Thursday

Echinacea for Holland & Barrett



Hello! 

Here's a new illustration for Holland & Barrett, I really loved drawing this plant and used much brighter colours than usual - the new Phaidon book I illustrated has obviously had an affect on my colours!

Last night I went to see Lucius in the beautiful Islington Assembly Hall, the music was (of course) FANTASTIC but I really loved the way the two female singers had identical looks - hair, make up and clothing. They would be amazing to draw, as the fact they were dressed up identically actually served to highlight the differences between the two women.

As I was out I missed the start of the new Grayson Perry TV show about Identity, but I'll be watching tonight. From the 25th all the work created for the TV show will be on display at The National Portrait Gallery. It will be incredible (I still constantly think about his show 'Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman' at The British Museum) so if you can make it GO GO GO!

On Sunday I'm going to a calligraphy class, I'm really excited as I always want to improve my hand writing, and the use of text in my illustrations. If I create something that's not too terrible I'll share it on Instagram.

This week I've completed a new wrap around cover for Grist about the NHS, and have started two new drawings for Holland & Barrett. The major job at the moment is a HUGE Christmas window 26 meters x 12 meters I am LOVING it and so excited to see it installed!

See you next week x

Monday

Fearless Drawing Workshop





Hello All

I had such a lovely day on Saturday teaching exercises from my book 'Fearless Drawing' in the beautiful Culver Room at Farnham Library. They created some really beautiful work, here's a few snaps of their rubbings created in and around the library, which were later turned into collages. Yesterday I spent the day reading, I have an ENORMOUS stack of books in my studio to work through as part of my residency studies, it's completely fascinating and I find myself engrossed in the gardens and hedgerows on my daily walks as my understanding of the plant kingdom increases. This week I'll be continuing with the reading, as well as working on a new wrap around cover commission and a HUGE Christmas window!

Have a lovely week whatever you get up to! x

Wednesday

Holland & Barrett & Autumn





Hello all! 

Here's some new drawings for Holland & Barrett, ayurveda and aloe vera - I was particularly pleased with the colours on the ayurveda one as I always seem to find orange so tricky! Another wonderful week, Autumn is certainly here now and as my studio faces out onto a number of large trees I'm taking such pleasure watching the slow colour change and falling leaves. 

This is always my busiest time of year, and I'm currently deep in the planning for a huge Christmas window scheme (more info to follow) and of course having a fantastic time learning, observing, drawing, reading and endlessly thinking about the residency I'm undertaking at Royal Holloway each Friday (funded by the glorious Ted Baker - more info here). I have treated myself to the most beautiful new bike to get to and from the university each week, it's inspired by trips to Amsterdam and Copenhagen and I've gone for an old fashioned dutch bike with giant baskets and a shiny bell. 

Yesterday I had a fascinating look around VGL in Reading, the scale of their machines and sheer number of people on site amazed. I'm looking forward to working with them on a number of projects as I appreciated their knowledge, creativity and friendly manner. Tomorrow I'm off to London to meet the architect and contractor for the huge commission in East London which has kept me busy on and off for the past two years. It's a new development, 32 flats and 5 commercial units with a glass bottomed swimming pool and wild flower garden on the roof. I've completed 32 doors, an engraved lift panel and an enormous 6x18 meter artwork for the atrium - botanical drawings laser cut from huge brass panels - all to be installed by Christmas. I'll be sneaking off in the afternoon for a matinee at Sadler's Wells 'Lord of the Flies' by the always wonderful Matthew Bourne, and hope to squeeze in a few exhibitions and a visit to the E5 Bake House for their delicious bread.

Last weekend I undertook a monumental stop motion drawing as part of my residency, 1.5 x 2 meters and I also managed to fit in a cycle (on the shiny new bike) around Windsor Great Park. This weekend I'll be cooking up ideas for a new wrap around cover commission, and hopefully finding time for my much neglected scrapbook - there is a mountain of inspiration on every surface in the studio and I need to get it all stuck down before it floats away or gets buried!

Have a wonderful weekend x

Artist Residency at Royal Holloway



I am SO excited to share my giant news with you!...

Alongside my commissioned projects I am now Artist in Residence in the Plant Molecular Sciences Department of Royal Holloway University. This is such a dream project for me, the idea for which began around four years ago and I am so excited to see all those hours of research, planning and dreaming turn into a tangible year long adventure. This residency has been funded by the lovely folk at Ted Baker, and I'm really grateful to them for their support, belief and excitement in the potential of this residency.

