TOWER BRIDGE - A LONDON ICON May 30 2017
My Vintage Railway Collection is inspired by my love of the classic railway posters of the 20th century. In celebration of our stunning capital city, a recent addition to this collection is my new gouache painting of Tower Bridge - an iconic symbol of historic London.
Tower Bridge was built across the River Thames in 1886-1894 and is crossed by over 40,000 people every day - connecting the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets (north side) to Southwark (south side). A stunning example of Victorian architectural design and engineering, it is a combined suspension and drawbridge - the cantilevered bascules are raised around 1000 times each year to allow river traffic to pass safely under the bridge.
If you’re planning a visit to Tower Bridge and you'd like to learn more about it, I’d warmly recommend a visit to the Tower Bridge Exhibition. This excellent London visitor attraction invites you to ‘step inside the most famous bridge in the world to explore its iconic structure, spectacular views and glass floor, modern exhibitions and magnificent Victorian Engine Rooms’. Further details are available at:
My new Tower Bridge design is available to buy online as premium quality greeting cards and hand-signed 40 x 50cm prints from:
I’m delighted that this design will also be available to buy at John Lewis as 30 x 40cm prints from:
I’ll share details via Twitter and Instagram as soon as it's in stock at John Lewis.
That’s all for this month, thank you for reading!
NEW VINTAGE KITCHEN CALENDAR FOR 2018 April 30 2017
Recently I was thrilled to receive samples of my new calendar ‘Vintage Kitchen Collection 2018’. The calendar has been printed and published by my fantastic licensing partner teNeues Calendars & Stationary in Germany and I’m absolutely delighted with the beautiful design and print quality.
It features twelve of my original paintings from my ‘Vintage Kitchen Collection’- including five brand new designs. Inspired by Britain’s rich culinary heritage, this elegant and informative collection of paintings celebrates regional, sustainable foods of the British Isles both old and new.
The calendar is currently available for wholesale stockists to order from the new teNeues wholesale 2018 catalogue, which is available to view here:
It will also be available for retail customers to buy in the coming months from leading UK and worldwide stockists, I’ll share details soon…
The featured five brand new ‘Vintage Kitchen Collection’ designs are: Fresh Fish, Afternoon Tea, Fresh Herbs, Edible Mushrooms, and Pickles and Preserves. These designs are also available to buy online as signed art prints and greeting cards (all proudly printed in the UK) from:
That’s all for now, thank you for reading!
FILMING WITH BBC COUNTRYFILE March 31 2017
As a Sussex-based artist, I am inspired by the strong historical connections between the South Downs and the radical mid 20th century artists and designers who were drawn to the area. The ‘Bloomsbury Group’ included Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and elsewhere in Sussex Eric Ravilious, Eric Slater and Eric Gill practiced their art.
Consequently, it was a dream-come-true to be invited to take part in the South Downs episode of BBC Countryfile filming at Charleston Farmhouse, the country home of the Bloomsbury Group. Inspired by Vanessa Bell’s painting of Charleston (c.1950), I chose to paint a modern-day version of this viewpoint, so on the day of filming, I set up my easel on the south side of the pond and set to work drawing and painting. The Countryfile team had asked for a work-in-progress-style feature, so it was a delight to work with the excellent BBC film crew and to be interviewed by ‘TV legend’ John Craven. Since the broadcast of the episode on 5th March, I’ve received lots of lovely feedback from Countryfile viewers - and friends and family!
For those of you who are interested in the work of the Bloomsbury Group, I’d warmly recommend a visit to Charleston, ‘A spiritual home for artists’. For further details visit:
As part of my research into the work of the mid 20th century Sussex artists, I recently visited current exhibition ‘Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion’ which explores the attraction and the influence of Sussex on the modernist movement. The exhibition is open until 23rd April 2017 at Two Temple Place - a stunning neo-Gothic mansion, which is well worth a visit in it’s own right. For further details visit:
That’s all for now, until next month.
Thank you for reading.
Photo: Andrew Testa for The New York Times
CELEBRATING THE SOUTH DOWNS February 28 2017
11 years ago I moved from London to East Sussex in the South East of England, with my husband and two young daughters. We were drawn to the gentle drama of the Sussex landscape - the rolling South Downs, the dramatic chalk cliffs and the pretty shingle beaches fringing the English Channel. Each morning before I go to my studio, I enjoy walking and running on the South Downs with Pebble, my Cocker Spaniel. The stunning landscape of my adopted home county is an ongoing source of inspiration for my artwork, and I am constantly discovering new views of the South Downs which I plan to draw and paint in the future.
