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Last call Christmas cards: One week to go!

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Just one more week to get your Christmas card designs to me.

Lots more have come in but we still need MORE. The more cards we have, the more money we make, the merrier the Christmas.  Deadline is 19th May 2019

Anyone can join in – wherever you are in the world, whatever your your age, artistic skills, experience or ambitions. All you have to do is design a Christmas card and donate it to the project.

You can see the original post here, which explains about the Christmas charities the project is to support (Christmas lunch at  Cafe No. 84 https://www.no84.co.uk/and Crisis At Christmas) https://duncangrantartist.com/2019/04/07/only-261-more-days-until-christmas-time-to-think-about-lunch

Nearer to Christmas, we’ll have an exhibition of all the cards at No. 84 and a launch event. If loads of people get involved we could also have other exhibitions or events at local venues.

If you want to join in, here is what you have to do:

  • Design a Christmas card that you are willing to donate to the project free of charge
  • Get your design to me by the 19th May 2019
    You can send a digital image of your artwork (minimum 300 dpi) to duncangrant158@gmail.com – please put your name and contact details in the email
    OR
  • You can send me the original to be photographed professionally. Please remember to write your name and contact details on the back.
  • If you live further afield and need to send an original, drop me an email and I’ll send you my postal address.

RULES
Only one – designs must be rectangular. They can be in any size and any medium because they are all going to be photographed.

Please do get involved, it will be fun and all in a good cause.

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Launch day: My Liberty fabrics are now for sale!

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Well, what a day. Today I finally got to see the fabrics created from my winning #LibertyOpenCall design for sale on the shelves of Liberty! It was the first time seeing them for real. We only saw the strike offs when we visited the factory in Milan. The fabrics looks fantastic, brilliant quality and great colours. I have three colourway of one design ‘Duncan Grant’ on Tana Lawn and three of a second design ‘Small Town’ on silk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To mark the launch, the store was decorated with panels of our fabrics and information about each of the four winners all the way up the stairs and around the Haberdashery Department.

We were treated to breakfast with the design and sales team and then signed copies of our original designs, which will go into the famous Liberty archive.

We each received 5metres of one of our fabrics – I chose the one closest to my original design in terms of colour, and then I couldn’t resist buying a metre of each of the others.

All six will make an appearance at my What a Liberty! exhibition at the Hot Tin from 18th May, if you want to see them and can’t make it to the store. https://duncangrantartist.com/event/exhibition-of-small-towns-to-coincide-with-liberty-london-open-call-launch/

As one part of the journey ends, another begins. We’ll be kept informed of how our fabrics are used. So if, say, a fashion house uses one of our designs of fabrics for a garment in their 2020 season collections, Liberty will tell us and will keep our names with the designs as far as they can.

Will let you know about any developments on here. Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me, voted for me and supported me so far.  One of you is getting a pair of designer boxers. You know who you are!

Here are the links to my fabrics on the Liberty website:

DUNCAN GRANT https://www.libertylondon.com/uk/search?q=duncan+grant

SMALL TOWN https://www.libertylondon.com/uk/search?q=small+town

Originals of my Small Town Ink Drawings and digital prints are available in my Gallery:

ORIGINALS https://duncangrantartist.com/product-category/original-artwork/drawing-ink/

PRINTS https://duncangrantartist.com/product-category/prints/ink-drawing/

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Reminder: Christmas card deadline approaching – 19th May

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I recently posted about this Christmas-themed community art project to raise money for local and national Christmas charities. https://duncangrantartist.com/2019/04/07/only-261-more-days-until-christmas-time-to-think-about-lunch/

I’ve already received some great designs – you can see some of them in the picture above – but we need MORE!

The more we get, the more money we can raise. But the deadline 19th MAY is approaching fast so get out your pens and brushes and get creative.

Anyone can join in – wherever you are in the world, whatever your your age, artistic skills, experience or ambitions. All you have to do is design a Christmas card and donate it to the project.

Designs will be made into A6 cards and sold in packs of 6, with all profits going to fund the 2019 Christmas lunch at Cafe No. 84 https://www.no84.co.uk/ for those who would otherwise be alone, and if we raise a lot of money, any extra will be donated to Crisis at Christmas.

Nearer to Christmas, we’ll have an exhibition of all the cards at No. 84 and a launch event. If loads of people get involved we could also have other exhibitions or events at local venues.

If you want to join in, here is what you have to do:

  • Design a Christmas card that you are willing to donate to the project free of charge
  • Get your design to me by the 19th May 2019
    You can send a digital image of your artwork (minimum 300 dpi) to duncangrant158@gmail.com – please put your name and contact details in the email
    OR
  • You can send me the original to be photographed professionally. Please remember to write your name and contact details on the back.
  • If you live further afield and need to send an original, drop me an email and I’ll send you my postal address.

