Drawing in Laverstock

Eeeeeeeek! OK, big news first.... I did exchange on my new flat on Monday, so all being well I'm moving to the Hove seaside NEXT WEDNESDAY!  I am currently trying to ignore the mountains of stuff that requires packing, so it's highly likely I'll be bunging it all into bin bags just before the removal company arrive.

This has been a LOVELY week, I've mostly been in Laverstock near Salisbury working on the engagement section of my public art commission for Barratt Homes. After the initial research phase of the project (exploring the unique culture, history and landscape of the area) I'm planning on designing permanent artwork that celebrates;
- the history of Laverstock as an important centre for Medieval tile production
- the unique flora and fauna found on the chalk land and streams

I decided to create an engagement project to celebrate the new housing development, share the excitement of the commission, learn more about the history of the site and the local wildlife. So I designed a project working with Greentrees school (located on the new development), Wessex Archaeology, Wildlife Drawing, Riverbourne Community Farm and Same Sky.

On the first day of the project I'd organised coaches to take half the school over to Riverbourne Community Farm to meet Jennie from Wildlife Drawing for an observational drawing lesson, and to learn the importance of sheep grazing to the local chalk land wildflowers. The other half stayed in school and worked with Talia and Bianca from Wessex Archaeology to learn all about the history of the site and particularly the exciting finds by archaeologists on their school site before the recent build! Both sessions culminated in beautiful final drawings on tissue paper of the local animal and plant life. These drawings are particularly inspiring to me as I start to think about the drawings of local animals and plant life I'll be making inspired by the Medieval Tiles at Salisbury Museum.

Here's an image of the wonderful observational drawing session at the farm...

and here's an image of the brilliant drawing session led by Wessex Archaeology....

Then followed two VERY fun and VERY glue filled days in school with Kathryn and Sandrine from Same Sky. Who worked with EVERY child in the school to create a beautiful willow and tissue paper lanterns (decorated with their drawings from the previous workshops).

We will be having a Lantern Parade to celebrate the new community, the culmination of our project, (and the Spring Equinox!) On Tuesday 20th March from 6pm - 7pm. Each lantern will be filled with a glowing LED, and we will light up the dusk sky walking together from the Junior site to the Infant school site. I am so excited (and frantically checking the weather forecast!)

Thanks to the wonderful staff at Greentrees school (particularly their marvellous Head Teacher Ray Picton) and of course thanks to Studio Response for another great commission. I'll be back next week (from my new seaside home eeeeek!) surrounded by boxes/ binbags needing to be unpacked with images from the lantern parade event.

Remember to join me on Sunday for PJ Paint Club - see you then x


Roll up Roll up (prints for sale)

Hello! I have defrosted since last week and removed most of the layers (tights, a dress and 2 jumpers remain, but we're heading in the right direction.)

This week I paid the (terrifying) deposit/ stamp duty/ legal fees for my lovely new flat in Hove by the seaside HURRAH. I hope that this doesn't jinx it, but I should be exchanging on Monday, completing and then moving VERY VERY soon! - please keep all fingers, toes and limbs crossed for me x

The impending move has forced me to start having a proper clear out, so I have put 4 x screen printed designs into my Etsy Shop (visit here). Each design is screen printed in a limited edition of 20, with hand painted watercolour and additional hand drawn details so each one is a little bit different (see the designs below) and you can have a look at the process of creating them here. Thanks to all those who've bought one so far - much appreciated x

On Tuesday this week I went to give a lecture to Illustration BA and MA students at UCA. I really like it there, the students are thoughtful and attentive and ask good questions (also Farnham has excellent charity shops and I very nearly bought an ENORMOUS rug but managed to stop myself.)

OK, that's it for now, this week's focus has been on the Salisbury and South Gloucestershire Public Art Projects so I'll probably be babbling about them next week.

Have a lovely weekend, and pop over to visit me on Sunday for PJ Paint Club x

PJ Paint Club

Cor it's nippy isn't it!

I have seven layers on, a pint sized mug of tea and a hot water bottle but brrrrrrr.

OK, this week the focus has been on creating the final artwork for the map I'm creating for a new (swanky) London hotel. SO lovely to draw and draw for hours, millions of teeny details and billions of windows. I've finished the drawing now so the next step is colouring it in (shout out to all the eejits who suggested I'd never make a living from colouring in - he he.)

