Here Be Dragons

Here be dragons – my website A Delicate Fantasy is up and running. It’s here you’ll be able to see all my watercolour output.

My latest completed piece of work is Dragonboat – it’s a piece that’s going to represent what A Delicate Fantasy is all about and it will be the jump-point from murpworks.

Dragonboat - Here be dragons

I live on a narrowboat – MIRRLESS keeps murpworks afloat

On the canal network of England & Wales, there are many narrowboats of many sizes and styles but the ones that stand out for me and inspire me are not necessarily the pristine vessels of immaculate pedigree. No, it’s the ones, packed to the gills with paraphernalia along the lengths of their roofs. The liveaboad’s boats, who carry all they need to exist. It struck me that the tarpaulin-covered vessels looked like they were transporting dragons.

Check out A Delicate Fantasy because Here be dragons

Bookmarks for Books

I’ve created some output – the Books range of Bookmarks.

murpworks Book Bookmarks image

I’ve finished the first range of watercolour Bookmarks. The range is intuitively called Books 😉

Each bookmark was inspired by a love of books. There’s A Stack of Books, The Book Table, The Bookcase, A Quill and Mouse Books.

They’re held in Glassine (it’s the technical term for shiny paper) to protect them from the elements (and grubby hands) so you’re not getting to see them at their best.

rp & I are in the process of sourcing a printer to get some really good quality prints we can put up on Etsy, where they will be available to purchase. We have a printer in mind and will hopefully have something sorted by the end of the month. Once printed, we’ll open up shop.

The Books Bookmark range is the first for A Delicate Fantasy
the watercolour work of artist mu (that’s me).

Watercolours inspired by flora & fauna, with a delicate fantasy.

Hope you like the preview…

mu

Watercolour Blotter

What’s left after the painting has gone

Warercolour Blotter
Watercolour Blotter

Watercolour Blotter

I’m interested to see what is left after the painting has gone. This is the blotter from my painting of Summerboat – a watercolour painting of a narrowboat. You can see the original Summerboat painting on our murpworks Afloat page at murpworks.com.

If you look carefully, you can just see early sketches of mu (daisy) and rp (dandelion) at the bottom of the image. The little blocks at the top and bottom left of the picture are my watercolour thumbnails (I have very small thumbs)

Summerboat is my first watercolour in a series and is the start of A Delicate Fantasy – watercolours inspired by flora & fauna, with a delicate fantasy. I’m currently building up a body of work with an aim to opening an Etsy shop. You’ll be able to purchase original watercolours there..

mu

Space for a Robot

Space for a Robot


Space for a Robot - In Progress 2 image

If I’d have known how many episodes this went on for, I probably wouldn’t have started it. If I’d known how big it was going to be, I probably wouldn’t have started it. However, once I’d invested in a few episodes, it was difficult to stop.

In a Newsagents Far Far Away…

As stated before, I’m building R2D2 from Star Wars – a quarter size scale model from DeAgostini.

It’s metal and high quality plastics, wiring, diodes, circuit boards and goodness knows what else. I’m up to episode 75 with 25 to go. The trouble is it comes out every week, not monthly as I’d originally thought. When they say small print, they’re talking nanometres not inches. I collect the magazines in batches of about three or four and every time the lady at the newsagent asks me how I’m getting on – I thought I’d better get on with some more so I can truthfully say “I’m making progress”.

Space for a Robot - In Progress 3 image

Problem-solving

It’s a great model and I am enjoying the intricacies of assembling and all the electronics. It’s a great way to relax from everything else. While everyone is competent at putting Tab A into Slot B, this is a bit more hooking strange-looking plasticy bit into metal flange that looks to have a bit missing! There’s a lot of problem-solving required using forums and even buying a back episode I missed. Thank you internet, you’re my only hope!

However, the real reason I’m so enjoying building R2 is because there’s a link to another project I’m currently working on, in conjunction with rp; At The Jumpgate – an episodic, sci fi, webcomic set in the far future with Max as the main protagonist.

As you may have heard, we’ve bought a narrowboat so the main problem-solving I’m still having to figure out is, where I’m going to put it, aboard Nb Mirrless!

So, if anyone has space for a robot…

Space for a Robot - In Progress 6 image

Ah, well. Back to the instructions…

mu

Upholstery Classes – Sessions 5 – 6

Attended upholstery classes – sessions 5 – 6 the last two Tuesdays

Out with the staples – in with the stitches!

I seem to have swapped staples for stitches. I’ve been blanket stitching hessian into the form of the chair. It takes a lot of stitches.

Hessian

Sessions 5-6 - Hessian Seat Cover image
Hessian

Hessian is a natural product made form Jute or Sissal fibres of the corresponding plant and potentially combined with other fibres to make a rough cloth. I am using this to cover the springs and form the base of the seat in the chair.

Blanket Stitch

Sessions 5-6 - Blanket Stitch image
Blanket stitched

The blanket stitch helps reinforce the edge of a thick material and is ideal for use on the hessian seat fabric. I used a ‘Traditional’ version of the stitch.

