Sunday, 22 August 2010

Otter Drawing

When on the island of Skye we went to an otter haven. It was a wooden hut on a hillside overlooking the sea with big windows, seats and binoculars. We waited and waited and waited looking and scanning the sea and the beach hoping we'd see one. I so wanted to see one I started to think I did - every ripple on the water or long bit of seaweed on the beach.

Eventually we gave up and as we walked back through the forest to the car I imagined what it might be like to meet a standing up clothed one possibly offering us hot chocolate from small cups. This drawing came from that wishful hope!

I think I sort of like otters all the more for being so reclusive and elusive.

Irn Bru

Keeping the Scotland theme - here is an Irn Bru advert Dennis was animation director for in the springtime. He now drinks quite a lot of Irn Bru - I think he is trying to single handedly increase the sales in England to reflect well on the advert!:-)

Friday, 20 August 2010


Gathering reference for more fabric ideas.

One of my favourite places - Plockton on the west coast mainland, in a sheltered inlet near Skye. It was here where much of "The Wicker Man" was filmed but even without the film's connections the place has an unusual feel to it - so sheltered and with palm trees on the main street and tropical looking plants - it feels very different from it's windswept neighbours along the coast that face out to the Atlantic.

A village close to Plockton where the Highland cows graze freely amongst the houses and wander on the road.

When at school I did a test on learning styles. The thing that I remember coming up was "can't see the wood for the trees". It's certainly still true with my camera - I can't stop myself focusing on all the close up detail whilst surrounded by the most amazing vistas!

A beautiful dog with an amazing job. We were told he'd been coming to work on the little four car ferry for six years linking Kylerhea on Skye to Glenelg on the mainland.He seemed to think his main duty was to run round and round the outside edge of the ferry and bark at the seals as we crossed!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Things from the Cupboard

Home in Scotland a couple of weeks ago I had a search through my old "toy cupboard". We had a boot fair in London a few months ago so I couldn't resist bringing some things back to start filling up the cleared out spaces!

This is a map from 1963 - the year my parents (as newlyweds) went on a road trip to Norway with my grandfather and teenage aunts.

My beloved Tufty Club Book - I thought it was lost so was very happy to discover!
Illustrations are so powerful to children and the emotions they create seem to get so fixed inside us - when I saw these pictures of bonfire night, the naughty weasel and the mole family on a long dark road I remembered how fearful I found them. And it surprises me how gentle the pictures seem when the feelings I can recall are more akin to those created by horror films!

I'm also surprised how things are not nearly as complex as I remember. I loved the tree house Tufty lived in - but now it seems so small and simple - not how it was in my head as a child!

I bought this book with a book token I got as a school prize aged seven for art. My Mum thought prizes were a terrible and unfair thing until I got one! I have just discovered a little about the illustrator Ronald Ferns
What a wonderful selection of projects he worked on!

2010 USA postcard

Last week I received my this year's Lilla Rogers Studio promotional card in the post.


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