Saturday, 21 November 2009

Settling in

I've been in Falmouth just over two months now and feel pleased I've set myself up a cosy corner in our MA studio (pictured below). We have our own secret entrance through a wild bit of garden and the same kind of quiet that most of Falmouth can boast of.
Since being here people keep telling me how it's one of those places one keeps going back to, or not being able to leave... And in a way, I can see that already. For me, it's just being so near the sea all the time- even my job at the hotel takes on this romantic quality, dressed up in black looking out on the bay no matter what the day is like.
Funnily enough, I'm heading to Florida in a mere eleven days for a months holiday (and mine and D's wedding!). While the warmer temperatures (albeit wet!) and palm trees and immense greens make for a sweet change, it's nothing to Florida in December and I can't wait.
More soon x

Our secret path

My studio desk

Draceana palm

A part of a narrative workshop relating to my current project.

Monday, 28 September 2009


Grey skies and balmy air today but yesterday was stunning. D and I went to the beach and found it crowded and lively. Many were in the water, bobbing about and I wished for my swimming suit so I could've gone in too. Next time.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Falmouth Town

And then suddenly, here we are in Falmouth! Just like that!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Edinburgh, I'm taking you with me.

I'll make this short. I am writing from the middle of my final hours as nanny to an enormously lovely family and these days are truly bitter sweet. Tomorrow, D and I take off on a two day road trip to Falmouth, filled to the brim with excitement and in a lot of ways mystery. But then, those are nearly the same thing.
Edinburgh is sunny with a perfect scottish breeze today, like a parting kiss, and my eyes are sore from squinting as I walk- as if looking harder than usual will keep the memories of this town fresher in mind!
Boy oh boy, what a change is in store!
Next time I write I'll either be somewhere on the way down the length of the country or settling in Falmouth.
Here's to you Edinburgh, you've been perfect.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Caution, Partygirl!

Here is my Illustration Friday post this week, the word is Caution. The piece is titled Caution, Partygirl! and is a collaborative effort between myself and Imogen, one of the wee girls I take care of during the week.That's actually a birthday cake in the center, exploding. We painted it inbetween games of Memory, played with handmade cards by the two of us. We have made a winter stack and summer stack and I'll try and post pictures of those too before I leave Edinburgh.
I am only one month away now, a little less. Haven't started packing but will soon and am excited and in a daze at the same time. "Busy Lizzy" never ryhmed so well!
More soon, I promise and intend to keep it.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Weight in Water

So these photos are not the sharpest but I will post better ones soon. I have been invited into to show a few pieces at The Big West Fest art festival at the Whale Art Agency in Wester Hales along with some very good ECA alumni. I have two new paintings going in (shown above) and will show also one from my Degree Show last year. The opening is on Thursday from 18.30-20.00 and I do recommend every one comes and has a look. It's bound to be lovely and looks like an interesting venue too. Here's how to get there.
Back from holiday in Majorca, I got right back in nannying and had a perfect week back. I took the two youngest to the zoo and ran along a bridge together with zebras going under us. We took pictures of every animal and even got a great shot of a hippopotamus yawning (will try and post these soon too).
Along with painting I have kept incredibly busy lately as I am planning a move to Falmouth in just over a month and as I'm starting a Masters there, there is much to do before hand. Looking forward to it immensely and really absorbing my last precious weeks in this city I've grown to see as home. It will be quite something to leave. I've stayed pretty steady put for five years now, and now I have a big haul looking me in the face. I'm looking it right back though and feel good about it.
More soon. x

Monday, 20 July 2009


I am in this hot and lush place with family, talk of family, long lunches and slow-ticking time on my hands. Even if I come away only with sketches I am content (almost) to have these firey images bubbling away and preparing themselves. There are times when the internal things seem to all be lined up like ducks in a row, and time when they seem to be so scattered it's hard to see. This is a time, though, just in between. Holding promise but no mania.
Reading The Moor's Last Sigh (S.Rushdie) in this place is like the sky behind the funny rainbow that is my trip. It took a long time to get inside the book but now I am hooked. (Thanks to my dear friend who picked it out for me, you know what I like)
My grandmother (pictured above) is dancing behind me now to her favourite African music, its a breathy sound that brings heavy, vivid memories of my childhood with her. So many sounds and smells make up the ideas of what happened before, or in this case, what is still happening. The fascination we had of what she was doing and the way she moved!, every morning just as we woke groggy like lion cubs.
I don't think there's anything that makes me so interested and keen to understand as growth and family.

