Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Blue Birdie...
A little homemade collage/embroidery which I made for a friend for her birthday, using canvas, blue patterned paper, a page from a book and thread. So there we are x

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas Folks...
Just taking the opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! And to also thank you all for following and supporting my work! Have a good'un xmas puddin' x 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Chickens...
Little chickens made from the pages of an old book and some acrylic paint :)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Thick as a brick...
A wonderful song I wanted to share with you all. I love Jethro Tull, we saw them twice last year, amazing musicians, I was even inspired to start playing the flute (badly though). 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Oot tha winda...
I've spent the day looking out the window, watching back to back episodes of Steptoe and Son, entertaining the Guinea Piglet and drinking cups of peppermint tea. It's chilled me out no ends.
Trio of Trees...
Another digital collage using photoshop, I layered a little collage with some potato prints. Nothing too elaborate or final just a little experiment.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Digital Collage...
Just a few digital experiments, well kind of. I've scanned in some separate collages and potato prints and assembled them using photoshop. I need to adapt my work process to suit the technical requirements of my brief, but at the same time I want to avoid any sort of digital stylization so I am clinging on to my textures!



Sunday, 11 December 2011

Click above to follow the link to see more information on The Sunderland Book Project, the touring exhibition my book is featured in.
Thank You x

Friday, 9 December 2011

Sweet Potato Slugs...
The last of my potato creatures, for now anyway. Time to start composing some illustrations! The sea is going crazy today, it's up on the promenade having a whale of a time! But Im just wondering what happens to me if it wants to come in my house? I'm guessing it can't climb stairs? First winter living 20 yards from the beach.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

I met the Walrus...
'In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack.' I thought it would be appropriate on the anniversary of John Lennon's death to share this very special footage via my blog with those who may not have seen it already, it celebrates the genius that will never be forgotten.
'You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.'
'Nother Tattie...
I'm honestly not obsessed with potatoes, the children's book I am currently illustrating features a 'Quite Big Potato' and I'm just experimenting and playing nice!

Ahhh...
"I'm walkin' here!" That is all really. Enough said. x

Monday, 5 December 2011


Illustration Magazine Issue 29...
I have been lucky enough to be featured in the latest edition of Illustration Magazine, as you can see three of my illustrations alongside a description of my work and all my contact details are in the Recent Graduates section of the mag. Yey! x

P.S I have also submitted my Roker book into the Sunderland Book Project travelling exhibition, more details about my submission here, and more about venues and updates here.
Potato Printing...
I've been potato printing, I seriously forgot how much fun it could be. Above are some leaves, I also made trees, carrots, apples and some nice repetitive patterns.
Kitsch Christmas...
I put my Christmas decorations up yesterday, a lot earlier than they usually go up, but I think a bit of festive cheer is in order! The fairy on top of the tree is getting on a bit but I love her, I've had her since I was a little'un and her kitsch little face brings back lots of memories of putting the tree up as a family, me and my big brother used to take it in turns each year to put her in her place, but my dad used to have to lift me up because I couldn't reach the top of the tree, she also used to remind me of Barbara Windsor in the Carry On Films.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Also...
Burl opened the first door on his first ever advent calendar on Thursday. Bam half lifted the corner and Burl pulled it clean off and ate the treat inside, he's lovely, and is getting the most amazing present for Christmas, in fact his is the only pressie I've bought so far, uh oh.
Back online...
After a nightmare few weeks I have my laptop back and am able to make a decent effort to catch up on some work! Firstly a quick update, just a few characters I've been playing around with as part of my uni project, nothing final really, kind of just a creative playtime, making use of some potatoes I had used to print with. More updates to come this week. Enjoy x



Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My Poor Neglected Blog...
I must apologise for the lack of updates, there was an accident and my laptop exploded, smoke, hissing the lot. I will update as soon as I have it back, or get a new one, if the worst should happen. Apparently I am in Illustration Magazine, issue 29, I haven't seen it yet, but that's the word on the street! Hope everybody is well :) xx

Sunday, 30 October 2011

'Songs of the Sea'...
As it is the final day of the exhibition I have taken part at the National Glass Centre, I thought I would post a few photographs from the exhibition, kindly forwarded onto myself by the staff at the gallery. The exhibition ran from July 21st to October 30th.

