The Fish are Angry


We can’t fail to notice that the weather has gone a little crazy, just lately. Worldwide we are being subject to severe weather, from heatwaves, floods and freezes, gale force winds and earthquakes and tidal waves.

Global warming cannot be ignored. It is here.

Some might say that the fish are angry. I have a really good friend called Mervyn Syna who is a very wonderful talented artist and poet, part of a wonderful East London Poetry and Spoken Word Group, Red Army Fiction. He has been telling everyone for some time now that the fish are angry. I think we are starting to understand what he means.

We have disturbed the equilibrium of  our planet and now we are feeling the consequences.

I had these thoughts in the front of my head when I received the next lot of images from  Fabulous Fashionista and outsider artist Sue KreitzmanSue for her next customised garment: a kimono. One of them resonated deeply with the fish theme: here was a wonderful image of a mermaid with a happy fish on her head , with the words ‘Return the fish to the sea’ written around the image. kimono2 kimono3 kimono4It was as if the fish had come to me personally to deliver another message.

The other paintings were of a woman holding on to a heart with the legend ” Choose Love” .kimono1 kimono6 kimono7 Most fitting that the garment was finished on the most romantic day of the year, Valentines Day.

The last painting was of a woman with two clocks, one on her head with the legend ” Time quickly passes” around the clock face, and another clock on her abdomen. Could this be a reference to a woman’s biological clock? kimono5

Putting all these paintings into one garment had the effect of creating a very strong message. Choose love ( for the planet) Return the fish to the sea ( stop polluting their home!) and do it now, we’re running out of time ( time quickly passes) . kimono7

The images were painted on to the kimono and the black fabric was embellished with subtle but sparkly black glitter to create a stunning statement piece. kimono4

I can’t wait to see Sue wearing it .

I’m sure the fish will be very satisfied their message is getting through. They chose artists to be their messengers. Clever fish.

If you are interested in commissioning your own piece of wearable art, drop me a line on thebabyfairyfifi@hotmail.com and we shall chat.

Blogging, what’s that?


It’s been so long, so long since I’ve blogged, I don’t even know where to begin.

A lot has happened in my making world: crochet came and went ( it will be back, it’s just on the back burner for now) , a new brand has been started c.Art which is a fashion line ( initially hand painted bags but has now expanded to encompass all forms of wearable art , some of which can be found for sale on my Big Cartel website .

There are political ( feminist mainly) hand printed tshirts,

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there are upcycled items of clothing that are themed around strong female icons Frida bw dress frida jacket Frida lace2 Frida naked jumper Fridaskirt purple frida dress Red jacket redrose3

 

( Frida Kahlo/ Medusa/ Marilyn Monroe ) and I shall be adding to the range as time goes on.

There are also jackets bearing the ” This is Not” legend which is exclusive to the c.Art brand. One of my favourites is a dark take on Disney monopolising childhood, ” This is Not… Childhood” featuring Snow White wearing Mickey Mouse ears and a printed and embroidered Dead Bambi’s mother scene.

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So yes, I’ve been busy at work creating a range of what I call Radical Street wear for the young and not so young, but for people looking for something completely unique with a little bit of an edge. So far the range is proving popular with fellow creatives and artists. sparkly medusa yellow frida

One very inspiring and creative person I’ve recently met is one of Channel 4′s Fabulous Fashionistas , the amazing Sue Kreitzman. Sue bought one of my early c.Art bags that had a hand painted Caravaggio’s Medusa on it, as she is very inspired by the gorgon with the snake hair. CIMG4197 CIMG4201 CIMG4203

We met again at her birthday party where she invited me to perform with my puppets for a childlike birthday party fitting for a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. At that party, Sue asked me if I could paint on an old raincoat she had picked up from a flea market in New York. It had really big shoulders and she wanted me to do something to it to distract from them.

So I did this: coat 3 coat4 Sue's coat

 

Sue was so thrilled with the result that I’m now in the enviable position of being Sue’s primary wardrobe creator. Isn’t that just incredible? What more perfect a person to represent c.Art ( wearable art) than someone who is known as living art.

I’ve since made two more jackets for Sue: a purple self referential coat with a portrait of Sue on the back and various pieces of her work on the front. purple Suepurple Sue2Here’s Sue working it! Sue and I 2 Sue and Scorpio Sue in purple

 

Sue’s home is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of assemblages and paintings, things picked up from flea markets and other ethnic treasures. It is quite something to behold.

