To plant a garden…

A Gardener’s paradise…

This quote is attributed to Audrey Hepburn, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” and I thoroughly enjoyed creating this Letterpress and Linocut poster incorporating these words.

It was a bit of a last minute idea for RHS Malvern, and a quote that someone mentioned to me on the Saturday before the show.  Cutting the Lino involved burning a little of the midnight oil but I’m so happy that I did!  Fortunately I had the drawing already from some sketching I had done a few years previously, so it was just a question of adapting it for a Linocut and then cutting the image.

The first proof…  both Martin and I decided we didn’t like the ‘rainbow’ coloured type and so left it until the following morning to run it up in crimson red.  We decided it would look better in one consistent darker colour.   I’ve found that sometimes it’s best not to rush a job, for the sake of 20 minutes. It’s better to take a breather or sleep on it until the new day and start with fresh eyes and perspective!

It took a bit of ‘cooting’ around to ensure that the text fell where I wanted it to be on the paper and didn’t overlap the image of the flower.  Cooting around has become my ‘go to’ description for fiddling around with Letterpress type in an arty farty way.  As I began my career as a Graphic Designer where all the ‘cooting’ took place on a computer screen, this inky style of type-setting is so much more pleasurable and to my liking!

And below… cutting the Lino

Foxgloves in our garden… I never weed them out but always find a space to move them, for them to grow and flower. They invariably ‘self seed’ into the vegetable patch, where I don’t really want them to be!

Above is the original watercolour of the foxglove painted ‘en plein air’ in the Forest of Dean, with a few other bits of experimental printmaking from my portfolio. The silk screen print with Cowparsley, another of my most favorite wild flowers, says “Many eyes go through the meadow but few see the flowers in it” a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson which I found when I was 18 and I’ve loved it’s words ever since – maybe that should be the next poster?

The final print – framed and in the garden!

If I had a flower…

Thoughts of you…

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you I could walk through my garden forever”

One of the quotes that Mark Eveleigh chose to be made up into a Letterpress Poster was this one by Alfred Lord Tennyson.  Tennyson visited Malvern during the days of the Victorian Spa to ‘take the waters’.   For this reason I chose the intrinsically romantic Fern leaves as an emblem of Malvern and it’s beautiful Hills.  All over the hills Bracken and Ferns can be found, the Bracken on the sunny exposed slopes and Ferns in the leafy damp woodland glades.

Below are a few photos of the images taking shape, beginning with photos and hand made prints of ferns which were then adapted into designs to be hand cut in Lino.  Designing and cutting ferns is something I have wanted to do for ages but I had never had the opportunity. They were quite a challenge to cut and I’m so happy to have cut and printed them.

I’ll be printing with them again soon… I find them totally irresistible!


RHS Malvern

A wonderful RHS springtime weekend….

Although springtime is a precious time for gardeners to get out into the garden, put into place all the plans they have made over the winter and to begin to tend & tame this year’s abundant growth.  Nevertheless, there must be time to squeeze in a visit to the wonderful RHS Malvern show.

The last few weeks have been a buzz with excitement and activity.  It all began with a commission to produce three Lino and Letterpress Hand-Printed Posters for Award Winning Garden Designer Mark Eveleigh’s Treehouse show garden for RHS Malvern 2017.

The posters combined quotes that Mark had selected from three visitors who had ‘taken’ the Malvern waters during the hay day of the Victorian Water Spa. Mark’s Treehouse design is based on St.Anne’s Well, which can be found nestled in the fold of the hills directly above Great Malvern.

I designed and hand printed the posters to combine images of plants which are relevant to the quotes.  These were hand cut in Lino and then combined with the Letterpress.  I worked with Martin Clark at Tilley Printing in Ledbury (Est 1870) who assisted me with printing the posters on the beautiful Wharfedale poster press which dates from 1900.

Having produced the posters and delivered them to Mark, they were spotted by Nina Acton, who’s enthusiasm for them was clearly evident.  She was captivated by the fact they had been printed locally on a printing press that dates from the Victorian era and using traditional wooden type from the same period, or earlier.

Mark Eveleigh’s RHS Award winning Treehouse Garden

Above is one of the three Linocut and Letterpress posters commissioned by Mark Eveleigh containing a garden quotation from Florence Nightingale (Poster will be available here soon £40 unframed p+p  original hand printed poster 20″ x 30″)

And some further photographs of the ‘Anneliese Appleby’ stall in the Victorian Arcade next to the spectacular Floral Fountain created by Jonathan Moseley.  I was given a beautiful space to exhibit and sell the Letterpress Posters along with other garden themed prints and my Hand-Printed Wallpapers.

I was delighted at being asked by Nina Acton, and Charlotte the talented and hugely accommodating Interior Designer, to provide the ‘Lupins’ wallpaper for decorating the entrance foyer to the ‘Plant Finder’s Parlour’ in the RHS Floral Marquee.

  with many Thanks to Caroline Potter Photography