Matrioshka WIP...

Finally came back to this intricate Matrioshka ink drawing piece which I started 10 months ago (I don’t know where the time has gone). Matrioshka’s hold resonance with me as my mum adorned the house with them when I was growing up and so they make me feel extremely nostalgic!

Once finished I think that I’ll make a series of ltd Ed screen prints (A3 or A2).

Matrioshka's a work in progress

January and February's Workshops

I’ve been lucky enough to facilitate some lovely children’s workshops over the last few Saturdays. For these sessions we start with a children’s book followed by a craft project.

Discover Children’s Centre

I’ve been working with Discover Children’s Centre and Rosetta Art Centre to deliver a series of craft workshops inspired from children’s stories for children with disabilities and their carers. Below is a peek at some of the sessions thus far:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Play Doh caterpillars

Play Doh caterpillars

Play Doh adorned butterflies       Elmer The Patchwork Elephant  by David Mc Kee

Play Doh adorned butterflies

Elmer The Patchwork Elephant by David Mc Kee

Elmer inspired pearl sculpture

Elmer inspired pearl sculpture

Exploring different colours and textures on our Elmer grids.

Exploring different colours and textures on our Elmer grids.

Elmer inspired patchwork tote bags.    Story Readers craft sessions (for 3-11 year olds) at Custom House Library through charity  Ingeenium

Elmer inspired patchwork tote bags.

Story Readers craft sessions (for 3-11 year olds) at Custom House Library through charity Ingeenium

Paper plate parrots and worksheets adorned with glitter and found objects (pirate theme).

Paper plate parrots and worksheets adorned with glitter and found objects (pirate theme).

Collage parrot
Collage pirate ships
Fingerprint art: transport and vehicles.

Fingerprint art: transport and vehicles.

A review of 2018

2018 has been a busy year and full of creativity and excitement.

I’d first of all like to start by thanking all of the wonderful companies, charities and organisations whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. Working with and for you all fills me with inspiration and keeps me thinking and creating!

March/April 2018 saw me take the first permanent job which I’ve had in years as the Room 13 Artist in Residence at Old Ford Primary School. Admittedly I wasn’t looking for anything permanent when it came up, but I just fell in love with the school, the job role suited me down to the ground and the security of a permanent job as opposed to permeant freelance has taken a huge pressure off.

I work weekday afternoons in the studio and my job entails devising and planning art projects for students in KS1 and KS2, implementing art projects and fundraisers with businesses. Since starting my role I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside construction company Galliard Homes. Myself and 200 children have designed and created an artwork which depicts the history of East London as an illustrated timeline and will soon be printed onto a large-scale hoarding around Galliard’s new development site in Canary Wharf.

I worked with 38 children attending  Old Ford Primary School  to create a sculpture made from recycled materials which was entered into the  Big Build 2018  through  Galliard Homes . I’m delighted to announce that our Buckingham Palace sculpture was one of the five, first prize winners out of the 40 schools who entered the contest.

I worked with 38 children attending Old Ford Primary School to create a sculpture made from recycled materials which was entered into the Big Build 2018 through Galliard Homes. I’m delighted to announce that our Buckingham Palace sculpture was one of the five, first prize winners out of the 40 schools who entered the contest.

I worked with wonderful charity  Stitches in Time  to facilitate a series of workshops with visitors to the  Bromley By Bow Centre  and residents of neighbouring Watts Grove. Participants of all ages painted a giant tree onto fabric and each adorned a leaf using various printmaking methods and hand embroidery showing a metaphor for what ‘home’ meant to them…Resulting in a large banner representative of a family tree.

I worked with wonderful charity Stitches in Time to facilitate a series of workshops with visitors to the Bromley By Bow Centre and residents of neighbouring Watts Grove. Participants of all ages painted a giant tree onto fabric and each adorned a leaf using various printmaking methods and hand embroidery showing a metaphor for what ‘home’ meant to them…Resulting in a large banner representative of a family tree.

