Monday, 25 November 2013

Colour from the season - Chrysanthemum dusky orange

I recently bought a second hand book from a market book stall called 'Flowers in Art from East and West' Paul Hulton and Lawrence Smith, published by The Trustees of the British Museum, 1979.

I'd just started drawing these Spider Chrysanthemums, so to find, among the many plates in the book, one of a exquisite Japanese wood block print of Chrysanthemum ('General of Three Provinces?') was great timing.

It was I discovered one of a series of wood block prints from the book 'One Hundred Chrysanthemums' by the Japanese Artist Keika Hyakukiku first published in1893 (you can see the first volume of these prints here and the second volume here). There are only seventy-five prints in fact, as he died before completing the series, these are inspirational don't you think?

Masses of these imperial colours in my greenhouse at the moment and this variety is I believe called "Dusky Queen' - Here's the book...

...and this is the image that captured my attention when I was leafing through the book in the market!! Painted in 1585 by Jacques Le Moyne de Morges it's called "A Young Daughter of the Picts'. The floral pattern is tattooed in a mirror repeat across her body!
(Interesting information about the image/painting in this article from 'The Independent' here).

Thinking of pattern - I'm really looking forward to the Selvedge (Textile) Winter Fair in the Kings Rd. London this coming Friday and Saturday!! 

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hot off the Press! - Moorland Rabbit and Pheasant collection for Ary Trays

I can't begin to tell you how delighted I am to have designed a new tray collection for Ary Trays!

The samples will be arriving in my studio next week (and will be available from Ary in January) but in the meantime here's the very first photograph of the new collection taken in Sweden last week!

May I introduce...(drum roll)...Pheasant and of course his best mate Rabbit and some other Pheasant he met in a pub on Exmoor.

Designs in progress on the studio wall a few weeks ago...

Ary will be showing my Moorland Tray collection at Home (the definitive Homewares and accessories event), London 12th - 14th January 2014 - for more information contact Joakim Sohlberg.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Colour from the Season - Smoke Tree Leaf Red

Do you know Smoke Trees? So called after the summer flowering plumes which resemble clouds of smoke, but in the Autumn the leaves are fiery!

I wasn't sure how to tackle drawing these intensely colourful leaves and because of this, nearly stopped after the inked line drawing. I decided I'd scan the drawing so that even if I ruined the next part I had this, then relax, enjoy the (paint) journey and not take the outcome so seriously!

A sensual Autumnal palette of reds and golds..

Inspired to draw the leaves laid out in a sculptural row (as this is how they were given to me).

Colour was created in Bombay ink, Acrylic, pencil and lastly gloss varnish because
though its hard to see it here

the leaves have the appearance of burnished leather.

Links to the work of the two talented artists who kindly collected these leaves from their garden!
Helyne Jennings and Trevor Jennings...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Friday, 8 November 2013

'The Accomplisht Cook'...

...'or the Art and Mystery of Cookery' by ROBERT MAY published in London in 1685


"Bills of FARE for every Season in the Year; also how to set forth MEAT in order for that Service, as it was used before Hospitality left this Nation".

Designed last year for an exhibition at Dartington Food fair, this runner sets out extracts from... "The most Exact, or A-la-mode Ways of Carving and Serving"..."A Bill of Fare for Christmas Day, and how to set the Meat in order" (not for the faint hearted it has to be said!).

The Preserve recipes screen-printed on the linen napkins are for Gooseberries Green, Damsins, Cherries and Apricocks, (all of which I intend to attempt making one fine day).

Owing to popular demand - I've just put the design back onto screen and have been re-printing it this week onto fine natural hemstitch edged linen. Durable and fully wash-board and mangle friendly, I think even Robert May himself might have approved!

Favourite things: Accomplisht Cook table runner and napkins; Vintage 6 Pt Casserole by Pearson's of Chesterfield; Antiquated Sharpening Steel by Taylors of Sheffield; Rosehips; Sweet Chestnut and Sparrow feathers.

Accomplisht Cook table runner and napkins now for sale in my shop (here :)
'tis the season to be jolly and all that!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Colour from the Season - Yew Green

My studio is sited on the North wall of St. Mary Magdalene Churchyard and (as in so many Churchyards) there are Yew trees a stones throw from my studio. I've been thinking of documenting their quite unusual colours for a couple of years but a little put off by the fact that they are so poisonous!

The attractive glossy pink "berries" (aka modified female cones), would not look out of place in a packet of Dolly mixture and might be edible, but for the fact that the single seed within is as toxic as you can imagine! The spiky deep green foliage reaching up to the heavens is the most poisonous part of all.

I've brought together (wearing surgical gloves!) the colours of the berry, foliage and branch which are unusual and exceptional together as you can see here for yourself...

Yew colours - St. Mary Magdalene.

I'd rather like to live in a tree house, but perhaps not in this Yew in La Haye-de-Routot ..!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.