Friday

Coworth Cards

Just back from a MAGNIFICENT trip with lovely Jane O'Sullivan to St Ives, really inspiring and full of more sourdough bread than any one human really should have consumed. (Pssst - don't drive - we went by train and the views were spectacular!)

The best thing I saw whilst there was France-Lise Mcgum's BEAUTIFUL wall drawings at Tate St Ives, but there were so many other gems in galleries all over the place and the colours, light and textures of the town were wonderful.

Today I'm excited to share the four cards I was commissioned to create for Coworth Park (a beautiful hotel near Ascot and part of the Dorchester Group). They wanted four elegant cards that the manager could use to write personal messages to guests;
1. for general visits
2. birthdays
3. weddings
4. anniversaries

It was a lovely brief with free reign, and a project I REALLY enjoyed x

The design for the general card incorporates the beautiful mansion house building surrounded by its huge wildflower meadow (go and see it in June - it is SPECTACULAR). It's printed in black ink on thick, off white card with copper foiling to reflect the orange brand colours of the venue...




The birthday card has the Mansion House building with a series of foiled candles rising from the roof...


The wedding card depicts a tiered cake with the rings at the base, and a nod to the venues strong equestrian them (and the traditional wedding symbol) a horseshoe...



The anniversary card depicts the 'LOVE' custom built lighting feature in the bar area, along side the copper oak wreath in the ceiling of the restaurant...



It was such a treat to get to spend so much time in the hotel, and I loved working on these designs!
This weekend I'm spending time with my AWESOME nieces and nephews, so by Monday I hope to have learned some cool youth slang and have lost about 3 stone (roughly the quantity of sourdough inhaled in Cornwall) running around playing various ridiculous games! x

Thursday

The marvellous Rachna

HURRAH! I am now the proud owner of the MOST brilliant appliqued and hand embroidered wall hanging x


I collected it at the weekend by the GENIUS Rachna Garodia. We did a skills swap where I created a logo for her and she created this glorious piece for me.

I first met Rachna in 2014 when she got in touch to find out about drawing lessons, and I suggested that we didn't use money but spent the day together swapping our skills. I would teach her to draw and she could teach me to embroider. I had such a lovely time with her and really enjoyed myself.
Then she got in touch again a few months ago to ask me to create a logo for her, and I suggested we did the same thing again. I could create a logo for her and she could create something for me and she thought it was a really nice idea.


I asked her for a wall hanging ready for my new flat in Hove and she offered to make me something bespoke! SUCH a treat. I've always admired her embroidery of birds, (and since I'm currently working on a HUGE public art commission inspired by birdlife in South Gloucestershire) I asked for a portrait of me surrounded by birds.

I LOVE IT SOOOOOO MUCH - the embroidery on the birds is beautiful and I really love my glasses and nose ring




I visited her open studio in a beautiful old school...




and she had work in the group exhibition on the top floor...




I absolutely loved this project with Rachna, you should follow her on Instagram here...

It was a spectacular weekend - lovely Zerin had created a vegan afternoon tea/ crafting day on the Saturday and then Sunday I got to see Rachna at her studio and then went to the Serpentine show with Willa - highly recommend! 

This week I've been working on my project for Laverstock Salisbury. I've been commissioned by Barratt Homes to create a series of permanent artworks for a housing development and new country park. Part of the commission is to engage with the community, so I'm working with a local primary school (and inviting the brilliant Wessex Archaeology/ Wildlife Drawing and Same Sky Arts) to work with the students to create lanterns inspired by my proposed artwork for the development. We're going to process through the development on the evening of the Spring Equinox in March and I'm really excited!

This weekend I appear to have GIANT to do lists, no human could possible achieve all on the list (a small sample includes 'learn to crochet', 'embroider green dress' and 'bake a lemon cake') but I hope to do lots of creative stuff and feel really inspired by all Rachna's embroidery. Obviously the only urgent thing on the list is the cake and this will of course be prioritised and hastily devoured.

Have a lovely weekend whatever you're up to too x

Wednesday

Birdy sculptures

Eeeeeeeek! I did it...

I actually stopped fiddling with the life sized bird sculptures I've been working/ fretting on and posted them off to the fabricators (London Mouldmakers). I used roughly 7,000,000 miles of bubble wrap in a panic that they would all arrive with snapped tails and beaks but have since been assured they're all in one piece.

I made them from Sculpey (the same way I made the insects for the street benches at The Lexicon - see here) and baked them in the oven. Now they'll be cast and attached to the street name plates on the new Bellway Development in South Gloucestershire by the Essex wizards. The commission is all inspired by local birdlife and includes weathervanes, tiles and paving - thanks again to Studio Response for the marvellous project!








Last weekend I went to Tate Modern with the marvellous illustrator Sharon Farrow. We went to see the Ilya and Emilia Kabakov exhibition but I gossiped all the way through and took very little note of the show (yes, I am a deeply annoying person - I highly recommend you never visit any exhibitions with me.) I did however enjoy the giant swings on the ground floor - TOTALLY JOYOUS - highly recommend.

This weekend is full of marvellous things, I'm off to see wonderful Zerin (interior designer extraordinaire) for an afternoon of craft and cake. I am likely to spend the entire time talking, eating vast quantities of food and crafting very little haha, but I'm really looking forward to it. The next day I'm off to see Rachna at her open studios (we've been working on a skills exchange - I'm designing a logo for her and she's making me a wall hanging for my new flat in Hove - I CANNOT WAIT to share what we've been up to). Then off to see fabulous illustrator Willa Gebbie and visit the Rose Wylie show at the Serpentine. The visit will include cake and I will try to actually look at the art and not just gossip to Willa but no promises.

