Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sketchings and Shimmerings On Water

I have ladybirds in my sketchbook. Real, not drawings. When the sun shines they wake up attracted to the brightness of my desk lamp. I open the windows and some fly free but others crawl back to the cracks of the window frame and go back to sleep. Are they the clever one's not deceived by the winter sun that has woken them?

I've been working in my sketchbook planning new paintings. The one above was drawn on Valentines day. I couldn't help drawing a heart. :)  This one below is for another painting. I've several on the go at the moment. The title of this one is Peaceable Kingdom. The quality of the photo is not that good as it's dark today.

Here are some close ups.

My inspiration for this painting comes from the Edward Hicks painting below which features the same name. And the whole gentle paradise idea I suppose, of a Peaceable Kingdom. If only....
Also the tear inducing film documentary which also has the same name again.

I still  haven't got around to the large unfinished painting yet. It has to be the right moment though doesn't it?
Since I last wrote here, we had another dusting of snow...
And some  icicles. I love icicles.

This is my little potted yew tree that I've nurtured from a seedling, looking like a Christmas tree decorated.

The other day out walking by the river I spotted these sparklings and shimmerings dancing on the rivers gentle current.  Decorating the surface with fairy lights for a silver fishes party below?  The pike, roach, dace and minnow are all dressed up. Of course the kingfisher and heron are not invited. ;)  I feel there is a story there and maybe a painting?

So now to the giveaway! Sorry I've taken so long about it and thanks for all of your comments and wonderful ideas of what you would like to see in my shop. I will go through them all and write a list in my sketchbook . Anyway, all names/ number of comments from here and Facebook were put into the draw and the lucky name pulled out by my son this time, was...... Katie Luce 
Congratulations Katie!  The giveaway items will be on there way to wherever you are very soon.

Now it's back to work, I need to mend my light box which will speed things up here. So for now I'll leave you with beautiful music and magical imagery mixed together by a clever person on Youtube...


  1. I absolutely adore the hare and the heart, gorgeous!!

  2. I don't know whether it's my computer but your blog page takes a long time to download, is it just me? :o)
    Anyway, it's well worth the wait because this is just stunning. Your painting of all the animals nestled together is wonderful! I love the curvy shapes of their bodies all fitting together, I can't wait to see the finished painting, it's going to be amazing. Oh and congratulations to your winner! :)
    Jess xx

  3. ooooh, your drawings are soo lovely. The one of the sleeping animals is so cute - especially the fox. I love foxes so much and I wished I could draw them like that. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I already love your version of the Peaceable Kingdom, I look forward to seeing the finished piece! (Though it's also lovely to see it at it's creative beginning.)

  5. Rustic Vintage Country... Thanks so glad you like. I'm looking forward to painting. :)

    Purpletreebird... Jess. I come across pages that take a long time myself. I hope this one doesn't all the time as i know it's so annoying. Would be interesting to see if it does for many other people? Maybe I have too much stuff cluttering the page? Glad you like my painting. x

  6. We've always had loads of ladybugs in the house. They liked the ivy that grew on the sundeck and have dispersed all around the property including inside. They love to breed in the hops vine as well. Can't wait to see the finished painting. Makes me feel like having a nap with the dog!

  7. Just looking at the creatures curled up like that makes me feel snug. It is nice to see your sketches too.

    P.S. I also find your posts take a long time to download and am wondering if it is the music? (Like Jess, I don't mind waiting though).

  8. a lovely post. your sketches overflow with charm and are a delight to see.

    yea to the lucky winner.
    now to go back and watch the video you share. Lovely day to you.

  9. It also reminds me of the last page of 'Walking Through the Jungle', illustrated by Debbie Harter - all the surprising animals, heaped up and curled round each other, peaceably ready for sleep.

  10. Ah, just lovely. The Peaceful Kingdom painting will be wonderful.

    And the sparkles on the water. Oh, perhaps you don't know. Each sparkle growing toward the shore is a fairy being born. I discovered that when I was little. I thought you should know.

  11. If lady bugs fly in they are looking for heat usually. So the weather must be cooling there. The sketches are luscious and remind me a bit of Jackie Morris (
    You probably know her work.
    I find your photos just as wonderful as your drawings, and love to stop in for the music too. yours is a peaceable kingdom.

