Artwork in India (5) – Jaisalmar Workaway

jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, travel blog, travel solo, travel, workaway, jaisalmer fort, haveli, scooter, door, dog

I chose to do a Workaway at a hostel in Jaisalmar because I wanted to go on a desert safari and the hostel owner said he wanted some help to decorate the rooftop terrace (along with some basic IT tasks).

When I got here it was apparent that many people had already contributed to the roof terrace decoration…some in a lovely way, some in quite a haphazard way!

jaisalmar, fort, rajasthan, india, workaway, rooftop, wonbin safari hostel, pen and wash, watercolour, watercolor, painting, sketching, sketchbook, travel illustration, travel blog, illustration, landscape, painting, drawing

So, my exclusive rights to the wall space scuppered I set about capturing the beautiful view (above) of the fort while planning my strategy for mural painting in limited areas amongst a hotch-potch of other images.

camel, stencil, cutting, drawing, craft knife

I decided on a stencil with the .most obvious theme for a desert safari hostel – the camel.

camel, stencil, cutting, drawing, cardboard

I found a craft knife and the lid of a photocopy paper box in the market by the fort and set about preparing my template.

camel, stencil, painting, mural, illustration, repeat, acrylic paint

Having painted several camels, a bit of red shading and yellow highlighting  I added a border inspired by a Rajasthani folk art design.

wonbin safari hostel, roof terrace, jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, camel, decorative painting, mural, wall art, wall painting, folk art, acrylic paint, illustration, stencil, camels

wonbin safari hostel, roof terrace, jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, camel, decorative painting, mural, wall art, wall painting, folk art, acrylic paint, illustration, stencil, camels

wonbin safari hostel, roof terrace, fort, jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, camel, decorative painting, mural, wall art, wall painting, folk art, acrylic paint, illustration, stencil, camels

I did go on a camel safari, it was tremendous fun if a little hard on the thighs. Even though we didn’t venture very deep into the Thar desert the peace and vastness of the landscape were still impressive. We had chai on the dunes while watching the sunset, then ate dinner around a campfire before settling down to sleep under the stars. Gorgeous.

camel, camels, desert, dunes, safari, desert safari, Jaisalmar, wonbin safari hostel, rajasthan, India, travel, adventure, camping, sand, trek

While wandering around Jaisalmar old town I was struck by the number of Ganeshes painted on the houses.

jaisalmar, Ganesh, wall painting, elephant, elephants, god, hindu, marriage, rajasthan, india

Then someone told me that since Ganesh is the Hindu god that removes obstacles and blesses new starts the people get him painted on their houses every time there’s a wedding.  In fact the paintings serve as a kind of invitation since they contain the names, date and location of the union. Ah-ha!

I had a go at a Ganesh…

jaisalmar, Ganesh, watercolour, pen and wash, drawing, painting, illustration, elephant, elephants, god, hindu, rajasthan, india

Then I got invited to a wedding! I went up to the fort for a massage, my second in a week since hard beds, overnight travel and painting have taken their toll on my middleaged bones. There’s a team of sisters who offer Ayurvedic loveliness in their home but the house was very busy when I got there so I expected to be turned away. One of the sisters explained that they were preparing for her neice’s nuptials and I got my massage and an invitation to the wedding in two days.

hindu, wedding, bride, saris, jaisalmer, rajasthan, india

And it was a delightfully colourful evening – the whole marriage ceremony takes place over several days and nights and costs the bride’s family an absolute fortune. There were saris of every hue, mountains of delicious food being cooked and eaten and a cocophany of drums and firecrackers when the groom finally arrived at midnight.

There is definitely an advantage to sticking around in one place for a bit longer than is usual on the backpacker trail.

jaisalmar, rajasthan, fort, India, thar desert, travel blog, workaway, travel blog, travel solo, travel, workaway, jaisalmer fort, haveli, gadisar lake, workshop

 

 

Artwork in India (4) – Bikaner

bikaner, karni mata, rat temple, rat, rajasthan, india, travel blog, signwriting, wall painting, market, antiques, tins, cow, goat, jain temple, door, decorative painting

I only intended to stay in Bikaner for two days, just to visit the famous Karni Mata rat temple in nearby Deshnoke (weird I know, but I’m a rodent fan).

