I’m very excited to share some new work with you. My new ink prints point to an interesting new direction for my art practice and business.
I have recently rediscovered my love for working with ink. In the past I’ve achieved brilliant results drawing with ink pens and Japanese calligraphy brushes, I wanted to see if I could do it again. My last post talked about my first forays into reconnecting with pen, ink and brush work. It explored my need for finding my style within such an expressive and beautiful way of mark-making. As always when looking for inspiration with my practice I meditated on my own passions and interests. It was my walks by the Colne Estuary in Wivenhoe that sparked off these series of prints. Naturally, I made bird sketches but it was the salt marsh and reeds that attracted me. After going home and doing lots and lots of reed drawings I decided to make simple, botanical sprigs as my subjects. I then set about gathering all kinds of wild grasses, palms and plants. I made lots of botanical ink studies and selected my favourite ones for print. I’ve made three very simple fine art prints which are now available on Folksy.
I work on hot pressed fine quality watercolour paper. As well as using inks I also work with washes of water too to create depth and variation of tone.
I intend to continue to explore drawing with pen, ink and brushes throughout the year. Again, if I’m pleased with the results you’ll see more prints and fabric designs coming soon.
The Orphaned Spaces is a rumination on life and loss through the prism of liminal spaces – derelict land, brownfield sites, edgelands – caught between moments of dilapidation and regeneration.
The Orphaned Spaces project was meant to be a small artistic endeavour. Our original idea for The Orphaned Spaces was to have a brown paper bag containing fragments of writing, the odd drawing and some landscape photography, all loosely themed around ‘waste ground’. About a month in however, it had already started to take on a life of its own. As is the way of things, it escalated into something bigger, encompassing a 148-page book and handmade book box set.
The Orphaned Spaces features exquisite words and visceral landscape imagery from MW Bewick and my quick brush sketches that I spoke about in this previous post. Both the book and the box set also include fine line botanical and insect studies in black and white (see below), ikebana-inspired still life plant photography plus wild flower pressings, all created by me.
The black and white studies were created with fineliner pigment ink pens.
I’m really pleased with the botanical photography aspect of the book – you can read more about it here
I’m also delighted with the way my wildflower pressings came out. I used to press wild flowers and plants with my mum when I was kid, so I wanted this aspect to be in the book as I felt it needed a child-like, playful aspect to it. Actually as it turned out I think in some ways these illustrative elements are the most plaintive and poignant images of the publication – they are particularly effective as the archival prints featured in the box set but that’s worthy of another post.
This is my new botanical print, juniper berries illustrated in watercolour and ink. A perfect gift for gin fiends!I’ve been producing a lot of new work recently and I’m going to get into the habit showing some of it to you on a regular basis. This juniper berries drawing was really fun to do – I love its needles (something I’m not too familiar with in terms of illustration) and its juicy berries.
The new art print is available on my Etsy shop.
An everlasting display is a lovely thing plus a cheap and easy home hack to boot.
Regular visitors to Ella’s place know how much I love creating floral displays – they are a lovely way to give the place a refresh without costing you a fortune. Plus I think it’s important to bring elements of nature into your home.
Eucalyptus and thistles are great to buy fresh and then let them dry in the house. The make a lovely permanent arrangement as they fade into silvery tones and provide a lovely structured display.Last summer I also gathered spent allium and poppy heads from the garden to decorate our spaces. Again, the faded hues and structured shape look really effective all year round.
I have new products on my Not On The High Street shop; a unicorn card, a hare greeting and a beautiful eucalyptus art print. All are taken from my original watercolour and ink drawings. My hare and unicorn prints have been incredibly popular at various art fairs with many people asking if I was going to produce co-ordinated greetings – well nobody can say I don’t listen! The new Eucalyptus botanical print is a bit of an indulgence to be honest – I simply wanted one for myself.
My drawing of the week is a young eucalyptus plant.
I was at a friend’s house last weekend and she had gorgeous bunch of eucalyptus in her lounge. They also looked so elegant placed on their own in the vase, unadorned, unfettered by other blooms. Inspired by these I had to source some of my own sprigs to draw.
It has kick-started me trying out some more botanical illustrations. I’ve already done some further eucalyptus sketches and some more watercolour and ink drawings of ferns.
This is the shop for Ella Johnston. Here you can buy original artwork, prints, stationery and homewares from my archive. Dismiss