Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Arrival of Pickle....

  Here is my first completed illustration for a new series of prints and postcards. Each illustration will show snippets in the daily life of 1930's showgirl Una and her fellow dancing pal Bunny. I want the sweet little collection to read like screen shots from an old 1930's musical - think Busby Berkeley of course.

The Arrival of Pickle.....Gouache

I'm planning a wire limbed doll based on Bunny. Would feel terribly wrong not to bring her to life!

  Una and Bunny adopt a cat called Pickle... He likes cosy corners, swinging on curtains and sharpening his claws on the skirting boards.

  The idea for introducing a little cat into the story was inspired by the cat in Stage Door 1937 and my good friend Julie of  Lukedrewthis and their new family friend 'Pickle' - who's captured my heart!

  The gorgeous Pickle himself.

  I'm hoping to get the collection ready for sale in early March. Not sure yet how many there will be in total but I have a fair few cute scenarios up my sleeve and in sketchy format.

  Pip x

Monday, 19 January 2015

Fresh Start, New Beginning...

  I'm so enjoying January and the feeling of a fresh and new beginning. I have so many plans and characters lurking in my sketch books I can't wait to get started! I'm also eager to make steps towards a few other ambitions and dreams. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to create illustrations for books. I've wanted to create my own picture books with my own stories and my own characters. I feel that now might be my time to start looking for some advise and representation. I realise things don't happen over night but what's important when we have these aspirations is that we believe we will achieve them -  so far I'm having a very positive January.

  I've started my year with a new series of illustrations inspired by all those gorgeous, cute and stylish Busby Berkeley movies of the 1930's. Movies about dancers and showgirls, romance and sparkling parties. I can't help but create imaginary stories around these glamorous and perfectly coiffed chorines. These historic little ladies that tap, sing and create pretty geometric shapes are such a perfect and inspiring subject for 'Pip' illustrations.

  This collection centres around a platinum haired dancer named Una (a smart girl and an all round good egg) It also features her showgirl friend 'Bunny' (a quick witted, sharp bobbed beauty with many admirers)

   I'm using gouache in a limited colour palette for each piece. Hopefully altogether there will be 6 - 7 illustrations in the set - but I do have rough sketches for at least 10 - so who knows! I've had a handful of emails lately asking about purchasing original work..... So providing none of these paintings end up with smudges I will possibly sell the originals along with prints.

  Working progress....

   Una's Day Off

The Dressing Room, The Audition and Tea and Pin Curls

  I can imagine Una sharing an apartment with several other dancers. They'd definitely have a house cat (like the one in Stage Door 1937 where Eve Arden's character constantly has it draped around her shoulders)....First girl up in the morning feeds the cat! (the cat will have a name)

 I hope all my readers are enjoying their New Year and if you've checked in with my website recently you will note I am not taking on any more custom orders now till May. I always work on commissions alongside my own projects, so everything you see showcased isn't always a commissioned piece. I have also made a few slight changes to my pricing strategy but it's all listed over on my Website if you want to have a browse.  

  Pip x

Friday, 2 January 2015

Looking Back on 2014....

  What a wonderful year 2014 has been. On both a personal and creative level its been a year of fulfilling goals, spending quality time with my friends and family and realising that the older you get the wiser you become. Juggling a creative business, family life, motherhood, finances and day to day chores is not always a walk in the park, but what I'm finally starting to realise is that on the whole I'm doing ok.

Jean Harlow doll and one of the postcards from the ever popular ' in the life of Jean' sets

  One of the big highlights of my year was entering and winning 'Best Artist' in the 2014 National Vintage Awards back in June. My handsome husband accompanied me to Birmingham to pick up my award - which obviously I didn't know I'd won until the night, so was all very nerve wracking. I was over the moon when I won, drank a lot of wine and met some fabulous people.

  It was also incredibly lovely to see the publication of The Sewists by the truly delightful Josephine Perry. It's quite a thrill to walk into your local bookshop and see a book on the shelves which you are featured in. I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to the book back in 2013 and spent a lovely day chatting with Josephine about how I work and what inspires me.

  I also started to take on commissions again half way through the year, this has given me the opportunity to create two of my favourite pieces to date.

Dark and moody mermaid and boudoir Jean

  Travel wise I have enjoyed a week in a fairytale log cabin at Eagle Brae in Scotland, a sunny week in Majorca, and half term breaks in both Norfolk and Cornwall. I'm a lucky girl. Holidaying with my husband and little boy is always a joy. As a child I never went on many holidays so as an adult I've always had a childlike enjoyment of packing my suitcase in readiness for an adventure.

  My favourite actress Myrna Loy seems have to become a bit of a creative trademark...

  So who knows what 2015 will bring? I'm so excited. Unlike a lot of people I actually love January, it's a time for clearing out, tidying up and making lists! I'm planning on doing a lot more museum, cinema, dance and theatre trips - something I love yet haven't done enough of this last year. I already have some lovely commissions to start work on and I'm very excited to be creating a piece for an exhibition later in the year. I'm busy. I'm happy. I hope you are too.

  Happy New Year and thankyou for reading my blog and enjoying my creations.

Pip x