Sunday, 2 December 2012

"Collecting" skies


I've been "collecting" skies for a new print. It should be about rich inky darkness strewn with a few moonlit clouds but I have been repeatedly seduced by spectacular sunsets and sunrises.  Have there been more of these this autumn?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Hedge, fields and birds

Inspired by glorious sunrises, neatly clipped hedges and harking back to the days when large parts of lowland of England were still covered with the remains of medieval ridge and furrow (see Turning the Plough for an explanation of ridge and furrow). I spend a fair bit of my working day making maps of medieval field systems from old aerial photographs and its sad to see that so many of these wonderful corrugated earthworks have been ploughed down or built over. Inevitably they sometimes creep into my artwork.

Available here and here

Sunday, 11 November 2012

hedge, fields, birds - work in progress 1

I've been working on a print for the season, clipped hedgerows, long shadows, freshly ploughed fields, and strong autumnal colours. There have been some pretty dramatic sunsets over the past couple of weeks but its the sunrises that have really taken my breath away, especially if I happened to be cycling through the fields on my way to the station at the time - just magical!

Looking through the my recent photos I see orange in many places, in the sky, in a common starfish, in an unknown fruit and in a feathered thorn moth.

Here's a glimpse or two of the print in progress, with the first of the three blocks printed ...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

FREE UK P&P for orders £60.00 and over in my Folksy Shop 'til Christmas. Click the banner above to see what's on offer.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

marbled paper

Today we have been playing with the marbling inks I bought our son for his 7th birthday ( I think I got away with that!) We had a fantastic time swirling around the colours and created a huge range of patterns, here are a few, the others are destined for Thank You cards tomorrow. The only two downfalls were a. I bought my favourite colours not his (red!) and b. i didn't add quite enough thickener and so the ink did tend to sink a little. Other than that I think I'm hooked!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Crows of Damage Barton

My latest print is inspired by the crows that wheeled and careered above the tall pines at Damage Barton. They completed these amazing dances each evening as the sun set, appearing to settle before all setting off again in restless choreography.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Saturday, 22 September 2012

end of summer ...

My creative side has been feeling a bit squeezed of late. I think all the talk of Christmas buzzing around the forums (and the mince pies in the Coop) has made me realise just how unprepared I am to make the most of this busy selling time. Just like last year. And the year before. 

I've had to take a moment to remind myself of what I have managed to do over the summer months to convince myself I haven't stood stock still for the duration. It doesn't amount to much inky stuff on paper but I have supplied a couple of new stockists (details to come) and I have just completed a commission piece (see extract above). And there is a new piece on the way ... i think :)

Are you ready for Christmas or, like me, are you shutting your eyes and hoping it goes away?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

artichoke flowers

I couldn't bring myself to fell the artichokes for eating and one by one they burst into the most amazing purple flowers. They were short lived though and this is the only one I managed to photograph. I'm now wondering if I should make a companion piece to this print...

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

oh i do love to be beside the seaside...

Just back from a blustery week in a caravan on a high hill overlooking the sea. As a lover of  wild, empty and isolated beaches Croyde came as a bit of a shock to my system but we joined in the fun all the same (I pray that no camera caught sight of me in my wetsuit on a kid's body board!). If its like this on grey day it must be bedlam when the sun shines!
My only regret (apart from not saying "be careful" before oh & son went out on a mackerel fishing trip and returned 5 mins later after son hooked 6 fish and then his own hand) was not taking the chance of a swim in this wonderful sea pool at Ilfracombe - even in the rain it look wonderful (honest!).
And just to prove that the sun did shine, once or twice...


Monday, 30 July 2012

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Artichokes - work in progress

 I thought I'd share the progress of my artichokes lino print...
First plate cut
Plate for second colour being cut
First and second colour plates inked up for a test print
test print - not sure about the colours

I've run off a test print from these first two plates just to check the overall balance and registration. The only requirement was that one was a darker shade than the other and the colours I've used here this test  were just what I happened to have on the ink slab at the time. These greens are a little more muted than I had planned for this piece (see the original sketch in previous post) but now this slightly seventies palette feels just right. I'll have to lighten it up a bit though because there is a nice splash of purple to come too,  what do you think?   

Saturday, 30 June 2012

print or paint

preparation for lino print  - colour pencil on tracing paper over initial pencil sketch

I've been tempted to move away from the rather pared-back style I've had of late (see Morston Quay, Pied Wagtail and Oystercatchers) by the verdant lushness of the garden. Encouraged by much of the falling-from-the-sky-wet-stuff and my lassaiz faire attitude to weeding, most parts of the garden are looking pretty crowded, and I do like it that way. I was quite put out the other day when a bloke knocked on the door and offered to cut back my weeds sweeping his point through the cow parsley, self-seeded aquilegia heads and ox eye daisies poking through the tall grasses.

