Saturday, 13 November 2010

Scandinavian Winter Visitors

Fieldfares are one of my most favourite birds. I love their large size and the smoky dark colours with flashes of white.

Whenever I have been to Norway I see plenty of them, hunting for worms on the grass. They are similar in colour to the Norwegian landscape and oh so beautiful!

And it was by time that I painted one! So here is my first ever Fieldfare and her Nest within a Nest shadow box mixed media assemblage.

Everything here has been recycled from previous lives except the new white thread

I painted Filedfare on an old painting I had done years ago. I decided that I didn't like the painting so I ripped it in half, turned the sky upside down and daubed her on top amongst the grey Scottish clouds.

I wanted to add some bits so I raked thru my stamp collection and tried a Canadian horse and rose buttons ...

it had a tad too much warmth in it, so I next tried a British xmas stamp but the blues were too rich and the buttons too plasticy

this last horse alos from Canada had to much green and by this stage buttons were now out!

So I found 2 old British Machin design stamps that brought the greys out on Fieldfare, stuck in a substantial vintage gold coloured steel pin for balance, strength and vulnerability, added some of my grandmother's very vintage pearls and scrap threads of Scottish tweeds from my stuffing pile to make her nest ...

stitch the eggs in place and ....

place the nest inside the old packaging box lid 'nest' and

here is my first ever shadow box assemblage! Fieldfare's Nest within a Nest

with the long thread leading you in to the private scene, delicate but resolute.

This assemblage may be going into a gallery for their xmas exhibition, all depends if the gallery owner thinks it will be in his clients' tastes. After all, art must sell to gain the value placed on it, otherwise it is merely a space taker on a wall in your fleeting view.
Though I am rather fond of it, and my views are not so fleeting as I caress it with my eyes

These smaller pieces may go into my etsy shop however. They are painted on thick watercolour paper, smaller in size than an aceo (2.5 x 3.5 inches) but with their 'frame' it takes them roughly to aceo size

so after years of constraints in painting only watercolours on watercolour paper and framing on card behind glass I have now broken my glass ceiling and I'm creating with no barriers or rules - and it feels good!

for some reason I have never felt constraints when it comes to my soft sculptures or Arabella bags. I just stitch and sew as the materials and thingys take me! (these tiny ornaments will be in my etsy shop verrrry soooon, except 4 - they have places to go and people, er, buns to meet!)
and talking about Arabella bags, well today, my own tiny Scandinavian visitor has declared that for xmas she wants an Arabella b....
oops, I won't let the cat out of the bag!

Don't forget the raffles - still 1 month to go - Lots of amazing prizes - it only takes 1 ticket for you to WIN - see raffle links at top of blog on right hand side,
many thanks!


  1. Annette,

    What I always love about your blog posts is that I learn something new about our natural world by reading them...rabbits, fieldfares (which I've never even heard of before)...and now your process. I loved "seeing" (through words and photos) how you arrive at the lovely assemblages you do. Speaking of being fond of something...I still haven't been able to send the Obama notecard I purchased from you to anyone else!

  2. Shadow box is VERY SPECIAL, wowoowowowo......

  3. The Shadow box is beautiful. I have never heard of a Fieldfare, so I learned something new!

  4. thank you very much Suzanne! perhaps the aceo is meant only for you to enjoy? and maybe by a lamp to catch the glow?

    thanks Diana!

    and Christina, thanks too

    - I shall try some more!

  5. this is wonderful annette...and i like the smaller pieces that you think you might put on etsy. brilliant idea!
    your shadowbox intrigues me too, to me it has an asian, ancient feel to it. like a long lost treasure. good job!

  6. fantastic! your painting mixed with the fabric swatches are genius! and that bird in a box is simply stunning...

  7. I love your fieldfare assemblage and how you describe your process! Fieldfares are wonderful birds, we don't get many in Edinburgh usually but last Christmas Day we had 100 outside our flat!

    Crafty Green poet

    (Blogger won't currently let me comment on this type of comment form using my Blogger id!)

  8. I love your shadow box!!! And your miniature paintings, especially the pensive little bunny that you showed first. And your soft sculpture ornaments - you sure have been busy, haven't you!


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