Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Ceramics at Cosmo China

This autumn I’ve spent a few days painting china at a wonderful shop /workshop in Bloomsbury, London. It’s called Cosmo China and it has been running for over twenty years. Artists are invited to paint and if their work sells they are invited back…..I have to wait and see if any of mine sells! I hope it might as it's a lovely change to my day to sit around a table with artists and use a paintbrush as an alternative to too much furious mouse clicking!

Animated Christmas cards

Whilst I sit in my room making my very still drawings Dennis sits in his room down the hall making moving pictures. You can see two animated Christmas e-cards he made recently - here and here.

Seasonal Cards from the Last Two Years

These were my work / personal Christmas cards from 2008 and 2007.
The one just above was drawn in Devon in February 2007 and the boat to the right was the Spanish container ship that had recently runaground.

These were Christmas cards for the USA card company Madison Park Greetings and the one below a Hannukkah card also for them.

Christmas Card Commissions

Cards I illustrated recently for two companies - Viadynamics and The Toolworks. The Toolworks make web tools - I loved how Louis who commissioned the one with the shed in the forest wanted it to look like a small workshop in a forest....so far away from Exmouth Market in central London where they are based!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Bringing Up Your Baby

I worked on this back in the spring but the book has come out recently. It was fun using a limited palette for the spot illustrations.

Love Your Leftovers

This is another book I worked on at the beginning of the year and has been published recently. The back cover was originally going to be the front cover then it changed to the second picture down but then it was changed to a photograph of the pot instead.
I wonder if you really can get pink hobs?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Design*Sponge Sneak Peeks

This week our previous flat is featured on design*sponge's sneak peeks. The shoot was done by friend and interiors photographer Jon Day - we had a lovely day in the summer taking the pictures (it started with coffee and cinnamon buns - a perfect start to any day!)

We moved into a new flat a couple of months ago and due to work and life we still haven’t unpacked all our boxes or hung any pictures so seeing these photos makes me nostalgic - but I have to remind myself it didn’t look this tidy every day!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A Day at the Cuwen Studio, Unearthing Old Work and Kate's Beautiful Lithograph

These are lithographs I did as a student twenty years ago! (Plankton, Noah's Ark after reading "Not Wanted on the Voyage" and Wolstenbury - lying on top of the South Downs)

I unearthed the slides of them after a fascinating day last week at the Curwen Studio, near Cambridge with my friend Kate. We attended an "Archive Day" where we visited the lithographic print studio, were shown the process and heard the history of the studio from Master Printer Stanley Jones who has been involved with it for over fifty years. It was wonderful to hear about the different approaches of artists who have produced work there including Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, John Piper and Paula Rego.

"War Horse" by Kate Dicker
At this same time last year Kate was at the Curwen producing this beautiful lithograph after winning as a prize a day's access to the facilities and technical support. The piece is inspired by the moving and creatively produced play "War Horse" at the National theatre based on Micheal Morpungo's book. She still has some for sale on her website!

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Misbelief I don't have Time!

With commissioned work I seem to be able to work in any circumstance - on trains and planes, at other people's houses or surrounded by unpacked boxes as I've been doing the last six weeks. But I wanted to test my belief - that to do personal work I need at least half a day, a tidy desk and a clear mind.

So last night after sixteen hours in front of my computer - (I felt like I had saddle sores without the joy of leaving the house or being on a horse!) - I wanted to see how quickly it would take to create something with "no purpose" - just for the fun of drawing. It was about fifteen minutes! If only every piece could be this quick!

....There is a wonderful interview with the illustrator Jan Pienkowski on Desert Island Discs this week.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Premiere Vision and Paris

The week before last I went to Paris to Premiere Vision - the massive fabric trade fair. It was fascinating - a vast seemingly never ending expanse of little cubicles populated by fabric companies from all over Europe.

I went to research fabric manufacturers....however the two bits I loved the best were a stall selling vintage buttons and The Potterton Books stand which had several fabric sample books from the early 20th century on display. The sample books sell for around £2000....so I bought some buttons!

I love the one on the far right of a pixie on a toadstool smoking!

I spend the second day wandering Paris.

I love it at this time of year as it reminds me of the autumn I spent there in 1990 working as an au pair - just after leaving college. It was a time when everything I saw seemed new and exciting...I was constantly discovering artists I hadn't known about and Katie (my friend from college who was where at the same time) and I spent all our free time in museums, galleries, cafes and fleamarkets.

This was just my third time back since and the first time on my own. What surprised me most is how little the city has changed in comparison to London...mainly because they haven't surcumbed to Starbucks on every street like in London.

I had breakfast with Anne of the wonderful pretavoyager blog who has just moved from Paris from Baltimore. She looked so parisian chic some tourists stopped us in the metro to ask her for directions!

Then I spend the rest of the day wandering and photographing and eating chicken soup in a cafe and browsing in small galleries and visiting the Musee des Arts Decoratifs and a wonderful exhibition of dresses designed by Madeleine Vionnet until it was time to head for the airport.

A very different sort of day from my usual desk bound days!

Some shop window photographs....

This was a beautiful old style haberdashery shop full of yarns and ribbons.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Runner's World Illustration

This was an illustration I did for the current issue of the UK Runner's World magazine. The article was written by a woman who whilst recovering from cancer had found running (and initially walking) really helpful for her physical and emotional recovery.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Some Photographs from the Calligraphy of the Pine Trees Workshop

This is going to be my last post about the "Calligraphy of the Pine Trees Workshop" - just a few of my favourite photographs below. The bird's nest was found by Leila - a sculptor who was also from Britain but now lives by the sea in Mallorca with her boyfriend who is a boat builder. Every day we went on a trip she found something amazing - the rest of us were gathering pine needles and cones - and she found two beautiful birds nests, the bones of an animal we think was related to a pine martin and the parts of a huge stag beetle!

This was my favourite of all the places we visited - it's Menut - a tree nursery in the Tramuntana Mountains. I think a little may have got 'lost in translation' but my understanding was it was the equivalent of the UK Forestry Commission. They held a seed bank as well as growing the pines to be used for re-afforestation. What I loved about the place was the contrast between the wild nature / earth and sky outside where the small trees were growing and the clinical feel of the laboratory were the seeds were kept.


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