Friday

First birdy sample...





Hi all

Phew what a week!...

I completed on the sale of my Surrey flat yesterday and..... drum roll.... I've bought a new flat in Brighton. Keeping EVERYTHING crossed that the sale goes through OK as it's a glorious, light filled top flat apartment right near a lovely park. E V E R Y T H I N G  I S   C R O S S E D. I'm so excited for a Spring move to live by the sea!

This week (other than excellent apartment shopping) I've been doing more work on the lovely South Glos project. I'm making weathervanes, tiles, paving and life sized bird sculptures that will sit on the street name plates across the new Bellway Homes Development (thanks to Studio Response!).

The cast for the goldfinch sculpture came back from London Mouldmakers and I LOVE him so I thought I'd share him with you here. I can't wait to see all eight birds cast and installed.

After such a crazy week I'm excited for a weekend away in Bath with my lovely friend Carrie, we have nothing planned but eating and chatting and it will be bliss.

Hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you get up to and I'll be back very soon xxx

Thursday

Illustrated box for Charbonnel & Walker





Hello and a very healthy, fun and Happy New Year to you! I'm feeling excited for what 2018 will bring for us all. 

I'm currently flat hunting by the seaside. Every time I visit Brighton I LOVE IT, so after a sad Autumn split from my partner, I've decided to be brave and make the BIG move. The sale on my Surrey flat completes (keeping EVERYTHING crossed!) next week, so I've booked NINE flat viewings - wish me luck!

This month (alongside flat shopping) I have A LOT of sculpture to do. I'm creating the final artwork for my public art project in South Gloucestershire with Bellway Homes and Studio Response, so I need to create 7 birds and 7 tiles eeek. I'm also planning the community consultation for my project in Salisbury with Barratt Homes, and creating illustrated blinds, maps and logos for a range of clients.

For now I'm excited to share my new commission for Charbonnel & Walker in collaboration with Dana Al Tuwarish.  Dana is one of the most successful social media influencers in Kuwait, sharing her love for fashion with 1.8 million followers on Instagram. I was inspired by her favourite flower, the lily and created the rough pencil sketch above to demonstrate my idea. Dana loved the rough, and wanted it just as it was. It was such a huge compliment to have my rough pencil sketch as the final artwork!

Have a fun week, enjoy polishing off the last of the Christmas snacks and I'll be back again very soon x

Tuesday

Conningbrook Lakes

Hiya

Phew, it's always crazy this time of year isn't it. I'm on a mission to take 7 FULL DAYS OFF over Christmas (a first and a proper Christmas miracle!) but in order to do this I need to get lots and lots and lots of stuff done. I am currently juggling eight projects and losing my tiny mind, but finding leaning hard on all the Christmas snacks to be deeply beneficial!

For now I thought I'd share a little about a project I recently worked on....

I was commissioned by FrancisKnight to collaborate on a new residential development and country park 'Conningbrook Lakes' in Ashford Kent. A fantastic development by Chartway, Latimer and Ashford Borough Council, my role was 'Lead Artist' as part of the strategy development to liaise with the design team, undertake research, public consultation and contribute to the overarching vision of the public art strategy.

As an artist regularly given public art strategies and briefs it was really exciting to have the chance to be on the other side. To work as part of the team to establish the themes and various commissions for the new development.

My favourite part of the process was the community engagement, we worked with a wide range of community groups to gain feedback on our initial ideas and give people the opportunity to contribute to the process. My highlight was running a creative art workshop with the local Beaver group to design benches for the new country park...



I'm hoping to find more time for teaching and running creative courses and workshops next year as I really do miss it!

Have a lovely week and I'll be back again soon xxx

Wednesday

Christmassy

Hiya

This is a small cry for help, my annual mince pie addiction is in full swing and so I am unable to help myself. Luckily I have two hands so whilst one is stuffing pies into my chops the other is still able to draw. This week I've been working on two projects; one for a new hotel in Japan and the other for a new hotel in London. It's been really nice to swap back to drawing after so many weeks with clay (sculpting for my public art project in South Gloucestershire - I'll share some progress shots soon). For now, I just thought I'd share these concept illustrations created for Waitrose earlier this year as they're super Christmassy and so am I.

Have a lovely week and I'll be back soon x





Thursday

More birds...

Hello

I had an amazing long weekend in The Highlands, it was beautiful and relaxing and included fires, walks, chocolate and watching 'Gentlemen Prefer Blonds" ie, it was bliss. I then spent Tuesday in Devon watching my niece who was MARY in the school nativity and frankly bloody marvellous! Therefore this weeks 'to-do' list needs to be squished into only a few days, so things are a bit nuts right now!

I'm excited to share some images from my public art project earlier this summer. I've been commissioned by Bellway Homes and Studio Response to create a series of public artworks for a new development of 64 homes in Charfield, South Gloucestershire. Part of my commission was to create a community engagement project, so I worked with Charfield Primary School for two days in July.

