Thursday, 6 November 2014

Light Space & Time - updated

Special Recognition Award From Light Space & Time Art Gallery

I am so pleased to announce that I have been awarded with 'SPECIAL RECOGNITION' in the Painting & Other Category by Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery for my art work 'SING FOR THE SUN'. This was my first foray into art competitions and I am just so surprised and happy to be placed, and I am hoping this will help me gain increased exposure for my art and for myself as a serious artist. As an emerging artist who has yet to sell or exhibit my work - it means so much to receive such positive feedback whether it's Google+ likes, comments or in this case to be placed alongside many other talented and experienced artists.

My art work 'Sing for the Sun' has been awarded with Special Recognition
from Light Space & Time Gallery's Sept 2014 'Nature' competition.

Monday, 27 October 2014


The Mighty Wren!

The wren is the smallest of garden birds, yet for its size this diminutive avian has, gram for gram, the loudest voice! Quite surprising!

As I was contemplating the subject matter for my next art work, I was thinking of drawing something dramatic like a wolf, or admired in the UK, like a fox. However, a series of personal events occured during this period that made me look hard at a few matters in my life. The most significant being that a good and dear friend passed away suddenly. Whilst dealing with my grief, it made me look at what's important in my life and re-prioritise a few things and then quite unexpectedly, I had the vision of a little wren hiding in the hedgerow and I knew this had to be the subject matter of my next work.

Hidden © 2014 Angela Cutler

At the time I didn't know why I should draw a wren as it seemed the farthest away from something large, mammalian and dramatic; but the image seemed burned into my mind so I went with it.

When I start a new piece I have an idea and it just feels right for that moment. I often have a clear idea of how I want the main pencilled image to look, but not always a clear idea of the background. For this piece, I knew that I needed to have the little wren hidden away in the undergrowth as is their natural nature to do. Apparently, they are one of the most common garden birds, but due to their tiny size and secretive natures, we don't often see them. We only notice them by their very loud, shrill warbling song.

My little wren coming to life. ©2014 Angela Cutler

Earlier this year whilst on holiday in Somerset, I took several photos of the spring flowering hedgerows as they were so pretty and delicate. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to incorporate the hedgerow plants in my drawing as I didn't want it to become too could be easy to over-power the little wren. I just wanted a hint of hedgerow so I drew a few pretty campions, grass and a fern - just enough to give a flavour.

This picture was a little bit of a departure for me, as with my last drawing - Sing for the Sun - I added a hint of colour to the pencilled bird and I was aware that the flowers made putting in the background a little trickier. I wanted the feeling of the bird hiding in the darkness of the undergrowth, but with the light from outside filtering in...perhaps even calling to him to come out.

Wren study © 2014 Angela Cutler

It was then, only once I finished the drawing and even a week afterwards, that I realised what the meaning of it is. Sometimes, you need to step out of a life situation or out of what you are or have become, to chooose between the dark and light or perhaps out of a situation in life that arose, make your voice heard and stand up for what you believe is right and make that change! But I am just as happy if you see my drawing as a pretty wren in the hedgerow.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the little wren and my background narrative. Please Like on Google+ or leave a comment.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Magnificent Me - Kids Yoga Book!

All I have to say is 'We've done it!"  Along with the author Dawattie Basdeo and me as the designer and illustrator, it taken us a year and a half of hard work, but finally we have our Kids's Yoga Activity Book and our Kid's Empowerment Cards ready for sale!!! And we are so proud of what we've achieved and hope you'll love them for your kids too.

Our book is called, 'Magnficient Me, Magnficient You - The Grand Canyon (ISBN: 978 1 78279 8194)', and is released for worldwide sale through Amazon and other retailers from December 2014 as a paperback and eBook (RRP £5.99). Published by Our Street Books.

Here's what MELANIE LEE, a yoga teacher had to say about our book: "I felt the book was imaginative and informative, there was a clear story that flowed. Lots of visual aids which are so important to children and there was a good balance of emphasis placed on postures and breathing and meditation Loved the affirmation. Personally speaking as a teacher this book would fit in with many areas of the curriculum. Thanks for a good read".

Our affirmation cards are called, 'Magnificent Me, Magnificent You - Empowerment Cards' and are available initially through Holistic World Online Shop and other retailers like Amazon Marketplace soon (RRP £12.99).

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Sing For The Sun

 'They sing only for the sun, so I am told, These little wonders, in gleaming gold'.

As I grew up in suburban London as a young girl, I developed an interest for the wildlife around me. I became fascinated that in this urban landscape of tarmac and brick, birds and animals lived happily alongside. We had a small garden and my mother would throw left-over scraps of bread out for the ubiquitous sparrow and on Sundays she'd leave out on the lawn our discarded chicken carcass until all the garrulous neighbourhood starlings had picked it bare. Birds for me in my urban landscape for the most part were made up of these commonplace, noisy squarking avians, and of course pigeons.

© 2014 Angela Cutler. Sing for the Sun. Pencil, acrylic and oil pastel on paper.

