Monday, 28 May 2012

Pin-up artist interview- Kathy Siney

 Introducing a new section to my blog where I interview artists who work features a Rockabilly, Pagan, Steampunk or Pin-up theme. The first interview was with the lovely Kathy Siney, Pin-up and Burlesque artist.

Strings and Stripes

1) I first become aware of your art through your fantasy and faery art work,
when did you decide to include Pin-up to your themes?

I've actually always drawn pin up girls from being young. In school I was
drawing Marilyn Monroe and I always loved the glamorous looks they had. I
used to draw them as a hobby whilst I was still doing fantasy art, and it
was just one day I decided to publish one of them to Facebook and it got
lots of comments! Until then, I never thought anyone would want to see
them, so I'm happy doing more of them now; Im doing what I love!

2) Who would you say is your biggest influence to your art work?

I think Rock n Roll and the 1950s as a whole, has been my biggest influence;
the pin up girls, the music, fashion - it all inspires me and I get so many
ideas from that. I love to see other artists' work too and I greatly admire
Olivia De Berardinis from the USA.

3) Do you get your inspiration from modern day pin-up models in the industry
now or do you look at models from the era you're trying to capture?

Usually I get an idea in my head of a picture Id like to achieve and then I
set about finding reference pictures to give me more to work from. I love
that the whole vintage and rockabilly look is so popular these days, that a
modern day model can look like she's walked right out of the 50s anyway!

4) What is is it about the pin up art that makes you draw and paint them?

I love the 1950s and everything that goes with it -so for me, its a way of
expressing the fun and glamour of that time. I love the hairstyles and make
up and of course the beautiful dresses!

5) What is you favourite era of pin up art work?(1920s, 30s 40s 50s?)

I think everyone would guess its the 50s! I do love the 40s too, the looks
are very similar in style.

Knickerbocker glory

6) Has anyone been offended by the art you produce? Or that you choose to
draw women in sexy poses?
(I really hope not!)

I really hope not and I have never been told if it has offended anyone. I
like to draw pin ups in a 'cheeky' style rather than overtly provocative -
unless it's a specific commission for someone. I like to create artwork that
could make people smile, without it being distasteful.

Tessa May

7) Do you think that the way women models are perceived in today's media is
better or worse then It was in the 40s 50s?

Today's views are much more relaxed, for example when you look at Bettie
Page back then, she was seen as completely shocking, because society at that
time, just didn't accept such images- even Elvis Presley was considered
vulgar because of his hip shaking! However, I personally feel that today's
levels of acceptability have gone too much the other way... magazine covers
can now display images that even just 20 years ago would have seemed
outrageous! Today's media also portrays certain types of images that some
women can feel pressured to look like. I find it very sad when I hear of
extremely young girls suffering from eating disorders and whilst the media
is not solely to blame, it does play a large part in displaying air-brushed
models, 'perfect' figures, the latest quick fix diets.... I love that
people like Gok Wan have come along and fought against that. I really like
that the 50s fashion was intended to accentuate a curvy, hourglass figure.

8) Do you have any projects in the pipeline at the moment? Any events where
people can see you and your work?
I've got a busy year ahead, mainly designing new images for merchandise
which will appear on T-shirts; and I will be relaunching my website and
collaborating with other people in the Vintage industry. I am also getting
more involved with charity work for Help for Heroes; there are so many pin
up projects being put together for our soldiers and I think its a wonderful

9) You also paint burlesque dancers too. Have you ever been to a Burlesque

I have never been to a class, but I would like to! My mind is willing, but I
just need a little more courage!!

10) Vintage style and fashion seem to be getting more popular, why do you
think that is?

I think the 1940s and 50s encompass a whole lifestyle more than any other
decade . People who love Rock n Roll music usually also love the look to go
with it; its timeless. Films like Grease have been consistently popular and
of course Elvis has always been incredibly successful, even years after his
death. In the 1980s, Shakin Stevens , The Stray Cats and The Jets brought
this kind of music back to people, and today we have The Baseballs and many
40s style girl bands out there, who are introducing rock n roll to a whole
new generation. There are so many new magazines out right now, that focus
on vintage fashion and capturing the look, its wonderful to see!Its such a
beautiful, classy way to look.

