Magic on the Streets of London…

(OK – now I have the Smiths song stuck in my head… )

Part 2 of the trip! 

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? Its magic… When Lesley and I realized that my visit would coincide with the Harry Potter: History of Magic exhibit at the British Library… well, you can guess the rest. What REALLY made this day magical was who joined us there!

We took the train from Bournemouth and had a lovely scenic ride through he New Forest and into London. Arriving at Waterloo and then heading to Euston by Tube – I was thrilled to see 2 of the 270 enameled labyrinths! This public art project was the creation of Mark Wallinger. In 2013, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube, 270 unique labyrinths were designed and installed. One in every Tube station. The signs aren’t labeled in any way, and were enabled by the same company that created the iconic London Underground signage. The video about the project is outstanding!

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Newton in Bronze by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

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St Pancras station – next door. And no, we did not go on to Kings Cross platform 9 3/4.

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Exhibition poster: Fawkes bu artist Jim Kay

So this was a momentous occasion! I got to meet all of my team mates from the Art Elements blog! The whole UK contingent! I have to say – it was so exciting, so energetic, and yet so familiar. I have known and worked with these creative talented women for years. I treasure these friendships! And while we were meeting in person for the first time, it felt like old friends getting reacquainted!

 

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The UK team! And me! All together none place! ( From top left: Lesley Watt, Caroline Dewison, Laney Mead, Niky Sayers, me. ) 

The British Library? Heavens. I cant even find the words. We toured their exhibit first. The Magna Carta. Original Shakespeare. The Lindisfarne Gospels. Beatles lyrics scrawled in pencil on old greeting cards. Medieval girdle books. Simple awe inspiring. I was incredulous.

Then we went to the HP exhibit. ( No photographs, naturally). What a beautifully curated exhibit! Arranged in groups, mirroring the subjects at Hogwarts, the items displayed ranged from Medieval pieces from the BL collection, to handwritten notes and sketches from JK Rowling, to new illustrations by artist Jim Kay. There were also pieces from the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall. ( Drawings below from an interactive piece at the end of exhibit)

Heading home – bag filled with treasures, gifts and more than a few books…. Mendel and Malachi were rather mischievous. ( Crocheted mandrakes by Caroline!)

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And hijinks continued as I worked on my travel journal the next day…

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You can read more about my travel journal over at Art Elements. There is a nice sense of spontaneity and memory-making that I get from creating a travel collage/art journal in real time. With found papers, and a little Googling…

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Me – I am back in the studio sculpting cauldrons that Snape might even sneer fondly over… There will be a whole new series of Mythic tiles this year. Magical creatures, witches, wizards, alchemy, and the like!

Stay tuned for part three of the trip coming soon!

Here be dragons…

This month – over at Art Elements blog, our theme is dragons. Create art around that theme and share it on your blog… This is not a challenge for me – if anything the challenge lies what to do!

15241281_10209977830190062_7652353610430501620_n-2I made these dragon cabochons this summer – they would be perfect beaded or bezel set. There are a few currently available in the Art Elements Extra sale page on Facebook.

My current dragon tile design is being retired. It was a Welsh dragon.I have plans for a new
flag_of_wales_2-svgone – I am thinking inspired by the City of London dragon. This one has held a very dear spot in my heart since my student undergrad days living there are going to school in the City each day. The photo below was taken on my 40th Birthday trip.

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City of London dragon.

And I have a tribe of talented artist friends. I count myself lucky to know them. SO let me leave you with a few dragons from friends and fellow artists. (All images remain the property of the artist. )

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A miscellany by Meredith. All images available as prints on her site: MeredithDillman.com

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“Draco Lucis & Draco Noctis”. Art by Meredith Dillman. These are favorites of mine!

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Jane Star Weils is a dear friend and an insanely talented woman. Here: “Summoning the Elemental Dragons & Dragons Wine”. Prints available at her site!

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The prolific creative genius that is Cory Godbey.

And last, but definitely not least: Charles Vess. Charles is currently working with Ursula K. LeGuin – yes. THAT Ursula K. LeGuin – on an illustrated Earthsea. She is the original Mother of Dragons. You can read her thoughts on this complete, illustrated Earthsea collection here. And see Charles sketches as he works on this lifetime achievement type job… he shares them on his FB page.

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Earthsea title page (c) Charles Vess. 

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Earthsea title page

So here is to draconic inspiration in its myriad forms! Me?  I’m off to bead.. .or sculpt… or collage… Until the reveal!