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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Multi-Coloured Beetles

This weekend I went to stay with an aunt in Belfast.  We don’t visit her often enough and quite frankly we should.  Not only is her company fab but her house is like an Aladdin’s Cave of fascinating artifacts.

My favourite were these beetles which I found in my bathroom.  As you all know we love a bug or two so they were rather appropriate don’t you think??

exotic beetles


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?


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!