New Special Edition Matchboxes

After a planned exhibition, where I had agreed to make physical matchboxes alongside some newly designed prints, was rescheduled for next year- I started to think how this could be translated into an artwork that I could make during lock down.

I’m still making the ones for said exhibition, but need to keep those 10 designs hush hush for 2021.

The idea evolved into a larger box, which has hand painted and hand drawn elements. The inner box painted with acrylic and Posca pens. I’ve released two designs, the Newcastle Hyem Sweet Hyem and Spanish City (two best seller prints). Though a little time consuming, the boxes are actually fun to make. Hand drawn details over a separate white strip added to the design front of the box, on the top and beneath a panel of printed paper. I used the same paper I normally do for premium prints, to get the maximum amount of colour and saturation. Each series is limited to only 50 boxes and comes with certificates of authenticity. I plan to send these in premium little gift boxes if they’re not framed for storage purposes. Framing options include a box frame, with the edition of the artwork/sig on the front.

Pics below!


Using Winsor and Newton Professional Acrylics & Posca Pens

Create at Home: Online Workshop

In these unprecedented times of the pandemic, moving most resources like teaching tools online and the popularity of workshops has increased.

Whereas my workshops would have been taught in person, with groups in a large room, it’s given me pause to change the methodology and format. For example, you can’t have one to ones with people who ask questions or a demonstration, but you can press pause and rewind a video and leave comments on some platforms.

So most recently I created a workshop for Durham’s ‘Summer in the City Festival’ , using a time lapse as a playful introduction to materials you have at home. My aim was to leave the resources as universal; materials any level of practitioner could use, and any age range could join in with. For this reason I chose ’Natural Ingredients’, ’Food Colouring’ and ’Pens’. Natural Ingredients included berries, tea, coffee, red cabbage in rice vinegar (But ideally was not limited to these resources, as some flowers, vegetables, or other foods could have a use). Food colouring was liquid based, and though I had a pack of 12, I reduced these to six more primary colours. The use of which was very similar to watercolour yet non toxic. Lastly I added more office based pens, such as biros, highlighters, explaining brushes, sponges and other things you could use. With the three free templates of Durham Designs including a cityscape, teacup, and can of soup, it became a supplement to an imaginative colouring exercise as well as a relaxing introduction of how to create your own imagery.

Using lighting and props in my bedroom as opposed to my studio, felt like a throwback to University where I would often bring camera and equipment home. When it eventually came with me on a journey from Edinburgh to Newcastle for the weekend. With this DIY version, I shot most of the video downwards facing a white table, with two lights on either side as a basic set up. I wanted the video to be as clear and clean cut as possible so used a white backdrop / c stand for the shot of myself explaining the concept.

I even created a stop motion animation as a quick introduction to the materials I would be using. The stop motion animal didn’t take long, nor was it as arduous as some people may expect. With software and apps these days it’s fairly easy.

Replacing the human element to workshops isn’t easy however, and I hope that my next few workshops are sufficiently explanatory in their role to instruct different aspects of painting or illustration. Most likely I’ll be using more text based animation, slow motions of brush strokes and (fingers crossed) more space if the studio reopens. In any case I couldn’t be more glad a degree in Photography and Film paid off, as strange as it is during this time.

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments, what do you think about online workshops, and have you participated in any during lockdown ?

To access Creative Home and other fantastic workshops from talented artists around the North East follow this link: