Tag Archives: art

A Chat With Brita Granström

A Chat With Brita GranstromPhotograph © Diana Pappas via  Brita Granström website

I’m thrilled to publish this interview with the fabulous artist, Brita Granström, whose work I discovered last year (and have been coveting ever since!). I went to Brita’s exhibition at the Tanner & Lawson gallery in Chelsea and was completely charmed by her gorgeous paintings featuring domestic interior scenes, as well as the beautiful landscapes of her native Sweden and Scotland. Brita’s next exhibition is taking place in Scotland at the Open Eye Gallery from 10th-27th March, and she has kindly allowed me to illustrate this post with the paintings that will be exhibited (and available for sale) at the exhibition. I so wish I could see it! If you’re in Edinburgh – please do go and report back!

But on to the interview…

A Chat With Brita GranstromMuscari and Sea View

MN: Could you tell me a little about yourself and your background? Did you always want to be an artist?

BG: I grew up on a farm in Sweden, by a lake, and I always wanted to be an artist and grew up drawing, painting and making all the time. After leaving school I did a 4 year postgraduate course in Illustration & Design at Konstfack in Stockholm. While still studying, I worked as an illustrator for the charity AMREF making step-by-step ‘how to do it’ illustrations for Kenyan and Ugandan bush surgeons, mostly repairing cleft-pallets – this meant a month in Africa and flying in tiny planes over the Serengeti not to mention drawing operations from life! A couple of years later in 1993 I came to Scotland, unexpectedly fell in love, and stayed here.

A Chat With Brita GranstromTulips and Scissors

At first I made illustrations for the Glasgow Herald and BBC Scotland as well as embarking on a career making children’s books. I have always painted on canvas too, but initially found it very hard to find a gallery to show my paintings. Then, one day, I met Mara-Helen Wood, an authority on Scandinavian art, and who was, at the time, the director of The University Gallery in Newcastle. She had enough faith in my work to give me shows in her galleries, first in Newcastle and later at the prestigious Kings Place in London. Since then I have been fortunate enough to show at various galleries, including the brilliant Thompsons Galleries of Aldeburgh and London who stock my paintings, as do Tanner & Lawson in Chelsea. My new exhibition, Dreaming Of Scotland, will be my second show at the wonderful Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh.

A Chat With Brita GranstromBonnard’s Dog

MN: What first brought you to Scotland? What things do you miss most about Sweden, and what do you enjoy about life in the U.K.?

BG: Love kept me here. I fell in love in Scotland 24 years ago. I love the light and the wind and the beaches. I love the contrast between the chilly Scottish winters (nothing compared to freezing Swedish ones where it can drop to minus 30!) and the short, hot Swedish summers. We live in an old Georgian house in the borders with lots of character and a wonderful soft light which inspires many of my interior paintings. We have also built our own wooden house in Sweden near a lake. The vibe is different in both places – but I like them both equally.

MN: I love your interior scenes that often focus on the domestic, but your landscape paintings are equally beautiful. Do you have a preference for drawing outdoor or indoor scenes?

BG: My work follows my life. When I get really inspired by the light and subject it makes me want to paint it. At the moment I have immersed myself in painting interiors as well as tulips and muscari – but three weeks ago, I was painting on the windy beaches in the early spring sunshine. In the summer I painted watery Swedish summer night-scapes with swimmers. In August we were back in the UK and I had my canvasses on the rocks, dodging the tide and painting beautiful rock pools. Quite often someone walks into my picture and I paint them in. You can see lots of these paintings on my website and follow new works as they happen on my Instagram feed @britagranstrom. In my interior paintings I like to paint the beauty in everyday chores; the fleeting moment often ignored or missed. Chopping rhubarb or apples for a pie, a boy drinking tea or beating eggs, someone cutting the ends off tulips or carrying a birthday cake…

A Chat With Brita GranstromGirl Chopping Rhubarb

MN: What is your creative process like? Do you work from 9-5 most days, or are you generally more flexible?

BG: With my book illustration work it’s mostly 9 to 5. The painting is different. Often, after days of building up my ‘painting battery’, I paint and then it takes the time it takes… The light and the subject is all that matters not time.

MN: Your exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh opens on 10th March. What was your inspiration behind the artworks exhibited? Do you have a favourite amongst these paintings?

