Cats & Dahlias (Catlias)


Cats and dahlias: their capacity for fantastic colours and shapes and patterns makes grey days and moods brighter! I had some of these crazy firework flowers to stay (they’re still stretching and looking around and generally making themselves comfy on the kitchen table) and was given a friendly headbutt by a small and haughty cat and both these things made me feel much better.

I’ve been posting Inktober drawings on my Instagram, more will be making an appearance on here soon. Hope your week is a bright one!

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Red haired heroines

Recently I found myself thinking about red hair, and before I knew it had doodled a small series of portraits featuring some of my favourite red headed book characters, and as I’d been missing watercolour, painted them during breaks from the computer screen. There are others, of course, including some great red haired heroes – maybe I’ll draw more to mix into this mini-series at some point, but for now, here are six  favourite red haired heroines that just happened in my sketchbook.
























Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables, Renn from the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter books, Eleanor Douglas from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, cross-dressing knight Alanna in Tamora Pierce’s Lioness series, and Astrid Lindgren’s invincible Pippi – dreamy, fierce, hilarious and strong heroines whose stories I found myself wanting to reread while painting.

Hope your week is off to a good start, may it be filled with good colours and beautiful stories!

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Reality check cat knights

you-are-enough-a5 Two scruffy cats with a message.

I remember feeling a stab of recognition when I learned about ‘impostor syndrome’ and the huge number of people who have a recurring, discomfiting sensation that at some point people will see through you and realise you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s a strange thing, but it was good to realise it’s just another weird thought-demon!


I’ve been wanting to do more with words, and ‘you are enough’ glided onto paper, followed by two mouthy cats. They were fun to draw, and every now and again I catch sight of them and have to grin guiltily, a tension that I didn’t even realise was there easing off – there are always so many ways in which to grow, but it’s good to be jolted out of thoughts that you’re not ___ enough – such an unhelpful frame of mind!you-are-enough-6000

I could have tinkered with the colours etc on this forever, but thought (in the spirit of the message, hehe!) I should just post them here. I printed a few cards of the pink one, and might put it and this blue planty one on my webshop as different products : >

Hope your day is one with good feelings, lofty cats, & sparkling flowers!


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Show visitors & princesses

lil-zb-show-selfie-2Recently I had a small and very impromptu show of some of my illustrations, cards and sketchbooks at some wonderful friends’ house, as part of an open house / studio art route in town. It was a first for me, and I discovered I have a distinct and relentless talent for hanging things askew. Thank you so much again Jikke for your encouragement and help!!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect but there were more visitors than I thought, it was really great talking with them! I loved two honoured & royally-clad visitors’ reactions in particular:


There’s the next thing to draw I guess.

(This was the picture in question, by the way, haha a new Game of Thrones twist!)

Jikke van Loon (featured above accompanying the two tiny princesses) is a phenomenal Fine Artist; she is so so good and if you haven’t yet done so you can marvel at her beautiful paintings and sculptures on her website:

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Seoul style sketchbook

korea-styles-sketchbookA page from my travel sketchbook from earlier this year: Cute people & styles spotted in Seoul. Most of these were drawn at busy yet laid back student markets packed with trendy people with beautiful hair, tantalising snacks, and stands selling the ultimate patterned socks.  I was loving the hairstyles & ornaments; my favourites were plants ones (like the girl in the lower right corner)🌱✨

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Norwegian Forest Princess Cat


A card full of ink & watercolour Iyo-chans to wish you a very happy weekend!













For Naoko, based on her most beautiful cat❤

Here are some sketchbook pages as well that I don’t think I’ve posted on here yet, of brushpen drawings I did of Iyo-chan – very affectionate, highly playful, supremely fluffy, superlatively good at hiding behind blinds – when I had the luck of visiting Naoko in Tokyo this year.

I want one!





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Messenger Birds over Seoul

Seoul view 1wb EBB smaller

A few months ago I spent a beautiful, delicious, and supremely relaxed week in South Korea with one of my besties. This drawing is based on the view from our hostel room, with its vista of leafy streets, mixed traditional and modern buildings, winding streets and green, rocky mountains all around. And a whole bunch of birds, some more giant than others, because no landscape is complete without them.


print pic with face

Last week I had some exciting news: I had entered this piece into the TY Art Competition’s illustration category, and am really happy to say it was chosen as a finalist! I had this chirpy print to the left done & framed and it’s now happily hanging out at TY Seven Dials‘ cafe + gallery space, where it will be on show as part of the art competition exhibition for the next six months. I’m looking forward to checking it out when I’m next in London : )

Thanks again Alison for the excellent week in Seoul and the noble print picking up action!

Hope you’ve been having a lovely weekend, possibly with leaves and shiny windows and birds with good messages!


Posted in BIRDS and their secrets, Illustration, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments