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Monday, 19 December 2011

Merry Holidays, Happy Christmas...

Merry Christmas#2
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. 2011
All rights reserved


A great big "Happy Christmas and Merry Holidays" to everyone.
Thank you all for visiting my blog and FaceBook page throughout the year and taking the time to leave your comments.
Wishing everyone a great holiday season, and a fandabidosy 2012.

See you all again next year!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas


Do you have a few equine art fans on your list and still haven't found the perfect Christmas gift?
How about an outstanding quality piece of artwork...
Here are three outstanding artists whose work hangs beautifully in every home, have made many an animal lover's heart beat faster and make wonderful, unique gifts.


Spell bounding quality equine paintings will greet you in Canadian Equine Artist Linda Shantz art world.
Her work will have you drifting off into a world of equine beauty, calm and serenity.
Visit her website http://www.lindashantz.com/ and be prepared to be transported into a world of equine warmth, elegance and harmony .


Oil
Linda Shantz. 2010
All rights reserved


In time for the festive season, her studio is currently offering an online December Celebration. Until December the 18th, a 25% discount will be given on any of the paintings found in both Linda's Thirty Horses, Thirty Days blog and in her Red Willow Gallery blog.



Should a world of Black and White tempt you, New-York Traditional Black and White Photographer Juliet Harrisson has just the ticket.
Her newly published book: Equiscape, A Modernist Nude has to be one of the most stunning collections of equine photographic studies ever.
It is an absolute must for every Equine Connoisseur.
Her Equiscape series is a sensitive, intimate journey displaying views of the equine anatomy. A world of phenomenal layers of movement, light, contrast, lines and emotions...
Discover more Juliet's work and publications through her website Juliet R.Harrison



Equiscape. A Modernist Nude
Introduction by Tamsin Pickeral
118 pages. 11"x13" Hardcover. 59 B&W and Color plates. Purchases made directly through the photographer will be Signed and will include an Open Edition digital Print from the book. Price for this special volume is $175.00 + shipping. To pre-oder contact the photographer -juliet@julietrharrisonphotography.com




Vigorous, heartfelt spellbinding brush strokes and colours that will woaw you. Kimberly Santini's work oozing with spirit and life will make you stop, look, listen and remember...


Candy Cane
Acrylic
Kimberly Santini.2011

All rights reserved

Kimberly Santini has a number of Repros and notecards available through her FAA website - http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/kimberly-santini.html
A little bird also tells me you can find originals for sale.

Back to my studio for the last lap of scribbling before Friday's dreaded dead-line.
Wishing you all a great countdown to the big day and happy shopping.
Oh, oh, oh from the hills of Bonn

Monday, 5 December 2011

Time and no time

Bonfire Night
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Wind, wind, whirl, whirl, mad, fun, mad, fun, STOP, BREATHE, wind, wind, whirl, whirl, mad, fun, mad, fun....
Still alive and scribbling.
Must admit to having been shut away deep in my cave creating all sorts of portraits. Sadly due to the top secret nature of the drawings in progress, I cannot reveal their identity until the New-Year...
BUT... I do have some images of mine I can and would love to share.
January 2010, I started my photoblog Sheona Ann Photography on Pixyblog.
A mish mash of the beauty I see daily.

My passion for photography started in my late teens when my Dad lent me his old Zenith "to try" and helped me set up a wee dark room in the corner of the garage.
Good old traditional manual photography.
Today, the Zenith has been replaced by a Canon and my dark room by Lightroom.
I may have moved with the times but my passion is still very much "up-to-date".

Off back to the drawing board, nearly done with the Christmas commissions.
Will be back with lots of news very soon, until then have a great advent and tuck up warm.



Thursday, 10 November 2011

"Frederic T" new equine dressage drawing



To be honest, I never realised you could drown in pencil shavings and graphite...
You can.
It's happening at this very moment, here in the studio.
Christmas commissions have been "on the go" for the last 6 weeks (most excellent news) and Christmas is roughly another 6 weeks away (not such excellent news).
Every minute now crucial to getting the next commissions finished on time.

The result: days in my black and white world are madly fun: studio's buzzing, the artist scribbling, music pumping, Wilbur and Bernadette rocking, coffee brewing, cats if not playing paperweights very busy being feline.

Sadly, due to the world of secrecy surrounding all the commissions coming on and off the drawing board, none can be shown.
However, I do have one that I "prepared" last month.
Meet Frederic T a gorgeous handsome (now retired)) German Warmblood dressage horse.
Frederic is horse with oodles of talent who has given his rider and owner many a happy moment.



Frederic T
Pencil on Paper
Sold
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved

My mission: to immortalise all that he brought and shared with his rider.
Mission accomplished: his portrait has now taken pride of place in their home.

