Journal

Thank you for stopping by. This online journal is where I’ll be posting my thoughts and updates on all things artsy and crafty.

Two things I won’t ever do in the dark again…

…1) use tweezers and 2) eat pistachio nuts. The first is obvious, it hurts. The second, because I found a dead crispy earwig burrowed inside one. Still, none of this has any relevance except it was a slightly more intriguing opener than me bleating on about how busy I have been over the past few months. I have been busy though. Too busy to write about being busy.

We watched the sunset, over the castle on the hill.

A few weeks ago Rob, an old friend from university asked whether I could create a print of Framlingham Castle in Suffolk.

Dartford Crossing – Kent & Essex

I guess the Dartford Crossing has a different meaning to people depending on which way they are heading. From the Monday morning blues driving to work, to that Friday feeling heading home. If it’s the former though you may not want this print hanging on your wall.

I heard my first lawn mower of the year

The glorious sound of a lawn mower confirmed what the busy birds have been trying to tell me for weeks. Spring has sprung. It was still light at 18:15 yesterday. My compulsion to comment on how light it is in the evenings will continue until June when talk will invariable turn to how the nights are drawing in. You can’t say I haven’t warned you.

Spring Sampler – 40 days of drawing

This lent, instead of giving up chocolate I am going to do a small drawing every day. Very small. Each drawing will fill a square tile measuring 45mm. By Easter time I will have filled in all the squares below and will hopefully have an A3 print of a Spring Sampler.

I’m loving all these painting programmes

I hope you’ve had a good week and that you’ve all been reunited with your wheelie bins. I’m still trying to work out what Taboo was all about. I really enjoyed it though. I would however, struggle to summarise the plot in an elevator pitch. Luckily for me I don’t foresee this ever being an issue.

The Cairngorms

A few things spurred me on to do a print of the Cairngorms this week…

Not a huge amount to say really…

My last blog post wished you all a happy New Year. It’s now the end of January so I thought I’d better get my finger out or risk looking a little slack. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t fare so well during the drab winter days.

Wishing you all a peaceful 2017

Blimey, 2016 was a bit much. Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe seemed to sum it up nicely for me. I’m hoping that 2017 will feel a little kinder. I am hoping that those of us who felt uneasy and unsettled during 2016 will make a difference in 2017. Small acts of kindness are never wasted and often spread much further than intended. Pepper your day with kind thoughts, good deeds and always leave some in the tank for yourself.

Last Christmas ordering – Sunday 18th Dec

A few months ago I posted about getting organised for Christmas. This year “I was going to be fully stocked up and ready”, I said. I had ordered plenty of postal tubes, bundles of bookmarks, reels of red ribbon and enough paper and ink to get me through the most busiest of times. Or so I thought.

Download some snowy wallpaper for free

If you fancy a snowy wallpaper to make you feel all christmassy then feel free to download my snowy scene of Whitby. It’s all free. As in life, there should be a size and shape to suit most of us. Options for Desktop/laptops/iPhone/iPad/Android. Fill your snow boots.

Creating just for the fun of it.

We often don’t get over the starting line with our ideas because we’ve imagined a million outcomes already, most of them pretty negative. But whatever ideas you have brewing make sure some of them see the light of day.

St Nicholas Chapel – St Ives – Cornwall

St Ives in Cornwall is very special to me. Yes, it was and still is very arty, but St Ives is the place where I planned my wedding sitting on the harbour beach. It was October, so not warm and I had a coffee and a crepe (and a future husband) to keep me company.

Buzz buzz buzz, busy bee…

It’s been a busy few months here and the bags under my eyes have gone Pantone 421. I’ve had one project after another with barely a pause for thought and whilst I’m not grumbling, it is good to come up for air every now and again to refuel.

