Here are some new drawings that I've been making using Procreate on the iPad. Enjoying the challenge of new tech. Looking at the relationship between my recent pattern drawings and Australian First Nation Art, inspired by their relationship and connection with landscape and use of pattern.
Travel, Draw, Stitch, Repeat
Whenever I travel to somewhere new I always reach for a map - sometimes several. I love maps – I love the way they impose order on a chaotic world. I love the stories that maps tell of the places and people they describe. And most of all, I love their intrinsic beauty. Colour harmonies, line, tone, texture and pattern are balanced against graphics, letters and symbolic meaning.
For all my love of maps, they have never featured in my work. My drawings and stitched pieces often reflect the places I’ve visited; occasional landscapes but mostly architecture. That was until my most recent trip with Martyn and Drawing Escapes. Eight days, travelling through Estonia and Latvia seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine cartography with stitched textiles.
I started my first piece weeks before we left for the Baltic. I’d visited Riga on a previous trip and so armed with a tatty tourist map, my sketchbook and photos from the 2017 trip, I set to work.
To be honest, this first piece was a struggle – overly complex, fiddly and heavily influenced by the illustrated tourists maps I’d seen.
I said at the beginning that, for me, maps bring order to a chaotic world; they tell a story and are beautiful. If you doubt this check out Piet Mondrian’s ‘New York Boogie Woogie’. Using nothing more than rectangles and four colours, Mondrian not only manages to show the basic layout of some small part of Manhattan but also expresses the excitement and vibrancy of New York City. My first Riga map, however, lacked order, and if it told a story, it was one of the tourist traps and stag weekends. This wasn’t my Riga – it was someone else’s.
My next two stitch maps were based on Tartu and Tallinn, Estonia. I also added a third based on Kaunas, Lithuania, that I had visited as part of a Drawing Escapes ‘Secret Destination’ in 2019.
Although each stitched map has its unique characteristics, they share some common themes. I decided I need to keep it simple: a grid of streets, buildings, and green spaces; a river for Tartu and mighty city walls for the defence of Tallinn. Unlike the Riga map with its celebration of tourism, these maps, with their muted backcloth, limited stitch type (it’s all running or back stitch), and absence of colour, are rather sombre. Given the political history of the region, this seems rather appropriate. Kathy Olsson
It's a very exciting time now as we're planning next years calendar of drawing trips.
Firstly we have the London drawing day at St Katherine Docks on the 27th August. We still have some places so let us know if you'd like to come along. It's free, and a great chance to meet the team.
The Bali trip is good to go. All flights and hotels are booked and we've managed to keep the cost down, even in the face of soaring prices for air travel and local transport. We're flying with Malaysia Airlines on a single ticket to ensure a reliable service with a trusted carrier. The food is great too! We're staying in 3 different locations to benefit from the diversity of culture and landscape that Bali has to offer.
The Spain trip is coming up in less than a month and is fully booked. Drawing in Spain was where it all started and is still our most popular destination.
We now have dates and have had our first bookings for the Istanbul trip. We'll be travelling in the 3rd week of May so the weather should be perfect for us. This is our first visit to Turkey for a drawing trip and we're so excited to show you around.
Dates for Krakow will be coming soon and the next Spain trip. Let us know if you would like to join us, or if you have an idea for a destination and you have a few friends who're interested too, then get in touch and we'll put a customised trip together for you. Or if you want to join our mailing list please get in touch. Hope to see you in 2023!
Dates: Saturday 9 July, 1,30pm
Location: ALSO Festival, Warwickshire
Experience #ALSO22 through the eyes of a mapmaker and draw in response to the sensations of your surroundings.
Led by Isabella as part of Yodomo's workshop series, this 1.5-hour session will prompt you to consider and map your observations of the festival.
Tickets for the workshop cost £17.50pp (+ a Festival Ticket). Click here to learn more
We’re back! ✨✏️ Drawing Escape’s next meet-up is at St Katherine Docks, London ✍🏻
We’re meeting on Saturday 2nd July at 1.30 pm outside the White Mulberries Cafe. (Google maps link here).
Join us for an afternoon of location drawing with me and Martyn, finishing with a 'show and tell' over a beer or a glass of wine.
Everyone is welcome but please RSVP.
Hope you can make it! ☺️
St Katherine Docks 1.30pm on the 2nd July 2022
Meeting outside the White Mulberries cafe.
Isabella and Martyn will be running this drawing event. It's a great chance to meet like-minded people and to meet us at Drawing Escapes. It's free but please email us in advance if you wish to attend. Click here
We're just back from our 8 night trip to Tallinn, Tartu and Riga. Here are a couple of beautiful drawings from Kathy Olsson. We were particularly impressed with Estonia and will definitely be coming back again in the future. The towns are stunning and the people are so welcoming!
Thanks once more to those who booked and thanks for your patience with the delays caused by Covid. It was a long time coming but so glad we made it! See you again soon Tallinn!
We're happy to announce that Izzy will be running our next drawing day in London at Kings Cross. This is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and meet us at Drawing Escapes.
Izzy will meet you in Granary Square at 2pm on May 7th and we'll be drawing on location followed by a show-and-tell session later in the afternoon.
It's free, so we hope you might join us, but please let us know if you're coming by emailing us on our booking page.
The transport secretary has confirmed that all remaining Covid travel measures will be scrapped.
Currently, everyone travelling to the UK must complete a passenger locator form before they arrive. Travellers who are not fully vaccinated have to take a Covid test before departure, fill in the form, and book and pay for a PCR test after arriving.
Grant Shapps confirmed in a tweet that these rules will end at 04:00 on Friday.
His announcement means that passengers who are not fully vaccinated will no longer have to take Covid tests before and after travelling to the UK. The passenger locator form will no longer be necessary either.
This simplifies all of our travel arrangements which means more time to focus on the drawing!
We received some great news yesterday! The news, that we've been waiting to hear for so long, is that Bali is opening to visitors on March 14th for vaccinated travellers. This means that our trip which is planned for late October can go ahead!
If you've been thinking about joining us please get in touch. We have 3 places left. For those of you who have booked already please begin to get very excited! More news soon... :)