11) Do you have any advice for readers who perhaps would like to try doing
some pin-up inspired art?

Firstly, study anatomy! There are lots of great books out there about artist
figure drawing and even some dedicated to pin up art. Practise is so
important and to keep learning new techniques and what works best for you.
You realise how much you have progressed when you look back at your old
work. I cringe when I look at some of mine, from years ago, but at least it
shows I've improved!! I have days when nothing will work out right, and I
just have to learn to walk away and do something else that day!

12) Do you have more faery and fantasy art or pin up art in your home? Or
other pictures altogether?
I have mainly pin up art .In my studio, I have lots of inspirational 50s
style pictures ; The Baseballs, Elvis, Marilyn, Diana Dors, as well as
pictures by other pin up artists. I have lots of vintage Barbie dolls too
and its my dream to own an authentic jukebox!


13) Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your work?
Where can we find it for sale etc.?
You can visit my website ( soon to be revamped!) at I love hearing from people! 

Thank you so much Kathy for taking time to answer my questions and being the first artist to be featured on my blog!

ould you like to be featured on my blog? Drop me a line at

Monday, 21 May 2012

Celtic Moon Pagan Pilgrimage Part Two

Here continues my blog posts about my recent pagan pilgrimage with pagan community Celtic Moon.

Day three
Sunday was the day I was really looking forward to. As a group we managed to book time within Stonehenge.
I have been to Stonehenge before. I remember being very impressed by the ancient monument when I was stood on the outside but not 'feeling' anything as the distance was too great. This time we were going to be INSIDE it, on the grass and off the stone path. This was going to be something to remember.
For this chance we had to leave the cottage early, we were over an hours drive from Stonehenge and we were lucky that we had clear blue skies and the sun was bright and warm.
We turned up at the car park dead on 8 o'clock and was led by a polish security guard in a high-vis under the subway and up the slope to where the stones waited.
As soon as I cross the threshold my heart started to beat more prominently with in my chest. I stood and looked at one of the huge Sarsen stones I suddenly felt very humbled and very small. These stones are massive! How on earth did our ancestors do it?
Photo not to scale

As I looked and walked around the circle I became more emotional. One of the other members of our group came up and as I spoke with her I began to cry! The feeling was so overwhelming I couldn't hold it in.

I dried my tears and along with others of our group, took off my boots and socks to stand on the very ground that the stones stood.
Hi- vis and pagans together in perfect harmony
During our time with in the stones we sat and closed our eyes, the sun falling on our faces and listened to the sound of the birds who had nested in the great arches.
After some meditation the members of Celtic Moon gathered in a circle and held hands as we started some cascading 'Awens' which vibrated around the circle and up into the sky above. It moved many of us to tears and was a moment I won't ever forget.
As our hour came to a close we took photos of us all with in the circle. I stood in awe underneath the arches and  I felt my hands tingle, I can feel the sensation now as I write this it was that powerful.
As I stood there, in the shadow of the mighty stones I knew that what I am doing with my spirituality is right.
That smiles says it all. photo courtesy of Esther Remmington

 Sharing our time within the circle were other tourists include a pair of Americans who just viewed the stones as another 'Awesome structure.' That is not how I see them. They have so much to give us, to teach us if you are open to it. They are the old ones, the guardians and keep our pagan past alive and well in this fast paced world in which we live in now.
Blue skies, green fields and grey stone
      From Stonehenge we made our way towards Avebury (not before stopping for a hearty breakfast!)
I have also been to Avebury stone circle before so I knew what to expect, however what I hadn't experienced before was the power of Stonehenge and I found that being surrounded by the stones at Avebury was a real comfort and balancing energy.
Just noticed a orb in this picture...
The fantastic roots of the beech trees. One of my favourite places.