Plants have always been my favourite subject and although my drawings echo nature, I enjoy embracing artistic licence by subtly altering the leaves, petals and root structures to create unrealistic versions of well known plants. Drawing offers the powerful opportunity to redesign the world however I choose, and this residency explores the potential of making my unreal botanical drawings come to life. To make these highly personal, altered drawings of plants grow and exist in the real world - exciting eh!

I will be spending one day each week drawing in the laboratory as well as attending lectures, having tutorials, working with a team of students and being mentored by my collaborator Professor Bogre. It is a highly experimental (in the artistic and scientific sense of the word) project and I look forward to sharing the work as I create it!

This week I've been working on a new project for Christmas (which I can't share yet but it's really exciting). I've visited the Jerwood Drawing Prize, the new A S T O N I S H I N G Anselm Keifer exhibition at The Royal Academy and the beautiful Manon at The Royal Opera House - the costumes were incredible!

This week Steve's in New York at The Future of Storytelling so I have a weekend of scrapbooks, sketchbooks, audiobooks and LOTS of learning and research for the residency - why didn't I concentrate in biology at school!? x

Thursday

What to Bake and How to Bake it

Hello, next Monday 29th Sept "What to Bake & How to Bake it" by Jane Hornby is published by Phaidon. I am so proud of this book, I illustrated the wrap around cover, end paper patterns, title page, half title page and the four chapter headers. I used a MUCH more vibrant palette than I would normally and it was so much fun to work with these stronger colours.

Here's the final cover...




The patterned end papers....



The title page...


Here's the original drawing for the title page...


The chapter heading for 'Simple Family Baking'...


The original drawing for Simple Family Baking...


The chapter heading for Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea...


The original drawing for Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea...


The chapter heading for Special Bakes...


The original drawing for Special Bakes...


The chapter heading for Desserts & After Dinner...


The original drawing for Desserts & After Dinner...


I thought it might also be interesting to see some of the earlier ideas for the cover....





This week I started two FANTASTIC new projects, they're really exciting and I hope to share the info from at least one of them with you next week. Have a wonderful weekend! x

Wednesday

Fearless Drawing at The Millennium Gallery Sheffield

Hello! I just wanted to share some photos from my recent Fearless Drawing workshop at The Millennium Gallery in Sheffield, a fun weekend drop in for all ages to celebrate my new book. I based the activity on pattern as I LOVE drawing pattern and find it really meditative, it's also completely unthreatening for people who might be nervous of drawing as it allows them to just happily doodle! On arrival at the gallery I quickly painted some designs onto the glass of the space to help inspire pattern ideas...


It was really great to see how engaged the participants were, the repetition of pattern making is fulfilling and addictive as it allows you to be completely absorbed but does not require a huge effort. This is why I find it so relaxing, hours can go by and I lose track of all sense of time - I just get so deeply immersed in the process.


Here's just a few photos of the FANTASTIC finished drawings...





Huge thanks to all the participants for a brilliant day, to the Millennium Gallery for all their help and assistance and particularly to the brilliant Catherine Mailhac for organising the event and taking these lovely photos! 

I'm off to explore the London Design Festival today before tonight's performance of Inala at Sadlers Wells with choreography by Mark Baldwin and music performed live by Ladysmith Black Mambazo YIPPEEE! I'll report back next week! x

Friday

New Phaidon book!



Hello! 

I'm SO EXCITED to share this new Phaidon book 'What to Bake & How to Bake it', for now I'll just show the cover as it's not really published until later this month on the 29th. It's a lovely book full of cakes, biscuits, pies and treats by the genius Jane Hornby (and lots and lots of my illustrations!) and available for pre-order here. I absolutely loved this job, and I'm so proud to see the final book! - I'll share more images after the 29th x

I've had a lovely week of drawing and exploring, I highly recommend the Gert & Uwe Tobias exhibition at Maureen Paley (and whilst you're there it's only 5 mins from the glorious V&A Museum of Childhood - always worth a squizz.) Francis Upritchard at the Whitechapel is totally joyous, and the exquisite photographs of Francesca Woodman at Victoria Miro in Mayfair are a must. OK, that's your weekend exhibition visits organised by bossy me! I'm having a lazy one of sewing + movie watching + cake eating + sketchbooking + PJ's HURRAH!

See you next week x