A selection of my Sussex-inspired paintings including: Seven Sisters, Lewes, Brighton Pier, Brighton Pavilion and Chichester, are available to buy online as signed prints and greeting cards from:
The South Downs National Park is England’s newest National Park (formed in 2011) and in 2016, I was delighted to be invited by the National Trails to create a bespoke gouache painting in celebration of the South Downs Way - the long distance footpath and bridleway which stretches ‘100 wonderful miles, from Winchester to Eastbourne’.
My new South Downs Way painting features the iconic view of Beachy Head in East Sussex, and it will be available to buy online as signed prints and greeting cards in March. If you are interested in this new design, and would like me to contact you when it is available to order, please feel free to email me at:
Lastly, I’m thrilled to say that I have a feature on BBC Countryfile (South Downs episode) on Sunday 5th March. For further details visit:
That’s all for now from the South Downs… until next month!
Thank you for reading.
TIME FOR TEA January 31 2017
Calling all tea lovers...
In celebration of the quintessentially British tradition of taking afternoon tea, this is a sneaky-peek preview of one of my new Vintage British Kitchen paintings.
Inspired by the world-famous afternoon tea menus at Fortnum and Mason and The Ritz London, this new design will be available in the Spring to buy online as signed prints and greeting cards from:
Just a few reminders, I’m proud to say that all of my products are printed here in the UK, each online order is individually checked and packed by hand, with a choice of UK, European and Worldwide shipping options available at the online checkout.
I’ll be sharing details about more of my new designs soon.
Thank you for reading.
WISHING YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS December 20 2016
As everyone is so busy with last-minute Christmas preparations, I’ve made this blog entry a brief one.
In celebration of the festive season I thought I’d share an image of my gouache painting of our hometown - Lewes at Christmas. I painted this back in 2012 when my business was in its early stages. Painted originally to sell in the Lewes Tourist Information Centre as UK printed greeting cards, this design is still one of my local best-sellers year on year.
2016 seems to have flown by and throughout December there’s been a flurry of activity in the studio as we’ve been packing and posting online orders in time for Christmas. I’ve also been busy working on a range of new paintings which will be available to buy in the new year as signed prints and greeting cards. I’ll be sharing details soon - so watch this space!
Please note, after a fantastically busy year, I’m taking a (much-needed) festive break and the studio will be closed for the Christmas holidays from: 21 December - 2 January. Any orders received during this time will be processed promptly when we re-open on the 3 January 2017.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
That’s it for now, more news to come - next year!
GIFTS FOR THE KITCHEN November 30 2016
Gifts and festive foods are the central focus of many of our Christmas celebrations. So, as a selection of my designs are available to buy as kitchenware ranges, I thought this blog should focus around the kitchen (the heart of the home) and those that cook in it.
I’m proud to say that I work in partnership with Ulster Weavers, a leading home textiles company based in Holywood, Northern Ireland. Originally founded in 1880, Ulster Weavers have held the royal warrant as suppliers of kitchen textiles to Queen Elizabeth II since 1995. Since our partnership was formed in 2013, Ulster Weavers have produced many of my designs as premium quality kitchenware ranges, including tea towels, trays, placemats, coasters, napkins and bone china mugs.
Gifts for the kitchen always seem to be so well received and I love the fact that Ulster Weavers products follow one of my favourite William Morris quotes: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’. I believe that my kitchenware designs from Ulster Weavers make useful and beautiful gifts! To view the collections and buy online visit:
In addition, my Vintage British Kitchen greeting cards and signed-prints make classic, timeless Christmas gifts. Customers often buy prints in sets of three or four to create a feature wall in a kitchen or dining area. Shipped worldwide in sturdy postal tubes, prints are quick and easy to frame, fitting perfectly into off-the-shelf picture frames from John Lewis, Habitat and Ikea. To view the collections and buy online visit:
In my own kitchen at each weekend during November and December, it’s a festive hive of activity. I’ve been busy making Christmas Cakes and Puddings, and my daughters are perfecting their recipes for Mince Pies and Christmas Cookies. Next on the Christmas cooking list is edible gifts… yum!
Thank you for reading and I hope that you have a lovely festive time in your kitchen in the lead up to Christmas.