This photograph shows a piece by Brazilian artist Laura Belem, 'The Temple of a Thousand Bells' is an installation of 1,000 blown glass bells with an accompanying soundtrack inspired by an ancient legend about a temple which housed a thousand ringing bells that sank into the ocean and of a young sailor who sat for days by the sea hoping to catch the sound of the melodious bells again. The absence of clappers within the glass bells is why a soundtrack is required, and it echoes the sense of loss within the ancient legend. The overall work reflects the musicality and mystery within the plethora of legends and mythical stories connected with the sea.

This photograph shows the work of Susan Collins, 'Seascape'. It involved the projection of live footage of the sea, shown at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and the De La Warr Pavilion. Seascape involves a similar projection of live images the mouth of the river Wear, as filmed from the inside of the National Glass Centre, through the riverfront windows. These images are digitally transferred into the gallery space pixel by pixel, producing a constantly changing image in response to the ebb and flow of the untameable North Sea.

Richard Marquis exhibits his 'Razzle Dazzle Boat' collection, an example of the use of fused and wheel carved glass in a slab technique. It is technique which interests Marquis, and many of his works are intentionally void of social or personal meaning. Boats are an image used often in his collections, which span decades of practice in glass sculpting. 

...And finally my book. I am really happy to have had some of my work on display to the public so soon and am thrilled with the feedback and interest the exhibition has generated in my work. Thank you to the folks at the National Glass Centre for sending me these photographs, and for inviting me to be a part of such a lovely exhibition.



Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Partisan...
I love Leonard Cohen. Enough said.

Monday, 10 October 2011





Hey Little Hen...
When, when, when will you lay me an egg for my tea! What a lovely morning I've had, as part of my research for my MA project I have been up my Uncle Joe's allotment taking photographs and recording the sounds of such a place. The children's book I am producing is set in allotment therefore I figured a bit of primary research wouldn't go a miss. I dare not think how long it's been since I was last up there, maybe 12-14 years? We used to have great fun up the allotment, my brother, two cousins and I, we would spend most of the school holidays there. I fed a hedgehog worms once, spent a day catching grasshoppers with the intent of taking them back for my Gran (one jumped on Gillian's face), and can vividly remember the desperate panic as we scrambled on top of the shed to avoid a good pecking off the erratic black and white duck.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

ETC Magazine...
A lovely bit of publicity, a feature in Etc Magazine, which is available all over the North East of England. This is an article by Alison Goulding and features some of our photographs around Roker, there is also a nice write up about my work on the area, and a link to my website. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Equestrian Statue...
An absolute gem by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Quality.
Lola and Tony in Acrylic...
Here are two commissions I have completed recently, both in acrylic paint and both for my Land Lady and friend. I've never painted a successful animal portrait in my life so I have no idea what happened here, I think they've come out canny good tha nars! And the reaction from the recipient was totally worth all the hard work.
Echo Feature...
Sorry for the delay, I had to wait till my return to University to use the A3 scanner! Excuse the hideous photograph (it was taken the morning after an epic night out).

