Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Art (and Food) of Inspiration Part II

We are so grateful to everyone who voted and we are very honoured to say we are part of the Decorex 100- the most influential interior specialist on Twitter!!

"Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!"

My art has a strong coastal influence, in particular from the British Coast. The rugged white cliffs of Dover, the soft sandy coves of the Scottish Islands and the wistful beaches of Cornwall all hold a special magic for me. I spent many summers in my childhood on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, swimming off boats for beach picnics, spinning for mackerel and rock-pooling. I never remember what the weather was specifically like, but nothing remains more vivid than the feeling of sand between your toes and the gentle salty smell of seaweed. I tried sailing lessons, but I remained hopeless and never understood how to steer. For this reason I am a very willing passenger or even more keen to wander the shore searching for treasures of bleached driftwood and creating pictures in the sand. The sense of freedom staring at the broad expanse of sea, the glittering surface and the ever changing spectrum colours that the sea gives around the British shores always helps with inspiration for our prints. The seascape is pure escapism for me. I hope that the seaside prints bring that bracing fresh air into an interior and the shimmering shapes and childlike wonder of staring into a rock pool. With this is mind we created our 'Norfolk Crab' print.

(Image Copyright of Duck Egg Designs and blind made by the wonderful Katie Mosa

So to inspire and to add a little of the coastal spirit to your interior we thought we'd share with you a few of our most favourite coastal spots and a delicious recipe perfect for a Sunday, or any day really, feast!

Norfolk Coast -Holkham Beach

An enormous expanse of sand. Beautiful, perfect for escapists. White sand and huge skies.

The Roseland Peninsula

Small coves of unspoilt beauty, here is Portloe. For interiors inspiration I love the thick rope of the boats and the battered paint, a natural shabby chic effect!


An idyllic quiet spot, that creeps up on you; more sheltered than its neighbour Camber and worth it to see the Romney Marsh sheep grazing adjacent to the beach.

Camber Sands

Wild, windy and a huge gorgeous beach. Lovely in the winter and ideal for kite surfing for the more adventurous!


Untouched and rugged these shores are sublime stretches of sandy beaches, perfect for some solitude and reflection.

Isle of Harris

You could mistake this Scottish coast for the Caribbean. Startlingly blue sea and incredible wildlife.

Here is the most delicious recipe we have found. Always one that we re create in Norfolk with fresh mussels, a yummy bottle from the local off license and a hefty crusty loaf!

Take care and don't eat any mussels that remain closed after cooking or open in the preparation stage and have a good read of Raymond's advice.

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Friday, 10 August 2012

The Art of Inspiration (Part I)

I have just started work on the new fabric collection for Duck Egg, that is once the tent had finally been put after the poles were danced around the garden, the bins put out, the family organised and my attempt at mending a broken drainpipe with gaffa tape (fail). Sometimes I feel a little blank and then I turn to my faithful sources for inspiration. Looking at our inspiration board I realised that they say a lot about who we are and I wanted to share them to give an insight into what makes Duck Egg tick. I hope you enjoy our little mini blog series on our top 3 Duck Egg inspirational fail safes. First off...

Inspiration No. 1

It took me a while to appreciate Chardin (1699-1779). However slowly but surely his depth of colours, his simple yet faultlessly accurate rendering of objects and the pure simplicity of his styles sets him aside from his peers. He is a very old modern artist. I return to Chardin again and again to look at his shapes. Whilst the exuberantly elaborate Rococo was swirling its way across canvas and edifice, Chadin slowly and carefully carved his own niche. I love how he bucked the trend of historical tableau's that were all the rage and ignoring the mild hysteria inherent in such works he created beautiful soulful still life paintings in particular, as well as paintings of domesticity. He always kept his work simple and cosequently they are enduring. The seemingly mundane and the overlooked take on exquisite sheen and are elevated as something to treasure - worthy of a wall space. It is this captivating quality which intrigues and inspires me. He resounds throughout the canon art. Cezanne goes to show how relevant Chardin's work was to a new age. (I also love that he was mostly self-taught. Wow.) Always worth seeing them in the flesh too and a trip to Paris is definitely essential! This one in the Louvre forms gentle curves through the shapes in the apples proving less is more.

His way of framing domestic items has inspired me with my photography, and the little man and I experimented today with some Chardin inspired shots for the website...

And while I must retire to peeling the vegetables I shall aim to do this in a suitably Chardin-esque manner amongst artfully strewn fare ...

before retiring for a (large) glass of wine a from a tumbler aside a hearty chunk of bread. Chardin really is inspirational simplicity.