Years and years and years ago I had an Anthony Burrill ‘Work Hard and Be Nice to People’ print in our London flat. I can’t flipping find the print now – it’s been missing since the move. Anyway, at the time the whole slogan print thing wasn’t particularly fashionable and every time we had visitors round we’d spend a good part of the time discussing the words, the print, the notion of having a ‘statement’ on your wall.
Those days are long gone. It seems to me that words and phrases are now an everyday feature of a modern home, so to keep things stylish I think the key is to not go mad on it, the trick is less is more here I reckon, sometimes like words themselves (although no-one would ever accuse me of that). I keep my slogans fairly low-key with little postcards and on my notebooks (see how you can do it by clicking this link).
Anyway here’s my pick of 10 texty buys available right now…
This fortnight I thought I’d do some black and white drawings of the blackcap bird.
I first saw one of these close up during a favourite walk of ours from Manningtree Station to Dedham (with the ultimate destination being the fabulous Sun Inn). It’s a lovely stroll through Constable country – the colours are magical at any point in the year and the area is rich with birdlife and nature. As the blackcap song resonated through the landscape it made a great walk even better. I love the sound this creature makes.
You can see the final watercolour illustration this Friday.
Happy Good Friday! Hope you’re enjoying the long weekend. Here’s an Easter flower just for you.
So earlier this week I dashed off some quick black and white tulip drawings. I enjoyed doing these sketches as I do love a tulip, I’ve focused on a particularly ornate blush-coloured bloom for the the final version – don’t you just love its sunsetty petals? Watercolour is great for getting this rich effect mixing orange, yellow and pinky hues. I hope your weekend is just as colourful!
There are few things more majestical to me than a fresh new notebook and a journal where I can pimp up the front is even better.
That’s why I love this little set of Moleskine mini cahiers – a trio of mini journals in kraft card all ready to be personalised and pimped up by yours truly.
I updated these three with posca pens. I love these pens. They provide beautiful colour coverage and have a fab paint-like quality that you can control, meaning you get great detail without fussing with a brush. You can see that with the white in particular (I know a white pen that works!).
Hand-rendered type is very popular in at the mo – for a font-loving, handwriting addict like myself it’s always been cool, much more character and fun. A little slogan works well on notebook and I decorated this trio with phrases taking ‘days’ as my theme. I must admit my favourite is OH MY DAYS as I always think of my sister Lucy when I hear or see it. I might send her this notebook actually if I’m feeling nice.
If you’re not mega confident in free-hand rendering type then simply print off a slogan in your favourite font and trace it onto the book to colour over.
My birthday is in March so the tulip really reminds me of celebrations. Also, as a very lapsed catholic, it evokes memories of Easter festivals and masses at school. So that’s why it’s my plant of the fortnight.
As is customary for this series, I’m posting three super-quick black and white sketches of this structural, elegant and understated flowers now and showcasing a honed, perfected illustration of the bloom in watercolour and ink at the end of the week.
You may have noticed that I’m a bit of an old hippy at heart and as an illustrator I can’t help but be drawn to a folky design. I love its simple, yet rather splendid style plus the sense of symmetry and its decorative hand-crafted look. I also like they way that even if you just use small touches, folky styles can give the most austere and coolest of spaces a relaxed edge and an element of informality and, because this style is steeped in history, it can give your spaces a sense of heritage.
It would appear that I am not alone. There are so many gorgeous folk-inspired designs on the market for you to buy to give your spaces that relaxed vibe. Take a look at my top ten (in no particular order) below…
Ah the wonderful Gannet. I really enjoyed sketching my black and white drawings earlier in the week and I’m loving my final watercolour and ink illustration as I wanted to capture his beautiful mother-of-pearl type bill and the peachy flush on the bird’s glossy head and neck.
If you’re in the UK you can catch these birds at the breeding colonies at RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs, St Kilda, the Northern Isles and Bass Rock in Scotland and Grassholm in Wales.
As you probably know, the word gannet is associated with greed, this is because this mighty bird supposedly has a capacity for eating large quantities of fish. Gannets hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Apparently Gannets can dive from a height of 30 metres, hitting high speeds as they strike the water so they catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds.
One of my favourite artistic representation of a gannet is by the fantastic Twinkle Troughton called The “A Gannet’s Stomach is Never Full”. I have a beautiful limited edition print of it in my front room – check it out here.
Last week I showed you my Mindfulness Gift Box. If you’d like to make a package for yourself and include my colour therapy designs then here they are.
I’ve got four illustrations; a Matisse-inspired floral number, a loose flowing set of springs (a very abstract eucalyptus I thought), some sexy chevrons (love a chev me) and an on-trend mandala design. They colour-in well as you can see by the pictures
Here’s a sample of the designs you can click on the titles in blow at the very bottom of the post to download the pdfs then save on to your computer, print off and either include in your mindfulness pack or simply colour them in yourself. Have fun!
I love gannets and, seeing as they are coming over to our shores at the mo,they are a most worthy bird of the fortnight.
The gannet has the most ugly name yet it is quite a fabulous creature. I mean it has a sleek body, its bill is so pearly and iridescent and its plumage is so smooth. Such a pleasure to study and draw.
Anyway if you haven’t come across my bird of the fortnight posts before here’s the drill. I post three scruffy black and white sketches at the start of the week then present a worked up finished illustration using watercolour and ink at the end of the week so watch this space.
As I mentioned in an earlier post the Memphis Movement has a very big influence on interiors and design at the moment and only looks set to be more prevalent in home shops over the coming months. The style is already emerging in a number of buys, from fridge magnets, trinket boxes and party plates to beanbags, cushions, lights and cot protectors –have a look at my selection of favourite Memphis style ideas that can add a playful on-trend update to your home.