After the initial research I had decided to focus my artwork for the project on local birdlife as the geography of the area attracts a range of interesting birds. I therefore wanted to create a project with local local community where they (and I!) could learn about local birds and get excited about the artwork to come. I created a two day full school event and invited in a range of practitioners to deliver a wide range of sessions exploring bird life and inspiring the students. 

These sessions included...

- Bird Ringing at a local nature reserve with Ed Drewitt (British Trust for Ornithology)
Attaching a small, individually numbered metal tag to the leg or wing of a wild bird to enable individual identification.

- Bird Identification in the school playground with the RSPB, learning to use binoculars and spot common British birds

- Creating dens inspired by birds nests with a team of Forest Schools practitioners

- Bird song/ language
Working with author/ illustrator Nadia Shireen exploring bird language

- Lunchtime live birds of prey flying display in the playground 

- Drawing Birds
Led by 'Wildlife Drawing', an observational drawing session with live birds of prey (accompanied by their handler) 

- Play consultation
Working with 'Learning Through Landscapes' Felicity Robinson exploring how to make the green spaces in the development ‘playful’ and enable a variety of different types of play.

- Bird movement 
Dance and movement workshop led by Rise Youth Dance Company to explore how different types of birds move (flapping, gliding, hopping, diving, soaring, flight)

(All images credit: Gareth Iwan Jones http://www.garethiwanjones.com/)







It's still birdy in the studio, as I'm now sculpting the artwork for the development informed and inspired by the engagement events earlier this summer!

Other things I've been up to include...
- designing illustrated blinds for Eton Museum of Natural History (sent the roughs this week...)
- creating 4 x cards for Coworth Park (finished this week and excited to share with you soon!)
- designing the consultation project for my public art commission with Barratt Homes for the new housing development 'Riverdown Park' - Bishopdown Farm, nr Salisbury
- creating a new map illustration for a hotel (tell you more soon)

OK, off to work on my goldfinch sculpture, he currently has a ridiculous beak that will need excessive surgery tonight! x

Friday

Birds, birds, birds

Hello!

I've had a really great week, for the first time in ages there was NO travel to meetings so I could get my head down (and PJ's on!) and get lots of work done. The Christmas playlists in the studio are now on constant rotation, and I've started on the daily mince pie/ coffee breaks!

This weekend I'm off to stay with my friend in Nairn Scotland. I'm (obviously) hoping for snow, and looking forward to lots of gossip and long walks. It's going to be cold so I'm planning to wear ALL my clothes at once.

The main job this week has been starting on the final artwork for my public art commission (Bellway Homes/ Studio Response) for a new housing development in South Gloucester 'St James' Mews.' I'm making tiles, weathervanes and frottage paving stones, but the main thing at the moment is sculpting 8 x life sized birds. Here's the design for my rather wistful (and chubby!) robin...


I'm also...
- designing illustrated blinds for Eton Museum of Natural History
- creating 4 x cards for Coworth Park
- designing the consultation project for my public art commission with Barratt Homes for the new housing development 'Riverdown Park' - Bishopdown Farm, nr Salisbury
- working on the substation cladding for The Lexicon

OK, time to make some more birds and crank up the Christmas music - see you soon x

Saturday

Mexico inspired craft

Hello!

Woke up to a lovely sunny day with frost (these are THE BEST days!) so I'm starting to feel really Christmassy now - I know, I'm sorry, it's not even December yet but I LOVE Christmas!

I've had a brilliant week, last weekend I went away with to a spa with 8 of my oldest friends from school. It was SUCH a treat and there's now much talk of the need to make that an annual event! I had a mountain of work to do on Monday and Tuesday as then that night I had an early Christmas present from my lovely friend Zerin to see a Rambert triple bill at Sadlers Wells which was EPIC! Wed/ Thurs I had the most AMAZING trip to Coworth Park with my sister, Friday was flat hunting in Brighton, and then this weekend we've got our gorgeous nephew to stay. It's been such a brilliant, fun, giggly week but very little work has got done - so next week will have lots of early starts and late nights to catch up!

Current projects include...
- Designing the consultation project for my public art commission with Barratt Homes and Studio across new housing development 'Riverdown Park' - Bishopdown Farm, nr Salisbury.
AND
- Working on the final artwork (eeeeek!) for my commission for Bellway Homes and Studio Response for a new housing development in South Gloucester 'St James' Mews'
AND
Designing some cards for the wonderful Coworth Park (think heavy card stock and foiling!)

This week I thought I'd show you my new favourite craft inspired by my recent trip to Mexico. I've got into the habit of making stuff each night before bed, and it's really fun and relaxing. In Oaxaca I saw lots of carved wooden masks like these below...


I returned desperate to make one for myself, and so moulded the shape from newspaper and parcel tape, covered it in a thin skin of tissue paper with watered down PVA and then painted with acrylic.




I loved making it and so have since embarked on about a billion other paper mache creatures and projects. I AM NOW PAPER MACHE OBSESSED!

Have a great week xxx