Proud to be supporting ‘Ellie’s Friends’

I stumbled across Ellie Jeffrey’s blog Written Off back in 2011. Her beautifully written, painfully honest account of dealing with breast cancer at the age of 28 was a compelling and very emotional read. I was not lucky enough to have known Ellie in real life, but like so many of her readers I felt a genuine connection and I followed her journey with admiration.

My talk at Pecha Kucha, St Neots

When I was first asked to give a talk at a Pecha Kucha event in St Neots I initially said (very politely) no thank you. I was extremely proud to have been asked but the thought instantly filled me with dread. The cold sweat button inside me had been flicked and I made an instant snap decision. No.

40 feels good

Today I am 40 years old. I’ve had a wonderful day and I’ve been spoilt rotten by friends and family. I was clambered on early this morning by two excitable children eager to be the first to wish their mummy a happy birthday.

Whitby – North Yorkshire

I’ve had several requests for Whitby, many were from the same man (yes you Mr Townend) so here it is. I’ve been to Whitby a few times and it really is a beautiful place.

Knaresborough – North Yorkshire

Ever since I started creating these travel poster my brother has been saying I should do Knaresborough and I can see why, it’s a beautiful place. I even sent him there on a recce to take photos for me, cheers Ben. I’ve not been there myself yet, but I have plans.

Ipswich Town FC – Suffolk

Portman Road, the home of Ipswich Town FC. My first football stadium print and the first of many I hope. (Yes Andrew Luck, I’m building up to The Emirates 😉

British Virgin Islands

This print was a commission by a friend of mine, it was a surprise gift for his wife to celebrate their wedding anniversary. I loved working on this one, not just because I knew it was going to a lovely couple, but because it transported me to a place that I’ve never been to.

Dudley Castle – West Midlands

This was the view from my halls of residence. Not bad hey. I may have added a little glamour and left out the cable cars and zoo sign, but for two years I was lucky enough to see Dudley Castle from my bedroom window.

5 x Glastonbury A1 prints

I’m not ashamed to admit that I will be watching Glastonbury this year (22 – 26 June) from the comfort of my sofa. I will have easy access to cold running water, mini magnums on tap and the highest number of people in front of me in the toilet queue will be 3. Still, the reality is that I’d love to be there, knee deep in…music. Maybe next year.

Father’s Day competition

Summer is finally here. Sun cream and charcoal supplies have been replenished and I have teamed up with the award winning blogger The Yorkshire Dad to run a Father’s Day competition to win any print from my shop.

Biggles FM – it was fantabulous fun

I was a guest on my local radio station and I loved it. I really did.

I’ll be chatting away on BigglesFM…

Stay tuned pop pickers! I’m going to be live on BigglesFM Tuesday 24th May from 11am.

Roseberry Topping – North Yorkshire

Colour. It’s the most exciting part of the process for me; deciding on the mood, the tone, the spirit of the print. My favourite part of the day is dusk, it always has been. There’s a brief moment, when the sun is saying its final farewell as we turn our backs on it.

Alcossebre – Spain

My friend Jerry has been a bit poorly lately and hasn’t been able to get out as much as he’d like to. When life throws you stuff that you didn’t ask for you have to put your energies into the bits you can control.

Westland Lysander displaying at Shuttleworth

For those of you attending the airshow at the Shuttleworth Collection on Sunday 8th May keep an eye out for the Westland Lysander which features in my RAF Tempsford print. Plus the Red Arrows make their season premiere here too!

Busy, busy, busy

Hi folks, where is Spring? I’ve had it with this cold wind, I feel cheated and so do the birds in my garden, I can tell; they look sad.

Where are your happy places?

Happy places. We’ve all got them I guess, those special places that make us feel whole. Somewhere where we just feel right; the most authentic version of ourselves. Where we feel at home.

RAF Tempsford

Through my travel posters I try to to shine a light on the local landmarks and places we hold dear to us; and with that in mind it doesn’t get much better than this for me. Tempsford airfield is a stone’s throw from my house. It has a rich, dark and fascinating history that has been well documented in numerous books and films.