On the drawing board at the moment another stunning equine who's having her life size portrait done. Off to render the detail in her eyes....

Friday, 4 November 2011

Leaving their mark



That strange things can and may occur overnight in the studio, is a fact.
Three days ago my blue tack took on a new shape and went all lost symbol on me.




Giggling, I asked Jess for help.
Lo and behold she pointed me in the right a direction, with a questionning look in her eyes.
In her catty mind the culprits were so very obvious.




Wilbur & Bernadette (the 2 studio rascals)
Discover more about my mad studio assistants here, here and here .

Wilbur and Bernadette, bored of not being entertained as much as they are used to, bashfully decided to leave me a special "impossible to ignore" message...

I love subtle hints and really there is only one thing for it: take their hint to heart, pump-up the volume and get back to the scribbling front asap....

Friday, 21 October 2011

Before the Invasion


It's going to hit.
I know why, I know when and I believe I know how...

My "one man band" is on high alert.
When not marching left, right and center, it's organising ETA's and deployment lists.
Gathering the mental troops ( involving meditative sounds, long deep breaths and "positive vibe" thinking) highly crucial to the success of the operation.

The total household occupation will triple overnight...
Colour scheme is to change enough to seriously contend with the rainbow.
Noise levels to increase to a pitch earplugs are being ordered as I type.

It's all great though, invasions of this type are every childs' dream!

There's going to be a party!
A big noisy balloon popping finger licking party.
Our wee girls is one year older.

Happy birthday darling.


"Blue Balloons"
2011
Sheona Hamilton-Grant.
All rights reserved.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Crucial Paper



Beware this post contains only technical (yawn!) content

Graphite art is made up of two very important physical elements: pencils and paper (unsurprisingly, the most commonly used support for drawing.)
One thing you have to remember is the word important...
Yes, the quality of the paper is paramount. (Low quality paper will let you down, if not straight from the start, for sure, at some time later down the road...)


Image: arpadstock on deviantART



To make sure you choose the right paper here are the points to look out for.

1. Acide Free.
Always choose a paper free of acid.
Papers with high acid content (cheap cartridge or newspaper papers) are made of chemically processed wood pulp which over time degrades and becomes yellow.
Premium art papers are made from cotton pulp. The manufacturers legibly display"Acid free"


2. The Tooth
The other important detail to look out for is the tooth of the paper.
Tooth refferes to the surface of the paper.
The way the paper feels.
The rougher the surface the more tooth the paper has.
A toothy paper, feeling rough to the touch, will not allow for much detail but will allow to get real deep contrasts.
The more tooth the paper has, the easier it is to get the graphite to hold (the less layers needed) but the less detail you can achieve.
If detailed work is what you have in mind then you should choose a paper with very little tooth.

Strangely enough, despite the hours of work implied, I love to work on a paper with little or no tooth. . .
It is the smoothness of the paper that allows me to achieve nice detail.

I love the feel I have when the pencil glides, slides and squeeck across the surface.
Choosing to use a paper with no tooth means 40 to 50 layers are needed to get the darks really deep and dark, to get the contrasts to pop and the details to appear.

3. Thickness
Due to the number of layers needed for creating the darks and the extra friction this creates, it is important to choose a paper with thickness.
Only thicker and sturdier papers can cope with the layering without fibers becoming noticeable.
Thin paper won't work as well simply because it is fragile and unable to take several coatings of graphite, rework and/or erasing without going into holes.

Nowadays I like to use paper of at least 240gr thickness but anything from 200gr will do the job. I learned using 190gr and because I don't erase,the lighter of weight was not an issue. Contrary to common belief pencil is very difficult to erase...


Image: arpadstock on deviantART


As you know, there's an overwhelming choice of paper on offer.

The most important thing is that you find a paper that suits you and your technique.
This can only be achieved through trial and error. Many art stores allow you to take samples to try out. This is a big help.
Being self-tought and not having this prior knowledge meant that my gut instinct guided me in my decisions. Some have been wrong but have, ultimately, after a bit of groaning, huffing and swearing, led to the right ones.

I can say that my papers of choice are Strathmore's Vellum smooth & Hahnermuehle's Nostalgie with my favorite being Mellotex.
Other Papers worth trying out are Canson Art Boards & Arche's hotpress watercolour .




Thursday, 6 October 2011

The world has lost a visionary.


We don't get a chance to do many things and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.

Steve Jobs
1955 - 2011




Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday encounter

Quality time takes on many facettes. New unforgetable encounters being one of them.

I love birds,watch them from afar, respect them, and when it comes to swans actually the respect runs into fear...
Needless to say that getting "up close and personal" with a beautiful bird of prey made my day.