Miraculously in one corner of this chaos I have managed to sustain a small group of artichokes from last year and one has a pretty good choke on it already. This little group have provided the perfect subject for a more complex piece of work. I've photographed and sketched and now have a colour-coded plan (see above) as the basis for a 3-colour print, but I am wondering if I shouldn't tried it in watercolours instead...

Friday, 22 June 2012

belated welsh post

This blog post is so tardy I might as well have sent it on the post card ... second class ... from a remote postbox ... on a bank holiday. Well better late than never so here goes...

This little pied wagtail arises from a recent break in Wales, where we learnt that rain sounds a lot heavier when you are inside a caravan and that it is possible to barbecue in light drizzle, but only if you are prepared to be the starter course for the midges.

As always I carefully packed watercolours, sheets of lovely paper and even remembered the brushes this time but some how the chance to paint just didn't arise. I did however get around to a little embroidery doodling ...

The  rhododendrons at Beddgelert were in full bloom so with this unplanned palette of slate grey, deep pink and found wool (with the "bits" washed off!) I felt quite at one with the landscape.

This is how far we reached up Snowdon...

We poked around in search of gold but this find was treasure enough.

And we built a rather spendid castle...

[Pied Wagtail is available in my Folksy and Etsy shops]

Friday, 25 May 2012


there are corners of my garden that i really quite like
the rest is rather dull

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


and they did

anybody else pleased to see some shadows today?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Barra Bunting

I was initially rather sceptical about Twitter but I am gradually coming around to its good points, one of which was to bring the Barra Bunting project under my nose (I think via #cbuk). This is a lovely idea that invites anyone who has set foot on the island(s) of Barra and Vatersay (I use that plural ‘s’ with caution!) to contribute a flag to an ever-growing string of bunting. The first contributions are due to be displayed at the Barra and Vatersay Island Produce Show on 1 September 2012.
We visited Barra last year and it was the inspiration for a number of prints, including Oystercatchers, which I used as the basis for my bunting contribution.

Thinking back to this holiday reminded me of some favourite moments.
Cycling past the beautiful machair wild flowers on the way down to Vatersay
Watching the seals in Bagh Thiarabhage from our cottage
Watching small planes land on the beach at Barra Airport &
Eating spicy scallops in the Cafe Kisimul

You can find the details for the Barra Bunting project at and follow the project on twitter @barrabunting. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Morston Quay

We visited Morston Quay on a foul weather day and I was the only one who got out of the car. Which was a shame because it meant OH and son missed the eery clanking and whistling sounds made as chill wind cut around the masts of all the little boats. I really like this stretch of the North Norfolk coast where the landscape falls quickly from the rolling chalk hills down to "coast" road and its string of picturesque villages, then out onto the marshes before rising again over the dunes and finally, finally meeting the sea (and believe me it is a very long way to the sea!).

That quick visit to Morston Quay inspired this print. I hope we might return in more favourable weather conditions. Find out more about Morston Quay and Blakeney National Nature Reserve on the National Trust  pages .

Morston Quay - a two colour lino print available here and here.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Quay - work in progress

Phewee, another school holiday over, a whirlwind of travelling, walking, cycling, making, and the odd smidgeon of chocolate. It seems only yesterday that we were holed up out of the rain at Sandringham (the caravan site, not the royal residence) but we've been back a week now. That’s not to say that we didn’t have a very few good days on those stunning Norfolk beaches :) The sketch above is for a new print inspired by the marsh quays between Hunstanton and Wells.  

Monday, 9 April 2012


I've been working on something a bit different for my latest print. I've been feeling that sometimes the way I approach the processes of draughting a design then transferring it to the lino prevents opportunities for a more spontaneous creation. For this print I took the random positioning of 28 little lino circles as my starting point. I covered some stiff card with pva and then moved the lino dots around in the glue until the distribution felt right. I liked the combination of black and white with accents for red in my woodpecker and oystercatchers prints so used this again.

I then transferred the positions of the dots to a fresh sheet of lino so that I could cut out white space around them.  I wasn't sure at this stage where the design would go but i started to think about the way growing wood diverges and then envelopes around protruding twigs and branches.

I sketched in a few pencil lines but then let the cutting tools lead the carving.


Related Posts with Thumbnails