Here’s another jacket that I’ve painted with images from Sue’s fabulously vibrant ‘Matissesque ‘ paintings. Catncoffee1 Catncoffee2 Catncoffee3 Catncoffee4And here’s Sue wrapped in her own painted mythology, what a wonderful sight to behold! Sue latestSue has become not only a dear friend but a total inspiration. I don’t know where it will lead, but I do know that Sue is promising to keep me really busy with her garments.

I’m excited to show you.

This time, I promise not to stay away for so long…

 

 

I am an Artist


Facing my reflection

Today I had what I think they call a Damascus moment. I’m no spring chicken, next year I turn 50, half a blimmin century and I think I’m going to have a Croning ceremony as I embrace my status as an older  Feminist woman in our society. But this post isn’t about that. Although it does have something to do with my Feminist stance.

Let me explain…

I grew up believing my  ultimate goal as a woman was to grow up and get married. Some day my prince will come… I used to go to sleep as a young girl of 6 or 7 with my hair spread out beautifully on my pillow just in case my prince came in the door at night.

I did grow up and get married, not before having a stint in art school and discovering that I had a talent for drawing and painting. My tutors and colleagues really believed in me. It was a pity that I somehow never shared their belief.

Why didn’t I believe?

I think it was because my mum repeatedly told me that I was not an artist and never would be because I could only copy.

Those words would burn deep into my psyche and end up echoing round my head as an adolescent, then right throughout my adulthood. Until now.

But I’m running before I’ve learned to walk. So I got married and had two beautiful daughters who have now grown up to be wonderful young women, one of whom has a daughter of her own. I’m now a proud grandma.

I’m no longer married. Nobody told me that the Disney princess prophesy ended like this.

But I moved on and I grew. I now don’t believe in marriage. My goals in life have changed. When I grow up I want to be an artist instead.

Well, today I think I grew up.

After spending a day with my eldest artistic daughter at the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery it suddenly struck me. I should have my work on the walls. There was no reason why I couldn’t be amongst this fabulous display of diverse portraiture. What was I waiting for? I had already painted a portrait of a street drinker friend I had made about 10 years ago that I think would be worthy of submission. Jimmy1 Jimmy2 Jimmy3 Jimmy4For over ten years this painting had been rolled up in a corner, hiding. Today I took it out and looked at it with new eyes.  The word started to bubble up.

ARTIST.

I was waiting to embrace the word. The word that for almost 40 years had felt far too big for me to handle. ARTIST.

It was hard to say. ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist, you can only copy) Shut up mum.

ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist … )

ARTIST. I AM AN ARTIST.

I went around my flat with my little camera, taking photos of myself , not smiling. Not posing. Just being me. Being serious. Taking myself seriously.  Just being me, the artist. Not the woman, not the mother, not the children’s entertainer, just me. THE ARTIST.

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Then I started to feel like including myself and my work. My flat is full of my work. From painting and drawing to soft sculpture. It is a veritable private temple of my creativity. It’s time to go public and stop being afraid of showing the real me.

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So  Mum. Now what do you think?

I’m a mother fucking artist.

Yes I am. Oh yes I am.

And today is the beginning of my artist journey as an artist. Not an apologist.

Unlike the adolescent me who had the ability but nothing to say with it, I’ve got so much to say now , it is hard to know where to start.

I’m starting tomorrow. Tomorrow I paint.

I am a woman and I am an artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Framed prints of my Diva Dollies


I’ve had so much interest in my dollies recently and had so many people ask me if I have anything for sale in my Etsy shop that I decided I had to do something about it.

I have been doing paintings of my dollies and making frames to go with them as my last post explains, but I soon realised that I love making the frames as much as I love painting.

So I made a few more frames and used them to frame up some tiny prints I have of my dollies. I think they came out really well.

Don’t take my word for it, have a look:

print2 print3 print5 print6 print7 print8 print9 print10 print11 print12 print13They’re small, almost miniature ,(7×9 inches framed) but they would make a splendid conversation piece on any wall.

The frames are all unique, all made to compliment the image.

So if you are looking for something special for that friend who is into Steampunk, Mexican Day of the Dead, Zombies, Creepy Horror stuff, Vampires or Poison Ivy or the splendid Marnie Scarlet, ( who isn’t, she’s just magnificent) then here’s a gift idea for you.

The print in the handmade frame sells for £25 plus p+p and they are all ready to hang.

