Monday, 28 February 2011

Another Wallpaper

More of my Pen & Ink drawings

Bi valve Mollusc Wallpaper in situ

The Basic 53cm x 53cm Repeat

Several repeats in another colour way
I have just finished the fourth, and last,  wallpaper in the Fossil Collection. As I pledged I have completed a second colour way as well. Really enjoyed doing this one so can't wait to get it printed "life" size in college tomorrow. I am very tempted to do 4 co-ordinating smaller designs to accompany these as all of my designs are BIG. Watch this space.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Scale of Things

Brachiopod wallpaper in situ

Fossil Shell wallpaper in situ

Phacops wallpaper in situ

My daughter commented that, from some of the pics of my designs for wallpapers that I have posted recently, she got the impression that some were small pattern repeats. Quite the opposite. They are all 53cm by 53cm repeat but I have tended to show multiple repeats to give some idea how they would look over a large area. To put the record straight I have done a few quick mock ups of how they might look in a room setting.

Going Global

My Blog Statistics so far
A couple of weeks ago I decided to look at the statistics for this blog and found it fascinating to see what countries had visited and what method they had used e.g. Explorer, Facebook etc. On friday I looked again and was amazed at the breakdown. It included pageviews from the USA, UAE (not so surprising as I do have family in Dubai),Philippines, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Singapore and 25 from Italy! That day someone in Russia was on and today Spain. What I want to know is "Who are all these people?"

Friday, 25 February 2011

Brachiopod Wallpaper

My simple pen & ink drawings

Brachiopod 53cmx53cm repeat

Braciopod Wallpaper (several repeats)

Second colour way
I have been working from home today, as Professional Practice was cancelled because of tutorials, and I have managed to produce this wallpaper design based on two different Brachiopods. These are very primitive sea creatures that are part of the Molluscoidea phylum. They are bivalves, like some molluscs, but have a more interesting winged shape. I photographed these at the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge last summer and then drew them in pen & ink. I kept them in mind for a fabric design but since I made the decision to restrict the Fossil Collection to wallpapers, because of the cost of printing on fabric, I have used them in this wallpaper design. You might not recognise them as I have arranged one as a flower motif.

I also added a drawing of a portion of a zooarium of Vinculana virgo, which is a colony of Bryozoans. These are also of the Molluscoidea phylum that are a bit like mosses and attach themselves to the sea bed. I had to include them as yesterday, on my way for an overnight stay with my grandchildren, I tuned in to Radio 4's Material World program (You can take the girl out of physics but you can't take physics out of the girl!) and there was a fascinating report by David Barnes from Cambridge about his study of Bryozoa and how they feed on plankton that capture carbon dioxide dissolved in the oceans. Having studied many historic collections of these creatures, including some that Captain Scott collected in Antarctica in the late 19th century, he has discovered that bands, rather like tree rings, have thickened in recent years showing that there is more carbon dioxide available in the sea. Could this be the answer to Global Warming by them reducing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and depositing it at the bottom of the sea!

Fossil Shell Wallpaper

My drawings of shells, Fasciolana tarbellina & Congeria sublosa

Fossil Shell 53cmx53cm repeat

Fossil Shell Wallpaper showing several repeats

As above but a much brighter colour way
Following on from the first wallpaper in the Fossil Collection I have produced this design based round two fossil shells, one a Gastropod (Fasciolana tarbellina) and the other a Mollusc (Congeria sublosa). Trying to be very disciplined I continued on to produce another colour way that is very different to the original. May be a bit too bright!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Fossil Collection

The drawing I worked from

Phacops strenbergi wallpaper 53cmx53cm repeat

Phacops strenbergi Wallpaper

Phacops strenbergi in 2nd colour way

Last week in college I started a collection of wallpaper designs based on my pen and ink drawings of fossils such as ammonites and trilobites. The first one featured Phacops strenbergi, a fossil trilobite that is curled up instead of flat. These are found in Europe and date back to the Devonian period. They are an extinct division of Arthropods which date back even earlier to Pre-Cambrian times. I restricted the imagery to just this one fossil but took the opportunity to experiment with geometric shapes filled with texture for which I had to learn about razterising. I loved the A1 print and so have been inspired to try more shapes. Watch out for my next one featuring an octagon!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Catching Up

Horsetail Ferns & Dragonflies

Corona Imperialis Pod


Pitcher Plant

Pomegranate Sprig

Pomegranate Fruit
I spent the day yesterday tackling new colourways for my Botanical Collection of wallpapers (as I had done previously with my Botanical Collection fabrics). Some worked better than others but here they are for all to see. You might need your sun glasses for the much, much brighter Pomegranate Fruit design which was originally in very muted colours.
Oh, I also improved the accuracy of the repeat for the Horsetail Ferns & Dragonflies as the stems weren't joining perfectly in the original colourway.

