5/08/2009

Mouse ears and cobwebs.


I have spent the last few weeks getting work ready to send to Surtex. This is a trade fair which is held in New York and is an important event in the calendar of any surface pattern or stationery designer. I have exhibited my work there for many years now but this year I am sending my artwork with my agent. I know just how stressful an exhibition like this can be and feel relieved that I will be spared most of the hard work. However, there is a part of me that would like nothing better than to hop on the next flight and join in the fun.

It has not been possible for me to show new work on this blog because of copyright restrictions so I hope you will not mind too much if I show you previously published pieces? The piece that I am posting today is another illustration from my book "Down the Lane" and it shows a hedgehog shuffling through dew covered grasses and flowers. The little white flowers are commonly called mouse ears and are here in abundance at the moment in the hedgerows. It has also been a good month for violets which have spread in every little nook and cranny in my garden. I think the new grass must taste very sweet because my dog has been eating lots of it, I hope he is not going to throw up! I can't work out if this is an attempt at self medication or maybe he has something missing in his diet? It seems that other dogs do the same, particularly at this time of the year.

24 comments:

  1. That is so lovely. As simple admirers its easy for us not to know how much work goes into being a successful painter / illustrator.

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  2. Valerie I look forward to seeing ANY artwork on your blog coz they're so beautiful!

    This little hedgehog is so cute. :)

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  3. Love the painting, Acornmoon. I've not heard the name 'mouse ears' for those flowers before! Both dogs and cats seem to eat lots of grass - friends' cat ate most of my Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' and other ornamental grasses!

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  4. I haven't seen a hedghog for a few years, I'd forgotten how sweet they are. (Cats do the grass thing too, usually so that they can come inside and deposit it on the rug).

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  5. I love, love, LOVE hedgehogs!! I've missed them over here (no hedgehogs in NC that I know of). Your illustration is so beautiful (as always). Good luck with your show!

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  6. I hope your agent comes home with a book full of commissions for you.

    I love that mix of flowers - it reminds me of the borders of medieval book illuminations. And also that our wildflowers are so pretty.

    BTW we call Stitchwort 'Batchelor's Buttons' around here - maybe they look like those stitched cotton buttons on old work shirts.

    Best wishes
    Celia

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  7. I love the hedgehog and am marvelling at how you paint the fine details so beautifully - quite apart from your tremendous drawing skills

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  8. He is so sweet especially with those cheeky littl eyes, xv.

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  9. Another gorgeous illustration. I love hedgehogs! I always look forward to seeing your work on your blog. I hope your agent gets you tons good stuff of in New York! Of course with the Americans being so fascinated with British people, it's a shame you couldn't go, but any trade fair is such a noisy thing, and being charming for hours is hard work!! Keep us posted on results, please:)

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  10. Best wishes to you and your agent on this upcoming fair. Sorry not to have been able to meet you on your own earlier visits to NY.

    xo

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  11. I have heard sometimes dogs eat grass because of something missing, but darn if I can remember.

    maybe google it and see what you find out. In the meantime, I'd probably leave him outdoors if you can.

    Per my china... I do have some lovely English bone china that was my grandmother's. Perhaps I'll use it for a Tablescape Thursday event in the future.

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  12. PS.

    Now I come to think of it, maybe the white flowers are not mouse ears after all? I have consulted my books on wild flowers and as Celia has pointed out, maybe I am confusing stitchwort with mouse ears, the flowers are very similar but the leaves are slightly longer and more pointy. You live and learn, thanks Celia.

    William Morris did a design called Batchelor's Button I think? I never thought about the connection.

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  13. I love your Hedgehog! I am reading a biography of Beatrix Potter at the moment and your wonderul drawing makes me think of her story book characters.

    I have violets growing in my front garden and now they have spread on their own several places, including to my back lawn which I do not mind. I occasionally see my dog eating grass and wonder if it means he is sick too?

    I wish you the best of luck with your show in New York - they are sure to appreciate your beautiful work!

    Gillian

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  14. what a sweet hedgehog! My dog really goes for the grass, too. I guess it's some kind of doggie tonic.

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  15. I love the hedgehog and yours is delightful. I hope that the upcoming fair brings you a lot of commissions. About dogs and grass: the ingestion of grass is usually due to a state of gastritis or much more simply to clean the gastroenteric apparatus. I know that because I've got two dogs!

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  16. Hello Valerie, I wish you well at the trade show in New York. Your illustrations are all truly beautiful and I am sure you will do well. I have a grandson just turning 4 tomorrow and a grand daughter just turning 3 on June 1st. I would love to buy a children book for each that you have illustrated your lovely British art in. Please contact me with suggestions. Oh, By the way I added your lovely blog/website to my blog sooo hopefully many more will explore you site. Hugs Judy

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  17. An adorable hedgehog, Valerie! I love the thought of mouse ears for flowers.

    I think sometimes dogs just like salads. Unfortunately, sometimes salads don't agree with them.

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  18. Lovely hedgehog - such sweet little things - I once watched one of our cats come face to face with one - he put his nose to the ball it had made of itself and shot back when his nose was prickled:) We have more violets this year than ever before. When our cats eat grass it usually means a cleaning up session later on - I think they use it to settle their digestion as well as getting certain nutrients from it - I assume dogs are the same. Good luck with the exhibition:)

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  19. Valerie, my agent will also be at Surtex. Wishing you much success! I love the little hedgehog picture!

    We also have a bumper crop of violets in our grass this spring. I love to see their little purple faces peeking at me as I walk across the lawn. They disappear too quickly! And the stems aren't long enough to pick and even put in a teacup. So I have to content myself with a walk in the grass...

    Diane

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  20. I do love a hedgehog! I have noticed this year the white violets in my garden have spread more than the purple ones. They are both equally as lovely. x

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  21. Wishing you the best at Surtex...my agent is going to be there, too! I've never been...the trip is small for me...(compared to your travels) but I'm a chicken! :)
    Love to see all that you share...it is sad that we cannot put new designs up~ even a few of my old ones were "borrowed without permission." Hope your day is wonderful~
    Michelle

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  22. Now there is a thing i havent seen in a long while, a hedgehog, i love their snuffly noises & rolling waddle. beautiful painting as, always, i love your attention to detail, each piece must take hours!

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  23. lovely illustrations..
    giveaway ending this weekend
    http://www.papermoonies.blogspot.com
    I follow you now!

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  24. I seem to be writing coments about what England offers as opposed to what we have here in ND/USA. I have never seen a hedgehog but I think I would just love them.

    I KNOW I love your illustratons of the sweet little creature.

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