Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – paintings of realistic and stylised animals


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Strange Owls and Coincidences

Sold! From  Studio No 71 in Totnes, my Barn Owl with Stopwatch original painting with gold leaf.

Barn Owl with gold leaf by artist Diane Young at Studio No 71 Totnes

Barn Owl framed

This weekend after a trip to Dartmoor we dropped in to collect some work from Studio 21 which has a great position at the bottom of the High Street.  The shop is small but packed with interesting things to discover; pictures, sculptures, plates and bowls and glass and pottery and more!

Not only did we arrive on a day when a customer was about to purchase one of my original paintings, but Studio No 71 had also sold a framed Moongazing Hare print of mine during that day too.

How strange, not to have sold for quite some time, and then two in one day and when I was visiting!

It is so nice to meet the individual who likes my art enough to buy it and hang it on their wall.  An image that I have formed from my imagination strikes its own chord with another person, and off it goes on its own journey, in this instance wrapped and strapped onto a bicycle!

Grateful for time with friends and walks on Dartmoor just as the season is turning and when such coincidences are a delight.

 

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Sedna in Animal #Mythology

Stories and Mythology in my artwork

Sedna is mythological figure, a Goddess of the sea for the people of the arctic.

The Myth of Sedna

The young girl Sedna was tricked into marrying Raven, and later when her father tried to rescue her by kayak a raging storm brew and her father threw Sedna in to the sea in order to save himself. Her hands clung to the side of the boat and he beat them until her cold and frozen fingers fell into the sea and became sea mammals. Sedna sank under the sea and was transformed into a sea goddess, able to conjure up storms with her rage whereupon shaman must swim down to calm her by combing her hair.

The Innuits survival is dependant upon the success of their hunting animals.  From this is derived a great respect for the animal kingdom.  Part of the myth is that Sedna holds onto the animals if she is displeased with the people ( so that they will not be successful in hunting them)  and untangling her hair is part of the process of calming her.

From this story I created my image of Sedna with fishes swimming amongst her tresses of red hair, she is looking up to the light of the sky on the surface of the water.   The image at the bottom is a painting done some time later showing Sedna sleeping with three seals.

These three paintings on the left seen below featuring Sedna  are for sale in Studio 71 in Totnes.

Studio no 71 Totnes display of mythological Sedna Artwork by artist Diane Young


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Commission

This weekend my focus is on painting a commission.  I am concentrating on this whilst dealing with an ear worm, an expression which does make me squirm somewhat.  I have been listening to the line about not messing with Major Tom from Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes track for several days now.  The painting is going well despite the interference! To my glee there is in fact a true story to this commission about a dog arriving at a castle one night at Christmas.

Below is cropped section of a painting which I did some years ago when I was putting together a children’s picture book idea.  I dug it out of my folder as like my current commission it is a night time scene.  This image was for a story about a jealous kingfisher who steals a peacock’s tail feathers whilst the peacock is sleeping.

I love storytelling whilst painting, whether it be a fully formed story or presenting narrative for possibilities that the imagination can cast from before or after the moment in the painting itself.  Here is a visual excerpt from the Tiny Tale Of Kingfisher.

Childrens books painting by artist Diane Young


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More Lost Things – The Stopwatch

Just a few tiny details to add and my Barn Owl will be completed.

This is another image for my series of Lost Things (along with the Lost Pearl and the Golden Bell) and a continuing theme of gold leaf moons. The captivating Barn Owl.  Both feared and venerated throughout history and a variety of cultures the owl has been associated with both evil and wisdom.  Thankfully superstitions such as its association with witches have died away and we can count ourselves lucky if we manage to enjoy a glimpse of this fascinating night time hunter.

Read more about my story for this image here.

Painting of a barn owl by artist Diane Young of Manic Illustrations

 

 


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Sketchbooks Be Gone with You!

Yesterday I started an attempt at declutttering.  What should I keep and what should go?   I headed for my bookshelf and targeted some old sketchbooks having decided to photograph pages I liked and store them digitally instead.

Diane Youngs Art and sketch books in my attic studio.

In amongst artist and nature books are malingering sketch books from over many a year.

Some of the sketches have sentimental value, and are a visual diary hinting at events and places sporadically over the year. Some of the sketches were a means to an end.  They were good practice for observing and drawing.

Other sketches were experimental when I had been involved in course work and attempting to work outside my usual method of creativity.

So I took sketchbooks which were not essentially full of great stuff and photographed those images I felt connected to and transferred them to my computer.  The nice thing about looking back at sketch books from years gone by is that a lot of the images look better to me now than when I created them. The space and time that has passed makes them feel like they are not quite so firmly attached to me allowing me to be less critical.

The other nice thing about storing the sketches digitally is that they take on a more professional look on a screen than in the sketchbook.

I agree with the declutter theory that you feel lighter and freer without hanging onto lots of stuff.  This is a start but I still have a long way to go.

Sketch of a flamboyant flamingo by artist Diane Young Sketch from life by artist Diane Young of a young boy Mixed Media  2004 Coursework by Artist Diane YoungSketchbook characters  2004 by artist Diane Young  Sketchbook showing collage and drawing by artist Diane Young

A variety of pages from 2004 Sketchbook – from life, mixed media and character development.