After much stitching, I got to bunch clumps of coir, wedging them under giant stitches made in the hessian and then ‘massaged’ it into an even, non-lumpy mass. I then had to cover this with the softest felt I’d ever felt, to form a smooth interface between what will be chair and posterior 🙂

Sessions 5-6 - Coir - before image
Before ‘massaging’

Sessions 5-6 - Coir - after image
After ‘massaging’

The chair once again is starting to take shape and look like a functinal seat again.

I have to get my skates on – the narrowboat will soon be ready and the day of departure is fast approaching…

A soft seat

 

mu

 

Hanami – A Simple Illustration

Hanami

Hanami illustration image

Cherry Blossom

Hanami is the Japanese custom of enjoying flower blossom and it is a big tradition in Japan. It is especially centered around Cherry tree blossom which is known as Sakura. Plum blossom (known as Ume) is also part of the custom but it is the spectacular display of the Japanese Cherry – Prunus serrulata, that captures my and so many other people’s imagination, around the world. The trees flower between the months of March and May.

Schrodinger

Above is my illustration of Schrödinger contemplating Sakura. I created it a long time ago now but after seeing Tomoo Ichigami‘s video Sakura, I thought I’d dig out my illustration and post it in my blog.

rp drew my attention to the Sakura video as he’s been pouring over video’s of filmmaking for inspiration. He’s going to be documenting our life aboard a narrowboat.

Schrödinger is my character from Schrödinger’s Coffee House; a simple comic strip I illustrated way back in the mists of time – some old sketches can be found here.

 

mu

Sketching – On Screen and Off

Sketching – on screen and off…

On Screen image

I’ve been busy sketching again – on screen and off screen

I’m trying to find a way of working which combines both watercolour and digital media. I don’t want to work purely in the watercolour medium as, although this will give me something tangible to sell, it is the digital aspect which is going to allow me to promote my work. It will allow me to offer animation, based upon watercolour to prospective Patreons.

This is important, moreso as we move onto our narrowboat – very soon. The sketch above is one based in the garden where we currently reside, sketched on screen and off and features a bucket – I see it as easing me in to being by the water – one bucket at a time 🙂

Check back and see how I’m getting on.

 

mu

 

Upholstery Class – Session 4

Attended Upholstery Class – Session 4 last Tuesday

No more staples – hurray!

So I worked out the knot for my springs (see Upholstery Class – Session 3) and managed to obtain what I hope is a comfortable platform to sit on. Just like before, time flew past so as Tuesday comes around again, I will have to get my skates on.

I’ve been spending some time thinking about fabric. I have a length I am going to use for a cushion

Session 4 - fabric II image

It’s a Classic Velvet Christie Colour I by Utopia – Art of the Loom.

I now have to seriously think about the fabric I need for the actual chair.

Tomorrow’s session will hopefully get me to the point where I start to pad out the chair but I suspect the time will fly by once again.

 

mu

I Am a Robot, I Obey

I Am a Robot, I Obey

Robot - Studio - making I image
Assembling the Foot

I’m Building a Robot

It’s the Star Wars Build Your Own R2-D2 from DeAgostini. I’ve been collecting the weekly published magazines (I wasn’t aware they were weekly when I started <emoji>). I’ve bought up to Issue 60 and I finally started the build last week.

The reason I waited so long to start building is that I didn’t have episode 6. I eventually had to purchase it from ebay – and then I was off.

The robot is a 1:2 scale replica of R2-D2 from Star Wars with electronic components and it can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet! And it’s a movie accurate representation.

I love getting to see the inner workings and it ties in quite nicely with the robots I’ve painted for card designs. I’m going to expand this.

Staples

Once again, I seem plagued by staples (see Upholstery Class – Session 2). I have a steadily building pile from opening the magazine bags so it’s not the most earth-friendly

It’s a fascinating challenge and I’m enjoying the process. It’s building into something spectacular. The only problem is – what do I do with it once I’ve completed it? There won’t be room on the narrowboat for it!

Robot - Lightsaber image
Lightsaber

“May the forc…”

mu

 

Upholstery Class – Session 3

Attended Upholstery Class – Session 3 this Tuesday

I got to the session this week but guess what? I forgot my glasses! I had to feel my way around the chair via the staples, by hand. Yes, there were still more to remove (see last week’s blog). Will this ever end?

Session 3 - upholstery II image

Spring is in the Air

The weather was better and it almost felt like Spring was in the air. Just for a few hours, then it had gone again. Chased off by the Beast from the East’s younger brother no doubt.

Talking of spring, that was my next task after I had finally pulled the last staple. I had to start lashing down the springs which involves untying and re-seating them. They are a bit lumpy. They are however, tied down with a complicated knot, which I tried to fathom out but it got the better of me (especially without my glasses).  Even a bit of internet search afterwards did knot help this time.

Anyway I left, knot knowing whether I would be able to lash the springs down. A thorny problem I’ll leave until next week.

Now, where did I put my glasses?

(They were in my bag the whole time – I never actually forgot them 😖*)

 

*Emojipedia – confounded face

 

mu