Lockdown lateness

This lovely house was ordered as a Christmas present to celebrate moving to a new home, but because of lockdown restrictions it wasn’t received until until the person’s birthday. So another happy customer, and I can post it for you all to see.

Do you know someone who has moved to a new home?

Once upon a time …

… long, long ago, well that’s how it seems! We are unable to post pictures of our Christmas commissions yet, so how about a bit of history.


We first got serious about art and craft in 1994, when we took over a business running ceramic art classes – we called it ‘Studio Minerva’. The shop was built in the mid 1800s and has been used for all sorts of trades.

The picture on the left dates from 1870, the one on the right slightly later.
Unfortunately we closed the business in 1999, because trade was not flourishing – and now, ironically, the shop is a financial advisor, ‘Assured Private Wealth’.

But we loved our time there, made many friends, learned loads about ceramics, glazes, kilns, and customers, so thought it fitting to do a caricature of the old place. It hasn’t changed too much in over 100 years. The houses to the left are now replaced by the Co-op.

How life changes in 25 years, or even 150!

There’s no place like Home

There are records dating back to 1650 for this Devon cottage. The modern extension is what used to be ‘the stick store’, presumably where firewood was stored, now kitchen/diner with bedroom and balcony above. It is also recorded as being the place where ‘the pauper in the stick store’ resided, according to census records. Apparently, as a family home the younger couple and their children occupied the main house – and grandma was relegated to the stick store. 

And now my wife and I call it home.

If your home would like the attention it deserves, or you would like to give a unique and personal gift, contact me for further details.

Image is drawn with dip pen and acrylic ink, enhanced with graphite pencil shading. A4 size.

Catching-up : June 2019

Since my last post in January, there has been a lot going on – so much that I’ve forgotten to post!

Our son moved out leaving Julie and I free to re-assess our situation. So we did.

We moved house, from central southern Hampshire to north Devon. It has been a long process. We had to downsize considerably, and it took a while to get organised in the new property. You wouldn’t believe the amount of ‘stuff’ we got rid of! But we are in and settled and the house is now feeling like home – and of course it is the new HQ for Pen and Lens Artwork Ltd.

There have been a number of house caricatures commissioned and dispatch from within the chaos – the latest being “Di’s Place”, the most recent in the Portfolio. Others are included here.

Early in May we went off to Rugby for the annual convention of The British Association of Decorative and Folk Arts (BADFA). From our new location, this proved to be quite a hike! But it was worth it as it was one of the best conventions ever – and all British event to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Towards the end of May we released our third set of stamps, four more quirky houses, with a moving house/party theme to the supplementary ‘worker’ images. They are: Ye Shoppe, Gran’s House, Our House, and The Posh House. These are my coloured samples – people in the stamping and card making community do so much better.

The stamps are manufactured and marketed by Chocolate Baroque – renowned for their high quality stamps and life-time guarantee.

The idea for this set was that they could be set next to each other to form a street. Here we have – ‘Our House, in the middle …’ (cue Madness!)

The first set was released in October 2018 – a set of quirky buildings. Clockwise from top left: Head Office, Loft Conversion, English Country Garden, La Maison.

In January 2019, we released a second set, influenced by the seaside, close to where we lived at the time – my nautical set. Clockwise from top left: A dip in the sea, Jolly Roger, Looking out to see (sic), Harbour master.

Well, that’s it for now – I hope to post again soon – ish! Better get started on the next house …