Wednesday

Petunia Circadia




Hello all! if you've been looking on Instagram you'll know that I've been working on (and teasing you all about) this painting, so I'm really excited to be able to explain all now.... 

... I'm currently Artist in Residence in the Plant Molecular Science Department at Royal Holloway University (funded by the lovely folk at Ted Baker - more info here). As part of this exciting project I've been speaking to gardeners, botanists, breeders and scientists to explore the possibilities of creating new and altering existing plants to reflect my drawings. One of the most interesting projects I had come across in my research was from the USA 'Petunia Circadia' by RevBio, and I had the fantastic opportunity to meet with the two scientists behind the project; Keira Havens and Nikolai Braun whilst they were in London earlier this month.

Petunia Circadia is a petunia that will be developed by Keira and Nikolai to change colour throughout the day. It will start out pink in the morning, travel through purple and end up blue in the evening and yes, when you wake up it will be pink again! This is a long term project, the first stage of which is to create petunias that change colour from white to red (using science rather than dyes!). These plants will then be used by artist Prof. Helen Storey to create a London based installation in response to the Paris Climate Change Summit later this year. In order to fund this exciting work they are launching a crowdfunding campaign here

I am so excited by the potential of this project, and so have joined forces with them to create their glorious Petunia Circadia, visualising its colour change over the course of a single day. Prints of my painting will be sent to individuals that back their campaign as a thank you for their support. I'll be updating this blogpost with the link to the campaign as soon as it goes live, so please check back next week to find out more. If you can't wait follow the links within this post to learn more about RevBio and the science behind their ideas!

Have a wonderful week whatever you get up to and I'll be back next time to tell you all about my upcoming sketchbook trip to Brussels and Bruges! x

Friday

Yorkshire Adventure

Hello! last week I went to see Ultima Vez and Wayne McGregor at Sadlers Wells, both of which were really exciting but the performance by Ultima Vez has really stayed with me so if you get the chance to see them live DO IT! On Saturday I went to Brighton to see the clever Eleanor at Dig For Victory as I'm getting two new dresses made. One is a bright mustard with a pencil skirt and long sleeves featuring a print of my squirrel drawing originally created for Harvey Nichols. The other is a collaboration with artist Amy Pliszka  who has designed and developed highly architectural pleats - I cannot wait to show you what we've been cooking up! On Sunday I went to Oxford to see the Blake exhibition at The Ashmolean Museum and then onto Modern Art Oxford to see the William Morris & Andy Warhol exhibition curated by Jeremy Deller. Both of which were WONDERFUL - if you're nearby do go, you won't regret it (and have lunch in the lovely restaurant at the top of the Ashmolean as the food is delicious!)

This week I've been on a really fantastic trip to Yorkshire, the colours of the landscape were so inspiring and I've returned really inspired! 



The first day I went to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield. It's set in the MOST beautiful landscape and Emily Sutton had an ENORMOUS solo exhibition which was fantastic. It was also great to be able to revisit Roger Hiorns Seizure, which I originally saw in London in 2008.






Day two I went to Salt Mills to see David Hockney's work, and then went for a long walk in the North Yorkshire Moors, I can't believe how lucky I was with the weather!



On the last day I returned home via Manchester to view the Whitworth Gallery which has just had a 15 million redevelopment and re-opened last week with a WONDERFUL exhibition by Cornelia Parker. The journey home was via the Peak District which was so beautiful, and again, wonderful colours!





I'm back in the studio today working on illustrations for my new 'Birds of Paradise' book for Pictura, and this weekend will be full of PJ's, drawing, scrapbooks, movies and a bit of a rest! See you next week  x

Tuesday

A packed week!



Hello! 

Nearly half-way through another lovely week, it's jam packed full of my residency, exciting project meetings, visiting the Tate and Sadlers Wells, working on my 'Birds of Paradise' book for Templar and drawing site maps for Henley Festival 2015 - PHEW!!!  I'm feeling busy but really happy and inspired. Blogging tonight as there's so much to do before my weekend away, Saturday in Brighton and Sunday in Oxford and then off with my sketchbook to Yorkshire next week BLISS!

Have fun whatever you're up to and I'll report back next week!

p.s. new work above for Holland & Barrett x

Wednesday

Grist wrap cover


Hello!

Here's a new wrap around cover for Grist to illustrate a lead feature on the implications of a 24/7 NHS system, I loved drawing the texture on the moon!

I'm having such a great week, completely inspired and consumed by my residency, on Monday I was extracting the DNA from three plant strains to explore mutant genes! I'm also starting lots of new wonderful drawing projects, camomile flowers for Holland & Barrett and an adults colouring book on Birds of Paradise (dream job!) for Templar Publishing. Did you see the AMAZING Attenborough BBC documentary on these birds last week? (sorry I think only viewers in the UK can access it but the link is here) x

Yesterday I visited the Pump House Gallery to see their current exhibition The First Humans, and really liked Andy Harper's work. Today I had another meeting at Savill Garden who have been incredible supportive of my residency, I'll be shadowing their gardeners to learn more about propagation techniques and I'm really excited! On Friday I'm really lucky to have a ticket to see PJ Harvey's Artangel project at Somerset House so I'm really looking forward to that.

