Hello to Spring

March 21st – April 3rd (approx) is the Spring micro-season known in Japan as Shunbun (春分), it’s the time of the Vernal Equinox when “Sparrows start to nest, cherry blossoms bloom.”

There are many wonderful things about having a studio in the garden; but the arrival of Spring is rather magical! There’s nothing quite like those early bulbs and blossoms appearing. And as I walk up the path to work this week there’s already lots happening on the trees and in the borders. The daffodils are in full bloom, the first bluebells are showing and the ornamental cherry (as suggested by the small seasons guide) is looking very happy indeed! As the bees get busy outside, work is humming along inside too! I’ve been working on the marketing and recipe cards for Yarty, creating a Spring inspired header illustration for their latest newsletter. I re-used a couple of their favourite creatures (the butterfly and bumble are regular features on their bottles) adding in new digital drawings of wildflowers and bulbs. Plus there’s a new little creature… see if you can spot it. We’ve floated the idea of a creature hunt across their range which I think would be fun.

The recipe cards and food artwork have been really interesting; challenging my illustration skills beyond the usual ’comfort’ zone. Although it doesn’t resemble my painted work; it does evolve from the same obsession with drawing (most of those big feature canvases start with detailed sketch compositions). Highlights this month have included pancakes, with that distinctive maple syrup container, and a cocktail recipe called ’Cherry Bakewell’ 😋.

Having successfully sent out other people’s Spring newsletters… it reminds me that I haven’t sent out one of my own for a LONG time. I should try to get on that quickly; hopefully ahead of the Easter weekend. If you’d like to receive those e-mail updates add your details in below. There will be a few things to keep you posted on this Summer, including the Flower Festival in Easton and a big return for the Hampshire Open Studios.

Where would you send an artist to be inspired? What location should I paint next? leave me a suggestion or comment here!

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