Saturday, 18 July 2009


I am not on holiday on my own here, not as a travelling brit or german drawn to the sun, sand and friendly custom- I am here with family. And I find, mostly when I am away from everyday life, not working, sleeping early and waking without an alarm (but early), that this puts my mind into a totally different place- wherever we may be gathering. I am almost a child here, thinking simply, eating happily when I am told, my chores are made incredibly pleasant and soothing... It seems 'being away' causes a shift or break really from being an adult. Is it that way for everyone?
It's lovely here of course. The Mediterranean certainly has those famous and seductive healing properties. My legs turn to fishtail under water as they did as a girl and I am almost frantic with the chance to swim in the sea daily. Today, I went out with a mask and saw many white and black fish, nibbling on the rocks and laying eggs in the sand of the ocean-floor, they swayed in the current and so did I. I lay on my back floating and could see only blue. What that does to your head and heart!
I miss my twinsister as one gets used to being apart when life has its tolls, we work and make up goals and see to them, worry and dream and what-not but when I get here with sweet-nothing to do- I really feel the gap between us. My sister- my natural half. So this picture is for her. As are all of mine.
(*Technical resources run short here so I apologize for the unavoidable blur of some of the images in these island-posts.)

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Hot and Hollow

This first one is my long-postponed Illustration Friday submission, to the word Hollow. I am enjoying a very proper holiday in Palma in a part of the island called St. Augustine. All the houses keep three guard dogs and most of them are hairy German Shepherd or yellow Labradors, which seems funny when it's so incredibly hot. I have been swimming every day in the sea and spending all my time with my auntie, wee cousin and grandmother (who all live here these days.) Luckily.
I sleep with the windows open to catch any breeze and then must admit spend a good three hours laying in the house reading during Siesta time... though one day I do plan to brave the sun's harsh rays for the warm sand and lovely cool ocean. The beach's charms, though perhaps embarrassingly celebrated, are undeniable. There is nothing like a swim over clear waters and black as night sea-urchins.
As I said, the first drawing is my IF post for the week, following the word Hollow and I suppose you could say the rest of the word Hot. They are all of Majorca and in good collaboration with my cousin Raphael. For record's sake, he is six years old and very good at both swimming and drawing.
xx More soon.

Sunday, 14 June 2009


After a real feeling of ambition and good ideas for the following week, I swiftly caught a bug going round and basically felt and acted rubbish all week. Though just a minor down it really pointed out to me how much I rely on my good health and while I do make an effort towards upkeep I need to get a grip on how to manage downfalls with a better outlook. Nothing serious. I worked, while not playing big games with the kids- did my duties, and slept while at home.
It is Sunday now and I am really excited about going for my first exercise outing all week really- a bike ride with D to Gorgie City Farm for the youngest's birthday party. Here's hoping we beat the rain!
On Friday, I had a couple hours extra nannying to do and brought along some kit for monoprinting to do with the girls. We had a sweet time and they made some really great prints. I'll see if I'm able to post some of theirs later as I really think the second eldest in particular had a knack for it. It's perfect for kids really because the mess and the rolling-action over the paper, and pulling it up to see the result really appeals. There's something to it because it's a bit of a surprise. Sometimes plain drawing can be a bit anti-climactic for them.
We used a sheet of slightly corrugated plastic, gouache paints, copy paper and a rolling pin. xx

Monday, 18 May 2009

Long time....

