Exhibition Time

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*Exciting news* I now have the pleasure of inviting you to ‘There & Back Again: an explorative illustration exhibition’! Curated by the wonderful Drawn Chorus Collective and featuring the work of 30 artists, this is going to be a really good one!!!

It’s running from the 29th of August to the 3rd of September at Espacio Gallery in Bethnal Green with the private view taking place on the 31st. Do come along, bring your friends, kids and Victorian safari hat and give your eyeballs a treat!

Over the next few weeks i’ll be putting the finishing touches to my own work for the show, so watch this space for updates!

Moving House

owlstation_sketch from kitchen_2017

So after a bit of a moving house hiatus, I’m finally getting back to normal! It was a hectic first month in our new home, furiously adult-ing and trying to get everything set up and organised. Whilst a month with no home internet is refreshing in some ways, it did make life a bit trickier in others. I think I’d really taken for granted how useful it is to be able to just Google ‘this’ or check out ‘that’.

I often find during such transitional periods in my life that creativity can take a bit of a back seat. So I was very happy to finally have my new desk space up and running with everything in its right place. And to have my second monitor back which I’d missed like hell!

Here’s a snap of my new work station and above is a celebratory sketch I made from our new kitchen the day our internet was connected. It’s good to be back!

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Blossom Trees

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There are so many blossom trees in Clapham. I think nearly every street has at least one but most boast an impressive collection. There’s a variety of sizes, shapes and colours and for the next few weeks of Spring we’ll be able to enjoy them all. Soft pinks, vanillas, whites and creams with little specks of green leaves. They contrast against their dark branches and light up when viewed against a bright Spring sky. At night, they loom out of the dark like Christmas decorations that haven’t been taken down yet.

Sometimes I find that painting or drawing things that are naturally very pretty to begin with, such as flowers, can produce results that are a bit twee and boring. I made a quick Google search to see if I could find some blossom inspired artwork that managed to avoid this.

Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Almond Blossom’ (1890, shown below) are beautiful but still have a wildness to them. The branches are crooked and spiky. The flowers are delicate but they belong in nature, not to be put in a vase on a mantelpiece.

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I’m not overly familiar with the work of husband-and-wife illustration team Kozyndan but their bunny themed work is super popular and hard to miss. In Bunny Blossoms (2005, shown below), instead of flowers, tiny pink rabbits bloom from the branches. Apart from the fact that they are HELLA cute, they bring something unexpected and humorous to the piece which references traditional Japanese blossom artwork.

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Hanami, which translates as ‘flower viewing’, is the Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers (thanks Wikipedia!). From March to May the Sakura trees blossom all over Japan and people celebrate with outdoor parties, sometimes decorating the trees with paper lanterns.

‘Chiyoda Ooku Ohanami’ by Toyohara Chikanobu translates as ‘Cherry Blossoms Party at the Chiyoda Palace’ (1894, shown below). I love the elaborate clothes and bright splashes of red. You really get the sense that the people are enjoying playing underneath the blossom.

Toyohara Chikanobu_Chiyoda Ooku Ohanami

I made some experiments myself working from photos I took of the Clapham Hanami. I’m quite pleased with the results. I think it was a useful exercise, choosing to sketch something that I was unsure of and finding ways to tackle it to create drawings I was happy with. Wherever you are, I hope that you get to enjoy some blossom trees this Spring too!

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Bunny Blossoms by Kozyndan used in appreciation without permission
Almond Blossom by Vincent Van Gogh provided by the Van Gogh Museum
Chiyoda Ooku Ohanami by Toyohara Chikanobu via Wikipedia
All other photographs and sketches are my own.

Little Look Back

L is for Lepidoptera_Owlstation

It’s January and the start of a shiny new year already, it hardly seems possible! Before I get stuck into my new year drawlutions (drawing – resolutions, anyone? Oh dear..) I wanted to have a quick look back at December and 2015. The ‘Easy As’ show was a lot of fun. Seeing everyone’s beautiful alphabet artwork displayed together was brilliant. With a real mix of styles, colour and approach from each artist.

Meeting and collaborating with the talented Drawn Chorus Collective was a great experience. On a personal level it was lovely to be exhibiting again and creating a piece that would have a physical life. Whilst I love working on games and apps, it feels great to see my work printed and framed up every so often. In case you missed it, here is my illustration ‘L for Lepidoptera’ and some photos from the private view.

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I was lucky to work on some fantastic digital projects in 2015 such as Silverpoint. I got down to lots of sketching; including my Devon holiday and recent trip to Edinburgh (more on that soon!).

Moving from Brighton to London was a big change for me. It wasn’t until the tail end of the year that I really started to feel settled and get a feel for my own place in what can sometimes seem a daunting and isolating city. I now feel i’ve found my feet and am thrilled to be in such a happening space, with so many gigs, exhibitions and heaps of culture, plus meeting lovely people to boot. 2016 here we go!

Exhibition Time

I’m very happy to be able to invite you to the ‘Easy As’ book launch! Thanks to the lovely backers of our kickstarter campaign, this illustrative alphabet extravaganza (try saying that after a mulled wine or two) is being printed. I collaborated with the wonderful Drawn Chorus Collective for this project and was tasked with creating the letter ‘L’.

Easy As Exhibition

Featuring the work of 27 international illustrators, a popup shop stocked full of cards, prints and other goodies, plus the ‘Easy As’ book itself, this is shaping up to be a corker of an event. The show will be up from the 10th – 16th at Light Eye Mind gallery, London. I’ll be at the private view on the 11th so do come along and say hello!

Our Garden

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I started this sketch of our garden back in the spring. I wanted to study the shadows that were being cast by the stronger sun as the light began to change at the end of winter. It took a few lunchtime sessions to complete when the weather permitted and the light was the same. I finished the drawing in the early summer and rediscovered it recently when sorting through my sketchbooks. It was a useful experiment, i’d like to do more light studies soon to improve my drawings.