Open House

Hello! It’s been a while since I last posted, I’ve been busily getting ready for our open house, www.thebirdhousehove.co.uk. Open houses are part of the Brighton Festival, open for four weekends in May, with over 200 houses and studios being open to the public. Look at some art, have a nose at a house, what’s not to like..AND lots of them have cake!!

We have 5 artists showing in our house. We have the amazing Chrissie Davies, ‘Little bird creations’ whose machine embroideries are stunning.

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Helen Locke (also my sister-in -law) screen printing whizz

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Anne Maxfield, beautiful handmade bags, cushions and quilts (and my mum).

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Leigh Hodgkinson illustrator extraordinaire, showing prints, spoon dollies,snippy sew kits and badges.

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And last, but not least, me. I am showing some screenprints, giclee prints, badges,notebooks, cards and temporary tattoos!!

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Come and see us, we have cake!!

Bird Bath Birds.

This was a black and white project started late summer last year. I was approached by the marvellous Matthew Sheret to do a series of drawings of British birds for Berg‘s Little Printer. After discussions with Matt, I hit upon the idea of birds at a bird bath.

‘Little Printer’ is a cute little internet printer for your home, a thermal printer for techno people. After a few experiments, we discovered that it didn’t like my usual dip pen line, so I produced two sets of everything, one in dip pen, shown here, and the other in a black pen for the printer. I have shown some on twitter and this blog, but here are the set in their entirety. Including the few that didn’t make it, as they didn’t reproduce well.

They are being released 1 a week, so you can still sign up for them if you have a Little Printer.

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Grey Heron (Ardea Cinerea), it can move at lightening speed when it wants to.

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This is how it printed on ‘Little Printer’.

 

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Robin (Erithacus Rubecula), a gardeners friend.

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Red Legged Partridge (Alectoris Rufa), an elegant attractive bird,with bright red legs(funny that!) and beak.

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Pigeon, even in the cold they co-operate with each other and readily accept outsiders to the flock.

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Thrush (Turdus Philomelos), known for it’s habit of smashing the shells of snails to get at their bodies.

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Mute Swan (Cygnus Olor), Pure elegance.Makes strangled trumpeting, snorting and hissing noises.

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Wren (Troglodytes Troglodytes), has an amazingly loud voice for one so small.

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Greylag Geese (Anser Anser), known for its loud clattering and honking.

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Blue Tit (Cyanistes Caeruleus) it’s acrobatic skills make it a firm garden favourite.

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Magpie (Pica Pica), it has a fondness for eating bird eggs and chicks. Likes shiny things. Bit of a bully.

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Snipe (Gallinago Gallinago), feeds in areas where soft oozy mud lets it probe for food with its extremely long beak.

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Owl (Tyto Alba), often seen by day, especially when feeding it’s young.

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Starlings (Sturnus Vulgaris), a common, noisy, social but quarrelsome bird.

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This was a lot of fun to work on, some of theses characters have taken on a life of their own. I’m not sure where they’ll be reappearing next, but this isn’t the last of them…

Advent calendar.

Hello! I decided rather late on to do some illustrations for an advent calendar (it’s #adventcatchup on twitter). So I have been catching up, but its been fun thinking up new things each day. So here they are so far..

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Day 2.

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Day 3.

Advent 3 Robin

Day 4.

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Day 5.

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Day 6.

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Day 7.

Advent 7

Day 8.

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Day 9.

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Day 10.

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Day 11.

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Day 12.

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That’s all for now.. hope they make you feel Christmassy.

Some Fabric Birds

I was approached a while back by a lovely lady who really liked my ‘Love Birds’ print (over on my Folksy shop) and wanted it on fabric. I wasn’t able to print it myself and so began an exciting discovery of places that print fabric and how you go about it. Its been a massive learning curve, but very enjoyable and something I am very interested in exploring in the future.

I had no idea about ’tiling’ or how to put together a repeat, and so I armed myself with a great book ‘A Field Guide To Fabric Design’ by Kimberly Kight  and learnt from there. It was a very useful book and I can heartily recommend it. Not being particularly techy I started by playing with photocopies and from there realised that I needed something to fill in the big spaces, a second ‘pattern’ was created and added. I’m sure it’s much easier to do it digitally, but I needed to physically play with it.

This is a picture of the very reduced photocopy of the print, so I could play with the pattern.

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This shows a tracing paper overlay (told you it was low tech!) with the additional pattern added. The grid helped with placing the pattern.

 

 

 

Lovebirds Rough 2

After looking at many UK companies, we went with ‘Spoonflower’ from the States, mainly due to choice of Fabrics and usability of their site. I’ve only  had a fat quarter sample of the fabric done so far, but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

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I also had a test of their wall decals done, I don’t think this design would work, but its inspired me to try some others. I couldn’t resist having a play with it though..

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Birds..

I’ve been doing a lot of birds lately, for one thing and another, so I thought I’d show you a couple.

The first was for a wedding card, loosely based on my ‘lovebirds’ screenprint.

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The next picture is a sneak peek for a project I’m doing for Little Printer. These are the synchronised swimming geese..Synchronised Swimming Geese

 

what else could they be??

“Nonsense and Balderdash”

“Nonsense and Balderdash” cried Sergeant Rock Hard of Her Majesty’s  Guard.. “There’s NO Such Thing as a Ghostie”.

This is from ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Ghostie’, written by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by me, way back in 2004.

A lovely thing happened the other day, I was emailed with a link to a blog Creating Misericordia and was delighted to read about how the blog creator , Katy, had made a Sergeant Rock Hard costume for her soon to be 3yr old son. The costume was superb and I was amazed to see how much detail she had picked up on. Very flattered.

So I wanted to do something special for her son. I set about trying to do him a picture of said Sergeant (-surprisingly difficult to try to capture how I painted back then) I hope he likes it.

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Spooky woods..

To go with the witch illustration below and continuing my experiment with big washes and a simpler colour palette, here are the spooky woods from ‘Hansel and Gretel’.

Originally I’d wanted the witches house to be bright and stand out-but it just didn’t work. Rather than start again, I washed out the house and the result, before shadows, is what was left. I think it’s much more in keeping with the rest of the picture. It is a bit odd for me to have a spread with no characters in, but I quite like that you are not distracted by them. As I say, it was an experiment, and there are things I would change for another time.

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