children's murals

I'm sorting through images for my new website (hopefully launching soon!) and found these photos of several children's room murals I've done over the years. These two were for my neices...This jungle themed room is in a new baby's room in California.This subtle white line painted floral was in Hong Kong, for two lovely girls who shared a room.And this London-themed corridor and bedroom is in a suite of rooms in Mayfair...I love painting these murals, and always happy to take comissions!

nursery mural

I recently painted a fun mural for a friend's nursery. I was asked for simple scenes with friendly animals, in muted colours, that would work for a girl or a boy. mural-sketches-copyI started with sketches of various combinations of animals and foliage, and put them into photos of the room to decide the best scale to paint them.giraffe-mural-copyI did one of the sketches in colour, to show how they would all look on the pale yellow walls...mural-sketch-4-colour-copy ... and then put together a colour pallette. I used the same colours in all three scenes, to hold the room together. Eventually I did add one additional colour as I was painting: a pale orange for the lion.palette-copyThis is a photo of the elephant scene half-way painted. It shows the building up of the layers of flat smooth colour.halfwayAnd here's a photo of all three finished painted scenes, after they were given a final protective coat of varnish. I love how they came out.wholemuralCan't wait for the baby to arrive now and see if they like their room!


We went to Yosemite National Park at the weekend to attend a wedding, and I loved being surrounded by the trees in the wonderful clear air.wawonaWe stayed at the historic Wawona hotel (now renamed the Big Trees Lodge), and completely relaxed.wawona copyWe went up to Glacier Point twice, the first time at midnight to watch the Perseid shower, and the second time during the day. The meteor shower was one of the most magical things I've ever seen: the night was totally dark and all the stars in the milky way were visible. And then the stars fell, some brightly, some quickly, and some leaving a trail of sparkles. sketch and domeDuring the day the view was spectacular, with blue mountains and valleys all around as far as the eye can see. Truly a marvel of the world...

wedding certificate

I made my very good friend Katie Baldwin a wedding certificate for her wedding, so that all their guests could be witnesses, and sign it on their big day.certificateI did the calligraphy in pen & ink and the leafy border in watercolour, with dusky pink berries and tulips. Here are some details from the border...derails...and a photo of the happy couple. Congratulations Katie and Curt!katiecurt

kapok 10 year anniversary

kapok, the hipster boutique lifestyle store in Hong Kong had their ten year anniversary this weekend, and they've been building up to it with a variety of events. I designed and illustrated a map for their #kapok10 anniversary launch, and they've used elements from it throughout their stores, website and social media.kapok 10 productsI've never created a map from scratch before, by which I mean that it's an imaginary place, not a real one. I was asked to create a country that embodied everything kapok stood for: creativity, fun, fashion and a truly international flavour. I could start anywhere! And of course a new country needs a crest: kapokland's features the pink dolphin of HK and their new motto: 'future classics'crest Here's the full map, showing an archipelago of different exotic fantasy islands, covering all seasons at once, with both tropical and arctic lands.kapoklandThe reverse side of the map also featured a close-up of the main town in kapokland: Kapokville. The town had shops and museums, but also global embassies, a castle and even pedalos!town mapThis is how it was used on the kapok website...kapok homepageThey even had a stand at a local design market with fun illustrated props for customers to interact with...stall...and also used some of the animals as a banner on facebook...kapok banner copyI especially liked how they used details from the map on the store windows...kapok wholw windowand inside...kapok10 in windowCongratulations kapok! Here's to the next 10 years of fabulous!

Point Reyes

Hope everyone is having a relaxing winter break. I just got back from a little visit up the coast to Point Reyes National Seashore, which was chilly but oh so beautiful! We visited the Point Reyes lighthouse, and saw grey whales on their way to Baha.point reyes sketchbookIn Inverness, right by the water, the sunrise glow with mist over the water, was pink and golden and like a dream...sunriseLimantour beach was wild and empty, limantour beachand I lay on the sand in the sunshine and painted the grasses in the sand dunes.sandunesReally, really, can't wait to go back again and discover more!

Sicily map

I haven't featured any maps recently, so I thought I'd show this map of Sicily I did for Conde Nast Traveller in the UK . I painted it a while ago, and I like the way it's placed in the page, giving it lots of room to breathe.Exif_JPEG_PICTUREI also thought I'd show my rough sketch for the map:sicily map roughYou can see how the outer shape of the sea around the island has changed, and a few things, like the distance scale, have moved, and that I removed all the tiny outer islands. The final map became more streamlined, and focussed on the important elements. The bright Mediterannean colours were wonderful to paint.

Japan trip: Wakayama

I've just spent a lovely few days in the Kii peninsula, in Wakayama, Japan. We stayed in traditional guest houses, in onsen towns along the Kumano Kodo ancient pilgrimage route. Our first stay was in Yunomine.The tiny public onsen 'tsuboyu' there is the only UNESCO world heritage recognised hot spring! After enjoying that, and cooking our own onsen eggs, we walked part of the Kumano Kodo, over a mountain, enjoying the moss and ferns.I love the combination of lush green, tall trees, and ancient stones.We then stayed at the delightful Kameya Ryokan in Kawayu Onsen, on the Ota river.We sat on the rocks and swam in the river, where the cold running water mixed with the bubbling hot spring water rising up through the stones.I love onsen holidays!

baby room mural

I've just painted a ocean-themed mural for my baby niece's bedroom. It's a little room, with pale yellow walls and a partially sloped white ceiling. I roughly divided the room into 3 horizontal bands, with the top area of the walls, near the ceiling, as the sky, the next level as the horizon of the sea, and the bottom level, near the floor, as the ocean floor. From my initial concept just to do the sky, with clouds, stars and the moon...

the room developed into a gentle sea paradise.

I drew the clouds, birds, and main boat in pencil first, for positioning, and tested out the colours.

I painted the clouds white on the yellow walls, and where the walls merged into the sloped ceiling, I changed the clouds to blue on white.

I put birds in the clouds,

and sea creatures in corners along the skirting board of the room...

And of course, the main feature: a sailboat, with an imaginary portrait of my niece, sailing in her dreams...