Gathering inspiration and documenting the process
I had the privilege of spending the day with Andrea Gilpin last week.
I found Andrea on Instagram a few years ago and was drawn to her stunning photography and deep appreciation of the natural world. She is based in Presteigne, which is not too far from my studio.
Andrea and I first met last summer when she hosted an Insta-meet at her beautiful holiday cottage and shepherds hut, Wild Meadow. Since then, Andrea has started her photography business. She has a great lifestyle package where she takes 'photos that tell your story, reflect your brand and connect with your community' which is exactly what I was after.
Andrea took a lovely selection of images and we had a really enjoyable day, with me doing all the things that I like doing and Andrea documenting it all.
As those of you that have followed me for a while will know, I love collecting botanical finds and drawing them. My favourites are fallen treasures - seeds, leaves, fruits etc, and next to that I love to collect examples of seasonal species that grow in abundance - grasses for example.
With my new studio is in a very picturesque location; the small village of Brampton Bryan, on the north Herefordshire/ south Shropshire border. It is surrounded by classic rolling green hills, woodland, farmland and a river as the cherry on the cake. I try and go for a walk daily (this is one of the reasons I like to have flexible shop opening hours - as I often take my sketchbook and camera and go for a walk!).
One of my favourite walks is just down the lane to where the river is. As I wanted to show Andrea the things that inspire me and the places that I like to go, this is where we headed when she arrived.
This basket belonged to my Grandmother, someone I used to sketch with when I was young. It is ideal for holding a small sketchbook, my pens and paints and still has room for some found treasures along the way too.
The seasons are just starting to shift here. It won't be long before I'll definitely need a jumper again for these outings. It's still lovely and green there at present but the leaves will soon be turning and their autumn tones will appear.
While we were at the bridge I did a quick inky drawing in my small sketchbook. The river is high from last week's storms and the green leaves of the trees on the banks are tickling the surface of the water.
As the forecast hadn't sounded promising we headed back to the studio when I'd finished my drawing, taking with us some seasonal species to draw back in the warm and dry.
The rain began in earnest and so I lit the fire and put the kettle on and we had tea and cake and spent the rest of the day in the studio itself. It was nice to show someone around my studio space and to really have a look at all the things I have done, the things that inspire me and the work that I create.
I'll share more pictures soon, but I couldn't resist sharing a few to start with as I think Andrea did a great job capturing our outing and exactly what I do to gather inspiration.
Do pop over to her to see more of her work or maybe follow along on Instagram - you can find her here.