Magazine Article: Junk Drawer Journal

Today sees the publication of my first magazine project. It’s a Junk Drawer Journal, in association with That’s Crafty!, and is published in this month’s Mixed Up magazine. Mixed Up mag is an digital only publication and more details about it are available here. The digital format means that many articles can also include interactive elements such as videos and slideshows that wouldn’t be possible in a paper version.

I’m allowed to share little sneak peeks to whet your creative appetite, so I do hope they prompt you to go get your copy to see my step-by-step guide to making the project.
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3D Printing: Wacom Pen Holder

I’m relatively new to the whole 3D printing trend. I have lusted after one since desktop models started to become affordable and user friendly. I have been learning how to use Autodesk Fusion 360 – 3D modelling software for designing things from scratch ready for manufacture. In my case, things are made on my 3D printer, which I have got to grips with after buying it in February. I’d invested in a crowdfunded printer a year or so ago, but the company bombed and I never received it. Judging by the feedback from those that did get one, I’m lucky I didn’t!

Wacom Pen Holder

This afternoon, I designed a pen holder for my graphics tablet styluses. They are rarely used – in part as I can’t readily lay my hands on them. I specifically designed the holders to fit the styluses. The right hand side’s hooks are gently angled to help hold the pens in place. I’ve stuck the holders to the bottom of my screen using the 3M’s Scotch restickable pads. If you want to print your own, I’ve made the files available for free over at Thingiverse.

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Commission: Castle Series, no. 6 – Beaumaris

Here’s the last of my six castle paintings – the half-finished Beaumaris Castle. That’s the castle, not the painting that’s half finished… And, of course, the last was the trickiest! There is something to be said for having a good artist’s sketchbook, having the time and patience to use it and then apply what has been learnt onto the canvas. I don’t ‘do art’ quite like that…

Previous paintings in the series:
CaernarfonRaglanCriccieth – Dolwyddelan – Conwy

Beaumaris Castle painting

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Commission: Castle Series, no. 5 – Conwy

With the same immenseness as Caernarfon Castle, Conwy is going to be a good balance in the room. With the suspension bridge, modern meets historical – and was most tricky to paint! 

Previous paintings in the series:
Caernarfon CastleRaglan CastleCriccieth Castle – Dolwyddelan

Conwy Castle painting

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Commission: Castle Series, no. 4 – Dolwyddelan

When I used to holiday near Porthmadog, I joined Cadw – the Welsh Heritage organisation. I then proceeded to overdose on visiting castles – I think the record was 9 in three days. I don’t really know where the fascination started, but it was certainly early in childhood. The bigger, the better in my book… But, as a subject for a painting, Dolwyddelan Castle is pretty much up there, despite being the smallest castle in the series.

Previous paintings in the series: Caernarfon CastleRaglan CastleCriccieth Castle 
Dolwyddelan Castle painting

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Commission: Castle Series, no. 3, Criccieth

I love Criccieth Castle – less as a ruin, but more because of it’s place on the hilly promontory above the village. It gives such a stark silhouette, reflected in the bay.

Previous paintings in the series: Caernarfon CastleRaglan Castle

Criccieth Castle painting

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Commission: Castle Series, no. 2, Raglan

I’ve been painting again today – after I’d potted on my leeks… This time, I’ve gone for Raglan Castle, in Monmouthshire. You might note, in comparison to my painting of Caernarfon Castle yesterday, that the light is coming from the opposite direction. There is method in this madness – the paintings are to hang opposite each other on either side of the room. Thus, the light, and the shadows, will look as if they are from the same direction.

Ok, ok, it was a happy accident that I noticed the above before I started hanging the paintings. Now I will go back to my reference materials and check that the remaining four of the series are split 50/50 in light direction. It was one of those ‘oh no’ moments that turned into ‘well, of course, I meant to do that’ when no one was looking…

Raglan Castle painting

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