Looking back, and forwards….

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So, I hear it is a new year. I thought, seeing as I’m sitting in bed with the flu, I’d use the time to reflect on a few things that happened this last year, and where I’m going next….

Jagriti Yatra

This last year that has had me drawing on windows in high rise buildings, sketching at festivals, partaking in several exhibitions and starting new series’ and collaborations…. began, what feels like a long time ago, on a train.

I was traveling the width and breadth of India with the Jagriti Yatra, a charity for young social entrepreneurs. Working with with my colleague and good friend Temujen Gunewardena we captured the two week train ride in a 15 meter long illustration….

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and all the while I kept a personal sketchbook of our travels…

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Mythologies Series

In the late spring I made a call out for an author to create written illustrations for this series of over 40 drawings and their myriad cast of eccentric characters.

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Since then I have been working in collaboration with the Ines Ferreira a visual artist, maker of art-books and author of humorous, strange and serious, magic-realist worlds. I entrusted Inez with my Mythologies family and have loved reading the stories that have emerged. The concept, of creating a book or exhibition from this combined work, continues to develop in response to the work.

I cannot wait to read more and find the full shape of this series but I am also enjoying the slow pace. The project has a staying power,  I so often quickly abandon finished work for the next project, it a great practice to keep returning to pull more threads from the initial fibre.

Portraits At The Ashmolean

I spent a great evening in the spring at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford as ‘The Wandering Portrait Artist’, creating colourful portraits of the guests at the museum’s Andy Warhol inspired Portraits night.

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Black and White

My usual palette is fresh, bright and bold, full of citrus, sun and luminous shadows. The Ashmolean project pushed my colours to pop-art saturation… but, in the autumn, I had a brief period of black and white.

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This series was twice as unusual because I was not only working predominantly in black and white, I was working from photographs rather than from life, or from my mind. The effect was rather like collage, taking elements from my own photographs and other images and interweaving them to create cryptic narrative scenes. This series was exhibited at the Creative Connections studios in East London in November.

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Various Guises EP

November saw the launch of the Tide Take Him EP by the folk duo, Various Guises, myself and Maya McCourt. I was able to bring my art and music together in artwork for the EP and in song illustrations. I curated an exhibition at the launch and exhibited the EP artwork alongside the work of other artists on the theme.

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Etsy Shop

Having clambered onto the social media of Instagram the year before I forged even further into the world of zero’s and ones this year by opening an ETSY shop… currently it is stocked with prints and framed work and I look forward to putting more original work up.

Believe it or not – it seems to be working, I have so far sold prints in the UK, Austria, Australia and the USA !

Colourful Nudes

As December grew darker and greyer, I began a new series of delightfully colourful, naked ladies with extremely strange hair.

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 The Christmas Market

In December I also returned, almost by surprise, to Christmas Markets for the first time in 3 years, and had a fantastic time. It’s that lovely feeling of selling your work to someone personally, knowing where it is going to and what kind of home it may have…

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I sold a lot of original work including two members of the Strange Familiar’s, another series that mixes text and image in a short story, or mysterious narrative, style. The rest of the Strange Familiar family may be found in exhibition in 2017

and last but by no means least…

Crisis

I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Crisis this year as a volunteer, making portraits of the guests, giving drawing classes and helping in any other (totally unrelated) way I could. There is something in a portrait, that means you have been seen, and recognised. There is also a connection that is made by sitting face to face with someone for ten minutes, completely aware of one another without having to talk, only letting conversation come of its own accord. Many guests kept the portraits, others sent them to family, to their kids or mothers. I don’t think could use ink, paint or graphite in a better way. I’m very grateful for the experience.

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What next?

On Friday I leave for Barcelona for a period of self-directed study. Very little is decided except that my oil paints are coming with me and I plan to wrestle the caps off the tubes where they have gummed up and become stuck from lack of use. Drawing will continue, of course… and the rest, is all adventure. The main question is if there will be space for clothes in my suitcase, when all the art materials are in there.

And, of course, the eternal question of wether the gods-that-be will allow my banjo on as hand luggage.

¡Adios!

Strange Familiars on Market Day…

Really looking forward to a return to market-life this Wednesday at Baxter Stores Christmas market where I’ll be selling Christmas cards, art prints, originals and framed work…. pop in to get ideas for art-gifts as the inevitable season approaches.

Find many of these things in my Etsy shop

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This guy might be appearing  in an exhibition soon, at 14 Bacon St, with the other Strange Familiars

If they don’t wander off the market stall on Wednesday that is!

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Prints at WeMakeLondon

Helicopter Leaves in Violet '13

Helicopter Leaves in Violet ’13

Since taking a stall to sell prints and framed work at Camden Market in 2013 (currently in hiatus – or hibernation) I have been selling prints at the lovely little shop WeMakeLondon in the west yard of the market next to all the yummy foodstuffs. Lots of different artists have their work there so if your by and want to see some artwork there’s quite a lovely mix – do pop in !

Find WeMakeLondon in the market here

http://www.wemakelondon.co.uk/

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Willow Series '13

Willow Series ’13

Natural Selection

Oysters in Bloom (detail)  '13

Oysters in Bloom (detail) ’13

In this ink, watercolour and gouache series I celebrate the beautiful things we find underfoot.

Helicopter Leaves in Violet '13

Helicopter Leaves in Violet ’13

Especially those that have carried life, in wood, or bone, or shell, or sap: objects that I find endlessly fascinating. There’s also a focus on the colours of this time of year, which are my favourite. See the full gallery here.

Autumn of Albion - '13

Autumn of Albion – ’13

I am on Camden Market in the East Yard every Sunday until Christmas with prints of my work. (And possibly more often too!) If you want to find me there or find out when I’m next going email blancheellis@gmail.com

Return to the market Sundays from November

Hello All,

I’m back on the market!! I’ll be down there every Sunday  (and some Fridays) until Christmas – and probably more days – look here, or call/email me to find out when i’ll next be down:

 – blancheellis@gmail.com –

I will be selling prints like last year – with a whole years worth of new material including the ‘Musicians, Writers & Philosophers’ project and a peak into a new series I’m beginning – ‘Whimsy’ yes, whimsy – until I find a better name for my playful little figures.

I will also be selling framed work and prints in frames that I have handmade for each individual work.  – small selection of prints below!

look forward to seeing some friendly faces down the market!

Camden Views

After a while away I am back around Camden and making some locally based work.

I’ll may soon be back on the Camden Market proper again but for now I’ll be sitting on the high-street bridge over the lock in Camden on weekends and other days working on drawings and selling my newest work, a departure from the abstract and figurative focus.

These two are drawn from the same position on the bridge, click on them to see the full pictures –

If you would like prints or to ask about the originals please email me. I am also able to frame my work, please inquire.

Stall of Artwork at Camden Market

Gallery

This gallery contains 14 photos.

So, after fighting with my printer, delivery times, my sanity and the need to sleep I’ve realized/decided that I will be ready to go on the market this weekend after all! That’s Camden Market (probably in the West Yard) where, … Continue reading