Amelia’s Magazine | Mother’s Art: Celebrating Women Everywhere for Mothering Sunday

The Virgin of Guadalupe 2- Lally MacBeth
A week ago I posted an open brief to produce artwork inspired by women for Mothering Sunday (celebrated in the UK this weekend). Here are the wonderful results: thanks so much to everyone who took part. If you fancy getting involved there will be another open brief posted soon. In the meantime… enjoy, and make sure you spoil your mum this Sunday.

The Virgin of Guadalupe 4- Lally MacBeth
The Virgin of Guadalupe by Lally MacBeth.
My work almost always uses self-portraiture, exploring the many facets of women and their experience through characters and clothing. This series of photographs was inspired by The Virgin of Guadalupe and her role in Mexican culture as a mother, saint and icon. I have long been fascinated by the representation of saints in paintings and sculpture, in particular their ‘caring eyes’ and the strength they seem to exude. In these images I wanted to expand on this interest by looking at the archetypical mother figure, exploring what it is that draws people to The Virgin of Guadalupe and why it is that she has been such an enduring icon. I drew inspiration from the religious cards available in cathedrals and the poses of devotional sculptures.

BreakingThrough-Jenny Kadis
Breaking Through by Jenny Kadis.
When I read that Mothering Sunday was once associated with breaking fast by eating pie I immediately thought of a line from the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” – “when the pie was broken, the birds began to sing” – which seemed to be a great metaphor for womens’ global endeavor to break through the glass ceiling.  I often illustrate birds and so they seemed the perfect way in which to represent women breaking free from constraints and striving upwards towards achievement.  

Mother's who Work for their Families- Cressida Knapp
Mothers who work for their families, by Cressida Knapp.
When I was growing up I had a stay at home dad, and a mum who went to work. She would leave the house at 7am and be home twelve hours later. So whenever Mother’s Day came around we would try and spoil her, turning the house into a ‘love shack’, full of freshly picked flowers and sweet treats. Millions of women across the globe are the breadwinners for their families, and these women are my inspiration. I use watercolour to make my images, and nearly always use the first drawings as they have a loose, idiosyncratic look. I then scan the images into my cranky old Mac, and play around with them like a collage. I work fairly quickly, usually at night and always accompanied by some fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller audio book playing in the background, and my dog Sparky sleeping at my feet.

Elephant Tea Party by Carly Watts.
Elephants are known to be compassionate and familial creatures; they are also one of my favourite animals! When I first read the brief, I knew I wanted to create a scene involving a little elephant family and I chose to feature a mother and daughter enjoying a small tea party together out in the wilds. I love these gentle creatures and am always astounded by the bond they share within their family groups, I think they’re the perfect animal to represent Mother’s Day.

Yellow Cathedral_Kat Hassan_LR_Amelia'smagazine
Yellow Cathedral by Kat Hassan.
During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church, the main church or cathedral of the area, for a service to be held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Later it became a day that children and servants could return to their mother church to see family and would pick wild flowers along the way. My piece is a collage of images I’ve developed from drawings of Bath cathedral and flowers. I was interested in seeing how the strong graphic lines combine with the pretty shapes.

Woman in flowers by Karina Järv
Woman in flowers by Karina Jarv
For me every woman is a flower…
No matter what clothes you wear (studded leather jackets or chiffon dress), or style of music you listen, or book you read before sleep, you are a flower! This spring me and my mother found very nice Crocuses in the flower shop, they inspired me to create this artwork. Of course I couldn’t forget Mimosa flowers – the best known flowers in the beginning of the spring in Russia.

Kirsty Greenwood's Sedna-small
Sedna by Kirsty Greenwood.
Sedna is an illustration inspired by the Inuit creation myth of Sedna, Mother of the Sea – responsible for the life sustaining bounty of the Arctic Ocean. The story is a disturbing one in which Sedna, after falling overboard, has her fingers beaten and chopped off (which turn into whales, walruses and seals) by her father as she tries to climb back on board while they are both fleeing from the evil raven she was married off to by her father for a dowry of fish, as he pursues them after she escaped his confinement with the help of her father, who is now terrified and willing to sacrifice his only daughter for his own safety. This story fascinates me, and I feel encompasses the nurturing gift and sacrifice of mothers worldwide.

Nadine Z.R., 'Audrey Hepburn, a Tribute'
Ms.Hepburn by Nadine ZR.
In my attempt to express the limitless beauty of Ms. Hepburn, I drew her form (and that of her pet fawn, Pip) with a line that is both simple and soft – each an inherent quality of this lady. Her pose is one of my favourites, inspired from a fishing scene in the film Funny Face, whereby I place Ms Hepburn under a hail of pirouetting tulip tree blossoms (one of which conveniently adorns her hat). A tulip tree and a tulip are actually two different species of plant, but each illustrates both Ms Hepburn’s wonderfully delicate recital of a poem in another film, Two for the Road (featuring a tulip tree), as well as her preferred flower, the Dutch tulip. Audrey Hepburn is, in my eyes, what too many people are not, and because of this she herself is a blossom who should remain eternally respected.