OK, I'm off for now, next week I should get the birdy tile samples so I'm hoping to share them with you soon, until then it's the usual drill - have fun, eat cake, hug friends x

Thursday

Weathervanes

Hiya all

This week has been another birdy one, working on the final artwork for the new Bellway Homes development in South Gloucestershire. I'm making weathervanes, tiles, paving and life sized bird sculptures that will sit on the street name plates (thanks again to Studio Response for the marvellous project!)

I'm so nearly, nearly, nearly there with the bird sculptures. They're all finished but I just cannot stop fiddling with them. I've promised the fabricator they'll be with him by the 1st Feb, so my fiddling days are numbered!

I thought I'd share the designs for the weathervanes today. I'm working with the brilliant Blackforge Art to create 2 x weathervanes. There's a community allotment on the development with 14 little sheds in two rows, and the weathervanes will be on top of two of the sheds, on opposite rows, on opposite ends.

Here's a mock up of the two designs (a falcon and a kestrel) - I can't wait to see them installed!




Have a lovely weekend (may it be full of croissants for you) xx

Frottage stones

Hiya

Cor, I had a lovely, gossipy time last weekend in Bath with my friend Carrie. We lived together all through our University years and it was SUCH a treat to spend the weekend together. There was much laughter, PJ's and buying little things for my new flat (HURRAH!).

This week I've sent three out of the four elements of the South Gloucestershire project to the fabricators. I'm creating all the artwork for a new Bellway Homes development, and after research I decided to make all the work about local birdlife. I'm making weathervanes, tiles, paving and life sized bird sculptures that will sit on the street name plates. The tiles, weathervanes and paving are all now at the fabricators so I can concentrate finishing the bird sculptures by the end of the month (currently 5 down - 3 to go!). Thanks again to Studio Response for the marvellous project!

I thought I'd share the designs for the frottage paving stones with you today. I've designed 3 x 60cm dia circular stones depicting which birds can be found in the different areas of the development; 1. the pond, 2. the allotments and 3. the play area. These stones have been designed so that people can take rubbings from them and take the pictures home. Huge thanks to Martyn Hayes (@Southglosbirds on Twitter) and Mya Rose Craig (@BirdgirlUK on Twitter) for their help and advice in selecting the appropriate birds for each element of this commission.

Here's the three designs ready to be blasted in stone:




Here's a small sample (made by the lovely folk at Scribble Stone in Yorkshire for me to check the concept and have a go at rubbing):



This weekend I'll need to work on Saturday, but then Sunday I'm off to Devon to see my glorious nieces. I'm looking forward to seeing the sea and embarking on a full day of their favourite make believe game called 'Teenagers'. It basically revolves around the three of us having mobile phones and multiple boyfriends - HA!

I'll be back next week - have fun till then x

Friday

First birdy sample...





Hi all

Phew what a week!...

I completed on the sale of my Surrey flat yesterday and..... drum roll.... I've bought a new flat in Brighton. Keeping EVERYTHING crossed that the sale goes through OK as it's a glorious, light filled top flat apartment right near a lovely park. E V E R Y T H I N G  I S   C R O S S E D. I'm so excited for a Spring move to live by the sea!

This week (other than excellent apartment shopping) I've been doing more work on the lovely South Glos project. I'm making weathervanes, tiles, paving and life sized bird sculptures that will sit on the street name plates across the new Bellway Homes Development (thanks to Studio Response!).

The cast for the goldfinch sculpture came back from London Mouldmakers and I LOVE him so I thought I'd share him with you here. I can't wait to see all eight birds cast and installed.

After such a crazy week I'm excited for a weekend away in Bath with my lovely friend Carrie, we have nothing planned but eating and chatting and it will be bliss.

Hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you get up to and I'll be back very soon xxx

Thursday

Illustrated box for Charbonnel & Walker





Hello and a very healthy, fun and Happy New Year to you! I'm feeling excited for what 2018 will bring for us all. 

I'm currently flat hunting by the seaside. Every time I visit Brighton I LOVE IT, so after a sad Autumn split from my partner, I've decided to be brave and make the BIG move. The sale on my Surrey flat completes (keeping EVERYTHING crossed!) next week, so I've booked NINE flat viewings - wish me luck!

This month (alongside flat shopping) I have A LOT of sculpture to do. I'm creating the final artwork for my public art project in South Gloucestershire with Bellway Homes and Studio Response, so I need to create 7 birds and 7 tiles eeek. I'm also planning the community consultation for my project in Salisbury with Barratt Homes, and creating illustrated blinds, maps and logos for a range of clients.

For now I'm excited to share my new commission for Charbonnel & Walker in collaboration with Dana Al Tuwarish.  Dana is one of the most successful social media influencers in Kuwait, sharing her love for fashion with 1.8 million followers on Instagram. I was inspired by her favourite flower, the lily and created the rough pencil sketch above to demonstrate my idea. Dana loved the rough, and wanted it just as it was. It was such a huge compliment to have my rough pencil sketch as the final artwork!

Have a fun week, enjoy polishing off the last of the Christmas snacks and I'll be back again very soon x