It's the last few days of August and parents are busily rushing around getting their little ones prepared for school. New uniforms for growing children, sports kit and must-have stationery is on the school shopping list.
About five years ago I stood on a wet and windy beach on the North Coast of England and decided that I wanted to live by the sea. I wanted sand between my toes and a sea that you could swim in so knew I had to head to the South West of England to find what I was looking for. I found my Nirvana two years later in a quiet seaside town in East Devon: Exmouth.
On the 4th of July America celebrated its independence and love of all things American. Over the last year I have discovered the breadth and beauty of this unique nation, from coast to coast.
I have started a series of State-scapes, which are gradually appearing on my online art shop. When I created artwork for Washingtonand Oregon, I was so lovestruck by the natural landscape and pioneering history that I decided to go visit these states pretty much once the ink was dry!
Over the last year I have created a series of over 20 illustrations of cities in Germany working in collaboration with national book retailerThalia, celebrating the unique cultural heritage and architectural landmarks of each location. Before I embarked on myGerman series I didn’t know a great deal about Germany’s culture or its iconic cities other than what a tourist novice would pick up … but I certainly do now!
I've just spent the past few days in Ontario, Canada, which is where my sister and her family live, as do my two Canadian licensees. I normally flit in and out ofToronto as I juggle meetings with trade shows and try to squeeze everything in with little time left over to getting to know the surrounding area. This time it was different and I became a tourist not just in Toronto but discovered areas around the lakeshore and beyond.
I have drawn my way around the world, discovering some of the world's iconic cities, breathtaking natural landscapes and pockets of peace and tranquility as I go. I love drawing buildings and towers, bridges and boats, as well as the wildlife with whom we share this world. But within my Cityscapes you will often find food that heralds from a particular region, whether it's a local crop or a celebrated culinary dish. We connect with a place through what we consume. I've recently created a series of German Cityscapes printed on Canvas Tote Bags for national book retailerThalia and each one includes a local delicacy ... and often brew!
This week in Japan is literally Golden. It’s the week that Japan’s hardworking people down tools and techy stuff, do lots of shopping, give gifts to loved ones and enjoy time at home with family. I’ve been fortunate to be in Japan during Golden Week more than once and enjoyed the feeling of euphoria that we in the west know as Christmas. Indeed, I was in Tokyo last year when I created a live painting of Ginza for a design-led retailer: Plaza Lifestyle
Like many artists, I work from home and get the benefit of not losing time or money travelling from A to B on a daily basis. I love it! Just stepping down a set of stairs to my ground level studio, which opens onto my garden is my journey to work every day ... but I am not alone!
With the realisation that my plane from Exeter to Hamburg changed in Amsterdam I took the opportunity to enjoy a 24 hour pit stop and rediscover a city that I had not visited since I was an art student … over 35 years ago!
I collaborate with licensees around the world, who turn my artwork into beautiful products. One such licensee isVevoke, which is an Australian giftware brand and make stylish, natural canvas tote bags and marvellous bone china mugs printed with my illustrations celebrating the diverse and wonderful landscape of Australia and New Zealand. Vevoke's sustainable and stylish giftware is sold by destination boutiques throughout both countries as well as through their new, online shop: Hello Sunday.
Last week I travelled up to West Yorkshire in order to give a series of lectures to business students at theUniversity of Leeds. I am on the University’s Business School Advisory Board and help to make up a panel of external members who try to ensure that the courses on offer are relevant for students who will become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.