Friday, 10 March 2017

Hands on deck at Inky Leaves HQ

I realise that there is a distinct lack of painting going on on this blog at the moment... can't be helped - we have leaves to post! This month I will be working hard to make sure that all the limited edition hard back books are shipped out to their new owners. I am also  working hard on my new company called Inky Leaves Publishing which has been set up with the intention of working with other botanical artists who might want to publish a book. So there is a lot of work going on right now.

To be frank, the real reason the Inky Leaves blog is in total disarray is because 2017 has actually been quite a roller coaster emotionally. I am pretty exhausted after the Leafscape exhibition and yet not. Occasionally I can feel myself glazing over and it is during these times when I realise that I am actually pretty tired, but the thrill of undertaking a project such as this sort of over-rides it and I can keep going. 



After the Leafscape exhibition ended and I got home after a couple of days of post-show interviews, I lay on the floor not really knowing what on earth had just happened over those two weeks. I had been in Abbott and Holder everyday meeting you all and felt rather happy in my little den upstairs. I was so overwhelmed after hearing about how far some of your had travelled to see the leaves. I had visitors from New Zealand, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, America and Australia. Some of you had driven miles in the storms, all the way from Scotland. It was utterly amazing seeing everyone in such a short space of time and to be able to listen to your stories and talk about botanical art and where it is going. I was visited by the second year students who are studying at the Chelsea School of Botanical Art and gave them a quick talk and then RHS weekend was a real buzz. I was lucky enough to see Rory's daughter, Samantha McEwen and eminent artists such as Rob Kesseler, Martin Sexton and Boyd and Evans and then Rachel de Thame popped with her daughter. Talk about a thrilling experience!

Being ripped away from it was traumatic to say the least, not because I didn't want to leave my leaves or because I was on some massive ego trip, sitting on my throne as the queen of bot. art, - no! It was because I was actually very happy being surrounded by the nurturing essence of Abbott and Holder in all its eccentricity and tradition. It is a mixture I like very much, it reminds me of my childhood. So yes, leaving them behind was pretty upsetting, but I managed to hold a stiff upper lip.




So then I got back to HQ with only three unsold paintings and stood in the middle of my temporary room staring blankly at the walls for a good solid ten minutes, not really able to think. Then I tried to think and work out what actually had just happened during the past fortnight. Stunned, I lay on the floor and decided to just stare at the ceiling instead. Then I howled for a bit then I got up off the floor and started signing books. Life goes on.





Maybe I will process everything when I am back in Spain. That'll be a weird five minutes won't it? Smelling the fire wood smoke and the dried paints in my studio for the first time in months. That'll surely hit a nostalgic nerve?! Yesterday I made the mistake of getting all of my old things out of storage, smelling it all. Inbetween the folds of forgotten fabric from my London home were pockets of forgotten time - a lost world - and yet it didn't sting my heart in the way nostalgia usually does. I realised the smells of fabric conditioner combined with Elizabeth Arden and old shower gels that had been trapped in the weave of the fabric smelt of a past life, of an old Jess and I guess I just didn't feel like I missed her that much. That was then and this is now. 

























So with both the slip boxes and postal boxes having arrived this week, I am now busy packing all the signed books into their packages with the CD inside. It's fun work. I am catching up on two months of radio broadcasting while I do it. Yesterday my house mate Holly Markham joined in on the action with her camera and took these shots. It was a gloriously sunny day outside and we took a short break on the beach. It is lovely to be by the sea again. 



So there you have it. Inky Leaves is still busy beavering away...  Hopefully by the end of the month I will be painting again. Watch this space.









Thursday, 16 February 2017

The opening night of Leafscape


Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Jess Shepherd at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Jess Shepherd at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Ceramicist Morag MacInnes (background) at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Tom Edwards (leftt) and Phillip Athill of Abbott and Holder opening Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Illustrator and Animator Natasha Pollack and Jess Shepherd at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Leafscape before it got really busy - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Artist and poet Martin Sexton with Jess Shepherd at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Producer Brock Van Den Bogaerde (right) at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Ceramicist Kitty Shepherd (left profile) at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Jess Shepherda at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Hattie at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Designer Andrew Leeds Burton at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©



Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Painters Fionnuala Boyd (background) and Les Evans at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Artist Adrian Holme and Jess Shepherd at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Ceramicist Kitty Shepherd (middle) at Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©

Leafscape - Helena Misciocia Photography ©
Jess Shepherd with musician and composer Derek Thompson (aka Hoodlum Priest) Leafscape
- Helena Misciocia Photography ©


Photographs by Jade Wheldon Photography

Abbott and Holder Jade Wheldon Photography ©
Opening night of Leafscape by Jade Wheldon Photography ©

Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©
Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©

Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©
Artists Jess Shepherd (left) and Samantha McEwen (right)

Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©
Textile artist Georgina Gordon Smith at the Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©

Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©
Painters Carlos Salvador Mira and Jean Harvey at the opening night of Leafscape by Jade Wheldon Photography ©

Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©
Mural painter Roberta Gordon Smith at the opening night of Leafscape by Jade Wheldon Photography ©

Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©
Leafscape opening night by Jade Wheldon Photography ©


Photographs by Jamie Denyer Photography

Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©
Artist Jess Shepherd at Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©

Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©
Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©

Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©
Botanist Tom Christian and Jess Shepherd at Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©

Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©
Leafscape by Jamie Denyer Photography ©

Jamie Denyer Photography ©
John Gainsborough, son of Dr. Richard Gainsborough - founder of ArtReview and Jess Shepherd at Leafscape
Jamie Denyer Photography ©
Photographs by Holly Markham Photography

Holly Markham Photography ©

Holly Markham Photography ©

Holly Markham Photography ©

Holly Markham Photography ©

Holly Markham Photography ©

Friday, 10 February 2017

Wrapping the paintings

Close up on botanical paintings by Jess Shepherd
Leafscape paintings - an exhibition of botanical art at Abbott and Holder, London, February 2017.

With the LEAFSCAPE exhibition opening at Abbott and Holder in London in six days time, I decided to spent this afternoon wrapping up the leaf paintings in preparation. Here are some photographs that my housemate Holly kindly took while I was working. She's pretty good with a camera as you will see. 

Jess Shepherd (Inky Leaves)
Jess Shepherd (Inky Leaves) - photo by Holly Markham

I can't even begin to describe how tired I am. I haven't slept properly since well before Christmas and have given up putting make up on to conceal my bags and dark rings. It is a pointless exercise and besides, I have better things to be doing with my time!

 Wrapping up paintings

So the paintings are being moved to Abbott and Holder on Valentines Day which I think is rather lovely. My friend Paul is going to be driving the van up via Haslemere where my framer is currently looking after the three massive paintings.  It is supposed to be a sunny day which will make the whole process much more bearable. Wish us luck!

Jess Shepherd (Inky Leaves)
Jess Shepherd (Inky Leaves) - photo by Holly Markham