Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bare Hair

I've had a pretty lazy day today. It started promisingly, but then some friends got chatting on Facebook and Skype, and then suddenly it was half one and I nearly missed yoga (I ran there in the snow/rain/hail after accidentally blowing up the toaster and wolfing down a humous bagel. Not the best way to start a yoga class, but I still wasn't sick, so go me!). After a lovely stretchy, balancy yoga class I procrastinated the rest of the afternoon away indulging in my new-found and slightly unhealthy Twitter addiction before I realised that I really needed to make cards for my nan and aunty's birthdays, which are right after Christmas. So here's what I've achieved today- a birthday bear and a birthday hare.

After Christmas I'll have a lovely new scanner that won't leave that horrible line across my work. No more carefully Photoshopping it out, or apologising for not being able to scan at high resolutions (I still won't be able to go mega high; my computer is also an old man. And he's a lot more grumpy than my scanner...).

But anyway, that's today's achievements. I never did get round to printing my wrapping paper or finishing my brother's tattoo design. They can be tomorrow's jobs.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Design Week

Some of my Tomatoes prints for National Trust Books have been featured in this week's Design Week, which is looking at illustration with retro style. Cool!

Monday, 29 November 2010


I've just posted a new design to Society6. It's a Trilobite, as I'm sure you're well aware, but I've no idea what kind. He's a handsome fellow and I think he'd look lovely on an iphone case or a hoody and, by pure coincidence, he's available as such on Society6! Go to to see him in action.

Monday, 22 November 2010


I've now got some work available for sale as giclee prints, iphone/ipod skins and cases, laptop skins and printed T-shirts and hoodies on Society6. There are only a small number of designs on there at the moment, but I'm planning on adding more and more. Head on over to for some unique printed goodies!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


New work for National Trust Books, this is the second in the Kitchen Garden series by Jane McMorland-Hunter. Mmmmmmmm Bloody Mary.....

Christmas cards on South West Artwork

Cards now available on South West Artwork's online store include designs featuring robins, reindeer, Father Christmas and ethereal wintry scenes. Head on over to and take a look. They'll also be on sale at Poole Winter Arts Market. See the post below for more details.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Poole Winter Arts Market

Anyone in or around the Poole/Bournmouth area on the 4th December, head on over to Poole town square (outside the big Sainsbury's) where there'll be a Winter Arts Market between 10am and 4pm. South West Artwork will be there along with The Cherry Closet, and between them they'll be selling beautiful artwork, unique, functional design products, luscious vintage clothing and Christmas cards by yours truly. Not to be missed.!/event.php?eid=139944682724012

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Christmas Cards!

My 2010 Christmas cards are now available in packs of 10 on Etsy (or buy them individually if you prefer). There's a limited number, so get them while they're hot!*

They're printed on glossy, white card, blank inside for your own message and come with plain, white envelopes. £7.50 for 10 or £1.50 each.

*Disclaimer: cards will arrive cold. Do not purchase in lieu of heating.

Friday, 5 November 2010

At The Zoo-oo-ooo!

I was just uploading pictures from my camera, when I found some I took at Bristol zoo when my dad, nan and aunty came to visit, just before we left Bristol. It was a really lovely, sunny day, so I managed to get loads of photos, from the viewing tunnels, of seals and penguins swimming through the sunbeams. Here are a couple of good ones. The first one's my favourite, but I also love the third one, with the little penguin head poking up at the bottom like he's photo-bombing me. I've put some of the meerkats up too; they'd sit really still for a split second, and then all rush around like they were playing super-fast musical chairs. The two going at it really amused my nan. Nans are filthy.

Not these two, you dirt bag. Don't ruin the moment...

The little one on the right reminds me of Martin from Green Wing

There you go. And next to the meerkat children too. Charming.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Sketchbook #2

Some more sketchbook pics. These are from one of my MA projects. I should really do some actual work today. I've been very lazy.
My Folio parcel wasn't nearly as exciting as I thought it would be, it was my originals from the Beowulf project being returned. God knows how it managed to get here- the original address was for one I haven't been at in over a year, and I lived in Bristol between now and then. This leads me to conclude that TNT employ genius-level trackers, who sought me out using a superhero sense of smell and some very high-tech radar equipment. They picked me up on dradis. (any BSG fans out there to get that...?)



I've been looking through some old sketchbooks this morning. I should reeeeally do more drawing. I think that's what I'll do this afternoon while I'm waiting for the TNT man to deliver my mystery package. He's apparently tried twice already, although I dont believe he's actually tried knocking yet. I have NO idea what the parcel is, but according to the nice Geordie lady I spoke to on the phone it's from the Folio Society- what could they be sending me...?!

