'The place where inspiration hits the page running... A sketchbook to fail and reflect on my work and my process'

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Finding Your Inner Illustrator

Having not posted on here for what seems eternity, here is a post that lifts a stale period of fear and loathing within my illustration work. A stale mate of inactivity and deadlines!

I've been struggling over a style or theme to put out there in the illustration world, and when I say style, I mean imagery that represents me honestly and where my hand and eye are in harmony, not a quest to be like him or her, or to fit in there. (Although this is a constant battle to stay away from).
My plan, when I'm in full flow, is to create a range of small print limited edition books.

So, without going into too much depth, I've found it hard since the MA to find a place where I create in a way that nurtures both my love of illustration (meaning work to sell, and for an audience) and the integrity and honesty I strive to represent my inner workings. I have had a fallow period of thinking and processing life and life patterns. I have stopped driving life and simply let the world settle at my feet for a while. It's been quite calming especially after a lot of excitement and lots of lessons learnt through what has been a roller coaster of a year.

After a morning spent in good company, in a really rather special place yesterday, my thoughts, dreams, learnings and observations over the past few months, even years, have started to fall into place and I feel like this is the start of something new within my illustration...at last. They will move into something very different to these no doubt, I think it's the application and light of touch and detailing that I like most. The characters are secondary and indicative of current thoughts of childhood memories and aspirations.

These are sketchbooks pieces and have influences of fellow artists and although this perturbs me slightly, I'm letting it go... to move past and through it, in order to create work that is solely mine. Or it could be that they feel familiar because they are right, and are mine?.... who knows, but I'm aware of the possibility of both.

I am also realising how important it is to give yourself, and your work, space and moments of time to settle and accept all the learning and messages that swim around on a daily basis, surrounding yourself with people who support this and help and guide you to listen.

I hope you enjoy them... I feel most happiest with the first and last three. The last three being most comfortable to look at.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


When I was taking the workshop in Newlyn (artschool) I wanted to leave the guys to it for 20 minutes or so, so I did some drawing... very quick, picking out colours and details I liked. I showed my boyfriend and he agreed that they looked like a 3 year old had done them, credit indeed! I love kids drawings!

WATERLOG {a journey}

Everytime I exhibit a body of work I create a book to accompany it, so here is the book to accompany the work for Waterlog.

picking 25 up on Friday, ready for sale at the Poly on the 6th Aug.
with excerpts from the Roger Deacin book included

so now a set of three
Also to accompany the work, a description for those interested.

Waterlog {a journey}
The images I create are inspired by the world around me. More than ever I feel finely tuned in to my immediate environment, through the objects that I touch, the structures I live within and the energy of situations and relationships close to me. It all effects me, so my work is where I work out the parts that go deeper than I can understand, where I conclude, let go and find peace and clarity.

I want my work to emanate this sense of calm and resolution, while hopefully offering integrity through its honesty and inquiry. I have realised that although my world can be in complete flux and my mind muddled, my work can settle and calm my mind and body, encouraging alternative emotions to stress, worry and confusion.

My paintbrush is where I think, work things out and come to conclusions by punctuating thoughts and worries with the marks that I make. It is a place where I pass through turbulence, failure and stress, and where I have reached a certain level of application that allows me to unlock my inner thoughts and my unconscious mind, in order to travel through it and out the other side. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


I'm really excited and slightly scared about taking my first workshop 'Mark Making', at Newlyn School of Art on 20th July (10-4pm).  This Saturday! It's a workshop that is aimed at people who may need a change of head space, or a different way of looking and being inspired, and are interested in a more abstract approach to making imagery.

Come along or pass it on, thanks.

Here's the blurb in more depth if you are interested.. if not skip past and look at the next post!

Mark Making

A day course exploring the energy behind the marks you make instinctively. Unlocking the free spirit that is often trapped inside through fear and habit.

This course is an insight into an individual artistic process, and offers a different way of working, while encouraging a fun and playful way of applying paint and using sketchbooks, in order to move your practice forward.

I will start the course with a short presentation about my experience of searching and finding my creative voice after 16 years as a commercial artist. This (along with another short talk in the course) hopefully offers a valuable introduction into how I use and manipulate paint, and how I design and compose my marks onto the page. Therefore putting the course into context while introducing a new way of looking and creating marks.

Using sketchbooks as a starting point, encouraging the hand and mind to loosen, while enabling the you to reassess and understand the marks you make, and the subject matter you choose intuitively. Challenging the fear of the blank page, enabling a less troubled entry into a daily art practice.

Working with multiple pieces of work in order to encourage and maintain the immediacy and energy of the marks, while also working at a slightly faster pace. So this course is for the open minded artist or beginner, who is willing to allow their mind and body to relinquish normal ways of working, in order to experience how they create work on a more intuitive level, therefore creating work that is not only full of life and energy but exudes authenticity.