Head over to my Etsy shop to have a look for yourself.

DivaDollyKittyPuppy on Etsy

Art squared: Portraits of sculpture


After making my crochet dollies, I’ve been left with a feeling of ” somethings not quite finished”.

So I embarked on painting portraits of my crochet curiosities.

After making these mini paintings, I knew I needed to create frames to suit. A regular wooden frame just wouldn’t fit. So I raided my studio for materials and created original frames from mixed materials to compliment the painting and match the quirkiness .

So, here’s what I made earlier:

paint3 paint7] paint13 paint17 paint24 paint31 paint37I’m really enjoying the process.

There will be more.

Some of the paintings will be exhibited soon at the Little Summer Benefits exhibition at the wonderful Vyner Street Gallery.

So, what do you think?

 

 

Creepy crochet oddities


I’ve made crochet dollies, even creepy crochet dollies and I’ve made cats and dogs from crochet. Now of course , in an obvious step, I’ve combined the two.

Now I’m making Crochet animal /human mix ups; crochet anthropomorphism if you will.

But why use words, when a picture tells the story far better?pugwoman12 pugwoman13 pugwoman16 box1 box6 bun9 kit6 kit16 kit18 kit24 Rooster Rooster2 Rooster3 Rooster5 Rooster7So  far there has been Pugwoman, a very worried looking lady with a few extra nipples with a very classical air.

Then there’s Bunny Girl, a very seductive creature indeed.

Then Kit E Kat , a pussy cat with a pvc mini skirt and black feather neckpiece.

Finally, probably the strangest of all so far is Cock a Doodle Dude. He’s pretty self explanatory.

I’m going to eventually set these dollies in environments to create art pieces  in their own right. ( Apart from Bunny Girl and Kit E Kat who are for sale in the wonderful alternative space that is the Brighton Arts Club. )

 

There will be others. My imagination is teeming with them , all woofing, miaaowing and mooing to get out.

Need more time…

 

Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend? No, it’s handbags.


Handbags, evening bags, shoulder bags, clutch bags or even a big old tote bag, us ladies sure are suckers for a something to keep our bits and pieces in.

Here in my incarnation of c.Art, I’ve been busy making more bags, each one unique, as befits the brand.

Marilyn Monroe once famously sang ‘Diamonds are a girls best friend’ but I beg to differ. I think a handbag is much more useful and can be just as pretty as a string of sparklers . I combined the glamour of the image of Marilyn Monroe in this  dusky pink evening bag .Monroe1

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Monroe4The back of the evening bag reads: ” I’m a failure as a woman. My men expect so much because of the image they’ve made of me and that I’ve made of myself as a sex symbol. Men expect so much of me and I can’t live up to it. ”  A quote from the screen idol herself, showing her acute self awareness and burgeoning Feminist thinking.

This bag was snapped up as soon as I’d made it. Others similar could be ordered.

From one great woman to another, here is a shopper made with a kaleidoscopic image of the wonderful Frida Kahlo. With hand painted green leopard print and heavily embroidered and handpainted image , this shopper bag would turn your shopping trip into a very special occasion.

frida2frida9 Lined in pistachio green satin with a magnetic snap closure and a zippered inner pocket, this bag is stylish as well as practical. frida13

To order your own bag or to see what I’ve currently got in stock, head over to my website www.iheartcart.com

or if you’re a Facebook person : www.facebook.com/c.Artbags

Welcome to the World Wide Web ! iheartcart.com is live.


Hooray! I’ve finally done it.

I’m so excited to announce the launch of the brand new designer , build-a-bag, wearable art, handbag art extravaganza website , iheartcart.com.

It’s been an  interesting process, as in the search for relevant key words for SEO ( search engine optimisation) I’ve realised that maybe I’ve created a product that is fairly unique. There aren’t any keywords that pop up in the key word finder that can possibly describe what I’ve created. It seems that turning paintings into handbags may be a fairly unusual concept. Maybe for a reason… maybe I’m crazy ? Who knows. All I know is I’m so excited to follow my passion. I’m going with the flow and making these bags feels so right. Whether it is a small evening purse that has poetry embroidered into it like the Lady of Shalott bag Ladybag10and an image on the front

Ladybag6or a Harris Tweed evening clutch purse with a vintage postcard image crafted in graffiti style HT9or another evening purse bag , this time with the fearful Medusa image from Caravaggio.