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cluck...
Today I am making an attempt to get back into some sort of creative mind set. I am stitching together some little collage/embroidery things, and am just generally trying to break through this creative blockage which is going on in my brain at the moment. I've been here there and everywhere the past few weeks and to be honest I'm looking forward to settling down to some illustration, when my heed lets me.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Tonight's Paper...
Will hopefully help me find a publisher, fingers crossed! Double page centre spread of the Sunderland Echo, I think my family will have bought the majority in the region tonight! In the top left is a photo of my Gran and her sisters in the 1940's, which features in my book, there are a few examples of my work and then a photo of my slightly hungover self posing in front of the lighthouse. Smashing. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Songs of the sea...
It's the opening night of the exhibition I am taking part in at the National Glass Centre tomorrow evening. For more information visit their website and download the press release, which is where I get a mention. Im really excited about the whole situation and fingers crossed I get some work from it!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Yey...
I had to print and bind two further copies of my Roker book over the past couple of days, things didn't run as smoothly as I had planned but I got there and handed them in to be exhibited. I graduated yesterday with first class honours in Illustration, had a lovely day and it was a nice round up to the course.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Mackie Head...
I found the head of a mackerel yesterday on the pier, the rest of the little guy must have been used for bait. I got a beautiful digital SLR from my parents for my birthday/graduation so I have been out snapping away. I have to say it is amazing and I am extremely grateful. The next couple of days will be dedicated to putting together a couple of copies of my book to exhibit at the National Glass Centre. Two of my illustrations and my Roker book will be on display as part of the Songs of the Sea exhibition running from the 21st July-30th October 2011 in the gallery there. Quite exciting really!!! I apologize for my lack of illustration at the moment, I think I've burned out slightly.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Yesterday...
All my troubles seemed so far away. Sorry. Yesterday was amazing and I am still buzzing. I got my degree results...FIRST CLASS HONOURS!!!! Yey. So happy. Then later in the day I was accepted on to the Masters course, hugh relief. After that I was contacted by a lady who wants some of my work to feature in an exhibition, which I am sort of finding hard to get my head round, it seems too good to be true. I'm over the moon and will keep you posted on developments. My first exhibition away from uni, and so soon! I'm waiting to wake up. Today I turned 24 and I actually feel like I've managed to achieve quite a lot in the past year, not such a blockhead after all. A very happy couple of days.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Low Anthem...
Just got tickets to see these guys again in August, I am really not sure how I am going to contain myself till then. They seem to have taken my idea of perfection and brought it to life. 49 days to go. 

Monday, 27 June 2011

This weekend...
Was perfect. My other half bought tickets to fly over to Belfast, stay in a beautiful hotel, and go and see the Fleet Foxes at the Coors Open House Festival for my birthday slash graduation. I think my highlight was possibly the discovery of the Low Anthem, an American indie folk band from Providence, Rhode Island, to say they were utterly amazing is an understatement, seriously check them out. The Fleet Foxes lived up to my expectations and went far beyond and blew me away. I love them. It was great to have a weekend away after all the stress of university and was a great opportunity to chill out. 
Today however, can basically go to hell. I discovered I had been missed out of the degree show catalogue by mistake. It has been printed on a mass scale and after Friday's opening evening distributed amongst guests including professionals and potential clients as a means of contact. Three years hard work to be forgotten. Cheers. They teach the importance of proof-reading projects before printing? I am absolutely gutted.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Hair peace...
Well said John.
Just an idea...
Bring back long hair and beards and peace and love will follow. I think it might work, in fact I am going to start some sort of campaign, this is the official beginning. Inspired primarily by my love of John Lennon and his beard, my longing to have been around in the summer of love, and my general dissatisfaction with todays society, this campaign could change the world. Maybe not. But it has given me a few quirky ideas for badges and postcards based around my little philosophy. If I start growing a beard when I'm an old lady I am totally going to embrace it. 
Business cards...
Yey, my new business cards arrived, I ordered them off moo.com and went for a range of different mini cards. I'm really pleased with the results, but I guess I'll only find out how successful they are once they're dispatched into the world, I could really do with some business right now. I've updated some work on my website gallery, nothing you haven't seen before but it's a start. I'm going to design some postcards and some badges over the next week to put on my etsy account or maybe on my website to sell along with some other magical merchandise, it's worth a try. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Today...
I realised that as I no longer have loads and loads of university work to keep me occupied I could quite easily fall in to the abyss that is daytime television. So I have written a long list of things that will keep me busy and out of mischief. First of all I tidied my desk, not a big deal, but it did take an awful long time because it was littered with scraps of paper and caked in spilled paint! I have also decided that I would like to continue my studies and do the MA course in Illustration and Design, I feel like I will seriously benefit from the course and it will also allow me an opportunity to make some contacts in the illustration industry over the coming year, whilst giving me the opportunity to develop further and produce a hopefully impressive portfolio. So I've written a personal statement, filled in all the forms and photocopied my certificates and what not. 
I am also making a promise to myself that I will play at least one hour of my banjo every day till I am mint, busking quality equals money. Talking of money I am definately gonna sort some bits and pieces out for an etsy shop, I have a few ideas up my sleeve and will start once I get a couple of commisions out of the way, a couple of pet portraits. An ongoing project which is on my list is the completion of my Roker book, to get it up to a commercial state before forwarding it on to the local historical society and publishers. All of this business aside I need to get a job, a real I am job. One that will pay the rent, keep me fed and watered and will help support me through my masters, if my application is successful.
I have some new business cards arriving this week so I guess that is a small step in the right direction. I am in the middle of sorting out a website too, so once that is complete I will post a link, it's nothing fancy as I have no skills in that department, I used a gallereo.com template, and would really recommend them as they are so helpful and have practically done everything for me! My next task of the day is to make a cup of peppermint tea and start binding an extra book for my forthcoming exhibition!
On a totally separate topic, when I woke up this morning something huge ran across my pillow and jumped at my face, it was a spider with a body the size of a penny and thick long legs! It actually tried to get on my face! I was home alone so had to deal with it in a cowardly and brutal manner, and then once I cleaned up the remains I started to cry. It's probably been crawling all over me in my sleep for days, I feel violated. I hate to kill things but it was a moment of panic. I'm sorry if you had babies Mrs Spider. (I presume you were female because you were huge, no offence).

