I still think it’s so cool that they found Endurance after all these years! Waiting, hidden under the ice, in the depths of Weddell Sea. The wreck was uncovered on the 5th of March 2022, which also happened to be the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s funeral! Apparently she’s in pretty good nick and looking much the same as she did in the final footage taken of her by Frank Hurley in 1915, just before she sank.
I’m fascinated by Antarctic exploration. Particularly so by Shackleton’s famous expedition which inspired my work for our Drawn Chorus Exhibition ‘There and Back Again’ in 2017 (you can check it out here on my website if you missed it!). I might have to revisit the Endurance in my illustrations once more, especially now she’s home to a variety of ethereal deep sea creatures that would be awesome to draw!
As she was found in Antarctic waters, there she will remain! The wreck is now a designated monument under the Antarctic treaty and cannot be disturbed or moved. The search was carried out by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, who used a South African Icebreaker ‘Agulhas II’ and submersible technology to discover Endurance. Her name and star are still clearly visible 107 years after she was lost. What an incredible find!
Video by ABC News shared here without permission. Illustration by Owlstation.
Finally, number four of the four illustrations I created for the Words to Live By exhibition ‘Get Home In Time For Tea’. The sentiment here being that after your day of adventuring, it’s important to wend your way back to your cosy Hobbit hole or campfire to enjoy a hot brew…and that it will taste all the more delicious after the fresh air and fun you’ve enjoyed on your escapades to the mountains, sea and forest.
It’s a concept I’d like to play around a bit more with in future illustrations. I really love the connection between nature and the outdoors and how it feels when you settle down to a cup of tea after being outside. Or indeed having a tea whilst out in nature. The comfort from the warmth of the cup and how it restores and revives you. Biscuits or cake to be included in this ritual whenever possible of course.
In the next post I’ll share the final, framed piece and a few snaps from the show itself before we move on to talk about some other things. In the meantime, get that kettle on! 🙂
I haven’t had too much forest time lately but will aim to put that right in February. There’s something very vital about getting out under the trees, jumping over logs and generally frolicking about like an excitable fool in the woods. This is the third of four illustrations I created for the Drawn Chorus ‘Words to Live By’ show (do check out my previous posts if you missed the first and second!).
I hadn’t left myself much time to create my submissions for the show and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make something I was happy with before the deadline. I have a tendency to move very slowly and be a bit of a perfectionist when creating personal work if left to my own devices.
So this show actually proved to be a really good challenge for me as I had to just let go and keep moving in order to get the work done. And as it goes, I was pretty happy with what I produced. Sometimes ‘done’ is much better than ‘perfect’ and can get you further and more quickly than obsessing over details and re-hashing things that already work. Something for me to remember for the next show and coming projects anyway!
Here’s the second of four illustrations that I created for our Drawn Chorus exhibition ‘Words to Live By’. Swimming in the sea is something that I will definitely be doing a lot of this Spring and Summer now that I’m living back by the coast. Though I will be waiting until the average water temperature gets just that bit warmer… I’m a fair weather swimmer, that’s just how it is! I’ve a huge amount of respect for the brave souls I see venturing in at this time of year though. It’s such a lovely thing to see so many happy people bobbing up and down in the water, even in icy January.
I used watercolours, conte crayons and 8B pencil for this piece. I imagined that the bather is the same figure from the previous ‘Visit the Mountains’ illustration, hence the same red hat and boots that are stashed on the nearby rocks while they relax in the water.
Happy New Year friends! I hope that you had nice Winter breaks and kept cosy and snug. I enjoyed my annual, festive hibernation and am feeling rejuvenated for 2022. Though I’ve not made any firm resolutions, there are a few things I’m hoping to do and that I’d like to achieve this year. ‘Visit the Mountains’ being very much on the to do list (I haven’t decided which mountains yet, but I’ll keep you posted!). The above illustration is one of four that I created for our Drawn Chorus show ‘Words to Live By’ back in November. I’ll share the other three over the coming weeks and a bit more from the show itself, so stay tuned for that.
Other than mountains, I’d like to…visit the countryside more, hopefully manage a little trip abroad, continue to work on my drawing skills (and explore my style), see my friends and family and…try really hard to get my new website sorted! But, also remember to be gentle with myself and that if I manage some, none or all of the things that I’m hoping for, then that’s okay (feel free to remind me of this in a few months time!). Is there anything that you would like to do this year, big or small or that you’re looking forward to? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Let me know so I can steal your inspiration! Have you enjoyed a particularly good book? Perhaps you got sucked into a new game? Maybe you went to a really good art exhibition… I’d love to know! I’ve been finding my way back to inspiration this Autumn after a fun but hectic Summer, so would be glad to hear what, if anything has been lighting up your creative fires. By way of trade, here’s three things that I’ve been getting a kick out of lately:
1. Book: The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews, a fictional recounting of 19 year old Erin’s journey to Denali National Park, Alaska. Her inner monologues laced with feminism, self awareness, science and history are a joy to read.
