illustrations for The Bloody Chamber

June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today has been brightened up significantly by these gorgeous shortlisted drawings for the book illustration competition 2012. I especially love the ones by Sidsel Sorenson (her howling wolves are delightful) and Igor Karash (they remind me of Arthur Rackham’s delicate line-and-wash).

Go and have a look. It’s a great selection of images.



June 26, 2012 § Leave a comment


As if I had known you for years drink to me only if
Those frontiers have never changed on the mad map of the years
And all our tears were earned and this were the first cliff
From which we embraced the sea and these were the first words
We spread to lure the birds that nested in our day
As if it were always morning their dawnsong theirs and ours
And waking no one else me and you only now
Under the brow of a blue and imperturbable hill
Where still time stands and plays his bland and hemlock pipe
And the ripe moment tugs and declines to fall and all
The years we had not met forget themselves in this
One kiss ingathered world and outward rippling bell
To the rim of the cup of the sky and leave it only there
Near into far blue into blue all over again
Notwithstanding unique all over all again
Of which to speak requires new fires of the tongue some trick
Of the light in the dark of the muted voice of the turning wild
World yet calm in her storm gay in her ancient rocks
To preserve today one kiss in this skybound timeless cup
Nor shall I ask for anything more of future or past
This being last and first sound sight on the eyes and ears
And each long then and there suspended on this cliff
Shining and slicing edge that reflects the sun as if
This one Between were All and we in love for years.

I am in the process of packing my life into boxes to move it home. Part of this process is sorting out books and rooting through old sketchbooks and diaries, and suddenly I remember that poetry exists, and I’m extremely glad. I copied this into my journal ages ago, newly in love and setting out for the lakes and hills with a tent and the object of my affection. It is nothing to do with illustration or textiles or making, but it is a thing of utter beauty. The world needs more things of utter beauty. 


Illustration Friday: space

June 25, 2012 § 10 Comments

The first image that came to mind when I thought about the word “space” and its connotations (I defy anybody to find a pair of bed-sharers that this rule doesn’t apply to!). Other people’s interpretations are available for your perusal here.

On an unrelated note, you can see more drawings (and a picture of me winning a prize) from this Dr Sketchy session on Gina Brookes’ gorgeous blog here. Along with some mouth-watering cakes, examples of her enviable dress-making skills, and some fair isle knitting. Go and have a mooch.


Dr Sketchy’s Anti Art School – watercolours and corsets.

June 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

Dr Sketchy’s anti art school was founded in New York in 2005 by artists A.V. Phibes and Molly Crabapple (check out her gloriously sleazy drawings here), and is described by the website as “the world’s premier alt.drawing movement [where] artists draw glamorous underground performers in an atmosphere of boozy conviviality.” Art schools now operate in over 100 cities, including Nottingham where I went along to Glee Club on Saturday to drink coffee, eat the filthy-gorgeous chocolate brownie, draw burlesque dancers, and try to avoid splashing ink on the cream upholstery. It was a brilliant afternoon – I went through two thirds of a new sketchbook and came out feeling inspired. Here are some bits and bobs:-


If you fancy a dose of tea, cake, and drawing for grown-ups, there is more information here.

doodles after a dry spell

June 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well well, it’s been an awful long time! I have mainly been

  • doing my full time job
  • getting ready to start my teacher training in September – coming to terms with moving my life back home to my parents’ big warm house after years of living away from it, reading a lot, and filling in forms. A lot of filling in forms.
  • knitting mindlessly (you can see some of my adventures with needles and yarn here)
  • becoming addicted to the dubiously idealised world of Pinterest
  • working on a private non-blogable project
  • running away at weekends for hill-walking, late-night gossip with friends, cocktails and Turkish food in That London, and learning about bats with my nearly-two-year-old nephew (who now wants to sleep hanging from his toes by the headboard)

I’m not so much in a rut as too busy and all-over-the-place to focus on drawing, and whilst I do think that creativity requires periods of just living and being and looking and thinking and soaking life up like a hungry sponge, the lack of picture-making in my life lately has started to induce mild panic. Marvelous marvelous Neil Gaiman said this, and made me feel more alive:-

And I have started drawing faces, just enjoying the experience of moving a line around again. Here some are:-


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