Parracombe snow

farm in gentle hills snow at night

A chance photo from the main round near Parracombe, Devon. It was taken through a wound down car window, the setting sun had just picked out this farm on a winter’s evening. Serendipity, or fortuitous happenstance, took me past just at that time.

Are we going to get another dump of snow this year? it just keeps raining right now.

Do sheep enjoy a sunset?

One evening I decided to drive up onto the moors, only a mile or two from my house – it looked like a nice sunset was promised.

sunset over moorland with sheep

This is not retouched. The sunset was more spectacular than I’ve ever seen and kept changing every couple of minutes. While I was snapping away, amazed by the natural beauty of the sky and spectacular colours, I noticed that the sheep couldn’t care less about. Had they seen it all before? After all, they are up there almost every night.

This was shot above Parracombe in North Devon, England. A beautiful place to live and bring up children – and not bad for grazing sheep too.

Art, illustration or design?

stained glass panels in art deco style

I have dabbled in stained glass, but unfortunately have not kept a record of the door panels I have completed. These designs for a run of six windows have never been taken to completion because I have nowhere to install them and stained glass panels should be functional, not put in a storeroom somewhere.

But are they art, illustration (albeit in glass) or design (architectural in nature)?

The inspiration came from some magazines entitled L’Art Decoratif and published in France around 1900. The landscapes depicted here are imaginary, but imagination always draws from your life experiences.

Produced from the soul of the artist with no ulterior commercial stimulation. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell your work to put bread on the table.

To my mind an illustration exists only because it’s been commissioned. That doesn’t mean it isn’t of artistic merit, but it is usually fulfilling a brief of some sort.

The most commercial of the three disciplines I learned. It is always to a commission or with a commercial end in view. That doesn’t mean it can’t be admired visually, but rarely does it reveal the soul of the maker.

So where does that leave my six ‘designs’ for stained glass panels? I drew them because I thought they would look beautiful. I have the glass and the skills to make them, but they remain as a cherished idea rather a commercial or practical venture.

Somewhere between art and illustration?

Over Exposed

paperback ebook cover woman against dark unusual colours

There are thousands of royalty free photographs and illustrations available online. This is an imagined book cover, created from one of more of those images.

Contact me if this image and typographic style would be suitable for your novel and if you’d like me to design an ebook or full paperback cover based on this concept. Costs vary depending on whether it’s a ebook or full paperback covers but around £80 ($100) is a good guide.

Short of an idea for your novel – browse these imagined book covers for ideas.