I carried out many mixed media and printmaking workshops with the fantastic  Rosetta Art Centre  (I’ve worked with Rosetta for many years and they do truly wonderful work, making art available to the local community and accessible to people who might not otherwise have access to it).

I carried out many mixed media and printmaking workshops with the fantastic Rosetta Art Centre (I’ve worked with Rosetta for many years and they do truly wonderful work, making art available to the local community and accessible to people who might not otherwise have access to it).

Screen printed tote bags
I also carried out a series of portraiture workshops with Rosetta Primary school (through Rosetta Art Centre) and created a series of murals from the children’s work.

I also carried out a series of portraiture workshops with Rosetta Primary school (through Rosetta Art Centre) and created a series of murals from the children’s work.

I’ve carried out a number of family workshops in Tower Hamlets based parks and public spaces through charity  Splash Arts   I always look forward to these workshops and have a great deal of fun prepping pretty little masks and decorations for the little visitors to paint.

I’ve carried out a number of family workshops in Tower Hamlets based parks and public spaces through charity Splash Arts I always look forward to these workshops and have a great deal of fun prepping pretty little masks and decorations for the little visitors to paint.

I’ve been facilitating lots of mixed-media workshops in Newham based libraries for charity  Ingeenium  (they also do lots of fantastic work in the community).

I’ve been facilitating lots of mixed-media workshops in Newham based libraries for charity Ingeenium (they also do lots of fantastic work in the community).

I was lucky enough to facilitate to work for  The Lost Lectures , facilitating experimental life drawing workshops in which participants would create illustrations of the model using household utensils (forks, sponges and sticks dipped in indian ink).  My idea for the process came from my visual research sessions from my degree and MA (visual experimentation is such an important part of the design process and the best way to overcome a creative block).   I was hugely inspired from the work created by participants and stayed for the duration of the lectures each week which were extremely informative and engaging.

I was lucky enough to facilitate to work for The Lost Lectures, facilitating experimental life drawing workshops in which participants would create illustrations of the model using household utensils (forks, sponges and sticks dipped in indian ink). My idea for the process came from my visual research sessions from my degree and MA (visual experimentation is such an important part of the design process and the best way to overcome a creative block).

I was hugely inspired from the work created by participants and stayed for the duration of the lectures each week which were extremely informative and engaging.

Lost Lectures, experimental life drawing
Created a new range of illustrated, vintage inspired Christmas cards for 2018, which went down a storm (I poured so much love into these).

Created a new range of illustrated, vintage inspired Christmas cards for 2018, which went down a storm (I poured so much love into these).

Illustrated Christmas card
Illustrated tote bag
Illustrated Christmas card
Illustrated Christmas card
Had a range of environmentally friendly marine-life tote bags made up and am currently selling (obviously I’ve stopped using the plastic bags now).

Had a range of environmentally friendly marine-life tote bags made up and am currently selling (obviously I’ve stopped using the plastic bags now).

Held solo exhibitions of my work in my two favourite art spaces::  Husk  and  Poplar Union

Held solo exhibitions of my work in my two favourite art spaces:: Husk and Poplar Union

I subsequently also live in East London so it’s been a privilege to carry out so much work locally and feel and given me a wonderful sense of community.

I subsequently also live in East London so it’s been a privilege to carry out so much work locally and feel and given me a wonderful sense of community.

Experimental Life Drawing workshops for 'The Lost Lectures'

It’s been a wonderful month so far, facilitating experimental life drawing for The Lost Lectures Electrograph event (throughout October).

Experimental drawing has been my absolute favourite thing to do at art school (from foundation through to MA level) starting a project by drawing with a host of inanimate objects (in this case sponges, lollypop sticks and forks dipped in Indian ink to create unexpected results...and it always gets me through the initial creative block.

But I’m truly so impressed with the work of the participants as each piece has so much charm...I’m inspired!

I’ve been facilitating the classes during the hour long interval between talks, but every night have ended up staying for the duration of the evening to walk the talks, they’re so informative, engaging and address current issues extremely well…Check them out here.