I painted the little pen and wash study below from a photo I took at the temple.

rat, rat temple, temple, deshnoke, rajasthan, karni mata, rodent, hindu, pen, watercolour, watercolor, study, drawing, painting, travel blog, travel illustration, illustration, rodent, art

Then I met a guy who offered me free bed and board in exchange for some painting work at the hostel he’s renovating so I stayed an extra three days, and had a lot of fun.

bikaner, hostel, rajasthan, india, travel blog, wall painting, door, window, frames, decorative painting

I painted the frames around the doorways and windows behind my hostel buddies in the photo above, and below here’s me finishing off the stripes.

wall painting, acrylic paint, decoration, decorative painting, bikaner, rajasthan, india

That’s Auntie Gee in the background, she owns the place, directs the workers and delivers chai. 

Bikaner is beautiful in a dusty way and largely unspoilt by tourism. There are a number of guesthouses in huge hawelis in the old town which is where I stayed at the start of my visit. Then I moved downtown and took a lovely walk to the market most nights to eat street food near the stunning Bhandasar Jain Temple.

 

Artwork in India (3) – Pushkar

Pushkar has been wonderful; a strange and delightful mix of the spiritual and the decadent with a bit of filth and hassle thrown in for good measure.

pushkar, India, camel, temple, travel blog

Don’t touch the flowers that are offered down by the ghats (sacred lakeside bathing areas)- you’ll get dragged into a lakeside blessing ceremony  and charged well for the honour.

fruit, vegetables, greengrocer, market, stall, pushkar, rajasthan, india, pen and wash, drawing, sketch, sketching, painting, watercolour, watercolor, travel, illustration, street painting, travel blog

I sat in the doorway with some kind young musicians while I sketched this little market stall. They insisted that I showed the greengrocer the painting afterwards. He loved it.

saris, devotees, bathing, ghat, lake, pushkar lake, pushkar, rajasthan, india, pen and wash, drawing, sketch, sketching, painting, watercolour, watercolor, travel, illustration, street painting, travel blog

Unknowingly I arrived in Pushkar during the most sacred week of the Hindu calendar, which coincided with the famous camel fair.

The streets were full of pilgrims from all over India and beyond. I met an Argentinian Hindu who was staying at the same hotel and he explained a bit about the bathing rituals and took me to a couple of temples.

Photography is strictly prohibited at the lakeside so I thought I’d sketch the scene instead.

artist, selfie, India, Pushkar, sketching, sketcher, rajasthan, saris, devotees, bathing, ghat, lake, pushkar lake, pushkar, rajasthan, india, pen and wash, drawing, sketch, sketching, painting, watercolour, watercolor, travel, illustration, street painting, travel blog

The photography ban didn’t stop me being asked to pose for a couple of pictures!

camel, pushkar, camel fair, camel decoration, pen and wash, watercolour, drawing, sketchbook, watercolor

In Udaipur I met a lovely young camel expert from New Zealand who spoke so passionately about the camel fair that I decided to visit. When I arrived in Pushkar I met up with her again and spent a very interesting hour or so meeting the camels. They’re surprisingly sweet and dignified.

Inspired, I drew the camel above, the circle is a design based on the ornaments the camels are dressed with.

camel, mural, pushkar, camel fair, wall painting, painting, decoration, decorative painting, acrylic paint, illustration, travel, india

I then painted this version on the hotel wall before I left.

pushkar, moustache competition, moustache, beard, facial hair, rajasthani

The annual moustache competition was a hilarious highlight of the camel fair – Rajasthanis are certainly blessed in the hair department!  

Artwork in India (1) – Udaipur

new delhi, railway, station, train, overnight, journey, sketch, sketching, sketchbook, illustration, travel, figures, platform

I got to the train station in New Delhi early with the intention to draw. It was a little overwhelming but a kind man insisted that I sit on his blanket with him and his son which made drawing more comfortable. My train to Udaipur left bang on time at 7pm and I had a good 12 hour journey in a bunked sleeping compartment.

udaipur, lakeside, lake pichola, rajasthan, India, pen and watercolour, painting, sketching, sketch, sketchbook, rooftop, moustache hostel, hanuman gat

This is the view across Lake Pichola from the roof of the Moustache Hostel in Udaipur. Rajasthanis have famously luxurious facial hair, hence the name of the hostel. 

wall painting, artist at work, stencil, cockerel, rooster, mural, acrylic paint, surface decoration, illustration, decoration, birds

The hostel had lots of wallpaintings left by many guests so I offered them some cockerels…

wall painting, artist at work, stencil, cockerel, rooster, mural, acrylic paint, surface decoration, illustration, decoration, birds

They then asked me to paint something in the space above the birds so I drew a design in my sketchbook inspired by a beautiful cow I’d seen on my first morning walk through the city.

holy, cow, sacred cow, holy cow, pen, watercolour, drawing, painting, watercolor, sketchbook, travel, India, rajasthan, udaipur, marigoldsAnd then transferred it to the wall (below) 

holy cow, cow, mural, wall painting, wall art, detail, nose, acrylic paint, emulsion paint, decoration, illustration, surface decoration, decorative painting, artwork, india, rajasthan, udaipur, moustache hostel, travel

