Tag Archives: Warhammer

painting miniatures ~ and other artistic pursuits

When I was younger, I had no idea that I had any artistic talent. In fact I thought I was devoid of it – that being able to ‘do art’ was something you were born with, and I wasn’t. It took me a long time to recognise some things about art.

Ogre Ninja Maneater

One of the things that started me thinking I had an artistic bone in my body was when my son encouraged me to have a go at painting his Warhammer miniatures. (Warhammer,  you ask? Picture toy soldiers meet Dungeons and Dragons meets chess.) These guys come as little grey metal or plastic pieces (the standard ones are around 5cm high), which you have to glue together and – paint. I couldn’t paint to save myself.. could I? After a year of his cajoling and convincing, I finally gave in – and instantly discovered a passion. My early attempts weren’t the best, but I read and researched and practiced – I got better at it, and even won a prize or two for my efforts!

Warhammer Night Goblin Giant

One of the first things I realised is that art can be found in many mediums. ‘Craft’ can be a form of ‘art’. So the ability to knit and sew and embroider and crochet can all be artistic talents. Gosh, huh, who would have thunk?

Warhammer Malagor

The second thing is that artists can be made as well as born.  Painting and drawing (and all those crafty pursuits) are skills that you can learn! I amazed myself when I went from being a bad stick figure drawer, to being able to freehand draw realistic three dimensional pictures of jewellery in just a few lessons!

Warhammer Giant

The third thing is that practice makes perfect. Sure, we all know those three year olds with the freakish ability to pick up a pencil and make masterpieces – but for those of us without that fortune, just keep trying, keep experimenting. It will come!

Warhammer Shaggoth

And finally – art is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve seen some expensive ‘masterpieces’ that anyone with a sponge and some poster paint could have slapped together – and some divine works of art that go practically unrecognised. Each to their own – just have the courage to appreciate (and do) what you really like!

And if you’d like to see more of my Warhammer painting efforts from this previous life, you can visit my ‘Cool Mini or Not’ gallery. There are some TOTALLY awesome artists there if you browse a bit further afield!

Inspiration ~ Travels in China

China - CloudsIn 2008, we travelled to China. It was an interesting an amazing journey, and as I looked back at my photos recently, I realised that many of the things I saw have provided me with artistic inspiration.

Warhammer Ogre Bull

At the time, I was silversmithing but had not yet started The Silver Forge. I spent a lot of my spare time painting Warhammer miniatures for my elder son, and he asked for his Chaos Ogre Army to be Chinese themed – which it was, as you can see from this banner!

Chinese Wall

I just loved this round window we found at the top of a khast hill climb in Yangshou, after a boatride upriver from Guilin. The exposed brick at the bottom and the grafitti all around that gorgeous window looking out onto nature are typical of the China we saw – beauty surrounded by wear and tear.

China - Pottery

I had not thought of these beautiful old pottery pieces we found in a museum exhibit for years, but their influence is apparent when you look at my Elementals collection!

Elementals Range

As I was discussing recently on my Facebook page, I have a fascination with manhole covers – it’s not hard to see why when you find such beauties as this one!

China - Grate

Travel to anywhere can provide inspiration, even just a trip down the street – and I’m glad to have seen a tiny part of China, and carried away some lovely memories, too. Xièxiè, Zhōngguó!