CELEBRATING THE SAVILL GARDEN September 30 2016
September seems to have flown by, I’ve been busy in the studio painting my new Vintage British Kitchen designs for a new calendar and launching my bespoke painting for the South Downs Way National Trail. This is now available to buy online as hand-signed prints and greeting cards at:
October looks to be a busy month too, with my new exhibition ‘Kelly Hall: Celebrating The Savill Garden’ in the fabulous, modernist Savill Building in Windsor Great Park. Open from 1-31 October, the exhibition launches my new botanically-inspired painting for The Savill Garden. The painting is available to buy as hand-signed prints and across a bespoke product range, including greeting cards, tea towels, aprons and canvas shopping bags - all proudly printed in the UK. The Savill Garden product range is available to buy exclusively in the Savill Garden Gift Shop. For visitor information look at:
To accompany the launch of The Savill Garden range, the exhibition showcases my artwork collections which will take you on a journey around the rich culinary heritage and the iconic beauty spots of the British Isles, from Sussex to Scotland. All hand-signed prints featured in the exhibition are available to buy in the Savill Garden Gift Shop and online at:
As ‘Artist in Residence’ at The Savill Garden, I will be on hand to chat about my artwork and sources of inspiration, I will also be sharing my creative process through live drawing and painting from 11am - 4pm on 1, 2, 15 and 16 October. So if you’re planning a visit to this very special garden on one of these dates - do come and say hello.
That’s all for now and happy Autumn watching!
PICKLING, PRESERVING & PAINTING August 31 2016
I’ve just returned from my summer holiday in Cornwall, where I spent three glorious weeks with my family in two of my favourite places, St.Ives and Rock. I’m busy catching up on emails and orders, so please excuse the brief blog this month!
As is usual at this time of year, I’ve come back to a glorious glut of fruits and vegetables. So over the coming weeks I’ll be busy making some of my favourite pickles and preserves.
I adore (not necessarily in this order) gardening, cooking and painting, and each of these activities often inspire each other. As soon as I’ve caught up with work in the studio and got on top of the weeds, I’ll be making a start on my collection of five new Vintage British Kitchen paintings. In particular, my passion for making home-made jams, jellies, chutneys and conserves will be a fabulous source of direct inspiration for my new Pickles & Preserves painting. The five new designs will be available to buy as signed prints and greeting cards in early 2017 from:
Lastly, I’m thrilled to say that I am featured in the new Country Living Kitchen Table Talent ‘bookazine’ which is available to buy from 1st September - for details, take a look at:
That’s all for now, and thank you for reading.
GETTING ORGANIZED, A NEW CALENDAR FOR 2017 July 31 2016
Recently I was thrilled to receive samples of my new calendar ‘Celebrating the British Isles 2017’. The calendar has been printed and published by my fantastic new partner teNeues Calendars & Stationary in Germany and I’m absolutely delighted with the beautiful design and print quality.
It features twelve of my original paintings from my ‘Vintage Railway Collection’. Inspired by the Golden Age of Travel and classic railway posters of the 20th Century, this collection of paintings celebrates the iconic beauty spots and landmark visitor destinations across the British Isles.
The calendar is available to buy now from teNeues stockists worldwide and online from:
With the Christmas gift buying season fast approaching, I hope this calendar will be a real hit with people who have a passion for travel, vintage graphic art and the British Isles. Following hot on the footsteps of this first publication with teNeues, I’m currently working on an exciting collection of new paintings for a calendar for 2018 and I’ll share updates as the project progresses.
Lastly, while on the subject of travel, if you happen to be flying with Flybe airlines in the coming weeks, keep an eye out for my feature in the new August issue of Flight Time inflight magazine. Also available to read online at:
That’s all for now.
Happy summer holidays!
PAINTING THE SOUTH DOWNS WAY June 30 2016
I’m delighted that work is now well under way with my new bespoke painting of the ‘South Downs Way National Trail’ in the ‘South Downs National Park’.
The ‘South Downs Way’ is a 100 mile footpath and bridleway which runs along the South Downs between Winchester in Hampshire and Eastbourne in East Sussex. I have found it to be a real challenge selecting an iconic viewpoint to paint, which would describe and do justice to the full length and breadth of this famous and well loved trail. I carried out initial research in local libraries, museums and galleries, and following many discussions, I finally made my selection and decided to paint the classic view of Beachy Head - with the rolling Downs and the magnificent white chalk cliffs, above the crashing white-capped waves of the English Channel.
The gleaming chalk stacks that form Beachy Head have come to symbolize the English coastline. Being the highest point on the south coast at 163m, the famous headland takes it’s name from the French ‘beau chef’ or ‘beautiful headland’ and Beachy Head Lighthouse, which opened in 1902, was built with great ingenuity and daring as materials and workers were lowered by cable car from the clifftops.
