Saturday, 18 June 2022

Newly published designs

I'm very fortunate to still have designs licensed and published by Flamingo Paperie on a regular basis.  Here are a few that have been released in the last few months.  I particularly like the new 'Lemons' wrapping paper.

This card is called 'Four Little Boats' and is from a collograph I made several years ago.  I love how they have embossed the boats and the little fish.

These are two of my favourite new cards - Kingfisher in the Reeds (also embossed) and Long Tailed Tits.  The Long Tailed Tits design is from a new drypoint print which will be available at my Open Studios in July.

And finally, co-ordinating with the wrapping paper, is this citrusy notecard set; 'Oranges and Lemons'. They are all available from my website.

Bus Stop Competition Winner!

As usual, my blog posting has become very sporadic of late as I've been so busy.  So here's a quick update.  Back in February I was one of three winners of a competition, run by Milton Parish Council to design the artwork for three bus shelters that were being refurbished.  Everyone in the village was eligible to vote and my design called 'Wildlife in Milton Country Park' received the most votes.

Money to fund the project and pay our prize money came from a local housing developer. They were installed in April and we were featured in the Cambridge Independent Newspaper.  It was really exciting to see my artwork on such a large scale and I'm pleased to say it's received very positive feedback on the local social media platforms.

The other two winners were Chris Thomas and David May.

Friday, 11 March 2022

Black Squirrel

I've got very behind with blog posts recently as I've been so busy.  I've been working on some new designs and also experimenting with oil painting, which I'm really enjoying.  I'll begin by showing you this new card, which arrived today.  It features one of the melanistic black squirrel's that we have in our village of Milton, just north of Cambridge.

I've done a bit of research about them and they were first spotted in the wilds of Bedfordshire around 1912 and were believed to have been escapees from a private zoo, who had imported them as a curiosity from America.  They are in fact grey squirrels with a missing piece of DNA affecting their pigment gene.

They have gradually spread out as far as Cambridgeshire and we regularly have three visit our garden, now seeing them more frequently than the greys.  The card is a reproductions of my original drypoint print.  The texture of the fur was created using the à la poupée method, where one inks up the plate directly with the colour, almost like a mono-print.  The berries are chine collé; torn pieces of hand-coloured Japanese paper that adheres to the surface of the paper at the same time as printing.  The colour in the branches is straight forward watercolour!

Our village Post Office has been stocking my cards for almost a year now, so you can buy them there or directly from my shop.  Thanks to local photographer, David May, for the photo reference of the squirrel taken in Milton Country Park, which also featured on the cover of the Village View this month.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Ickworth House

At the end of September, I was really pleased to be contacted by the buyer at Ickworth House (NT), near Bury St Edmunds, about them stocking my designs.  We also discussed designing a bespoke card and coaster for them, as I have done for Anglesey Abbey, Wicken Fen and Houghton Mill.  So, in record time I delivered the finished product last week! See my Instagram highlights to see the full process.  They are also available from my website.

I am pleased to report that Wimpole Hall is hopefully placing an order soon and I am also working on a new design for them featuring their stunning walled garden.  So that will mean I am represented by all the National Trust shops in Cambridgeshire.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

September sketches

Swallow Cottage, Longtown

This year seems to be galloping by, apologies for no blog updates in September.  We had a lovely break celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  The first week was in Herefordshire. I even did some sketching as it was too hot to go out walking on some days.  The hill in the background is Offa's Dyke, which is the border with England and Wales. It was lovely to explore a part of the UK we hadn't visited before, with the added bonus of an Indian summer. A highlight was canoeing along the River Wye.  Our dog wasn't very impressed with going in a boat.

Shell Bay, Studland 

The second week, we stayed in Osmington Mills, Dorset, famous for the Smuggler's Inn, where we had two wonderful meals.  It was another lovely week with lots of walking. The Durdle Door coastal path walk was about 12 miles! We also visited Abbotsbury, Portland Bill, Weymouth and the stunning Studland Bay, overlooking Sandbanks in Poole.  

Friday, 13 August 2021

Bike Commission


I was really pleased to be asked to make these drypoint print 'portraits' of three bikes. The print was a surprise 50th birthday present for the husband of a customer.  They are his three favourite bikes; an orange Brompton, a fixed gear racer and LeMond in lemon and black.

I'm pleased to report that he loved them.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

It's a wrap!

My three weekends of Cambridge Open Studios are now over.  Thanks to everyone that visited, even in the rain and boiling hot weather. The new 'Sunlit Stipa' drypoint print went off to two new homes - the gold leaf was certainly eye-catching.

The framed Poppy Seed Heads (top left) and an unframed Silver Birch Trees (bottom left), also sold.

I also dug out a few oldies, such as this framed drypoint of 'Mangroves, Cape Tribulation', which was first printed in 2009.  It found a new home with a local photographer.  Several other prints and original paintings in the bargain browser also found people to love them.

A big hit were my new Oranges and Lemons tea towels.  Oranges in navy and Lemons in teal were the best sellers.  I will need to order more for my Christmas shows.

Footfall was definitely down this year, perhaps a number of reasons; no printed guide book combined with a hesitancy coming out when Covid levels are still quite high? My visitors were mostly from my mailing list or local to Milton, although there were quite a few that were new customers, which is always gratifying.