Darjeeling Tea Tin

Do you ever have those designs you draw then set aside, not sure what you think of it, then come back to it a little while later ? That’s pretty much what happened with the Darjeeling Tin. I’d drawn up Earl Grey and Yorkshire Tea but wanted to do an Indian blend, so I wrote the letters and eventually came back to it. I had encompassed my thoughts of golden sun and bright mornings as a main palette but used very some very contrasting colours of bright red and green in the peacock feathers for vibrancy.

Though it follows the main template of the tea tin series, I wanted it to be more representative of Darjeeling. Darjeeling is a town in India’s West Bengal state, in the Himalayan foothills.

For me the tea has a light but complex taste, and brings a little sunshine to my morning.

Prints available on Etsy: https://linktr.ee/sofiabartonillustration

Be Canny Wild & Free

Delighted to have been asked to be part of Love of the Norths Exhibition in Spanish City.

I’d been noticing spring emerging and various insects emerging. After a little bit of research (and a wander down the local nature reserve ) I’d found out about various butterfly species that frequent the North East Coast. Can you spot and name them ?

Originally inspired by a design of a trio of butterflies on a vintage matchbox, these butterflies were displayed on fresh spring green leaves with a bright pink background. I’ve made this a little different to what I’ve illustrated in the past with a smaller font and a singular border. This one off A2 canvas will be available to buy during exhibition starting tomorrow 4th April 2022

Details:

https://www.fortheloveofthenorth.co.uk/

World Heritage Day: Lindisfarne Gospels Art Trail

Excited to share I’ve completed the digital pack for the Lindisfarne Gospels Art Trail with Durham University Libraries and Durham Cathedral.

The pack contains multiple worksheets split into four sections. The first section is based on the different animals you can see in the gospels. The second section looks into patterns and interlocking techniques. This includes using borders and Celtic knots. The third section focuses on colour; working with drawing inks including using a bamboo pen as a quill. The final section explains how to go about the final artwork, choosing a letter from the medieval alphabet sheet, the geometric layout and how different participants can share tasks to complete the overall design. The work also involved making four videos for these four sections, full of information and tips on the four parts of the gospels. Exploring the style of the carpet pages, incipits, and portrait pages.

The trail itself will be with eight schools across Durham who’ll be using these resources along with materials to create their own collaborative artwork. Each school will be picking a letter, and the trail is due to go live in April 2022.

I cannot wait to see what the schools create and share the art trail details with you when it goes live.


Drawings by Sofia Barton. Lindisfarne Gospel Art Trail Digital Pack.

Producing Place Artist in Residence

Pleased to announce I’ll be the first Producing Place Artist in Residence for Monkfish Productions. 📣

The residency explores the area around the Victorian bandstand in Saltwell Park in the communities that live and visit there. Through community workshops, which will be open to key groups and the public.

I drew this little illustration of the bandstand after a visit last week. I used to live in Bensham (near Saltwell Park) a few years ago and was a frequent visitor. It is interesting to think about how many people pass, take shelter and sit under this bandstand. The collective stories and experiences around this landmark would be fascinating to learn about.

My idea for the bandstand is like the illustration, getting individuals and groups to draw or write about their experiences in the area and create a vine that wraps itself around the bandstand. Reflective of the wild life around it. A symbol perhaps of how people have used the park during lockdown, and how the perceptions of parks has grown more important with the need for outdoor space.

I’ll be updating the blog as I go along in the project, doing lots of workshops and of course displaying the artwork on the bandstand itself at the end.

Here is a link to Monkfish Productions CIO and information on the brilliant work they’re doing http://www.monkfishproductions.org/

Unfortunately the projects on a little break at the moment, but will resume in July 2022 with a weekend of wonderful workshops to create the beautiful creates and vines around the bandstand.

New Matchbook Series

I’ve always wanted to draw a matchbook in contrast to the matchboxes I do. This design was the first to pop out of my head as it were. The shy bairns get nowt print was quite popular lately so I’ve used the saying again, this time adding a LIT match and of course the Geordie icon – the magpie sitting right next to it.

To buy this print see my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SofiaBartonArt or to commission a design get in touch via the contact form.

Local Maker’s Market at Fenwick’s Newcastle

With the past couple of years being different due to the pandemic I hadn’t been trading at markets so was delighted when the opportunity arose to get a table at Fenwick’s Local Maker’s Market. It’s been a fantastic incentive for local business’s to trade at the reputable department store and I’m grateful to be one of them. I signed up for 4 weeks until the 22nd December- perfect for the run up to Christmas.

Selling at Fenwick’s are three variants of magnets (Newcastle, You’re Amazing and Shy Bairns Get Nowt). Sets of white Framed Giclee prints from A6-A3, Frameless Giclee prints, Tiger mugs, a brand new 2022 calendar, Sustainable screen printed tote bags and various greeting cards.

Greeting Cards with trademark Gold Envelopes next to a bowl of magnets
Selection of framed prints, Frameless prints and mugs
My first calendar. Features the best selling Matchbox artwork

My Etsy shop is now closed until January, which makes this location ideal for anyone wanting any artwork or gifts for Christmas this year. Set on the ground floor it’s easy to get to, and has had an interesting mix of local businesses.

Making my first Matchbox Book

A video showing how a matchbox book was created. Artwork celebrates South Asian suffragettes and hidden figures in history ( part of the Narivad series) and a sneak peak into the makings of a matchbox book for the North East English Coast.

Materials used: Watercolour paper, ink, glue, black paint, white card, Stanley knife, ruler and scissors.

Fishy on a Dishy

Following the nursery rhyme Dance to your Daddy, sometimes known as “When the Boat Comes In” is a nursery rhyme first published in 1849 in “Songs of the bards of the Tyne” by Joseph Robson. It became popular again in the 1970s when a modern version of the song was used as the theme song for the BBC serial “When The Boat Comes In”, so much that nowadays most people know the modern lyrics of the song.

This is where the inspiration came for this folk song on a fish tin !

Baltic 39

Excited to be a part of the Open Call at Baltic 39 in Newcastle and be exhibiting a painting called Death XIII. This was a continuation of work after my co-investigator role at the Newbridge Project. The canvas is 30cm x 30cm, a background diagonally divided into blood red and black, holds a two toned (divided) circle in the centre. In a halo of gold, a plague doctor stares out to the side of the painting. Two sacred hearts, one a watchful eye symbolises the passivism of the media and public. The second sacred heart symbolises action and survival. The figure in the centre is a personal response to Covid-19, how hopeless it feels, and an echo of the earlier history we were taught about Spanish Flu. There are many parallels of what happened in history that are similar to present day. The title ‘Death XIII’ relates to the tarot card, as Death is one of the major arcana and holds a tremendous amount of symbolism, of great change.

This painting will be for sale, and be going on exhibit November 2020 – January 2020. Catch a sneak peak below !