illustration friday: winter

December 26, 2010 § 4 Comments

Some things I was thinking about doodling this:-

  • The story of the Snow Queen
  • The way cold air creeps along skin, insidious and enveloping
  • Frosty air and rosy cheeks
  • Thick, solid, too-early long-lasting dark
  • Long hair
  • Headscarves
  • Mince pies (which are irrelevant, but I was…)

I’m off on a wee new-year’s adventure tomorrow, so things here are likely to go quiet for a week or so while I do that (weather and transport permitting, there will be a tiny island and many friends and a large amount of Atlantic ocean and sea shanties in thick-walled granite buildings and big jumpers and fancy-dress silliness. Hooray!)

Oh, and by the way, I have been dipping into Italo Calvino’s strange and seductive Invisible Cities over the last few days.  A magic read, especially if you enjoy words that make pictures in your head.  

Stay cosy x


Illustration Friday: mail

December 22, 2010 § 5 Comments

This week’s topic is ‘mail’. For me, the sending and recieving of post is inextricably tangled up with the idea of distance/absence, and the strange imaginary place you enter when you try to talk to someone who is Somewhere Else. Because she expresses it in all its odd unwholesome loveliness far better than I can, my picture goes alongside Carol Ann Duffy’s beautiful poem Words, Wide Night.

Here’s the image…

…and here are the words that inspired it:-

Words, Wide Night

Somewhere on the other side of this wide night

and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.

The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say

it is sad? In one of the tenses I singing

an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.

La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine

the dark hills I would have to cross

to reach you. For I am in love with you and this

is what it is like, or what it is like in words.

Carol Ann Duffy

eye candy for a snowy morning

December 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve just stumbled across the work of Bianca Tschaikner whilst pottering about the illustration friday website, and am enjoying her postcards from Morocco very much; bold and quirky and absolutely nothing to do with England, face-aching cold, or worries about last minute Christmas shopping!

Here’s a little sample to please your eyes. You can find more here.

(I’m in love with the secretly-lipstick-wearing woman especially)

frosty mornings, dark nights, and bits of cloth

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am home for Christmas, which means frosty walks with the dog, early morning welly-wearing stomps to feed the donkeys under sunrises that look like someone has smeared fresh blood and ripe peaches along the horizon, open fires in the evenings, home-grown veg, and SPACE. Living as I do in a one-bedroom flat, this is a serious luxury. I’m making the most of it by holing up in an empty bedroom with my sewing machine and finishing off Christmas gifts.

I’m finding that hot chocolate in a chipped tin mug helps the creative process enormously. Over the rattle of the machine I’ve been listening to a mixture of Bach cello sonatas, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Little Unsaid – a strange auditory cocktail, but also a good one. I especially recommend The Little Unsaid’s ‘December’ if you fancy something vaguely seasonal that doesn’t sound like cut-price tinsel and nasty synthesised sleigh-bells, and you can find it, and other little bits of beauty, here.

Here are some cats I have been embroidering:-

And here is a lovely patchworky cockerel:-

That’s all for now, but I hope you’re all having a lovely festive week too, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or not. Personally I can’t help but approve of a time when it suddenly becomes socially acceptable to drink your wine spiced. And as sweet as ribena. And steaming hot. With brandy in it. Out of a mug. Blooming marvellous!

Also, on an entirely unrelated-to-illustration note, this recipe is absolutely excellent – well worth the effort.

Enjoy! x

Illustration Friday: phenomenon

December 17, 2010 § 6 Comments

This week’s illustration friday topic is ‘phenomenon’.

The phenomenon I chose to illustrate is phosphorescence – which is what happens when bio-luminescent plankton (oo-er, look at that vocabulary!) floats in seawater. It’s glimmery and green and lights up when you disturb the water, and if you’ve never seen it, then your life needs more beach paddles on moony nights.

Have lovely Christmases, my dears. x


December 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Last night I went to a lovely gig with my sketchbook, a box of paints, and an intention to draw some musicians.

Instead, I came home with sketches of people I spied on in a cafe…

… doodles of birds (the venue was decorated with lots of model birds, which was festive and magical and slightly spooky)…

…and this.

Oh well.

Have a lovely Sunday x

A postcard. With boots on.

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

After all the sewing and sawing I’ve been doing, I thought it was time some drawing happened. Here is my contribution to Shoe Tales, which is a communal art project, and a good excuse to draw something quickly without worrying about it too much.

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