I think that probably 50% of my sales of artwork are bought from me by other artists, maybe more than 50%. I really want to show my gratitude by buying other artist’s work too but I promised myself that I would never buy art for myself until I was well and truly established and making a living from my own art. Well I’m not quite there yet so I broke my promise to myself. But the two pieces I’ve recently bought are really really tiny and so lovely I just had to have them. The first piece was a hand embroidered Golden Poppy from Heather Everitt Embroidery
and the second, this unusual hummingbird skull ( not a real skull) artwork from Handmade Geeks.
I learn so much from other artists, sometimes major things and sometimes little things that are so easily overlooked but things that can make a real difference to whether or not your customer will return. And the one thing I’ve learnt from both these two artists is about the packaging… the parcels which in both of these cases were a pure delight to receive. Upon opening my Hummingbird artwork, tiny hand-made butterflies and stars sprinkled out of the package.
With Heather’s parcel the surprise was an extra gift, a gorgeous hand embroidered Christmas tree hanging Butterfly, beautiful packaging with printed bug paper and ribbon, specially made stamp prints on the parcel
When I began selling my work online I’m afraid I was rather bad at wrapping my wares, bundling them in tonnes of bubble wrap with not much thought to added extras or charming finishing touches. So delighted have I been upon receiving these two recent purchases, its really made me think about how I present my work to the buyer so although I broke my promise to myself in the first place and felt guilty for doing it, it was certainly by no means wasted money, after all I have gained so much more than the art I bought, much more than I ever expected for the money spent…. and the guilt has gone. It was meant to be. Can’t wait till I am in a financially better position so I can buy more art.
The Created in Portsmouth Art Trail starts tomorrow and you can find a map here… http://createdinportsmouth.co.uk/CIP_TrailMap.htm I am being represented along the trail by Island Pictures Gallery so please try to come along. I have many of my Computer Bugs and paintings exhibited including my Angel paintings which are inspired by the stone angels in Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth. Please do have a srtoll along the trail and discover some truly wonderful artists and makers in their studios and galleries. Lets hope the sun shines…
The question most commonly asked about My Insect and Animal art is, “How do you make the wings?” Well, it’s a fairly long process so I will simplify the process as much as possible here. Firstly a do a few Google searches of ‘natural history and insect photography’ to find images of clearly visible wings that appeal to me and that I think would work well incorporated into one of My pieces. I also use old entomological reference books and newer photographic reference books Then I do a few sketches and drawings which enable me to get the feel of the shape, the example here being the Peacock Butterfly design. I will not directly copy one set of wings from a photo I find but will take all the best bits and put them all together till I get what I consider to be the perfect wing. I will then paint the wings in the highly detailed manner of the illustrations in old natural history reference books, the traditional style of entomological drawings and paintings, painstakingly executed, by illustrators that I admire so much. So, I have my nice traditionally painted set of wings (the old). Now to add ‘the new’…. My hand painted wings are scanned into my computer. The next bit involves superimposing circuit images onto the wings. The images are created digitally in various computer programmes such as Ink Scape or Illustrator. This is the bit I have trouble with, I don’t really know what I’m doing and I have to admit that most of my designs are happy accidents. I can never repeat what I’ve done because I don’t know/ I’m not quite sure what I’ve done! I’m sure with time and practice I will get the hang of digital art but the point is to mix old traditional methods, painted illustrations, with new methods, digitally created art… Then the wings are printed out onto transparent acetate, cut out, a bit of extra hand painted transparent colour and a little extra drawing with permanent inks, ‘hey presto’ The tiny and complex patterns on the circuit boards are repeated on the wings as ‘veins’. I have packs of acetate which I found in the ‘Craft Bank’ The Beneficial foundation, in Portsmouth,
Hampshire. Many of the used acetate sheets already have things printed on them but for 50p a box I’m not complaining…. so I compose my wings in such a way that they will print out only on clear areas keeping my work true to the theme of recycling. The Craft Bank are given stuff by companies…stuff that is no longer needed and the public can go and get the stuff… Its actually where I got my first big box of electronic components that first inspired the Computer Insects. I also found lots of computer key pads at the Craft Bank. It is inside the key boards that I discovered the transparent computer circuit blue prints that I also use for the wings. So, although many of the wings are not always directly from computers, they certainly are recycled, thanks to the Craft Bank. Well, that’s briefly how the wings are done. Its a long process but well worth it. The art of up cycling – creating something beautiful and precious from waste materials.
As a painter, photographer and sculptor my multi-disciplinary practice transforms found objects into something new, seemingly organic; growing and evolving.
My current work, ‘Computer Component Bugs’ incorporates the printed ephemera from inside discarded computers and gadgets. The recycled bits of cultural refuse that are woven throughout my work represent a direct encounter with the excesses of modern living highlighting the dangers of planned obsolescence and e-waste in the environment. I use found and manufactured materials because they can comment upon the accumulation of cultural debris and become their own subjective universes as they build form into patterns of the communicative behaviour of life processes.
My investigation process is focused around the idea of creating a stylized representation of organic structures through geometric patterns, networks and configurations often based on mathematic formulae found in the natural world. Paradoxically, this cultural debris also contains symbolic reference to our values and our diversity; celebrating human ingenuity and knowledge passed down through generations. The work displays an aesthetic beauty whilst offering a socio-political discourse, attempting to reclaim waste and the destruction of the natural world, in the beauty of visual art. The visual aesthetics of my work plays on our desires for beauty, poetics and enchantment. I engage these themes and contradictions, fashioning detritus into visionary objects that synthesize, inspire, amuse, renew and provoke.
My current work in progress in which my ‘Computer Component Bugs’ are being arranged into patterns and mandalas, is a direct response to Damien Hirst’s Entomology Series.
I am a full time freelance artist and regularly exhibit my work in group and solo shows often with accompanying themed workshops.
I have decided to write a blog. I’m not even sure what a ‘blog’ is and I don’t like the word ‘BLOG’ but that’s besides the point. I am led to believe that a blog is pretty much like a website but also a journal. So its not just about putting up images of your work and selling; its also a platform on which you can really go into great detail about your work. I’m on a roll with my Facebook art page, ‘Julie Alice Chappell Artist’ which is pretty good for someone who was completely computer illiterate just a few years ago so now I think its time to boost my on-line presence further, after all, it is most important for artists to do this in this day and age. ‘You should not keep all your eggs in one basket’ is the expression and its true! Especially now with Facebook starting to get fairly restrictive with who can see your posts and constant requests to ‘boost’ your posts financially. I have ventured into Twitter, Pinterest and Etsy just vaguely but I really need somewhere I can really natter on about my art practice to my heart’s content without invading anyone’s ‘timeline’. I get so many questions asked about my work on Facebook and I need somewhere I can direct people with a genuine interest in what I do. Where to start? Where to start? I fear if I start at the beginning I will never catch up with myself so I have decided to start right here at the present with the work I am creating right now. This way I can dip in and out of the past recollecting past influences and inspirations describing how they have affected my present work and how they might be used in future work. I should give a brief explanation of my art practice to start with though. Here goes………