Friday

Grist wrap around cover


Hello! I hope that you're having a great week and that it's sunny where you are. Here's a new drawing created as a wrap around cover for Grist, it's for a feature discussing the export of the NHS to various new markets across the globe. I really loved drawing all the tiny islands and inland water details, it was fun to reflect on where I've travelled to and where I'd like to go.

Last week I saw the most amazing exhibitions, Aleksandra Mir's huge drawing installation at The Drawing Room (finishes tomorrow GO GO GO) and Art and Life at The Dulwich Picture Gallery featuring the glorious work of Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis and William Staite Murray. It was a complete masterclass in colour and brushwork by Winifred Nicholson and I'm still reeling from the wonderful images. On Tuesday I went to see La Boheme at The Royal Opera House, such a magical night and incredible to witness those voices.

I am currently OBSESSED with creating my own clothes. As a 33 year old woman (and only a mini 4 foot 10 inches) I can never find anything to wear that I like or fits, and as an illustrator I am drawn to pattern but particularly dislike wearing other people's drawings. I am gradually creating a wardrobe of dresses created by the geniuses at Dig For Victory in Brighton, using my digitally illustrated fabric. I have commissioned Hawthorne & Heaney to turn my drawings into embroidery for one of the dresses, and this weekend I'm going to try hand block printing fabric with a botanical design. I am finding it such an exciting, creative and collaborative thing to do and I promise to show the dresses here once they're ready.

Have a great weekend, tomorrow lots of my oldest friends are coming round for a visit. I've planned afternoon tea and a boardgame marathon (but the main activity will be catching up and gossiping - I can't wait!). Have fun whatever you do x 

Wednesday

Nordic Adventure

Hello!

I'm just back from the most amazing painting trip, and I wanted to share what I've been up to 
(you can see all the photos from my trip on Instagram here)



First stop was Copenhagen where I took a bike tour of the city and visited lots of galleries and museums, my favourite discovery was of the work of artist Julie Nord.





I then travelled on to Sweden to undertake a short artist residency at The Nordic Watercolour Museum on the island of Tjorns about 70km from Gothenburg. 


Across the water from the museum are four artists studios, equipped with plenty of desk and floor space, a huge wall of glass (and therefore amazing light), a kitchen, shower room and a mezzanine level with two single beds. You can see the studios in the picture above, suspended on stilts upon the water, mine was number two (the second one in from the right). 



The picture below shows my studio set up, it was such an inspiring view and visiting at this time of year meant that there was such long hours of daylight. It was very peaceful working next to the water, and I enjoyed watching the swallows, Canada geese and cormorants.





The water was full of jellyfish, but the clear blue ones don't sting and so it was perfect for swimming - I was so glad that I'd packed my swim suit!





The residency was better than I had even hoped, and I'm so delighted that I had the opportunity to visit and work in such a beautiful place. I've returned feeling really excited and invigorated about my practice, and look forward to watching the ideas and inspiration from the past week evolve and influence new work and commissions...



... I also CANNOT WAIT to go back to that beautiful place and am plotting my return! x

Friday

BBC Antiques Roadshow - Furniture




Here's some new drawings for BBC Antiques Roadshow for an article about caring for furniture, it was fun to use such a bold palette compared to my usual pastels!

This week I've been juggling lots of REALLY fun jobs (all top secret at the moment but I'll share as soon as I can) with client meetings. I also managed to finish drawing the Atrium wall piece for the new development in East London I'm working on. I've drawn it at 1/8th scale but eventually it will be laser cut from brass and installed in the atrium at 18 x 6 meters!

I'm working really hard at the moment (and will be at it all weekend too!) but it will all be worth it as I'm off to The Nordic Watercolour Museum on Wednesday for a weeks residency. I am SO EXCITED! and have started putting a pile of materials aside ready for the trip including giant rolls of lining paper, embroidery thread and (of course) watercolour paints.

I'll be sharing my adventure on Instagram so follow me here to see what I'm up to, and I'll blog when I get back.

Have a wonderful weekend! x

p.s. The incredible immersive theatre experience by Punchdrunk 'Drowned Man' ends in London on July 6th so BOOK NOW!

