20 Ways to Draw books

The two 20 Ways to Draw books I illustrated are now available in several languages - including Dutch, Finnish, Polish, Italian, Korean and Japanese! There is also a version out of the Butterfly book called  "Draw 500 Winged Things" and one coming soon called "Draw 500 Amazing Sea Creatures".

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Zen Garden Colouring Book for Adults

31 colouring book pages on a Zen Garden theme. I worked on this during the summer - sadly there was no trip to Japan for research but I did spent two perfect afternoons drawing in the Japanese section at Howick Gardens in Northumberland and at the Japanese Garden at Redhill in Surrey. It will be published on the 11th of January 2016 and is part of a series of colouring books produced by Peter Pauper Press. Here it is for pre-order on Amazon.

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There will also be a weekly planner/diary available later next year. It runs from September 2016 - December 2017

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20 Ways to Draw a JellyFish

My second drawing book for Quarry Books was published last month. This one was all about sea creatures and I loved the opportunity to study sponges, anemones, rays, walruses and all sorts of sea creatures I didn't always know much about. The challenge of drawing each subject in 20 different styles or ways was also a really good exercise for me and has helped feed into my drawing since completing the book.

Editorial Illustrations for Bulletin Magazine

A recent illustration for Bulletin - a magazine for Speech and Language Therapists. It was a challenging article to illustrate about a woman who has the degenerative Huntingdon's Disease. I felt a huge responsibility to find a visual solution that wouldn't feel frivolous or flip. In a slightly abstract way I focused on the over all theme of the article  - the fastly diminishing extent and quality of her life but the continuing small gains and support she she was receiving .

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Paper Backgrounds for Origami Cars, Boats, Trains and More

I created the paper and card background sets for this fun origami book. I love working on this type of project.  As much as I love my main way of working, where I assemble my drawings on my computer, the opportunity to work with paper and scissors and the tactile and 3d approach is a good change of pace and approach. Like a little craft holiday!

Things from long ago still feeding in to my work

In the winter of 1990 I visited the Friars, a monastery near Aylesford in Kent. I was back, from au pairing in Paris, for a  weekend with my then boyfriend who was still a student at Maidstone College of Art where I'd graduated earlier that year. I still have a couple of faded postcards and I remember the visit, being captivated by the beautiful 60s mosaics and artwork and the jewel like candles....though I just as strongly remember going back to his student house in the afternoon rain to eat toasted crumpets and watch "One Man and his Dog".

I visited the Friars again this summer and was astounded afresh by it's beauty. If all the cells in our bodies are  constantly renewing themselves and we follow the concept that we are always becoming new....how can it be that some things from our past can leave such profound marks on our visual memories and also our souls (or what ever the "thing" in us that feels things profoundly is).

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I recently finished a book about the life of artist Samuel Palmer who in the early 1800s lived at the nearby village of Shoreham. I disciple of William Blake and painter of small magical, mostly overlooked at the time, paintings I first heard of him whilst a student. Our tutor of Cultural Studies,  Alan Young, introduced a very local and place specific awareness of art  which included making us aware of Palmer, a visit from artist, poet, musician, fascinatingly out of step Billy Childish (at that time probably still dating Tracey Emmin) and viewings of Powell and Pressburger films including "Canterbury Tales" set in the Second World War, in Kent and imbued with the history and magic of the area. 

The county of Kent to me now represents two very opposing images - a route to Dover by car and train, a highly populated area with some slightly shabby, run down coastal towns and in contrast an area of incredible rural beauty - hidden pockets of small woods and rolling hills, fields of hops and apple orchards and villages full of cottages with hollyhocks and post offices selling ice lollies on hot summer walks.

I can't explain it very well but it feels like under the outer views of the area there lies some sort of power cable of magic and energy which I can sometimes hook up to. I'm unsure if it truly exists or if it has just been created by stories and images planted their in my late 1980s art college days.

But I've felt it twice this year - lying in this orchard in May after a picnic lunch and again when stopping by my old college for a last look as it closed down this summer. Looking into the Printmaking Workshop, now empty of presses, where I spent most of my third year.

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And also now remembering, I think I caught a bit of it in a lithograph I did in that last year (1990). Drawn straight on to the zinc plate outdoors by a river near West Farleigh.

New Collage with fabrics

This year I've been trying to make time to explore paint and collage. I seem to have to do it in bursts else our kitchen table would never be clear. So I've tidied everything away again for now but these are the pieces I've made recently. Along with old printed papers I've used a mix of fabrics. Old items of clothes I loved too much to put in recycling - including a dusky pink camisole with grey blue birds and pink floral knickers!  I've also used some of my own designs that I'd had printed up by Spoonflower and fabrics that had been sitting in my sewing box for years waiting for a new life.

This one is a sort of "Collage Collage" as it is made of two fabric swatches (plus some paper collage) - and one was a digital collage and one was a traditional cut paper collage of a beautiful glove shop I visited in Lisbon. I then had both printed as fabric swatches which I then cut up and made this collage from so collage to fabric and back to collage.




Art Buyer Magazine

An ad and a piece of editorial in the BLE Preview section of Art Buyer Magazine's Autumn issue.

I will be at Brand Licensing Europe at Olympia, London Tuesday to Thursday this week. I'm  looking forward to meeting lots of new people - both visitors and fellow exhibitors - and spending three days standing up instead of sitting down and connecting with faces rather than screens!

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Lurzer's Archive Special "200 Best Illustrators Worldwide"

It sounds impressive but the reality of such titles is actually  "200 Best Illustrators Worldwide....from the selection of illustrators that submitted work"! However I do feel very happy to be included in this directory that comes out biennially. With illustrators featured coming from 39 different countries it seems like a truly international selection. And I feel incredibly honoured to be included amongst several illustrators I've long admired including Martin Haake, Andrew Bannecker, Olaf Hajek and Mark Smith. 

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Collaged Animals

I took a wonderful online course in collage recently run by Mati Rose. It was over five weeks and each week was themed. These are my pieces from the week called "Creatures". I absolutely love working with paint and collage and would happily do it all day long.

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