If walking, running, cycling or horse riding the full100 mile stretch of the ‘South Downs Way’ isn’t for you, I’d warmly recommend the undulating walk along this dramatic stretch of coastline. Just today I went to sketch some fine visual details and gather colour reference for my painting - the sound of skylarks and buzzing bees, coupled with the sound of waves crashing onto the beach below, was a heady combination.
This stretch of coastline has been described as ‘the roof of the world’ and one of my favourite graphic artists, Eric Ravilious, painted this very same viewpoint in 1939. He was quoted at the time as saying ‘An immense bar of light on the sea is splendid…and must be done’.
My new ‘South Downs Way’ painting will be available to buy as signed prints and greeting cards from the National Trails online shop later on in the summer. In the meantime a selection of my Sussex-related designs are currently available to buy at:
Lastly, keep an eye out for my story in the gorgeous new August issue of Country Living magazine, where I am a featured ‘Rural Artist'.
That’s it for now, until next month!
FLOWER POWER May 31 2016
Inspired by the flowers bursting into bloom on the drawing board in my studio and in my garden, I thought I’d make the theme of this blog a floral one.
Over the past few months I’ve been busy working on a new bespoke, botanically inspired painting for ‘The Savill Garden’ in ‘Windsor Great Park’. The painting is a celebration of the very special Royal plant collections within the gardens. Flowers are such a timelessly classic subject matter and visits to ‘The Savill Garden’, the ‘RHS Lindley Library’ and of course ‘Chelsea Flower Show’ have provided me with a wonderful inspirational floral backdrop for this fabulous project. After several months spent studying, drawing and painting plants, I think I’m fairly hooked on painting flowers and I’ll be sure to add them into my future portfolio.
So, with the new painting finished, over the coming months I’ll be working in partnership with leading UK-based kitchen textile manufacturers ‘Ulster Weavers’ on an exciting new co-ordinated product range to launch at ‘The Savill Garden’ in September… more details to follow later this summer.
To continue my floral theme, I’m thrilled that my ‘Vintage Railway, Chichester’ painting has been selected to promote the ‘Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers 2016’. The Festival takes place from 2-4 June and the majestic nine hundred year-old Cathedral will be transformed with over eighty stunning floral arrangements, all following the theme of the title of the Festival: 'The Artist's Palette'. The theme will reflect artists represented in the Cathedral, local Sussex artists and other well-known artists. For further information take a look at:
If you are visiting Chichester over the summer, my current exhibition ‘Kelly Hall: Celebrating The British Isles’ is open in the beautifully refurbished Cloisters Café at ‘Chichester Cathedral’. It will run until the end of August and all signed prints featured in the exhibition are available to buy via my online shop at:
My blog next month will be all about the ‘South Down’, as I’ll be starting to work on an exciting new bespoke painting and product range for the ‘South Downs Way National Trail’ in the ‘South Downs National Park’. I’m delighted that, in order to pave the way for this new project, a selection of my Sussex signed prints and greeting cards are now available to buy from the National Trails online shop:
That’s all for now.
Thank you for reading!
CELEBRATING 5 YEARS IN BUSINESS April 30 2016
I’m thrilled to say that ‘Kelly Hall Designs’ has been in business for 5 years, so I thought I’d share my story so far…
In my early career I worked as a freelance artist and designer working on a broad range of commissioned projects and as Learning Manager at The Design Museum in London. Following the birth of my two daughters and a move from Islington, London to Lewes in East Sussex, I launched my business ‘Kelly Hall Designs’ in 2011- with my husband and business partner Andrew Hall.
When we were deciding on the direction of our business venture, we identified a significant gap in the souvenir market between what the customer was being offered and what we believed they wanted. So, drawing initial inspiration from the ‘Festival Of Britain’ (1951), ‘Kelly Hall Designs’ set out to celebrate the British Isles and give the humble souvenir a makeover. Drawing on extensive research into the history of tourism in Great Britain, I set myself the brief to paint ‘Classic, elegant artwork collections with a real sense of place’ that could be applied across premium quality, design-led product ranges which are ‘Beautiful, useful and durable’.
The journey really started when I pitched my artwork and business idea to Sally Bass, the Manager in the Lewes Tourist Information Centre. Several months later ‘Kelly Hall Designs’ launched with my two first co-ordinated ‘Lewes’ product ranges: ‘Vintage Railway’ and ‘China Blue’ which included greeting cards, bone china mugs, tea towels, tote bags and lavender bags - all proudly made in the UK. It was so exciting to see them displayed in the lovely shop windows on Lewes High Street - both ranges received wonderful responses and they continue to sell well to this present day.
