Welcome! yes I'm still here but there's lots been going on, so make a cuppa and find somewhere cosy to settle down for a read. . .
Because I work on the Gardens Illustrated magazine linocuts about 2 months ahead of publication date, the year speeds by even faster than normal – I've almost completed the October illustration . . . but I can't tell you about that!
However, just published is the August issueand Frank Ronan's column is the one he put aside when his much loved cat passed away – and it's about Pelargoniums.
I love Pelargoniums, but the ones I like best are the scented leaved ones, Smelly Pellies :-) I didn't have any life-models to hand, so I actually went out and bought three loud and flouncy 'Geraniums' from the local DIY store to sketch from life.
The editor had suggested two possible quotes to inspire the illustration; the one I chose was about Frank's memories of Pelargoniums overflowing from window boxes in the Normandy town where he used to live. (I'm not sure why they printed the alternative phrase under the picture in the magazine. Not that it matters.)
I haven't been to Normandy, I needed reference but didn't brave a trip through the tunnel to sketch from life! I relied on the internet and put together a scene very loosely based on the streets of Honfleur.
This month I've sneaked a little Dachshund into the design, he's not mentioned in Frank's column but there was a space that needed something to lead the eye back into the composition and I love the way Dachshunds' ears flutter out behind them as they scurry along, so why not?! And he's a tribute to the adorable Dachshund's owned by many of my Twitter friends (you know who you are! I owe your furry friends a dog biscuit as thanks).
You can see me pretending to work on the sketches for this design in an article published in the August edition of the Suffolk Magazine. As you can see, I had no time to neatly arrange my studio, it is what it is! When the photographer turned up I was working on the design of new The Daily Telegraph crest, it was top secret so had to be hidden! So I posed pretending to work on the Pelargonium sketches and then inked and took another proof of this linocut.
I will be printing a limited edition of this design which will be available next Spring. All my Gardens Illustrated illustration will also be produced as cards, I will introduce the first of these late this year/early 2016.
In the Suffolk Magazine article Tessa mentions a woodcut for a book cover, I can now reveal it is the cover of 'Woodland Craft' by Ben Law, some of you may recall Ben Law was featured on Grand Designs building his cruck house in a wood. I'll tell you more about working on the woodcut when the book is published in October.
And finally . . . FolkEast
yes it is only a couple of weeks away! I will once again be in the Art Arcade which this year is bigger than ever. There's an Art Arcade Facebook page where you can find out about the artists/makers/craftsfolk who will be there this year and the activities you can take part in . . . there will be so much to do as well as listening to the fabulous line-up of musicians. I hope some of you can come along and say hello.