February

february

The next in the series of monthly illustrations is ready and can be found here in my shop.

This illustration began with the hunt for a subject from nature, typical of the UK in February but not plant or animal this time. As it was recently National Star Gazing Week, I looked up what constellations were usually visible this month. Orion was one of them: a little Star fact for you here – the red dot you see on the left, above the owl, is called Betelgeuse “A red supergiant star around 640 light years from Earth, Betelgeuse, also known as Alpha Orionis, has a radius 1,000 times larger than the sun” (http://www.solarsystemquick.com) One to look out for until early Spring in the Northern hemisphere.

It’s another night image so of course I had to include our old favourites – Fox and Owl!

This will be the last chilly image of the year -Winter is on the way out and next time I’ll be wanting to use more colour as Spring gets under way.

Monthly Illustration – January

january-blog-image

Happy New Year everyone! A little bit premature but I am about to shoot off for a few days and wanted to bring you a new image for January before the 1st.

Although we’ve not yet had the predicted snow down here on the South Coast, when it does descend it’s always a welcome sight to see the first green shoots.

Vivid Cyclamen flowers provide a rare splash of colour in the monochrome winter garden and a here they contrast starkly with the dark feathers of a blackbird that hunts for berries.

A watery morning sun also seems appropriate for the dawn of a new year – I hope 2014 is a happy, healthy and prosperous one for all of you. See you in February!

 

Monthly illustration: December

Well! this image per month lark is going to make the year fly by. Already we’ve nearly run out of 2013.

Here is December’s offering from me. As before, I’ve been kept busy this month with commissions plus a little bit of DIY around the house (which I can’t resist) but there has been just enough time to bring you this.

A chilly scene loosely based on my own back garden – in which I do see the occasional curious fox.

My first idea for this image started with winter flowering ivy – (Hedera helix) I noticed alot of it around the area I live in and admired the pretty the little globe-like flowers; such a striking shapeI thought a red fox would look pleasing against the dark green foliage – festive colours too of course. Then the domestic back drop: a celebrating family haven’t noticed the garden visitors scavaging the scraps from the bird table.

And there is something special about a mid-afternoon, mid-winter sky heavy with snow. The watery sun bathes everything in a subtle peach/pink glow – beautiful – even though its getting dark at 3!

The feathered white border (which was made from a scan of chalk lines) even looks like snow.

Altogether a festive little scene that is all yours for a very reasonable £15 here in my shop.

 

Monthly illustration: November

The second in my series of monthly illustrations – I give you….’November’

Still really busy with commissions but I had fun taking a little time out to do this.

 

November

As I stated yesterday, the first of the month from now on will be my self imposed deadline to produce and make available, a new illustration. These 12 images will be my opportunity to be creative whilst also working on other commissions which don’t involve my favourite things (ie nature).

This misty/smokey scene simply titled ‘October’ shows a man and two 2 little ‘helpers’ in the garden on what was probably a Sunday afternoon. Leaf burning seems to happen on a Sunday afternoon.
Golden foliage contrasts with the brilliant blue sky and white silver birch are vivid against a looming rain cloud; the weather could change at any minute and you can just make out a small flock of migrating geese up in the clouds.

October and all succeeding 11 months, will be available to purchase as high quality A3 giclee prints over on my online shop. Open edition and each one signed by myself. A steal at £15 including post and packing…and what a great idea for a birthday or anniversary!

October autumn leaves

An Illustration a Month

I haven’t been blogging and tweeting much lately as I’m being kept so busy with commissions this year. My ‘bread and butter’ work is mainly within educational publishing and quite different from the stuff you see here on my site. I keep it separate and don’t promote myself with any examples. I’m not complaining though – it is nice to be busy as an illustrator but it does mean that there isn’t much time to do the more creative work I love most.

Also I am still without easy access to screen print facilities so for the time being I can’t churn out new prints like I used to. What I can do though is create self initiated illustrations using my favourite themes: nature, foliage, trees leaves and birds. It’s currently Autumn here in the UK and the change of season inspired me to make an illustration for each month of the year. I get to draw my favourite things each month and it is my aim to show you a new image on the 1st of the each month for the next year. These illustrations will also be available to buy as high quality, open edition giclee prints in my online shop.

There! I’ve done it now – now I am committed to this project so I can’t let you down! I’m adding the finishing touches to the first one ‘October’ right now and I haven’t quite fixed on a price yet but they will be no more than £15 and that will include postage. So check back tomorrow to see the first seasonal monthly offering!

Happy Friday everyone!  how about some half price prints? yep …you heard right, I did just say half price! I’m having a massive sort out and tidy up here and I really need to make room in my plan chest.

All my older screen prints are reduced this weekend only 27th – 30th - and will go back to their original price next week.

A few examples:

feathers-flora-reduced-to-20

old-pier-print-reduced-to-20northern-lights-reduced-to-60

white-peafowl-reduced-to-25

sunset-forest-reduced-to-40

Retro Wedding Stationery

I’m back at the ‘ancestoral home’ this week and as my dear old Dad is such a hoarder (+ I’m pretty nosey) I usually find some nuggets from the past here. This time I found a box containing some cards from my parents wedding back in ’67.

There are some pretty ‘far out’ greetings card designs in there, reflecting the taste of the era but what I loved most was a telegram card. Check out these lovely stylised illustrations. The work of one Albany Wiseman – a quick Google search comes up with a bit of information on the Curwen gallery site. An illustrator, painter and printmaker for 60 years and hopefully still going strong.

 

I recently bought myself a treat whilst in the fabulous BookNook in Hove. A gorgeous book aimed at kids but certainly a big hit with parents too – ‘My First Book of Nature’ features the gorgeous illustrations of Mark Hearld.

It is also a pleasure to read. The author Nicola Davies has made detailed observations of the changing seasons and the different wildlife to look out for through-out the year. It reminds us of the real natural beauty that is outside our windows – great stuff no matter what your age!

Each page is full of Mark Hearld’s drawings, paintings, collages and printed details. A beautiful mixture of different mark making techniques: some details are pen and ink drawings, painting, there are areas of stencilling and I particularly appreciate the patterns of birds feathers which appear to be lino printed. All these techniques assembled together to make evocative illustrations that will be remembered fondly as the young readers grow up.

My young daughter is only allowed to look at this under my supervision at the moment, but I will let her enjoy ‘mummy’s book’ as she grows up. I’m sure both its words and images will inspire her.

 

My tip for something to do this weekend. Yesterday I visited one of my favourite places Brighton Museum and took a look around their current Biba exhibition. Here I found clothes combining tailored shapes and patterned fabrics I wish I could find in the high street today.

With its cutting edge yet affordable fashion, Barbara Hulanicki’s iconic Biba store and label transformed the High Street shopping experience in the 1960s and 70s. Young working women shopped alongside models and celebrities, including Twiggy, Cher and the Rolling Stones. Art Deco, Victorian and Hollywood glamour all combined in striking, romantic and sensual designs.

I’m not really that interested in fashion in general but I do find exhibits of original period costumes fascinating as they really evoke a sense of the real past and its people. Biba examples are not that old (late 60s/early 70s) but they are still from a very different time. If I had been a young woman back then I would have definitely been shopping there – every aspect of these shops and their stock was so cool!