Last year I moved my studio back home and set up in the corner of a room overlooking the River Lea and Hackney Cut. With one of the finest views in east London I quickly set to work on this illustration. The project began with taking photos of the activity on the towpath and sketching the most frequent passers. Some of my favourites are the swans and cormorant who have a strong contrast but co-exist happily, often cosying up by the weir; the shaggy black dog who walks past every day and seems so joyful to be outdoors that it always makes me smile to see him; and the great swaying plane trees who watch over everyone.
The illustration follows the style of the Picton Pattern, except its current format benefits from the inky texture of the gouache paint. A few weeks ago photographer Jørn Tomter visited me to document the progress of the painting for I Love Chatsworth Road.
I also couldn’t help turning this illustration into a pattern as it lends itself well to a repeat. I hope to see it as a wallpaper eventually.
I’ve been working on a lot of patterns lately. Today I finished a design inspired by the beautiful scenery in ‘Les Revenants’, a french drama about a mountain town beside the resevoir. The Happy Accident is a double layer landscape watercolour painting. The image was developed to the soundtrack by Mogwai. Below are the stages of the process so you can see how the Happy Accident came to be…
I have some friends with great talents, and these particulars are living the dream of setting up their own studio. It’s one great haven of design. A space warm with light and busy with ideas.
This is OPEN…
This is the work of Roa, a graffiti artist based in Belgium, though I can’t imagine how little time is spent there considering the expanse of Europe he has covered with his gargantuan animals.
In London, I first saw his work over corrugated shutters on Curtain Road. I regrettably never photographed it and it’s since been replaced by new scrawls. Approaching the shutters from one side you saw a giant furry rabbit and on passing it to the other side, you’d suddenly realise you were looking at his insides. Although the rabbit is lost, more Roa animals have been showing up in East London. Recently I photographed the great bird on my way to the art store off Brick Lane. He makes brilliant use of buildings as canvases, especially those that are derelict or tumbled. The scale of these works is so impressive. I cannot find any more information on his work process, but I hope to one day catch him in the act round here. And if by any chance Roa sees this post, please come and draw on my home.