Wed/ Thurs I was in London meetings, zipping all over the shop in the blizzard. I arrived to each meeting with snowy eyebrows, ludicrous hat hair and in the final meeting opened up my portfolio to reveal a section of ginger biscuit that must have fallen in whilst I was on the tube. I am deeply professional.

OK, enough showing off about my incredible presentation skills. This week I wanted to talk to you about my PJ Paint Club as I'd love you to get involved. It's a simple concept born from my distain for Sundays. All the other days are frankly magnificent, but Sundays suck. I was whinging about this to my brilliant friend Jane who suggested I should find a way to make Sundays the VERY BEST day of the week. So here we are. Sundays are now the very best day of the week because I have invented the Sunday PJ and Painting Club.

The PJ Paint Club is open to everyone, everywhere and it's very simple to get involved. Each Sunday, keep your PJ's on, do some painting and share what you're up to on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #PJpaintclub

I like knowing that I have time carved out each week for personal painting, no clients, no deadlines, no brief. A chance to try things, take risks, learn, make some bad paintings (through the risky/ learning process) and hopefully make some bloody marvellous paintings too!

If you can spare 20 mins for a scribbly sketch, a 2 hr stretch, or all day long I would LOVE to see you there. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram and share what you're up to using the hashtag #PJpaintclub

See you on Sunday x



Hello Friday!

This week has been my birthday and I have been thoroughly spoiled and very lucky. I spent the day with my parents, we went to New Brewery Arts (go - it's brilliant, I particularly admired Loco Glass) then here for lunch, then onto a great antique shop where I bought the worlds most beautiful dining table with carved oak leaves and acorns ready for my new flat in Hove.

I'm really happy to share some more progress photos from my public art project in Charfield South Gloucestershire. I've been commissioned by Studio Response on behalf of Bellway Homes to create a series of integrated artworks for the new development. After researching the culture, history and landscape of the area, I decided to make work inspired by the local birdlife, and so there will be frottage stones, weather vanes, bird sculptures, and exterior tiles.

There are four repeat pattern tiles, based on the same cherry branch throughout the seasons and depicting the birdlife you can expect to see in the area at the different times of year. Here's my hand drawn designs;

Spring - left to right dunnock and blackbird

Summer - left to right house martin and swallow

 Autumn - left to right chaffinch, bluetit and goldcrest

 Winter - left to right goldfinch, long tailed tit, redwing

I'm working with London Mouldmakers in Essex and I'm really excited to share some WIP shots (thanks to Arthur for the photos!)...

I also just want to say another BIG thanks to Martyn Hayes and Mya Rose Craig for their help and advice. They shared their bird expertise and local knowledge to help me select the appropriate species for each part of the project, they are FANTASTIC birdy heroes and I am very grateful.

OK, tomorrow I'm off to London with friends (cake, gossip etc) and then Sunday I'll be painting flowers (doubtful that I will get out of my PJ's, and I expect to consume oceans of tea - I've got a rose flavoured one at the moment and it's glorious!).

Have a lovely weekend whatever you get up to, join me in painting/ PJ club on Sunday if the mood takes you ta-ra x

Coworth Cards

Just back from a MAGNIFICENT trip with lovely Jane O'Sullivan to St Ives, really inspiring and full of more sourdough bread than any one human really should have consumed. (Pssst - don't drive - we went by train and the views were spectacular!)

The best thing I saw whilst there was France-Lise Mcgum's BEAUTIFUL wall drawings at Tate St Ives, but there were so many other gems in galleries all over the place and the colours, light and textures of the town were wonderful.

Today I'm excited to share the four cards I was commissioned to create for Coworth Park (a beautiful hotel near Ascot and part of the Dorchester Group). They wanted four elegant cards that the manager could use to write personal messages to guests;
1. for general visits
2. birthdays
3. weddings
4. anniversaries

It was a lovely brief with free reign, and a project I REALLY enjoyed x

The design for the general card incorporates the beautiful mansion house building surrounded by its huge wildflower meadow (go and see it in June - it is SPECTACULAR). It's printed in black ink on thick, off white card with copper foiling to reflect the orange brand colours of the venue...

The birthday card has the Mansion House building with a series of foiled candles rising from the roof...

The wedding card depicts a tiered cake with the rings at the base, and a nod to the venues strong equestrian them (and the traditional wedding symbol) a horseshoe...

The anniversary card depicts the 'LOVE' custom built lighting feature in the bar area, along side the copper oak wreath in the ceiling of the restaurant...

