Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Celebration Time



My article on: Celebrating 20 Years of The Groninger Museum has been published, in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of The Holland Times.
Available both online and in hardcopy, The Holland Times offers Dutch news to anyone who wishes to be kept up to date in English.



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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Eternal Renaissance


In the gravel carpark of Wytham Woods, we head for a tall wooden gate. On the way we pass other Christmas walkers, with their hatted heads, booted feet and festive cheer. Unrestrained by its turquoise rope lasso, the gate yields to a light push swinging out into a field of long, tufted grass. The path is slippery with mud, so we follow the long tresses of its edges. The landscape undulates upwards towards a cluster of trees on the horizon.






The air is fresh and clean and I feel my lungs gasping greedily with the effort as my boots slide out from underneath me. Shrubbery, green fields and bare wintery trees surround us. The decorative dots of sheep, barely visible buildings and a white mass—The John Radcliffe Hospital, are part of the patchwork landscape.
Along the way, we greet friendly-faced walkers. Facial contours forgotten, fading almost as instantly as the time in which it takes us to pass by. At the top, through a metal gate that closes automatically behind us and into a tunnel of bare-branched trees connected at their tips. Dark, naked and silent waiting for the Renaissance of Spring.


A path has been cleared through the thick blanket of fallen and browning leaves. Twisted and gnarled limbs cavort around us. Fallen trunks are clothed in rich, green moss and the landscape falls away suddenly into a small valley, only to rise again a little further on, at journey's end. This is marked by a bench, facing a gated view from a raised stone plinth. Growing nearby, a pair of tree trunks like lovers intricately entwined, stretch skywards. It is here, three and 13 years ago, three siblings scattered the ashes of their parents to the winds—with a tear in their eye and pain in their hearts.
Silently, on this cool December morning, we absorb the familiar and favoured view of Oxford once more—a place that was the centre of their world and ours—for a while.


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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Winter Wonderland

Christmas in London makes the early darkness of the afternoons bearable. Houses, streets and trees are all lit by a myriad of silver, gold and coloured lights. Christmas trees stand—belle of the ball with their bejewelled skirts, aglow and pride of place in living rooms. There is a light tension in the air, of shopping list items still needing to be purchased and that oh-so-elusive, last present.
Taking a pause, my sister, niece, nephew and I decide to pay a visit to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Like moles, we hurtle through the tunnels of the London Underground, in brightly lit, crowded carriages. Eye contact is to be avoided at all costs and compared to twenty years ago, is made all the easier by the accompanying modern technology that we all feel obliged to carry.
At Hyde Park, standing at the bottom of the elevators to the surface, the underground staff cheerily goad the surge of passengers from each new train, through loud speakers:
Go on, take the stairs! It's the healthier option—you might even get to the top first. Try and beat the current record of 19 seconds!
No thanks! We opt for one of the two elevators to the surface, either side of the marathon stairs with their 121 steps. As we glide effortlessly to the top, we watch the valiant few who having only reached half way, are struggling with their choice and becoming red-faced and wobble-legged in the process.
Bursting forth into the muddle of people above ground, we head for the arced entrance to Winter Wonderland and the festive throng. Luckily, being spread over a vast area of Hyde Park, it means that the enormity of the crowds doesn't feel oppressive.


There are stalls selling Christmas gifts, decorations, craft ideas, snow globes filled with Santa in his gift filled sleigh and snowmen. English pubs with live music, a German beer house with a view of the ice rink, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, fast food and candies. The stalls in turn, are replaced by a large sprawling fair, where enormous stuffed bears and cartoon characters can be won. Rides for little people, rotate and sway gently in contrast to the hurling, dropping, and swinging motions of the bigger rides. Around these the air is filled with shrieks of delight, horror and in some cases tears.
Soaking up the atmosphere, we shop for treasures. Beer is drunk, the Roller Coaster is ridden and brains are scrambled in the neon blue and red lights of the spinning Waltzers. We stay until daylight fades and the intensity of the Christmas lights increase against a backdrop of a darkening sky, with black-branched trees.







Sunday, 21 December 2014

Etoiles d'Apple

Apple Star & Heart Decoration by Alison Day

1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup ground cinnamon
1tsp ground aniseed
1tsp ground nutmeg
Non-edible decorations. Makes roughly 15 assorted shapes.
Mix the applesauce and 1/2 cup of the cinnamon together thoroughly. Then add the rest of the cinnamon, plus the aniseed and nutmeg until a dough is formed. If necessary, extra cinnamon or applesauce can be added if it is too wet or too dry.


Sprinkle a board with ground cinnamon and roll out the dough on it to about 1cm thick.
Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and make holes in them so ribbon can be threaded through to hang them up. Any tiny leftovers can be rolled into rounds, flattened slightly, skewered and become beads.


Arrange all on a tray lined with greaseproof paper or a silicone baking mat. They can be placed quite close together, because as there is no rising agent in them they won't spread.
Oven efficiency can vary and they can become dark quite quickly, so keep an eye on them. I baked them at at 200 degrees for 45 minutes.



