faces in the crowd

Sorry for the quiet week. I've been hiding out in the studio or at home - packing. The house move isn't going as smoothly as I'd hoped but that seems to be the nature of this process. Fingers crossed I'll find myself more settled soon - I'm so grateful for this little home away from home (aka studioland) at the moment!

I've been working on those abstract portraits a lot lately - playing around with detail, sometimes stripping it right back and focusing on block colours, which goes COMPLETELY against my nature of drowning pictures in patterns. I think I can safely say I find it hard to leave a picture alone when it's beginning to look finished. I am however enjoying finding a balance between the 2 styles AND watching the face shapes and styles develop.

Here are a handful of new faces I've drawn over the last week...

Just in case you're curious - I've been painting these using paint pens on a piece of watercolour paper primed with block colour acrylic paint. The same process I use in most of my sketchbooks and for all of my drawings. The colourful background makes the paint pen ink "pop" and adds depth - it also helps direct the colour scheme, which can be a decision that'll easily dominate an afternoon and put your doodling on hold.

I've been scanning these drawings as I go along so if you spot anything you'd like to buy please feel free to get in touch and we can talk prices for prints and original drawings!

new faces

I got all inspired by the shadowy portraits I drew in the last project - so I decided to have a go at expanding on the idea and I'm really enjoying the results! These 2 cropped up over the last 2 days and I thought I'd share them with you. They're still very much in the "sketching" zone but I'm having fun watching them develop and gradually fill up with detail. I'm interested in the face shapes and shadows (the shadows need work, but I'm looking forward to practicing them as the project progresses). MORE, BIGGER! That's the next step!

Keep tuned in to see what happens next!

Progress

I finished the drawings!!! 

With all the bonkers, boring and stressful house stuff going on at the minute this project was a welcome distraction - AND I've started playing around with some ideas inspired by a few of the drawings, success! I love all of them - which is crazy as I figured there would be a couple of duds, but it was so pleasing watching the collection grow and seeing them grouped together at the end.

Highly recommend this as a way to break through a creative jam if you ever find yourself in one. Out of curiosity - What sort of projects do you set yourselves in these situations?

I've spent today scanning them all and I'll be listing the originals up on instagram this week if you fancy buying a bargain! hurrah!

creative rut...

I'm having a go at kicking my creative rut in the butt this week. I know for certain I'm not alone on days/weeks like these but sometimes finding inspiration or fresh ideas to run with can be such a chore! I've sketched out, started and abandoned so many paintings this week - I'm sure I'll go back to some of them one day so it's not all bad, but it's so draining! You think you're on to something and then it's like losing the plot mid story. Your mind goes blank!

My friend text me this amazing little fact/quote about Maya Angelou:

Maya Angelou took the simple idea of writing whatever comes to mind to the next level. "I may write for two weeks ' the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.' And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff," she said. "But I try. When I'm writing, I write. And then it's as if the mused is convinced that I'm serious and says 'Okay. Okay. I'll come'"

Yesterday afternoon I dismantled a sketchbook,  painted each page a colour I enjoyed looking at and stuck them up on the wall... Today I'm just going to get doodling and see what happens. I'll try not to be too precious and I'll definitely end up drawing a few familiar things but I'm hoping something new will crop up. We. Shall. See. Come on muse, hear me roar!

 

 

patterns patterns patterns

A lot of my recent work has started off as pages and pages of patterns in some of my sketchbooks - even some of the portraits start off as patterns! I scribble and draw and ask myself things like "What patterns would look good together?", "Who would wear something like that?" and "What's missing??". And gradually the shapes come together and the idea takes shape on a piece of card.

I get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment from just sitting on the sofa or at work or in the studio and doodling. A lot of it is VERY repetitive but the process itself is so satisfying and mostly (not always) quite easy to get into - so if you're ever stuck for ideas it's a good task to come back to every so often.

I thought it'd be nice to show you some of my favourite patterns I've done recently...

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March Meet The Maker!

