As we wrap up 2023 I like to spend time remembering my favourite things from the year ... so here are my top 10 magic memories ...
1. Hello Grace's Giclee!
In February, together with my former assistant, Grace Middleton, I launched Grace's Giclee Art Shop. A specialist, giclee art print service for artists and illustrators. It's been an amazing journey and we've enabled hundreds of artists throughout the country to monetise their art through our creative print service over the past year. It's been great back working with Grace too and see her winning Devon Women in Business Start Up of the Year :-)
2. Coronation Chicken
My chicken Nancy, got a mention on national radio as contender for the best Coronation Chicken! I created art to celebrate this momentous occasion however it was Princess Nancy that stole the show. Here she is adored by fellow resident BiBi.
3. Howdy Denver!
I travelled to Denver, Colorado to take part in the Museum Store Show and support my American licensees. I spent a wonderful few hours discovering this amazing city whilst I wasn't signing tea towels at the trade fair!
4. Celebrating Diversity
Collaborating with my licensees, I created a design to celebrate equality and diversity. Initially designed to support Family Equality in America, the illustration has been adapted in Canada and the United Kingdom to express values of integrity and acceptance within our relationships, in a fun and spirited style that is my unique signature.
5. Hello 7th Decade!
In June I celebrated my 60th birthday with my old school friends. We spent a wonderful time in Scarborough catching up on our lives, then boogied to Blondie. Sixty going on sixteen!
6. Hello Bertha
My 60th birthday present to myself was ... a camper van! Hello Bertha, a beautiful, purple 4 berth camper, that took me to mini festivals, the beach and Cornwall, Devon and Dorset throughout the summer. I plan to take her through Europe to Greece with three of my hiking buddies, which will be a huge adventure in 2024 for us all.
7. Campfire Dinners on the Beach
As we enjoyed an Indian summer, I headed to the beach with my friends and made campfire dinners. I sea swim throughout the year and love warming myself by a fire, apres swim, and tucking in to halloumi and vegetable kebabs cooked on the fire as the light fades into the night.
8. Hotel Hideaway
Whilst travelling with Bertha, I had a pitstop at the Hotel Trensanton in Cornwall. I love working with the Polizzi Collection, a beautiful, curated portfolio of luxury hotels in England, and I love visiting them and soaking up their unique atmosphere.
9. Live Art at Brown University
I headed over to Brown University to create live art in their campus store that sells my range printed with my illustration of their university. Painting the wonderful Water Fire event was a memorable occasion and led me to experiment with a more painterly style.
10. Hiking The Hills
Everyone who knows me, understands how important walking is to me. Rarely a day goes by that I'm not out on the South Downs, near to my home in Eastbourne. I am a member of Glamoraks, a women's walking group, organised online and rolled out nationwide. The monthly Glamoraks walks are a highlight of my month. I trekked through Turkey in 2023 and will end the year hiking through the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The perfect goodbye and welcome to a new year, which I look forward to with warmth, curiosity and optimism.