Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Helping Paws...

Shoddy phone picture of Bella and Billy helping me at the light box by clambering on my lap and settling down to sleep. *They* were extremely comfortable. I wish I could say the same for myself...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Mysteries ( of all descriptions!)

Another image from my sketchbook.
A mystery story seems to be developing within the pages of my sketchbook. Firstly there was the siblings following footprints across a frosty moor, then the rabbit and mouse investigating a doorway in a dark alley and now this - stern faced Victorians and a little boy and his uncle following a thief  in a jungle temple who is making off with some treasure. I think a story might be brewing  and that's exciting.

Talking of mysteries and treasure look what I found at the weekend:
Jem's parent's were up to visit us this week and after having afternoon tea in Betty's tearoom we went for a rummage in an antique fayre. I got the above - it's a child's film star scrap book from the 1930s and it's incredible. The effort put into cutting out these images and gluing them in is fantastic and this will be a brilliant resource for my artwork... but I'm just wondering who created it??
And here is something else I've been meaning to show you:
A while ago we bought a chest of drawers from a vintage furniture shop and all the drawers were stuffed full of brown paper and card - I'm assuming to protect the drawers whilst it was being transported. Once we'd got the chest of drawers into position I cleared the drawers and found this tucked into a crack at the back. It was actually a negative, but a bit of photoshop magic revealed the picture - a family portrait from I think, the 1930s. Isn't it brilliant?! But what I want to know is who are they? Where did they live? What did they do? 

I'd love to know... but maybe the magic comes from the mystery of not knowing.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Down a dark, dark alley...

Above is a painting which I worked up from an image in my sketchbook (pages of which you can see over on my flickr site.)

I'm really enjoying painting more and relying less on photoshop to colour in artwork. There's something incredibly satisfying about sitting in the  ( newly tidied!) studio, painting and humming along to the radio.

Friday, 15 January 2010


Sadly this is true! I always fall asleep and I'm now wondering if I'm *that* person who wakes up with a jolt and a snort at the end.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

My Mum has X-Ray Vision

The first review for my newest book 'My Mum has X-Ray Vision'  (written by Angela McAllister) is in and can be seen here at The Bookbag website.
I'm so pleased the reviewer liked it.

If you would like to read it  it's available in hardback and paperback here on Amazon and at your local book shops!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Monday, 11 January 2010

Jim'll Fix It

Dear Jim,
 Please fix it  for me to illustrate 101 Dalmations. It has everything I would love to draw - dogs, exciting action and a wickedly stylish villan. I would set it in the late 1950s/ early sixties and would have the best time ever.*

Thank you,


Above pictures are doodles from my sketchbook for Cruella DeVille's wardrobe as well as some pictures of the pooches. In other news I am very excited to find that this sketchbook which is not my usual brand, allows me to draw with my dip pen and paint with out it bleeding all over the place or soaking through- brilliant!

* I retain the right to take this last statement back if I do ever get to illustrate this book and find drawing 99 different puppies  all the time just a little bit irritating...

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Last night it was minus eight in York. Outside the snow lay deep and crisp and huge flakes tumbled from the sky.... AAAANNNNDDD.... our boiler stopped working!! HOORAY!

We tried everything we could to get it going but, alas, nothing worked. There was nothing for it other than to bundle up in our warm clothes, strap the chihuahua to us to stop him shivering. This morning however, we realised that the problem was that the condensation pipe outside had frozen, so we quickly defrosted it, fired up the boiler and now it works! 

The sense of accomplishment is, sadly, immense!

The above is a page from my sketchbook and my goodness that bear suit would have come in useful last night. The only problem is that if I had one, I don't think I would ever take it off...

Get your own bear suit here:

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Snow! Snow! Snow!

We are under a thick, thick, thick blanket of snow here which is making me want to roll myself up in a blanket and sit by the window drinking frothy coffee and scoffing cake.

No change from normal really....

Above is a little sketch I did of Bella, our middle dog ( middle in age, but the biggest of all three) who is a gentle little sausage and finds an enormous amount of things in life of which to be scared. At the moment snow falling from the sky is bothering her immensely. Instead she is choosing to spend the day curled up like a doughnut on our bed  slowly blinking and occasionally going cross eyed as she watches the snowflakes tumble by outside. I don't blame her.

I've started a brand new sketchbook for the new year and will be uploading images from it most days ( along with other things) at my new flickr page. Go here to have a nosey!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Resolutions so far:
1. Update blog more often.
2. Finish my website and get it live.
3. Stop catching revolting toddler viruses from Small Nephew.
4. Add to  my collection of red shoes.
5. Embrace the concept of NOT having to drink my morning coffee out of my 'I ♥ NY' mug everyday ( the world will not end if I chose the kitten mug instead!)
6. Paint more ( see above)
7. Stop sending as much time looking at small dogs and kittens on the internet.
8. Stop getting as cross with the people who phone The Jeremy Vine Show
9. Stop being afraid of making pastry.
10. Write more letters and actually put said letters in the post.