Sod's law played it's part in today's photography: my Eos spent the day with the cats and the pencils snoozing in the studio (yep I forgot it!) and it was an iphone rescue...
The advantage: you all get to see the camera shy face behind the pics and the words in this blog (hi all!)

Having this wee chap so close to my chest was AMAZING!!!



We even had a wee conversation (or so I like to believe!)






Hope you have all had a fantastic first autumn week-end with moments of precious quality time and pics to mark the occasion.
Tomorrow back to the studio where a beautiful equine awaits!!!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Agape in Australia

Agape Touch
Sold
Pencil on Paper
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Mid-July, the news came that Agape Touch had been juried into the final 30 of the prestigious Inglis Equine Art Prize and was invited to go on tour in Australia until January next year!
It was amazing and an honour to be in such good company: the line-up of finalists was top notch.
Indeed, works of fellow artists friends Linda Shantz and Catherine Mcmillan were also present.

As I worked on organising the logistics of sending my drawing off on my dream trip, little was to prepare me for the news to come...

Mid-August, news came that Agape Touch was runner-up to Kristin Hardiman's beautiful oil painting "Mother and Foal". My hearty congratulations go out to Kristin for her win. 
A few weeks later, after the show was shown in Sydney, Melbourne & Scone,  news came that Agape Touch had also been awarded the People´s Choice Award.

Mid-September, the postman delivered a Magnum of Bolinger Champagne, an overnight stay in the Crown Metropole  Hotel, a luxury set of Antler luggage and a wonderful letter from Arthur Inglis.

Mid-October ... I'm convinced  I'll still be backflipping over the moon with the widest smile on my face!




Monday, 12 September 2011

Journals and Doodles

They pick up their brushes, pens, pencils, engage their imagination and create.
No questions asked, no qualms, no deep soul searching...
Good friend and fellow artist Kim Santini suggested trying journaling for my "Ladies" when the winter was at its deepest and coldest.
It has been a life changer and a big part of the last few hectic months.

"Lets bring out the Doodling Book" only needs to be whispered once...

Islay aged 8

Amelie age 6

Islay age 8

Amelie age 6



Islay age 8


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Back to school and bottled madness.

The madness was...mad!
Summery but mad!
Now?
No more!
Noise levels will stay raised and hectic schedules a firm reality, but, the actual, straight-up, pure out-of-the-bottle madness will dissolve, fast.
My "Ladies" are back in school!

Their magnetic, hypnotic, excuberant charm will be missed. On the other hand, the left-over silence oh so productive.

In all honesty, I'm not entirely clear as to what the direct withdrawal symptoms of living with less madness will be.
I'm guessing a new drawing with a surprised relaxed edge.
I'm hoping a near masterpiece.
Please stay tuned while I bottle away the last of the madness and label it with care: "crazy summer 2011. Dissolved."


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Exhibition at Ostenfelde Driving Show.


Presenting my framed prints to Mr Strotmann winner of the four- horse team dressage M class. Photo: Birgit Frese



Photo: Birgit Frese



Once again I had the honour of being invited to exhibit my work at Ostenfelde's Fahrsportfreunde annual driving competition.
Hundreds of beautiful horses all strutting their stuff and pulling their weight were in action over an action packed three days.
The week-end was a great success both for the club as well as for pencil art.
The club had more than 850 entries.
New commissions were taken and more people have discovered the beauty and power of graphite.
A beautifully framed reproduction of my works Hurricane and Furst Piccolo was won by the winner of the four-horse team dressage class. I'm still in awe at how anyone can drive four big powerful equines so precisely with the only rhythm being that of harmony.

Great big thank you to all at the Fahrsportfreunde Verein for putting on an amazing show and making me feel so very welcome.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Beach splashes are over...




Wiping off the last of the sand before school starts next week.
Boy it's tough getting back down to business after having been in the groove over in Scotland for more than 2 weeks.
Mind you beach parties have a different meaning over there...the weather totally forbids normal souls from wearing any kind of beach attire!

Great to be back though... missed my little graphite friends!
A few of you are waiting for a email response from me: will be on top of things by the end of tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Stepping out of my mad square circles.

Time and I have never gotten on!
In my youth, I took it for granted, ignored it and, worst of all, wasted it.
Now, with a few more ounces of wisdom in my pocket, I respect it, treasure it and constantly try to hoax it into hang-out with me a little longer!

To no avail!
It's pay back time.
Time now ignores me and, I'm convinced, takes me for granted!

This strained relationship has me running constantly in mad square circles.
Circles that end up leaving me stranded, brain spinning, arms flapping in a "in-between" timezone which always always ends being the past....!

So as of now and for the next few weeks, I'm going to stop running and chasing a "thing" that I can never keep up with.
Deep breaths will be inhaled, heart-beats felt, eyes opened and the sight of life in slow motion caught and memorised.

