20 Jul 2014

Copper Triquetra 6 Strand

6 Strand Copper Triquetra
About 12 years agoI created pop art paintings and sold them on eBay and always remembered how much I enjoyed painting in acrylics- especially metallic. So it was easy to choose this as my medium for creating celtic knots. Still it took a while to find the right technique to use on this 6 stranded triquetra which made it a labour of love (keep reading for details).

I'm so proud of this painting. It's on a 30x30x1.8cm cotton canvas with a chocolate brown mottled background. Sadly my camera doesn't do the colours justice- but I'll hopefully be getting a new one soon.

Triquetra draft
  Most Triquetras are a single strand with three points and sometimes a circle. But I love intricate designs and wanted to take it a step further. For me the most fun is in the geometry and the initial drafting stage, making the weaving work in different directions. This does mean the painting takes a long time though!

It took a while to figure out the best technique to get the design on to the canvas...especially as it's a dark background. At first I tried making a template from acetate, but the design was just too detailed sadly, so I opted for a technique using chalk on the back of the daft and thankfully it worked!

First try of the triqetra
Another problem with my first try was getting the sizing and placement right as it's not easy to get a triangle to look right on a square. Sadly this means I lost a canvas, but I learnt a lot from it and am already working on my next design using the information I learnt from this one!

So after all that I finally finished the painting below using a fineliner and adding just a hint of shading where one 'cord' weaves under another.

Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!


15 Jul 2014

The Importance of Finding Your Natural Style

I've doodled and drawn for as far back as I can remember and tried many different styles. It's so easy to try and push yourself into styles that are popular, like those of artists you admire or what 'proper' artists create.

But the thing is, everyone has a natural style and the thing I know I have to keep reminding myself is that there is a market for all types of art as everyone has different tastes. It's OK to not be the 'next big thing' because you don't need the entire world to love you and your work to make a living doing what you love. Not only that but some of the least 'proper' art and strangest creations have turned out to immensely entertaining and inspiring...who'd ever have thought that a cartoon family with yellow skin and no chins would ever become a global phenomenon still going strong for over 20 years! I think part of the success of The Simpsons is how observant it is and in such a funny way! They have stuck to their style and it works. I remember reading an interview with Matt Groening once and he was asked to give advice to aspiring artists. I don't remember the exact answer, but he said to draw what is right for you. He couldn't draw chins, so he left them out!

I was in fact told I was useless in art class at school, and sadly this put me off even trying to do something I naturally love for many years. I spent many years trying to find something to be passionate about avoiding the one thing that truly makes me get into 'the zone'.

I've always loved fantasy art, especially faeries and Gothic, and even had a go at it. But try as I might they always come out boss eyed hehe.

I still enjoy drawing them sometimes, but I'm not a natural at it. My natural style tends to lean more towards cartoons and geometry based patterns such as knots and mandalas.

Saying that I'd tried many times to try and draw Celtic knots over the years and just couldn't get it, even though I just knew once I knew the technique I'd be flying! So finally about three months ago I made the decision to make it happen and thanks to the Internet and many many tutorials later I cracked it :D

I have always adored anything 'earthy' and I didn't have to think twice about using earthy colours with metallic patterns/knots. When the light hits the metallic knot on a muddy brown background it evokes images of Pagan Celts or Vikings sitting around a fire with the light hitting their blades and jewellery. It speaks to something deep inside me and feels right in a way that drawing faeries and other figures never did.

You will never truly enjoy a piece you created if it isn't in a style that feels right for you. It will take longer and you will not be happy with it.

How Do You Find Your Style?

Play! Just draw and see what comes out. Relax, try different mediums and see what is the most fun for you. Art is such a personal thing and sometimes we can get distracted by comparing ourselves to others. I've never been happier since I've 'given in' and followed my natural style and my productivity has increased too! I spent a while finding the right techniques and mediums for me, but now I feel I can offer better designs with better quality and feel confident about offering my wares without wondering if they're good enough.

29 Jun 2014

My First Drawings

I've been doing a lot of studying lately for art as I've had so many ideas but just couldn't get them on to paper, where my skill didn't match my imagination. That is SO frustrating and the studying has limited my productivity too which makes it doubly frustrating.

So I was feeling a little blue, despite learning so much and knowing I'm investing that time in my future I'm not known for my patience hehe.

Then the other day, Mum was sorting out some photos for a scrapbooking workshop and she came across some of my first ever scribbles and I had to smile...as you can see I was never normal if you go by the multi-coloured clown type person walking a blue dog.

These drawings reminded me that we all start somewhere and to just keep going and to not be too hard on myself :) (oh and yes my surname was Holdup once...I changed it to Creftor as it's the Cornish/Kernowek name for 'artisan' and I have strong Cornish ancestry)




21 Jun 2014

Welcome to My Blog and Celtic Vortex

Hi there,

As you can see, this is the first post on my new blog. Welcome and I hope you enjoy your visit!


What's This Site About?

Well I will be using this blog to share my work as an artist, designer and writer. It's a place where you can keep up-to-date with my work and get an insight into my life and work process.
There will also be a shop soon, with carefully created products with my art on them, but for now I'm focusing on improving my skills and portfolio as much as I can.

Who Am I?

I'm a Londoner born and bred, though I have strong Germanic and Cornish celtic ancestry (some say that explains my temper hehe). I'm mostly an introvert and definitely a geek. I'm fascinated with nature, maths (especially geometry) and endlessly curious...in fact if I had to label myself (not something I'm prone to) I'd call myself a Pantheist Polymath. This means I can turn my hand to many things but can't make a decision to save my life!

If you'd like to get to know me better, check out my About page and come and say hello on Facebook and Twitter.

Latest Work

This will be one of the more regular types of post here. My latest work is one that I'm SO proud of, mainly because I have tried many times to create celtic knots and failed miserably! But at last I've cracked it and came up with 'Celtic Votex'.
The is my second attempt at this, as the first was going swimmingly, until I tried painting it with copper Mica...I won't be doing that again! Me being me, I'd read online you can mix water with Mica and use it like shiny watercolours. What it didn't tell me, was that when it dries it goes powdery again! Result? I big shimmering mess. I would show you it, but in my disappointment it got torn and thrown in the bin hehe.

Anyway I hope you like this one. I took 3 days in all, as I have to rest my hands regularly and my process is quite long winded...but I think it's worth it!