Click for bigger images.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Quoth The Raven, "Kraaaaaaaaaaak!"

I've got a bit of a crow thing going on at the moment, and I've been feeling the need to draw lots them. A lot. They're amazing. Here are a couple of prints I did today. The first is simply, "Raven", and the second, "Crow Parliament". I'm not sure about the second one, it didn't come out quite as I'd imagined it, but sometimes that's a good thing. You be the judge!

Thursday, 21 October 2010


This month's (aka November. Because magazine calendars are weird....) issue of WIRED is out now, featuring my re-branded masthead on their credits page. Check it out below.

Earth Island Journal

I've just finished work on an illustration for the Earth Island Journal. I was really excited to get this commission- the Journal is one of the foremost environmental publications in the world, and The Earth Island Institute has been a hub for 'grassroots' campaigns of conservation, preservation, sustainability and eco-system restoration for 25 years. They provide crucial assistance to groups and individuals with new ideas for promoting ecological sustainability. And they asked me to do them an illustration! WOOO!!
The print is for an essay called Cold Comfort: Notes From A Winter In Montana, by Rick Bass.

So Charming

The lovely folks over at have told me that if I'd be so kind as to give them a mention on here then anyone nice enough to read it will get 10% off all the wonderful, twinkly, shiny things in their store! And they they said lots of nice things about this blog to encourage me to do it (and gave me my own little coupon too). So head on over to and enter charm10 at the checkout to claim your discount.
And if you want to get me a little something in thanks for drawing your attention to this offer,  then I suppose I could grudgingly accept this sweet little bomba necklace.... ah, go on.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


I've been working on some illustrations of potatoes for a new book from the National Trust and Jane McMorland-Hunter (author of For The Love of An Orchard, which I illustrated last year). I did 10 illustrations in all, of all stages of potato growth and harvest, from chitting and flowers to harvesting and cooking. I'll let you know as soon as I know the publication date but, for now, here are some of the illustrations.

I'm also about to start work on a second book for the series, 'Tomatoes'. We're not sure how many there'll be yet, but hopefully a few more!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Antlers Gallery will be holding a new, pop-up exhibition of the Grotesque at a secret, as yet undisclosed, location in central Bristol on the 28th October- just in time for Halloween!

There are eight marvelous artists involved, including Tim Lane, Tom Mead, Amy Timms and Angela Lizon (and little old me!). It's great to be involved in this project from such a new and exciting gallery, so to find out more, and see samples of the artists' work visit and sign up to the mailing list. Alternatively you can join Antlers' Facebook group to be kept abreast of things.








Update 20th October: Grotesques has had to be postponed for now, but if you join the mailing list you'll be informed as soon as we've got a new date/venue!

Monday, 11 October 2010

1 Word

I saw this 1 Word List posted on Facebook. The idea is to answer every 'question' with one word- a word association game of sorts. I haven't seen one for a couple of years and I'm having a break from drawing potatoes by eating cheese and home-made beetroot chutney on toast, so I thought i'd fill it in...

1. Where is your mobile? desk
2. Your partner? geology
3. Your hair? scruff
4. Your mum? curly
5. Your dad? hippy
6. Favourite object? book
7. Your dream from last night? weird
8. Favourite drink? water...
9. Dream car? nope
10. The room where you are right now? studio
11. Your ex? over
12. Your fear? heights
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? wondrous
14. With whom did you spend last night? rowan
15. What are you not? dinosaur
16. The last thing you did? eat
17. What are you wearing? stripes
18. Favourite book? many
19. The last thing you ate? cheese
20. Your life? sleepy
21. Your mood? dopey
22. Your friends? away
23. What are you thinking of right now? words
24. What are you doing atm? munching
25. Your summer? bristoly
26. What’s on TV? dust
27. When was the last time you laughed? earlier
28. The last time you cried? ages
29. School? 's out
30. What are you listening to right now? Spotify
31. Favourite weekend activity? wandering
32. Dream job? marinebiology
33. Your computer? grumpy
34. Outside your window? garden
35. Beer? please
36. Mexican Food? beany
37. Winter? nearly
38. Religion? no
39. Holidays? camping
40. On your bed? duvet
41. Love? suresies
42. ? answer

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Leukaemia Research Charity Exhibition

I've just donated my Coriander print to Michelle Shaw, who's holding a charity exhibition at Pedestrian Gallery, Rutland Street, Leicester on the 4th December to raise money for Leukamia and Lymphoma Research. The sale will be from 4:30pm - 8pm, and anything not sold on the night will be available for sale later. All proceeds will go to the charity. See this Facebook group for more details!/group.php?gid=119751364737428

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Chambers And Valves

I've just finished work on this two-colour reduction print of a heart and valves which was commissioned as a gift for the client's boyfriend. The lyrics are from a song they both love, called Chambers And Valves by Dry The River. I've printed four in black and four in an indigo/violet mix for sale, but this is the only reduction cut one. That makes it special- hope he likes it!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

GQ Out Now!!