I haven't done one of these before but I've often spotted friends and fellow doodlers taking part over on instagram and though it'd be fun to try - I reckon I'll start failing around number 6, ha! Anyway...

If you fancy learning a little more about me, my practice all sorts of random facts hutn me down on instagram - here's a link!

For now, it's day one so here's a really daft picture of my face, enjoy!

March meet the maker was conjured up by Joanna Hawker.

Happy Accidents

Sometimes it just doesn't matter how prepared or organised or inspired you are. Simple bodge-ups on the computer can result in some seriously fun visual treats!

I finished an abstract portrait I'd been working on (the original one, with the red background, is available to buy in the shop) and while I was cleaning up the scan on the computer I mashed all the wrong buttons and voila!

So smitten with these colours! I decided to do a super limited run of A3+ prints (13" x 19") and they're now in the shop too! Mind you, once they're gone they're gone! Here's a link!

Meredith and Lottie

TWO NEW PRINTS!! Now in the shop. These beauties were a chore to scan (because they're massive!) but totally worth it. I'm so pleased with how they've come out. The originals will be heading over the shop soon but I'm currently in search of appropriately sized frames (they need to be massive too... sigh). I'll keep you posted - meanwhile if you're interested in the originals/prices/buying them unframed, feel free to get in touch! 

Meredith

Meredith

Lottie

Lottie

sketchbook time!

I finished another little sketchbook the other month (and did a little video over on instagram - take a peek if you like). I picked out some of my favourite pages for this blog post. I've now got 3 new sketchbooks on the go (?! ...a bit ambitious I know, but I'm going to rise to the challenge...). One's turning into an extra scruffy one, mainly because of the nature of the thin paper, but I'm loving the freedom it's giving me to plot and plan the bigger paintings. I've been so busy with house move prep I think my pens have started to sulk and feel neglected. Poor pens. I've not forgotten you, honest!

new necklaces!

It's been another busy week with the house - the mothership's visiting so we've been clearing things out and emptying spaces so the move next month (possibly the end of this month?!) goes ahead smoothly.

Today I put together a bunch of new necklaces and they're now in the shop. Some of my all time favourite colour combos crop up in this batch. Can't get enough of that lime/yellowy colour with black dots or stripes on... be still my heart!

Anyway! All these beauties are one of a kind and available over at the Audrey and Illya shop!

new studio, new portraits!

Well! It's been a busy month but I'm finally back on track and ready to update this blog machine with some of the projects I've been working on lately. First up... 2 new paintings now in the shop!

They're a lot simpler in style than my previous doodles (although some of the leafy patterns are creeping in, of course.) and based on faces I've been drawing in sketchbooks lately. I'm playing around with reduced colour pallets and making the portraits and face shapes a little more abstract.

Because of the current political climate it's impossible not to be inspired by the voices (and actions) of women teaming up to react to everything thats happened so far this year. I'm usually quite quiet when it comes to saying my bit, especially on places like this, but right now drawing these strong faces and watching the collection grow is how I'm processing what's going on. It's a pleasing parallel seeing the number of drawings grow as more and more people step forward to oppose the craziness going on in the world. 

happy 2017!

I'm no good at new years resolutions and making (more importantly 'keeping') promises to improve myself throughout the year. By day 4 (which is today!) I most certainly would've abandoned ship and carefully hidden those resolutions under the sofa along with all the rogue Christmas decorations the cats been squirrelling away..

What I have decided to do though is give myself 2 things to think about this year, something to focus on when I can feel my thoughts wandering, which they do... A LOT.

Change is good. - I am a creature of habit, everyone who knows me knows that. Last year I set about initiating some pretty big changes for the new year. It's time to stir things up a bit! (I'm so ready and not ready at the same time, ha!). I put my house on the market, I'm looking into moving my studio out of the home and I've started having some pretty big clear outs - definitely keep your eyes peeled on the shop and my instagram account! There will be art for sale!

