This week, some of my monsters developed two heads! - inspired by insects which often display a big scary face on their body or wings which isn't actually their face. At long last I worked out how to make Reels on Instagram with the image top left, above, and set it to "What's that coming over the hill" by The Automatic - great fun.
Still working in my sketchbook, I developed the floral theme a little further with my adoration of ikebana. I love the gravity-defying weirdness where truth is indeed stranger than fiction as they spring from preposterously tiny vases or shallow bowls apparently supported by nothing but moss.
I am also preparing some textured Fabriano Rosaspina, a heavy card-like printing paper, for stand-alone works. I'm getting texture by adding whiting to my primer and using lots of scumbling.
Yesterday I had some weekend fun making small yellow flowers from one of the paintings into a repeat pattern, which I am calling Pansy Riot. Can't wait to see it on some products.
Oh, the joy! Real paper, real paints, real everything again. Overnight this week it suddenly became spring, and there was warmth in the sun meaning I could get back into my work room. It's freezing in there and dark over the winter, but this week I opened it all up again and the absolute joy of natural work spilled out all over! So exciting - I have wanted to paint monsters for ages, so I started work immediately with a wild prolific madness. I am so genuinely happy!
Don't get me wrong, I thank the Lord (and B!) for my iPad Air which has enabled me to keep producing through the most difficult of times, not just cold weather but during my parents' decline in health, the subsequent house move, and selling our former house during the horribly difficult times of the Covid plague. Periods when I didn't have a room at all, just shuttling back and forth in a car or a removal van and providing for wonderfully supportive friends who pitched in to help. Recently I have derived immense satisfaction from finding a way to make perfect patterns with basic technology digitally 'by hand' that's not actually carving woodblocks, and I've come a long way without Adobe products or automated patternmakers.
Being a trained painter, though, nothing beats the mess and randomness of the studio and I am so, so happy to be back. The freedom!
I should also mention B and I had our first dose of Oxford AstraZeneca exactly one week ago today. It was an extremely well-organised event, really quite an exciting and pleasant experience with wonderful and competent NHS staff and heating in every booth. No side effects or symptoms to report, we should have some level of protection by next week.
A mid-week bonus post - I finished a much softer rose brocade I have been working on at the same time as the watercolour texture patterns. The daffodils are out and spring is definitely on its way, so I used lots of daffodilly yellow against silvery grey to celebrate, and made these two shy little drawings. I particularly enjoyed the Roses marmalade jar drawing.
I challenged myself to make a pattern in 15 minutes just to see if I could do it!
Still on the 'riso' texture I created, I quickly drew these little creatures and some plants.
I got them into a simple block, or grid, repeat, and it worked!
I experimented with different colours, not very sophisticated because in the time frame I didn't make colour separations on layers.
The painter in me really loves the nuances of texture and colour, but I know they will not reproduce well when printed on cotton or other textiles. It's a cute design, though.
I thought of them as being kind of elephant creatures, but was reliably informed when I posted them on Instagram that they are possums! A Google search revealed that they do, indeed, resemble possums although they could do with loner toes.
Lovely strong shmoosie blues here, but because of the transparency and texture of my 'riso' attempt the possums look a bit dirty and tonally it's all a bit wrong.
Thanks for reading. see you next time!
It was an exciting week, being B's birthday, and my first ever order from my own shop arrived. I can't describe the buzz when I spotted my own design through the packaging. I designed a graphic tee and matching mask as part of his birthday present, and I was actually delighted with the quality of both. I have seen one of my masks in real life before and couldn't believe the detail in the printing, and it is true that you do really have to see what you are producing for yourself - I got full of new ideas and set to work experimenting with a new brocade design I have been working, using painterly watercolours in jewel colours for summer.
I made B's tee in masculine greys and as always was fascinated at the appearance of the printing tile when it is 'turned inside out', it always amazes me that the two are exactly the same design. B loved his gift, that was the main thing, and the mask had its first outing on Thursday when the fishmonger's van came around bearing delicious seafoods for the celebratory dinner.
Welcome to my illustration blog! I usually post here on Wednesday, sometimes adding extras to keep a work journal.
I illustrate under the pen-name of Binky McKee, McKee being my mother's maiden name. Binky was the name of every single cat my great-grandmother kept - allegedly about 40 of them during her 94 years of life.
Currently I am working on illustrating a children's book, pattern making, and setting up a Spoonflower shop.
I hope you enjoy your visit!
I keep lots of scrapbooks and sketchbooks where I develop ideas and design little creatures. Here's a peek inside one ...
As you may know, I am also known as Heather Eliza Walker.
Click the image if you would like to find out more and visit my other website.
This time, take a peek into my ceramic design sketchbook. I actually made some of the mugs, but I kind of prefer the drawings! The plate designs are painted on paper plates, a most liberating process.
These watercolours are from my pattern sketchbook. I used coloured wax crayons to resist the washes of watercolour, also home-made rubber stamps dipped in bleach then printed on crêpe paper - the bleach takes out the paper dyes.
A sketchbook I used for mark-making with unusual objects - corks, seed-heads, feathers, home-made rubber stamps, my fingers and lots of flicky things ...