Just before Christmas I was given these 2 gems to hang on my Christmas tree.
Well, in the end we didn't get a Christmas tree this year (for all sorts of reasons but principally because we weren't around for Christmas and the one that I bought last year in the pot with roots didn't make it past March) so instead, I hung them on the hearth of one of the fireplaces – one of the fireplaces we don't use!
Now, I have long been a fan of Mark Hearld. I'm not quite sure when I first discovered his work. Here in the UK you come across examples of his designs in all sorts of places. He designs fabric for St Jude's, he designs greeting cards, he illustrates books and he is an artist and printmaker.
Last year I was lucky enough to receive his wonderful book called "Mark Hearld's workbook" for Christmas.
I have had two weeks off! I never have two weeks off! By this I mean two weeks off paid employment but also two weeks of not actually doing anything at all except cooking the odd meal, walking the dog and slobbing out in front of the Christmas television.
Which has all been well and good, but I think my brain has gone into hibernation. Both the left side of my brain and the right side.
So to get me back into the mood of being creative I sought inspiration from Mark Hearld.
First of all, the birds both came with this little card.
Simple yet effective 'marks'.
And the inside cover of his book contains this wonderful pattern.
I think that this is one of the reasons I am such a fan – he makes beautiful art but in a way that seems very accessible. And he also references the work of mid 20th century artists such as Enid Marx etc.
So, I thought taking Mark Hearld as a bit of inspiration I could get myself back into a creative frame of mind.
As well as various bits and pieces I have by him, I also had some wrapping paper which I believe was printed by the Curwen press and which also features mid 20th century images.
So, I began to experiment.