This one’s going to take a looong time…

I thought it might be nice to share something I am currently working on. Well, more like chipping away at really; I’m about 30% in.

A successful month at Mama’s!

I’ve been overwhelmed with the response to my artwork in Mama’s Coffee Shop. I’ve had such kind comments and I’ve even sold out of framed versions. I really wasn’t expecting that.

FREE butterflies colouring in 6″ x 4″

Last night the urge to draw another colouring in sheet washed over me. The last one was surprisingly popular and I’ve been meaning to draw another one for a while now.

Thank you Biggleswade Chronicle

Yay. My local paper The Biggleswade Chronicle have published an article about my art exhibition at Mama’s Coffee Shop. I’m chuffed to have made it into the paper and thanks to everyone who has been up to see the display already. I’ve had such lovely feedback.

Back to school (again) for art week

I was invited back to my local school to talk to Key Stage 1 about drawing as part of their art week. Once again I was so impressed at how enthusiastic and attentive the children were. I even stayed a bit longer this time and was able to watch the class have a go at drawing their own ‘doodle monsters’.

Art exhibition at Mama’s Coffee Shop, Sandy

And they’re up – my travel posters are all hanging together in the same room. Happy days. Thank you to Tracy at Mama’s for having me again, I really appreciate it. My work will be up for the whole of February so if you are local then please do take a peak. I’d love to know what you think.

Inspiring young talent

Last year I was contacted by a lovely lady who had seen my artwork displayed in Denby Dale Tea Rooms. She told me that her 12yr old son loves to visit the cafe with her and sit by my Emley Moor Mast print.

Please don’t close Huddersfield A&E

It galls me to think how hard we, the tax paying public have to fight to save the services that we hold dear to us. We hold them dear to us because they save lives, they save our precious family members, our cherished friends and all those strangers who are friends in waiting. A&E departments save lives.

Glastonbury print goes A1

I get a warm feeling when I hear from people who have bought or received my prints and it’s lovely when they send me pictures of them. This is the Glastonbury print at A1.

Hello 2016!

Happy new year to all my supporters. 2015 was an exciting year for me and like many of you, not without its bumps. I know the dents are what often gives us character but it can take a fair amount of hindsight before we come to see that.

The New York City Marathon

Starting at the Verrazano-Narrows bridge on Staten Island the New York Marathon winds its way through Brooklyn, Queens, skimming the Bronx and into Manhattan. What a route.

Southwold – Suffolk

Southwold – a firm favourite for family holidays, beachcombers and dog walkers. With its Grade II listed lighthouse, world famous Adnams Brewery and it’s traditional pier, Southwold is the perfect way to sample the delights of the British seaside.

Humber Bridge – Hessle – East Yorkshire

I do love a bridge; thankfully much easier to draw than build. The lady that suggested this one did so after buying one of my Emley Moor prints. I love getting ideas from people and hearing about the places that are special to them – it really does add something magical to my job.

My ‘lovebirds’ reached Australia

It’s a lovely feeling when you put something out there and it takes on a life of its own. A while back I did a little colouring in drawing called ‘lovebirds’ and offered it as a free download.

VW campervan

The iconic split screen VW campervan. A universal symbol of the free spirit, of bacon butties, campfires, and sunsets. And rain. And RAC membership.

Glastonbury Festival – Worthy Farm – Somerset

Glastonbury Festival – it means so many different things to people. Acceptance, belonging, escapism, rain. For many though it’s about the music and for this print I’ve tried to convey that sense of anticipation – that moment right before the headline act comes on.

Holy Island – Northumberland

What’s not to love about Holy Island. A place of peace, pilgrimage and solitude, the island of Lindisfarne is also home to some of Britain’s most treasured wildlife.

Denby Dale – West Yorkshire

My brother and his family live near Denby Dale and it is such a beautiful part of the country. I love the contrast between the stone walls and the beautiful countryside.