Since 2011, my artwork collections have continued to grow, as has my ‘Small but perfectly formed’ business. Since the humble beginnings of ‘Kelly Hall Designs’, I am proud to be working with a network of fantastic UK-based manufacturers and licensing partners, and my artwork collections and products are now available to buy in many leading retailers, museums and galleries across the UK, including The Royal Pavilion Brighton, John Lewis and Liberty.
So looking at 2016 and beyond, to kick-start my 6th year in business I’m busy expanding my core artwork collections and new product ranges. I’m also working on some exciting special projects including a bespoke range for the ‘South Downs Way National Trail’ in the ‘South Downs National Park’, and also a bespoke botanically inspired range for ‘The Savill Garden’ in ‘Windsor Great Park’.
With my paintbrush in hand and my customer’s traditional and contemporary lifestyles firmly in mind, I believe the future is bright - here’s to the next 5 years of 'Kelly Hall Designs' in business!
Thank you for being a part of my journey.
STEP INTO SPRING March 24 2016
I’m delighted to say that my new exhibition ‘Kelly Hall:Celebrating The British Isles’ is now open in the beautifully refurbished Cloisters Café at Chichester Cathedral. It will run until the end of August and all signed prints featured in the exhibition are available to buy via my online shop at www.kellyhalldesigns.com. Chichester is a stunning cathedral city in West Sussex with a wealth of historic and cultural attractions - and great shopping too! If you’re planning a trip, I’d warmly recommend taking a look at www.visitchichester.org
The artwork in my ‘Celebrating The British Isles’ exhibition is also featured in a lovely new calendar of the same name for 2017. I’ve been working in partnership for the past 6 months with leading international publishers ‘Te Neues’ and the calendar will be available to purchase at www.teneues-calendars.com, and from ‘TeNeues’ stockists worldwide from May 2016.
Following the launch of my exciting new kitchenware ranges with ‘Ulster Weavers’ in February, I’ve had customer enquiries about stockists. For your information, the ranges are available to buy online now via www.ulsterweavers.com, and from ‘Ulster Weavers’ stockists worldwide.
That’s all for now and thank you for reading.
Happy Spring watching!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, HAPPY NEW ARTWORK January 28 2016
I’m delighted to kick-start 2016 with the launch of my 7 brand new ‘Vintage Railway’ paintings. This growing collection is inspired by the Golden Age of Travel and my lifelong passion for the fabulous vintage railway posters of the 20th Century. The artwork is currently being proofed and printed and the 7 new designs will soon be available to order as hand-signed prints and greeting cards from my online shop at www.kellyhalldesigns.com
I’m also excited to say that as an addition to my tea towel designs, Ulster Weavers will be launching my new giftware and homeware collections at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, Hall 9, Stand C28/D29 from 7-11 February. The 3 new co-ordinated product ranges feature artwork from my ‘Vintage British Kitchen’ collection, all beautifully printed onto classic bone china mugs, napkins, placemats, coasters and trays. I’ll be attending a launch event at the stand from 2-6pm on Monday 8 February, so if you’re visiting, come and say hello!
If you’d like to find out more, I’ll be sharing further images and information about my new artwork, products and up-coming exhibitions via:
That’s all for now - Happy 2016!
GILL SANS & GOUACHE November 30 2015
While the wild wind and rain is hammering down outside on the windows of my studio, I’m busy working on a new collection of my ‘Vintage Railway’ paintings. As I’m drawing and painting a lot of Gill Sans type and working my way through many tubes of gouache paint, I thought I’d share a few related behind-the-scenes facts in my blog this month.
I use the Gill Sans typeface, which I draw out and paint by hand in Spectrum Red gouache on all my ‘Vintage Railway’ paintings. Gill Sans was designed in 1927 by Sussex- based sculptor, wood engraver, type-designer and letter-cutter Eric Gill. Gill took inspiration from Edward Johnston’s ‘Johnston’ alphabet designed for the London Underground - it was his aim to design a font for use on posters and advertisements that was clean, modern and traditional at the same time. Following its release, Gill Sans was an immediate success and it went on to be selected by British Railways for use on all its posters, timetables and publicity materials. It’s for this reason that Gill Sans was a natural, authentic choice for use on my own ‘Vintage Railway’ paintings. (For those that are interested, a selection of Eric Gill’s works are on display at the wonderful Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft).