BG: The exhibition is named after one of my autobiographical paintings called ‘Dreaming of Scotland’. It seemed fitting for a show in Edinburgh. There are quite a few paintings of interiors as well as some big seascapes painted in the stunning all changing weather of the coast up here. You can view them here.

A Chat With Brita GranstromBeryl Teapot

MN: I love the children’s book you illustrated about the Bronte sisters. Do you have a favourite Bronte novel?

BG: Thank You. That was a great book to be working on – about admirably strong women! Wuthering Heights is my favourite with Jane Eyre as a close second.

MN: Which Scandinavian artists do you admire the most?

GB: Helene Schjerfbeck, Sigrid Hjertén and Edvard Munch.

MN: What advice would you have for young creatives starting out today?

BG: Be true to yourself, work hard, have fun and do not give up. I also love Bonnard’s quote: ‘Draw your pleasure, paint your pleasure, and express your pleasure strongly.’

A Chat With Brita GranstromParrot Tulips and Lapwing

MN: Through my blog and podcast, I like to celebrate successful, creative women. Which women do you particularly admire within the Arts industry?

BG: I think the artist/printmakers: Emily Sutton, Alice Pattullo and Angie Lewin are having fantastic and well-deserved success just now. I also admire the children’s books of Helen Stephens and Emily Mackenzie. Recently read Nellie Dean by Alison Case and thought it one of the best novels I have read; Emily Bronte would have approved.

A Chat With Brita GranstromBig Sand Dune

Thank you so much to Brita for taking the time to give me such fabulous answers to my questions. For more of her glorious artwork, check out Brita’s instagramwebsite and current exhibition. To purchase any of the paintings featured, contact the Open Eye Gallery.

Isn’t Brita’s artwork a feast for the eyes? Which painting do you like most?

Miranda Loves: Luke Martineau Prints

Luke Martineau

When I was at Skittle Alley Coffee and Pantry over the weekend, I admired the collection of beautiful prints by Luke Martineau that are displayed on the cafe’s walls. Martineau is a London artist, and I adore his alphabet series that somehow remind me of the Ladybird books I read as a child. The prints are described as celebrating ‘the simple pleasures and enduring themes of childhood,’ and they really are utterly charming.

++ View more Miranda Loves posts ++

Follow Miranda’s Notebook
Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Youtube

Miranda Loves: Amanda White’s Literary Houses

1859008{After the Waves, Amanda White, £45. ‘Virginia Woolf’s ‘writing lodge’ at her Sussex home, Monk’s House. July 1931. After reading the manuscript, Leonard comes out to tell his wife that ‘The Waves’ is a masterpiece.’}

On my visit to Charleston and Monk’s House over the weekend, I rediscovered the beautiful artwork of Amanda White, whose prints of Monk’s House are available in their shop. I couldn’t resist snapping her latest one up! On researching more about Amanda, I was thrilled to discover her series on literary houses, which I find utterly delightful. In her signature naive style, Amanda has created prints of the beautiful houses lived in by many of Britain’s most notable authors and poets. Here are some of my favourites:

1859006{Vita and Harold in their Sissinghurst Garden, £45}

1847267{Night and Day, Monk’s House, Rodmell, £45.}

1847270{Hampstead Landscape, Letter From Naples (Keats House), £45}

1847265{Jane and Cassandra Austen Tending their Steventon Garden, £45}

1859016{Plein Air in Charleston Farmhouse Garden, £45}

 In July, Amanda is realising The Writers’ House Series calendar, which looks fabulous and would be the perfect present for many of my literary friends (I may just have to get myself one too!).

Have you been to many of the houses Amanda illustrates? Which is your favourite of her prints?