Painting in the reception area was a great way to meet people, and the cow and cockerels got a very warm welcome.

hanuman, monkey, god, temple, udaipur, rajasthan, hindu, india, pen, watercolour, sketch, sketchbook, painting, travel, illustration, drawing

Here’s a pen and watercolour sketch I made at a little Hanuman temple in the street. The lady selling flowers next door kindly lent me a stool to sit on while I drew.

portrait, pencil, graphite, drawing, Indian, man, moustache, beard, rajasthani, moustache hostel, udaipur, India, travel, illustration

This is Yogesh, one of the Moustache Hostel team. He asked me to draw his portrait so I worked in pencil from a photo.

udaipur, rajasthan, india, pen, sketch, lady, sari, cafe, illustration, travel

And here’s a quick pen sketch I made of a lady wearing a sari while she sat in a lakeside café. I’m sure she twigged that I was drawing her, she didn’t seem to mind but she did leave before I had a chance to add colour.

All in all a very enjoyable and creative first week here in India. I’m leaving the Moustache Hostel today to go and spend a few days with an Indian family here in Udaipur. 

Wedding Card Portraits

Two of my lovliest friends tied the knot in London earlier this summer, so I made them a wedding card featuring a joint portrait.wedding, card, portrait, gay wedding, celebration, heart, rainbow, digital, illsutration

First I trawled through their Facebook albums for a suitable photo from which I drew a simple outline of each of them in pencil (below).

I made two separate drawings so that I could experiment with the joint portrait composition.wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

Having photographed my pencil outlines and uploaded them into Photoshop there was a space where an ear should’ve been so I went back to the drawing board and invented one.

wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

Having settled on the composition I ‘cut out’ and tidied up the line work in Photoshop (above).

wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

Working in layers I collaged the coloured elements, starting with the rainbow sunglasses (above). I found the generic rainbow and heart images from a google image search.

wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

I block coloured the skin, hair and background with the paint brush / bucket tool. 

To add a little shaddow and depth I duplicated the line work layer twice, off-setting each new layer very slightly in different directions and setting the blending mode to overlay.

wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

On separate layers I used the brush tool at 0% hardness to add the skin highlights (white, 100% opacity, blending mode soft light), hair sheen (flesh tone, 100% opacity, blending mode normal) and darker skin tone (pink, 18% opacity, blending mode normal).

I used the star pattern in the brush tool (white, size 600 approx, blending mode screen) to add the glint on the sunglasses in two layers.

wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

The final touches were the extra heart layer to pep up the background (white, 100% opacity, soft light blending mode); the text (white, 100% opacity, blending mode normal) with an offset layer behind it (white, 70% opacity, blending mode overlay) and the white glints on the text (same as for the glasses).

wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

I was chuffed to bits when the grooms told me that they loved the image so much that they wanted to use it as their post-wedding thank you card.
wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

I sent them a couple of alternative colourways and their printer did the honours!

And here they are, the gorgeous couple (above) and surrounded by their friends and family on the glorious day (below).

Dragonfly Dress Mark 2

To accommodate my physical expansion since last year I recently made myself another summer dress from my grey dragonfly fabric.

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

My finishing skills are improving! This time I followed my mum´s advice about French seams so the interior of the dress is much neater. dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

The arm holes are edged with grey bias binding with contrasting white and yellow top stitching while the neckline is finished with yellow bias binding with contrasting white and grey top stitches.

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

It’s a comfy one and stylish too! 

Corredera 55 – Business Cards

business card, corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

I had a lovely surprise during my recent visit to Vejer (after an absence of several months) – the fabulous people at the delightful Corredera 55 restaurant had updated their business card to include the pen and watercolour sketch I made of the restaurant facade back in 2016 (below).

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

I knew they were planning to change their business card, in fact I prepared the file for the printer some time ago, but seeing the dinky little versions of the original painting sitting there in the restaurant made me smile.

If you’re lucky enough to visit Corredera 55 this summer I can highly recommend the baked sardines with sumac, damascan lemon, black olives and cherry tomatoes; a luscious oily concoction which melts in the mouth and goes down particularly well after the green gazpacho; a pea, mint, avocado and cucumber variation of the traditional Spanish cold summer soup.

Yum.

Cockerel Dress

cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress
cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

For my latest foray into textile design and home sewing I  made myself a cotton dress to wear to my dear friends’ June wedding in London.

