Sketchbook Page – Rabbits

sketchbook page with rabbits

Sketchbook doodling… I have several sketchbooks which I use in different ways. This one is my favourite. It’s purely for playing in with no specific project in mind. I stick lots of random bits in from magazines etc. and enjoy making interesting compositions of shapes and colour. It’s good visual exercise! If something doesn’t go to plan or I don’t like what I’ve done I just paint over it and start again…


Help I Am Lost – Envelopes #7 #8 & #9

mixed media art

My submission for the Here We Are exhibition at Little Ox Gallery in Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh.

There was an open call for submissions by the Little Ox gallery, which I found out about after it was shared on Facebook. The idea was to produce artworks from old Ordnance Survey maps, provided by the gallery. It was billed as a fun exhibition so I thought, why not have a go!


The map theme immediately threw up several ideas to me and I began working them out in my sketchbook.I had a rough idea that I’d like to group several envelopes together. Lost was the one I began working on first. I’ll admit I’ve felt lost many a time in my life but glad to report that more recently I seem to be finding my bearings…'lost' mixed-media envelope

Next was Help. Rather than stitch through the heavy card, I decided to embroider the word on to cotton first and then apply it to the envelope.

'help' mixed-media envelope

Last of the 3 was I Am. This was the most troublesome part. I tried out a few different styles and sizes of envelope before I plumped for this one. (There’s every chance some of them will resurface as something completely different over the next few weeks…watch this space!) The placement of the words was tricky – I found it hard to make it work as part of the overall design, as they’re quite small but I suppose that means people just have to look a bit closer, which can’t hurt.

'I Am' mixed-media envelope

I liked the abstract design of the streets and buildings on the maps and highlighted areas with watercolour to make a feature of it.

When they were all done I spent what seemed like forever arranging them and rearranging them, wondering how to display them together to make a pleasing composition that actually made sense, with the writing flowing naturally. As it turned out I arranged them in the same way as the first sketch I made and already had a frame just the right size, which was a stoke of luck!Here We Are poster

The exhibition opens this Friday at 7pm and will be on throughout March. Very eager now to see how everyone else has transformed their maps…




Posting Mail Art

2014-02-25 16.18.35

Earlier, in between rain showers, I walked round to the post box… Finally I took the plunge and posted off my submission to Mail Me Art 4 . Hope it arrives safely!

It’s a while since my postcard was finished. To begin with I had mixed feelings about it and wasn’t even sure whether or not to send it. I even ordered a replacement post card so I could try again but after putting it out of sight for a few days I’ve come round to it again and like it more… All the frustrations involved in making the artwork clouded my judgement but it didn’t take long to forget about that and see it with more objectivity.

The written embroidery was chiefly what was annoying me. It was so hard to sew through the stiff painted paper that the writing doesn’t flow like my own hand-writing but on reflection I don’t think that’s important at all. More important is the sincerity with which it was written…so that’s it & that’s me.

What I do like about it is that the letter looks a bit like a little brightly glowing house, lighting up the darkness.

In my imagination, the patches of fabrics I added around the envelope are fireworks.

envelope collage

(c) Julia Laing Yours Sincerely Envelope Collage


Yours Sincerely

envelope collage

(c) Julia Laing Yours Sincerely Envelope Collage

This mixed media collage was made with Mail Me Art 4 in mind. Now it’s done I’m not sure I want to send it…I just have the feeling I could do better so I’ve sent off for a replacement postcard. There might be time to create something else. Its very hard to be objective about it so soon after working on it. If I put it away for a few days I might feel differently next time I look.

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