friends that never met

Michael McConnell, at Fayes Bench Gallery in San Francisco, created an art project 'Friends That Never Met' where instagram friends would pair up and create a piece of collaborative art embracing their online friendship; a chance to work on something tangible in the real world together. So I had a good think and asked Melodie Stacey, an artist I follow on instagram and whose work I love, but who I've never met in person, if she'd like to work with me on some artwork. She said yes!

We each started a piece with a character, and posted them to the other to finish. Here is 'How do you do?' featuring my Mr Lizard. I noticed that Melodie often paints in blue, so I decided to do blue too. It's a mokuhanga print with watercolour, while Melodie painted in gouache. The artworks are all small-ish, and look wonderful on the wall in the gallery.

Melodie sent me several blue ladies to work with, so I chose one and decided to add an elaborate hat and avian friend. Here is 'Feather Lady'.I studied Edwardian headwear to get inspiration and added my hat as a collage in blues onto Melodie's painting.Social media is a great platform for artists to interact and inspire each other from all over the globe, and I really enjoyed taking this concept and adding a physical element to it. Melodie is in the UK, I was working in Japan, and the show is in California. I love it!

The show is up for the whole month, with an artists reception this thursday evening, on September 21st. Please do pop in if you're around! All the artwork is for sale.


Christmas drinks

I drew some festive line decorations around seasonal wine bottles for Waitrose supermarket's free Christmas drinks guide this year.I created a green-on-green patterned wallpaper for the background, so the white lines would pop, and the lovely rich colours of the wine bottles would sparkle.You can pick up the guides in any Waitrose around the UK!


I did some line illustrations for this fun knitting book in the US recently.I drew several different frames that were used for chapter headings throughout the book:and created little background scenes for the knitted creatures to feature in, some as double pages, some as single.I've never been that good at sewing or knitting, but I may just give these a go! The book is available on amazon.

trip to Budapest

I've just come back from a visit to Budapest, where it was chilly but clear, and very relaxing. We visited the castle and walked around the old cobbly streets. I loved the houses all in pretty colours with different architectural details...I particularly enjoyed the cake shops and cafes, especially this one, with its lovingly restored ceilings and mirrors. Heavenly!We went to different spa baths every day, and my favourite were the Rudas Baths, a spa dating back to the Ottoman era. No photo of that one unfortunately, but here's one of the Szechenyi outdoor baths.

Cliveden visit

This weekend I went to Cliveden, a National Trust Property in Buckinghamshire. The grand Restoration era house (more of a large castley-villa) is now a private hotel, where you can also take meals. You get to the house up a long, wide gravel drive, past a magnificent marble fountain. In the 30's this was the home of Lord and Lady Astor, and there was a beautiful painting of Lady Astor by John Singer Sargent in the lobby. I explored a little, upstairs and downstairs, before lunch...

After lunch, a stroll in the gardens, to admire the parterre, and the house itself.There was a small group of re-enactment actors playing at being Lady Astor's crowd of socialites and celebrities, from 1934. How wonderfully English. They even had lemon drizzle cake...