Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Blues and reds

Here is the past few weeks in pictures. Walking on the South Downs and enjoying beautiful landscapes, Alfie modelling his new coat, managing to fit in some drawing and Alfie and I having a lovely cuddle. 

A great night at the Komedia in Brighton proudly watching Gra's band.

Monday, 1 December 2014

still a bit early

I had to wait until today to write this post as I don't like to think about Christmas until December. One of my Christmas card designs is featured on the gibson holt blog and they are also searching for freelance pattern and surface designers for 2015. Closing date for submissions is 1st January if you are interested. Details can be found here.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


I've been asked by Marianna of sewpro2 to participate in 'bloghopping' which involves answering a few questions about my blog and then passing them on to someone else to complete. The idea being a way of spreading the word about other blogs. I don't know when Marianna and I first communicated or how we became aware of each other but it is one of the lovely things about blogging - finding a 'connection' with someone and becoming friends even though you haven't met. Marianna writes with a wicked sense of humour and I'm in awe of her ability to run up a wardrobe of clothes for her and her family with such style! 

Why do I write/illustrate what I do?
I'm self employed and work from a home studio which can be a lonely experience and making a living as a designer means always satisfying the briefs and specifications of others. So when I started my blog 7 years ago I became part of a whole community of like minded people and I used my blog as a vehicle for my own illustration projects and photography. I always write and illustrate from a personal viewpoint on the blog rather than a work one and it's very therapeutic.

What am I working on now?
I'm inspired to illustrate or photograph when I see something that brings me pleasure and I see shapes, colours and textures that urge me to put pen to paper.

I'm concentrating on drawing at the moment as it's the basis for all my work. I bought a variety of squash last week - the patterns are incredible plus there's a beautiful bird's nest I found when trimming the garden hedge - so I'm about to embark on 2 new drawings.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?
This is a hard one! I find it difficult to be subjective about my own work. If I analyse things too much or compare my stuff to others, I can get a creative block. I love to see work that's unique and very personal and I think it's so important to embrace your natural style and not to mimic others. After all it's being different that makes life interesting.

How does my writing/illustration process work?
I either draw from life (which gives me the best results) or from photos and use a HiTechpoint 0.7 black pen on white paper. This is the part that gives me most pleasure. Here the process is shown using an illustration of my favourite bag.

I scanned the initial pen and ink drawing from my sketch book and used it as a graphic which I coloured in CorelDraw and then added some more decoration by drawing the green shapes. Finally I found a photo of some cracked mud, turned it into a line artwork, made it brown and clipped it into the shapes of the bag to show the effect of old leather.
This bag is very old and battered now but I still love it.

Thanks Marianna, I thought answering these questions would be daunting but actually I really enjoyed it!

I'm passing the task on to Cally of Forest & Sea who again I've connected with through blogging. You get a real sense of Cally from seeing her beautifully delicate designs - it's a calm and tranquil place to visit and I can't resist the pictures of her sweet cats too.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


I was amazed at this annual squash display in the village of Slindon, there is a pop-up cafe this year too - in the church where we had tea and delicious cakes. You can buy pumpkins, marrows and squash in all sorts of weird shapes, sizes and colours. 

Friday, 24 October 2014

spindle berries

I haven't been drawing much lately - I go through phases like this but on Sunday I picked some spindle berries - the colour of these berries is amazing, bright pink with orange seeds. Seeing them on the mantlepiece each day I decided I must draw them before they died. I scanned in the finished drawing but it wasn't as free as I'd have liked, so I roughly drew in the shapes for colour and the result is below. A bit different from how I normally work.

Monday, 20 October 2014

fossil forest

We finally visited the fossil forest at Lulworth Cove in Dorset, something we've wanted to do for ages. It was not a disappointment and I found it amazing to be somewhere that is 145 million years old. I'm surprised you are allowed to visit with the current ridiculous health and safety laws in this country - there are steep concrete steps to get down and then a narrow strip of cliff where the stumps of the fossilised tree ferns remain. We were the only ones visiting which was nice. If you do go, check when it is open as you walk across the army firing range - so that needs to be closed!

Friday, 3 October 2014

A taste of Autumn

We're beginning to get a taste of Autumn even though the temperature is still warm and the sunshine's holding out. The photos below are from my travels around, plus a lovely one of Alf and a dog I met called Jack - who made me long for another dog. The trouble is that Bill's a hard act to follow. I would always get one from a rescue centre and the terriers seem to be snapped up quickly which is great. I'm sure one will find us when the time is right, just like Bill did.