Well it was only a matter of time before I treated you a Monday Moodboard of birds.
As you know an awful lot of my drawing practice centres around birds. So much of my time is spent trawling and taking images of birds to study and illustrate. This is absolutely no hardship for me. I could honestly spend all my time looking at my feathered friends.
Recently I have been focussing on heads and shoulders to create bird portraits for my show at the Over The Sofa Gallery at Wivenhoe Bookshop. It’s a small space and I wanted to do it as a site specific piece, the show is called Family Portraits so it has a kind of homely feel. It consists of nine A6 watercolour and ink drawings and four A6 pieces.
The show is on until April 30.
Wanna know what each bird is? Well here they are…
Top row from left: Puffin, Long Eared Owl, Starling
Middle row from left: Lapwing, Peacock, Pigeon
Bottom row from left: Cormorant, Robin, Crested Grebe
On shelf: Black Redstart, Budgie, Goldfinch, Dartford Warbler.
Where I live, by the creeks and estuaries in East Anglia, salvaged wood turns up in many people’s homes – crafted into sculptures of the wading birds that dot the shorelines in winter. Foremost among driftwood bird sculptors is Guy Taplin, who made the birds above. He’s sometimes known as the Bird Man of Wivenhoe. Along the river banks between his studio and Ella’s Place you’ll see upturned tenders (the little rowing boats that carry you out to the larger sailing or pleasure boats anchored further out on the water). Many of the houses are weatherboarded in the vernacular East Anglian style, too. A good friend of ours says it looks more like New England, USA, than Olde England.
The reclaimed and salvaged wood trend has been everywhere in interiors this year, too, cropping up in all kinds of editorials and ads. Used well to complement other materials and colours, it doesn’t need to overpower and can look chic, rather than just shabby.
Here are a few examples of the trend I’ve found recently.
1. The neutral and earthy tones of reclaimed – salvaged – wood can help to soften a room when used carefully. The accent wall above is complemented by the stone, steel and leather, but allows the pop of a red armchair and yellow pouffe to stand out.
2. As a headboard, above, it provides the colour-pop on its own, jumping out to contrast with the colourful wall.
3. The weathered boarding, above, adds notes of outdoor wilderness to a small space, without turning the room into a log cabin.
4. Reclaimed wood units and shelves make for a stylish kitchen, above, that also helps to bring the outdoors in.
5. A lighter touch in the kitchen with the trend comes with the addition of a single reclaimed wood cupboard, above.
6. For a calming space, the natural tones of wood look great when set against clean whites and complementary shades. To mix things up, try bringing in different textures instead of colours.
7. And remember that wooden panels can still be painted, even if they’re salvaged. The fun pops of colour above really help to lift the room.
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.