2. Documentary: The Lord of The Rings ‘Making Of’, this very lo fi, behind the scenes, making of film is very entertaining. I for one can never get enough of LOTR, so a bonus dose of props, actors and New Zealand was most welcome!
3. Game: The Outer Wilds by Annapurna Interactive & Mobius Digital, is terrifying and awe inspiring in equal measure. Outer Space exploration combined with made up mythology, thrilling stuff!
So there you go, I’ve told you mine, now tell me yours…
I’m very excited to to announce that I’ll be taking in part in the new Drawn Chorus Collective show ‘Words To Live By’! The show will feature the gorgeous work of a host of talented collective members plus our awesome guest artists. From illuminated wordplay to typographical personal mantras and gilded sign writing, the show will celebrate the combining of text and image across a wide range of mediums.
If you’re in London town between the 15th and 21st of November, do come along to the Espacio Gallery on Bethnal Green Road and say hello. There’s going to be a popup shop too, if you’re looking for a few Xmas treats. I’ll have some Owlstation Store goodies there at special show prices (come bag yourself a bargain!).
Aside from my excitement of actually being part of a real, physical, IRL show again…I’m just so looking forward to seeing some art for the first time in forever! The Private View will take place on Thursday 18th 6pm – 9pm, I’ll hope to see you there.
The scenes in the show depicted the Edo period of 19th century Japan and offered a window into an unbelievably magical world…luminous full moons, bustling night markets, villages frozen in snow, sumptuous patterns and clothing…
The images really capture the imagination and draw you in, as if you could follow the traveller down the printed path and on to the distant mountains on the horizon. Here’s a small selection of some of my favourites, their titles listed at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Images shared here without permission. Titles in order of display: 1. Carrying the Mask to the Fair by Moonlight by Utagawa Hiroshige c1823 2. Snow at Tsukahara by Kuniyoshi Ichiyusai 1831 3. Picture of the Lake Hakone by Utagawa Hiroshige 1833-34 4. Station 46 Kameyama, Clear Weather after Snow by Utagawa Hiroshige 1833-34 5. The Hat Shop Seki by Utagawa Hiroshige
As a long time fan of Tove Jansson’s illustrations, seeing the exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery before it closed was a big treat. Though the Moomins took centre stage, there was an excellent variety of her work on display.
Watercolours and drawings from Tove’s illustrated versions of Alice in Wonderland and The Hobbit. Large oil-painted self portraits and abstracts. Also a selection of her political cartoons and magazine covers, some of which were created during the Second World War. There was even a series of models, like this one of Snufkin (below) that I took the opportunity to sketch!
However, what I enjoyed most about this exhibition was the touch of insight it gave me into Tove’s creative process. Evidence of pencil lines not quite rubbed out underneath delicate ink work. Some barely perceptible tippex-like corrections on typography. Roughs and layout sketches shown next to final versions. I noticed that a few of the watercolours had sections which appear to have been carefully cut out, perhaps by scalpel, and removed or replaced with a new layer of card fixed precisely in place over the top.
It was very heartening to see these little human touches and imagine that even my illustration heroes made/make changes and tweaks to improve their work. That things don’t always come out perfectly first time and that there are many different ways to create. It’s all part of the process and one that we don’t always get to see – especially in today’s slick, Photoshop world.
I love it when illustrators share what goes on behind the scenes and how they make their work. I’ll be sure to share more of my creative process this year too!
The above Tove Jansson Illustration from Alice In Wonderland is used here without permission via Pinterest.
I’m super chuffed to announce that I have joined the ranks of the Drawn Chorus Collective; a lovely group of illustrators and artists dedicated to making cool things! After meeting them by chance on Twitter a couple of years ago, I’ve enjoyed discovering each member’s work through their exciting exhibitions, books, comics and gorgeous instagram.
Working with them as a guest artist for the ‘Easy As’ alphabet book and the recent ‘There & Back Again’ show has really helped me to push my illustration skills and to learn the ins and outs of preparing work for an exhibition. I’m excited to see where they take me next and to be part of a drawing gang!