Introducing my latest linocut print ‘Life Cycle’ I get really excited each year noticing the signs that Spring is on its way, the pink of Beech leaf buds are the best. When I sat down to draw at this Exmoor spot the green of the mossy grass and the pink of the leaf buds sang. Looking at the old fallen trees compared with the strong growth of the Beech hedges I thought about life cycles both human and in nature,a sense of time passing. Below is a peak into my sketchbook at one of the drawings that I built to help me structure the composition of my print.
I continue to explore ways of sharing my love of trees, the bark, Lichen the eco system on their limbs and pattern of their branches. In my recent print ‘Foxy’ the whole view is framed by a close up of a tree limb covered in moss and clover. I dearly want to share that moment when time stops and you are just looking at and feeling nature.
An artist that I admire hugely is Georgia O Keefe and in the spirit of international women’s day, here is a quote from this wonderful artist ‘nobody sees a flower - really it is so small it takes time - and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time’ I think that she describes that quiet, absorbed moment perfectly.
‘Foxy’ is also inspired by the vixen that passed by whilst I was recently drawing trees on Exmoor. I think that I am very quiet when drawing as this is the second time that a fox has walked through the landscape close to me, she was as surprised by me as I her.
'Hawthorne Berries' size 30x20cm, linocut 2019
I welcomed the New Year in with a wish for myself, three months in my work schedule to refresh my own creativity. I need to give myself time to look again at the fundamentals of design, compositon, tone, carving technique, to delve deeper and be braver.
I have long wanted to do a series about trees through the seasons in single colour printing. I love to sit with the trees on Exmoor, the aged, gnarly, moss covered ones!
This first linocut of the year ‘Hawthorne Berries’ began on a post Boxing Day walk. As I sat looking at the Winter landscape I noticed the remaining scarlet berries and cool green lichen on the trees, I felt so inspired drawing and photographing the repeating patterns and bones of the land. I tried to challenge myself to explore different viewpoints and compositions, framing the distant view with the branches. I hope you enjoy this linocut now printed in Olive green.
I invite you to this special event run by myself and five other talented craftswomen and artists. We have pottery, colourful ceramics, glittering glass, soft woven textiles, lively paintings and my nature inspired prints and cards. If you are looking for unique and 100% handmade gifts, Cadeleigh Christmas Fair is the place to find them. We are also serving tea, cake and soup so that you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
The Yew tree and the Church, size 40x30cm, linocut 2018
The tree has been a huge inspiration for me since I was a child and now when I choose a scene they are often the main focus. This new print has a Yew tree, last month the Beech tree and before that an Ash by the riverside. I would love to illustrate a book for children or adults where trees are the central inspiration or characters, just putting it out there !
The Yew tree and church in this latest print are found at East Down, close to Coombe Martin, North Devon. Both tree and church are ancient and full of history.Though the graves and verges are tended the edges are wild and full of birdlife. I chose to bring out the peaceful atmosphere of the graveyard by using warm ochre tones, khaki green and pattern. I hope that this print might echo for others the history, natural habitat and peace that the churchyard can evoke.
‘Beechnuts’ my linocut print, originally appeared as the cover artwork for ‘Slightly Foxed’: the real readers quarterly , issue 59, Autumn 2018.
It was such a thrill to be commisoned by the editors to create this cover work, following on from some artists that I greatly admire such as Mark Hearld, Cary Akroyd and Quentin Blake, I feel honoured to have been asked.
It was really interesting to work on commison, to have to create a design that was for the Autumn season whilst still in early Summer! I developed my ideas from photographs that I had taken last Autumn on Molland moor, Exmoor.
'Slightly Foxed' is a fantastic inspiration for lovers of good literature, find them on
‘Riverside’ size 40 x30 cm, linocut, 2018
This print came out of the intensely hot month of June 2018, what a gorgeous Summer.
I took a long walk on Exmoor from Wintershead to Landacre following the river Barle in what seemed an almost Mediterranean climate. Hot as a grasshopper I sort refuge under an Ash tree amongst the cooling reeds, soaking up the coolness of the shade. Under the tree I made a drawing on my ipad. I sought to capture the contrast of heat and shade and the beauty of the river sliding by beyond the tree. I spent three absorbing hours drawing the scene.
I love to learn new art techniques and improve my art practice. Here I share with you my early exploration of the iPad Pro and drawing App 'Procreate' At first the apple pencil and hard screen seemed slippery and unfamiliar. I purchased a screen saver with a matt surface to give a more paper like feel, this is called 'Paperlike' and I recommend it.
I took my iPad out into the landscape instead of my sketchbook so that I had no choice but to practice drawing digitally. Above are my cloud studies using the pastel and pencil tools and below my garden frog using the pencil and charcoal tools.
Using the iPad is such a pleasure, like having your whole studio in one tiny book. The only drawback so far is the use of scale, I love to draw in a big sketchbook with bold gestures of the pencil, so for now I will use the modern and the old alongside each other!
'Mist in the Valley', size 42x32cm, Linocut 2018
I have never attempted to describe mist in a landscape print before, it was a great challenge. Inspired by a sketch that I had made whilst sitting high up on the side of a beautiful Exmoor valley. The morning of my sketching walk was crisp and bright, the sun over the hillside and the mist curling its way down the bottom of the valley. From my vantage point I could see the mist's cloud like forms merging and emerging, magical.
To get the effect that I was after, I used two printing techniques,my usual multiblock with five pieces of Lino and a reduction method to make six. Below you can see two of the blocks during the carving process. I completed a small but unique edition of ten prints.
'Sheep Huddle' size 35x30cm, Linocut 2018
Inspired by a walk on nearby fields in the March 2018 snow. The snow flakes were falling slowly in spiraling drifts and the sheep had just been fed at the trough. The ideas for this design came from a watercolour that I had made (see previous blog) I hope that you find it interesting to see how a linocut design evolves, from watercolour,to simplified drawing, to carving and then print.