RULES
Only one – designs must be rectangular. They can be in any size and any medium because they are all going to be photographed.

Please get involved, it will be fun.

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Lions of Windsor and other animals

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After I came back from the Liberty factory in Milan in March I wrote in my blog, ‘I wondered where this journey will take me next’. Well one answer is possibly ‘Windsor’ and I certainly didn’t expect that!

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by award winning homeware designer, Lisa Todd, who is Director of this year’s Lions of Windsor project https://lionsofwindsor.org/, to ask if I would be interested in decorating a life-size resin and fibre glass lion to be displayed somewhere around Windsor this summer. The original lion was created by Bath sculptor Alan Dun https://alandunsculpture.weebly.com/ as a 3D canvas.

The project will involve a giant pride of over 60, individually decorated lion sculptures being positioned around the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead from 10th August until 27th October this year, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria. There will be an official public art ‘safari trail’ where visitors can see the bigger lions, decorated by artists and designers, plus a mini-pride of lion cubs decorated by schools and charities.

The project will culminate in a Lions Roar Goodbye  festival (9th/10 November) and then a charity auction on 22nd November. All profits will be donated to local charities, including the new Thames Hospice in Maidenhead, Look Good Feel Better and the Lions Club of Windsor, for distributing to good causes across the region.

I haven’t really got much experience of 3D art or drawing (on) animals really. I did decorate this set of Russian Dolls in 2018 for ‘Art on a Postcard’ https://www.artonapostcard.com/ and I’ve done relief prints of a few cats, birds, water creatures and insects over the years (see below) but a 3-D lion is going to be a bit of a challenge. Not least because I have to get it home, paint it and then get it back to Windsor, without being eaten!

Russian dolls decorated for ‘Art on a Postcard’

As you might be aware, over the last year I’ve been working on a series of Small Town ink drawings. You can see then all in my Gallery under ‘Original Artwork: Ink Drawings’. https://duncangrantartist.com/product-category/original-artwork/drawing-ink/ They are all also available as digital prints. I submitted one of the Small Towns to the #LibertyOpenCall competition that I won and the two designs that Liberty have been produced are due to be launched next month as part of their Summer Collection. I’ve included elements of the Liberty Small Town design in my lion design because Liberty fabric designs were very popular in the Victorian era.

My lion design is called Night and Day  and depicts Windsor in daylight (on the side of the lion with his eye open) and Windsor at night (on the side of the lion with his eye closed). Each side will reflect Windsor’s position on the Thames, and will feature prominent landmarks, such as the castle and the Great Park. You might even spot some Windsor collars and ties with Windsor knots on the final product. I haven’t really decided.

Anyway, that’s for the future. I have to have my design accepted first. The templates are really small so what you can see here is only an impression. If I’m successful, the design on the final lion will be much more intricate.

Here is what I have submitted:

Front view
Windsor by day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the other animals….. As mentioned above, here are some of my earlier encounters with animals. They’re all for sale via the Gallery on this website – just follow the links.

Cats

 

https://duncangrantartist.com/product/black-cat/ (also Blue Cat)
https://duncangrantartist.com/product/moon-cat-2/
https://duncangrantartist.com/product/cat/

Hares

https://duncangrantartist.com/rabbits/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://duncangrantartist.com/product/crow/
https://duncangrantartist.com/product/raven/
https://duncangrantrist.com/product/penguins/
https://duncangrantartist.com/product/pigeon/ 

Sea creatures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


https://duncangrantartist.com/octopus/
https://duncangrantartist.com/squid/
https://duncangrantartist.com/dogfish/

Insects

 

https://duncangrantartist.com/stag-beetle/
https://duncangrantartist.com/cheesy-bug/

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Only 261 more days until Christmas …time to think about who’s coming for lunch!

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How many of you remember the Hand of Artists project back in 2015, when 108 artists designed two sets of playing cards that raised £3,000 to benefit community art charities?  For a trip down memory lane, flick through the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

Well, now it’s time to get out those paintbrushes and pens and get involved in a new community art project to benefit another local good cause.

On 25th December last year Adrian and Andrea at No 84 Tearoom and Eatery at Echo Square, Gravesend https://www.no84.co.uk hosted a traditional Christmas dinner, free of charge, to anyone in the local community who would otherwise have spending the day alone. The event was funded entirely by No. 84.

I’m organising a community art project to fund another Christmas lunch at No. 84 this year (2019) and I’d love as many people as possible to get involved – wherever you are in the world, whatever your your age, artistic skills, experience or ambitions. All you have to do is design a Christmas card and donate it to the project.

Designs will be made into A6 cards (at cost by Singlewell Stationery and Print http://www.singlewell.co.uk/) and sold in packs of 6, with all profits going to fund the 2019 Christmas lunch at No. 84. If we raise a lot of money, any extra will be donated to Crisis at Christmas.

Nearer to Christmas, we’ll have an exhibition of all the cards at No. 84 and a launch event. If loads of people get involved we could also have other exhibitions or events at local venues.

If you want to join in, here is what you have to do:

  • Let me know you want to take part via ‘contact’ on this website, or via Facebook etc
  • Design a Christmas card that you are willing to donate to the project free of charge
  • Get your design to me by the 19th May 2019
    You can send a digital image of your artwork (minimum 300 dpi) to duncangrant158@gmail.com – please put your name and contact details in the email
    OR
  • You can send me the original to be photographed by the talented Roger Crosby. Please remember to write your name and contact details on the back.
    For those of you in the Gravesend area, I will arrange some local collection points and let people know where these are via Facebook. I’ll also put an ‘Event’ on this website and keep it updated with the latest news and information.
    If you live further afield and need to send an original, drop me an email and I’ll send you my postal address.

RULES
Only one – designs must be rectangular. They can be in any size and any medium because they are all going to be photographed.

Here is what I’ll do:

  • Collect the images and arrange for originals to be photographed
  • Get the cards printed and put into packs
  • Arrange the exhibition(s) and launch
  • Put them up for sale online and at events
  • Collect the money and forward it to No.84 to cover all the costs of Christmas lunch, with any extra going to Crisis at Christmas.

Please get involved, it will be fun.  Here are some pictures from Hand of Artists 2015 to get you inspired.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Picture at the top of the post is ‘Small town at Christmas:
Original https://duncangrantartist.com/product/small-town-84/
Print: https://duncangrantartist.com/product/small-town-84-print/

 

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Liberty update: Book launch and fabric peek

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Last night Liberty launched their brand-new bi-annual publication The Liberty Book  at their flagship store and I was invited with the other winners – we appear in the book – along with the great and the arty.

More about the book here: https://www.libertylondon.com/uk/the-liberty-book-000620000.html
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv0-Ye3g-aO/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Meanwhile, this image turned up on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/absolutelyhomemag/
Our winning designs as fabrics!

The first strip is Catherine Rowe’s designs https://www.instagram.com/catherinerowedesigns/

The second strip is Emma Hill’s https://www.instagram.com/emma.hill_art/

The third strip is mine https://www.instagram.com/duncangrant1965/
https://duncangrantartist.com/shop/

The fourth strip is Natasha Coverdale’s https://www.instagram.com/studiocoverdale/

Official launch date 8th May 2019 at the Liberty Store.

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Liberty production process and sneak preview of ‘strike offs’

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Liberty have just sent through these photos from our visit to the factory, near Milan. Great shots of the commercial print process on a massive scale…

 

And here we are – me and the other three winners – with the print samples (strike-offs) that the design team had prepared so the Liberty buyers could make their selection of colourways for production. Chosen designs will be revealed at the launch at the Liberty store on 8th May 2019.

Here is Liberty’s official piece https://www.libertylondon.com/uk/features/design-and-living/opencall-printing-process-2019.html?numfromstart=NaN&referrer=content-hub-interiors

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Drawing inspiration from the Thames

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A beautiful sunny day with a Force 9 gale battering the prom seemed like the perfect backdrop for a nautical themed Explore and Draw session on the magnificent, retired lightship Light Vessel 21 – LV21 now moored at St Andrew’s Quay in Gravesend, Kent.

I was booked to give an introductory talk to the artists and after that, taking care not to be blown overboard, we set off to explore the ship in search of inspiration for our drawings .

LV 21 was acquired in 2009 by Päivi Seppälä and Gary Weston who have converted the 400m, steel-hulled ship into a thriving cultural and heritage centre. https://lv21.co.uk/ It was the last lightship to be built by Dartmouth-based Philip and Son, and spent most of its service off the Kent coast on the Varne, East Goodwin and Channel stations. Derek Grieve, the last Master of the lightship, explains what daily life was like for the crew on board. website https://lv21.co.uk/about/history-of-lv21/crew-stories/

In 1981, LV21 survived a collision with another ship, the Ore Meteor, which was being towed by a tug. Crew member Brian Packham gives a fascinating account of the event. https://lv21.co.uk/about/history-of-lv21/collision-at-the-varne/

The Thames has inspired artists for centuries. Many people will be familiar with J.M.W. Turner’s work but you may not have heard of The Wapping Group of Artists, founded in 1946, who met initially to record the busy life of London’s dockland and, since then, have painted the Thames and the land either side of it. http://thewappinggroupofartists.co.uk/

Being born and bred in Gravesend, the river hasalways been part of my life and, inevitably, its history and childhood memories have found their way into my art.