Virgin Airways commission







Here's a new commission recently completed for Virgin Airways, they have just opened a brand new lounge at Gatwick and I was asked to create a design for their menus. I loved creating the drawings for this, and I'm so delighted to see how they hang in the new space!

Have a great weekend, if you're in or around London I highly recommend the British Folk Art and Phyllida Barlow exhibitions at Tate Britain x

Tuesday

Squam Art Retreat USA


I'm back after the most FANTASTIC week teaching drawing at Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire USA. The photo above was taken by the super talented photographer Kaitlyn Bouchard (who does the BEST English accent!) after we'd hiked to the top of Rattlesnake Mountain above the camp where the retreat is set. This photo completely describes my sensation of being at Squam, I buzzed with energy and inspiration and had so much fun!


Here's cabin mate Amy Gretchen at the top too (another incredible photographer and a really lovely friend). The retreat is held at Rockywold Deephaven where everyone stays in beautiful wooden cabins each with a private dock, porch, open fire and a wooden fridge with ice harvested from the lake and replenished each morning. 




Here's some of my cabin mates in front of the fire, the geniuses Elizabeth Duvivier (founder and director of Squam) and Amy Gretchen.


Squam draws participants and teachers from all over the world for an inspiring art retreat, my first visit was in 2013 and it was so much fun to return again this year. I taught two classes of drawing (based in part on exercises from my new book 'Fearless Drawing')



Above is my classroom complete with twinkly fairy lights, the floor and tables are covered in plastic so we can make as much mess as we want (and I like a lots of messy drawing!) My students were so inspiring, fun, open and generous. They made the most beautiful drawings using collage, stitch, ink and frottage and it was incredible to see their skills, ideas and most importantly their confidence develop so quickly.



We hired kayaks which were delivered to our private dock, and sat waiting for us ready when we got back from teaching. I spent five days at Squam but only taught for 12 hours and so in addition to the wonderful opportunity to teach, there was plenty of time for kayaking, hiking and attending Meghan Gombos yoga sessions in front of an open fire. As well as plenty of time for giggling, messing around, eating the delicious food at the camp and generally having the time of my life.



The handmade clipboard above was a gift from my wonderful student Kat, and the beautiful gloves below were knitted by another fantastic student Hoskins (huge thanks to both for these thoughtful presents)


Special mention to the glorious Colleen Attara (pictured below - thanks for this photo Colleen!) who was the sweetest and kindest room mate and a ton of fun.


She even lent me her clothes for my book signing on the last night (we all raided her amazing closet for outfits!) Here I am at my book signing, (thanks to my publisher Mary Adams for the photo) and HUGE thanks to all I met, I really appreciated your support! You can purchase Fearless Drawing from Amazon UK here and US here and I'd really really appreciate it if you could write an Amazon review. I'd love to her your thoughts, and it would help others that might be considering buying.


I'm back home now, full of gratitude and happiness for the greatest week. I cannot believe that this is my job I feel so lucky, motivated and inspired - which is just as well as I have lots of commissions to complete this week!


I'll be back next week to post new work for Virgin Airways, have a great week! x

Monday

Fearless Drawing



Fearless Drawing is officially out...  now HURRAH! 

It's a work book to gain confidence and develop a personal approach to drawing (available from Amazon UK here and US here.) I wanted to look at drawing in the broadest terms to encourage a wide range of approaches and ideas, so exercises include monoprint, frottage, stitch and collage alongside more traditional drawing materials. A big thanks so much to everyone who has pre-ordered, I really appreciate your support!

I've been looking forward to this week all year long as tomorrow morning I fly out to teach drawing at Squam. Squam is an it's an art retreat in New Hampshire USA on the most beautiful lake, last year's camp was such an inspiring place to be and I cannot wait to return for another dose. I'll be back next week to share photos from my adventures there (or keep an eye on my Instagram here) x

Sunday

BBC Antiques Roadshow





Here's some new illustrations for BBC Antiques Roadshow, I really enjoyed drawing the willow pattern plate as my Gran had this china whilst I was growing up, so drawing it brought back lots of lovely memories!

This week I've been drawing out the wall piece for a new residential/ retail development in East London. It will be laser cut from brass at a vast 6 x 18 meters, I'm currently drawing it at an 1/8th scale but it's still a giant drawing and so exciting to see it develop!

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend, mine is full of the wonderful friends - lucky me x