Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Milton Advent Windows

Somewhat rashly I volunteered to take part in the Milton Village Advent Windows community project, founded this year by Kathleen English, a member of All Saints Church.  She was looking for people in the village to decorate their front windows on a given day during advent.  The idea being that the whereabouts of each window would be publicised and villagers could have an evening stroll, with the added bonus of spotting a beautifully lit window.

I decided to take on "A Partridge in a Pear Tree" and spent far too long (possibly 12 hours) cutting up cardboard and tissue paper to create our window, which 'opened' on 1st December.  I will keep it lit up every day from 4pm until 24th December, when I'm sure the dog will be delighted to see passers-by from the window once again!

This year I haven't had my usual Christmas shows so had a bit more time to spend making a mess in our dining room. It was quite a challenge as I don't usually work on such a large scale.  I've had people ask if I'll be doing "Two Turtle Doves" next year, but I'll have to see if we are 'back to normal' with events.  Thanks to everyone who has visited and sent me kind messages.  I was also interviewed live on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this morning, which was quite a surprise, with 15 minutes notice.  We are in Hall End, Milton, if you'd like to pop by.

Top and bottom windows viewed from the road

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

New products

I never get tired of seeing my new designs in print.  This month I have three new things to show you. Firstly this rather posh looking embossed card of my original Honesty print.  It's titled Lunaria (the Latin name for the purple flowering, silver-skinned oval-seed producing plant). It's just £2 available here.

Next I have this really sophisticated card with shining gold foil.  It's called Love Heart with Golden Birds, also £2 from my shop.  This one is a larger format, being 6" square.

Lastly, a new wrapping paper featuring on trend Monstera Leaves.  Did you have a plant like this in the 70's, do you have one now?  Also known as cheese plants, I'm guessing because they have holes like some cheeses?  A sheet of folded wrap is £1.50 and the matching tags are just £2 for five.  See the wrapping paper section of my website, where there are now seven different designs to browse.

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Bird Houses Advent Card

I've had the idea for this design in my head for ages, so it's great to finally see it in print.  A few years ago I designed a Beach Hut Advent Calendar and I wanted to design something which had a similar feel.  The artwork for the Bird Houses was done full sized but the publishers, Flamingo Paperie, printed it as an advent card.  Although disappointed at first, it actually means a lot more people will be able to see it, as posting is easier and they are only £3, available from my website.  I thought I'd ordered plenty, but they sold out in a day, so I've now stocked up with lots more and hope to have enough to go round.  Look out for two cheeky visitors who have cosied up in one of the bird boxes.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Wrapping Paper


Website update: Christmas stock and three of my wrapping paper designs are now available from my online SHOP - there are also matching packs of tags.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Winter Waxings

I've been working on a new card design and couldn't decide between having snow or no snow, so I'm having some of each printed.  They will be available on my website from 22nd October.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

August Update

Where is the year going? We are already over half way through August!  My last post was about Open Studios, we weren't sure how it was going to go or if anyone was going to turn up...however we needn't have worried as I had pretty much the same number of visitors as a 'normal' year.  Many thanks to my mailing list customers, friends and local villagers who came along.

I sold four framed prints including my favourite 'Ede's Sprial', so that's always exciting to see things go to good homes.  Emily also sold well and has had work taken by Wildwood Gallery in Bury St Edmunds.

Social distancing was pretty easy to observe, I'd leave the studio to allow each family group to look around on their own.  If others came along, they were happy to look around the gazebo.  We had perfect weather apart from the second Saturday afternoon, when the heavens opened and I had to supply my visitors with umbrellas, to return at a later date. The new opening hours of 10-5 worked well and I hope when the 'real' COS returns next year, they will adopt the new hours too.

The four framed prints that went to new homes

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Open Studio

As mentioned in my previous post, the official Cambridge Open Studios has been cancelled for this year but I've decided to open my garden studio every day from 18th - 26th July.  For the first time, I will also have work on show by my daughter, Emily Cooper.  She was supposed to graduate from UWE this year and we're waiting with baited breath to hear her grade for her degree in Illustration (update: she got a First).

I hope you can make it.  Follow my Instagram page for updates and to see photos once we are all set up.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Orange Grove

Despite not having the usual goals to work towards such as Cambridge Open Studios, I'm still working away.  I've recently finished this new drypoint print with chine-collĂ©.  It's an imagined seen of sparrows hopping around in an orange tree.  It reminds me of sunny holidays in the Med.  I'm told they can't be Italian sparrows as they look quite different to other European sparrows, so I'm thinking more Spanish or Greek.

