Thursday, 6 May 2010

A day in May

OK – so it’s nearly time for the Late Shows (14th & 15th May)- I’ll be pottering about the studio, chatting to people with cake and tea on hand both evenings. The Late Shows will be more like an open day than anything, where as Open Studios we tend to turn the place into a bit of a gallery. There will still be work scattered about but in a more relaxed setting where people can come in, chat to the artists and have a glass of wine.


The Giant birthday card for the City Library is exciting stuff. I’ll be using all kinds of things to put it all together. I’ll be using pages from old books to cover the front and back, because I think the antiquated textures will compliment the beautiful modern feel of the City Librarybuilding. There will be a big birthday cake illustration, which I am currently working on. I’ll be turning books into the typography, so it will be sculptural and in relief.


Yellow Fields have asked me to illustrate a logo for a range of dressings they are bringing out. The illustration is based on a drawing by the chef’s young daughter so it will be very cute and pretty when its finished.


I’ve also got Mark in today, as per usual on Thursdays. Mark is a graphic designer who graduated university in 2009 and is just starting up as a freelancer. He volunteers here once a week to help me out and hopefully get a bit experience. We worked together to on a leaflet for a river Tyne audio walk.  I illustrated a map of Newcastle Quayside and the surrounding area and Mark sorted the layout and the cover page of the leaflet. It seems to work well becauseMark’s a clean designer where as I’m a messy illustrator so the styles compliment and contrast.

Check out Mark’s work here.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Well I’m blogging from my bed as I have a stinking cold…. just heard the ice-cream van but was too slow and groggy to get out of bed- gutted!

In my cold fog I have been working on illustrations for the Tyneside cinema


I’ve loved drawing the 50’s vehicles & clothing and using the 30’s décor of the building.  My friend Ali is a real trainspotter, (yes they exist,) so when I was wondering which train the camera man would have been travelling up and down the country on in 1952 I knew exactly who to ask.  He recommended this lovely video and it really struck home the pride and workmanship involved, and the associated glamour of train travel that you just don’t get on the metro nowadays, young fella me lad! The train of the time was a Gresley A4 (now I’m in the know,) from about 3 minutes in.


I bought some lovely cushions and a bag from the appliqué exhibition at the mushroom works- delicious!  I might have to scan the fabric and use it in an illustration sometime.

 I’m excited about a couple of new projects I’m starting this week – one is to make a giant birthday card to celebrate the first birthday of the City Library…  Lots to figure out– should be a whopper and keep me very busy…it will be on display at the blue box entrance in early June to celebrate one year since the opening but getting started this week before I get too big!!!




Friday, 26 March 2010

This week seems to have flown by, probably because I had a couple of days in the Yorkshire Dales and a long weekend.

We stayed in a rather snug and lovely hotel and I was very impressed by the curtains! I Sense a drawing coming on.

It was a sad day yesterday because Lara left the Mushroom Works Studios to go work for the Arts Council…but she brought a few treats to cheer us up.

I gave her this tea pot and cups but it almost killed me to hand it over to her, as I love it so much myself. I have teapot envy.

My new brochure is supposed to be being printed as we speak but yet again I have heard nothing from the printers… I won’t name and shame them but hopefully by next blog I can have a completed one packaged off and ready to send out when I am back from maternity

I noticed this lovely blog by Emma Block…delicious work, am a bit jealous, especially of the stag with birds on his horns!....I wonder how you get a blog looking sexy, with an image banner...may need to investigate.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

all work and no play

Hello- Am busy with the Tyneside Cinema commissions and went sketching there on Tuesday. Whenever I have lots of commissioned work on I always get freedom envy and can’t wait to get some stories of my own and self initiated artwork down on paper… Don’t know where all the time goes…Maybe I spend too much time drooling at the beautiful work and lovely website by Jenny Sue Kostecki Shaw. (Three of her images are posted below.)

