First Drafts of the New Autumn Collection


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It is a grey drizzly February day, so working on my new autumn collection with the glowing colours is quite a contrast.  I really cherish the days when I can work uninterrupted on my designs. I have been thinking of foggy autumn days with the autumn leaves appearing as a brilliant contrast. Inspiration has also been drawn from  Wolf Kahns pastels with their scratchy colourful marks and the quilts of Gees Bend.

Here are my first drafts of the New Collection.  They still need a bit of work and I need to put them into repeat.  I am quite excited about how I combined the composition of a quilt with my hand drawn designs.  The intention is to make the designs “painterly” and quite free.  I hope I am succeeding with this.

Autumn Design 2 for Twitter

Autumn Gees Bend

Autumn Design for Twitter - Blog

Preparations for Lucerne


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I am really pleased to have made use of my fabric scraps.  A friend of mine has   transformed them into these lovely bags and purses which will make good Christmas presents.  Each one is unique and has a matching silk lining.

All the preparations have been done now and I am leaving tomorrow for Switzerland. The Expat-Expo is on Sunday 11th November in the Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus) in Lucerne.

Here is a small taster of the items which can be used as make-up bags, pencil cases and purses.

Autumn Inspiration 3


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These past few weeks have been rather challenging. The builders have been with us for a month now.  Walls have been knocked through and mounds of earth removed, but our new conservatory is up, letting a lot more light into our kitchen.  I have also been preparing for the Expat-Expo in Lucerne, and designing my new collection.

I feel rather sad that I missed out on some autumn sketching outside.  I have had to rely on some old sketches and autumn paintings as reference material. It is late autumn now and there was such a beautiful light on the trees this morning when I drove my son to school.

As if reading my thoughts, Richard my photographer friend sent me some images of beautiful autumn shots taken at Westonbirt Arboretum. Here are some tasters, celebrating autumn in all its glory; very inspirational.

Autumn Inspiration 2


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It has been a busy time in my studio preparing for the Expat-Expo in Lucerne. However, some mornings were spent working on my new autumn collection. For further reference and inspiration I re-visited some of my old paintings inspired by Autumn, particularly golden Autumn evenings.  They bought back memories of many hours sketching on Exmoor and in the Botanical Gardens in Bath.  Here are a few examples:

The cottage on Exmoor overlooked a valley and hill full of trees which were spectacular in Autumn.  This painting is based on the sun setting behind the hill.  The time when day meets night.

The valley on Exmoor looking out of the cottage window.

This is the valley again, looking from the cottage window.  I named this painting “Exmoor Requiem”. There were several reasons for this, I was listening to Verdi’s and Berlioz’s Requiems while working on this painting.  Also, I was pre-occupied with the concept from “darkness to light”.

This is based on sketches done in the Botanical Gardens in Bath.  I was still thinking about the time when day meets night.

Autumn Inspiration


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I am planning a new collection for fabric designs inspired by the autumn trees and landscape.  The golden light of autumn, the mists, the colours are very beautiful; but there is also something sad and melancholy about this time of year.  To gather inspiration and ideas I have looked at old autumn sketches, photographs, images of warm cozy, wooden interiors, work of the artists Wolf Kahn, Breon O’Casey and Judith Cain.  I had such a rich source of research material that I ended up with not just one but three mood boards and lots of images in my sketch books.

Here, I would like to give you a flavour of my autumn mountain photographs, taken on a visit to the Berner Oberland in Switzerland a few years ago.Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau

Chalet Window in BallenbergView down to the Lake of Thun

Colby Woodland Garden Sketches


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Here are some of my sketches of Colby Woodland Garden.  The challenge was how to interpret such a lot of visual information that is the woodland garden. At the time, I was very much influenced by the work of William Crozier, whose paintings hover between representation and abstraction.  His work could also be described as decorative with a “rough and ready” element which I like. Here is a link to his website

Woodland or woodland gardens have had an enduring fascination for me.  It could be that I used to live near some beautiful woods just outside Basel as a child.  Every autumn we went to the woods in the Alsace to pick black berries. Also, my  grandparents house in England was surrounded by woods.  The mystery of the “hut in the woods” has been a constant image in my mind and an inspiration. It is such a romantic concept.   That is why I have been following the construction of the Plankbridge Shepherd’s hut garden at the Chelsea Flower Show with some interest.  For some beautiful images, have a look at this link:

The result of these sketches was a drawing with the intention of developing it into a fabric design.  Here are some sections of the drawing as it is very large.

Sketching History


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These past couple of months have been taken up with preparing for my show at Expat Expo in Basel, setting up my business and moving into my new studio.  So it was really refreshing to go on a sketching trip to Hidcote Gardens in Gloucestershire with a friend last Sunday.  It was a real joy to sit in those beautiful gardens and draw.  It reminded me of how much I missed it these past few weeks.

This made me reflect on all the places I have sketched in the past.  My trips have taken me to Exmoor, Norway, the Botanical Gardens in Bath, Cornwall and the list goes on.

One of my favourite places however, is the Colby Woodland Gardens in Wales.  I have a passion for woodland gardens and the time spent there with friends is idyllic.  Days are taken up with drawing, with breaks at the tea room and watching a good DVD with a glass of wine in the evenings.  Spring is the time we usually go there and here are some photos to give you a flavour.

Walled Garden

Chair Restoration Continued

It was exciting visiting the Woodworks the other day as my chair is now ready to be covered with my fabric – all I have to is design it!  Ian, who has re-upholstered the chair does not share my enthusiasm for it as “he would not have it in his own home”.  He is quite curious though what it will look like once covered. He asked me if I was covering it with something pink?!

I still have not found out anything new about the history of the chair but I am working on it.