I apologise in advance because this is going to be a short and potentially very boring post, as all I’ve been working on this week is the Thames map commission.

It’s slow, but steady progress, and the most difficult project I’ve undertaken by a considerable amount!

You may be wondering about the title of this post. It’s the pesky little phrase which shows when you’ve typed a sentence in Microsoft Word and it underlines it with a green squiggle but doesn’t actually know what’s wrong and leaves the ball in your court. Do you change the sentence or plough on? Generally I ignore it.

Anyway, what has that got to do with my week?

Well, I had been intending to complete this map all in one go and end up with a long, thin, beautiful representation of the Thames which could be framed for the wall once finished. Could I find a piece of watercolour paper big enough? No, of course not. I could either buy a 10 metre roll or revise my plan, and fragment the map. Which is what I’ve done – revised and fragmented.

It will now be painted in two sections which will be imperceptibly joined (I’m assured) using some digital wizardry.

This is what it looks like so far, and I warn you, these photos are less than exciting.

illustrated map

The piece in the foreground is the detailed draft I’ve been provided, which is very useful indeed.

illustrated map

That little red square with holes cut in it is a house stencil I made to make my life easier. Let me tell you, there are a lot of houses in Oxford!

illustrated map

This is a close up of the Oxford section. I’m looking forward to outlining it in pen as it’s not very well defined at the moment, especially in photos.

The other thing which I’ve made a little more progress on this week is this doodle for the art swap which I’m doing with Debbie, a very talented portrait artist. You can see her Facebook page here.The doodle is for Debbie’s daughter and contains some of her favourite toys. It still needs a bit of colour adding.

doodle art

That’s it for today, I said it would be short! I’m off to relax and try not to dream of the Thames tonight.

Oh, at the end of a very boring post may not be the best time to ask you all to vote for me in the UK Blog Awards! I’ve entered in the Art and Culture category and I think all you need to do is go to my profile and register your vote (from Monday 10 November). Thank you very much!

I’m sharing today’s post over at Handmade Harbour.


The detail you’re having to put in the picture is amazing. I think it really interesting to see how a work progresses. Good luck with the Blog awards, I’ll popover and vote for you.
Ali xx

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