It was such a treat to get to spend so much time in the hotel, and I loved working on these designs!
This weekend I'm spending time with my AWESOME nieces and nephews, so by Monday I hope to have learned some cool youth slang and have lost about 3 stone (roughly the quantity of sourdough inhaled in Cornwall) running around playing various ridiculous games! x


The marvellous Rachna

HURRAH! I am now the proud owner of the MOST brilliant appliqued and hand embroidered wall hanging x

I collected it at the weekend by the GENIUS Rachna Garodia. We did a skills swap where I created a logo for her and she created this glorious piece for me.

I first met Rachna in 2014 when she got in touch to find out about drawing lessons, and I suggested that we didn't use money but spent the day together swapping our skills. I would teach her to draw and she could teach me to embroider. I had such a lovely time with her and really enjoyed myself.
Then she got in touch again a few months ago to ask me to create a logo for her, and I suggested we did the same thing again. I could create a logo for her and she could create something for me and she thought it was a really nice idea.

I asked her for a wall hanging ready for my new flat in Hove and she offered to make me something bespoke! SUCH a treat. I've always admired her embroidery of birds, (and since I'm currently working on a HUGE public art commission inspired by birdlife in South Gloucestershire) I asked for a portrait of me surrounded by birds.

I LOVE IT SOOOOOO MUCH - the embroidery on the birds is beautiful and I really love my glasses and nose ring

I visited her open studio in a beautiful old school...

and she had work in the group exhibition on the top floor...

I absolutely loved this project with Rachna, you should follow her on Instagram here...

It was a spectacular weekend - lovely Zerin had created a vegan afternoon tea/ crafting day on the Saturday and then Sunday I got to see Rachna at her studio and then went to the Serpentine show with Willa - highly recommend! 

This week I've been working on my project for Laverstock Salisbury. I've been commissioned by Barratt Homes to create a series of permanent artworks for a housing development and new country park. Part of the commission is to engage with the community, so I'm working with a local primary school (and inviting the brilliant Wessex Archaeology/ Wildlife Drawing and Same Sky Arts) to work with the students to create lanterns inspired by my proposed artwork for the development. We're going to process through the development on the evening of the Spring Equinox in March and I'm really excited!

This weekend I appear to have GIANT to do lists, no human could possible achieve all on the list (a small sample includes 'learn to crochet', 'embroider green dress' and 'bake a lemon cake') but I hope to do lots of creative stuff and feel really inspired by all Rachna's embroidery. Obviously the only urgent thing on the list is the cake and this will of course be prioritised and hastily devoured.

Have a lovely weekend whatever you're up to too x


Birdy sculptures

Eeeeeeeek! I did it...

I actually stopped fiddling with the life sized bird sculptures I've been working/ fretting on and posted them off to the fabricators (London Mouldmakers). I used roughly 7,000,000 miles of bubble wrap in a panic that they would all arrive with snapped tails and beaks but have since been assured they're all in one piece.

I made them from Sculpey (the same way I made the insects for the street benches at The Lexicon - see here) and baked them in the oven. Now they'll be cast and attached to the street name plates on the new Bellway Development in South Gloucestershire by the Essex wizards. The commission is all inspired by local birdlife and includes weathervanes, tiles and paving - thanks again to Studio Response for the marvellous project!

Last weekend I went to Tate Modern with the marvellous illustrator Sharon Farrow. We went to see the Ilya and Emilia Kabakov exhibition but I gossiped all the way through and took very little note of the show (yes, I am a deeply annoying person - I highly recommend you never visit any exhibitions with me.) I did however enjoy the giant swings on the ground floor - TOTALLY JOYOUS - highly recommend.

This weekend is full of marvellous things, I'm off to see wonderful Zerin (interior designer extraordinaire) for an afternoon of craft and cake. I am likely to spend the entire time talking, eating vast quantities of food and crafting very little haha, but I'm really looking forward to it. The next day I'm off to see Rachna at her open studios (we've been working on a skills exchange - I'm designing a logo for her and she's making me a wall hanging for my new flat in Hove - I CANNOT WAIT to share what we've been up to). Then off to see fabulous illustrator Willa Gebbie and visit the Rose Wylie show at the Serpentine. The visit will include cake and I will try to actually look at the art and not just gossip to Willa but no promises.

OK, I'm off for now, next week I should get the birdy tile samples so I'm hoping to share them with you soon, until then it's the usual drill - have fun, eat cake, hug friends x