Thursday

Book Cover




Hello!

A M A Z I N G week... on Monday I had the (super scary) Pre-App meeting to test the planning waters for the apartments I've designed in Essex and it went REALLY WELL! Phew. I'd hand bound the presentation into big A3 books, and found both the planning and conservation officers really supportive and excited about the project. Long way to get yet, but I'm really starting to imagine it will look (and feel!) once they're built. 

Here's a new book cover for Hodder & Stoughton I worked on last year, I really loved this project - it's published on the 14th (next week) and I'm looking forward to seeing it in the shops.

OK, off to see more samples for another project today so I've got to run.

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





Hello!

Here's a new map for the beautiful Palace Hotel in Manchester, commissioned by the lovely folk at Colt. I'm having a lovely week, it's all getting very exciting as I'm starting to see the samples for some of the public realm work I'm creating and I'm really enjoying the opportunity to work in so many new materials. Next Monday will be the first planning meeting for the apartments I've designed in Essex, so I'm currently creating hand bound books ready to show the building concept and initial designs.

OK, sorry to be so brief but there's a stack of work to do before dance class tonight! 

Be back soon, follow me on Instagram here to see what I'm up to xx

New dress!!!

Hiya, mad week... worked extra hard so I could take today off and run away to the seaside (Brighton) to collect a new hand made dress from clever Eleanor at Dig For Victory

Last October I went to Jaipur in India (find out more here) it was an amazing trip, and on the very last day I bought a VERY old, VERY heavy and VERY battered skirt that I found at the back of a cupboard rolled up into a ball in an ancient antique shop. I knew that Eleanor would be able to transform it into a dress for me on my return, and we discussed lots of options to make best use of the fabric. In the end she recommended keeping the skirt intact to create a long dress, so I sourced additional blue silk from Berwick St in London and she did her magic. The hem has the names of Indian cities embroidered in Hindi and is my favourite part.

Perfect for twirling!



I also had the chance to meet up with a Twitter friend, superstar illustrator Tilly AKA Running for Crayons which was totally brilliant. She brought a second lunch guest in the form of the worlds cutest miniature sausage dog, I was besotted! So nice when you get to meet internet friends in real life, lucky me.

OK, enjoy the rest of your week, I'll be back soon with more gossip x

Saturday

Boston - Providence - Squam

Woweeeee! I've had THE BEST trip to America, get ready for some jet lagged ramblings...

I started off in Boston and went straight to the Harvard Museum of Natural History to see their collection of glass flowers. It's the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, over 4,000 models, representing more than 830 plant species, created by glass artisans Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. They are astonishingly realistic and I found them really inspiring (see my snap below - it's so hard to conceive that it's made of glass!).


I then travelled on to Providence to stay at Squam HQ with the SUPER LOVELY Elizabeth and Forrest ready to film a seven part drawing e-course (that will be available online later this year, watch this space...) They were so kind, and welcoming and it was such a treat to spend time with them (and of course Elizabeth's superstar dogs Daisy and Oliver!) Film maker Ryan Sheetz (below) was great, he made me feel completely relaxed and confident and I had SO MUCH FUN - I can't wait to share the films with you. 


I LOVED Providence, we did lots of filming around the city, my favourite bit was the RISD Nature Lab, an unbelievable museum of natural history specimens surrounding long tables where RISD students can pop in, select an item of interest and draw it.  I really couldn't believe my luck, when we were given permission to visit and I had the chance to spend time drawing there! 

The day after filming I explored Providence a bit more, taking in the Wildflour Bakery (amazing ALL vegan cafe), the Farmers Market (HUGE including a band playing, antiques, crafts, and produce stalls) RISD Museum and RISD art shop. The next day we packed up the car and drove on to New Hampshire to get ready for the Squam Art Retreat. This was my 4th year teaching at Squam, it's a completely magic place full of inspiration, creativity and friendship, and it was such a treat to arrive early and have the opportunity to spend more time in my favourite place. It's based at Rockywold Deephaven Camp that was created over 100 years ago. It's based around a large lake and we live in wooden cabins with private docks dotted all around the lake.

My cabin was Point Comfort, shared with a group of wonderful teachers. My room was on the first floor with a wonderful porch overlooking the lake (pictured below)


And here was the view from my bed each morning...


Our wood cabin had a huge open fire (with new wood delivered each morning) and a wooden ice box (containing ice harvested from the lake each winter and refilled each day). It also had lots of beautiful drawings on the walls including this loon (below). The loons at Squam sing you to sleep each night with really amazing and ever changing tunes. 


It was all SO BEAUTIFUL and deeply relaxing to spend so much time in nature...



I was so glad that I remembered to take my flower press so I could take a little bit of Squam home with me (and use it in future paintings!) 