Wietske Claessen-mother-of-all- birds
Mother of all Birds by Wietske Claessen
We all come from a Mother, who feeds us, takes care of us,loves us with her mother-instinct which she got from Mother earth,  she takes care and nurtures us to let us become who we are, to let us grow , to make the circle go round and so we can also become a Mother in all kinds of ways for everybody around us.

Vaso Michailidou_Joan
Joan Baez by Vaso Michailidou
This is an illustration of Joan Baez, folk musician, social activist, pacifist and all around legend. Produced with pencil, felt-tip pens and painted on Photoshop. She is an inspiration. Someone who used their art in a powerful way, to say important things and motivate people to protest for change. A brave, beautiful lady. I loved working on this and now I think I will be doing a ‘female legend’ related piece for every March to come. There’s millions! But my mom’s next.

Being a Mother by Gilly Rochester
Being a Mother by Gilly Rochester.
Qing is on the right, my incredible daughter-in-law since December. She is with her mum and grandmother in her rural hometown Borzhou – a centre for plant-growing for Chinese medicine and her family’s business, hence the flowers. I based the illustration on 2 photos Qing sent, taken at Chinese New Year 2014, having no idea then (or when we visited China last April) that by August my son & Qing would be living in London (nor they). I accepted that they would be in China for the foreseeable future but was feeling decidedly quakey and bereft. I haven’t met Qing’s mum and granny, I hope I do one day, but they are very much in my thoughts especially now, as although Qing is now back in China for visa reasons, she will be returning to London in May; and they will be bereft. It’s such a difficult thing to do.

True affection_oda valle
True Affection by Oda Valle.
My name is Oda Valle and I am a Norwegian illustrator. I illustrate for magazines and various clients around the world which I love. Screen printing is my latest passion in life. I spend most of my time drawing, listening to indie rock music, drinking my coffee and I dream of going back to New York City. I always bring my ink pens and my music headphones with me wherever I go. Quirky beauty, eccentric people and nature landscapes inspires me. At the moment I´m drawing owls and guinea fowls. I love the shapes and colors of their feathers. I am greatful to my mother for giving me life. I got my creative skills from her.

Categories ,Carly Watts, ,Cressida Knapp, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Jenny Kadis, ,Joan Baez, ,Karina Jarv, ,Kat Hassan, ,Kirsty Greenwood, ,Lally MacBeth, ,Mother of all Birds, ,Mother of the Sea, ,Mother’s Day, ,Mothering Sunday, ,Nadine ZR, ,Oda Valle, ,Sedna, ,Squid Stew, ,The Virgin of Guadalupe, ,Vaso Michailidou, ,Wietske Claessen

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Amelia’s Magazine | Easter Art: Bunnies and Hares and Eggs and Chocolate and Spring Vibes in the Air at last!

Eostre by Sara Netherway
Eostre by Sara Netherway.

I love this time of year: juicy green buds on the trees, flowers unfurling, finally a small sign of warmer weather. And familiar Easter traditions such as bunnies, decorated eggs and eating far too much chocolate. My latest open brief asked for submissions on the theme of Easter and what it means to you…

Sara Netherway (above)
For the Easter open call I’ve been inspired the goddess of the dawn Eostre. I’ve drawn her as a hare, who is taking care of the new spring life in the form of a baby. The image is drawn in pen and scanned with hand drawn textures, then brought together in photoshop with digital colour added. 

Egg Hunt by CarlyWatts
Carly Watts: Egg Hunt
Easter is one of my favourite times of year, I love giving and receiving pretty chocolate eggs (or bunnies) and eating hot cross buns. When I was younger I used to adore having an easter egg hunt in the garden, so I decided to base my illustration around that. I’ve chosen a really fresh and happy colour palette inspired by spring and the warmer weather arriving with cute Easter animals hiding amongst the flowers and leaves. I wanted to create a poster that would not look out of places in a child’s room, or perhaps sent as an Easter postcard!.

Easter Art for Amelia's Magazine by Carol Kearns
Carol Kearns
When I was a child, Easter meant looking forward to chocolate eggs. My favourite was always the Smarties one. Now at Easter I always bake this chocolate cake. It’s deliciously moist and chocolatey and, made with cocoa and evaporated milk, it reminds me of my childhood – particularly when it is decorated with Smarties! The illustration is made with Caran D’Ache Prismalo Aquarelle watersoluble pencils and so the very making of image harks back to my childhood when I would have been using ‘crayons’ rather than the watercolour paints I more usually use now. I’ve included some of my vintage china in the arrangement and, at this season of symbols, I’ve also included my Pantone mugs in my favourite colours to represent my profession as a designer and illustrator.