I've used chine-collĂ© before on the sold out 'Rich Pickings' drypoint.  Using hand-made Japanese paper, I paint it the colour I need, then tear them into shapes, in this case oranges.  After inking and wiping the drypoint plate I place the 'oranges' face down on the plate with the glued side facing up.  The etching paper is placed on top and rolled through my press.  The outline and oranges are transferred to the paper.  Once the ink is dry I hand colour each print with watercolour.  I've printed five so far and coloured three, one of which is already sold.
Here's a mock-up of how it could look framed in a room setting.  I'm using a new App called InSituArtRoom which has been fun to use.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Challenging Times

Well where do I start? So much has changed since my last post.  I hope everyone is well and coping OK with these strange times we all find ourselves.

Work-wise not a great deal has changed for me as I'm able to retreat to my garden studio and potter around.  However some days I just can't focus properly and at the end of some days I don't feel I've achieved very much, but I'm OK with that.  Cambridge Open Studios has been cancelled in July and all my usual outlets, shops and galleries are closed.  However I have added more card designs to my website and have been getting more online orders with free delivery to local people. 

The biggest challenge for me is that my beloved Dad passed away suddenly on 22nd March, aged 84. Thankfully it wasn't virus related.  There's a post about him on my Instagram page if you want to read more about him.  Here he is last August, helping me put stickers on the back of my coasters.  I'm very lucky to have had such a lovely kind dad for so long and he's greatly missed by all the family.

Talking of family, we are back to having a full house with both children returning from university.  Emily is in her final year of studying Illustration at UWE, Bristol, so that has come to a grinding halt and she's keeping herself busy with producing work to sell from her website and also working part-time packing up online orders at Cambridge Contemporary Art.  If restrictions are lifted I may do a small scale Open Studios at the end of July also showcasing Emily's work which she wasn't able to exhibit at her degree show.

Dan is back from Sheffield Uni and is studying hard for exams which start soon (Aerospace Engineering - brains from me clearly).  We only know he's home as things keep disappearing from the fridge!

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Curlew - relief print

After a lovely day trip to RSPB Titchwell Marsh on Sunday, with the most amazing double rainbow, I was inspired to produce a print of the wading birds to add to my relief print collection.

We saw Godwit, Redshank, Avocet and Curlew but I settled on the Curlew as I love their curving beak, perfect for probing into the thick mud left by the outgoing tide.

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out and it makes a great addition to the other three in the set.  All are editions of 50 and available here.
Blue Tit, Wren, Avocet and Curlew
Here are a few images to show the carving process.  I use 'Speedy Carve' by Speedball and carve with a scalpel and lino tool.

Friday, 6 March 2020

New Stockist - Wildwood Gallery

This week Kevin Youngman from Wildwood Gallery in Bury St Edmunds contacted me about supplying their recently re-opened gallery.  I first met Kevin at Art Fair East in Norwich last November when I bought a painting from Kevin Southgate with whom he was sharing a stand and who also exhibits at Wildwood.

It's so satisfying to now be able to invite people to see my work in my new studio setting.  I can't tell you what a difference it's made to how I feel as a professional artist to have this space to show my work properly and be able to talk about the materials and techniques I use.  My lovely etching press is always the star of the space.

Kevin selected three framed prints, photos from their gallery; Stone Circle (one of my favourite paper collograph/drypoint prints and the last one in the edition of just five), Pebbles II and Vessels III (print based on ceramic pieces by Katharina Klug).  Plus nineteen of my unframed prints, so they have a good selection.

Wildwood Gallery also offers a bespoke framing service which they established in 2002.  Anita Klein, whose work I've admired for a long time, is a client and also exhibits with the gallery.  I look forward to going to visit the gallery in person very soon.  Details of opening times on my Stockists page.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Seed Heads - wrapping paper

Well, it's been a challenging start to 2020 for me, hence the lack of posts so far.  My Dad has been very ill since 10th December but finally seems to be on the road to recovery.  It's taken a great deal of my time and energy, which I don't begrudge in any way.  I'm just grateful he's pulled through and I'm lucky to have a flexible job that allows me to take time off if needed. 

However I am finding it hard getting back into things after so long out of the studio.  So will start by posting this new wrapping paper I designed for Flamingo Paperie.  It's printed on a lovely gunmetal grey paper with 'chalk' outlines of agapanthus and poppy seed heads.