Being the yougest of three children and a girl, I wasn't allowed out as much as my older brothers, I seem to remember that a lot of my time was spent gazing out of the windows at the world outside that was denied me. One of my brother's had an ever-changing hobby interest and for a short while he joined a respected UK birding organisation and became a 'RSPB Young Ornathologist', and it was quite a responsibility to have a hobby that consisted of five syllables at the age of ten! So rather than lobbing scraps on to the lawn, he made a bird table and made very serious notes of all the different varieties of birds that visited our garden...which as noted above was quite a small repertoire.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Hare and the Midnight Moon

It seems that many cultures are fascinated by our long eared lagamorph friends, more commonly known as rabbits and hares. And I too, hold a fondness for rabbits, having kept one as a pet as a child and being familiar with their rabbity cuteness in the fields around where I live. But where did my reverence for the hare in nature and mythology come from? I've very rarely seen hares in the countryside, and the few times I have been so lucky, I've felt that I've been witness to something very special. Especially so because of their secretive natures, that they usually live in rugged countryside and the rarity of numbers in England...but is there more to it?

© 2013 Angela Cutler. Let Your Light Shine. Pencil, oil pastel, acrylic on paper.

Perhaps it's because the hare has become part of our psyche imbued with spirituality since ancient times, not just in the UK, but across the world and in different cultures. The hare has been revered and associated with the moon, as it has been noted that there is a hare shaped shadow on the moon itself and also because of their nocturnal nature. The hare is a mysterious creature and so many legends and myths abound with it often symbolising growth, rebirth, new beginnings and good fortune.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Art Goes Pop

Recently, I rummaged in my old bedroom at my parents and found two books of music album artwork; I hadn't seen them in about 25 years! But they really took me back to my childhood and the enthusiasm I had even back then for graphic art - I used to LOVE browsing through those catalogues looking at the immense variety of styles and art. What always jumped out at me is how music album art was so immediate, so 'in yer face' and was/is designed to grab your attention immediately. It's so crass - there's no subtley.

Album Cover Album book by Paper Tiger

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Diving Down Deep

Immersed! Keep staring at this painting, pull yourself towards it, feel it surrounding you, fall into it and drown in its depths. This is my intention for painting this abstract, that you might experience what I feel when I close my eyes, pray, meditate and reach my spirit and mind outside of me and find that connection to God. My experience that I am trying to portray, could I suppose be called transcendental.

© 2012 Angela Cutler. Immersed. Oil pastel and acrylic on paper.

Whilst the painting is only roughly A3 in size, when I look at it I really want the painting to be enormous. Something I could step into, that I could turn around and see it all around me, above me and below me. But if I look at it and close my eyes, I can still feel my original thoughts from when I was inspired to paint it, and this is how I imagine it to be.

This is one of my early attempts at exploring art and media by just letting whatever I feel for that moment develop on the paper. I start off with a thought, an expression of me in time, and I allowed that to flow through me. I don't really know what the end result is ultimately going to be and by half way through I think I've probably messed up, although I do try and not be judgemental about what's appearing. However, by the end, somehow it's coalesced into something quite dynamic. I'm trying to keep my mind out of the process and just express from my heart; and I find I'm surprised each time!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Twilight Flight

Escaping the Twilight Zone

Here in Britain we've been experiencing one of the wettest winters in 100 years. Winter had seemed to be never ending - the dark days, even darker nights, chilly temperatures and above all rain, rain, rain and more rain. We have been deluged. With the rain came overcast and continuous days of greyness with hardly a spark of sunshine breaking through. It's hard to get through winter that have been as long this one. It made me think of struggle. More immediately, those struggling with floods and its after-effects and the heartache it causes or those struggling with other internal emotions that through their own darkness often can't see the light. Sometimes, I myself, feel like I'm living in twilight - never quite reaching the joy that I believe should be in my life. But I do try and my faith pulls me along and constantly my heart is drawn to God's light.

Drawing of barn owl in flight with moon
© 2014 Angela Cutler. Twilight Flight. Pencil, oil pastel on paper.

I live just outside London, on the edge of the countryside and one dark night driving along a country lane bordered by fields I saw a ghostly waft of white feathers silently flit across the road infront of me and then to land as light as a dancer on a fence post. It was a barn owl. As quickly as she had flitted across the road, I had sped past, but the image and the beauty, once again. was ingrained on my mind...and in my heart. Even if it was only seconds - it was a moment of sheer beauty and delight.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

On Wings Like Eagles

When I started this blog early last year I had intended to update it regularly with many of the paintings and drawings I had started to create. However, as is usual other things in life seemed to divert my attention, but I promise to update far more regulary from now on. For those who like some background, I had spent the last 20 years working in a stressful professional environment as a graphic designer and internet administrator with a long and tiring commute in all weather on public transport. All my energy seemed to be spent focussing and then recovering from my daily grind and although I tried not to, health issues started to compromise my life and I came to a realisation that something had to give. At one point, I thought it was me...I had come to the end of my physical tether. I have always been a very independent woman brought up on the good old protestant work ethic, but after much soul searching I decided to quit my career, downsize and change my life. I am very fortunate to have a very supportive husband who for years could see my creative spark which for me had been lost through administrative tasks, reports, budgets, corporate graphics and deadlines. He encouraged me to take this sabbatical and re-ignite the spark!

Eagle drawing - Isaiah 40:31
On Wings Like Eagles © Angela Cutler

I didn't know at that point almost 2 years ago now, if I still could draw or paint or even if I have the creative vision or enthusiasm to do it having not done very much at all in the interim. And in actual fact, I found the 'idea' of starting quite daunting...what if I failed? There was only one thing to do and that was to try. I started out not even knowing what materials to use...paint and if so what type, pastels, pencil, large, small. I didn't know. So I just started off with what I had in the house - pencils, pastels and some craft paint. I started to find pleasure in the process without worrying about what the end result would be. I was encouraged to see some lovely abstract art works appear which I found very satisfying as I felt they were expressing a little bit of my private feelings. I will post some of these early faltering steps soon.