Create. - I'm going to make stuff... I know that sounds like a cop out because I'm always making stuff. I don't think I ever really stop making stuff. BUT for now I'm going to try and stop questioning too much why I do make stuff and just let myself enjoy making all that stuff. Making stuff is what I do. I LOVE MAKING STUFF!

So here's my first painting of 2017. May this year be creative and entertaining! Bring it on.

New necklaces.

Added a couple of new necklaces to the shop this week. In full production mode at the moment getting ready for the fairs, can't seem to make enough beads! I lose hours in the evenings doodling all over them. The cats having a field day trying to swipe them off the sofa when I'm not looking... typical.

Here are 2 of my favourites (If I could justify keeping them all I would, argh!)

Competition time!

Hello folks! I've got a fun idea and a couple of questions for you...

First of all, do you like colouring in??

Wanna win yourself this fancy A3 print?? 

You game??? Awesome, here's now to enter...

STEP 1 - Find me and follow me on instagram - @amyjpeg

STEP 2 - Download the 'colour me in" .jpeg below and get scribbling!

STEP 3 - Once you've finished your masterpiece take a snap and post it on your instagram feed. Don't forget to tag me in it so I can see! Also, use the hashtag #colourmechicken

STEP 4 - Tell your friends and get them involved too! Share share share!

EASY PEASY!

I'll pick a winner and runners up at the start of December! 

(Check out the video below for a bit of inspiration... warning - I'm terrible at colouring in!)

a book for paper lovers!

Hurrah! This amazing bundle of wonderfulness landed with a thud on the doorstep the other day. So excited to share some of the designs I did for the new Book For Paper Lovers by Flow Magazine. There's even a picture of my face, gulp. The book's beautifully put together and absolutely stuffed full of paper projects, inspiration and treats. There's some wrapping paper and gift tags featuring my designs but I won't say what else or I'll spoil the surprise. Here's a peek though! You can pick up a copy here!

Esmé

I'm thoroughly enjoying working on some new portraits after churning out so many cacti pictures over the summer. It makes such a nice change adapting all the patterns I've been developing and merging them with the ladies and their flower crowns. I recently bit the bullet and invested in an ipad too (a present to myself for the next 4 Christmases I reckon). I think of it as my digital sketchbook - don't panic, my scribbly paper ones are still in use and I'll make sure there's an update soon to prove it! 

Sometimes my digital scribbles take on a life of their own and before I know it I've spent hours fine tuning all the different colours and details on something that was originally meant to be a rough sketch or simply jotting down an idea. This is how Esmé came about. There's not much of a back story to her because she originally started out as an idea for a painting - she still is. She's got a slightly simpler colour pallet (well, compared to some of the more vibrant cactus pictures at least) - I've been trying to calm the drawings down a little lately but I can't help myself, I love clashing colours. She looks a bit like she's wearing face paint, which I like the idea of. The portraits begin to look composed and theatrical. The features turn into blocks of colour and eventually the people start to look like patterns too. It's a thought process still well and truly in the development stages but I'm enjoying the end product so far, so much so I've turned her into a print!

Esmé prints are now in the shop. Available in 2 sizes - A4 and A3. Open edition. And here's a little behind the scenes video over on youtube too! Bonus!

it's here!!

A couple of months ago Flow Magazine invited me to design a couple of pages for a lovely little colouring book they were putting together as a little extra with one of there recent issues. This fanned the flames of inspiration and I figured it was about time I updated some of the little activity books which are so popular at this time of year - all those festive car journeys perhaps.

Anyway! They've finally arrived and I'll have a bundle up for grabs at the Nottingham Contemporary fair next month. If you can't wait that long they're now in the online shop! Featuring 24 pages full of patterns, plants and familiar faces. Here's a link!

Oh Baubles!

Just finished a bunch of these ready for the Nottingham Contemporary craft fair next month (NEXT MONTH??! Where's this year going?!). Anyway, there will be a few bunches of painted cotton spools and some individual patterned baubles up for grabs. All super limited! So put the dates in your diary and head on over - 2nd - 4th December, Nottingham Contemporary. See you soon!