++ view more ‘Miranda Loves’ posts here ++

Follow Miranda’s Notebook
Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Miranda Loves: Liz Mosley

Liz Mosley | Miranda's Notebook{Dream Big and Make Plans print.}

Yesterday, my lovely friend Siobhan (of Bless the Weather) opened her brand new online shop, Calder & Byrne. The shop is full of beautiful accessories, stationery, jewellery, beauty products and ceramics that are all handmade in the UK by independent designers (do pop on over to take a look – you may recognise the model for some of the pieces too, ahem :D). I love absolutely everything in it, but I was especially delighted to discover the work of Liz Mosley, a graphic designer based in London. Liz’s prints and cards are so delightfully quirky and fun, it’s hard not to fall in love with them instantly! I bought the above Dream Big and Make Plans print, and I’m very tempted to get some more for friends and family! Here, I’ve picked out some of my favourite Liz Mosley products, both from her Etsy shop and Calder & Byrne:

Liz Mosley | Miranda's Notebook{You Are My Fave card}Liz Mosley | Miranda's Notebook{Created to Create print}Liz Mosley | Miranda's Notebook{Adventure print}
Liz Mosley | Miranda's Notebook{Hello card}
Liz Mosley | Miranda's Notebook{Keep it Simple print}

Discover more about Liz Mosley on her website | twitter | instagram | Etsy shop. Which of her prints do you especially like?

Images via Calder & Byrne and  Liz Mosley.

++ View more Miranda Loves posts here ++

Follow Miranda’s Notebook
Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Miranda Loves: Kiran Ravilious

kiranravilious

In a wonderful moment of serendipity, I stumbled by chance on Kiran Ravilious‘ work soon after seeing the fabulous Eric Ravilious exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Kiran Ravilious is a designer and printmaker who married Eric Ravilious’ grandson, Ben Ravilious. The beautiful, muted palettes of her designs remind me of Eric Ravilious’ artworks, and I love the hint of the tropics that is incorporated into her work in celebration of her own heritage. I was fascinated by Kiran’s account of meeting her husband and her connection to such an artistic family that is given on her website:

Soon after arriving in Leicester, on a very cold summer’s day, I met Ben. On one of our first dates, I showed Ben these little paintings that I had been doing and he asked me if I’d heard of his grandfather Eric Ravilious. I had not! We hit it off anyway and and were soon inseparable!

I am definitely influenced by my love of nature and the colours of the tropics. I also love visiting and spending time with Ben’s aunt, Anne whose house is filled with hand printed loveliness and who has inspired me by telling me stories about Peggy Angus and her mum Tirzah Garwood and by showing me their beautiful handmade works. My illustrator mother-in-law Robin Ravilious who has a great eye for colour and detail is my biggest fan and is always encouraging me and giving me her honest opinion on my work.

I’m completely smitten by Kiran Ravilious’ beautiful notebooks, cushions and homeware. I have some important birthdays coming up soon, and I have a feeling quite a few gifts will be bought on the Kiran Ravilious website!

++ View more ‘Miranda Loves’ posts here ++

Follow Miranda’s Notebook
Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Miranda Loves: Sorcha Faulkner Art

Sorcha Faulkner Art

I recently discovered Sorcha Faulkner through Instagram, where I immediately fell in love with her gorgeous artwork.  Sorcha’s nature-inspired drawings remind me of some of my favourite artists, Emily Sutton and Mark Hearld, and her kitchen and food scenes are slightly reminiscent of another favourite, Chloe Cheese. Sorcha’s style is, however, all her own, and I love the pretty font work and rich colours she uses in her work. I’m especially fond of her alphabet flower series, and am ordering a print of P is for Primrose for myself.

Sorcha Faulkner ArtSorcha very kindly agreed to answer some questions on herself and her art, so that the readers of Miranda’s Notebook could get to know a little more about her:

1/ What first sparked your interest in art? Have you always loved drawing?

I have loved drawing from a very young age, art has always been something I’ve been interested in. Five year old me probably wouldn’t be surprised I’m studying Illustration!

2/ From the work I’ve seen on your website, it seems you’re particularly inspired by nature. What else inspires you?

I do love nature and wildlife, and try to get outside as much as I can and this is probably my main inspiration for my more personal work. Other than this I’m inspired from a wide variety of things, places I visit, certain type or signage, and I see colour palettes everywhere. As an illustrator I think it’s important to be curious and inspired by everything around you.

Sorcha Faulkner Art

3/ I absolutely adore your beautiful alphabet series! Is there a project you’ve especially enjoyed creating?

Thank you, it’s the project I’ve been working on most recently. It’s a secondary project in reaction to the Oxford Junior Dictionary taking natural words and replacing them with words such as blog, chatroom and voicemail. I wanted to celebrate the words that have now been lost from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, to show they’re still important.

