I haven't posted any updates since April, but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything!
I have just over a month before I set off on the Arctic Circle Residency - I'll be heading to Oslo and then up to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, where I'll set sail aboard the good ship Antigua for a couple of weeks sailing around the coast. I'm looking forward to drawing and painting from life, taking a ridiculous number of photographs, and hopefully meeting some interesting people!
Shackleton Polar Skills Challenge
On the 20th March 2022, I headed out to Finse, Norway to take part in the Shackleton Polar Skills Challenge! It was one of the absolute best experiences of my life, so much fun, and I'm so pleased I took the plunge and did it!
A bit of background: Finse is a mountain village situated at 1222 metres above sea level, and accessible only by train/ski in winter. It was the training ground of Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen for their expeditions, and there is a great replica of Amundsen's Framheim hut at the Finse 1222 hotel, where our group of six stayed for the challenge. We were trained by Louis Rudd (Director of Expeditions, super polar explorer, his book Endurance is very good) and Wendy Searle (Expeditions Manager, polar explorer and absolute hero), they were a dream team and so helpful and understanding. We knew that we were in the best possible hands for this kind of trip.
Since I booked with a whole one week's notice, I hadn't done any training whatsoever, but I was still able to get stuck into most of the activities despite some protests from my hip, feet, shoulders, neck, lungs, ... entire body. I went in having absolutely no skiing experience and left having absolutely some skiing experience (actually quite a lot), which was exactly what I'd hoped for! I wanted to experience pulling a pulk and using polar expedition equipment, and I can't imagine any way to do that that would have been better than this challenge. I left feeling confident that I knew what goes into daily expedition life, what can go wrong and why, how much I personally need to join a gym, and when I should've seen Wendy about my blisters but didn't because I am a dingus.
BEST TRIP EVER
If you'd like to find out more about Shackleton Challenges, check out the website here
Explorers Club + Cabal Rum on board the HQS Wellington
A fantastic time was had by all on the evening of the 27th November, on board the HQS Wellington in London, celebrating the launch of the Explorers Club Great Britain & Ireland Chapter + Cabal special edition Polar Ice rum!
I was especially honoured to be presented with the Explorers Club Chapter coin by chapter chairman Mark Wood, which was completely unexpected and I still can't believe it!
Guest speakers included polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE, adventurer James Ketchell, Craig Mathieson and Iona Somerville of the Polar Academy, NASA engineer Michael Perry, and guest of honour Alexandra Shackleton.
Mugs and water bottles featuring my illustrations are now available in my Etsy shop!
Please note mugs and water bottles are dispatched from a printing company so will arrive separately to playing cards or prints.
SVB + The Explorers Club
The Explorers Club UK & Ireland Chapter and Cabal Rum have teamed up to make a very exclusive rum! My illustrations will feature on the bottle.
This special edition rum will be launched on the 27th November 2021 aboard HQS Wellington in London!
Playing Cards are Available Now!
Find them in my online store
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
I've just got the go ahead from the wonderful 2041 Foundation to start work on my new exhibition project, 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind' in aid of the foundation!
This project will consist of portraits of polar explorers, educators and scientists as representatives of Antarctica and messengers of climate change.
The exhibition will be shown at Discovery Point in Dundee in 2022, and I'll be putting together a virtual exhibition as well which will be available to view on this very website.
As with many projects, cooperation is key, and I'll be contacting my polar faves over the next couple of weeks (jury service permitting), I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that a few of them will be up for supporting the project!
One tree planted for each print order
From now onwards I'll be planting one tree for each print order! I'll be using Treeapp - check them out if you'd like to find out more.
You can also use the app to plant a tree for free every day!
Thanks to complications arising from the UK's exit from the European Union, the cost of insured delivery to EU countries has increased by around 400% in some cases(!)
This means that I am forced to either post orders uninsured, or add extra postage costs. If you would prefer insured delivery for prints or commissions please do let me know - for commissions I will try to quote for insured postage along with the cost of the artwork.