Monday, January 30, 2012

Getting sorted

During last night's epic Australian Open Men's tennis final I managed to fill a couple of A4 folders with Christmas inspiration collected over the last few years. It's time to get cracking on some new card and wrap designs for the up-coming trade fairs - no tennis watching excuses now!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A strong dose of colour

Once again, the new fabric and wallpaper collection entitled 'Colour for Living' from the UK company Sanderson features a vast selection of beautiful (and colourful) designs that are bound to become design classics. I really admire the collection for the manner in which it gently references historical design for a contemporary market. 

St Ives - a wallpaper and fabric design featuring the hilly streetscapes of this renowned artistic hotspot, carved into lino in a naive style .

 This Rainforest fabric design reminds me of the Austrian / Swedish modernist designer Josef Frank. I love the blue colourway.

The linen textures of this Block Leaf design hark back to the pared-down and graceful 1950's patterns designed by Lucienne Day.


Another of my favourite designs from this collection is Bellflower -  I love the Atelier Martine / Dufy influence. 

You can view the entire collection of fabrics and wallpapers from Sanderson's Colour for Living range here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A wattle design

I love this time of year - painting in front of the TV while the players battle it out in the heat at the Australian Open tennis!
 This is a textile design of a wattle that I spotted flowering along the roadside near Lancefield in Central Victoria a couple of days ago. 

Lancefield - Tooborac Road on a hot summer day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

An amicable design for ceramics

I love the hand-drawn qualities and colouration of this dinnerware design by ceramicist Molly Hatch for Anthropologie. And I love the name of the design too - Amicable Aster. Very sweet!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A talented Textile Designer - Fiona Lenord

I have always considered myself to be very lucky to have been mentored by so many talented people in the early days of my textile design career as an in-house designer at Sheridan and Bruck Textiles. One of the designers whose work always amazed me with her drawing ability and sublime flower painting skills is 'new to freelance' textile designer Fiona Lenord.

Fiona's design experience has been prolific and diverse - although mostly self taught, Fiona says her skills are also a celebration of the talented people she has learnt from in her career as a textile designer. Fiona has worked at four of the Textile Design studios in Sydney - Longina Phillips Designs, Sheridan, T & J Designs and KAS.

Photograph Copyright Sheridan

Fiona loves a design challenge that requires a lot of research, whether it be an insight into a variety of rose or an art movement. A huge panel bedlinen design Fiona worked on for Sheridan that took several weeks to complete was inspired by French Provincial wallpaper.

Fiona loved the journey which involved researching the appropriate painting technique, the architectural style of the decorative urns and follies, and the flower motifs of the period. And there is always the challenge of producing a textile design using just 8 colours!

Photograph Copyright - Sheridan

Inspiration wise, Fiona loves mid century architecture, homewares, fashion and fabrics, especially the 1940's - 1970's period which were so rich in innovation, colour and change.

Fiona's favourite colour combinations are ever changing. At the moment she loves the combination of teal green and blue, indigo, lime and olive. Pictured above are a pile of cushions sewn by Fiona in this palette, made from vintage fabrics collected over the years.

Fiona's favourite shop in the world is from her Blue Mountains locale. Frou Frou Old and New is located in Springwood, NSW and is filled with beautiful vintage and retro finds. Fiona says she likes to support and shop local, and this store is run by her personal shoppers and friends!

Frou Frou Old and New front window display

And my favourite question to artists and designers - what is your favourite flower to paint and draw?
No doubt this is a hard one as she has painted thousands over the years! She loves a 'Nana' flower and therefore enjoys painting Peonies, Hydrangeas and Camellias.

She really enjoyed painting a lotus flower mural on her sister's tank at her farm. This project was a stretch for her in scale, medium, colour mixing and painting in the freezing outdoor weather. I love the finished result.

Fiona is now working from home on a freelance basis and is available for commissions. Take a look at her beautiful hand painted textile designs on her website here:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Pattern Books from the V&A

I really need to stop reading those Amazon UK emails with the heading 'Recommended for You'..... The latest collection of V&A Pattern books are due for release in April 2012, and I am looking forward to receiving these always excellent pattern reference books in my mailbox.

Sanderson by Mary Schoeser showcases the vibrant wallpapers and fabrics produced during the 1950's through to the 1970's by the highly regarded British manufacturer.

 Heal's by Mary Schoeser showcases the wide range of contemporary fabrics offered by this retail institution around the mid-twentieth century.

Liberty & Co by Anna Buruma charts the development of the legendary company through their innovative textile designs.

Modern British Designers by Samantha Erin Safer traces the past 50 years of innovation and creative genius in British design. Designers featured include Zandra Rhodes, Terence Conran and Shirley Craven.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Designing for Christmas 2012

The silly season might be over but it's time to get cracking on some new Christmas designs for my agent. Hopefully the red ink staining my fingers will be gone in a few days - not the best look!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Fabric

It is too hot for doing very much at all today, so apart from watching a bit of cricket and a quick trip to the art shop, I have happily spent the afternoon doing a little bit of internet research. And now it looks like I will be heading to my favourite fabric shop here in Melbourne - (Amitie Textiles) to pick up a few of these fantastic SS/2012 Art Fabrics from Liberty.

First up is Ellie Ruth, an eye catching design featuring Bizzy Lizzies, first created in 1961.

Meandering Chrysanthemums is an archive design from 1966, reworked by the English textile design icon Zandra Rhodes for 2012.

Howell's Ladders is another archival design from the 1950's, selected by Production Designer and Art Director Michael Howells. I love this subtle colourway in a typical 1950's palette.

This 50's folk design Emily Bowyer was selected by Anna Buruma, in-house Archivist at Liberty Fabrics and curator at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. 

The polka dot floral design Clarricoates is loosely inspired by an archival print from 1965.

Fitzgerald is an all-over meadow floral design inspired by Liberty Prints from the 1930's.

Amy Hurrell is a vintage stylised floral design inspired by an undated artwork from the Liberty Archive.

 Glaister was inspired by a traditional trailing rose design from the 19th Century, elegantly brought into the 21st Century with a combination of pen and ink drawing and a background created from a watercolour painting of string.

Last but not least is this quirky conversational design Elevenses, which was inspired from a trip by the Liberty Art Fabrics team to Glencot House in Somerset. I love the painterly feel of the background - a favourite design!

There are many more designs to take a look at - you can view the entire new season of Liberty Art Fabrics here.