4/ Which other artists do you admire?

I love to look at the work of Angie Lewin and Mark Hearld, I actually wrote my dissertation on them recently. I love any artists that use a variety of mediums to create work, if that’s ceramics, wallpapers or printmaking.

Sorcha Faulkner Art

5/ What medium do you use to produce your work? Is there a skill you wish to develop further?

I use a variety depending on the project, my favourites being collage, drawing and lino-cutting, though I normally scan work from my sketchbook and use Photoshop to make my ‘final’ image. I would love to make more original artwork and maybe step away from the computer a little more.

6/ What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

It was pretty lovely to win the undergraduate Searle Award for Creativity a couple of months ago. This year they judged sketchbooks rather than final artwork, and I adore sketchbooks. I spend a lot of time planning and experimenting in sketchbooks and for me it’s a really important part of the process.

Sorcha Faulkner Art

7/ Do you have a particular routine for your work? What would be your ideal studio space?

I like illustration because I have no set routine, as long as I get my work done by the deadline I divide my time as I like. If it’s sunny I am guilty of going for a walk along the river rather than doing work. At the moment I work in my ‘studio space’ (tiny desk in the corner of my bedroom) or my lovely studios at university. I would love to have a studio with a printing press and a big desk, I like to spread out and usually make a mess.

8/ I know you’re currently still studying; what are your plans after graduation?

I would love to do editorial work because I prefer projects with a quick turnaround. I’m interested in such a range of ways of working that I hope I can carry on printmaking and designing surface patterns etc. making greetings cards, notebooks and cushion covers.

Sorcha Faulkner Art

Sorcha’s floral alphabet prints (which are completed digitally and then printed) are available at £25 for A4 size, or £30 A3 size. Sorcha also accepts some commissions, and – excitingly! –  is currently working on some commissioned artwork for Miranda’s Notebook. As you know, I love to use illustration within my website, and I’m always on the lookout for illustrators whose work I admire and think would be a good fit for my aesthetic. I can’t wait to share the artwork Sorcha is creating for me in a couple of months.

If you’re interested in ordering any prints from Sorcha, or commissioning any artwork yourself, you can email her at: sorcha.k.faulkner@gmail.com

You can also follow Sorcha on Instagram (her feed is beautiful!) and Twitter.

I do hope you enjoyed this ‘Miranda Loves’ interview! Have you discovered a favourite new artist recently?

Follow Miranda’s Notebook
Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

{Miranda Loves} Chloe Cheese Prints

roses_dieppeRoses at 5 Past 9 Dieppe, available here

I love the artwork of British artist, Chloe Cheese, whose prints are filled with a vibrant joy and energy with their loosely drawn lines and pops of colour. I’m especially fond of Chloe’s domestic and French inspired artworks. Years ago, I was lucky enough to get one of her ‘A Nice Cup of Tea‘ prints, which are sadly no longer available, and I still treasure it.

chloe_cheese_tea1A Nice Cup of Tea

I recently spotted her Artichokes & Coeur, Dieppe print and just love it:

Cheesecoeur

 

Artichokes & Coeur, Dieppes, available here.

Wouldn’t it make a fabulous, original gift for Valentine’s Day?

{Miranda Loves} Emily Sutton K is for Kittens

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 08.57.12

The fabulous Hornseys Gallery recently shared the above picture of the early stages of Emily Sutton’s latest alphabet print, K is for Kittens (and knitting). Isn’t it adorable?! Anyone who knows me well realises I have a bit of an obsession with Emily Sutton’s beautiful prints, and her alphabet ones are my absolute favourite. They’re always utterly charming, showcasing Emily’s amazing attention to detail and love of colour. When I went to Emily Sutton’s exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in November, it was a real treat to see her alphabet prints all together:

emilysuttonprints

I’m lucky enough to own 3 of them (Dollhouse, Greenhouse and Ice-Cream) – and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll love her ‘M’ one when it comes out! – but I can tell I’m going to be all too tempted by K is for Kitten once it’s available….

Are there any modern artists whose work you collect, or particularly enjoy? I love prints as they’re a much more affordable way to have beautiful art on your walls – have you ever bought one?