I was pretty chuffed at managing to get my partner (who doesn’t ‘do art’) along to two sessions and got him drawing for the first time in years! He sat drawing for the whole one hour period on each occasion and even wants to do more now…Result!

I was pretty chuffed at managing to get my partner (who doesn’t ‘do art’) along to two sessions and got him drawing for the first time in years! He sat drawing for the whole one hour period on each occasion and even wants to do more now…Result!

Experimental life drawing 1
Experimental life drawing
Experimental life drawing
Experimental life drawing
Experimental life drawing
Experimental life drawing
The below drawings were created on degree (back in 2008/9) and were revisited at later dates to create a series of prints. They had been inspired from studies of vintage dolls from the  V&A Museum of Childhood  and The House of  Viktor & Rolf  (exhibition at the Barbican Centre) and drawn using doll’s limbs and hair dipped into indian ink.

The below drawings were created on degree (back in 2008/9) and were revisited at later dates to create a series of prints. They had been inspired from studies of vintage dolls from the V&A Museum of Childhood and The House of Viktor & Rolf (exhibition at the Barbican Centre) and drawn using doll’s limbs and hair dipped into indian ink.

Ink drawing
Experimental ink drawing

This week's teaching...

I’ve been bursting to post these gorgeous, colour animal paintings by my KS2 lunch club children.

I have children come and sign up their names to create art on their lunch break, which is so sweet (they love art and the group is hugely oversubscribed). Anyway this week we’ve been talking about environmental issues, single use plastics and the effect of litter on sea life.

The children have all drawn a sea-life/marine creature and painted using watercolours. It’s lovely as a few children have come back for several days running and wanted to paint different animals again and again, their development and improvement is evident.

Experimenting with watercolours/merging shades together and layering colours is such a valuable learning curve for them as young artists…watching patterns emerge, blending and layering is such an adventure, often with unexpected results.

I just adore the way the yellow pops against the black and white negative space here and the black dots which merge into the yellow, I can envisage this piece on canvas, hanging in an art gallery.

I just adore the way the yellow pops against the black and white negative space here and the black dots which merge into the yellow, I can envisage this piece on canvas, hanging in an art gallery.

I still can’t believe that the little boy who drew this Orca Whale with such care and attention is just six years old!

I still can’t believe that the little boy who drew this Orca Whale with such care and attention is just six years old!

This penguin has so much charm, it could so easily be a character in a children’s book.

This penguin has so much charm, it could so easily be a character in a children’s book.

This little cutie I can also imagine as an illustration in a children’s book. I love his scale against the white page which adds to the feeling of vulnerability and youth, also the paint splodges add to his charm and give the piece an organic feel.    Additionally we’ve been working on some black and white pencil drawings which I am hoping to eventually arrange and get printed onto tote bags (an environmental project/fundraiser to raise money for  Room 13 ).

This little cutie I can also imagine as an illustration in a children’s book. I love his scale against the white page which adds to the feeling of vulnerability and youth, also the paint splodges add to his charm and give the piece an organic feel.

Additionally we’ve been working on some black and white pencil drawings which I am hoping to eventually arrange and get printed onto tote bags (an environmental project/fundraiser to raise money for Room 13).

Too cute…

Too cute…

Penguin kids art
Dolphins kids pencil drawing
Puffin kids drawing
Polar Bear ks2 pencil drawing
Otter KS2 pencil drawing

Intricate Pigeon

I finally finished tracing this little guy for this year’s batch of Christmas cards (drawing and tracing the detailing on Illustrator took the best part of a day).

My vision was to have him in the arms of a little boy/girl, but I’m now contemplating having him as the main character/maybe mirrored holding a ‘Merry Christmas’ sign, or with another bird under some mistletoe...

Bird Illustration Veronica Rowlands

Save the oceans tote bag design

This week at work has been rather quiet as most of my classes haven’t started back yet and so I’ve been preparing for the children’s next project (which will be about the environment and the effect of plastics and litter on sea creatures).

