Floral and insect sketches.

Image 1 – Gathering all sketches together for fabric print thoughts and ideas.

Image 2 – Once observing images on wall my first thoughts in developing a fabric print are to work on several colourways, scales, compostion and intergrating more insects amoung the florals.

Image 3 – Damselfly.

Image 4 – Wildflower.

Image 5 – Poppy, pencil sketch with tiny bit of colour added.

Image 6 – Pencil Sketch.

Image 7- Floral and insects.

Image 8 – Close-up insect.

Image 9 – Floral and Insect pencil sketch.

Image 10 – Floral sketch.

image 11- Close-Up Aquileqia or as I like to call it Grannies bonnet!


Natural History Archives

Today I had the opportunity to visit the Natural History Archives at Corsham Court, Bath University Campus.

I had a wonderful time looking through the many drawers full of all sorts; from beautiful shells, pottery, minerals, stones, fossils, snakeskin, birds and insects.

As part of my botanical studies, I am also including insects in my work.  The Archives, with respect to insects, were mostly comprised of Butterflies, which were very pretty but I was after more unusual insects to draw.

I still had a “kid-in-a-sweet-shop” moment opening each drawer to reveal little boxes full of interesting finds!

Image 1 – Corsham Court Campus.
Image 2 – Corsham Court.
Image 3 – Stable block studio rooms.
Image 4 – The Archives.
Image 5 – Even before I began my search, interesting items on display.
Image 6 – More boxes and shelves to look inside.
Image 7 – All labelled!
Image 8 – Snakeskins.
Image 9 – I pulled this guy out! What was left of him!
Image 10 – I left this guy in there!
Image 11- Not sure what these guys are.
Image 12 – Coral.
Image 13 – Pretty shell all very dusty but still retained a lovely colour.
Image 14 – More shells.
Image 15 – Shells.
Image 16 – Seeds.
Image 17 – Mouse nest in the seed drawer with a mummified mouse in it!
Image 18 – Butterflies tucked away in a display box.
Image 19 – Butterflies.
Image 20 – Butterfly.
Image 21 – Close-up.
Image 22 – Red Butterfly.
Image 23 – Close-up Butterfly.
Image 24 – Butterfly case.

Please note these are very old archives.  As you can see, the butterflies are not in a great order but from a creative point of view interesting!

Prettier pics to upload soon I promise!!!

Hope I have not scared you off!


Work in progress.  I like turning my pencil drawings into prints.

My workflow involves going direct from my sketchbook to Photoshop and then on to developing pattern in repeats.

Just a few pencil drawings.

Image 1 – Honeysuckle.

Image 2 – Pretty shapes to draw.

Image 3 – I love sketching florals in pencil.

Image 4 – Drawing in pencil ready to develop into screen print.

Image 5 – More pencil drawings.

Image 6 – Insect in pencil.

Image 7 – Close-up of honeysuckle.

Image 8 – Clematis pencil drawing.

Image 9 – In the studio; a day of sketching.

Image 10 – Sketching a Campanula I plucked on way into Uni.

Image 11 – Pencil drawing.

More sketches to follow along with development work as they evolve into prints on fabric.


Another design house that I have long admired is Milan-based Missoni.

Founded in 1953 by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, Missoni has gained notoriety for its knitwear and colourful patterns.  In the early 80’s, Missoni introduced a range of home furnishing fabrics which has continued to flourish.

I admire Missoni’s sense of fun, creativity, freedom.  In particular, their use of bold colours, stripes and incorporation of flora.

My favourite? Well, with my background in horticulture and my connection to nature, Passiflora just makes me smile every time I see it.

Missoni's Passiflora

Missoni’s Passiflora

Missoni's Passiflora

Missoni’s Passiflora

I found this video on Vimeo and for me it offers a strong sense of what the Missoni Brand embodies:

This clip, from FashionTV‘s coverage of Milan Design Week 2011, includes an interview with co-founder Rosita Missoni.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKxqyWeuuUw]


Missoni’s Home Collection Look Book can be checked out by clicking [here.]


Inside Cole & Son

I’ve been a big fan of Cole & Son‘s work, in particular their Fornasetti collection.  My favourites from that collection, if I had to choose are Fiori, and Mediterranea.

Cole & Son's Fiori

Cole & Son’s Fiori

Cole & Son's Mediterranea

Cole & Son’s Mediterranea

Also, the Contemporary I and Contemporary II Collections are inspirational!  The variety of the individual prints…all very unique, and Malabar’s unique use of Paisley is really engaging.

Cole & Son's Malabar

Cole & Son’s Malabar

I’ve also found an excellent video that offers a look inside the magical print rooms of Cole & Son and thought I’d share it with you.

Also, their recent collection, Geometric gets a nice introduction here from Cole & Son’s Managing Director, Simon Glendenning.

Lastly, a Cole & Son feature from the TV series How Do They Do It.


Paper Sculptures…


Another Artist I discovered is Sydney-based Anna-Wili Highfield.

I love what she has made, and again, a brilliant way of recycling paper!

After some serious consideration, I have decided that even though I love all her pieces,  the Owl wins as my favourite!

Boobook 2010 Ink, watercolours, archival cotton paper, cotton thread, brass rod, timber plinth. 70cm x 80cm x 33cm

Check our her website here. http://www.annawilihighfield.com