I paint all of my original artwork on to stretched cartridge paper using Winsor & Newton gouache paint. Goauche is an opaque watercolour paint that dries smoothly and produces brilliant colour. Gouache has been available since 1935 and has been traditionally used by designers, illustrators and commercial artists to create artwork for reproduction into print - including many of the original railway posters of the 20th century. Due to the combination of high levels of pigment and gum arabic binding agent, gouache dries to a fantastic matt finish - which minimizes levels of reflection when photographing or scanning artwork for print. I scan my finished artwork myself and I’m constantly amazed at how accurately the gouache retains its brilliant colour when reproduced into digital print formats.
…and so it’s back to the drawing board. I’m happy to say my seven new ‘Vintage Railway’ paintings will be available to buy as signed prints and greeting cards in Spring 2016 (from www.kellyhalldesigns.com).
Lastly, with Christmas approaching fast, I’m delighted that my ‘Pudding & Pies’ signed art print has been featured in the current Guardian Christmas Gift Guide:
That’s all for now until my Christmas blog in December.
Thank you for reading.
AUTUMN INSPIRATION September 30 2015
I revel in this time of the year, the golden sunlight, the lengthening shadows, the leaves starting to change colour. At the weekend I enjoy trips to our allotment to pick pumpkins, dahlias, apples, plums and grapes, and take meandering walks with my family around the Sussex countryside collecting rosehips and sloes. I love researching traditional British recipes and cooking jams, jellies, chutneys and syrups using my allotment and foraged hedgerow ingredients. Successes so far this season include Rosehip and Apple Conserve, Grape and Rosemary Jelly, Plum and Apple Chutney as well as Sloe Gin - which should be ready just in time for the festive season!
Back in my studio, I’m busy working on a new collection of paintings to include some of my favourite British beauty spots - the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads amongst others. My stretched paper and drawing boards are lined up in my studio like soldiers and I’ve been hand setting, drawing and painting the Gill Sans type for each piece. I’m working on seven new paintings over the coming months and these new designs will be available to buy as signed prints and greeting cards in Spring 2016 (from www.kellyhalldesigns.com).
Lastly, I’m happy to be preparing for a Christmas exhibition of my prints in the stylish Café Lazzati at Southdowns Sports Club in Lewes. The exhibition will be open to the public from 8 November 2015. On show will be a selection of my Vintage Railway and Vintage British Kitchen prints - all available to buy - I know it’s a bit early to mention but they do make great Christmas presents!
That’s all for now and enjoy this Indian summer.
SUPER STUDIO August 31 2015
I’m delighted to have moved into my newly built studio. After 9 months of building work, it’s a real treat to have all my art materials, books and treasures out in the open again. We've nicknamed it the 'Skylounge’ because it has panoramic views of our hometown Lewes, the South Downs and surrounding areas. The amount of daylight that floods in through the skylights is just perfect for drawing and painting - I feel very lucky.
I’m excited to say that I have just signed off a fabulous new tabletop collection with partners Ulster Weavers, which will be launched at Spring Fair,Birmingham NEC in February 2016. The lovely team at Ulster Weavers have invited me to join them to do an informal ‘Meet the Artist’ session on their stand on Monday 8th February. I always enjoy sharing the behind-the-scenes stories about my creative process and the ideas and inspiration for my work. Plus it’ll be great to chat with potential stockists and hear their immediate reactions to the new range - come and see me if you’re visiting.
Lastly, as an avid reader of lifestyle and interiors magazines, I’m thrilled that ‘Period Living’ has included a little feature about my new ‘England’ tea towel design (available from www.ulsterweavers.com)
CORNWALL HERE WE COME June 30 2015
In the midst of this fabulous British heat wave, I am reminded of the long summer days of my childhood spent on Porthmeor Beach in St.Ives with my family. Clearly I’m not the only one with the summer holidays in mind, as I’m thrilled that my Cornwall print featuring this famous surfing beach continues to be my current best seller! (available at www.kellyhalldesigns.com)
I come from a family of artists, and St.Ives with its strong artistic community has always felt like a second home to me. The luminous pale sandy beaches, picture-perfect fishing harbour, and fantastic quality of light, continue to be a real draw for art-lovers and tourists from around the world.
In my potted guide to St.Ives, I would truly recommend a visit to the St.Ives Museum, which is run by a committed team of local volunteers. This treasure trove holds numerous collections of fascinating local artifacts, which give an excellent overview to the rich history of the town.
For a drink and a bite to eat, you can’t beat the Porthgwidden Beach Café, situated overlooking the small-but-perfectly-formed Porthgwidden Beach. On a recent visit, we enjoyed a feast of beautifully cooked local fish, washed down with a glass of chilled white wine, whilst gazing out to sea.
