Gathering inspiration for your garden

Before you even set foot in a garden centre, it pays dividends to start thinking about what you want from your space

It might sound surprising, but for most people the first step towards getting your dream garden is probably putting the kettle on. Get out a pen and paper and take time to write down all your wants and needs – this will help you to prioritise and visualise what the garden is going to be about, and give you focus when gathering inspirational ideas.

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This Artist Gives Animal Heads To People And The Result Is Freakishly Real

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which,” George Orwell wrote in his thought-provoking, classic piece of literature, Animal Farm. When it comes to qualities of character, we often compare ourselves as well as other people with animals. Stubborn as a mule, greedy as a pig, we say. Alessandro Gallo is an Italian artist who compares humans not only to pigs but also donkeys, chickens, rabbits, and lizards and manages to find a connection between the two different forms of life. In his latest solo exhibition ‘Strange Encounters’, the artist navigates through the complex array of human emotions all while portraying them as half-human, half-animal humanoids. They all have something in common – they seek togetherness which is more elusive than ever before.

Alessandro Gallo is an artist who is renowned for sculpting hybrid, humanoid creatures which consist of human bodies and animal heads.

The subjects are often found in mundane, everyday settings – they are riding the elevator or a subway, sitting on a couch of a therapist, texting someone, or eating chips. The familiar context and the unexpected twist of having a head of an animal turns Alessandro’s work into something that’s more than just a sculpture – it’s an invitation to seek answers and face uncomfortable truths.

Born in 1974 in Genoa, Italy, Alessandro attended a university there where he studied law and earned his degree back in 1997. However, he much preferred drawing and painting over the law so at the age of 24, he moved to London and enrolled at Saint Martin’s College of Art.

My 46 Animal Portraits That I Painted Using Watercolors And Pencils

My name is Ashley McDonald. I am a 19-year-old artist based in New Zealand, and I love to create art using a variety of mediums, including pencils and watercolor paints.

Throughout my life I have always been interested in the beauty of nature; especially animals of all shapes and sizes. I am currently in my second year of university, studying towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Ecology & Biodiversity and Environmental Science.

In my spare time, I love to combine my passion for animals with my passion for creating.

I have been creating artwork since the moment I could hold a pencil, but I started taking art seriously around the age of 15 when I received my first commission. Since this moment I have been practicing as regularly as the school would allow.

Completing portraits of people’s beloved pets has helped my skill development, and has given me experience painting all sorts of animals, from isopods to horses, and anything in between. I am mostly known for my watercolor creations, and that I love to add a unique twist to some of my animal portraits, which can involve using a purple and blue color palette, or adding stars to give a ‘galaxy’ feel to the piece.

My most recent pencil portrait was titled ‘Full of Life’, which was my first attempt at exploring a fantasy-like genre of artwork. This piece was originally based from an image of a pet rat, which developed further from inspiration which included a forest environment, which has lots of mosses and branches. Additionally, flowers and a bee are both subjects I have wanted to paint, so they were also added. I currently have plans to create further non-realistic portraits, as I really enjoy having full freedom in terms of concepts for an artwork.

Conservation is another huge passion of mine. My love for conservation is due to New Zealand being home to so many unique species of wildlife, including birds. Many are being threatened by extinction due to the introduction of mammalian predators, such as possums. An example of a bird species in trouble is the Kakapo. These large, green flightless birds have gone viral online, as a video showed an adult male ‘shagging’ the head of a cameraman! Unfortunately, there are only 144 adult birds alive today.

Organizations such as Kakapo Recovery are valuable for the conservation of Kakapo, and accept donations from people all over the world. Of course, I wanted to contribute, so I created a Kakapo portrait in the hopes of raising donations for Kakapo Recovery. Thus, I began to draw my first Kakapo portrait. This was based on a photo of a male named Sirocco, and the process took many hours and was created using a variety of mediums including watercolor, markers, pencils, and pens. Amazingly, over $500 were donated from this print.

The success of my Kakapo print has prompted me to think of further conservation-based organizations in which I can raise money for in the near future. I would love to be able to donate towards various sanctuaries around New Zealand, including Lake Rotokare and Zealandia; both of which play critical roles in the conservation of New Zealand birds.

Forever Together: Hand-Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket

Cat with moustache is a brand that was created quite unexpectedly. When I finished studying philology and worked as a decorator in a popular shop I was convinced that my childhood dream of working with animals was not fulfilled. Then something happened and everything was change.

I gave up work overnight and instead of looking for another, equally hated, I bought a sewing machine and with the help of my mom (who had some concept of tailoring, because I didn’t have one) I started an adventure with my own business. Strange fate I realize my child’s plan in some way. I work with animals, although these animals are rarely alive. The pets I meet only in the pictures that people send me to paint them on a bag or a blouse.

Now you can always bring your beloved pet with you. Even where real animals don’t have access!


Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket


Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket


Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket


Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket


Forever Together! Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket


Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket


Forever Together! Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket


Forever Together! Hand Painted Shoulder Bags With Animals In A Pocket