I'm taking a relaxed step out of my mad square circles.

I'm off on a wee summer break.


p.s: If this has struck a cord and you know what I mean: wishing you a warm welcome to my mad square circle club and a great holiday break when the time comes.


Monday, 25 July 2011

Zig Zag the cheeky foal - revisited.



We saw Zig Zag.
Do you remember Zig Zag?
She was my muse for my foal series.



Fancy Free, Ciao & Footloose
Pencil on Paper
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.



Four years have passed and the mad frolics of a three day old foal have disappeared into sweet oblivion (if you disregard re-living them through a few of my scribbles.)

Four years down the road field my Ladies were greeted by a little gentle dark brown mare with big kind eyes.





There is still a spark of mischief to be found (if you look carefully) but incomparable to our crisp spring morning gallivant where legs and tails switched and pointed in all sorts gravity defying positions.



(Zig Zag is on the left)





We can confirm after sandy nosed nuzzles and soft whispers, Zig Zag is all grown-up and very much a soave and poised lady.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Shocked to the core...

Oslo is mourning.
Horror has hit its core.
The ripples spreading well beyond any physical border.
To my friends out there.
Thinking of you.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

In the green trees




At this end, Extra curricula activities are in full swing just like "Tarzan" (above) and his crew.

Studio activities remain very active and strong.
However time is sticking it's tongue out (once again).
Various blog posts are in the making and have taken a comfy back seat.
They will come to light (promise) as soon as, well, time smiles and says.... please?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Fast stuff...new equine drawing coming along slowly.

Untitled & Unfinished
Pencil on Paper
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. 2011. All rights reserved


Still working hard on this new piece.
Loving the way it is (slowly) coming together!
The power and the whole "togetherness" of two stallions is invigorating, sculpting their movement and determination a thrilling experience.

Wish there was a way of drawing the sound of their speed.


Friday, 10 June 2011

New portrait of equines in action ...

The week flew by, left me stranded and swirling pencils in hand!
So, when it came came back mid-week, I ducked swiftly, hid grinning and carried on scribbling happily .

Below the result of this weeks' game of "hide and seek".


Untitled & Unfinished
Pencil on Paper
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. 2011. All rights reserved

to be seriously continued...

Have an ace week-end wherever you are!



Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Johnny Jo- Sketched by Monica Dahl


Journal Entry 2010
Monica Dahl.
All rights reserved

Alive Johnny had this ability of enchanting people with his magic tail-wagging "smile", little did I know he could do it after his death.


A short time after "Johnny Jo" died, one of my readers (fellow artist Monica Dahl) contacted me asking for permission to use a " JJ photograph" as a reference.


Johnny Jo
Journal entry close-up.
Pencil on Paper
Monica Dahl. All rights reserved


The result is a wonderful sketch capturing his whole Johnny-ness; his big-hair - big eyes - big heart.

The result a beautiful timeless entry into Monica's very personal and precious traveling sketchbook.

The result a tear in my eye and a smile on my lips.



Here is one more example of Monica's delicate and beautiful pencil work.

Hope
pencil on paper.
Monica Dahl.2011
All rights reserved.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Agape Touch makes Front (web)Page News & becomes editor's choice

Agape Touch
Pencil on Paper
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

In a woosh of swirling happy dances, I've just read of the news of Agape Touch's first online success.
Mike Sibley has elected Agape Touch as this month's Editor's choice on Starving Artists.
It's one great thing becoming and Editor's choice but when it's by one of the best pencil artists well that's just "plain ace!"


Happy Week-end to you all with a woosh, a swirl and a grin!

Monday, 23 May 2011

"In the Picture" new drawing of Cavalier King Charles pup.

In the Picture
Pencil on Paper
24x32 cm
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Life is puzzling.

Just like a puzzle it is entertaining, infuriating & engaging.

Made up of a thousand moments it captures our hearts, feeds our imaginations and defines our memories.

The missing piece a reminder of things to come or of what has been and gone?



A big thank you goes out to Seattle based lifestyle dog photographer extraordinaire Erin Vey for allowing me to use her photograph as a reference. If you have a moment you should check out her wonderful canine world www.erinvey.com where her stunning awe-inspiring photographs await.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Still in progress: Cavalier King Charles Puppy drawing.

I've buckled down, sharpened the pencils and focused my attention back on this wee chaps big puppy eyes.
Approximately half way through, still a load of tweaking needed to be done on the pups face and body but first I want to get the surrounding elements finished. The radiating lines in the jumper play an important part in the movement of the piece and they have to become more fluid and believable (they are looking so clumsy and clumpy!).
Up-date will follow this week, until then here's a view of the current state of affairs!

Work in Progress. Pencil on Paper.
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.