  12. BACK AGAIN TO SAY I JUST WATCHED THE VIDEO and, though I live in the city where I cannot raise my own food crops without land to garden in, though I have gone back to fish protein on the advice of a doctor, and also eat chicken after years as a vegetarian, I'm moved to rethink my choices again. I have not ceased to be a compassionate person, but there is conflict in my reality. And, in the comments (if you view it at you tube) you will find one from that spinning child of the video.

  13. Is it not a bit early for ladybirds? Love the drawing and can't wait to see the finished item.

  14. Lovely posting as ever, love the new picture that is forming of the peaceable kingdom - maybe I could carry on the theme in my quilting!! Thanks for the lovely music.

  15. these new sketches are wonderful. such gentleness, movement & magic in from your heart.
    warmest wishes
    Ginny (sweetmyrtle from twitter) x

  16. Hi Karen. Did you know that the appearance of a Ladybug is lucky? :) This is from the web:

    Ladybug heralds a time of luck and protection in which our wishes begin to be fulfilled.
    Higher goals and new heights are possible with a Ladybug totem.
    Worries begin to dissipate. New happiness comes about.
    Their presence signals a time of shielding from our own aggravations and pests.
    Its coloring, red and black, is a warning to predators
    and we need to give that same clear warning to our enemies.
    Stay back! I'm dangerous if attacked!
    Lady bug is never the aggressor, but it will defend.
    Ladybug also cautions not to try to hard or go to fast to fulfill our dreams.
    Let things flow at their natural pace.
    In the due course of time, our wishes will all come true.

  17. Oh Karen I love the idea for your peaceable kingdom painting soooo much. I often dream of such an ideal world where all creatures are respected and loved as equals. I saw someone above commented about carrying on the theme in their quilting. Wouldn't it be wonderful to start a peaceful kingdom meme in which we all contributed a piece of art, craft, writing or something expressing our love for this world and our vision for how we dream it could be. I feel inspired by your wonderful post!
    Bless you and your pure heart xxx

  18. Aw Karen!How Magical your writings and pictures are.....Loved your post and hearing of your Lady birds,reminded me of leaving my son in his new house at the start of his university years...I picked a vintage dried flower from his garden and brought home a host of Lady Birds that were living on the flower.....I made them welcome and the flower I still have....xxxx

  19. The idea of being snuggled up is truly paradise to me. I do my best with two dogs and two cats who all seem to get on too. So, I reckon Paradise is Harmony for me. I know what you mean about ongoing work, the artistic temperment I suppose, but all for the good. Lizzie

  20. Hi Karen :)
    I found the page quicker today, I'm not sure if you've changed anything but it was much better to download. I'm glad you haven't taken your beautiful music away, it would be a shame to lose that!
    Jess xx

  21. Karen,
    Once again, I've enjoyed my time visiting here.
    I always find your musings and writing interesting.
    Thank you for sharing the drawings in your sketch book, it's interesting to see your process - I do love your work.
    I'm still planning to order a few things through your Etsy shop, within 1 or 2 days I'm sure.
    Can I order from Canada?
    I have found a way to convert the cost of the pieces from pound to dollar, and if I use Visa, this I would think should work.
    Is there an extra postage cost for overseas - I don't mind.
    You are welcome to answer me through e-mail, if you wish :
    Many thanks for your lovely site, and work.

  22. Karen,
    I just wanted to let you know I read the policies for your shop, and so have my questions answered - I see you require PayPal - so will look into doing this. I'm planning to order 1 or 2 pendants, and a set of postcards for now.
    I think they will make cherished gifts.

  23. What a wonderful drawing!
    I like the idea that there might be a ladybird in it somewhere as well, peacefully asleep.

  24. Karen i love the glimpses into your sketchbook and the ways you are inspired, very magical. I cant wait to see Peacable kingdom finished, it is a beautiful flowing composition. I know just what you mean about having to be the right moment, I have un-fished pieces propped up all around the studio, then suddenly one day I get an urge to finish a particular one, maybe its to do with the different moods im in? ;-) I am loving the latest by Kate Bush, think she has gone from stregth to strength. Happy painting x


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