Blog

  • Been working on some new images for a wallpaper design. 

    These are lichen and fungi paintings using gouache on a dark blue paper.

    I’m really loving the colours and textures, and I’m really excited to put these into a design. I’d like to do something quite dark and moody, which I’ve been dying to do for a while now. I love how these look against the blue paper, and I think I’ll use a similar colour background on the wallpaper as well.

    Pinterest has been a massive source of inspiration for me, and has some of the most fabulous photographs. I’ve really started to build up some great boards and lots of really interesting pins.

    I’ve only recently got back into painting. For a long time I was just working in graphite and coloured pencil. But I’ve really found it enjoyable to paint again, and incredibly relaxing as well. I think when doing my textiles degree I was often scared to put colour down on the paper as I felt it was really final. I felt it was easier to add colour later in Photoshop, but of course that meant that my colour was often flat. But I was so worried that adding colour before meant I was committed to a certain colour, and what if I ended up not liking that colour. I spent too much time worrying about keeping everything within a certain colour spectrum, instead of just working with what I could see, and worrying about the colour later, if at all. 

  • There is a place I go.

    I don’t always know when I’m going there, it just happens. It’s like stepping into a parallel existence, another plane. Where suddenly you’re not part of the rest of the world that every one is existing in right at that moment.

    The last time it happened I was leaving a shopping centre with my Mum. a place that is quite shut off from other places, where I think an old hospital once stood. The car park is surrounded by trees and green lawns and as we were walking the fresh summer breeze hit my nostrils and was swishing the leaves on the trees. The sun hit my face and suddenly it was like breathing in magic. I was suddenly not quite there, something was going on in that fleeting moment that reminded me of another time. Maybe it was all the stories I read as a child, or maybe it was a time I never really knew. There was a fluttering in my chest, and I wanted to grin. Because I was overwhelmed with a sense of happiness. 

    Maybe I had walked through a moment in time that had been intensely happy for someone. Maybe I was feeling residual feelings of another. As I walked under a large tree I looked up and saw the sunlight glinting through the leaves. I wasn’t in a car park outside a shopping centre anymore. I was in all manner of different places. I was under the weeping willow tree I would sit under in the playground at school. I was sat on the bank of the river under the tree I used to retreat to as a teenager when all I wanted to do was get out of the house. I could be looking at that sunlight in any place in the world.

    Sometimes when light hits valley’s and the air moves slowly. And all the colours across the fields are dancing across my eyes, I’m so incredibly moved by the beauty all around. It’s like I want to capture that moment and paint it, or draw it, or create from it. But can you ever really create anything that really conveys that shortness of breath you get, that fluttering of your heart when you see something so incredibly beautiful. Those moments are unique to us all.

  • Enough of the vintage already!

    Today my Mother and I visited a rather large warehouse, housing what was described as different shops and sellers of vintage furniture and interior objects. At first we were excited to go as it sounded really interesting. 

    It was hugely disappointing. The majority of traders there were all selling the same thing, painted furniture. Now when the painted furniture craze first started I liked it, there were some nice older pieces of furniture that looked good all painted in nice subtle grey’s, soft green’s or creams. My Mum was even thinking of painting an old pine chest of drawers we have in the studio.

    We can honestly say after visiting this emporium I wouldn’t care if I never saw another piece of painted furniture again. Everything looked the same, there was nothing individual or different about any of these sellers. Old furniture that would probably have looked lovely as it was is now painted a pale pink or a turquoise blue. Handles have been changed to plastic crystal effect. A lovely old school desk complete with ink well had a painted front and a cream star stuck on the top of it. 

    Then there were the handmade products. I can’t count how many hand made cushions I saw, most in excess of £20. But these were not individually designed fabric and hand made, this was shop bought fabric. Some were incredibly poorly made. Some by a woman who’s business card described her as a ‘Creative genius.’ I’m not sure how selling some painted chairs, an old sewing machine and some poorly made cushions can warrant the use of the label genius. And lets not forget the jam jars I saw one person selling, that had a bit of ribbon and lace glued around. These would set you back £3.50!

    As a creative it’s places like this that really get me down. The standard of products here were extremely poor. And not exactly cheap for what they were. There was a huge amount of tat which all seems to have the word vintage in the description. As if just because something is older than ten years that it’s somehow now vintage. I even saw a telephone that my Nana still has hanging in her kitchen. Exactly the same colour as well. We saw two paintings in old frames which were incredibly poorly done. I’ve seen better art by at students at A’Level than these terrible watercolours, and someone was trying to get £150 for them.

    Whether this warehouse place will do any business for the sellers remains to be seen. I can’t say there was anything I really wanted to purchase, nor my Mum either. The only pieces I did like were pieces of furniture that had been left alone, not messed about with or painted. Saw a wonderful old wooden locker, some small metal filing cabinets, an old nurse’s medicine bag, a Russian cine camera and rows and rows of old glass medicine bottles. These pieces were lovely. The one’s that were untouched.

    The rest of the things, it was hard to see where one vendor started and another ended as they all looked so similar. And as my Mum say’s, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s not tat! And she’s right. I think vintage, and painted furniture has been done to death now. Enough already! Stop spoiling beautiful old pieces with poor paint jobs and tacky handles. Just because you bought some fabric and have sewn a cushion, or you sourced some country cottage type vintage objects from a wholesaler who ships them in from China, does not make you a creative.

  • Some of my crowdfunded designs are nearing their pre-sale end date and need more orders, like these leggings, 8 days left and 15 more orders needed for them to go into production. Check out these and other designs in my shop https://thecotery.com/BeccaMDesigns
    Plus if you share any of my designs on social media through The Cotery website you get 10% off!

  • Sweatshop Free!

    One of the advantages of using The Cotery is that all my garments are made sweatshop free in Los Angeles! And because I set the prices, I don’t charge way over the top. I make a modest profit, and customers can get a nice limited edition piece of clothing, that is ethical and affordable - http://thecotery.com/beccamdesigns