Monday, 6 June 2011

Roker (20 yards to the beach)
An open publication edition of my final major project book, i got finished just in time! Hmm...time to face the big wide world. Im not a student anymore...cack.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Bungalow Cafe...
Another illustration for my fmp book, collage, pencil and paint.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Smugglers...
An almost continuous line drawing of The Smugglers pub, filled in with a bit watercolour. Situated along the far end of Marine Walk this is in my opinion the best live music venue in Sunderland, in a fantastic location.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Roker Again...
A double page spread which will come after my first single page, the title of the book written on a rock and photographed with my hand in shot and the lighthouse in the background.
Pete Dodds...
Here's a painting I did a few years ago for a North Eastern Folk musician called Pete Dodds, he has just released his new album called Cora Mills and my painting features on the front cover. I have to admit I am absolutely over the moon. He has one of my favourite voices in the world and has written some of amazing songs, including Jeremiah, which features on the album. Check him out he's a legend and a lovely man. The album will be available to download shortly or to purchase from various places. I will post an image of the booklet soon, im in it! Proper famous now tha nars.
Sunderland Voluntary Life Brigade
A collaged life ring for my page about the SVLB, made up from torn paper, water colour and biro on a hardboard base.
Spottie
A clay model of Spottie, outside his cave in the ravine at the beach entrance to Roker Park. Pretty pleased with the way the little chap came out. 

Friday, 20 May 2011

The sea is big enough for the both of you...
A couple of weeks ago we met a couple of divers on the beach getting ready to venture into the sea, we shared a quick conversation with them, then watched as they backed out in to the water. Later, on the pier, we met a fisherman, face scrunched and back hunched, we approached to find out the crack. He had been out all day but hadn't caught anything because, he said, the divers were too close to the pier and had therefore chased the fish! So this is basically a couple of line drawings documenting the tiff.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Acknowledgements...
Just a very simple thank you spread to everyone who participated with my book, either by having a bit chat, sharing some local tales or keeping me in pints down the Smugglers!
Good Morning...
This is the introduction to my fmp book, my book's a bit of a mish mash so maybe this will help bring clarity to the reader? I bought an ancient typewriter from the charity shop a few weeks ago, hence the type! It's my new toy, a pure bargain!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Seaside Treats...
Some biro and watercolour studies of various treats available from Roker Amusements. I think they're quite nice and will probably use them alongside a photograph, and that will be another spread. I say 'another' like I have loads. I do not. I'm thinking that if I do a couple of all day and nighters this week then I can get on track. We'll see.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Catch of the day...
Nine varieties of fish available in the North Sea around Roker. I am pretty proud of this illustration so Im gonna submit it for my degree show, I just have to dig out five others now! Arghh!