On the Cover of a Magazine

This month’s Camping and Caravanning Club Magazine boasts my illustrations splashed across the cover.

Well, actually, not just splashed across the cover, but the magazine title too. I guess it seems quite fitting when the magazine is a Food Special

Some of these illustrations are from the inside of the magazine – this month’s Eat Local article is about cafes.

But most of them were commissioned for cover. All cakes and tarts and puddings and a barbecue.

Completed cover sm

50 Shades of Grape



Finally, I ‘ve unleashed my ’50 Shades of Grape’ card on the world.

Check it out at my Etsy site. (Or click on the Shop on the right)

50 grapes in … yes, yes, I know there aren’t exactly fifty shades … but it was too funny a gag to let go of!

50 grapes in various (!) shades.

Perfect for the wine connoisseur, or the wino, in your life.

Ooh, and, coming soon! ’50 Shades of Grape’ the tea towel – perfect for rubbing down and soaking up those spills.

“The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp

The Creative Habit smIt took me a while to pick up this book and read it; not because it’s got particularly long words in it, or anything, but it at 18cm x 23cm it’s a fairly large book – it somehow felt like a denser read – as if there were more words than normal.

It’s a wonderful book with loads of really sage advice for any creative.

1 РI walk into a white room РAbout being in the right frame of mind when approaching the  creative process

2 – Rituals of preparation – Being in the working state.

3 – Your creative DNA –¬†How the way that you are hardwired is who you are and also how you approach projects.

4 – Harness your memory – Creation as a result of your previous experiences.

5 – Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box – About Twyla’s system of organisation of her ideas for dance choreography. This was a bit of watershed chapter for me – and has altered my approach to my own creative projects.

6 – Scratching – About the business of finding inspiration

7 – Accidents will happen – About the value of having a plan before you start and the equal value of happenstance coming along – in creative endeavours luck is a skill.

8 – Spine – About the main idea of a creative piece and why the resulting pice doesn’t necessarily require that spine flagged up and explained.

9 – Skill – About building and growing skills in different areas.

10 – Ruts and grooves – and how to shake things up and get out of them.

11 – An “A” in failure -Why failure and disasters are important in order to move your work forward.

12 – The long run – Mastering your creative process by pursuing your work over years.

I have to admit that in my relish at reading Twyla’s chapters- I didn’t always do all the exercises, which come at the end of each chapter. There are usually about three or four of these and they do seem very practical and useful.

I would say that this is probably one of my favourite books about being creative – one that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading from cover to cover – but also one that I know I will refer to again and again.


My Little Etsy Shop

Etsy Pic

I’ve finally added a link to my shop on Etsy.

If you click on the shop sign in the right-hand column that takes you straight there.

Now, this shop is quite, quite tiny at the moment. (A shoppette, if you will) I’m in the process of producing cards and what-not to full it up a bit more.

At the moment there are a couple of postcards on there, as well as a button to commission a recipe drawing from me.

If you’d like a recipe drawing: Just send along that special family recipe, with a photograph of the finished dish and I’ll turn it into a permanent piece of recipe art that you can have on your kitchen wall, or give away to a friend. My mum’s Bakewell Tart is one of her signature dishes, for example. So I’m illustrating that for her kitchen wall.

The postcard pictures of a pear and a banana were done as gifts for people. A friend has asked me to make an apple in the same series, so they can have the series of three on their kitchen wall.

There are more things on the way, in the next week or so. I’ll fill you in when they’re up and running.

Going to work on an egg

egg smThis is probably the closest I’ll ever get to joining the army – dunking toasty soldiers into my boiled egg.

Nearly every morning I start my day with some kind of egg-based breakfast. My favourite being fried, should you ask.



“Pitch Up, Eat Local” by Ali Ray

IMG_7590 copyWell, May the 1st is finally here!

And with it a book is now available to buy. A book with my drawings in it!

How cool is that!

Now, before you all rush out to buy yourselves a copy – you need to know that it’s a fairy hefty book at 380pages and my drawings are quite wee, little things. Well, in the book they are! I drew at about A5 size.

Basically it’s a gazetteer of England, Scotland and Wales. A gazetteer of the best bits of local produce. So there are sections on Cornish Clotted Cream and the Rhubarb triangle in Yorkshire.

It is divided up into 50 regions of the country

Then, each section focusses on a specific regional food

Local farm shops

and then a recipe or two.

All the recipes can be prepared on a BBQ, or on a portable gas stove.

IMG_7591 IMG_7593 IMG_7594It’s been a real roller-coaster of an experience, from my point of view, too.

From initial phone calls last summer, to meeting up with the lovely people at The AA, to receiving a list of fifty things to draw and then powering through them.

Fab, fab, fab.

If you have a major cookery book in the pipeline and you’d like a friendly illustrator to work on adding a little quirk to the drawings … erm … here I am.

The Eiffel Tower – It’s all getting a bit too meta!

A couple of years ago, whilst in Paris, I sketched the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel View 01 - sml

This was all done while Lucy and Caroline took a trip up the tower.

I first draw this, about halfway across the Parc du Champs de Mars (Just beside the road, if you must know)

I then wandered across the road and settled down beside a piece of shrubbery to draw another view of the tower.


Eiffel View 02 - smlNot realising that Lucy and Caroline, now having ascended the tower, were taking photographs of the view.

Including me, albeit inadvertently!



Can’t see me, yet?


P1000881cHere I am.

Sat slightly to the right of the cone-shaped shrub.


P1000881eSo, in fact, while Lucy and Caroline were photographing me, I was unknowingly sketching them on my tower sketch.




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