Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Going round in circles - a recent commission for a stamp collage picture

I recently received a commission with just a few basic guidelines but leaving the final design to me! The recipient is a lady who loves designs featuring  circles and also loves bright colours including red and orange. I had fun with my compass playing around with circles of various sizes and then choosing stamps to fit my colour scheme! Remembering the Cosmati mosaic floors I'd seen in ancient churches in Rome, I found my holiday photos and printed out examples from those in San Giovanni Laterano, Santa Maria Cosmedin and Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Stamps lend themselves to this type of mosaic pattern and I was soon enjoying putting together the design using stamps from Belgium, France, Spain in various shades of red and orange, as well as British stamps for the grey marble - postal labels which I have also found to be useful in creating the sails on one of my recent ships! It's great to be able to find another use for this type of stamp which most people will just discard.  Not me of course!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Tall Ships

The first stamp collages I ever made featured ships and this has remained a favourite subject for me!
My website includes a ship category, showing collages currently available, as well as an archived section showing others which have been sold and now reside in many locations around the USA, Italy, UK and Singapore.  I'm always on the look out for new inspiration and the Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester Docks, provided much food for thought!
We were lucky to be able to board La Malouine,a magnificent Brig, built in Gdansk, Poland in 1972.
and also to see her sister ship Lady of Avanel which appeared in Disney's 2016 film, "Through the Looking Glass", filmed in Gloucester Docks.

The attractive Cornish Lugger, White Heather,  was also moored nearby, and we were able to walk around on deck. Built in 1926, she has recently sailed to Morocco and Brazil returning to Britain via the Caribbean. 
With her  turquoise, black and white paintwork, she is almost sure to be one I will just have to use as a subject for a picture!  Check out my website www.rachelmarkwick.co.uk in a while .. I hope to add some new ships before too long!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Open Studios Stroud - my studio in Bisley Road open on both week-ends 6-7 and 13-14 MAY

With a working studio comes a lot of mess and general untidiness and I always feel I have to sort it all out in readiness to open to the public on the Open Studios week-ends! And this is about as good as it gets!  Those in charge always say "People like to see it how it is"! but they wouldn't get through the door if I left it exactly as it usually is!  I've been busy hanging framed original stamp collages, prints and  canvas prints. Full details of access to my studio appear in the Open Studios brochure www.sva.org.uk  on page 31  and mine  is listed as venue no 21. The Lawn, 132 Bisley road, Stroud, GL5 1HL .  Please park in the main part of Bisley road as we are on a narrow lane with no additional parking places. It's short, picturesque walk along and only takes a few minutes! Black and yellow signs point the way!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

My studio in Stroud will be open during Open Studios week-ends 6-7 and 13-14 May 2017

I'm looking forward to welcoming  visitors from near and far to my studio in Bisley Road, Stroud, open from 10.30 - 6 pm on both week-ends. The unmade road leading to my studio has no parking places, so please park in the main Bisley Road, near the cemetery lodge and walk the short distance along. Those who have been before will be pleased to know that this  rather rough road has recently been levelled off  slightly and potholes filled in to make walking along a little easier!

The brochure for Stroud Open Studios is now available in many local outlets as well those further afield in events venues, shops and museums, coffee shops, pubs and hotels  as well as online via   the following link   www.sva.org.uk

My studio is on Page 31 Venue No 21

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Cats on stamps .. or cats made of stamps .. or in Emerald's case, Cats sitting on stamps

Whereas some philatelists collect stamps by country, some prefer to arrange their collections by theme,  and a popular one is Cats on stamps!  There are many new issues every year and I am not tempted to continue my late mum's collection although it's nice to look at them once in a while.

However, I have made a few  stamp collages on a Cat theme .. see the Cats page of my website.
This one hasn't yet made it to the website ..

Purple Iris

My black and white cat, Emerald, has taken the theme to a whole new level ..

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Latest Commission - a personalised flag of Uganda

I'm always happy to consider commissions, and the latest one was a pleasure to make! I was asked if I would  create a personalised flag of Uganda as a 70th birthday present.
 My first thought  was that it would be difficult to find enough stamps of the right colours, Black, yellow and red, from  Uganda itself, to make up the six bands on the flag.  For other stamp collage flags I've chosen only to use stamps of the country concerned.  However, I was told that this was not essential and I could use practically any stamps, but maybe keep to countries holding some significance in the life of the recipient, so that made it a bit easier!

I thoroughly enjoyed the search for elements connected with family, work and travel  in countries including Australia, New Zealand, the USA,  South Africa, Great Britain and the important connections still retained with Uganda. I was also  told he enjoys crosswords,is a fan of the Beatles, is a Capricorn, and was also born in the Chinese year of the pig! The national bird of Uganda, the crested crane,  appears in the central disc of the flag - that was probably the hardest thing to track down, but I found a stamp with one on which fitted the bill!

Now that the flag has been framed and presented at the birthday celebrations, I can also reveal a tiny secret addition, a fountain in Naples, the destination for a surprise holiday!

Other personalised commissions have included the flag of Barbados, made into a slightly larger canvas print, and a Union Jack also featuring many personally chosen themes. This was reproduced as a huge canvas print more than 1 metre wide, and sent to Australia!

If you'd like to commission a personalised flag, please get in touch!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Boring "labels" on your letters? .. Single use only?? Recycle them is what I do!!

It's quite difficult to find stamps that are predominently white so I've been hoarding these rather boring "labels" which the Post Office put on Special Delivery envelopes in anticipation that they might come in useful sometime ....
 "Single Use Only" is printed in the bottom right hand corner, but I've managed to recycle them effectively I hope,  into the sails of my latest boat.

Almost finished .. just a few  details  to add, including a crew and a flag to hoist!