Hello I'm Moira, I've been an artist, Illustrator and printmaker for over thirty years, and since 2012 I've been a print and pattern designer for interiors.
Over the years I've worked as a botanical illustrator, graphic designer, fine artist, original printmaker, soft slab potter and art, craft and life drawing teacher.
Born in South London, I now live in Chester, in the North West of England, where I work from my home studio.
Every day I get to do what I love, I draw, paint and snip away to my heart's content, it's my dream job.
"Creativity takes courage"
What is your favourite medium?
My all time favourite tool is a dip pen because of the impact it has on my line work, I'm never totally in control, which leads to serendipitous moments of pure joy, I also love big words — dictionaries are fun!
Which watercolours and gouache do you use?
My favourites are Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney Artists quality.
What is your favourite colour?
Prussian blue, it's so versatile, like Indigo. I also adore Windsor and Newton's Payne's Gray, it has a very blue cast and is incredibly useful.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I look at things, listen, read, and generally suck it all up like a sponge and out it pops. I also take online classes in illustration and surface pattern design, to keep up with industry trends, it's all one big learning curve.
To find out more about who and what inspires me see my Inspiration Blog posts Here!
Where do you buy your art supplies?
Mostly online these days as I find it hard to get the quality I want locally. I use a 4G Line & Wash board – like the old illustration board – which I get from Ken Bromley https://www.artsupplies.co.uk/ and I buy the paper version for spot illustrations from www.pegasusart.co.uk/
Do you work traditionally or digitally?
I paint and draw, Cut stuff out and then scan and manipulate. You can find out more about how I work in my Perspiration,Blog posts Here!
What colour combination
are you most excited about
Loving the sunny yellow in our kitchen with the peachy glow of a Lady of Shalott rose, the amethyst blue of a cornflower, deep leaf green and the soft neutrals of the vintage elm Ercol table.
If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
A ‘Jumper outer’ or a shelf filler at Tesco’s?!
Seriously I can’t think of anything I’d rather do!
What is a Jumper outer?
You go on a ghost walk and the ‘Jumper outer’ jumps out and gives you a fright!
What do you do in your spare time?
Bake bread, make soup, chutney, jelly and sew. I'm currently working on a patchwork bedspread, all sewn by hand using patches from my, and my mum's, sewing projects, going way, way back. Oh, and I get mucky in the garden!
What are you reading now?
Selvedge – such great articles, full of fabulous photos and illustrations – it's the only subscription I've got and it's well worth it.
What is your all time favourite movie?
No hesitation - Ninotchka, Garbo, I LOVE that film!
Cup of tea, sit on the couch, pull up the blanket and press play.
Who is your favourite cartoon character?
From the sublime to the ridiculous – Daffy Duck – such a Looney!
What was your favourite illustration/design assignment?
Drawing fruit and veg with a dip pen for our local grocer was pure fun, so much fun I couldn't resist putting the drawings into a repeat pattern for Grocery bags and kitchen linens.
I'm also really pleased with the patterns I'm working on right now which are based on marks printed with scraps of watercolour paper, and marks made with a calligraphy pen.
If you could eat only one food, what would it be?
Cherries, I'm a self confessed fruitaholic!
How do you stay in shape physically and mentally?
I love Tai chi, practice yoga, I swim when I can and I have a daily Qigong and meditation practice which help to clear my head.
What do you listen to while you work?
BBC Radio 6, makes me work quicker, Radio3 for the classical which lets me think. I often have an old movie running along in the background, one where I know what's happening, it's like having a friend in the room, and in the same vein I listen to Windowsill chats with Margo Tantau, love her to bits.
What would your dream illustration job be?
Almost anything for the V&A, love that place, so full of inspiring stuff! Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – would be great to do something for them again. Royal Academy poster or product, illustrations for Selvedge, Resurgence & Ecology magazine, Home decor products for Anthropologie.
What is your current favourite font?
Good one Hmmm… I've always loved Gill Sans Light, think of the SAVOY, Optima is fabulous too, but right now I’d have to say Calibri, it's superbly drafted. I must also admit a passion for brush lettering, Japanese Kanji and Kufic script because they are so incredibly beautiful.
If you could invite anyone to dinner who would it be?
Tough choice. I'd want to have some of my online friends over, the ones I've never met in person, but they get me totally!
Do you wear shoes when you do art?
“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get”
William Patrick Kinsella