I was making a mock-up of how a potential re-usable tote bag (with one illustration from each child could look and then forwarding to companies to ask for sponsorship) and I came up with this!

Subsequently I’m really rather pleased with my sea life piece and I'm tempted to possibly get an order of re-usable tote bags printed with my design on as well...

Veronica Rowlands save the oceans print

Summer Workshops

So the six week summer holiday period was busier than I first envisaged: a fair few drawing days, a holiday in Bruges, a mini-break in Bristol and facilitating lots of fun workshops in East London.

Here are a few of the workshop highlights:

Mosaic Ingeenium
A series of Beano decoupage frames and mosaic tile workshops in Canning Town and Custom House  libraries  through the wonderful charity  Ingeenium .  These classes were such a delight to facilitate, children of all ages would come with their parents and work as a team to create their mosaic tiles and frames (lovely watching the interaction and quality time spent between the little ones and their parents).

A series of Beano decoupage frames and mosaic tile workshops in Canning Town and Custom House libraries through the wonderful charity Ingeenium.

These classes were such a delight to facilitate, children of all ages would come with their parents and work as a team to create their mosaic tiles and frames (lovely watching the interaction and quality time spent between the little ones and their parents).

Screen Printing with Veronica Rowlands
Printmaking with Veronica Rowlands
Screen Printing with Veronica Rowlands
I devised and facilitated a series of three workshops inspired from the  Wharfside Tunnel  Installation created by  Helena Rhoden  with focus on the fauna and flora of local  Bow Ecology Park  and abstract shapes from architecture of new builds in Canning Town.  These workshops were also subsequently held in Canning Town Library, through  Rosetta Art Centre . Participants were introduced to processes including: collage, block-printing and screen-printing.   The classes also brought in a broad age range of children (aged 3 to 17), who worked with their parents to create their pieces and realise ideas. With the screen-printing workshops all of the adults came in saying that they weren’t going to participate…However half way in they all got immersed in helping their children and decided to make their own artworks! I love how engaging art can be to all ages and ability levels, I love my subject so very much!

I devised and facilitated a series of three workshops inspired from the Wharfside Tunnel Installation created by Helena Rhoden with focus on the fauna and flora of local Bow Ecology Park and abstract shapes from architecture of new builds in Canning Town.

These workshops were also subsequently held in Canning Town Library, through Rosetta Art Centre. Participants were introduced to processes including: collage, block-printing and screen-printing.

The classes also brought in a broad age range of children (aged 3 to 17), who worked with their parents to create their pieces and realise ideas. With the screen-printing workshops all of the adults came in saying that they weren’t going to participate…However half way in they all got immersed in helping their children and decided to make their own artworks! I love how engaging art can be to all ages and ability levels, I love my subject so very much!

I was also lucky enough to carry out a two-hour workshop at  Rosetta Art Centre  to some lovely young adults who are just preparing to leave the care system.  The theme for the workshop was the environment (with focus on saving the oceans) and the impact which designers can make on consumers through campaigns and compelling design.  The young people worked in groups of two or three to design their own logo/caption relating to our environmental theme.   I was really impressed with this little pocket patch featuring sea-life in the top of a tin-can (reminiscent of sardines in a tin).

I was also lucky enough to carry out a two-hour workshop at Rosetta Art Centre to some lovely young adults who are just preparing to leave the care system.

The theme for the workshop was the environment (with focus on saving the oceans) and the impact which designers can make on consumers through campaigns and compelling design.

The young people worked in groups of two or three to design their own logo/caption relating to our environmental theme.

I was really impressed with this little pocket patch featuring sea-life in the top of a tin-can (reminiscent of sardines in a tin).

Veronica Rowlands Art workshops for children
I carried out a number of drop-in workshops for local charity  SPLASH Arts . One of our themes was ‘Design your dream home in Poplar’ for which our young participants decorated our ready-made three-dimensional house models (inside and outside), showing how they would envisage their ideal home to look and then created maps illustrating what facilities they would most like to see in their area.