Lorna Scobie
Easter makes me think of rabbits.
Rather than planning an image before I start, I paint as ideas come into my head, which I hope makes the illustration feel more alive. I drew this piece in my sketchbook when I was on holiday, staying in a forest in Germany, where I felt very close to nature. I intended to draw just the one rabbit but once I started they just kept multiplying! I have lots of different sketchbooks for different things, and this illustration is in a sketchbook that I just use for drawing lots and lots of animals. When it’s full, I hope it will be quite a menagerie!
Lucy Dillamore
My illustration is an accumulation of all my favourite aspects of Easter imagery; spring, nature, animals, happiness, flowers and bright colours! I love looking at vintage greetings cards and this is also a big inspiration to this work; especially through the colors. I’m currently experimenting with hand drawn line coloured in on photoshop which is the process behind this piece. Happy Easter!

Leap - JennyKadis
Jenny Kadis: Leap
For me, Easter celebrations are all about the welcoming of warmer weather and the marking of a new season. My bunny ballerina is full of the joys of Spring!

Fiona Scoble_A hop a skip and a jump (1)
Fiona Scoble: A Hop, a Skip and a Jump!
Easter arrives just as nature goes up a gear, it’s the perfect moment to celebrate new and renewed life. Everything is busy – flowers unfurling, nests neatly arranged – in a frantic joyful race, which is what these leaping hares are all about!  I painted them in watercolour, laying down the initial form from sketches over a lightbox, then building up detail with a fine brush.  

easter eggs Kat hassan
Kat Hassan
Easter eggs, symbolic of the original meaning of easter, a time of renewal and new birth, a celebration of life and new beginnings.

Jana Doubkova
I have studied everything possible at Fine Art College and Uni in Prague for 13years (classic drawing, sculpture and new media) and ended up realizing that I cant live without pencil in my hand. Later I added the watercolour for simply having not enough of enjoyable work on every single picture I was creating. Plus the colour – so important! So here I am! Seeing and drawing after beauty in everything surrounding me, especially fairies & kitties, fashion & tea. Feeling so comfortable living in London with all the galleries and museums and cafes on banksides! I work, without surprise, as an Illustrator for magazines and event companies.

Kiki Kalahari
I tried bringing a bit of a modern and urban flair to the classic Easter imagery, but wanted to retain a sense of the freshness and hopeful feeling that comes with impending spring, hence this fashionable bunny enjoying the first rays of sunlight in the city. Happy Easter!

Easter Art Fashion Spring Collection by Kasia Dudziuk
Kasia Dudziuk
What I love about Easter is all the fresh Spring colours. I’m inspired by Daffodils, Tulips and many other flowers start to appear in the parks and gardens. Clothing shops start selling lots of pretty floral printed dresses and pastel colour accessories. People start to be outside more, sitting outside at a cafe, doing the gardening, walking around in wide rim hats. But of course there are also lots of beautifully decorated chocolate eggs, Spring chicks and baby animals around. In my illustration I wanted to show all the wonderful elements of Easter.

Suzanne Carpenter
I make vector pictures, prints and patterns influenced by folk art and fabrics and foraging round in jumble sales and playing eye spy  and day dreaming and doodling and drawing and dipping my toe and poking my nose in cloud cuckoo land. Sometimes I pick up a pen, point a camera, create a collage and sometimes I get distracted for years and years and years. And often I run out of time – but not this time – this time I’ve got 17 mins left to submit. I’m early. That is unusual.

illuminate-Mayumi Mori
Mayumi Mori: Illuminate
This depicts how sunshine makes people to take their coats and scarves off, as if they were plants emerging in the spring. To me, Easter is about hope, new starts and changes. I have made this image for an online illustration project called 52 Words A Year, which I run with two other illustrators, Leni Kauffman and Oliver O’keeffe.

Categories ,52 Words A Year, ,Carly Watts, ,Carol Kearns, ,Easter, ,EASTER ART, ,Eostre, ,Fiona Scoble, ,illustration, ,Jana Doubkova, ,Jenny Kadis, ,Kasia Dudziuk, ,Kat Hassan, ,Kiki Kalahari, ,Kirstin Eggers, ,Leap, ,Lorna Scobie, ,Lucy Dillamore, ,Mayumi Mori, ,Open brief, ,Sara Netherway, ,Suzanne Carpenter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Plastic Mermaids: Inhale the Universe Interview

Plastic Mermaids by Kat Hassan_3
Plastic Mermaids by Kat Hassan.

