Bar Día – A Love Story

bar dia, palma de mallorca, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration, wedding gift, love story, meeting place

I was asked by José to make this pen and watercolour drawing as a wedding present for Blaise and Letitia, to celebrate their first ever meeting.

José wrote this poem to go with the drawing

Se dice que fue como un relámpago,
en cosa de un segundo,
segundo y medio a lo sumo,
un estallido de rosas cayendo de su pecho
al albur de unos ojos,
un traqueteo de piernas,
el suspiro de un miedo
y un miedo vencido con solo una palabra.
 
Se dice que alguien se enamoró aquel día
como tantas otras veces otras gentes
pero yo que he visto conozco esta historia
puedo dejarla escrita en estos versos
puedo decir seguro 
que mereció la pena.
 
Which translates as
 
It is said that it was like a lightning bolt, 
a matter of a second, 
a second and a half at most, 
an explosion of roses falling from his chest 
to the fate of eyes, 
a quiver of legs, 
the sigh of fear
and fear overcome with only one word. 
 

It is said that someone fell in love that day 
like so many other people at other times 
but I’ve seen, I know this story 
I can leave it written in these verses 
I can say for sure 
that it was worth it.

 

It’s a beautifully romantic project for a very lovely couple, I wish them all the best for their wedding today (11th August 2017) in Taiwan and their long and happy future together. 
 
bar dia, palma de mallorca, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration, wedding gift, love story, meeting placebar dia, palma de mallorca, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration, wedding gift, love story, meeting place
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obviously it was impractical for me to travel to Mallorca to draw the bar so I worked from a photo that José found on the internet, rendering the outline first in pencil then in pen (above left and right) before applying the watercolour (top).

Tap

salvage, tap, faucet, lassco, london, rope walk, maltby street, bermondsey,, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration

I had a lovely outing to Lassco salvage yard in Bermondsey the other day; not only do they have many interesting and beautiful objects which have been rescued from old buildings but there’s a splendid café there too.

I was particularly taken by the tap collection and immortalised this example over a nice pot of green tea.

My companion made a beautiful pencil drawing of another tap, both our drawings along with our models are shown below.

salvage, tap, faucet, lassco, london, rope walk, maltby street, bermondsey,, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration

English Rose

english, rose, flower, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration

This gorgeous specimen from my mum and dad’s garden smells as good as it looks!

Chumbera!

chumbera, prickly pear, cactus, cadiz, vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, andalucia, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, sketchbook, illustration

I’m delighted to have finally found a chumbera (prickly pear) with some lush new growth; the once ubiquitous and beautiful cactus is suffering an infestation of insects and slowly dying out here in Andalusia.

Moi from the gorgeous Ecléctica Deco shop in Vejer suggested that I sketch a chumbera a good while ago; he told me he’d seen a good one in La Breña national park so I set off for a hike on a really hot day search of it…needle in a haystack situation ensued. His next sighting was luckily closer to home and much easier to find.

I missed it in flower but hey-ho…the heart shaped leaf was a bonus…promise it was actually like that! 

Dragonfly Tunic Dress

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

So this little number is the result of my third dress making adventure; using a black on beige version of my dragonfly fabric design which I had digitally printed in the UK by Woven Monkey.

I find the boat neck / empire line combination really comfortable and flattering so I’ve continued it here but by cutting the hem straight and splitting the sides I’ve converted the dress into more of a tunic which allows for much more movement below the waist…I can run in this one but long undergarments are essential for the preservation of modesty!

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

 

 

I wanted to make the bodice of this dress more closely fitting which meant putting in more darts and a zip. I opted to put an ‘invisible’ zip in the side seam (right) and thanks to guidance from several YouTube tutorials my first ever attempt worked pretty well.

 

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

 

 

I also decided to sew on a long black ribbon to accentuate the empire line and add a bit of flounce round the back.

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

 

While making my first two dresses – from my Dragonfly (white on grey version) and Horse fabrics – I’d come to love bias binding so I decided to use it to make a contrasting trim around the neck, arm holes and hem on this dress. I was also inspired (by a pair of black, beige and orange shorts I own) to add an orange top stitch to jazz up the black and beige combination.

Feels jolly nice on and washes well! Yay!

