House Portraits

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Makery in Barugh Green, Barnsley

I have a new local stockist!

I recently discovered that The Makery in Barugh Green is run by the staff and students from Greenacre School, a school in Barnsley for children and young people aged 3-19 with severe and complex needs.

It is such a lovely space - half of the shop is stocked with high quality, crafted items made by both local makers and the learners at Greenacre. The other half is laid out as a vintage inspired cafe, serving homemade cakes and afternoon teas. With it's open plan layout, it's nice to see the table at the back, behind the counter area, where students learn together and where crafting sessions for children's birthday parties take place. It has a lovely, calm atmosphere and a perfect place to stock my work I thought.

The Makery has stocked a selection of my 
illustration prints, colouring books and mugs.

Shopping and eating at The Makery is a lovely way to support both the school and local makers - with donations from artists' sales going towards the school - the cafe and shop provides a place where students can learn in a vocational environment and get work experience. Locally crafted items include home decor and gifts, greetings cards, knitted delights and framed artwork.

To find out more about The Makery, you can visit their Facebook page here.

The Makery, Barugh Green Road, S75 1JT

Opening Hours:
Monday - Wednesday 9am-5pm
Thursday 10am-4pm
Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 9am-4pm
Closed Sundays

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bridlington Contemporary Art Gallery

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Bridlington Contemporary. Supported by East Street Arts, an old Cooperative supermarket has been converted to the new exhibition space and studio of contemporary artists, Nigel Folds and Vivien Stamford.

Lots of the supermarket features remain, including fridges and checkouts, used as stands for Nigel's canvases - they were my favourite bit! These quirky features and the sheer size of the space provide an exciting and inspirational backdrop for the artwork.

On show is 'Garden of Signs' by Nigel Folds and 'Sea Cloths and other pieces' by textile artist, Vivien Stamford, until the 14th March. A wonderful venture for the artists and community, it is well worth a visit for the curious, as well as art lovers. Plus, you can have lots of seaside fun while you're there, like I did... 2p machines, donuts, fish and chips, a haunted house, I crammed in all the novelty coastal delights and couldn't have wished for more!

Find out more about the gallery here, where you can view photos of the transformation progress, from it's original state as an supermarket to a contemporary and inspirational space.

Painted canvases propped up on checkouts

The big open space exciting lots of people

Artwork and supermarket fridges living joyfully beside eachother

The old stock room provides a separate space (and more to explore)

Nigel's materials and work in progress to be seen alongside finished artwork.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Etsy Made Local, Sheffield - December 2016

So my January has been a little less crazy than December, which means I am working through a few things I needed to catch up on, blogging being one of them! I've been mega busy lately and feel like I've got a really good momentum going now - having a day job plus running a double-sided business (being a freelance illustrator and having an online shop) does take some getting used to, but I now feel like I get enough chill time to savour as well as working like a beaver!

Etsy Made Local in December was my first full weekend fair and I felt so privileged to be there. Not only was Sheffield Town Hall a beautiful, festive and atmospheric venue, but the people were absolutely wonderful. The Etsy Sheffield team were brilliantly organised and the city centre location meant lots of footfall, feedback and sales too - hooray!

Visit my etsy shop here to see what you missed or what I've added to my shop since.

Here are some photos of my stall and the venue...

Though I spotted lots of gorgeous things to ask Santa for, I had to be strict not to buy for myself, for all my pennies and more had gone on expenses recently. But I instantly fell in love with this little guy and HAD to call him mine!

This gorgeous little bear is made by Holly Balfour of Holly Heartfelt. Since seeing her lovely characters at Etsy Made Local, I have followed her on instagram and love seeing her adorable quirky creations, many with endearing, smiling faces like my bear! 

I was also delighted when I found a basket of felted acorns (oh, I did buy more than one thing then) - they felt so delicate and all different from each other. I love saving real acorns when I find them on a walk, but unfortunately they do perish, so Holly's felt acorns had Josephine written allover them. I decided they made fabulous earrings for my Christmas reindeer:

One of the amazing organisers of Etsy Made Local was Sophie Cooke, a milliner and owner of Imogen's Imagination. Sophie makes beautifully vintage inspired hats and accessories, I loved her headbands with big bows on and most of all, gorgeous felt berets. Her lovely website is very inspirational to look at for style ideas for yourself as well as great gifts.

I have always been a beret fan (though I haven't had one I've been attached to for a while) and I saw a particular one I fancied on the website before the christmas market. When I saw that the navy beret with navy velvet ribbon wasn't at the market, but tried lots of other lovely ones on, I casually mentioned this to Santa (my boyfriend) and what a gem, he remembered! So this is me modelling my very special christmas present...

Friday, 6 January 2017

Happy New Year! A new work round up.

Hello and happy new year!

I hope you have all had a wonderful start to the year so far. I got so busy towards the end of the year, so I thought I'd do a quick round up and share some snaps of new work I've recently listed on my etsy shop. 

Regular blogging is not my strongest point, so do please follow me on twitter, instagram or Facebook for updates in between my more detailed blog posts :)

A 24 page colouring book full of busy streets, detailed houses,
quirky shops and lots of bricks to colour!

Printed in Leeds, Yorkshire. Dishwasher & microwave safe.

Printed in Leeds, Yorkshire. Dishwasher & microwave safe.

Sheffield Town Hall Screen Prints, £48-£50
Available in blue and pink, pink/purple tonal and single colours coming soon.
Limited edition, numbered and signed
Printed by myself in Mirfield, Yorkshire, using archival inks and acid free paper.

Available in blue, pink and yellow.
Limited edition, numbered and signed
Printed by myself in Mirfield, Yorkshire, using archival inks and acid free paper.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Screenprinting Sheffield Town Hall - experiments!