I carried out a number of drop-in workshops for local charity SPLASH Arts. One of our themes was ‘Design your dream home in Poplar’ for which our young participants decorated our ready-made three-dimensional house models (inside and outside), showing how they would envisage their ideal home to look and then created maps illustrating what facilities they would most like to see in their area.

I also worked with some other lovely SPLASH Art facilitators, running weekly workshops in  King Edward’s Memorial Park  and a one-off in  Crossrail Place  Roofgarden.  I loved doing these butterflies with the little ones!

I also worked with some other lovely SPLASH Art facilitators, running weekly workshops in King Edward’s Memorial Park and a one-off in Crossrail Place Roofgarden.

I loved doing these butterflies with the little ones!

I carried out a one-day stencil, T-Shirt printing workshop with  Nimble Arts     So it was a fun, busy, super fulfilling summer!

I carried out a one-day stencil, T-Shirt printing workshop with Nimble Arts

So it was a fun, busy, super fulfilling summer!

Personal Commissions In Situ

I love seeing my work up in people’s homes 🏠 

These were private commission pieces (A3) they go so well in the space!

 

 

Veronica Rowlands -private art commissions
Veronica Rowlands -private art commissions

Bruges

Last week I came back from a wonderful, inspirational little holiday in Bruges, here are a few of my favourite pictures:

 

 

We were pottering around the streets of Bruges for the majority of the holiday...so much of the architecture is reminiscent of fairytale castles...it’s a magical place!      

We were pottering around the streets of Bruges for the majority of the holiday...so much of the architecture is reminiscent of fairytale castles...it’s a magical place!

 

 

“The Bruges Whale” 🐋  Compelling art piece made entirely from plastic found on the beaches of Hawaii in just one day!  Also shocking to see the magnitude of the waste found,which consisted of; electronic desk fans to water tanks to washing-up bowls.  Beautifully executed, thought provoking piece which reminds us of how much impact we can create by making the right decisions as individuals.            

“The Bruges Whale” 🐋 
Compelling art piece made entirely from plastic found on the beaches of Hawaii in just one day!

Also shocking to see the magnitude of the waste found,which consisted of; electronic desk fans to water tanks to washing-up bowls.

Beautifully executed, thought provoking piece which reminds us of how much impact we can create by making the right decisions as individuals.

 

 

 

 

I love everything about this doorway; the colour, the design and the swans are just so on point.               

I love everything about this doorway; the colour, the design and the swans are just so on point.

 

 

 

 

 

Sketching in one of many catherdrals

Sketching in one of many catherdrals

A new sketchbook

A few weeks back I said that I was “trying to fill a sketchbook in a week”...Well I half filled it whilst on a mini break to Bristol and soon as I got back to London, I got consumed with commissions and teaching.

I’ve been having fun sketching things I've seen in recent trip to Bruges and Bristol. I aim to visit a few museums in London in the coming days and finish this little book off, there's so many possibilities on each page (I love sketchbooks!) 

I might re-do a large copy of these birdies and make it into a print...      

I might re-do a large copy of these birdies and make it into a print...

 

 

This bird piece has been inspired by “Noah’s Ark” by Jan Griffier (1710). There’s a strong recurring bird theme inspired from the old master paintings at present. I just love re-interpreting the intricate detailing with my own gestural marks and lines and re-creating the characters using my illustrative style.   

This bird piece has been inspired by “Noah’s Ark” by Jan Griffier (1710). There’s a strong recurring bird theme inspired from the old master paintings at present. I just love re-interpreting the intricate detailing with my own gestural marks and lines and re-creating the characters using my illustrative style.

 

Malaysian Monkey...      

Malaysian Monkey...

 

 

This little guy was drawn on a visit to  Bristol Museum . “Bear Jug", Staffordshire, 1740.  He’s inspired me many times over the years and every time I go back to Bristol I have to visit the museum (often just to see him). I’m thinking of ways in which I can retranslate his bobbly, ceramic texture (maybe through embroidery/French knots). Anyway he is to feature in a new body of work which I will be creating for December 2019.  Themes: childhood, imagination, nostalgia and toys.

