Finland sketchbook

I had a really inspiring time visiting Finland, it's such a green country so to go in the Autumn and see all the leaves changing colours was wonderful. I went alone so I could really indulge in my sketchbook, and above is a selection of some of the drawings created there.

I stayed in a really nice hotel which I treated like my studio and managed to completely cover in gesso and watercolour splatters each evening, cursing myself and then feverishly cleaning each morning, before forgetting again and covering the desk, floor, tv chair and phone in another wave of splatters! I even painted on the plane (it's a 3hr flight) but was more reserved and stuck reservedly to delicate dabs rather than my usual sploshing.

The highlight of my trip was visiting Porvoo, it's the second oldest town in Finland and was full of beautiful wooden buildings painted yellow, pink, blue and red. It's also covered in tiny museums and galleries (heaven) and gorgeous craft shops. Another day I took the ferry to Soumenlinna, which has a beautiful church and cafes serving spiced green tea and pulla (a cardamon and cinnamon bun - my favourite!)

Today I'm off to Savill Gardens to build a 3ft snowman, I'm teaching a family workshop at Christmas so I need to check my idea works (it involves beach balls...) On Wednesday I had the pleasure to meet crafts journalist and photographer Clare Kelly for a coffee, we're speaking at the University for the Creative Arts Creative Careers Conference next Friday and so it was lovely to find out more about her work and plan our talk. I'll let you know how it went next week, until then have a great weekend x

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