My drawing of the week, a blue jay bird, is inspired by nature and by a song. We have regular jays in our local woods and I’m always trying to spot them on my walks.
Anyway one revealed himself to me last week, where, weirdly I had the Beatles song Blue Jay Way in my head for the rest of the day. So I fancied doing a watercolour and ink illustration of the regular jay’s North American cousin.
In old African American folklore of the southern United States, the blue jay was held to be a servant of the Devil. I think my one is harbinger of joy.
The blue jay’s colouration is not derived from pigments but is the result of light interference due to the internal structure of the feathers; if a blue feather is crushed, the colour disappears, this is known as structural colouration.
I’m constantly pinning images to my Pinterest boards (here) and they’re great for inspiration in my work on magazines, as well as creating mood boards for styling my home. At home I like pinning things too – I have real-life pin boards in my studio space and also in my kitchen (pictured, above). These boards are constantly evolving – they get so full – and they’re great for reminding me of some of the things that I’ve enjoyed and over recent months and years. So what’s on the board above? Well, roughly, from top to bottom and left t0 right:
- Perfect Match card by illustrator Tom Frost, given by friends as an anniversary card for me and Dr B.
- Factory Records postcard – I think the world’s a better place for having had Anthony H Wilson in it.
- Golden Lane Estate, Christmas card, by Stefi Orazi – we used to live here.
- Norfolk Broads – postcard of a vintage tourism poster.
- Invitation from Tracey Emin to her private view at Sketch, London. I got rather drunk.
- Royal Festival Hall Christmas card, by Stefi Orazi – one of my favourite places to hang out.
- Dedham Vale, by John Constable – one of my newer favourite places to hang out.
- Paper butterflies, made from paper designed for one of my magazines.
- Loving Budgies – one of my own business cards.
- Lucknam Park hotel. We stayed and it was heaven.
- Bicycle card – with a quote from HG Wells. Dr B is a big fan of the Tour de France.
- Door 102, Crescent House, card by Stefi Orazi. We once lived at 230.
- Rose print card from my sister, from archivistgallery.com.
- Jennings beer mat – Dr B’s favourite brew, from near where he grew up in the Lake District.
- Alresford Creek photograph/birthday card taken by Dr B. This dilapidated hut is just a walk downriver from us.
- Matisse blue nude – I never tire of looking at Matisse’s work. The Matisse Museum in Nice is one of my favourite places.
- Crescent House, again by Stefi Orazi. This shows our old flat.
- The Beatles – I love this picture of them and George looks great as ever.
- I Want to Rock Your World – postcard picked up in Barcelona.
- Bewick Swan – Dr B received the gift of sponsorship of a swan for his birthday. It shares his last name.
- The Piano Lesson, by Matisse – an earlier work from 1916. We saw it where it lives at MOMA in New York.
- The Beatles Show birthday card.
- James Joyce – one of the greatest authors ever. We had a reading from Dubliners at our wedding. Beautiful.
- Emmeline Pankhurst.
- Forget-Me-Not drawing by me.
- Adanaland handprinted stamp, given to me by the maker, Alan Brignull, who lives not far from me here in Wivenhoe.
- Red Wallpaper card – an postcard from a series of paintings I did a few years ago.
- Cormorant, card of print by Richard Bawder.
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel – an iconic photograph.
- The Rolling Stones – and it all ends with some rock ‘n’ roll!
If you’ve only been pinning to online boards recently, maybe it’s time to do it for real and brighten up a working space at the same time.