As usual I had the fabric digitally printed by Woven Monkey in the UK having made a white, red and pale green version of one of my cockerel variations; as my dad once said I’ve certainly got a lot of mileage out of that cockerel! 

Click here to see how the original cockerel came to be…

cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

I decided to finish the hems with red bias binding to match the cockscombs….

cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

…and luckily enough found a pair of my favourite Fly London sandals in the exact same shade…

cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress, fly london sandals

…and finished the ‘look’ with white nails and sunglasses…cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

 

The dress stood up well to the festivities – just a couple of armhole stitches popped during the disco phase!

 

And the wedding was absolutley wonderful.

Springtime – Window Painting

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycleTo herald the arrival of springtime the good folk at Mary’s Living & Giving Shop in Bermondsey Street (where I work as a volunteer for a few hours each week) invited me to design and execute an illustration for their window.

What a lovely project – and right up my street!

I decided on a flowers, birds and bees theme in a loose art nouveau style and made a sketch to scale.bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, sketch, design

Before embarking on the window I had a little practise with the chalk pens on a small sheet of glass and assigned colours to the different elements of the drawing….

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, sketch, design

…while Kerry kindly cleaned the window in preparation for the obligatory ‘before’ photo.

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london

(You can just see my  two remaining  ‘Pre-Loved Fashion’ drawings hanging up there behind the manequins.)artist at work, kathryn hockey, artist, illustrator, bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london

artist at work, kathryn hockey, artist, illustrator, bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london

 

 

                 Artist at work!

 

 

 

Here are a few photos of the completed drawing, which took a couple of sessions to finish…bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycle bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycle bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycle…needless to say the ‘here comes the sun’ caption is more of a wish than an observation during springtime in Britain! 

I really had so much fun with this project and am so grateful to the Mary’s Living & Giving team for trusting me with it – thank you!

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recyclePost script

As well as being right up my street this project is also a trip down memory lane (pun central…sorry!). About 20 years ago I did some window painting at The Honest Cabbage Restaurant, 99-101 Bermondsey Street (below left)

honest goose, restaurant, window painting, bermondsey street, london, illustration, decoration

honest cabbage, restaurant, window painting, bermondsey street, london, illustration, decoration

and her sister restaurant The Honest Goose on The Cut in Waterloo (above).

 

The Cabbage has since been converted to The Garrison Public House – my artwork didn’t survive but that tends to be the way with mural art unless you’re Banksy.

Fab…Fab…Fabrics!

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

 

Huge thanks to all those lovely people who have responded so enthusiastically to my designs for fabrics.

My exhibitionist side has enjoyed swanning about in exclusive patterns but since spring is coming it’s time to share them…with the world!

 

 

I’ve spent many, many happy hours developing my designs for fabrics and have tested them all to make sure that the patterns repeat seamlessly, that the colours are reproduced beautifully and that the material itself is comfy in terms of weight, drape and care.

All my fabrics are digitally printed to order in the UK.

cotton, fabric, textile, design, digital printing, surface pattern, surface design, cotton, home sewing, dress making, dragonfly, cockerel, rooster, horse, carousel, skeleton, prints, season, spring, summer, clothes, woven monkey, cotton, fabric, textile, design, digital printing, surface pattern, surface design, cotton, home sewing, dragonfly, cockerel, rooster, 2cv, car, prints, upholstery, woven monkey

So! Here’s how it works: 

  1. Select your favourite design for summer clothes or upholstery (scroll down for details)
  2. Work out how many metres you need
  3. Contact me!
  4. I’ll calculate the postage cost, add that to the fabric cost and email you my PayPal details
  5. You pay securely online
  6. Your fabric is printed to order 
  7. Your fabric will reach you 2 to 3 weeks later depending on your location

Immediately below are the designs that I’ve selected for light cotton fabric; ideal for making summer weight clothes, pillow cases, appliqué and quilting.

cotton, fabric, textile, design, digital printing, surface pattern, surface design, cotton, home sewing, dress making, dragonfly, cockerel, rooster, horse, carousel, skeleton, prints, season, spring, summer, clothes, woven monkey

And below are the designs that I’ve selected for (dry clean only) cotton drill fabric; ideal for making cushions, curtains and for other upholstery projects.

cotton, fabric, textile, design, digital printing, surface pattern, surface design, cotton, home sewing, dragonfly, cockerel, rooster, 2cv, car, prints, upholstery, woven monkey

…since I’m not a professional seamstress I’ve decided against making and selling finished garments but if you’re in the Vejer area I can put you in touch with a highly skilled dressmaking friend of mine if you need help with the sewing part – that way you’ll be one step closer to getting the made to measure garment of your dreams!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions!