Mythical Creatures – including Dragons !

Dragons , Monsters and Angels – a Ceramics Exhibition Review

William de Morgan plate in blue and white with Medieval dragon motif , one of the mythical creatures at Cannon  Hall
De Morgan dragon plate

We went a couple of times to our local stately home Cannon Hall quite recently to look at the “Mythical Creatures” display, taken from their famous ceramics collection.

The Blue Vase with Green Dragon
The Red Dragon

The Dragons – Mythical Creatures at Cannon Hall

It was really very impressive. And I felt quite inspired by the fascinating dragon vase and the plate upstairs in the gallery. In fact , they were produced by the famous Victorian designer William de Morgan . He married Evelyn , whose family lived in Cannon Hall. ( She was , of course a famous artist in her own right ). Actually , this particularly caught my eye as it was a medieval depiction of a dragon . As you can see , it looks like a huge worm or serpent, with no wings. So I painted my own version, first in watercolour [ see above] and then acrylic.

Acrylic painting of a green dragon with no wings surrounded by flames , in a mountain landscape one of the Mythical creatures at Cannon Hall
The Green Dragon

I modelled my acrylic painting on this style of imaginary beast – it still took me a while to figure out how to make the body look realistic without the wings.

Some Other Mythical Creatures

Pencil drawing of the head and shoulders of a ceramic statuette of the  Greek God Pan
Pan , the Greek God

I had a great time sketching the ceramic bust of the Greek god Pan that was also displayed upstairs .Surprisingly ,the porcelain piece was so delicately coloured that the flesh was quite convincing and realistic ! In fact , I really enjoyed the challenge of drawing his crown of leaves, pointed ears and horns too.

Greek style  plate in orange and black with angels - one of the photos in my exhibition review.
Greek style plate with angels
Black and orange bowl with sphinx motif
Sphinx Bowl

Back downstairs, you could see all the mythical creatures you could think of . And a few you never would have thought of . So , there were fairies, gods, dragons, angels, unicorns, sphinxes and other strange hybrids of human and animal origin. To be honest, I was even inspired to paint my own angel this Christmas. To see more angels, look at my December post ‘ Christmas Paintings in Acrylic on Canvas ‘ here

A watercolour sketch  of an angel with golden wings , inspired by the images of mythical creatures in the ceramic collection.
An Angel for Christmas
Salt Cellar

This is a real treasure house of plates, sculpture, vases and tableware. So I’m looking forward to the next display that the curators will, no doubt, put together.

A beautifully illustrated page from an old journal with illustrations of mythical creatures
Imaginary Beasts at Cannon Hall

Finally , the image above is from a sketchbook kept by one of the residents of Cannon Hall , in the past. As you can tell , the beautiful detail on these imaginary beasts is quite exceptional.

To sum up , there was loads of inspiration for creative work, if only I had the time ! I hope you enjoyed my little exhibition review .

Christmas Paintings in Acrylic on Canvas

Ideas for Christmas Paintings

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Here are some ideas for Christmas paintings.

Small box canvas Christmas paintings in acrylic- Robin,  Christmas tree  and  snow covered village scenes.
The box canvas Christmas paintings

I love this time of year but the downside is not having enough time to paint as well as get the house Christmas ready. Of course you have to buy and wrap the pressies, decorate the tree and so on.

So it’s a good idea to : 1] Paint Christmas paintings and card designs the year before and then have them printed in time to send this year.

A watercolour painting of a boy dragging home this year's Christmas tree in the forest. A forest landscape.
This year’s tree

And the second strategy is to recycle artwork from previous years, dust them off and arrange them somewhere different in the house.

Mother and child walking through the snow  to the  Christmas service at church
Going to Church

Last year, I took part in the Angel Festival of Hoylandswaine church with my art group. I must say, the church looked brilliant – full of beautiful angels.

A traditional angel  walking down the path from Heaven to Earth .
Angel of Peace

Do you know , I got so enthused this year that I arranged an angel painting evening at Barnsley and District Art Society. And it was great fun. See more angels in my January post ‘ Mythical Creatures – Including Dragons ! ‘ here

Angel in a golden robe

And I did it all before the festive season to cut down on creative stress.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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