After returning to screen printing at West Yorkshire Print Workshop, the next piece I screen printed was another experimental run, using a drawing I showed recently of Sheffield Town Hall. I printed some block colours digitally and then screen printed the linework over, to see what colours and options worked best. I had also experimented at some hand coloured techniques again and chine colle (tissue paper collage). 

In the end, the prints with coloured sky were my favourite. Because the town hall is such a finely detailed building and the drawing is so delicate, I found it worked best staying in black and white, with a block colour in the sky behind to frame it and contrast against the detailed line drawing. 

My next plans are to make more prints of Sheffield Town Hall, this time with the colour also being screen printed, now that I’ve found what works best. I’m also working on some other new drawings of places in Sheffield that I’ll be making into screen prints in time to sell at the Etsy Sheffield fair in December. 

I haven't put these prints on my etsy shop yet, but please email me at or message on etsy, if you would like one.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Drawing Sheffield Town Hall

I recently set myself the challenge of drawing Sheffield Town Hall. It turned out to be quite a big project with it being such a detailed building with so many ornate features. I worked out it took me about twelve hours to draw. It was a big project but I’m very happy with the result, I hope other people will like it too! I’ll be making it into an edition of screen prints soon.

I've had some exciting news that I've been accepted to have a stall at Etsy Made Local Christmas Market in Sheffield on the 3rd & 4th December! So it has fuelled me to make more pieces that are Sheffield based, in time for the market.

Here are some progress shots from me drawing Sheffield Town Hall...

Friday, 2 September 2016

Screenprinting Houses

I am very happy to write that I’ve started screenprinting again after being slowed down earlier in the year by handgate! It had been in my plans since last year and after having a few months of being out of action, I’ve felt driven ever since to make up for it. You can see progress updates of my drawings and printmaking on my instagram, @josephinedellow and Facebook.

I started back by printing the linework of my 'Houses' illustration over colour experiments I had prepared previously, using my lightbox and different media such as coloured pencil, felt tip, markers and chalk pens. I found the chalk pens did not work well to screen print over – the chalk pressed back onto the screen and clogged some of the linework.

These house illustration screen prints can now be bought here!

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Saltaire Review magazine cover illustration

I was really happy to be asked recently to design a front cover for the August/September edition of the Saltaire Review magazine, using my illustrations of Saltaire shops and houses. I was also asked if they could feature an interview with me... I hope the readers found it interesting! Below is the full interview and you can view the magazine online here.

Don't forget you can keep up with all my adventures through whichever social media stream you prefer! I am on twitter, instagram and Facebook. I have also started publishing newsletters, please click here if you would like to join my mailing list.

How would you describe your artwork?

I often get told my work is quirky, cute, very detailed and neat. My passion for children’s literature comes across in a storytelling nature to my drawings, along with a love for graphic detail. Combining real life documentation with my imagination, the way I work probably reflects the way I live and see the world – appreciating the joys of what’s in front of me while also spending a lot of time in a different, daydreamy place!  

Do you have a preferred style or medium?

Fineliners have been integral to the way I work since I was a small child! I use them in different thicknesses and love drawing tiny details with the smallest nib I can find. I like to draw in pencil too, which can suit more emotive subjects like people and animals and can be very versatile once it’s scanned in. I then scan in and usually colour digitally, but I have also started screen printing, which is a process I fell in love with as soon as I tried it.

When did you decide you wanted to become a full time artist? 

I always wanted to work in a creative job and tried a few avenues when I first left school. I started studying fashion at university before eventually realising all I wanted to do was draw. I transferred to an Illustration degree and never looked back!

Who are your biggest influences?

Looking at other artists, my main inspiration has always been children’s books. I am inspired in different ways by Shirley Hughes, Richard Scarry and Janet and Alan Ahlberg, to name just a few. My university lecturers were very influential in the start of my practice and most importantly, my supportive - and creative - family. My Dad was a skilled joiner who could make anything out of wood and my Mum is a fine artist, so I now see traits from both in my design approach to art.

What inspires your work?

My main inspiration is my happy and colourful childhood. With four older brothers and sisters, our house was always vibrant and busy and my parents were brilliant at keeping us entertained. Our home was the perfect backdrop for my imagination to flourish as we played and drew and made things. Maybe that somehow links to my other inspiration which (you can probably tell from my work!) is architecture. I get excited at the sight of characterful houses and shops and want to draw as many as I can! I go through stages of working out, spontaneity and repetition when I am drawing buildings. Each stage feels fresh when I get to it and then therapeutic in the process.

What's your relationship with Saltaire?

I lived in Leeds for five years and used to visit Saltaire regularly after first discovering the arts trail in 2009. I can spend ages looking at children’s books in Salts Mill and used to drive over specially for that. In May this year, I showed my work for the first time in the open houses of the Arts Trail and it was a great weekend. I made a trip over when I found out I’d been accepted and took photos of some of the lovely old buildings to draw and make prints of. It was really good to see firsthand what people thought to my work.  

What are you working on at the moment and what are your plans for the future?

I had just started screen printing before breaking my right (drawing) hand in a car accident earlier this year. It has been a long process and I am still having physiotherapy, but my hand is finally feeling much better and ready to get back to printing. So that is my focus at the moment. I always have ideas for children’s books ticking over too (I have a masters in children’s book illustration) - I like to write my own stories as well as illustrate them. I have also been working on some commissions, including house portraits - which I will be updating my social media streams with as they progress.

Where can we find more of your work?

I have very recently set up an online shop on etsy, where some of my prints are for sale. I will be adding more screen prints here along with some other ideas I’ve been developing for products...