By teresakirk, Jun 1 2015 07:00AM
New work published over on Instagram.
Welcome to my blog
A place for me to record work in progress, sketches, inspiration and anything else that pops up as relevant to my work.
New work published over on Instagram.
I now live near the Lake District, which I love, and have been spending time up there, taking in the fells and lakes, and the spectacular views of Morecambe Bay. It's such a beautiful place, and full of inspiration; from patterns in the dry stone walls, slate-built houses, dramatic changes in the weather and light, to the different breeds of sheep on the hills. Sitting down to draw after my latest visit, I remembered some of the flowers I'd seen in the hedges and gardens, and the many shades of green. Of my loose drawings, mostly made from memory, this is the first batch I've turned into repeats: more will appear as I work on and I'll share here. Expect sheep.
The lifting of winter, and the explosion of spring is one of my favourite times of year. Little by little, more sunlight makes for a longer and later walk in the evening, less layers, no gloves on my run, and a brighter outlook on life when the clocks go forward and mornings start early, light and warm. It's also when land and the landscape comes to life. Captured brilliantly by D. H. Lawrence in the poem below, spring is a fierce fire, a 'blaze of growing'; rich with imagery, I love this poem.
The Enkindled Spring
This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
After the cold, frost and dying back of plants, spring can seem nothing short of a miracle, and it's no less staggering on a small scale in the greenhouse, and in the tiniest of gardens; modest, spring-green shoots emerge from dark soil to sprout a riot of green leaves, stems and colour. Fresh lettuce, raddishes, herbs, the fanned leaves of rhubarb hiding thick, ruby stalks, and vines that will grow plump-heavy with tomatoes - all with small beginnings, and left mainly to the alchemy of soil, water and sun. In celebration of spring and fresh produce, I've begun painting the greenhouse harvest and some of my ingredients, before I eat them. Only fair, I think.
This is the third time I've been shortlisted by Tigerprint. For this competition, over 1400 designs were submitted so I was pleased two of my entries made the shortlist of 87, and because both designs are so different.
The first drawing I made very quickly and spontaneously with marker pens and felt tips, and it was made loosely from images of poppy fields and cottage gardens with daisies and dandelion clocks. Around 20 minutes of quick drawing and then some editing of the background and the addition of texture in Photoshop resulted in this repeat.
I spent far longer on the second design - and it came about by looking at vintage wedding bouquets and floral meadows. Roughly I spent around 5 hours drawing and making studies of lots of different flowers and foliage in gouache. I then spent a second day editing and assembling motifs in Photoshop and making the design into a repeat.
In total, I submitted five designs. Here are the other three designs (they're variations on the designs above) and my working drawings. If you want to see the full shortlist it's over on Tigerprint's new blog.
Designing for Christmas is a strange beast as, more often than not, it happens in summer. When life is revolving around sunshine, blue skies and heat (or at least hopes for these things), I am applying for Christmas craft fairs and thinking about Christmas imagery; Santa; white snow; scarves; fir trees; sledges .... on it goes. Getting into the Christmas spirit in flip flops demands a shift. However, this year, Hallmark had a timely 'Fab and Festive' competition that took place over December and Christmas. So, after a dark, winter evening spent sketching out quick ideas, this design emerged. I'd been to Bath before Christmas and taken a walk through the streets, after dark, but before the city started shutting up; Bath's Georgian houses and shop fronts looked especially beautiful, and with all the Christmas shoppers laden down and thinking of home, it felt busy, warm and cosy.