Lettering and old tins – the graphics of a bygone era


I saw a wealth of old graphics today. I wonder how bright they would have been in their hey day?

ImageI love the contrast of this script and the simple block type beneath.

ImageSo glamourous this one. It makes me think of Busby Berkeley dance sequences, Hollywood and the 1930’s.


What interests me about this one is the price. This is a metal sign designed for longevity; prices must have gone up far more infrequently than they do these days.


Now this one – while I like it – makes me laugh more than anything. Hope you see why!

You can see all these yourself at the Gressenhall Museum just outside Dereham in West Norfolk.

Painting for Christmas

a new design, available from January 2013

Hello! waves from the shed! Moobaacluck commissions are taking up all my time..so I’m afraid I haven’t any exciting trips to London to report just some hair-raising trips to and from the summer house  in the dark and rain! I only worked until 5 today..with a break this morning for a big shop and post office dash (it has to be done). I’ve been dashing in and out of watching Strictly Come Dancing to write this.

I’m happy to say that orders are coming in very steadily just slightly faster than I can get them out so I always seem to have 70 -80 outstanding but have 3 or 4 weeks to get on top of them and am determined to do it. I found out that the horse door plaques are  not in the second catalogue drop by Notonthehighstreet next week which I am so relieved about! Today I had a single order from Switzerland for three of them, several singles and a few others. When a single customer orders more than one I have to paint them all side by side to ensure they all look roughly the same!

A days orders before trip to the post office…

I have been pleased that other items throughout my range have been ordered – for sanity’s sake! I love way this cat plaque order  turned out, I like the colour combinations:  I didn’t have a sample available to view but the customer bravely ordered a ginger cat. Do hope she likes it.

Cards have been selling well and I’ll be introducing more next year.

Finally put my “Baby’s first Christmas” card out there and orders have started coming in; I sent one off in the post this morning with the optional printed instructions and ribbon to turn it into a decoration:

Naturally my bestsellers have been the horse plaques as they featured in the Notonthehighstreet.com brochure but these Christmas stars have been a close second in the last few weeks:

I will probably have to stop taking orders for hand painted items at the end of the first week of December but so much depends on how well I get through all the orders outstanding – that’s the unnerving bit about this time of year! I hope if you’re making to order that it is busy enough, but not overwhelming. You can see and buy much of my Christmas range here until November 30th or see even more in my notonthehighstreet shop.

So I’ll be mostly in the studio whatever the weather until the third week of December! If I’m quiet you’ll understand why.

Last weekend I had a Saturday off and spent it swapping rooms with my ten-year old son back to the room my husband and I had when my daughter was born at home just over 8 years ago. He now has the biggest room but it’s also the only one with fitted carpet and he now has a space to play with his friends that’s brighter and bigger. It feels like coming full circle and new chapter of life is about to start.

When you work on your own it’s so easy to get carried away with what you think should be doing, pushing yourself constantly and comparing yourself to others. I’m so grateful to be busy now; it hasn’t been the easiest year but the demand I’ve had across my range has really boosted my confidence that I am on the right path. I know what I enjoy doing most now and I shall build on what has worked next year and experiment more with my painting and stationery ranges.

I took this picture from our back doorstep this morning. It doesn’t quite do the soft ashen, peachy, gauzy view justice but to me it looked like a painting. We have big skies in Norfolk.

Happy Weekends to you all.

Who inspires me… the first of many I love . #bywbootcamp assignment week one



This is my first post on inkpaintpaper about who inspires me. I discovered Mary Newcomb shortly before we left our London flat to live in Norfolk when I came across this book in a rambling book shop in Charing Cross road.

“Mary Newcomb” by Christopher Andreae published by Lund Humphries in association with Crane Kalman Gallery, London 1996

I loved her work immediately. There are over 160 full colour images of Mary’s work – including sketch book images and notes.  This is one of my favourites. She has a wonderful way of juxtaposing scale in her paintings making them magical, illustrative and, with her use of strong lights and darks, graphic at the same time.

Sweet corn wedding 1976 by Mary Newcomb

I was lucky enough to see a large collection of her paintings in real life at a retrospective a couple of years ago at Norwich Castle where her daughter Tessa gave a talk about some of the work. Tessa is also an accomplished artist whose style is not dissimilar to her mother’s in subject matter, but from what little I have seen they are more illustrative and detailed. I love some of the deceptive naivety of Mary’s work mixed with the dreamlike; some images remind me of the work of Odilon Redon. They have a gauzy transparency – a fleeting glimpse of something beneath a veils of colour.

The girl with the dalmation 1988

Mary has a knack of distilling subject matter to its essence. There is humour in her work, you see quirkyness and fun in her paintings. Look at the pattern like white flowers here on a slab of hedge busy with bees and it’s impossible to tell what the tiny man in green is up to on the road as another approaches over the hill… but I would bet that this is what Mary sketched from life.

Half men, bees and bell flowers 1975

This is part of her appeal for me; I think she simply painted what she saw but allowed herself to play around with composition, texture and colour and importantly scale.

A Hedge in November- Spindle_Sloe_Oldman’s Beard- Blackthorn- Blackberry (with trailing Goosegrass) 1984

I never use black in any painting I do but the way Mary uses it is beautiful to me.

Another inspiring thing about her is that she was self taught and not ‘discovered’ until she was in her early fifties. Mary lived in Suffolk and Norfolk so the images in the book resonate with me as I lived in the Suffolk countryside as a child. On my way home to Norfolk from a trip to Lincolnshire I saw this view and painted it a week later from memory which was a joy:

Journey home via Melton Constable 2010 © Gabriella Buckingham

I return to the book I have every now and then and each time I see something new. Seeing Mary’s work in real life shortly after she died moved me to tears, it’s very special and when I look at her paintings it spurs me on to look around me and paint.

Which artist/s inspires you? I’d love to know..