This little guy was drawn on a visit to Bristol Museum. “Bear Jug", Staffordshire, 1740.

He’s inspired me many times over the years and every time I go back to Bristol I have to visit the museum (often just to see him). I’m thinking of ways in which I can retranslate his bobbly, ceramic texture (maybe through embroidery/French knots). Anyway he is to feature in a new body of work which I will be creating for December 2019. 
Themes: childhood, imagination, nostalgia and toys.

Christmas on the horizon

You won't want to hear the word, but I'm working on this year's Christmas card designs...Here's a little teaser, but I'll show you more in November when we're in the mood!

 

 

 

Turkey friend

Mod-rock fun

As you might (or might not) know, I am currently working afternoons as the Room 13 Artist in Residence in a lovely East London based Primary School.

My job entails running a lunch-time art group for KS2 students, an afternoon group for 'gifted and talented' students and a daily after school club for children in both KS1 and KS2.

I'm seeing some truly wonderful work being produced and so am aiming to update you weekly with what we've been up to.

After-school Club mod-rock🦆 lesson (this class always goes down a treat with the nippers).
Simply scrunch up newspaper balls, wrap up in tin foil, mould into desired shape, apply a layer of mod-rock and paint when dry...voila! This particular project is pretty universal and I've been able to carry it out with children in the infant and junior classes (the little ones just need a bit of extra support sculpting the tinfoil around the newspaper).

I’m very impressed with this chap...👌

 

Nostalgia series

During my Master's year I spent several months researching 'A Universal Trigger for the Inner Child in Adults'. From my research I concluded that a certain amount of melancholy is needed for a viewer to gain a strong attachment to an artwork/book/film etc.

I have revisited the series to create two new commissions which are inspired from two lovely little siblings, seeking shelter and protection from a harsh world.

I created one of the little sister entitled 'Pea-Pod Baby' and this week have been working on a backdrop for the older sister (who will be taking shelter from the night under the giant mushrooms.

I've been a bit low on time, so am fitting in a few hours painting at a time, this is an intricate, time consuming piece which I'm greatly enjoying working on.

Pea Pod Baby

Pea-Pod Baby
Mushrooms20180520_10570915.jpg

Introduction and Summary of Year...

So my first post on a brand new blog...And if I'm honest I'm not completely sure where to start.

I'm an East London based Artist, Illustrator, Surface Pattern Designer and Educator (a lot to take in I know!). My background and training is in Surface Pattern Design and after several years in industry I went back to study for an MA in Illustration at Kingston University (which I completed in August 2017).

Over the past twelve months I have :

  • Been working with a dear friend and super talented Fashion designer Ani Passarelli to create our own brand lifestyle brand AtoV Collective

 

  • Held a solo exhibition of my artwork in local creative space HUSK (which I was over-the-moon about as it is my favourite coffee shop/creative space in London).

 

 

  • Worked with local charity SPLASH Arts and Tower Hamlets based community groups to create a giant mural depicting 'Poplar Past, Present and Future' which will shortly be erected inside Poplar DLR Station.

 

  • I'm currently working alongside a second local charity Stitches in Time and Bromley by Bow Centre to create a large banner and series of textile pieces with residents of Watts Grove (Bow) which will be placed on display in council and community events.

 

I've started working as the Room 13 Artist in Residence at Old Ford Primary Academy (in which I facilitate workshops for small groups of students and help lead/develop fundraisers for the programme (which I am absolutely loving).

 

 

 

  • Completed a Master's Degree in Illustration from Kingston University (in which I spent many sleepless night researching and trying to find A Universal Trigger for the Inner Child In Adults) - this gave me a deeper insight into my personal attraction to nostalgia and melancholy in my personal work.

 

  • Carried out tons of little and large commissions for people and organisations (from portraiture to pet portraits and event advertisements).

This is the first time in which the majority of my projects have been local to where I live in East London and I'm currently feeling a strong sense of community.

Welcome to my brand new website and thank you for following!