Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Sylvan Season's Greetings!

Greetings of the Season to everyone! I wish you all a very happy holiday, and thank you all for your beautiful and interesting blogs, and your friendship over this year.

The Winter Solstice marked the first anniversary of Sylvan Muse. I was too busy to post for the 21st, though I did manage to look at this wonderful little video of Newgrange. I also think RuneE's Solstice photo is brilliant!


I don't often write poetry, but was inspired to pen this earlier this year - and thought I'd post it to join in with TFE's Christmas poetry event, Santa's Poetry Go-Kart!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

From scruffy sketch to finished design - 3D pop-up Christmas cards!


The weeks before Christmas are very busy for me as an artist, and I have had very little time for blogging! For this post, I thought you may like to see some of my working methods, with a Christmas theme ...

One of my previous commissions has been to create ranges of 3D pop-up Christmas cards, a task which was very enjoyable and challenging. I began the process in my usual way - by doing a rough spontaneous sketch using biro and cheap felt-pens. (A friend of mine, on seeing the above sketch tentatively asked, "Will the animal on the finished card - er - actually look like a fox?") I hope it does!



3D pop up Christmas Cards by North East UK Artist Ingrid Sylvestre Arts & Entertainment Illustration Commissioned Artwork Live Events Entertainment North East UK Newcastle upon Tyne County Durham Sunderland Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Northumberland North Yorkshire UK  Fine Illustration Interpretive Panels Greeting Card Illustration Greeting Cards Design Bespoke Wedding Stationery Live Wedding Entertainment Caricatures Silhouette
The image above is from scans of the finished artwork. I used artist's quality watercolours on heavy watercolour paper - following the traditional method of using no white paint, but using transparent washes to allow the white of the paper to show through for the highlights and white areas.

This design was printed onto both sides of one piece of card, laid out in absolute precision so that when the card is die-cut, scored and folded, little tabs slot into place creating a 3D structure.





This next card, 'Woodland Xmas Eve', was much more complex in structure than the Fox. I began with the scruffy sketch and cut it all out to make a mock up to test the paper engineering design.


3D pop up Christmas Cards by North East UK Artist Ingrid Sylvestre Arts & Entertainment Illustration Commissioned Artwork Live Events Entertainment North East UK Newcastle upon Tyne County Durham Sunderland Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Northumberland North Yorkshire UK  Fine Illustration Interpretive Panels Greeting Card Illustration Greeting Cards Design Bespoke Wedding Stationery Live Wedding Entertainment Caricatures Silhouette
Above you can see the separate paintings I made, which all had to be scanned and a proof printed, including lots of little tabs and slots. My next task was to very precisely cut round the proof print, and assemble the card. This was then sent to a company who make die-cutters so that the card printer would be able to cut the cards after they had been printed.

The various components fit together to make a deep box-like structure emulating a hollow tree with a Christmas wreath at the front.

3D pop up Christmas Cards by North East UK Artist Ingrid Sylvestre Arts & Entertainment Illustration Commissioned Artwork Live Events Entertainment North East UK Newcastle upon Tyne County Durham Sunderland Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Northumberland North Yorkshire UK  Fine Illustration Interpretive Panels Greeting Card Illustration Greeting Cards Design Bespoke Wedding Stationery Live Wedding Entertainment Caricatures Silhouette
Above is a photo of the finished product.
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After cutting out the proofs for many designs, I had blisters on my hands and neck-ache ... But this has been one of my favourite commissions - and I hope you have enjoyed the little journey into the creation of pop-up cards!
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You can see all 24 of the 3D Christmas cards by visiting my 3D Christmas card site

North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre, Durham artist, England UK. Greeting card designer, illustrator, Fine Art paintings for sale, greeting cards for sale, 3D pop up greeting cards for sale, paper engineering, Portrait painter, animal portraits, English landscape painter, internationally renowned artist Ingrid Sylvestre.
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For further information about Ingrid Sylvestre's Arts & Entertainment work please visit her main site  Ingrid Sylvestre Art
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 3D pop up Christmas Cards by North East UK Artist Ingrid Sylvestre Arts & Entertainment Illustration Commissioned Artwork Live Events Entertainment North East UK Newcastle upon Tyne County Durham Sunderland Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Northumberland North Yorkshire UK  Fine Illustration Interpretive Panels Greeting Card Illustration Greeting Cards Design Bespoke Wedding Stationery Live Wedding Entertainment Caricatures Silhouette

Thursday, 19 November 2009

November Light



There is a certain light in the month of November that has always held me in a sense of wonder.


