Spring at Kew by Rowena Ardern

Although it was a long time coming when Spring finally arrived it did so with a flourish ! The blossom this year has been exceptional and at Kew Gardens the avenue leading to the restored Temperate House is lined with cherry trees underplanted with tulips , absolutely beautiful ! I painted this water colour on site in the sunshine so good to be able to be outside again .

Read More

Peony and Goose by Rowena Ardern

For the last few weeks I have been busy in my studio working on a new design which is from a drawing at Kew Gardens (one of my favourite haunts} last spring . The background them is peonies . There is an amazing specimen bed at the edge of the walled garden with many different varieties . I was also lucky enough to  watch a heron bathing in the large pond . The process has taken a lot of sampling and both a paper and fabric version are at the printers as we speak 

 Sampling , the design board .   

Sampling , the design board .

 

 Applique on cotton the fabric version . 

Applique on cotton the fabric version . 

 Mixed media on paper .

Mixed media on paper .

Basquiat Drawing Day by Rowena Ardern

Yesterday I went to a drawing day at the Vaults below Waterloo station " for a very special edition of the Drawing Theatre as we collaborate with the fabulous Le Filfor an immersive afternoon of high octane drawing and collage 80’s NYC style. Get inspired by the world famous Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel and immerse yourself in the underground industrial interiors of The Vaults-  as we create Drawing Theatre performance and sound scapes inspired by the scintillating Jean Michel Basquiat

An excellent and inspiring afternoon with amazing models and music ! I highly recommend thse events to anyone who loves drawing!

Basquiatdrawing.jpg
collage.jpg
collage1.jpg

Silver Birch tea towel design process by Rowena Ardern

 Spent saturday at  Design ME Textiles   (Ilderton Road Peckham ) with the lovely Michelle getting back into screen printing onto fabric ! Excellent facilities I would highly recommend doing a course with them ! Also brought back lovely memories of time spent in the print rooms of MMU and UCF as well . Am working from my silver birch drawings from outside Tate Modern to print onto tea towels etc .The initial drawing led to preparing an image that could be applied to a screen ready for printing . The next step was trying out colours and layering .

Spent saturday at Design ME Textiles  (Ilderton Road Peckham ) with the lovely Michelle getting back into screen printing onto fabric ! Excellent facilities I would highly recommend doing a course with them ! Also brought back lovely memories of time spent in the print rooms of MMU and UCF as well . Am working from my silver birch drawings from outside Tate Modern to print onto tea towels etc .The initial drawing led to preparing an image that could be applied to a screen ready for printing . The next step was trying out colours and layering .

silver birch 2.jpg
 In the end I opted to have my tea towels screen printed by a Uk company Countryside Arts but the initial process led to a beautiful product . They are printed onto 100 % cotton and available at Zenubian and potentially at Parlez ( A Brockley restaurant by the station) , from the studio, at fairs they are proving to be a popular choice for gifts and to enhance contemporary kitchens and at  £12 each or 2 for £20 washable at 40 degrees who can resist !

In the end I opted to have my tea towels screen printed by a Uk company Countryside Arts but the initial process led to a beautiful product . They are printed onto 100 % cotton and available at Zenubian and potentially at Parlez ( A Brockley restaurant by the station) , from the studio, at fairs they are proving to be a popular choice for gifts and to enhance contemporary kitchens and at  £12 each or 2 for £20 washable at 40 degrees who can resist !

BOS 2017 by Rowena Ardern

My second successful year of Brockley Open Studios hosted by my wonderful son and family !! Lots of help to set up and food provided along the way , my big thanks to them and all of the lovely people who came and saw and bought my work !Here are a few photos of what you missed if you couldn't make it !!All the Heron work sold at the beginning but I will be making more . The new Silver Birch tea towels sold well and will be in my shop very soon!

 

BOS17.jpg
BOS17cushions.jpg
STJamescushionBOS17.jpg

Peacock and Geum Kew by Rowena Ardern

Continuing my drawing sessions at Kew has been a delight and has led to a new piece of work developed for Brockley Open Studios at the end of June details of which will be revealed in my next post. Every time I go there are new plants coming into their glory and the resident peacock is now in full Spring plumage and displaying and calling fervently . He has featured in several drawings and is one of my favourite birds . At one time when living in Silverdale , Morecambe Bay , Lancashire I had regular visits from the then farm peacocks and at one point there was a female with three male chicks that grew into impressive birds and would display on my lawn !! Delightful!

So the drawing I chose is of a bright orange geum , Euphorbia Giganticus and the beautiful peacock.

peacockdrawing.jpg

I started with the plants selecting fabrics and threads that would be relevant .

sampling for euphorbia.jpg

The peacock came next with sampling to try to capture the colour and plumage !

peacocksampling .jpg

Then came the moment of using applique to attach the bird to the background and stretching the piece ready for framing  Here is the finished piece a lovely reminder for me of times passed and the joy of creating and drawing in beautiful gardens !!

peacockandgeum facebook.jpg

Heron design in process by Rowena Ardern

Work in process is my new Heron Design based on drawings from Regents Park where there is a thriving heronry  and Dulwich Parkwhere there is a lone heron . This came to me as a complete design as a cushion on a yellow background displayed on a lime green ercol sofa which I have yet to source . Firstly I dyed a large piece of vintage linen in sunshine yellow and then set about selecting various fabrics to construct the heron . Herons are a continuing feature in my life from observing them on the shore at Silverdale , creating a tea towel design for the Heron Cornmill at Milnthorpe seeing them on the river in Manchester and now in the parks in London. Next came the fun part applique and machine embroidery to construct the heronness of heron !!

 

 Close up of stitch detail.

Close up of stitch detail.

 Drawing, fabrics and sampling for the herons head .

Drawing, fabrics and sampling for the herons head .

London Notebooks by Rowena Ardern

The newly designed and printed St James Park notebook 26 blank pages sustainably printed in UK with full cover design . 

 

St Jamesnotebook.jpg
 St Pauls from Tate Modern, The V and A Hare and Flowers, and of course Birds and Borders St James park

St Pauls from Tate Modern, The V and A Hare and Flowers, and of course Birds and Borders St James park

 St Pauls , Bethnal Green Park and Big Ben and Hypericum

St Pauls , Bethnal Green Park and Big Ben and Hypericum