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!




Autumn leaves

Been trying to branch out (wheeeeey) with the pencil shavings to see if I could use them in an outdoor scene. I did this test run of a beautiful golden tree just outside my window, and I think it works! I’m imagining a whole forest of them now, mmmmm.


Autumn leaves close up

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

A while ago I posted a piece I made using pencils shavings that I’d saved up. It was a lot of fun to do, and shortly after I had an idea to do a larger piece based on a fairy tale I’ve always loved by the Brothers Grimm, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

In the story the twelve princesses go off dancing in secret every night, much to the king’s annoyance, who can’t figure out why he finds his daughters’ dancing shoes in tatters every morning. The story goes that he puts out a public notice stating that any man who can solve the mystery can have one of his daughter’s hand in marriage as a reward. It’s a very magical story, and there have been some beautiful illustrations done in the past.

I wanted to picture the princesses in voluminous colourful gowns, getting ready to go out dancing in secret, so adding the pencils shavings really helped to achieve this effect.

I hope you all like it!

Close up 2

Close up 3

Close up 1

I’m hoping that in the near future I’ll be able to start selling some prints of my work, so watch this space if you liked this piece!

Re-using pencil shavings

Morning people, and hello, I’m still alive! I’ve recently moved house, so things have been a bit hectic to say the least. But I’m happy to report that I have actually managed to find a chair to sit on, and dumped enough boxes from my drawing desk onto the floor in order to put pencil to paper. You can see what I’m up to today when I post about it tomorrow!

SO, I did this piece a while back. I’d been saving all the pencil shavings from my illustrating in a little tub, hoping to use them to create something cool. I thought that it’d be such a waste to throw them away…then after I did this piece I got a little obsessive about what I was throwing way, i.e “Achh…NO dear…no, don’t throw that mouldy food wrapper away, that’s GOLD dust! Wait, what happened that bit of clingfilm the minced meat was wrapped in??!”

ANYWAY, after this little tester I have more ideas. Watch this space!