It seems particularly intense around the countryside of County Durham and Cleveland, most especially towards dusk.




Such luminosity of sky as evening falls over the landscape!




Soft high-lights on moss-covered trunks ...




Evening sun playing magically round the edge of twig and branch.



Overcast skies through damp russet bracken.



Looking up steep slopes at silhouetted trees against glowing skies.



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The muted colours of a twilight stream.
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This post also includes a bench - have you noticed it? 'Bench of the Week' was begun by RuneE of Visual Norway. Do visit his beautiful blog, and also the blogs of other participants, including Barbara Martin, PERBS, and Malyss.

Monday, 2 November 2009

November - Looking back and looking forward

This time of year has always felt to me like a new beginning. A time for looking back at special times and places, and also for looking forward with excited anticipation.
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The land has always held a fascination for me. From being very young I have been entranced by the atmosphere of places.

Circular Garden Poole Wood Ingrid Sylvestre ink drawing North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Durham artists This year I'm celebrating the beginning of November by re-reading parts of an artistic journal I kept several years ago, while painting the landscape at Grey Towers, Nunthorpe.
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I've included a couple of excerpts here, written after a walk at the end of October.


Sunset Stable Block Grey Towers watercolour by Ingrid Sylvestre North East Artist Durham artist


Though many years have passed since writing those words, the sense of wonder has not. If anything it has intensified. Whoopee!

In Poole Wood Grey Towers by Ingrid Sylvestre North East artist Durham artist UK
Writing this blog-post was prompted by reading 'Endless Renewal and Other Things' at Solitary Walker's blog - always an inspiring read! It was through reading this and Nature's Whispers blog that I learned that now is the time of the Celtic New Year.
Rainbow over the Meadow Grey Towers acrylic painting by Ingrid Sylvestre North East artist Durham artists UK
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North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Durham artists North East art for sale Ingrid Sylvestre County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Middlesbrough Teesside Cleveland North Yorkshire
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Thursday, 29 October 2009

Durham Statue on the Move


Visitors to Durham at dusk on Wednesday may have thought they were imagining things as a headless horseman made his way past the toll near the Market Place.

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The much-loved equestrian statue of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry is on its way to London to be restored.
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On Monday, scaffolding was erected around the statue, which was first unveiled in the Market Place in 1861. The Marquess of Londonderry was famous as the builder of the Durham coal port of Seaham Harbour.
Created from electroplated copper by sculptor Signor Raphael Monti, the statue is in need of repair, which will be carried out by London based Rupert Harris Conservation.

Local people are glad that their beloved landmark statue is to be restored. However, there is much concern about its future location.

For nearly 150 years the statue has stood on its plinth in Durham Market Place, but may be moved further down on its return. The depth of feeling is evident in a petition of 5,500 signatures asking that the statue should remain in its original position.


There was a feeling of quiet respect as the statue was prepared to be transported to London. The head was removed for travelling, and as the sun set, people stood by waiting.




The horse seemed to champ at the bit, caged on the transporter.



At last the extraordinary passenger was on the move.



Silence fell, as the huge vehicle carefully turned the corner by St Nicholas' Church.
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The people of Durham bid their beloved statue farewell, until its return.



North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre - Durham statue on the Move

Thank you for your concerned comments, dear bloggy-friends! You can read more about the statue here and here.