I feel like I've been spending a lot of time indoors lately. Edinburgh weather has not been at it's grandest this spring and I am hoping it returns to form soon. There has been quite a lot of rain this weekend. We have some kind of holiday today and tomorrow, so I have had extra time. Always a treat.
Lately, I've had my hands full of the unexpected and haven't had the right mind to draw much but broke that pattern this weekend with some hours with the pen in hand. I had been wanting to do some fairly ambiguous work which I guess you could call "broken stories." They are just drawings with bits of narrative, which in the end, could maybe be strung together to form a story. But as there is only one right now, I like the idea of having just the bit of text and you can connect it to something if you like. I suppose it's as if you find just one torn out page from an old illustrated book. Even the tiniest things have stories attached. I guess nothing stands alone.
I have been spending my time doing research of this sort and that and am feeling almost crammed with ever-shifting ideas and images... almost to the point where nothing will come out. Like a too full drawer, jammed shut. Hopefully I'll get in the better habit of shaking them out and making this site as regular as I'd like it to be.
Normally I just use my pen-tablet for touch-ups, lettering and simple colouring but here is something a wee bit different. It's really just a test but was neat to do and I am set to try some more.
Promise x

Thursday, 23 April 2009

the assumed impossibility of perfection

It has been some time since I've posted. Still, this evening I am beat and will write more on the weekend. I also hope to post some photos and drawings from a short trip to Berlin to visit my twin.
Quickly, this is both my IF submission for the week regarding the word, impossibility and a personal piece in three stanzas.
I look forward to getting back to more regular posts.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Poised for spring

Hello all!
Well it's gloriously sunny and mild outside today and it's also my last day of work before Spring holidays. I made the decision last minute and booked tickets to visit my darling twin sister in Berlin. I haven't seen her properly in ages and much longer since it's been just the two of us, so naturally I'm bursting with excitement!
Because it's cheaper and quicker, I am taking the train to Glasgow Airport early tomorrow morning, which means an especially early night tonight. It will be fun to leave the house around 5, probably just as the sun is thinking about coming up, and my dear friend is taking me all the way there too. I truly can't wait! The girls I take care of are also going on holiday and everytime you mention the aeroplane they look fit to explode... while my enthusiasm is considerably slighter for the aeroplane itself, I feel nearly as joyous about the holiday away.
I know I haven't written in over a week and realise now that I haven't mentioned some very exciting news! I found out recently that I have been accepted into the MA Authorial Illustration course at University College Falmouth! So that means that I'll be moving down to tiny and lovely Falmouth come September. It's another big change but I am certainly looking forward to it. I've not been to Falmouth before, but I have spent a summer farming in Cornwall and it was the sweetest summer I've ever had. I've been fanatically looking at maps of the area and reading about it. The course is really exciting too and I'm so happy to be in the position again to be making plans, arranging possibilities. Hurray!
Needless to say, I anticipate actually leaving Edinburgh will be bittersweet, but I'll be cultivating the sweet until then.
Anyway, here is my Illustration Friday submission, the word this week is Poise.
It's also a little salute to my twin, in the excitement of my imminent arrival. Tomorrow!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Tale of Big Foot Bess

I have been waking up this week truly bright, early and ready for very full days. The sun has been decisively out and though the hills are hazy, the meadows remain crisp, clear and already sprouting with sun-bathers. It is a precarious position in Scotland to have your moods dependant on the weather but even though I do feel I'm getting better with that I must admit I've been in a pretty ridiculous state of mind. Cheerful, productive, romantic... Spring-time really makes me gush like a disney movie.
Yesterday I volunteered with a friend at the nursery school here. We dug out worms from the compost and rescued slugs for the children to play with. It was sweet them putting their tiny hands out to cradle these huge,green slugs! And of course, it was the perfect type of day to help in a garden.
This week's Illustration Friday is for the word Legendary. So above is my tall-tale poster, written and of course illustrated by yours truly. I hope you can read it okay (click the image to view large on page). It's a story of a little baby with mighty, strong feet who's temper tantrum creates a mountain range.
On the topic, my friend said something this week: He said, " I really think that legends came as answers to children's questions."
Let's hope these clear days last. x