My last recommendation has to be a visit to Tate St. Ives, which has an ever-changing programme of contemporary and historic art exhibitions, catering for all artistic tastes. This iconic, local architectural landmark overlooks the fabulous Porthmeor Beach which, as I mentioned before, was central to my Cornish summer holidays - and now my own children’s! After a day spent taking in local history, food and culture, I can think of nothing better than watching the surfers tackling the awesome Atlantic waves, as the sun sets over Clodgy Point.
Returning swiftly back to Sussex, I’m delighted to say that my brand new studio is almost complete and ready to move into - I’ll look forward to sharing photos soon.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoy the heat wave and happy summer dreaming...
GLORIOUS GARDENS May 22 2015
I have a life-long passion for British floral heritage and garden design - a recent research trip to Queen Victoria’s fabulous Osborne House and gardens on the Isle of Wight was a real treat. My current obsession with Victorian kitchen gardens, glasshouses and potting sheds was well catered for, and I’d warmly recommend a trip to anyone with similar interests.
Recently, I feel very lucky to have been approached by the organizers of the fabulous ‘Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers 2016’. They will be showcasing my ‘Chichester, Vintage Railway’ painting in the promotion of this wonderful, fund-raising event. As an artist, plants and flowers are a rich source of inspiration for my colour palette, so ‘watch this space’ for my new floral collections.
Inspired by my best selling ‘Fresh Vegetables’ print (available at www.kellyhalldesigns.com) I have set myself the challenge to grow a selection of the featured vegetables. I’ve chosen varieties that are easy-to-grow, taste good, and look beautiful enough to paint! So, in my spare time, I’ll be found pottering in our vegetable garden - I’m hoping for crops of Rainbow Chard, Courgettes, and Hundredweight Pumpkins, just in time for Halloween.
My final news is that I’m absolutely thrilled that a selection of my ‘Vintage Railway’ prints are now available to buy at John Lewis, from the newly refurbished Pictures and Frames department in the Oxford Street store, and online.
Thank you for reading and happy gardening!
SET FOR SPRING March 26 2015
As Spring starts, March sees my studio filling up with box-upon-box of freshly printed greeting cards, tea towels, prints - and daffodils! We’ve been busy packing and sending out orders for delivery to my lovely stockists old and new, in readiness for the Easter holidays. My best selling design to date is ‘Palace Pier, Brighton’ which I’m delighted to say is available to buy in the fabulous Royal Pavilion Shop, and the super-stylish Castor and Pollux seafront gallery in Brighton - as greeting cards, tea towels and signed prints.
I love traditional British seaside towns, and a recent ‘Bright and Breezy’ day trip with my daughter to the wonderful De La Warr Pavilion in a Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex, was a real inspirational treat. The current exhibition ‘Ladybird By Design’ features over 200 original, hand-painted illustrations from the classic Ladybird books from the1950s to the 1970s - and is well worth a visit - especially if combined with lunch at The Italian Way just over the road!
I’m happy to say I’m receiving a terrific response to my current exhibition ‘Kelly Hall:Celebrating the British Isles’ at Southwark Cathedral Refectory. If you’re in London over the Easter break and would like to take a look, the exhibition is on until 10 April 2015. All framed prints in the exhibition are for sale, and I’m delighted that the charming Southwark Cathedral Shop is also stocking a selection of my prints and greeting cards.
Have a very Happy Easter!
LONDON CALLING February 13 2015
I’m so happy that the days are getting longer and the first snowdrops are putting in an appearance…lovely optimistic signs that Spring must be around the corner.
Coupled with enjoying the sights of Spring here in the Sussex countryside, London is the central theme for my current creative projects and February is already looking to be busy, with preparation for my forthcoming exhibition ‘Kelly Hall:Celebrating the British Isles’ at Southwark Cathedral Refectory. The exhibition runs from 7 March until 10 April 2015 and I’ll be exhibiting hand-signed art prints from my ‘Vintage Railway’ and ‘Vintage British Kitchen’ collections, with a focus on the launch of my new Southwark print - this is a celebration of the fabulous architecture of SE1 both old and new. All framed prints in the exhibition will be for sale and I’m delighted that the charming Southwark Cathedral Shop will be stocking a selection of my prints and greeting cards for sale.
I’m currently busy working on my brand new ‘Icons of London’ collection. In preparation, I have been enjoying frequent (very cold!) research trips to carry out location drawing and photography. This new series of paintings will be a celebration of the key locations and architectural landmarks across the capital city. Painting such familiar and famous sights can at times seem daunting, bringing with it a real sense of responsibility. However, a true creative challenge of this scale is something I really rather relish, so February finds me happily stretching paper, colour mixing and painting with gusto! Do watch this space and my Twitterfeed @KellyHallDesign for progress updates.