Plastic Mermaids are a five piece band from the Isle of Wight. Since their 2014 release of debut EP ‘Drømtorp’ they have rightfully been earning comparisons to the likes of Animal Collective, British Sea Power, The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. After sold-out headline shows last year Plastic Mermaids have become notable for their eye catching stage production, which involves handmade sets, lasers, projections and samples from films. I caught up with multi-instrumentalist Jamie Richards to find out more…

How did Plastic Mermaids come together and how has your home in Isle of Wight shaped your sound?
Doug, Chris N. and I (Jamie) used to be in a sort of thrash-electro-punk band called Magic Octagon. Really loud fast trashy music, it baffles me that we ever did it to be honest. Anyway we stopped that and decided to form Plastic Mermaids. We did one gig without a drummer with the most outrageous electronic setup ever and it was a complete disaster. We knew Chris J through surfing so got him to play some drums, and eventually decided that it also made more sense to have a bassist who could actually play the bass (I was pretty crap) so Tom joined us. I reckon being on the Island has definitely had an effect on our sound as we’re less subjected to the latest musical trends than we would be in a city, so we just kind of do our own thing. Being by the sea is pretty great for inspiration too.

Plastic Mermaids_portait
What is the process of creating new music as a band? Is there one person more in control and if so how does that work?
There’s no one person in control, we all write music and bring ideas to the table. It’s not a simple process though. I guess it usually goes something like this –
Someone has an idea that we all get excited about and start recording it before we really know where we’re going, we drink a lot of tea, everyone decides they want to take the song different places, we argue about it, record multiple versions, change it around until it bears no resemblance to the initial idea, decide we hate it, abandon it for months, throw away everything, start again, change the tempo by 20bpm in one direction then the other, drink some more tea, argue some more, change the key, throw it all away again, decide the original idea was actually quite good, drink some more tea, call it finished. Every now and then we get lucky and a song actually comes together pretty quickly. We wrote and recorded most of ‘Polaroids’ in one evening – Doug had a piano piece, which he had a completely different vision for and the rest of us totally butchered it while he was out of the room having dinner.

Plastic Mermaids by Kat Hassan.

Playing In Your Mind -Plastic Mermaids
Playing In Your Mind - Plastic Mermaids 2 copy
What is happening in the Playing in Your Mind video? What inspired all the ideas and how did you achieve them?
Ha! Well we followed Doug with a camera which was lucky because when he got attacked by that mannequin it made a pretty good intro..

Plastic Mermaids_EP COVER
If you could describe the inspiration behind the new Inhale the Universe EP in one sentence what would it be?
Tom had a dream he could inhale the universe so we tried to replicate it in music.

Playing In Your Mind - Plastic Mermaids 1
How often do you get to surf and do you ever surf together as a group or is it always a very individual pursuit?
Doug, Chris and I (Jamie) surf as often as the waves permit. Unfortunately being on an island half way up the English channel that’s not very often in summer. We do get some good waves in winter though, and it’s hardly ever crowded which is a bonus. There’s something really nice about sitting in the sea with a few friends in the middle of winter with snow on the ground watching the sunrise and getting some great waves, knowing that everyone else is still in bed.

PlasticMermaidsByKat Hassan_1
Plastic Mermaids by Kat Hassan.

The visual aspect of performance is very important to you – what do you hope to do with your live sets in the coming years? Any ideas you can share with us?
Obviously lights/projections/stage props etc do add a lot to the live experience, but I think a lot of what’s exciting about watching us play is just the fact that we’re doing it completely live. It’s become almost a rarity nowadays to see a band playing without a backing track. I swear I’ve seen bands recently that could stop playing their instruments and you wouldn’t notice. What we’re trying to do at the moment is to push things as far as we can technologically with samplers and sequencers etc whilst still remaining completely live and not being locked into a click track. There’s been so much of it around recently and I think audiences are starting to realise that gigs with backing tracks become stale pretty quickly. In our sets things can (and sometimes do) go wrong, and I think that adds an element of excitement. In future we just want to see how far we can keep pushing it and not play it too safe. And we’d like some big lasers of course.

Plastic Mermaids
Where can we see you live this year?
We’ve got a couple of headline gigs coming up, The Louisiana (Bristol) 23rd Feb and The Lexington (London) 24th Feb. We’ve just had a couple of festival bookings too, Wychwood Festival (31st May), Isle of Wight Festival (12th June) and Bestival (September). We’ve also got a nice slot on the main stage at Rob da Bank’s new Common People festival in Southampton 23rd May which is pretty exciting. Hopefully we’ll get a few more booked in soon as well.

Playing In Your Mind and Inhale The Universe are released on 9 March via Cross Keys Records.

Categories ,bestival, ,Common People festival, ,Cross Keys Records, ,Drømtorp, ,Inhale the Universe, ,interview, ,Isle of Wight Festival, ,Jamie Richards, ,Kat Hassan, ,Magic Octagon, ,Plastic Mermaids, ,Playing in Your Mind, ,Polaroids, ,The Lexington, ,The Louisiana, ,Wychwood Festival

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