Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Bass Rock revisited

I have to hold my hands up and admitt I am fairly obsessed with the Bass Rock. I love the sea and I love drawing and painting the sea and the Bass Rock gives focus and drama. Also, in East Lothian, it is hard to avoid this enormous white rock sticking out of the sea like a picturesque thumb. I do live in fear of becoming 'The Bass Rock Lady' and have resisted doing another print. But I do get alot of enquiries about my first Bass Rock print...

This print tries to capture drama of the white rock gleaming in a dark winter sky.
One of my favourite things as a child was a block of Neopolitan Icecream sitting resplendent in its cardboard wrapper in the aftermath of a sunday lunch. Every time I do a seascape blend of ink I am reminded of that joy.
 I do love a good blend. The joy is the tricky magicky shortcutness of it. E voila, sand, sea and sky in one deft layer!

 And finally the print.

Monday, 16 September 2013


Back in April I received a facebook message from someone saying they liked my stuff and would I create a poster image for a childrens show. I was beyond pleased at such flattery and the opportunity, but was gobsmacked when met Shona and Andy and realised how fantastic their work is.  I was commissioned to create a woodcut for the show Huff . The brief was to use the word Huff and use the texture of the woodcut to create the feeling of straw exploding on the paper. Many blisters and discarded bits of A3 wood later we arrived at the image. I am honoured to have been involved in the project. The show is fabulous, go and see it if you can.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


We spend a heavenly long weekend in Mull last sumer and while there I developed a new obsession with finding a way of illustrating the combination of rock and grass that covers the Island. I love how Francis Walker captures it in her screen prints. I may have to resort to screen printing as I just don't find relief printing subtle enough. Below are some sketches that will hopefully become prints.
Here is a view of Fionnphort. I love the yellow boat in the fore ground. I need to work a little harder on this composition. I put the colour of the rocks underneath and then the green on top with watercolour and picked out the detail with a pen.
This is an old croft I came across walking back from Erraid to Fidden Bay. Again I used watercolour and then added detail with a pen. I love the sense of dereliction found in old farm buildings. The old tin roof and landrover add enough colour to pique my interest. And of course the sheep!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Multiples Market on Sunday!

So I have been printing like a dervish  in preparation for the Edinburgh Printmakers Multiples Market this Sunday.
Lots of Badgers obviously

and look, the polar bears came good!

If you are in Edinburgh on Sunday with a desperate need to buy some badger prints you could do worse than come along!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Snow in the air?

Now autumn is pretty much done and dusted I think it is time to crack out the x word. Christmas is coming and I am working on a new card. Last year was a squirrel, previous year was a wee deer, this year I am going arctic with  a polar bear or two. I had a vision of the bears in the night on the ice but thought it was too dark and then cut round the bears to make an outline. Now I am worried I have made a mistake and should go back to the dark image.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Badger, badger, badger, hare

I blame autumn watch! At this time of year I find myself sketching we animals and woodlands. Aha, I will do a badger I said to myself, how cute, how lovely. How wrong, difficult wee beasties to draw, esp. if you are aiming for an adorable 'Don't cull me' look. I tried for about a week and seemed to end up with a series of fairly horrible bears with face paint.

Thankfully perseverance paid off and I ended up with an image that works. I have decided to stick with the colours and collage effect used for the stag. So I am creating a series of animals using the gold/silver tissue paper with the animal outlined in black and highlighted in white. This combo seems to capture the twilighty autumnness of the atmosphere I wanted for my creatures.

The hare image came relatively quickly, I wanted a sketchy illustration of a hare about to bound off into the distance.

Next up a hedgehog but he is proving nearly as tricky as the badger...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Edinburgh Printmakers Winter exhibition.

My Fidden Bay and Bass Rock wood cuts are available to view and buy at the Edinburgh printmakers Winter Exhibition - Feral landscapes

The Exhibition opened on Saturday during the Open day. As always the open day was fantastic. I was busy helping the public create their very own Mono-prints. There were some beautiful images created by people of all ages using leaves, feathers and stencils. It was the first time I have used Gelatin as a printing surface and it works so well. The gelatin releases the ink to the paper with the slightest touch so no need for a press. I will definitely be doing this again.
My friend Andrea created the yellow and silver prints above.