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Or if it is a large bag that you are after, a big statement , well there is no bigger statement than a tote. Especially a tote bag with a Gustav Klimt image on the front. Klimt3 Klimt4 Klimt5 Klimt6 Klimt8 Klimt9

So if you are a fan of art, are looking for something completely unique to make a unique statement, looking for a bag like no other, then pop over and see the new website www.iheartcart.com

 

Bags more bags


It’s been a long time blogging , I’ve been busy in my spare time when I’m done with puppets, establishing a brand new venture. It’s called c.Art  , the concept being artworks that you carry around with you in the form of bags. Here’s my latest creations:

 

“Babies”

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This one is called ‘Babies’.  It is a clutch bag , again painted canvas with top stitching details and embroidered text. This bag is painted in a beautiful shade of soft grey to compliment the drawing .babies9

The text reads: Father asked us , ” What was God’s noblest work? Anna said, ” Men,” but I said “Babies”. Men are often bad, but babies never are. A wonderful quote from the classic novel , Little Women , by Louisa May Alcott. This quote perfectly sums up my thoughts on the ‘empty vessel’ theory that I believe children are. We hold so much responsibility for filling them with the right stuff.The image is drawn from a silverpoint engraving of an infant by the great Leonardo Da Vinci.

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The inside of the bag is lined with baby pink , and the bag is fastened with a magnetic snap. There are two compartments inside the bag to organise your things nicely. babies5

 

“Kiss”

The next bag is a handsome beast. It is a ‘man bag’. ( I’m not sure what else to call it) although of course, it isn’t restricted to men. It is designed to be worn across the body, the wide canvas adjustable strap with it’s smart satin bronzed buckle, holding it nice and secure. It has a flap front, featuring a beautifully distressed and deliberately drippy image of two lovers kissing, just emerging from the shadows. kiss1

The gender of the couple is not at first clear, but on closer inspection , the two lovers are both male.

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The quote : “Make me immortal with a kiss” is from Christopher Marlowe.

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I wanted to invoke the beauty found in decay , the accidental masterpiece found on a subway wall, the dark excitement and freedom and tolerance found in the urban sprawl in this piece. The bag is in muted shades of grey/sepia and is selectively over sewn to emphasise elements of the design.

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The inside of the bag is equally handsome. I’ve lined it with the most beautifully sumptuous wine coloured satin. It has a lined front pocket under the flap and a zippered pocket in the lining. The bag is fastened with two magnetic snaps .

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“The Eye “Make up Ba

 

For something a little different, here I’ve made a make up bag in pale flesh tones with a big detailed embroidered eye .

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It’s lined in pink pearly pvc and is fastened with a chocolate brown zipper.Eye2eye4

 

 

 

So, what do you think?

 

 

 

I’ve been working on the website, hopefully it will be up and running soon.

 

 

 

In the meantime, to keep up with all things c.Art, head over to my facebook page for regular updates.

 

c.Art on Facebook

 

Bags of Art/ Art of Bags


I’m still busy making bags in my new incarnation of c.Art ( craft meets Art / carry Art).

I’m intermittently working on the website too, it’s not ready yet, but soon, dear friends, soon.

Here are the most recent completed bags.

First here is a clutch bag made on the theme of Mercury.
The image is painted from a detail of a painting by Tiepolo of the Roman God Mercury . Words across the bag are from that god amongst rock gods, Freddie Mercury. I think it came out beautifully. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

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Next is a bag especially created for a singing goddess, the wonderful Miss Baby Sol. I first came upon her spectacular self when she was guesting with the amazing Lazy Habits.

Here she is singing with the Lazy Habits boys.

She is currently supplying splendid backing vocals for the lovely British Diva Paloma Faith. She won’t be long in the background, I’m sure , as she is destined to shine like the star that she is. Here’s her bag, based on an image by Steve Coleman of Three Images. Babysol1Babysol7Babysol12I can’t wait to hand it over to her.

Next bag is another version of the ever popular Tea Party clutch. This one is version number 3 and features a white chihuahua and a lady wearing a wonderful ship fascinator created by the lovely Bink of the wonderful Pearls and Swine. If you like pretty things , do yourself a favour and pop over and see her work. You will thank me.

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Oh I’ve got so many more, I think I’ll save them for another blog post. Don’t want to spoil you .

Would love to hear your thoughts. If you were to have a bag represent you, what would it look like?

To keep up with my progress do head over to my facebook page.

c.Art on Facebook