SASSY SKETCHING - THE GIRL GARDENER
I've always drawn, painted, sketched and created ever since I could remember. It's part of who I am and I'm not myself without it. I had wanted to design greetings cards, so I decided to create little doodles of my hens, who I call sassy chickens and caption the things that it looked like they would be saying or thinking.
That's where Sassy Chickens studios was born
I've not shared much of my art with the world up until now as far as I can remember and so many people enjoyed seeing the chickens being themselves on Instagram on my gardening page @thegirlgardener, so it encouraged me to share what I can do, along with my other artworks, and it all went from there
My work celebrates my small flock of hens as well as people of all walks of life, colours and cultures. My portfolio is exciting, spirited and fun, and I turn my creations into cute cards and art prints, which I create in my little art studio
"Everyone can relate, no one is left behind"
Garden Prints - Zoe
I’m a freelance book designer and illustrator in my main profession, and I have always had a love of all things creative, but I have also always loved nature and being outside with mum in the garden when I was a child. I took on an allotment in 2008 and it has been a growing obsession ever since (pun fully intended).
I initially started to keep a blog for my allotment as they were all the rage at the time, but eventually, being the creative soul I am, I turned to journaling to document my allotment in a more illustrative way. The blog had allowed me to be creative with photography and the written word, but I wanted an excuse to practice my much-neglected drawing skills, and this seemed the perfect way to do it.
I created my first journal in 2015 and apart from a couple of yearly breaks, I have been keeping one ever since. It’s interesting looking back to see how much they have changed and how much my skills have improved. It’s also really lovely to look back and have that visual record of what I grew, the successes and failures I had, what I harvested each month, and all the other little things that happened.
I once had a comment on Twitter that my journal was ‘very lovely, but possibly too much drawing and not enough digging’, which really made me laugh! I tend to work in the evenings when there’s nothing worth watching on TV, or occasionally at the weekends, especially when it’s too cold or wet to get much gardening done. I find it very relaxing and meditative.
I may have some freshly harvested vegetables that I can draw from still life, but mostly I work from photos. I sketch out roughly in pencil first, and then add some pen lines and watercolour washes, filling the space between the pictures with handwritten notes.
I know I’m lucky to have the drawing skills for it, but I would encourage anyone to keep a garden journal. It doesn’t have to be as artistic as mine, a few doodles and written notes is fine, or you could use old seed catalogues or gardening mags to create a scrapbook style journal. It’s a lovely way to document a gardening year, and actually very useful as a reminder sometimes. Give it a go!