Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

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


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#Rooks and Crooks

Having a bit of a silly sense of humour I like playing with words and especially in art form.

Painting of a Rook Bird by artist Diane Young

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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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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.


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Mind shifts and New Paintings of dogs.

It is strange how your mind and thoughts can dance around a subject or a project and produce means or obstacles, pathways to enable action or absolute resistance.  One minute you have one mind set, then suddenly you can see things quite differently and are able then to make a change or take an action that you had not considered before.

ACEO painting of a wolf by artist illustrator Diane Young of Manic Illustrations

ACEO Painting of Wolf Portrait

This process is no doubt with us more often than we realise, but for me produces itself very readily in the light of day when considering the redesign of my website.  I have had a website for many years and it was pretty clunky for quite some time at the outset.  But the amount of times I thought I had reached an optimal design moment were many.  Time passed, my mind shifted, and suddenly it would be made quite clear to me that improvements would yet again have to be made.  In a way it is a little like producing a painting, you think no more can be done, you put the thing away. Then some other time you stumble across the same painting and you can see straight away how to make it so much better.

In all the years I have been painting I could never  for one moment have envisaged making miniature paintings sized at just 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches but found myself having an eureka moment (a sudden shift in thinking!) nearly a year ago after tightening up my painting style, and acquiring reading glasses.  Since then I have produced several ACEO paintings each week featuring funny character animals or more realistic style animals too.  They have been listed and  sold each week on ebay in a special category for ACEO art cards.

A year hence, and I have been wondering how to develop my art further, today a new possibility has surfaced in my mind relating to pets and in particular dogs.   Here is a taster of my current work in progress…..more to follow 🙂

Belgian shepherd dog portrait painting by Diane Young

I really do wonder why my brain cannot follow through in the first instance?  I am sure there is a good answer for this  which at this time is unbeknown to me.

It is of concern that whilst my mind can play tricks on me and  can often ensure that I avoid action or end up procrastinating for what amounts to be in reality no-good-reason at all, but I am grateful that at other times it can reveal fresh ideas, shifts and visions so that even I can surprise myself with brand new possibilities.


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Art, Painting and Unfinished Business

Painting, when to stop….

It happens so often, that artists actually stop working on a painting sometime after the vital moment when they should have stopped.   Spotting the optimum time to stop working on a piece is just so difficult as unless you could see into the future the you cannot anticipate whether your next few painting decisions will better or possibly worsen the painting’s outcome.  For this reason a good many paintings are over-worked and without a lot of experience this optimum moment can pass you by before you know it.

Painting of a wolf by Artist Diane YoungThis is a painting I have been working on today. It takes some concentration to be disciplined in the craft and it is best to work when feeling energised.  Once an artist tires and concentration waivers then sloppy decisions and actions are made leading to frustration and disappointment in the outcome.

I liken this process to swimming.  Whilst striving to get one’s swimming stroke right you need concentration, some discipline and energy.  Once the energy is depleted you fall back on old sloppy habits, inefficiency and then more tiredness is the outcome.   My painting and my swimming can go the same way.   This painting of a wolf is unfinished in my opinion.  It is just a matter of how far past the optimum point I persist…..


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Painting, not Cut-Outs for Me.

Despite the fact that I live in a smallish town in the Cotswolds UK there is a significant population of artists.  I nearly said thriving artists.  They are thriving as far as their art might be concerned but I doubt that they are thriving as far as their contribution to their cost of living. There just has to be another job in the mix to enable most artists to “indulge” themselves their creativity.   I digress…..

Matisse Lithograph Painting of flowers

Stroud in the Cotswold Hills (UK) is a town of artists and creativity, music and alternative therapies, alternative remedies and alternative people.  We have Open Art Studios in May and festivals of Music in the Summer and all sorts in between.  Our Museum is the best ever for a small town, and within the same building is an exibition room which celebrates art of all varieties.  We are lucky enough that the  local Museum is  currently hosting a selection of art from Matisse.  Cut-outs (collage shapes cut with a scissors) was Matisse’ form of art which he made during the 1950’s.  

Art exhibition Matisse Cut outs

Matisse Lithograph

To be honest, this work which must have been quite a revelation in that era does not do alot for me.  But it must have been quite a development for that time and the evolution of different creative expressions have enabled us to have the freedom to create across all sorts of media and mix them up too,  the ultimate in this being Mixed Media.

Still, even if Matisse is not your bag it is good to be in the presence of original art and have feelings toward different styles and media from the art world.   You might want to buy only what you like, but witnessing and processing what art history and contemporary art has to offer will help develop your own view about your art and your art process and where it sits on the spectrum of creative expression.

My artist friend here is using her creative expression to mimic the art!

Exhibition of Artist Matisse Cut Outs