The class I taught at Squam was called 'Drawn Together' it's a collaborative sketchbook class exploring colour, mark making and introducing lots of different materials. We spent the morning working across everyone's sketchbooks, and then spent the afternoon working in our own sketchbooks using, collage, colour and repeat motif to draw everyones contributions into one cohesive and highly personal work. The students were brilliant, completely open and inspiring and they made really wonderful work...




The big news this year was that although I didn't see a raccoon (I am OBSESSED with Raccoons as we don't have them in the UK)...

 I saw 2 BEAR CUBS!!!

.... I do not have photographic proof of this I was too astonished/ excited/ scared but you'll just have to trust me and if you don't I have 3 witnesses!

This year I even had the chance to take a class! I took Natalie Miller's weaving session as I had never done anything like it and it was so great to have the chance to try something totally new. She had come all the way from Australia and had brought looms, beautiful hand dyed yarn and roving, and raffia. The morning of my weaving class a group of us decided to hike up Rattle Snake Mountain, and we found lots of amazing things (including birch bark and tiny pinecones) which I added to my weaving. The views at the top were wonderful, and I learnt a huge amount about the local nature ...



My time at the lake was full of chatting, laughing, snacking, drawing, swimming, s'mores and hanging out with with the lovely creative people that Squam always attracts, both old and new friends.



I had the best time and although it was hard to leave, it was great to get back to Steve and the cats and to be back in the studio, drawing (literally and figuratively) from all the amazing things I've seen.

Have a great weekend and I'll be back soon (hopefully less jet lagged!) xxx

Monday

Off to Squam...

Just a quick hello, as I'm flying off to America tomorrow and my suitcase is currently too full to shut and therefore requires me to chuck some stuff out and/ or sit on it!

I'm off to explore Boston, then on to Providence where I'm being filmed for a seven part drawing e-course. You'll be able to do this course at your own speed anywhere in the world (all very exciting) so I'll let you know when it's live! Then I'm travelling on to New England to teach more drawing (but this time face to face) to students at Squam Art Retreats. This will be my 4th year teaching there and I LOVE IT it is so peaceful and beautiful!

I'll be back on the 6th June so expect a GIANT blogpost then sharing all my adventures. In the meantime you can keep up with my adventures on Instagram here

Here's some new drawings for Waitrose for you in the meantime...




BYEEEEEEE x

Friday

Residency update

 










Hello!

Sorry for the lack of posts last week, having a bonkers time trying to get everything finished before I leave for America on the 24th. I CANNOT WAIT! I'll be away for 2 weeks, Boston-Providence-New Hampshire initially filming a seven part drawing e-course (you can sign up and do at your own pace from anywhere in the world - I'll let you know when it's live) then on to Squam Art Retreats to teach a collaborative sketchbook class - hurrah!

This week I thought I'd share an update on some of the work created as part of my Artist Residency at Royal Holloway University funded by the lovely folk at Ted Baker. (It's an experimental drawing project where I collaborate with plant molecular scientists to explore the potential of turning my highly personal, altered drawings of flowers into real plants that grow and exist in the real world.) I remain OBSESSED with creating highly graphic patterns on the petals of plants - and this is what the paintings and sculptures above relate to. 

This week I've been working on all the usual suspects...
- Bracknell - where I'm creating artwork across the urban fabric (lights, paving, furniture etc) for the redevelopment of the town centre.
- Essex - where I'm designing six apartments - we're just about to submit the pre-app to planning!
- my residency project - where I'm currently trying to create a stable drawing ink from chlorophyll

...and then also working on new projects for Waitrose and Colt - I cannot believe my luck!

Have a great weekend full of coffee and toast and books and long walks (that's my plan anyway) xxx

Visiting lecturer - CSVPA





Hello!

Here's some photos (taken by wonderful Mandy) from my day spent lecturing at CSVPA in Cambridge last week. I was invited to give my "How to be an Illustrator" talk to their illustration students and then spent the afternoon (after a lovely lunch) giving individual crits. It was such a great day, they have really great studios, full of light and with beautiful views over the Cambridge skyline and their students are bright, engaged, creative and VERY talented. 

I thought I'd also share a little bit about my dress... it's custom made by Dig For Victory in Brighton. I created the pattern from my chairs illustration (pictured above) where I spent the day with my sketchbook in Heals drawing all the chairs. I then created the repeat and got the fabric printed through Spoonflower. I wear it ALL THE TIME and can just shove it in the washing machine when covered in tea and ketchup!

I'm having a LOVELY week, two of the most exciting things are secret BOOOO, I have signed an NDA for one which means I'll get chopped up if I even breathe a whisper of it! But Wednesday I went to Reading Museum to photograph the Dumbleton Collection as part of the research for my commission created artwork across the urban fabric of Bracknell Town Centre's regeneration - it was AWESOME!

Have a lovely week and UK peeps enjoy the bank holiday! xx