Lastly, to round up this London-themed blog - I was delighted to welcome the fabulous ‘Look and Yes’ team into my studio before Christmas to film a one minute video about my work ‘Kelly Hall:Mapping Britain’. The video was commissioned by the wonderful King &MacGaw/Easyart and is currently being shown in 2000 black cabs across London. If you’d like to take a look at the video please visit my PRESS page or go to:
That’s all for now - Happy Spring watching!
HELLO 2015 January 16 2015
I hope you’ve had a fabulous festive break!
With the tinsel tucked away for another year, the dark months of January find me making batches of Seville orange marmalade, spotting the first snowdrops and spring-cleaning my studio…washing paint palettes and brushes, sharpening pencils and drawing out my year planner in readiness to kick-start the new creative year.
2015 already looks set to be an exciting and busy year - I’m due to move into my new workspace in the coming months, with lots of fresh artwork collections and projects in the pipeline, plus I’m delighted to say that - I have a forthcoming exhibition at Southwark Cathedral Refectory in the Spring - details to follow soon.
As part of my creative research, I love learning about traditional British customs and festivals, so throughout the year I’ll be sharing my findings here.
On 17 January, the tradition of Wassailing is practiced in the cider-producing counties in the South West and South East of England by way of encouraging fruit trees and crops to thrive in the coming season. This involves people processing and gathering in orchards, singing wassail songs and drinking hot mulled cider from the wassail cup.
Perhaps one of the best-known January customs is Burn’s Night, whereby Burn’s Suppers are held in celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, usually on or around 25 January. A traditional Burn’s Night supper consists of haggis, neeps and tatties, washed down with Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burn’s poetry.
I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year (or Happy Hogmanay!)… more soon.
OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE December 11 2014
I just adore the sense of anticipation and all of the festive preparation in the lead up to Christmas. I’m delighted to say that my new Vintage Christmas greeting cards are selling like hot mince pies – the Christmas Tree design is one of six new designs which are available to buy through my online shop and current stockists.
While on the lovely topic of Christmas trees, when I’m designing new collections, I enjoy the research almost as much as I enjoy creating the paintings, so I thought I’d share this potted history of the Christmas tree in this blog:
The Christmas tree became popular in England in 1841 when Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert brought a tree over from Germany and displayed it in Windsor Castle. A National Newspaper illustrated the Royal couple standing around the Christmas tree with their children, and so the tradition of decorating a tree became fashionable.
During Victorian times, Christmas trees were decorated with candles to remind children of the stars in the sky at the time of the birth of Jesus. In 1880, Woolworths (still sadly missed!) first sold manufactured Christmas tree ornaments - the rest is history.
Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas trees in Britain has to be the one in Trafalgar Square. Each year, an enormous Norwegian spruce tree is gifted from the people of Norway as a way of expressing their thanks to the British people for the help they gave them during the Second World War.
While I can by no means compare our modest Sussex-grown Christmas tree to the one in Trafalgar Square, in our household, the traditional no-holds-barred approach to Christmas tree decor (courtesy of my two daughters, 9 and 11) is just one more festive traditional treat to relish.
That’s it for now, and best of luck with your own seasonal preparations!
WELCOME November 28 2014
Hello! My name is Kelly Hall. I am an artist designer and this is my first blog entry for Kelly Hall Designs Limited, a company that I run with my partner Andrew Hall. Today, I am particularly excited to announce the launch of our lovely new website and online shop.
Our story started in our hometown of Lewes, East Sussex in 2011 when we set out to give the humble souvenir a makeover. Drawing on extensive research into the history of tourism in Great Britain, I then began to develop original concepts and artwork collections connected with ‘a real sense of place’.
Since launching my first ‘Lewes’ collections in the Lewes Tourist Information Centre in 2011, Kelly Hall Designs is rapidly becoming a recognizable brand and I am proud to work with a growing portfolio of stockists including leading retailers, galleries, museums and heritage sites.
So, welcome to my world! It’s here you’ll find out about everything from my new artwork collections, products and partnerships to interviews, behind-the-scenes news, creative updates plus ‘inspiration shares’ and ideas from my lovely new workspace over-looking historic Lewes Castle.
As we launch our online shop just in time for Christmas 2014, and with lots of exciting brand new artwork collections and products planned for 2015, the future is looking bright - let’s go!