I've also been booking more sketchbook trips for 2015, next up is Bruges and Brussels in March so if anyone has any tips for great things to see and do I'd love to hear them!

Have a fantastic week and I hope to be able to share more (currently top secret!) projects soon x

Thursday

Fearless Drawing in French, German, Korean, Russian and Spanish!






Hello! here's the new foreign language editions of my book 'Fearless Drawing' now available in French, German, Korean, Russian and Spanish. It's so exciting to see them, and really interesting to note how the cover has been adapted for the different markets. I'm so proud of this book, and amazed at the idea of it now being accessible to people speaking all these different languages!

I'm having a fantastic week, Saturday I went to see Tree at The Old Vic (highly recommend, and I LOVED the giant tree in the set), on Sunday I went to see 'Connect & Grow' at The Garden Museum which explored the link between choreography and horticulture. On Monday I had the most interesting and inspiring lectures and lab practicals as Artist in Residence at Royal Holloway University in the Plant Molecular Science dept more info here. Tues saw me in the studio working on lots of exciting new projects (can't share any yet but will as soon as I can). Yesterday I went to glorious Chelsea Physic Garden to speak to the team about my residency, they were fantastic and I look forward to collaborating with them more. 

Today I'm off again to the Eton Natural History Museum to study their glorious Banks' Florilegium. It's a collection of copperplate engravings of plants collected by Sir Joseph Banks while he accompanied Captain James Cook on HM Bark Endeavour between 1768 and 1771. Sydney Parkinson drew each specimen aboard the ship and made notes on their colour. Between 1771 and 1784 Banks hired 18 engravers to create the copperplate line engravings, but the first complete full-colour edition of the Florilegium was not published until 1980 and only 100 sets were made available for sale. The plates were printed using a 17th-century technique known as à la poupée where each colour was applied directly to the plate and each plate took from one week to two months to proof. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to study them up close, and I'm off to get the train now!

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you get up to, mine will be drawing and reading through some of my giant biology textbooks - I have so much to learn! x

Paris Adventure

Hello! I'm back in the studio today (creating new illustrations for Waitrose) after the most astonishing trip to Paris, for research, drawing and thinking. I've returned feeling really inspired and excited about my work, so I wanted to show you a few of things that I saw and loved whilst I was away...


I went to the beautifully renovated Musee Picasso Paris it really is worth it just for the beautiful architecture, but throw in a ton of Picasso's and it became epic! Highly recommend (and also recommend buying tickets in advance to skip the GIANT queues!) The image above was my favourite piece, a small gouache panel titled La Suppliante.



Next up was the Natural History Museum Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, I loved the Botanical Gallery most (obviously!)




The Evolution Gallery was amazing, such dramatic lighting and fantastic interpretation.


The botanical gardens and greenhouses were beautiful, I'd love to return and see them in their splendour later in the year.



The anatomy gallery was wonderful, such a huge impact to be confronted by that army of skeletons - I LOVED it.



I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to my beloved Musee de Cluny I've been many times but can't resist returning as it is my favourite place in Paris. The objects are so beautiful, and the spaces so calming and majestic - who can resist The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries!

A quick visit to look up inside the Notre Dame Cathedral, at the beautiful ceilings and stained glass windows.


Then a hop over to Shakespeare & Company to stroke their big white cat and browse the groaning bookshelves.


Then finally WHOOSH up in the lift to see the view from the Eiffel Tower, such a fantastic structure and beautiful view.

I hope that you're also having a lovely week, tonight I'm off to see The Philharmonia Orchestra perform alongside footage from Attenborough's Blue Planet HURRAH x

Holland & Barrett



Hello, I just wanted to share some new drawings for Holland & Barrett illustrating the Alexander Technique and lemon balm. 

I'm having a really fun and busy week, on Monday I returned to Royal Holloway University after the Christmas break (each Monday I'm Artist in Residence find out more here). This term I'm attending the undergraduate lectures and practicals and they are inspiring, exciting and very very hard! I'm doing lots of extra reading, and really enjoying being a student again! 

This week I've been drawing birds of paradise for a new commission, and had lots of exciting meetings about new projects for 2015. I also managed to squeeze in quick visits to the ever inspiring Garden Museum and Guy Bourdin's exhibition at Somerset House which was fantastic. I've also had the MOST exciting news that my book 'Fearless Drawing' is going to be translated into Korean, Russian, German, French and Spanish - HURRAH!

Next week I'm running away to Paris for a few days with my sketchbook to visit the newly opened Picasso Museum and to see the Museum of Natural History. So next week I'll be back to tell you all about it - you can see what I see by following me on Instagram here.

Have a lovely week! x