After wondering round the village we head on to West Kennet Long barrow, a Neolithic tomb just outside of Avebury.
The long walk up to the barrow was met with the sounds of drums and as we crested the hill two men came out of the barrow with their drums making me wish I had brought my drum with me.
The first chamber of the barrow is open for visitors to go inside and so I went in not knowing what I would experience inside.
It was dark in the barrow, however there was small glass windows in the roof so it wasn't pitch black, probably for health and safety.
It was quiet within the barrow, allowing time to think and reflect, in fact at times the silence became too much and it was a relief to hear a bird singing outside or someone else in the barrow shuffle their feet.
Places like that take you out of the hear and now. Down there time is irrelevant.
Because this was a tomb and a place of death I had thought that a sense of sadness would take over along with the cold but as I stood with my eyes closed and my back against the freezing stone wall I felt anything but sad.
I felt like the stones needed us there, that it wanted our warmth for those who once laid within it's walls. That this was a place of celebrating life and what was to come afterwards once the tomb was sealed.
After a while being in the cold got to much and I walked above along the whole length of the barrow, deep in thought.
The barrow entrance.

It had been a day I would never forget. Extremely emotional and powerful and not what I had expected at all.

That evening after dinner the Celtic Mooners sat round the dinner table, lit the candles and turned off the lights to share our thoughts of the weekend we had experienced.
This was a very moving time for me as it was the night when I officially became a member of the Celtic Moon Circle which just completed what was already an amazing and fantastic day.

The next morning was our last day in the cottage and the weather had broken, it continued to rain the whole journey home which made our trip away feel like we had gone abroad!

I know this was a rather lengthy blog and I thank you if you have read all the way down to here!
My experiences on this trip was very difficult to write down but I hope I managed to convey what a special time I had and if you ever get a chance to visit any of these places then do so. The ancestors are waiting.

More reading:
Celtic moon Pagan community : 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Celtic Moon Pagan Pilgrimage Part 1

Last weekend (May 12th/14th) I went away with some other members of the Celtic Moon pagan community. The following two blog entries will be about my time away and what I experienced.

Day One and Two
I stayed with Esther and Martin (good friends and fellow artisans) on Thursday night so we could be up and on the road early on the Friday. The drive to Bradford on Avon was pleasant with the sun shining which was a blessing as the weather had been pitiful for weeks.

The cottage we were staying in for the weekend was really beautiful and plenty of room for us all and lovely views of the canal and the town.

Our home for the weekend

On the Saturday we went to Glastonbury to walk up the Tor and visit the Chalice Well gardens and to shop!

I love the views from atop the Tor and because the weather was so clear and bright you could see for miles.

While I was up to the tor I even managed to do a bit of sketching of the view.

Afterwards we went into Chalice well gardens a beautiful place to chill, relax and be at peace. This is the location of the red iron rich water and the freezing cold healing pool which remains at a constant 11 degrees no matter the weather.
By the running red water

The Vesica Piscis Well Head

It was by the well that a small group of us took the chance to meditate while listening to the sound of the trickling water and the peaceful atmosphere.

From chalice well I then went on to The White Spring. I had never been to this place before but it was amazing. Looked after by the local community it is a place where the natural occurring spring water cascades from the Tor into a plunge pool. Altar dedicated to the Goddess and God were set up in their honour.

An Altar dedicated to Beltane

Altar dedicated to Herne
After taking these photos I got told off as photos were prohibited so I didn't take any more.

I did a bit of shopping in Glastonbury which is home to some amazing shops including Lilith's and Goddess and the Greenman. I didn't buy much but I did get a Awen pendant, a stag and Hare pin badge.

In the evening we all sat down for a lovely curry dinner and a few of us finished the day with a walk down by the canal. Bliss.

Stay tuned for part two of my blog on my Pagan Pilgrimage covering Stonehenge, Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow.

More reading about Glastonbury:

Glastonbury Tor:

Chalice Well:

The White Spring:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Pagan pilgrimage.

I am now on holiday. In beautiful Bradford upon Avon today. Will be in Glastonbury tomorrow and Stonehenge and Avebury on Sunday.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Beltane Blessings

Just a quick post to wish my readers a very Happy Beltane.

This is the time when we really start to see the green come back into nature. The Horned God is in his stage of courting the Maiden Goddess and the faeries come out to dance.

I'm feeling a little under the weather today but the thought of the coming warmer days makes me smile even though last night we had a terrific lightning show!

Blessings of Beltane to you.

Want to know more about Beltane and it's origin?
Check here :