Potato
A French Life
by Judi Castille
1w ago
This week I head north to a lovely few hours doing something I hadn’t done since childhood. Yes….Potato printing!! Mine is third from left. Armed with a very sharp ceramic knife, big spuds and pots of chalk paint, we experimented with shapes, repeating patterns and creating negative space patterns between the stamped patterns. Mine is the middle bag. Going for a less repeat design. Our aim was to decorate a canvas tote and I decided to compliment my folkart notebooks with a folkart design. Two sides and handles were decorated and I am now filled with lots of ideas and inspiration ..read more
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The Hare
A French Life
by Judi Castille
3w ago
I am immensely impressed by AI Dalle 3.  Being able to create my book into images that help me visualize better,  is helping me develop three dimensional characters. My captain hare has quite a journey to make and often times he has fallen prey to too many ales at The Salty Pig, taking on too many adventures and taking on board every waif and stray. Duels are an occupational hazard and at times he has been a prisoner. My book will I hope be ready next autumn, in draft form, with a good edit by Vicky Eveleigh of Positive Points, to be an adventure and more.  ..read more
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Folkart for fun
A French Life
by Judi Castille
3w ago
I do have a great love of American folkart, featuring homesteads, poultry,old tractors and red barns. I am not sure exactly why but I think it’s alot to do with poultry, strong flat images, often made with chalk paint, using wood to paint on, country style interiors, traditional trades and homesteading…make do and mend, recycle and upcycle. I wanted to create a set of notebooks with  joyful images to choose from, printed on a linen affect paper. I have tried to produce strong compositions with symmetry,  shapes, patterns and a story within each illustration. My favorite birds are all ..read more
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Pretty in mauve
A French Life
by Judi Castille
2M ago
Garages get neglected. Often left full of unloved or spare things. Full of cobwebs and oil stains. Sometimes with doors too stuck to even open. When we bought the atelier in Gouzon, an ex paint factory, it came with a house in bad repair. We are currently decorating it after our tenants left and it’s due to now be an exhibition space and for courses. This week I tackled the garage and tomorrow I will get into the other small back room, equally unloved. Final reveal.Contacting colours.Walls all painted. This room has potential and after advertising on our local community, we found a lovely flor ..read more
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Children’s illustration
A French Life
by Judi Castille
2M ago
A good year ago, I was lucky to get a lovely commission to illustrate a children’s book about a hen. I worked closely with the author to get the hen right as I felt she shoukd appeal to both of us. So often in traditional publishing the author is far removed from the artist, often never having consultation. This can be upsetting for an author as their vision might not be created. I didn’t want that. All my illustrations need author approval and that avoids later alterations. I also want this as a joint collaboration, not one sided. I have really loved finding my niche with whimsical illustrati ..read more
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Teaching joy
A French Life
by Judi Castille
3M ago
I have a studio full of toy,  children’s books, crayons and coloured pencils. They bring me joy and ease my anxieties in life. My studio is a reflection of what goes on in my head…stories of pirates, of naughty geese and silly ducks.  Over my career in accountancy I have trained many employees on software, how to do their work, how to do sets of accounts. Training probably came to forty percent of my time and after four four years of living in France permanently and getting back to my love of illustration and writing, I decided it was time to add some training to my life again. So at ..read more
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Contemporary American Folkart
A French Life
by Judi Castille
5M ago
The last few months I have been working on new project that will involve my love of fabric, needlepoint and tapestry; my love of Poultry, fishes, birds and Folkart will feature alot.  For many years I’ve loved these bright coloured domestic scenes, often painted on wood panels, or embroidered on family heirloom cottons. I made a decision last year to embrace AI to work alongside my own illustrations. Time is a factor, at 57 years old with many projects running alongside each other, I need to practical way to generate my ideas. AI was perfect.  I have lots of motives I wish to incorpo ..read more
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Tales of Yo Ho Ho
A French Life
by Judi Castille
6M ago
After copious notes, migrains, a bout of strong depression that lasted six months, and the fear of not being able to continue what I started, AI came to the rescue. I know it’s controversial, but for a writer, as I feel now I can at last call myself after getting to around 40,0000 words, the ability to set free the depths of my imagination, my dreams, my characters trapped on white paper, into the visual world, has been cathartic! I haven’t stopped illustrating, nor designing silly guinea fowl in jumpers, but my head often overflows with ideas and sadly my typing fingers can work faster than ..read more
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Retro studio
A French Life
by Judi Castille
8M ago
The studio is almost complete. Boxes have been unpacked and 1950’s to 1970’s inspired fabrics, objects have found their home. Its a place of colourful happiness for me and hopefully it will find its way into my creative work. Full of toys and more to be brought over soon from my Farmhouse studio, its a reflection of my illustrative and book writing work..joyful and fun ..read more
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Artificial Intelligence
A French Life
by Judi Castille
8M ago
As you might know I am writing a book about a swashbuckling, motly crew of pirates on the Rockkng Horse galleon. Its a tale of high seas adventures, bad cooking by a French Lobster znd a Devin Crab and a small crew who get into lots of trouble. There are obviously the badges, immoral rogues without the slightest hint of compassion, but somehow I love them. My aim is to illustrate my book, but for fun I decided to play with Dalle-3 IA to try and bring my characters to life. With a lot of descriptive input involving character traits, clothing styles, objects, the weather, I managed to create lik ..read more
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