Monday, November 4, 2013

Inspiration from the Outer Hebrides

My family and I were in South Uist last week, one of the islands of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. We experienced every type of weather imaginable, but the big skies, low sun and autumnal colours of the land were inspirational. The landscape seemed to change with every passing moment as clouds passed, changing the light and bringing an unparalleled drama to everything we saw. The wind didn't stop the entire time we were there (with the exception of when we loaded into the car at 5:30am to catch the ferry to leave), but it didn't stop us exploring the hills, ruins, lochs and beaches of this incredible place. Inspired by the seaweed and my new love of watercolour, I did these two paintings while we were there.
Ascophyllum nodosum is known as knotted wrack. I
collected this sample from a beach on the island of Eriskay.

Fucus vesiculosus goes by the common name bladder wrack,
named obviously for the gas-filled bladders that give floatation
to this seaweed. This particular specimen was much more red than
other samples I have seen, hence the colouration.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I have a new obsession

Timing couldn't be worse. I am up to my eyeballs in work and my husband is away so I'm flying solo parent for a while. However, like any obsession, these things become insignificant and all that matters is when you can next indulge yourself. This is how I currently feel about watercolours. I have no training in art and until very recently, stayed pretty clear of watercolour as a medium because it is thoroughly unforgiving. However, I recently took a course at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden and now I'm hooked. It's obviously a work in progress, but I'm thoroughly enjoying exploring this new medium. Here's a few snaps of the products so far...

Unfinished...this is the oak I started during
the watercolour course.

Little maple leaf - the product of family art night on Friday.
Autumn colours - the latest product.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Digging up some old cards

Every now and then I feel inspired to do an original design card. I was sorting through some old computer files recently and came across two examples I thought I would share. The first was a card I made for Morgan to hand out to his friends at nursery. It was inspired by a play the children put on and included a very eclectic array of characters. The children loved it because they could recognise the characters.

The second is a watercolour I did of my Azure Kingfisher photograph that I sent to my Grandmother. She loved it (as grandmother's do) and last I saw, it had a place of honour in her living room.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


I did this from a picture I came across in a nature photography book. Even though the photo is from New Zealand, where I've never been, it struck me as it reminded me of diving on the west coast of Canada. Diving off of Vancouver Island and looking up through the bull kelp with the blades dancing in the currents. Missing Canada....

Friday, July 19, 2013

IF - Robot

I did a blog post for the University of Bristol Botanic Garden about composting robots, but I was faced with a definite lack of visual material for the post. After all, a photo of compost wasn't terribly appealing. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and quickly whip a little cartoon to go alongside the post of what a compostable robot might look like. I drew the outline by hand and then coloured the cartoon in on the computer. So, when I saw this week's IF topic, I couldn't resist submitting this!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Flowers from the University of Bristol Botanic Garden

I have had the great privilege lately of also blogging for the University of Bristol Botanic Garden. This means that I get an opportunity to take pictures of flowers and call it work. I thought I would just do a quick post to highlight some of the flower photos I've done over the last little while. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just a little crabby....

This is a female fiddler crab I sketched out and coloured in with watercolour while my son Morgan was painting.