Monday, 16 March 2009

Cycloptic Myopia

Good morning! Here is the brand new piece for Hungry, Hungry Ghost's new E.P., Cycloptic Myopia. It shall be released on 12 May and I believe will be a digital release accompanying the full-length album, Sleeping English, of which I also did the artwork. All information on these and the band can be found here.
Also, the piece, in larger format can be found here, on my main site. I recently made some changes so do have a look.
There! Morning promotion!
I have the morning off so am taking a slow breakfast and moseying around before I head out into the rain. But I do love days like these, when the weather doesn't get to me, when the rain really is just rain. I like it really, because it reminds me that I really live here and that Edinburgh is just what it should be.
Enjoy! x

Friday, 13 March 2009

Intricately One

Yesterday was great! The day went sweetly, had a really fun yoga class, got off work early and ran errands with my darling. And in the end, it was crisp and clear despite a rainy night and morning. Edinburgh is lovely in the fog and rain but there's really something special and regal when the sun finally comes out. Some weekends are better than others and I'm really excited about this one. I'm feeling productive and bright, relaxed, responsible. I finished the illustration for Hungry,Hungry Ghost's digital release E.P. and I'll put it up on my site when it's released.
Randan Discotheque is playing at the Wee Red Bar (ECA) tonight and I'll certainly be there. I really like watching them play and the songs are great, especially the heartbreak ones. Heartbreak ones are always my favourites.
Above is my Illustration Friday for this week, right on time. The word is Intricate.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Eye-Eye Captain!

This is a bit late but was my IF Submission for last week, which I believe was Breezy. Pretty simple.
I've had another crazy week, full of sick days and long hours with the children. But I left many of them with a conquering feeling. There is a rich satisfaction in taking care of someone and keeping your calm too. It's like letting go of yourself and becoming a sort of servant, but subtle. Though I must admit that it wasn't quite so dramatic for the most part- a week of long hours watching cartoons and making toast isn't any cause for alarm. And as always, my job as a nanny remains a treat. I didn't expect my job apart from Illustration being so satisfying- a sort of double calling.
The day is done now and I can hear that soothing sound of cars on a wet road. It was a grey, heavy day which, inconveneintly, usually put me in a super drowsy, stuffed-up mood. So the dark outside and the comfort of the lamplight in my tiny, granny flat is doing me real good.
I've been productive tonight and may have finished up an illustration for Hungry,Hungry Ghost's new E.P. titled, Cycloptic Myopia. I won't give the final work away but below is a picture of some of the prep-work. I spent my whole Saturday morning drawing eyes, over and over and over. I will, ofcourse, post the result as soon as it's released.
Splendid! x

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Baby Instinct

It's been a full and hectic past couple weeks and I'm happy to have the day to sit down and take care of my to-dos. It's been sick-days plus school holidays so as a nanny, I've been working over-time. It's incredible the changes these kids go through on a daily basis. Emotional levels always adjusting and bouncing of their sisters, for better or for worse. It'd funny how much I can relate to the little one's tantrums. That's why this week I used the above drawing for Instinct on Illustration Friday. It's all about emotional instincts, out-of-body temper tantrums and needs beyond reason. Of course then with serious patience and support, the back lash is sweetness itself!
I am starting work on cover illustrations for an upcoming EP by Hungry, Hungry Ghost (do have a look and listen!) I'm really excited about the project and mostly making myself sit down to work. This weekend should lend lots of time for that, with many laps at the pool and my sunday yoga class in between. So yes, health and progress all the way this weekend! I think that's my serious backlash for a weekend spent whiling aways the hours for a good friends birthday.
While this winter has certainly not been my darkest, it really churned up my heart to see early spring buds popping up everywhere. And while I still had on a coat, I only had a tee-shirt under that... I wait with baited breath for summer, I really do!