Apples and pears

Apple and Pear

Just a bit of an update on the apple book that I did, well I tried to make a pear to go with it, unfortunately I have temporary run out of old books to cut up, and chose to use something a bit more modern. The paper was too thick and the spine too stiff, so although you get the idea from the photo, the final version will definitely be made from an old poetry book just like the apple was.


Indian printed papers notebooks

I bought some packs of beautiful printed coloured papers from India. The texture of the papers is really delicious, and the colours are so vivid and lovely to work with. I just made some simple small notebooks with ivory paper inside. Each one a different cover. The covers are made from card not too thick, so the covers have some flexibility and the books are not too heavy.

Indian printed books


One place I have travelled to many times is Greece. The Greek Islands to be precise. The first time I went, was in 1987, the hottest summer in years, a massive heatwave with temperatures not dropping lower than 30 degrees even at night. Hundreds of people died across Greece and I was really ill with sunstroke and had blistered shoulders. But I remember that visit to Corfu, with the half sunk ships in Corfu Town harbour, and renting a boat and almost making it to Albania before being warned off back to Corfu. First encounter with snorkelling and fish <—-THIS—-> big. A few trips to Kefalos Harbour in Kos, a trip to Kefalonia and many trips to Skiathos Island, Skopelos, Alonisos, Tsougria and Arcos Island, and I have collected many images both on my camera and in my memory of the most beautiful back streets and old buildings I have ever seen.


Travels in Mexico

I have been drawing small images for a long time, but as lovely as they are to draw, they never really turn into anything. Deciding that everything really should matter and be a part of something, I decided to print out these pages of little squares (well, almost squares) and started to fill them in. I was looking at houses in the desert in Mexico for a project I did in university about 3 years ago, and something about them stuck with me. After looking through the sketchbooks of the incredible talented and simple illustrations of Tom Gauld (see my links for his website) I decided to create these images. I didn’t get to fill a whole page but have posted them as individual images on my Flickr page, I can’t wait to get up in the morning and finish the page, I have so many more ideas. And a huge thank you of course to Tom for his inspirations. I have been following his work each week in the Guardian newspaper. Great stuff. The plan is to turn these into a little book for the upcoming artists book fair in Manchester.



Note books

I have been working with a new method of binding lately, I can’t seem to find the official term for this binding yet, but will let you know when I do, or you will let me know. I bought myself one of those super staplers that can staple hundreds of sheets of paper together at once and its amazing! For a practical application the book needs to be not too small, and the fold in the cover allows both the front and rear covers to fold back completely flat.


Halloween 2009

Oooh pumpkin time. Not wanting to get too carried away this year, I just went out and bought one pumpkin. There is the best grocers just a couple of minutes from our house, run by this amazing Iranian man. He always has boxes and boxes of Medjool Dates and will always let you sneak a few while you’re walking around his shop. I bought the biggest, tallest and most incredible pumpkin ever. It had a long twisted stalk on top and weighed quite a bit, although I didn’t weigh it this year. Rather than carving an image right out of the pumpkin, I used my lino cutting tools to take the skin out in the pattern of a witch for Kitty.


So once I had finished with the witch, I thought it might be a good time to create my addition to the wonderful blog curated by Jonathan Edwards, Draw Serge. Draw Serge is a blog filled with contributions from artists and illustrators each creating an image of Serge Gainsbourg. I made mine in the other side of the pumpkin. Not sure my daughter or the other kids around on halloween actually got it, but it made me smile. And it was added to the hallowed walls of the Draw Serge blog!!



I have been folding books for a while now, making shapes from books and it’s been really enjoyable, but I took this really old poetry book with really thin pages, and removed the cover before trimming it into the apple shape, then rubbed the edge with a sandpaper block and dipped it in ink (mixture of brown and yellow). I rubbed some pages in the ink diluted with water, and it all wrinked and stuck together. I took the first and last page and stuck them together before blowing the whole thing with the hairdryer on hot which puffed the thing up like it is now, and added a bit more crinkle to the pages. Yum. It feels lovely to touch. Apple