For me artwork that carries authenticity carries layers. These layers may be invisible as a two-dimensional form, like history, education and experience, but there are also layers of time and activity. So working on a few pieces at one time means you are layering your page with time that is not laboured, but contains its energy and life. So the page not only holds the immediacy of your first marks, it also, in contrast, holds the history of marks made before, and if mindfully executed, each layer still has air to breath, building the bricks to a successful and energetic piece of artwork. This can take an hour or a lifetime to achieve, so approach with an open mind.

So once the workshop is done and dusted and was hopefully a success I can focus again on my own stories. I have created numerous stories and a few characters, the main one being my dog. I am constantly thinking about stories for him and have so many ideas I can't focus on one! I am considering asking for some help, I just have to make sure it's the right time to. 

We are in the middle of buying a house and it's taking a lot of energy, so finding the focus for my own creative work is hard. The deadline of an exhibition is helping me focus on other work, but the one I really want to nail is still in the waiting room. It means so much to me that I feel it is crippling me. I am constantly thinking of ways to make it less important so I can move it forward and go on tour with Bobo, and our new book. Watch this space!...again.


I haven't had a chance to bring everything up to date on here, but in the mean time I'm in a show called Waterlog with Rose Forshall and John Kilburn. I met these guys on the MA course at Falmouth and have been in contact ever since. Rose asked John and I if we would come in with her for an exhibition at the Poly, so we did. The results will be available for all to see on the 5th August until the 12th August, with a preview night on August the 6th, all welcome from 7-9pm.
Here's the work in progress and the poster.

Someone could argue that the images I have created are not illustration. I would agree that it is not commercial illustration, as this works within context that serves a purpose, to illustrate a point or a text, or product. These images here don't answer a brief or illustrate any of the above, but illustrate my mind and how I feel about water, and how it effects me emotionally. As an authorial illustrator the boundaries between fine art and illustration are more blurred, and for me they sit side by side. For each body of work I produce for exhibition, I create a catalogue / book. This will be available on the Preview night for sale and therefore offers more towards illustration. The poster works in contrast, in reference to the images I am submitting, but hopefully will attract a lot of people to come and peruse and enjoy at their leisure. My work will be box framed and mounted on board and available to sell, hopefully with a book available too! So watch this space for the framed finished articles and more plugging nearer the date. I'm really excited about seeing what Rose and John have created and I think everyone will be very pleasantly surprised at the range of work on show. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Blimey, I haven't been on here in what seems like an eternity, so I will be writing in full, my current escapades and show you some pretty pictures too! For now here's a sneak preview at the work coming on for the show at the Poly in August, called Waterlog. With Rose Forshall and John Kilburn. More to follow for now here;s some pictures! See you on Sunday for more.

This Mortal Coil

Thursday, 28 March 2013

ant-ti-dote paintings / new site

I can't get this onto my blog links list for some reason, so I will post it here.. new site with my an-ti-dote work... http://carolinepedler-antidote.squarespace.com for some reason it is password protected and I don't know why, so bear with me.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Plumbline & Orchard Gallery, St Ives

I haven't been for a while, but I took my brother to St Ives on Christmas eve to see my paintings up at the Plumbline in St Ives. Debbie was there to greet us which was lovely, and seeing my work on the walls was great too! here are some pictures of her show back then, with a couple from the Millenium mixed show.

David Whitaker

The Plumbline & Orchard Gallery...I love the work that Debbie chooses and feel rather chuffed I'm part of it! 


my work up on the wall

Sam Hall

my work on the right

Aggie based Alison Havers chair


the current show at bucca
I was called by the Bucca Boys on Friday night on the way out of work. They wanted me to take part in the current show there. Just in time for me to load the car with the remainder of the paintings I had in the studio, so I could drive them down to Newlyn the next day. I was very lucky to have all 7 up in the show, and although my name is not in the press release etc, the right people are seeing my work, which is a lovely feeling and is much appreciated. With a solo show at Bucca, pencilled in for the Summer, I feel the work I have created is moving itself forward, which is very rewarding. Henry (Garfitt) has also asked me to run a mark making course for the Newlyn School of Art in the Autumn, which is really exciting as I love passing on what inspires me to fellow artists, and I feel the people who attend these courses really are there to learn about the process, their process and generally love creating in general.

I am also taking part in 'Limbo' which is part of the Cornwall Art Biennial 

A major new festival of visual arts in Cornwall incorporating painting, sculpture, film, performance, collaborative arts projects, screenings and talks is due to land in Truro.

A LETH production conceived and curated by Joseph Clarke and Samuel Bassett in association with Jesse Leroy Smith and Totally Truro; Limbo sets out to celebrate and connect strands of visual arts culture taking place within the region.

LIMBO is an exhibition and series of events taking place in The Old Coffin Store, Walsingham Road, Truro. It will potentially showcase the diverse practice of hundreds of artists working today.


First paint marks for the LETH Limbo piece, I actually really like these...one day I will do a project, only with my first marks.

then this...

...different combo

this was the one I chose...
...and the back, that has now changed again
paint palettes in progress

my favourite colours in my palette

Bucca with Pippa. Faye and David

my piece being jossled next to the bar