Monday saw the arrival of our main assignment for Bootcamp in our inboxes and the brief is to design journals. This gave me the perfect opportunity to concentrate on completing another piece for my website homepage: flowers in vases for the journal cover. I wanted to design a vase for my flowers with a Springtime theme to complement the magnolias.

We’re lucky enough where I live in Devon to occasionally spot little yellowhammer birds darting around. They seem to be shy little birds and so often it’s just a glimpse of their yellow underbelly, but they’re quite unmistakable. I find them absolutely captivating and get really excited every time I glimpse one! Sadly though, they’re on the endangered ‘red’ list here in the UK as their numbers have been declining rapidly in recent years. So, I decided a yellowhammer it was to grace my vase which obviously had to have a vintage feel to it!

It’s actually got me thinking that I might quite like to get into the ceramics room and hand-paint some porcelain, because I’d rather like this vase to grace my own home! The Blue is a deep ultramarine, another colour I have tended to use little of in the past and have fallen quite in love with!

I also had a play in photoshop with my original magnolia design and spurred on by a dear friend, created a repeat pattern.

Next, I will be concentrating on putting this image onto a journal cover and creating some hand-lettering for it, so off to work I go… but I’m nearly there, you never know I might actually have this one ready to submit early, which will be an absolute FIRST for Mats Bootcamp!

Magnolias & Yellowhammer watercolour painting in Handpainted Vase by Susie Batsford
Magnolias Hand painted Watercolour Painting Repeat Pattern by Susie Batsford

February's Relief Printing of Blue Flowers

Succulent Vintage Keys Snowdrops Hellebores Blue

Mala Rose Quartz Heart Viburnum Pink Antique Tea Cup

Collograph Print Antique Tea Cup

Collograph Print

Hello my friends, I thought today I'd share my results of the wonderful collagraph printing workshop I did at college earlier in the month.  For those who know not, a collagraph is a little like a collage which you then make prints from.  I made the collagraph plates by collecting plant matter from the garden.  Then after pressing it for several days I assembled two plates on cardboard using strong pva glue.  I then painted the whole thing white using acrylic gesso, this is so you can see where you've put the ink when you ink it up in the print room.  Then I varnished each plate using acrylic matt medium and voila, once dry they were ready for printing.  The top picture shows one of the plates on the printing press and below this are my prints.  I had so much fun, I recommend it if you get the chance!

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Anthropomorphic Woodland Animal Adventures...

Dried Flower Basket

The Woodland Animals Garden Adventure

The Woodland animals garden adventure

The Woodland animals garden adventure

Hello dear readers, I can't believe over a month has passed since my last post.  Time flies and so much has been happening, but I'll update you with that sometime soon.  In the meantime, I have begun a 'photography for makers' class with the lovely Emily Quinton at

My woodland animals have been getting quite involved in the photoshoots!