Allow to cool and harden overnight before decorating. Store in a cool, dry place and they will keep indefinitely.



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Friday, 7 November 2014

La Luna

La Luna emphasises how small we are in comparison with the complexities of the universe. Centre stage is the moon—responsible for regulating not only the seasons and the oceans, but also that funny feeling you sometimes get when it's full. Reclining on the moon is a cunning fox; the epitomy of creativity, magic and wisdom. Fluttering nearby, is a delicate butterfly—a reminder of the beauty and brevity of our allotted time.

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Pastoral Magic


I have always felt more affinity with less traditional beliefs and karmic power as a life philosophy. As a result, my illustration has been inspired by magick—filled with dreams, illusions and fantasy and the natural world—the elements, seasons and the animal kingdom.

A pastoral scene, symbolising the complexity and beauty of life and where the rays of the sun and the moon are inextricably intertwined and without whom nothing would survive. Mother Nature as the central focus, surrounded by animal spirits. The cat represents the divine and the fox, creativity and magic. The presence of the tiny spider—wisdom and protection, whilst the raven is the purveyor of power and omens. Bottom left in the guise of a frog—the devil! Also at the bottom are the wee folk—visible only to those who believe.


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Monday, 3 November 2014

Dracula Untold



My design for the cover art of the digital album release of 
Dracula Untold & Universal Pictures

Every Bloodline has a Beginning—the story of a King, who discovers that the only way he can save his kingdom will be by relinquishing his mortality.

My interpretation of Vlad Tepes shows the beast he becomes: dark, marble-skinned and with soul-less, impenetrable eyes. He is doomed to inhabit the twilight for eternity as—Dracula—a fate which he endures with a silent determination and deep melancholy.

Designed as cover art for the digital album release by Universal Pictures. 

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Friday, 31 October 2014

Authentic Charm


Here's the November issue of Danish magazine: Jean d'Arc Living featuring my second interior design article, this about a family house in Wassenaar, In the Netherlands. Written in a collaboration with the distinctive photography of Van Belkom Productions.


Internationally available in eight languages. The photo is from the English version of: French Christmad with Authentic Charm (12 page spread). Look out for my third article — January 2015.


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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Harmony & Soul


I'm really pleased to share a few photos from the October issue of Danish, interior design magazine: Jean d'Arc Living.
Featuring the first of three articles I have written for the magazine, as a result of interviewing the owners of houses with beautiful interiors; a collaboration with the distinctive photography of Van Belkom Productions.


Internationally available in eight languages. The photo below comes from the Dutch version of: Harmony & Soul (14 page spread). Look out for the next two — November and January (2015).



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Monday, 6 October 2014

Branching Out

Branching Out—finished!
Sketch: Branching Out
Continuing to produce a piece of work every day after the #spoonchallenge in August and #PaintingSeptember / #Paintseptember, is not viable.
I saw my technique improve and was pleasantly surprised how each artwork turned out. As yet I don't think my style has become distinctive and does that really matter where being a chameleon of all trades has become de rigueur.
Any hoo, here's a taste of what's to come—albeit at a slower tempo— last night's sketch...
PS. If you would like to see all 50 drawings and paintings in one fell swoop—they can be seen on my Instagram: alisondaydesigns


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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Roxy Marine

Roxy Marine by Alison Day

FINAL PAINTING #30 in a month long of daily paintings for: #PaintingSeptember #Paintseptember.

If you want to see what the design went on to be used for, go: HERE

It was further adapted (see below) and became a textile design for a young female sportswear line: Roxy—celebrating the pacific ocean and marine life.

If chosen, it could be shown at a Quicksilver & Otis (Art & Design College, Los Angeles) fashion show in 2015.

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Recline Feline

Recline Feline by Alison Day

#28: Nearing the end of a creative month—a painting a day.

Cat's are obliging subjects, who drape and pose, almost on cue.


#PaintingSeptember #Paintseptember

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Friday, 26 September 2014

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty by Alison Day

Autumn has arrived—green leaves turn to red, yellow and brown as they wither and conkers fall to the ground—

#PaintingSeptember #Paintseptember

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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Boudoir Bear


Boudoir Bear by Alison Day

 

Apparently, Teddy used to growl, but his internals have long stopped working; now he sounds more like a rattle. Beige, balding in patches and one paw needs a mend—his patient orange eyes stare, revealing nothing.

#PaintingSeptember #Paintseptember

 

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

FAB Egg

FAB Egg by Alison Day

Seeing as I started the painting challenge on day two, here's a quick catch-up piece—a FAB egg.

#PaintingSeptember #Paintseptember

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Iron Dawn

Iron Dawn by Alison Day

A feature from the house of my childhood— a cast iron cockerel—now one of the first things I see each morning, as I open the back door to the garden.

#PaintingSeptember #Paintseptember

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Aromatic Green

Aromatic Green by Alison Day

I love growing herbs—the ease with which they transform from seed to a flourishing plant—pungent, spicy Basil is my favourite (along with coriander). #PaintingSeptember #Paintseptember

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