Ingrid Sylvestre

Durham artist Ingrid Sylvestre, Artist in Durham.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Bench of the Week - Houghall

This week's bench is also featured in my Autumn header, and is from the dim and distant past of last century - 1998! I've had to scan the photos as this was pre-digital for me, the camera used being a little Olympus Trip.
I find as an artist that certain locations recur again and again in my work, and this spot is one of those special places. The view is from the patio doors of the house I lived in while lecturing at Houghall Horticultural College. To me it was magical, and I used to gaze and gaze, and sketch, paint and photograph this wonderful place.


The garden was huge, and led out onto fields and the distant Houghall Woods. The shapes of the hedges fascinated me - I have always loved the light along the edge of hedges backlit by the sun, or moon. There was only one outside light here, and at night the stars shone undiminished by street lighting. Owls called, foxes barked and the air was redolent with the scents of trees.
The bench belonged to the college. I stood it among my tubs, and used it as a kind of focal point leading the eye along the garden. After trying to sit on it once and wobbling fearsomely, I decided it was too rickety to use as a seat, and that it's charm was visual!
In this last photo the bench gleams softly in the evening light and the overgrown Virginia and other creepers take on an Autumn glow.
'Bench of the Week' was started by RuneE of Visual Norway. Other participants include Barbara Martin, PERBS, Malyss, Ackworth Born , Your EG Tour Guide , Dimple and Dina - do visit their blogs to see their Bench of the Week on Fridays.

Durham Artist Ingrid Sylvestre, artists in Durham City.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Hippophae Sunset

Working all round the clock on artistic exploits has meant that although I haven't had time for blogging recently my awareness of the beauty of our world has been heightened.

Rhythm, texture, light and shade at this time of year is so exultantly inspiring. My hippophae rhamnoides has always fascinated me with its salix-like foliage. It seems to dance before the sunset sky.

If I had time I would love to make a textile embroidery/collage of the wonderful layers of hippophae, dark trees and the glowing sky.


Or an illuminated manuscript illustration with gold and silver leaf ... My mundane garden wall could be a medieval castle parapet!


This could be an expressionistic stained glass dome over a magnificent conservatory ...
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Or a small shrub in a tub!
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(You can see the hippophae in bud from earlier this year here. )

Friday, 28 August 2009

Bench of the Week - Arm Candy!



These benches at the University of Durham Botanic Garden reminded me of old paintings of beautiful ladies in historic gowns walking with their beaux in the park!

In the above photo the plant looks as if it is swooning on the arm of the handsome bench.


I've called this one 'Entwined'.




The plant above looks a little shy.



This one is 'Double Dalliance'!


But the last bench looks a little 'nettled' - must have had an argument!
'Bench of the Week' was started by RuneE of Visual Norway. Other participants include Barbara Martin, PERBS, Malyss, Ackworth Born , Your EG Tour Guide and Dina - do visit their blogs to see their Bench of the Week on Fridays.



Ingrid Sylvestre artist in Durham, Durham artist

Friday, 7 August 2009

Bench of the Week - in a sylvan glade

This week's bench is situated in a sylvan glade of almost ethereal beauty. Coming round the edge of the surrounding trees the beholder is entranced by the light, the jewel-like greens and the delicacy of the acers set among tall dark conifers.

Your feet brush softly through the daisy-rich grass as you head for the bench set back among the trees. Hush! Do not disturb the tranquillity, make no sudden sound against the background hum of bees.


Your seat is comfortable. It's high back beckons you to rest, to lean back - maybe to sleep among the trees in this secret place. Sweet slumber ...
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(The sylvan glade is at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, North Yorkshire. Situated near Bedale, it is a very favourite place of mine, to wander long among the trees imbibing the atmosphere and enchantment.)

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'Bench of the Week' was started by RuneE of Visual Norway. Other participants include Barbara Martin, PERBS, Malyss, and Ackworth Born - do visit their blogs to see their Bench of the Week on Fridays! This week we also have a new participant, Monica the Garden Faerie!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Sylvan Mystery revealed!



Yes - my vision of the enchanted forest was in a pan of chocolate sauce!