Everything seemed so beautiful I wanted to eat it with my eyes…Even though I have a whole bag of Jelly Tots and some Tooty Fruities in front of me to compensate for working on a Saturday.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Happy Happy Birthday

Blogging a bit earlier this week because I am thinking of having a day off tomorrow in honour of a birthday long weekend! Feel like I haven’t had a proper day off in ages…but I probably have had quite a few.

Had a few extra pirates to do last week… I really like bits of them but I’m wondering if I should try limiting my colours a bit, because I’ve found recently that I like the initial line drawings more than the finished pieces…I wonder if the lines get lost in the colour and textures. …Hmmm.

I did a useful Illustrator course with Bettina Nissan at the Mushroom Works. (Another bargain from Cleveland College- 35 squid) Check out her work its clever and quirky but very stylish and beautifully produced. Really fancy a Gils Bowl…Matt are you listening, it is nearly my birthday?

I found out last week that Rob Walton and I have been chosen to write and illustrate some stories for The Tyneside Cinema. I have had a great time researching, which included a tour of the beautifully restored building and listening to recollections of ‘Cinema Memories’ by people who used to visit the cinema in its heyday of the 40’s and 50’s. I’m very excited about the drawings for this and will be sure to put up some sketches!

Saturday, 20 February 2010


I did a wee Wacom course recently at Cleveland College and thought I would put up some of the results.  I wanted to see what levels of wonkiness you could get in the lines and if they could replace my trusty brush pens…. well now and again!

Luckily we could try a few different models – the swimmer, who I think is a very happy wee soul, was done on a lesser model and the line experiments and the piggy were done on a super dooper version (that the techie teacher was getting very excited about).

I was really impressed with how much shape you could get in a line and the pressure sensitivity… Maybe I will get a new toy to play with.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Hello again. Yesterday Mark (who comes in on Thursdays) and I were doing a wee bit of work for Helen, from Zed"Said" who is off to Russia soon...The cow and rabbit characters were made by people in Russia for Oxfam...Could be the start of an exciting book project?!

...Actually I spent much of Monday and Tuesday being unproductive as I was getting excited

(and nervous) for our baby scan on Wednesday. All was well and I was overwhelmed by cuteness at the baby grows we went to look at afterwards. Check out What Kids Want for the lovely patterns and colours …I wish they made clothes my sizes like that.



I love this large-scale piece on card (I did a while ago now) …not just because it features Matt. I think I will have to do a complimentary piece that features ‘beaker’ when he/she is born…

We had a lovely time seeing pirates last Friday and Shoofly are looking to launch the final resource very soon. Thought I'd put up a couple more images for you to see. Anyway over and out, roger fox trot Juliet bravo.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Goodbye January Blues

Ok ... So I've been a bit slow on the blogging front, but my new years resolution is to blog blog blog! ...I must just be shy?


I’m so glad it's February, even though it keeps snowing, I feel like January vanished into a puff of pic n' mix and Jane Austin DVD's. It has been so cold and miserable in the 'shroom - an old Weslyan chapel that Joanne and I had to make our own double glazing...


Bubble wraps not pretty, but it stops the draft. Luckily Jo's summery seaside scenes remind us the light nights are coming.

Ok so I did get some work done in January. I had a

commission to draw some children's shoes- so thanks to Millie and Martha for their very cute and well loved first shoes... I have sketchbooks full of shoe ideas and

would love to do some hand printed posters based on them...



I've also been working on an illustrated map that is driving me slightly mad favourite bit is the fishy river ...but it has a long way to go before its functional!

Just Starting to think about the 'Home Sweet Home' exhibition, as I'd like to continue with my love food collages...thinking about boiled eggs as lovely subject matter...

...But Liam has been in and distracting me being silly and I can't work out if he has shrunk (even more) or if a loo roll has grown?


Set of Drawers (my illustration gang) are going to see the results of our pirate labour tonight at shoofly - I can't wait to see how all our work looks together and to see it wiggle and here the poems. The narrator is brilliant- hopefully I'll link it soon if I'm allowed. But will put some photos up next week.

Over and out.