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.
& Hand Bag Mirrors.
So you see… there’s a lot more to a moth than meets the eye!
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?
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.
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!!
Bees (5 cm x 6.5 cm)
Seahorse (2.5 cm x 6.5 cm)
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!