 

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

 

 

 

Skull and Flower

sheep, skull, barbed wire, flower, still life, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration, tribute, death

I have a collection of bones at home, a few of which are on display, including this sheep skull with its barbed wire crown.

I’ve been meaning to draw it for a while and this was the week…

The text translates as “…your poetic essence is still in the neighbourhood…” and is dedicated to a lovely chap from Vejer who lived just round the corner from me and who recently died.

I didn’t know he was ill. 

If I had known that his presence was not a ‘for granted’ thing I would have made time to stop and chat over a coffee more often.

His observations were cheery, wise and gentle…his poetry is timelessly mysterious and beautiful.

Encantada de haberte conocido José Luis.

View from a Cliff Top

barbate, atlantera, atlantic, ocean, andalusia, cliff, sea, landscape, la brena, national park, morocco, marruecos, blue, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, travel, illustration

This is a tale of a wild goose chase!

Sadly all the prickly pears are in Andalusia are dying because of an infestation of insects but someone told me that there was one still alive on the coastal path which runs through the natural park known locally as La Breña, a pine forrest which covers the area between Barbate, San Ambrosio and Los Caños de Meca in the province of Cádiz.

So I set off to find it and draw it…

It was a needle in a haystack situation!

I did however enjoy the spectacular views from the cliff top and sat up there in a howling wind for an hour or so to sketch this view out over the Atlantic to Atlantera. That´s Morocco in the background.

I have a new tip off for a live prickly pear which is closer to home…fingers crossed!

Horse Dress

horse, sketelon, carousel, roundabout, merry-go-round, cotton, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, bias binding, dress making, shift, dress, sewing, homemade

I’m jolly pleased with my horse dress; the result of my latest adventure in home sewing. It’s a variation of the first dress I ever made (a shift style sewn from my dragonfly fabric) and since I mastered the use of bias binding on that project I decided to make an external feature of it this time; embellishing it with contrasting stitching. 

horse, sketelon, carousel, roundabout, merry-go-round, cotton, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, bias binding, dress making, shift, dress, sewing, homemade

horse, sketelon, carousel, roundabout, merry-go-round, cotton, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, bias binding, dress making, shift, dress, sewing, homemade, skeleton, day of the dead, halloween, horse, carousel, fair ground, roundabout, pencil drawingThe horse motif was inspired by the extraordinarily beautiful hand painted artwork I saw when Carter’s Steam Fair visited Maldon in Essex.

I made a pencil drawing (left) using my photos for reference, taking a morbid turn by adding the skeleton of the horse as part of the decoration.skeleton, horse, halloween, day of the dead, roundabout, repeat pattern, illustration, surface design, horse, sketelon, carousel, roundabout, merry-go-round, cotton, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, bias binding, dress making, shift, dress, sewing, homemade

I vectorised the drawing in Illustrator, used Photoshop to colour it and make the repeat pattern, which I then had printed onto a light cotton by the lovely folk at Woven Monkey.

horse, sketelon, carousel, roundabout, merry-go-round, cotton, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, bias binding, dress making, shift, dress, sewing, homemadehorse, sketelon, carousel, roundabout, merry-go-round, cotton, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, bias binding, dress making, shift, dress, sewing, homemade

 

 

The dress feels lovely on, here’s me posing about in it on my 50th birthday.

 

 

Could it possibly be said that I’m flogging a dead horse? You bet!

Tajo de Ronda

ronda, tajo de ronda, malaga, andalucia, catalonia reina victoria, hotel, spa, view, valley, tajo valley, landscape, pen and watercolour, sketch, watercolor, watercolour, sketchbook, travel, illustration, paisaje, acuarela

To celebrate my 50th birthday on the 5th June I traveled to beautiful Andalusian town of Ronda in the province of Málaga.

I booked into the lovely Catalonia Reina Victoria Hotel and spa for a bit of luxury pampering…

….and it was lush. I think the anti-aging facial was a bit too little too late but it felt delightful!!

I painted this view of the Tajo de Ronda from the balcony of my room while I was sunbathing.

 

Dead Bird

I found this poor deceased little fella on the roof terrace yesterday morning and was struck by his dynamic pose so I decided to paint him.

dead bird, baby bird, still life, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, sketchbook, illustration