Sketchbook snippets from 2020

Bits and pieces from my sketchbook and studio during 2020 – looking forward to more making and learning in 2021.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and creative year ahead!

Coptic Stitch Bound Handmade Journal

A5 sized lined journal/notebook, handmade using the coptic stitch bookbinding technique.

Lined paper printed on 100gsm recycled paper [from 100% post consumer waste] – each signature (group of folded paper) is a different colour to create a rainbow effect when opened or viewed from the exposed spine.

Bound with white thread so that the stitching doesn’t detract from the colour fade effect of the signatures.

Handmade Sketchbook – Coptic Stitch Bookbinding Technique

A personalised sketchbook that I made using coptic binding (sometimes also called chain stitch in bookbinding), which is a method that allows the book to lay completely flat when opened. The way the stitching is showcased against the exposed pages of the spine is a very beautiful and unusual feature.

One of the many perks of handmaking sketchbooks is being able to use whatever paper you like. Making this as a gift, I used the recipient’s favourite sketchbook paper for the majority of the paper, but also mixed in other papers for variety and visual appeal. I wanted a vintage/ephemera vibe, so gathered different papers that I felt evoked that, and also that I hoped would be interesting to paint and draw on. By inserting a mix of papers I was also aiming to break up every artist’s fear: the clean blank page.

The paper used for the cover was decoupage paper, which is very thin and lightweight – so not really the recommended paper for this, but I really liked it’s delicate nature and the slightly wrinkled texture it gave from the glue. Handmade sketchbooks are such tactile things, and I wanted to embrace this.

Inside some of the signatures (a grouping of pages is called a signature – this sketchbook was made of 11 signatures) I included some biodegradable cello bags, filled with envelopes, twine, gift tags, and origami paper. I attached an envelope on the inside back cover as I love books with little spaces for keepsakes and mementos! As a final touch I brush lettered the owner’s name onto a gift tag and tied it into the inside front cover, to be used as a bookmark if desired.

I was happy to be able to make this sketchbook with mostly recycled/biodegradable materials. As mentioned already the cello bags are biodegradable. The lined and square paper I printed myself on recycled paper, and the kraft paper, gift tags, envelopes and board (for the cover) I had already for my business and are all made from 100% recycled materials including from post-consumer waste. The sketchbook paper used was 70% certified FSC mix.

Kerry Blue Dog with Party Hat – Watercolour Birthday Card

Another unenthusiastic dog in a party hat, as I had so much fun painting the boxer! This time a Kerry Blue Terrier. I’m planning to paint a couple more of these to create a set, so if there’s a particular breed that you’d like me to paint then let me know!

Painted with Windsor & Newton Cotman Watercolours
on Cass Art Watercolour Pad (300gsm, cold press).

Party Hat Boxer Dog Birthday Card

This is a card that I had a lot of fun painting earlier this year for a family member’s big birthday. The doggo is their adorable boxer which I painted from a photo, and added the party hat for fun – I really enjoy it against that typical boxer dog facial expression!

Painted with Windsor & Newton Cotman Watercolours on Cass Art Watercolour Pad
(300gsm, cold press).

Upcoming exhibition: Journeys at Oxmarket Centre of Arts

I am pleased to be showing work in the upcoming ‘Journeys’ exhibition at Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester; “an open exhibition exploring the theme of ‘Journeys’, featuring painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photography, print, jewellery, drawing and mixed media.”

The exhibition will run 9 – 21 December, and is open Tuesdays – Sundays 10:00am – 4:30pm.

Oxmarket Centre of Arts
off East Street
West Sussex
PO19 1YH

For more info:

Upcoming exhibition: ‘conNEctWORK’ at Arts Central

Through the Inner World

I have a new papercut work ‘Through the Inner World’ (detail pictured) which will be exhibited in the upcoming ‘conNEctWORK’ exhibition at Arts Central in MK!

The exhibition runs 4th – 26th September. 

The exhibition will have its own website, where you can find out more information about the artists and the show: . You can also follow Twitter updates: @connectworkAC

Arts Central is located on the third floor above Station House (above CMK train station), with the entrance foyer next to the Subway shop.

3rd Floor (South) Station House
500 Elder Gate
Milton Keynes

Final open day of Janus exhibition

This Saturday, 10th May, is the final day of the JANUS exhibition at Arts Central. It is open 2 – 4pm, and is also an opportunity to meet artists involved in the exhibition. This Saturday myself and Vilas Sirah will be there. Hope to see you there!

For more details visit the Arts Central Meetup page here.