Saturday, 25 February 2012

Italian Stamp Collage flag

I would welcome comments on the stamps included in this collage from anyone with a knowledge of Italy's history! I made this some time ago, before researching the meaning of the red 20c stamp "I Bimbi d'Italia si chiaman Balilla" and discovered that stamps issued around this time often carried propaganda messages.
As I'm shortly going to be visiting Rome, I was also trying to find stamps portraying famous Romans, and found Julius Caesar and the Emperor Augustus too. Stamps showing King Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, Italia and Provincial occupations such as weaving, harvesting and fishing are also included.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Welsh Flag for St David's Day 1st March

Just completed this stamp collage flag. It's so bright and colourful and you can play "Count the number of dragons" ... let me know how many you find! St David's day is next Thursday 1st March and I'm taking some of these cards into the Made in Stroud shop tomorrow - also available direct from me of course. Open Studios this year is Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th, and then following week, 19th and 20th May. Come along and see my original work. Quite a few things at the "Work in progress stage" at the moment.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Diamond Jubilee Union Jack Stamp Collage

To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II this year, I've updated my Union Jack stamp collage using stamps of Great Britain issued during her 60 year reign. The very first ones to appear on 6th February 1952 were definitives including the 1d blue and 2 1/2d red. Coronation stamps were issued the next year - a set of four including the 2 1/d red and 4d blue.

A set of stamps showing castles was issued in 1955 including one featured in my flag, the 10/- (10 shillings) blue depicting Edinburgh Castle. Too many stamps to mention them all, but iconic images appear including the Word Cup 1966 stamp and a later issue of 1999 showing the England Captain Bobby Moore with the trophy.That great ship, the QE2 and the first flight of Concorde, are shown on stamps issued in 1969. The Queen's portrait is printed every stamp issued by Great Britain, but there are many here also featuring special events and dates in her life. The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales also appear, and appropriately a stamp featuring the Union flag or Union Jack as it is popularly known flies next to a stamp with the Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip together.

This stamp collage is available to purchase as a canvas print size approx 30 x 40 cms priced at £70 and also as a greetings card at £3. Other sizes also available on request.

A great way to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee!

Friday, 17 February 2012

French Flag - Version 2 including Hector Berlioz

A second version of the French flag is now available. So many beautiful stamps have been issued and the history and landscapes of France as well as the art and culture make up this stamp collage.

Included are stamps commemmorating Hector Berlioz, composer of the music of the French national anthem, the Marseillaise, the writer Louise Michel, Louis Braille inventor of the Braille system for blind readers, and the philosopher Pascal. Art stamps featured include Jean Clouet's painting of Francois I and two tapestries of very different styles, the Lady and the Unicorn showing one of the series of tapestries in the Musee de Cluny in Paris, and a modern tapestry by Lurcat. Cathedrals, chateaux, coats of arms and the Marianne definitives also feature.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Stamp Collage flags of many nations

The Danish flag has now been added to the Flags web page. The Dannebrog as it's known in Denmark is possibly one of the oldest national flags. A legend says that King Valdemar II had a vision of a white cross on a red field in 1219 in the crusade against the pagan Estonians. The Danes encouraged by this sign were victorious in the battle. All Scandinavian flags have the off-centre cross. Featured in this flag you can see Queen Margrethe II, King Frederick IX, the arms of Denmark, Viking ships and a stamp showing Viking shipbuilders from the Bayeux tapestry - 30 ore, 1970.

All the flags featured are made of stamps of that country and it's been an interesting journey through history. Stamps are issued to commemmorate all sorts of events, people and achievements. Royalty, Statesmen and figures from a nation's past, animals, birds - everything is there on a stamp and I hope you will find a lot to look at in my stamp collages.

Some of the flags are easier and quicker to make than others due to the colour content - I've noticed how relatively rare yellow and black stamps are for some countries and red and blue ones are much easier to find. Searching out suitable stamps can be time consuming, and even when I have found the right ones I often get side-tracked looking them up in a catalogue, or online now, which is so much easier, to find out more about the subject featured and when it was issued etc. The latest flags to be added to the web page are those of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Hungary and Italy.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you received a card ... but if you didn't here's one specially for you!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sir Joseph Banks - Banksia in stamp collage

Stamp collage picture of a garden which has one border full of Banksia Serrata which featured on an Australian 33c stamp issued in 1986 as part of a set commemmorating Cook's voyage to New Holland on the Endeavour in 1768-70. The botanist, Sir Joseph Banks was on board and made many interesting discoveries of plants in the area, including this one.

The Joseph Banks Building is shown on the 20p stamp issued as part of a set of British stamps issued in 1990 to commemmorate the 150th Anniversary of Kew Gardens.

A detail showing the plant, also known as Bottle Brush, is shown below.

Artistic licence as this particular plant can grow up to 10 metres high, so wouldn't really be suitable to be planted in a garden border - that's the great thing about art!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Stamp Collage Garden Series

Work in progress ...

I'm often asked "How long does it take you to do a picture?" and of course it can vary according to the subject matter. I'm currently focussing on a series of gardens, having enjoyed making my Secret Artist contribution for the Stroud Museum in the Park Secret Garden project last year.

These pictures are taking me several days each to produce due to the nature (excuse the pun!) of the subject matter and that I've chosen to carefully cut out flowers and plants to go in my gardens. Making a collage using stamps is quite a complicated matter as unlike an artist using a palette of colours ready to mix and apply, I have to search through books, boxes and bags to find the right stamps for the job, which can take ages. I sometimes just spend time browsing through my stock, sorting out stamps which may be suitable for certain future projects and then putting them aside, hoping I will remember where I've put them!

The beauty of a Stamp Collage garden is that it's in flower all year round and also I've filled my gardens with plants that appeal to me without necessarily taking into condition the climate! Artistic license of sorts I suppose.

By sheer coincidence I watched Mastermind last night and the specialist subject of one of the contestants was Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist. I had only just finished my picture which includes a border of Australian 33c stamps featuring a plant discovered by Banks on his voyage with Captain Cook on the Endeavour to New Holland and named appropriately Banksia serrata. It's a shrub which can grow to 10 m and flowers from January to June in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania! The stamp is one of a set issued in 1986.

The left hand border contains Helichrysum thomsonii - Thomson's Everlasting which is a perennial herb growing in Australia. Australian 18 c stamp issued in 1975.

The pathway is made of stamps featuring aboriginal art: Bush Potato Country 1979 by Turkey Tolsen Tjupurrula/David CorbyTjapaitjarri.

More on Joseph Banks in another blog ...

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Everyone loves Owls

Another Owl print flew out of the Artshop in Beechwood Shopping Centre recently. This Artshape shop was open until Christmas and sales were very successful, helping to raise the profile of Artshape Ltd in Gloucestershire. See for futher details of the charity's work. Unfortunately the shop is now closed but may reappear in another area at some stage.

The Owl shown here is made from postage stamps, postcards, postmarks.

It is available as a full size print, approx 14 x 12 " or reduced to size 10 x 8" .

Greetings cards also available A5 or A6. Please e mail for futher details.