Sunday, 26 October 2014

Screen Printing
I had a go at screen printing this week. I found it very hard to understand the process before actually printing. But once I started layering on the different colours on the screen it was very satisfying to see the different layers create the image. I made a few mistakes where splodges of ink went where it shouldn't and I didn't end up using all my templates as I felt the images looked better in their simplicity. I printed two images, one of hands holding the base of a basil plant to show the connection between nature and the human body. The second is of a boathouse in Penicuik that caught my eye as it almost blended into the crowds of trees, almost becoming part of the natural surroundings.  I hope to reprint them to add more layers and texture.


Friday, 19 September 2014

Surprise seed packet

My first project for my Masters in Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art required the School of Design to design a calling card to give out to fellow students. The calling cards could be any size, shape or material. The idea of creating a seed packet business card came to me instantly. I thought a seed packet would reflect my  interest in using sustainable, natural materials and permaculture. I used a rough sketch of my partner Graeme, digging in the garden as a starting point and developed this into a more detailed drawing. I used natural, homemade paints made from turmeric, cumin, foraged berries and paprika mixed with free range organic egg white and water. I bought some lovely recycled, eco card from the nice people at The Edinburgh Art Shop.

 I included simple instructions for the recipients to care for their seeds.

 I added my signature in the soil of the picture to suggest an organic feeling of growth in my logo.
Turmeric makes a lovely deep yellow with lots of texture.
I used a seed template to set out the design of the text and images.

  Testing blueberries, turmeric, coriander and cumin mixed with egg white.

I popped sage, salad, spinach and a mixture of vegetable seeds in the packets and wrote which seeds the packet included on a strip of recycled card which was placed inside the packet.

Typewritten by hand then scanned onto the computer.
Everyone seemed very happy with the free seeds and it felt like a lucky dip in which ones
they would receive! 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

For my Final Major Project on the Art Foundation course I decided to illustrate a series of scenes from one of my favourite books, Cider with Rosie, by Laurie Lee.

The project emphasised the interaction between the characters, in particular the sisters, Dorothy and Phyllis who were often found stitching and gossiping.  I focused on recreating the quote by the young Laurie as he wonders at the textile creation his sisters make before visiting Granny Trill, "Enthralled as ever by their patchwork glories, I followed closely behind." This was done through a painting of the sisters proudly  holding a colourful patchwork quilt and a focus on incorporating sewing objects in my prints.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Ageing and New

The beginning of 2014 saw me finally picking up the paintbrush and painting onto stretched canvas. The project was concerned with contrasts of ageing and new. I looked into how adults connect with their childhood through play and how children and adolescents act older and younger when placed in specific situations. It was interesting to see how children and adults in his project seemed most content when able to impersonate their childlike inhibitions through a prop such as a puppet, toy or a game of dominoes.

 A self portrait. This contrasts to the more playful paintings which show life and character through interaction and celebration.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Charlie and the Tengo Factory

Graeme and I had a day and one night in the busy town of London. We started at London Marlybone with two places in mind: the Roald Dahl Museum and The Barbican. The Barbican event was the main reason we were visiting London as we had tickets to see Yo La Tengo. "Yo La what now?" Is the reply I received from people who knew nothing of the band. Yo La Tengo apparantly means, "I have it now" in Spanish. Often referred to as an indie, rock band from New Jersey, but I wouldn't hesitate to say they are Yo* much more than that. The musical trio grasped the Barbican with melodies that poised pleasantly with the animated backdrop of cut out trees. The set reminded of  the cardboard tree pieces from a High Ho Cherry Oh board game.

The Roald Dahl Museum was equally exciting, nestled in the sleepy town of Great Missiden. Although the weather was being grey and grumbly, the musuem was a delight. Graeme and I measured ourselves against the character height chart, I measured up to Miss Honey from Matilda which very much pleased me and Graeme was Mrs Twit which was a little unfortunate for him.  I also sat in a replica of Roald's famous chair and pretended to write a whizzpopping story. Afterwards we visited the gift shop and bought a few souveniers of keyrings and stationery. We then took a walk to Dahl's grave which was decorated with flowers and his favoured yellow pencils.

* I couldn't resist

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

January Blues. Short story for The Shrieking Violet fanzine

I have been submitting stories, recipes and articles and once a pattern for making your own pumpkin felt toy to my friend Natalie's fanzine; The Shrieking Violet for over 4 years. The Shrieking Violet is a Manchester based fanzine, which includes recipes, travel writings, transport articles and features on personal fascinations. It has recently been recommended by arts and culture blog, Creative Tourist.
 My first submission was a poem about a stuffed raggy teddy bear I had made named Mismatched Teddy bear, which is featured in the first issue of The Shrieking Violet in 2009. The most recent Shrieking Violet features one of my short stories named January Blues. It tells the tale of a young girl and her father making gingerbread after Christmas whilst recovering from a great loss. If you live in Manchester you may be lucky enough to pick up a Shrieking Violet fanzine from various creative outlets including The Cornerhouse in Manchester and Oxfam Vintage for free, (although they are in short supply so keep you eyes peeled.)

To see the online version, or to submit a feature yourself:  Have a look here:

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Flicking through the pages of the new Cook supplement in the Guardian on Saturday I was shocked to see the Hot Pink Spelt flour beetroot bread recipe I had submitted last week. I am so delighted to have been selected and published for the Reader's recipe swap and hope lots of budding cooks have the chance to follow my recipe.

Here is the link to the site:

This is light and fluffy with a sharp, tangy taste from the beetroot. It's perfect toasted and spread with homemade chutney. Rebecca Willmott, Lancaster
Makes one loaf
400g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
100g spelt flour
1 tbsp fresh yeast
25g butter
2 medium-size peeled and cooked beetroots, finely chopped
A pinch of salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon or crushed thyme (optional)
350ml water
Oil, for greasing
1 Put both flours in a large bowl along with the yeast and mix. Crumble the butter into the mixture until it resembles fine crumbs.
2 Add the chopped beetroot, salt and sugar and mix thoroughly. You can also add cinnamon or thyme to make it sweet or savoury. Add enough water to make the mixture sticky, then mix until firm.
3 Lightly flour a clean surface and knead the dough for five minutes until it's firm.
4 Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for 1½ hours until it has doubled in size.
5 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Knead the dough lightly, place in an oiled loaf tin and leave for 20 minutes, then bake for 50 minutes.
6 Leave to cool for a few hours to let the yeast settle down. Slice and enjoy!

Hot pink beetroot and spelt flour bread Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian