craft fairs

A page of gull studies in pencil and watercolour

Workshops, a fair and a New Craft Kit

Getting Ready for the Spring to be Sprung!

Easter is behind us, but the weather has only just realised today that it is time to stop blowing us sideways into a hedge! This has put a bit of a halt to my fieldwork trips to the beach over the last 2 or 3 weeks. Fortunately there is always plenty of admin to be getting on with while I am waiting for better weather as the end of another financial year has come around. To start off the year I have some workshops, a fair and a new craft kit!

New pieces online

The drawing I did manage to get done earlier in the winter has, however, enabled a refresh of my pieces in the Scottish Ornithologists Club online shop. You can see the shop here:

A quick trip to Norfolk

The last week in March found me getting a quick trip away to London and Norwich. A much needed break and a lovely catch up with old college friends. I was, of course, accompanied by the famous Bob! A drive out to Blakeney Point on the North Norfolk Coast brought us sightings of marsh Harrier and dark bellied brent geese. Both not often seen here. And a visit to the lovely Birdscapes Gallery to see their exhibition of Society of Wildlife Artists work

Trying my hand at lithography

While I was away, I also had an opportunity to spend an afternoon trying my hand at stone lithography. This is a facinating and slightly magical process that allows very free drawing and mark making to be captured in print form and, as such, is right up my street.

I was very fortunate to have the expert guidance of Simon Burder of Oaks Fine Art to keep me right. Basically I had a very enjoyable time playing with some crayons and then followed instructions! The result was this little print of a curlew, a bird I have sketched quite a few times this winter.

a small image of a lithograph drawing featuring a curlew in front of rocks and seaweed with 3 starlings in the background on the rocks

Where you can find me in the next few weeks

Back in the studio, there is plenty to plan for in 2024. Later this year I will be part of large exhibitions in Whitehead and Portadown, but in the meantime, here are a few local events coming up in the next few weeks:

May Day Celebrations in Holywood

The popular May Day celebrations in Holywood will take place on Monday 6 May bank holiday.

The town centre will be transformed into a pedestrianised hub of activity centred on the town’s historic Maypole with displays of dance by local school children, and other traditions such as the Bonnie Baby competition and the crowning of the May Queen!

colourful logo of Art on the Rails

Art on the Rails

Art on the rails will be part of the bank holiday event with stalls in the main street

You will find me somewhere among the Art on the Rails stalls from 10am – 5pm

More details can be found on the Ards and North Down Borough website
Merry May Day promotional image. White text on a light blue background with a stylised maypole and council logos

Two New workshop dates

A photograph of paper birds hanging from beech twigs inserted into a white ceramic pot. Red text reads"Paper Bird Making Workshop, Tuesday 21 May 2024, 7-9pm, the Craft Room Newtownards

Paper bird making

My next paper bird making workshops will be at The Craft Room in Newtownards on Tuesday 21 May from 7 – 9pm

This will be a very relaxed and informal couple of hours. I will introduce you to a couple of useful tools and a few simple cutting and folding techniques. Hopefully everyone will go away with a Robin and a Blue tit. There are still places available. Bookings can be made on the Craft Room NI website.

Tuesday 21 May
7 – 9pm
The Craft Room, Newtownards

Bug Drawing workshop

On Saturday 15 June, I’ll be doing bug drawing workshops in the Walled Garden Bangor.

These will be 2 one hour drop ins. I will have some bugs from the garden ready to observe and draw and a selection of materials to use. You are welcome to bring along your own sketch book and materials if you wish

Sat 15 June 2024, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Saturday 15 June 2024, 1:00 – 2:00pm

Bangor Castle Walled Garden

Valentine Road
BT20 4BT

FREE (pre-booking recommended)

The contents and packaging of a craft kit to make a paper blue tit are laid out next to each other

New Kit now available!

While developing the materials for the workshops I have also come up with another kit to compliment the make your own Bob kit.

Now you can also make your own blue tit! These are already available in The Craft Room.

Workshops, a fair and a New Craft Kit Read More »

The Seasons of Bobs is fast Approaching! Christmas Craft Fairs where you can find me this year.

I am just back from a trip to London where I attended the 60th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists. While there, I also received the wonderful news that I have been elected as an associate member of the society. This news makes me both proud of this achievement and humbled to be counted among such illustrious wildlife artists, both past and present. It is also a joy to be part of this welcoming and supportive community of artists united by their love of nature and their desire to express and communicate its value through the work they make.

Now I am back in the studio and busy preparing for all the events in the next few weeks. Its Bobs favourite time of year and he is much in demand! Bobs in shops, make your own Bob workshops, Bobs at festive craft fairs, you name it! This starts TOMORROW with the Boom open studios, which coincides with the Bangor light switch on

Boom Open Studios and Light Switch on

Boom Studios is open part of the Christmas Passport Trail this Saturday! Come to our open day from 12-4pm and get your passport/stamp. Enjoy a workshop taster, refreshments and visit the artists working in their studios – we’ll finish up at 4, plenty of time to go down and see the lights switch on!

Lots of fun happening in Boom 1, but dont forget to have a peek in Boom 2 – next to the Heart Foundation shop. Ill be there 12 -4.

Free to attend event. Costs may apply to some activities.

Programme for the day:

5.30 pm The Switch On of the Christmas Lights at the McKee Clock arena

12noon – 7pm | Festive Bar and Food Village, Queen’s Parade car park

1pm – 6pm | Indoor Festive Market, Main Street (former TK Maxx Building)

Made in AND – Pop up Christmas shop at North down Museum

The very popular pop up shop will once again be taking over the galleries and cafe at North Down Museum. This event is fast becoming a local seasonal tradition. Don’t miss the special late night Shopping event on Thursday 30th November! Join us for an evening of music, artists demonstrations and shopping. The museum will be festively decorated, the coffee shop will be open serving food and drink and visitors will be able to see the museum and purchase unique gifts in a completely different way.

North Down Museum, Bangor

Wednesday 22 November 2023 -Sunday 7 January 2024

Late Night Shopping Thursday 30 November 6-9pm

Museum opening times
Tuesday -Saturday 10am-4:00pm

Sundays 12noon-4:00pm
Closed on Mondays

Promotional image for Creative Peninsula Chrstmas Fayre

The Creative Peninsula Christmas Fayre Returns!

This Year sees the welcome return of the Christmas Craft Fayre in Ards Arts Centre after an absence of 3 years due to the Covid pandemic. The gap has been filled by a Christmas pop up shop for two years, but we are all excited to have one of the best fayres of the season back in our schedule,

Come and enjoy the opulent festive setting of Ards Arts Centre, with seasonal live music interludes, complementary gift wrapping, and festive refreshments! Take time out of the busy shopping crowds and get your December shopping campaign off to a great start.

Ards Arts Centre

Friday 1 December 4 -8 pm
Saturday 2 December 10am – 4 pm

North Down Craft Collective at the Court House, Bangor

My final event for this year will be at the Court House,Bangor. North Down Craft Collective will be returning for a third collaboration with this great venue in the lovingly restored Court House in Bangor.

Sunday 10 December 2023
The Court House Bangor
12 – 5pm

Don’t Forget to Support your Local shops!

In the flurry of Fairs and events, it is easy to forget about your local craft and art shops that are there all year round. Here are a few where you can find some of my work. Get out and support them this festive season!

The Seasons of Bobs is fast Approaching! Christmas Craft Fairs where you can find me this year. Read More »