This limited edition lino cut shows the Chapman Lighthouse, which stood off the coast of Canvey Island in the Thames Estuary from 1851 to 1957, warning sailors away from the mud flats. It featured in Chapter 1 of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. https://duncangrantartist.com/product/chapman-light/

The digital print (below right) depicts Lower Hope, a stretch of the tidal Thames, below Gravesend, near the Ship and Lobster pub.  The picture, which was originaly an acrylic painting, is about remembering my dad. We would go walking down by the sea wall when I was a kid. The background is a doodle of elements from my life. I am the small figure in the middle. I guess I am walking on my own these days.  http://duncangrantartist.com/product/ac364-print/

 

This final image, also a digital print from an acrylic painting, is a view of the Thames from Gravesend High Street. Visitors to Gravesend are often amazed to see 7-storey cruise ships appearing from behind the buildings at the end of the road. http://duncangrantartist.com/product/to-the-river-print/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The variety offered by Thames and LV21 did not disappoint the Explore and Draw artists. Encouraged by workshop leader and artist Luna Zsigo, they captured their surroundings in very different ways – from detailed drawings of ropes, to windswept landscapes framed by the lightship’s portholes. My LV21 inspired drawing is at the top of this post.

 

Everyone is welcome at Explore and Draw sessions – from absolute beginners to more experienced artists. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and non-judgemental…oh, and the cake is to die for!

If you are interested in joining or attending other cultural events on board L21 or organised by Päivi and Gary, visit the website: https://lv21.co.uk/events/ 
Explore and Draw workshop photographs by Neil Thorne Photography – 07715 681855

Finally, talented musician Ian Kirton has set some of my Thames-related work to one of his original compositions ‘Simplicity’. See the You Tube link below.

A licence to use Ian Kirton’s track ‘Simplicity’ can be purchased here: https://www.productiontrax.com/royalty-free-music/249644

All the pictures featured are available to buy on this website, just search for the title in the Gallery.

 

 

 

 

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Day return to Milan: From design to Liberty fabric

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Early on Tuesday last week, I flew out from Gatwick with my three fellow #Liberty Open Call winners to Gorla Minore, near Milan, to visit Olonia Stamperia, the factory where Liberty prints many of its fabrics. Things were about to get real. We were going to see our Open Call designs transformed into Liberty fabric!

Olonia Stampera – the Liberty factory

We arrived just in time for an Espresso and Liberty biscuits with two of the designers that we’d met during our initial visit to Liberty London and some of the Italian design team.

They gave us a bit of background about the factory – it’s been there since 1969, and as well as printing Liberty designs on their famous Tana Lawn – a cotton fabric that behaves like silk – it produces materials for other high end companies, including Versace. The factory is committed to sustainability – it doesn’t use toxic dyes or heavy metals in the print process.

 

The factory tour that followed was fascinating. We saw how Liberty uses traditional screen printing and digital technology to make designs come to life and watched the whole process from colour mixing, though to printing. Once the fabrics have been printed, they are conditioned and washed, before being stored in giant rolls, ready for dispatch. Because of commercial sensitivities, unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photographs, although we are promised some from Liberty, which I’ll add here if I get them.

After a delicious lunch – a pizza washed down with a nice Sardinian beer – we got down to business with our own designs.

Lunch over: Back to business

Liberty have made two designs from the image that I entered into the competition – one with chimneys and one without. They will be produced as separate Liberty fabrics for their 2019 summer collection. They are going to be called ‘Duncan Grant’ and ‘Small Town’.  For our visit, the Liberty designers had prepared a series of ‘strike offs’ for each winning design. A strike off is a print sample that is made to check design and colours before bulk printing is done.

 

For each of my designs, the team had produced about ten different ‘colourways’ on Tana Lawn and silk, with two versions of each colourway in contrasting intensities. We discussed our own and each others’ designs with the team – which ones we preferred, which ones we weren’t so keen on. But the final choices about which colourways will make it to production and onto the shelves, is down to the Liberty buyers, who know their customers and the wider market, as well as what will be ‘on trend’ for 2020. They will produce fabric in at least one colourway from each of our designs – so at least two for me – more if they really like them and think they will sell.  I haven’t heard yet which have been chosen but a camouflage treatment and a bright orange print seemed very popular on the day. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Left home at 3.30 a.m. back home at 10pm. A long but exciting day. I wonder where this journey will take me next. Watch this space!