john singer sargent

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Happy birthday to perhaps my favourite ever artist. There are so many artists that I do love and depending on the moment I could pick any of a handful as my MOST favourite, but Sargent has held a special and enduring place in my heart.

A few months ago William Joyce (another wonderful artist!) posted a series on Instagram about his character Jack Frost. He wrote that “… he made the acquaintance of various artists and intellectuals of the Belle Epoque. The poet Rimbaud, Whistler, Sargent, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and Poe all found the company of this ‘young Mr Frost’ to be both memorable and haunting.”

So here is a quick little watercolour of Jack as Sargent might have painted him..

jackfrost

watercolour on Fabriano, 12.5 cm by 18 cm

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holiday cards

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I was playing around with ideas for holiday cards, one of my favourite annual projects. The brown bear theme was on my mind in honour of my awesome mother, and I love the brilliant seasonal colouring of spawning sockeyes, but unfortunately not quite the right tone for a holiday card….

fishing_grizzly

watercolour on Fabriano Artistico, 12.5 cm by 18 cm

Scritch, scritch, skritch

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I’ve found a few moments to return to scratchboard recently. Still so much fun, and such a useful shift in thinking from working with so many additive mediums. Here is a wee little fanciful piece. Got another, bigger, board in the works and I’m so excited about that one! We shall see…

ampersand clayboard and india ink, 17.5 cm by 12.5 cm

ampersand clayboard and india ink, 17.5 cm by 12.5 cm

sabriel

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Going back to the theme of my favourite books, with a vaguely Halloweenish theme, here is a sketch of Sabriel from Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series. As Halloween approaches I’ve been thinking about some of the witches, nercromancers, and ghosts that I enjoyed reading about. I returned to Nix’s incredible magical world of the Old Kingdom, where the River of Death is just one step away, again and again. Best necromancers ever…

copics, 12.5 cm by 13 cm

copics, 12.5 cm by 13 cm

nighteyes

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In honour of my complete reread of Robin Hobb’s Fitz and Bingtown books, here is the most recent of the many versions of Nighteyes I’ve drawn over the years. One of the most heartbreaking and brilliant series of books I’ve ever read. And now all my emotions are twisting and tortured waiting for the next book… Check ’em out here.

watercolour on yupo, 12 cm by 8.5 cm

watercolour on yupo, 12 cm by 8.5 cm

owain glyndwr

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So to celebrate another little known holiday, September 16 is Owain Glyndwr Day, marking the date of his crowning as the Prince of Wales in 1400 (the last native Welshman to be so named.) He was a pretty spectacular figure, rallying the Welsh to rebel against English rule, establishing a Welsh parliament, but only twelve years after his crowning he disappeared.

The history, mythology, and landscapes of Wales have long been an inspiration to me. I did this watercolour sketch while climbing around Mt. Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa a few years ago.

yr_wyddfa

watercolour in Moleskine, 58.5 cm by 21.5 cm

some inspiration

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It was Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ 182nd birthday a few weeks ago. His work has always inspired me, though especially when I was younger. The fairy tale loveliness of his paintings seemed to reflect and capture the worlds of my own daydreams and stories.

My parents once took me to visit Buscot Park which has one of Burne-Jones’ Briar Rose series and I fell quite in love with it. In fact I’m pretty sure Sleeping Beauty one of my favourite fairy tales because of those paintings. Here is a little watercolour inspired by that series.

watercolour on Fabriano Artistico, 16.5 cm by 7.8 cm

watercolour on Fabriano Artistico, 16.5 cm by 7.8 cm