Frances Watts Illustration

Last night we came across a blog post by the incredibly talented illustrator, Frances Watts.  So impressed with what we saw we went straight onto her fab and very unusual website and was not disappointed!  What set her apart for so many other illustrators was her subject matter, which quite frankly is right up our street.

Take a look for yourself……..

Alexander Beetle by Frances Watts Illustration

Dickinson Beetle by Frances Watts illustration

Alexander Beetles By Frances Watts Illustration

Hummingbird by Frances Watts Illustration

Bees Be Kind by Frances Watts Illustration

Nice day to be a frog by Frances Watt Illustration

Butterfly by Frances Watts Illustration

Butterfly by Frances Watts Illustration

Our favourite, of course have to be the beetles, but we’re pretty partial the the ‘Be kind to Bees’ too.

Frances, (not to be confused with the Australian Children’s Book Illustrator) or Franny to her friends lives in deepest Somerset with her photographer husband (also not to be confused with the wildlife photographer with the same name), her little son and lovable hound which is obviously where she gets much of her inspiration.  However, she is happy to take commissions too.

Check out her website and latest blog post for more examples of her work, ways to contact her and the chance to buy one off prints. We’re busy trying to think of an excuse for a party (not such a difficult task) for her to design an invitation for us!

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Kitty the Christmas Fairy Helper

If you ‘like’ us on facebook, the chances are that you are already familiar with Kitty.  For those of you who have however missed our latest office addition, super camera shy Kitty has arrived to help out with everything in our busiest time of the year. I have started calling her my Christmas Fairy….

In real life Kitty isn’t a fairy, but a textile designer who has recently graduated from Leeds School of Art.  She’s rather talented too check out her blog which shows lots of different water colour paintings that she applies to silk scarves – we like a lot.

Keen to make suggestions and use a bit of nounce, Kitty has set about re-designing packaging for various bits and pieces – namely our handbag mirrors which frankly looked a little bit miserable before but which now look super smart and have been packed up and are off on their journey to Waddesdon Mannor.

As well as mastering the art of making peg bags, lavender bags and cushions.

Kitty has helped style and organise our photo shoot 

The only thing Kitty hasn’t done is make any tea…. might have to rectify that one! 🙂


Moths

Moths are a nuisance.  There are not two ways about it, and if you have been one of the unfortunate many this year to experience the plague that has descended upon the country then you will know only too well about the devastation moths can bring.

I’m sure that many of you can’t quite work out why on earth we should therefore choose to base a whole design on the little devils then?

Well, until I found this book below at an antique fair I too thought that they were miserable clothes munchers or dull fluttery things that always found themselves at the nearest lightbulb.

But not a bit of it is true.  Page after page in Richard South’s gem of a book show colourful, highly decorative little creatures and with my observation skills clearly heightened,  I happened to spy my very own cinnebar moth several days later.

Unable to resist the temptation to get my sketch book and pencils out, I set to…. learning about Umbers, Emeralds, Tigers, Burnets and Ghost Moths and so many more.

And now we have a whole range of products featuring my moths.

Tea Towels….

Napkins….

Lavender bags

Notecards….

Gift Tags…..

& Hand Bag Mirrors.

So you see… there’s a lot more to a moth than meets the eye!


Dead Beetle

This morning I spied a dead beetle.

I was sad to see that it was dead but it made me think about that AA Milne poem and also reminded me about the initial stages of setting up Warbeck & Cox and a trip that involved other dead beetles, inspired furious sketching and the creation of our most popular design.

Ten years ago or so, I found myself with the task of entertaining a young cousin and was told to take him to Tring Zooililogical Museum (now part of the Natural History Museum).  A firm favourite as a child I was not convinced that well over a decade later I would feel quite the same way about this venue.  How wrong I was.

On opening that first drawer and rediscovering the rows and rows of little creatures pinned and labelled so neatly, I was hooked.  So hooked infact that I had to shoot off to the gift shop and buy a sketch pad and get scribbling.

Fascinated by the delicate, intricate shapes, patterns and irridescent colours I had to get drawing ….which is exactly what I did.

Beetle to buffalo and alligator to zebra, the collection has it all.  Thankfully for us, the Rothschild family decided to give the entire collection to the nation in 1937 and here are just a few of the amazing treasures I discovered.

Interestingly, Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild’s fascination and subsequent gargantuan collection began as a small boy when he discovered a dead beetle –  a present he promptly gave it to his nanny!

Funny what comes about from finding a beetle isn’t it?


The Big Smoke, Numbers & a Camera

In my last post, I promised that I would try and bring news that didn’t (for once) involve animals, mud, weather and standard countryside antics! So am rather pleased that today I have something to share that does not include any of the above!

A couple of weeks ago, I read about a project started by Pete Lewis & Jack Barnes which, according to them has now turned into a ‘joint obsession’!  Called We One Thousand the idea is pretty straight forward – find and photograph numbers (from 1 to 1000) that you see about your everyday life and if any good they will be posted along with everyone elses on line.  Pretty simples no?  I thought it was a fun idea but along with all the excitements that go on here in the office on a daily basis it all slightly slipped my mind… until I found myself in London a few days later.

Trips to London are sadly rather few and far between these days but this particular invitation could not be turned down – despite the unnecessarily large amount of walking which was required!  Finding myself pacing the streets for hours on end, I was delighted to be confronted by numbers.  Lots and lots and lots of numbers.  Remembering the boy’s project I decided to get snapping.

To be honest I found the whole process rather invigorating – not only did it take my mind off my ever growing blisters but I found that I was properly looking at buildings, bill boards, buses and generally observing things that in the past I must have walked past a hundred times without properly noticing.

These are some of the photographs that I took, chose to submit and much to my delight today, I have discovered that 2 have been included on the website!

Farringdon Road, London

336 Farringdon Road

236 Grays Inn Road, London

236 Grays Inn Road, London

And my favourite…..

222 Grays Inn Road London

Next time you’re out and about, wherever you are.. why not get snapping – & make sure you share your pics with us! 🙂


Amazing Artist – Rachel Pedder Smith

A couple of weeks ago I went on a little trip to the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens and decided to head to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery where there was an exhibition showing some of the stunning work by Rachel Pedder Smith.

I was unfamiliar with her work until that chance visit and really wonder where I have been all this time never to have seen any before?? It’s particularly bizarre because here at Warbeck & Cox we’re rather partial to insects, bugs and any other items that you’d expect to find at the Natural History Museum (as if you didn’t already know)!

Anyway, the botanical illustration exhibition was called ‘Pressed Plant’  and showed the intricate and detailed watercolour pieces of exotic seed heads, leaves and flowers from around the globe.  It was really quite amazing.

I picked up a whole selection of postcards which I have sent to various friends and family… but kept my favourite for my pin board shown here below.

Artist Rachel Pedder Smith

 Section of Herbarium Specimen Painting 2006-2009

I thought I’d also share (with Rachel’s permission) some of my favourite images which I found on her site

Check it out to find some postcards to send your friends & family… or maybe even grab an original!!

Rachel Pedder Smith's Bees painting

Bees (5 cm x 6.5 cm)

Rachel Pedder Smith's sea horse painting

Seahorse (2.5 cm x 6.5 cm)

Pedder Smith butterfly

Swallowtail butterfly (7 cm x 6.5 cm)

So.. now I’m off out to enjoy this sunshine and draw some more of my own!