craft kit

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 »

Logo for Top Floor At Gallery next to a photograph of paper robins hanging on an ornamental twig arrangement

The Great Kit Challenge 2021

I am very excited to be taking part in this great local initiative from Emma Whitehead and Top Floor Art. The project is supporting 17 artists to develop what they do into a craft kit. Some of the kits will be designed for sale and some for supplying community groups. Each artist has received a small materials grant. There is also a mutually supportive facebook group where we are discussing our kits and asking for advice and ideas. I am hoping to develop the famous Bob the Robin into a kit.

Besides developing our kits for sale, We will celebrate the project with an Exhibition at Top Floor Art in Saintfield in August.

Alongside the challenge, there is a crowd funding campaign to raise further funds to support the project. You can see a video about the project at Go Fund Me. Yours truly features briefly!

You can find out more about Top Floor Art and the progress of the project at their website and facebook page:

‘Wild Things’ Postcard exhibition now live

My ant drawings are now live in The Wild Things virtual postcard exhibition on the Beach Gallery, Orkney’s website. Everything is postcard sized and everything is £25. All the pieces can be seen in their online shop:

The exhibition also got a mention on BBC Radio Orkney just before it opened. Here is the blog that Carolyn, the gallery owner, wrote about the experience. follow the link there to hear the recording and a very lovely Scottish accent in the form of the interviewer, Cameron!

New card designs now available

In between developing a Bob kit, I have been busy making my lockdown vector drawings into new cards. Here are some of my new designs. In addition to single cards, I have created two new packs of five – “Scottish Wildcat” and “Rivers and Lakes”. Hopefully I will be out and about in person with them this summer, but in the meantime you can buy from:

The Craft Room Comber

Or on line from Love from the Artist

Single cards
New packs “Scottish Wildcat ” and “Rivers and Lakes”

“Scottish Wildcat”
“River Sprite”

The Great Kit Challenge 2021 Read More »