Monday, 14 February 2011

New Colours for Marine Wallpapers

Echinoderm Wallpaper in Blue

Jellyfish Wallpaper in Green

Horseshoe Crab Wallpaper in Grey

Radiolarian Wallpaper in Lilacs
  I'm liking some of these new colours. Perhaps it is just as satisfying as creating new layouts.

More New Colourways for Fabrics

Diatom & Desmid fabric on Lime

Echinoderm Fabric on Lime
I am trying to be more disciplined and experiment with different colourways before galloping off to my next collection and these are two that I tried. Hope you like them. The first one was done before I changed the size of the seaweed so looks a bit different to what it is now.

More Marine Wallpapers

Horseshoe Crab wallpaper

Radiolarian Wallpaper
These are the pieces I have been working on whilst waiting for inspiration for the last two Marine Fabrics in the previous post.
The first was to accompany the fabric featuring Crustaceans such as Crayfish, Porcelain Crab and Shrimps but this time I used my very simple black ink drawing of a Horseshoe Crab and arranged it in a circular motif a bit like a flower. All it needed then was a couple of simple patterns based on marine life,which I had drawn with a white pen on black in my summer journal, to complete the design. The thing I did enjoy about this process was experimenting with textured layers, razterising and using the difference setting within Photoshop.
Radiolarians are unicellular creatures with amazingly complicated outer cases that look to me like some expensive lampshades that I saw in Liberty's, where I did wonder if they had been the inspiration for their designer. They are found in the waters of the Caribbean and something very similar turned up in our pond (but my husband, who discovered it whilst looking down his microscope at pond water, thinks that the case must be made of a different substance to the tropical Radiolarians). Anyway they inspired me to use them in this wallpaper design to accompany the Diatom & Desmid fabric as they are also marine algae. I have had both printed onto A1 cartridge paper( but I am considering printing a long length of both) and I have modified the position of one cluster of Radiolarians since I saw it full size.

New Marine Fabric Collection

Echinoderm Fabric

Diatoms & Desmids
I designed these two fabrics over interim week to complete the fabric range of the Marine Collection but there was something about both that I wasn't happy with so I decided to work on other things. I returned to them yesterday and I am now a lot happier with them.
The Echinoderm fabric was designed to accompany the wallpaper of the same name but, to avoid using the same images, I decided I would scan some very simple prints I had made at two workshops that I attended over the summer. These were run by a group called Pheonix Art who do regular classes and are based at Portrack, Stockton on Tees. Over the summer they had the use of an empty shop in town where they held drop in workshops for adults and children, as well as evening classes like the ones I attended. The staff were truly inspirational, especially Adrian Mould who showed me how to etch into metal plates to print from. I really hope that when this course is finished I will have the time to pursue this further. I have "photoshoped" the etched image to give it a more defined edge.
For the Diatoms & Desmids (which are microscopic algae) fabric I used my much more detailed drawings of these from my drawing sheets that I completed in college. It is a smaller repeat than of late and now that I have tinkered with the size of the seaweed I am pleased with it.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A Bit of Craft Work is always a Good Thing

Product for my PPF
I decided to bind my own little sketch/note book to put in my professional portfolio to show how I would present/package a product for sale. It consisted of 3 "signatures" of a selection of lovely papers including several of my new colourway fabrics scaled down and printed onto watercolour paper. I printed the cover on real wood veneer and then varnished it to prevent the images smugging. I was delighted with the outcome!

Washed and Ironed

I thought it might be nice to show you the finished fabrics from my first two collections, now that they are printed, steamed, washed and ironed (rather than just the designs for them).

Botanic Collection Revisited


Corona Imperialis  & Butterflies
Insectivorous Plants

Pomegranate Flowers

Pomegranate Cross-sections
To achieve the new colourways for the insects and the butterflies I selected and changed each colour separately, which took a little time, but for the other 4 I simply used the "difference" selection for the patterned layer and placed a few different coloured backgrounds  to see what it threw up!

Angiosperms Revisited

Angiosperm 11

Angiosperm 111

Angiosperm 1V
After trying new colourways for my last two designs I went back to the drawing board and did the whole lilac and blue combo with my very first digitally printed designs.

New Colourways


Over interim I took the opportunity to experiment a bit more with different colour combinations and started with my last two designs for fabrics in the Marine Collection - the ones based on jellyfish  and crustaceans such as crabs and crayfish. They certainly look very different to the original colourways!