The new issue of GQ came out this week, and my 'Band Plays On' print is illustrating an article by Charles Finch in the Talk section. Check it out, very classy!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

James Thorne: Photographer Extraordinaire

So. Art (and therefore, having no money) runs in my family. My younger brother, James, is a photographer working in large and medium format, digital and traditional mediums. He's recently started printing on aluminium, which is great if you love strong, dark tones and heavy contrast in your photos (you can read more about it- and buy too!- on his website He also does a great line in extraordinarily beautiful dead things, like the 'Bunny' below (my personal favourite) 
 and these on his blog. He's really very talented (and, being his sister, I wouldn't say that unless it were true) and I promise, they were like that when he found them...

He's also got an Ebay store, as well as selling through his website, so head on over and give it a browse.


Monday was my dad's birthday, so the other night I sat watching telly and drawing this soppy-faced little labrador puppy for his card. Coincidentally, and entirely independently of me doing this, my mum sponsered a black labrador puppy in my dad's name- strange! Is 2010 the year of the dog?
Ah, nope. I just looked it up. It's the year of the tiger. Well, close enough...

Friday, 27 August 2010


Reduction-cut masthead/logo design for WIRED magazine. Not sure which issue this will be in yet, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, 26 August 2010


It was my friend Chris's birthday on Tuesday, and I was searching Google images for something to draw for his card when I came across an amazing picture of this Princess Di-styled lady and her prize winning collies. The odd thing is that I was searching for "thunder chariot" at the time...(I don't need to explain myself). I couldn't say no.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Lino Print Tutorial

Ages ago a couple of members of online artist's community, Tailcast, asked me if I'd make up a lino tutorial for them, so they could see the process and have a go for themselves. I've got a bit of a summer lull in work at the moment, so I thought now might be the time to finally do it (sorry for taking so long, guys!).

So, here we go.

1. First step is to get hold of some lino. I use 3.2mm thick, from TN Lawrence, which is pretty soft and malleable, and that means you're much less likely to injure yourself than with thicker, harder stuff. They also sell Speedy Stamps, which are easier to cut than traditional lino, and good for first timers.

2. Once you've decided on your design (start with something simple, like the text I'm using here), trace it and transfer it onto your lino. Remember it will need to be a mirror image of your design, or it will come out backwards when you print it. If you find your lino curling or feeling particularly stiff at this stage, you may need to heat it a little to make it more workable. If you haven't got access to a hot plate you could leave it in the sun, on a radiator, or even sit on it for a bit to warm it. It won't take long. If it gets too hot it may crack when you try to cut it. It's too hot when it starts to smell- if this happens leave it to cool for a bit. Probably won't be a problem if you're sitting on it...

3. Now, using a lino cutting tool (you can get beautiful wooden ones for grown-ups, but I'm still using the plastic 'student' cutter i bought from the art shop at college. You can get them in most art shops. It does the job just as well), carefully, and aiming away from your other hand, cut around your design. Try not to go too deep or use too much pressure- you'll not only make it harder for yourself and make holes in your lino, you'll also run the risk of damaging either yourself or your design.

4. Once you're done cutting, portion out the smallest amount of ink you'll need onto a flat, non-porous surface (it's usually less than you think- too much ink on your roller will bleed all over your plate). I use Speedball water-based inks which i can rinse off in the sink without having to use harmful chemicals. They also dry much quicker than oils and there are now plenty that rival oil-based ones for intensity of colour.

5. Roll the ink out until it looks smooth and velvety- if it looks gloopy then you've got too much, so either roll it out over a wider area or put a bit back. It should look like the image below.

6. Roll the ink onto your plate, taking care not to get any on the cut-out parts. If this happens use a rag- or a cotton bud for fiddly bits- to rub it off. At this point you can decide how much ink you want where- if you want lighter or more textured areas, apply less ink.

7. Carefully place your paper on top of your plate. Either run your print through a printing press or, if you haven't got access to one, do as I do, and use a spoon. It doesn't need to be a big spoon, but it does need to be smooth- wood or rust could tear your paper.

I'm using very fine paper, so I can see the print coming through already, but if you're using thicker paper, feel around for the relief parts of your plate (it's a good idea to start with the edges so you don't miss any bits) and rub over them with the back of the spoon using a firm pressure. Continue until you've covered the whole print- for reference you will see an embossed, reverse image of your design visible through the paper.

8. Now gently peel the paper back from the plate to reveal your lovely, new lino print! Marvelous.