Easter bunnies at Fountains Abbey

Hello!

So it’s pretty awful that this is my first post since December…things have been a leeeettle busy since then, but I haven’t stopped illustrating. I’ve finished a few projects in the last month and will be sharing them with you over the next few posts, plus something that I’m currently working on which I’ve been having fun with!

This year Fountains Abbey asked me to illustrate the clues for their children’s trail, which was all about bunnies. I have to say that once I started drawing one they just seemed to multiply…. (haha, sorry! Couldn’t resist!)

This was a really fun project to work on, and great to see the final clues printed on boards which were then placed throughout the estate. Trying to portray the bunnies doing human things was difficult at some points, needless to say I definitely looked to Miss Potter for some inspiration a few times!

Here are some of my favourites:

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And here they are all together, shortly before being let loose on the estate!

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Etsy shop and National Trust women

Hallo there! Gosssshhhh it’s been ages since I gave you an update on what’s going on. Though the truth is, after I opened my shop on Etsy I took a little bit of a break, so I’ve not been at the drawing board very much recently.

You heard it right, I’ve opened up my own shop on Etsy! It was really exciting working with the printers to get the right look that I wanted, receiving the final prints beautifully done in the post, and working out how I wanted to package them. I’ve started small, but hopefully as my practice goes on I’ll be able to add more.

Take a look at my shop here, maybe you know someone who’d like one of my prints for Christmas!

About a month or so ago I visited a National Trust property called Acorn Bank, near Penrith, Cumbria. I was checking out an artist residency that had just gone on in the spring months of this year, which I had been following for a while. The lady who’d done the residency was called Chichi Parish, and she’d set up her studio in the house itself for three months. You could still see some of her work there when we went…she had so many interesting sketches on the walls of weird and wonderful herbs from the property’s extensive herb garden, and inspirational drawings taken from characters and animals around the site. The property is made up of a 17th Century house, a recently refurbished herb garden, apple orchards, and a beautiful wood leading down to a watermill (which is still used to grind flour today!).

The property was gifted to the National Trust in 1950 by a lady called Dorothy Una Ratcliffe, who was an amazing woman. She was a patron of the arts, a writer and a traveller. Her story is incredible for a woman of her time, much like her near contemporary, the famous Beatrix Potter, who was also so much more than a writer and illustrator. Not only did she create and own stories which were to be loved far beyond her time, in a period which was hard to do so for women, but she was as scientist, a farmer, and a philanthropist. I had no idea that she had created a series of scientific drawings in mycology, which are still used by scientists to this day.

I was so amazed by these women that I started to conceive an idea…of creating a series of mini portraits of women in the National Trust. I started with these two, we’ll see if it continues!

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