Dizzy Swallows

Meet Tippi

February 22nd, 2013 2 Comments

As a child, how many of us dreamed of living with animals? Certainly, Mowgli and Tarzan have inspired the imagination of countless children.

Meet Tippi, who grew up in a world not entirely unlike that of Rudyard Kipling’s young hero. Born in Windhoek, Namibia in 1990, Tippi Degre lived with her French parents, wildlife photographers Sylvie Robert and Alain Degre. The three of them travelled extensively through the African bush from Tippi’s infancy until she was 10.

Sylvie, Tippi’s mother, explains: “She was in the mindset of these animals. She believed the animals were her size and her friends. She was using her imagination to live in these different conditions.”

Tippi had unusually strong bonds with many creatures, including a 28 year old African elephant, lion cubs, a leopard, an ostrich, mongroose, meerkats, a crocodile, a baby zebra, giraffes, a cheetah, and many more.

“I speak to them with my … Continue reading

Drawings and Departures

December 11th, 2011

Darlings. As ever I am catching a moment to write by the skin of my teeth. But this time it is not school that has kept me away, oh no. Term ended on Friday in a flurry of sighing relief, tossed back margaritas, and pre-break partings. Since then I have been consumed with preparations for our trip to Asia! I am positively buzzing with excitement.

We are leaving tomorrow morning at 7am…seriously I should be in bed. Ha. But I wanted to leave you for the next few weeks with a few samples of work from this term! I’m hoping to replace the less than beautiful photographs of these drawing with much more professional replicas upon our return (they’re already shot!). Enjoy and wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

Featured image: Charcoal on paper


Unfinished sketch – Charcoal and white chalk on toned paper


Charcoal on paper… Continue reading

The New Gypsies

October 3rd, 2011 1 Comment

This morning I would like to share the amazing photography of Iain McKell, and his series on the current generation of migrant peoples known as gypsies. Has the wandering spirit ever taken you so strongly, it’s all you can do not to pack your life up into a brightly colored caravan? Me too.

Enjoy and I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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Paintings by Edward Sutcliffe

September 9th, 2011

The Atelier starts on Monday! I can hardly believe it is here already. How the time flies, eh? It seems a miracle that I will be able to focus solely on my artwork again, and I want to sincerely thank those who have supported me in this endeavor. It means the world.

This morning I wanted to share a few works from the amazingly talented painter, Edward Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe specializes in photo-realistic portraiture, stunning in the minutia of its detail. Often in the art world, “photo-realism” can be a bit of a dirty word, so Sutcliffe likes to explain his style as “squeezing out the juice” of the portrait. His focus on skin tone and unique imperfections aids the dynamism of his work more than any simple copying of a photo.

All images via Art Finder.

Have a wonderful, safe weekend my dears, full of life, hope, and … Continue reading

Chim↑Pom

August 19th, 2011

I’ve always enjoyed good documentary. Leave me with The Blue Planet series and I’ll be blissfully entertained for hours on end. One of our favorite sites for streaming documentaries has been PBS Frontline. Have you ever watched a Frontline video? They offer documentaries on just about any topic, from high school football, to the Arab Spring, and from cheap flights, to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Our most recent foray into the Frontline archives offered up a short film on the Japanese art collective, Chim↑Pom. The collective was formed in 2005 by 6 young artists: Ellie, Ryuta Ushiro, Yasutaka Hayashi, Masataka Okada, Toshinori Mizuno and Motomu Inaoka. Something of a guerrilla art group, Chim↑Pom explores themes like death, poverty, inequality, coexistence, peace, violence, and street culture. Past projects include a video piece in Cambodia, visiting children who had lost limbs to landmines, blowing up designer handbags and Ipods, then auctioning … Continue reading