rule I tend to dislike line drawings (not by others-mostly mine, its a skill I wish I had), for me colour livens a piece up, and I rarely limit my pallet, I tend to have a "more is more" approach. The struggle I felt with this is at odds with the serene image of the laughing Buddha, but I actually feel very happy with this now, and I particularly like how the limited but strong colours complement each other, and my embellishments are subtle- not usual for me at all!

Number one (Mariella- a homage to the song I was listening to at the time) in an open series of art dolls, in the style of Russian Matryoshka dolls. This doll measures around 11cm high, and at its widest point 6cm, and 2.5mm thick. I created each doll by layering different designer scrap papers mixed in contrasting patterns and textures to add interest. I had the intention to do this without being too fussy about whether things matched, the idea was to make the colours and patterns "sing" without being too caught up in the usual rules when working with colour and pattern.

The faces are hand painted and details have been picked out using paint and ink. I sanded the edges between layering to smooth them out and soften them and then finished with a wash of ink. I've used rhinestones, flower cut-outs, paint and image transfers to embellish each doll. I'm fairly new to the merits of scrap paper, I don't scrap book but I am naturally drawn to bright colours and shiny things so I imagine I will be creating quite a few collages in coming weeks just to use up all the items I've already bought!

Though this piece is relatively small it is detailed and a great deal of work has gone into its creation. Each doll comes signed and dated with its issue number on the back, and I intend for the series to continue until I run out of ideas, and eventually I will being using these pieces in my canvas paintings too. (I decided to make this a custom project too, so if anyone wishes to commision me with any specific requirements, size, colours , etc please let me know).

One of my more recent pieces, this started out as a comission for a set of greetings cards, though this is the original. The piece is a mixed media collage made from recycled paper, painted with metallic acrylics and embellished with sequins, mounted with designer scrap paper. The framed image measures 12 inches by 9.5 inches.

The inspiration for this painting came from an earlier sketch I did of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, and for this picture I recreated one of the peacocks I used in the drawing, mainly to see if the techniques I had considered using would work for that piece, and to explore the use of metallic paint. The picture is currently for sale on Etsy, though I would be willing to recreate it to any specifications required should the need arise.



Welcome! My name is Katie, but I go by the name of Elphaba and
I have recently made the decision to go freelance as an artist and sometime illustrator. I take comissions for all manner of things, from pet portraits to greetings cards and I've also worked on a couple of covers for birdwatching field guides. If pushed to categorise my art I would say it was a mix of painting, needle crafts and paper crafts. My interests span many things, from mythology and old dark fairy tales, geishas to goddesses through to paper engineering and burlesque. I have a passion for all things vintage and retro, I love old style glamour combined with theatrical elements and I love mixing bright colours, contasting textures and bold patterns. I like art that can be considered a multi-sensory experience.

If you like any of the work you see here please don't hesitate to comment me requesting my e-mail, and keep an eye out for my website in the next few months.