I was astounded when I noticed it - my companions were highly amused ...


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So, the next time you are in a kitchen - behold! There may be a whole world of mystery beyond the culinary delights ...
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Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions!

(NB: For those who are interested in Photoshop, I straightened up the curve of the pan on the first picture, and on both the images darkened the colours using the adjust highlights feature.)

Ingrid Sylvestre

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sylvan Mystery!

The sylvan muse can inspire anywhere! Here is a little mystery for you to ponder ...

What do you think inspired/is the source of these two mysterious sylvan scenes? (They are not paintings). I'll be very interested to read your answers in comments!


The answer will be in my next blog post ...

(PS, I will be posting benches again on Fridays - I've had lots of other artistic activity to finish recently!)

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel

Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK Just a few yards up from the little bench/Dun Cow is Durham's recently opened Fallen Angel Hotel. Created and owned by entrepreneur John Marshall, who founded the Durham Pine furniture chain, the Fallen Angel is an imaginative and unusual place.

Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UKJohn Marshall calls it a Restaurant with Rooms, and says in the brochure that it is really a reflection of his life.
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I recently visited and had a wonderful evening of exquisite food and a tour of the amazing rooms.
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John writes, 'The rooms are a journey of fantasy and adventure and reflect my feeling that people should give themselves permission to live their dreams, to think big and to be outrageous.'
Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK I have posted photos of some of my favourite rooms. Above and below is the luxurious Edwardian Express room. The ingenious ensuite bathroom is in a constructed railway carriage!

Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK



Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK Another sumptious room is the Cruella. Lavishly decorated with black velvet and diamante is has quite a Gothic feel.
Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK
For a complete contrast, the Russian Bride suite is light and airy, in tranquil whites and creams.
Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK
Taking up the entire top floor, it has a hand carved bed, and a beautiful sitting room area.
Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK
I like the serene views from the windows.

Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK

The next room I visited was a real surprise ...


Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK
The Sci Fi room - complete with Dalek!


Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK
Visit the ensuite, and you might open the door and find yourself in another world!
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Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK
I love the imaginative quality of this hotel, and admire John Marshall for creating it. I'm inspired by the statement he has written in his brochure, 'Be bold, be brave and give yourself permission to break free from convention.'
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You can see more of the hotel at http://www.fallenangelhotel.com/
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Other great places to visit in Durham: the beautiful gardens of Crook Hall, and for delicious food prepared on the premises, click here for favourite Italian restaurant Ristorante San Marco.

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To see more of North East Artist & Entertainer Ingrid Sylvestre's work please visit Ingrid Sylvestre Art, where you will find her paintings, illustrations, live event caricatures and silhouettes cutting including wedding entertainment ideas, party entertainment and corporate events entertainment throughout the North East UK.

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Ingrid Sylvestre - Durham Artist Ingrid Sylvestre Durham artist, artist in Durham.
 Durham's Fallen Angel Hotel photographs by North East artist Ingrid Sylvestre Fine Art Paintings Murals Illustration Live Event Entertainer including North East Entertainment Caricatures and Silhouettes cutting at Weddings Parties Proms Corporate Events Entertainment Business Launches Awards Ceremonies Conferences County Durham Newcastle upon Tyne Sunderland Tyne & Wear Middlesbrough Teesside Darlington Nothumberland Yorkshire UK
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Friday, 17 July 2009

Bench of the Week - A lively little bench!



This week's bench is situated outside the picturesque Dun Cow pub in the centre of Durham City.

It is just the right size to fit into the corner under the window. A lively little bench it must be - obviously needing to be tethered outside the pub, like dogs sometimes are, and horses were in the old days!

There's just enough slack on the chain for it to jump up playfully at passersby, but not to run off down the road visiting other benches.
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It seemed quite docile as I walked past!
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'Bench of the Week' was started by RuneE of Visual Norway. Other participants include Barbara Martin, PERBS, Malyss, and Ackworth Born - do visit their blogs to see their Bench of the Week on Fridays!

Durham artist Ingrid Sylvestre, artists in Durham.