Saying YES!

Hello there!

Thankyou to all the visitors since my rather long (ahem) absence. Truth be told, I’ve been saying “yes” lots to some exciting projects…some larger, some smaller.

My first “yes” was this cup a dear friend and writer asked me to create for a project she was working on. We had shared rather a magical afternoon over tea and biscuits, discussing our favourite books, illustrators and picturebooks etc. This was the cup she had become rather entranced by, and asked me to capture the essence of it for her project. This dear friend had supported me greatly through my Ma, so I leapt at the chance to say thankyou.

Jane Sunbeam - Magical cup of tea
Final piece in sketchbook for “A Magical Cup of Tea” project

This little piece of thanks grew into rather a good companion, and every time I drank from my cup, I thought of the faith my friend had in me and my work and our magical time together. And as the image sat beside me and the Ma show loomed ever nearer, I needed to think of designs for business cards and publicity postcards – I knew which image to choose, and this little illustration took on a new lease of life – joining me on the next stage of my journey.

6 time for tea.jpg
Publicity postcard

So, why this post now? Well, it’s a year since it’s creation, and I meant to write about it at the time, but so much was happening, and also it started the pattern of ‘yesses’, that has lead to exciting times, so it seemed apt to revive myself with this particular cup of tea.

If you wish to see more glimpses of my latest projects, please do visit my Instagram page…


London Ma Show


Here are a couple of pictures from the show…Sadly Gertie did not get to hold the pens for the comments book (there were a lot of lovely children who wanted to meet her, but she felt it was safer to sit and watch from above!). More pictures to follow, along with insides from the books. Its odd that this time last week it was all up and had a day of visitors, and now it’s over. But, it was worth it, with lots of great feedback and possibilities. But for now I am having a much needed rest…….




After the Party

Well…. it’s almost halfway through the month and I finally have the time to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope it was wonderful and that the new year brings you all great adventures and happiness.

I have been busily working away on the Ma hand in for my last module, and have just uploaded images to the Ma website for the final show in London. Its all incredibly exciting. Please do visit the site – there you can see not only my work, but that of all my lovely fellow students. I feel very privileged to be surrounded by so many talented people.

But for now, here is After the Party – an image started whilst doodling in my local, drinking tea. Its wonderful for drawing people, as there is a Zebra crossing outside the large windows.

Initial sketch
Initial sketch….

I wanted to show that the magical world of the child is everywhere. I think the original child was in school uniform and I thought “what if……..?” The greys show the world as some see it – mundane, but for many of us, it is not – it is full of colour, magic and intrigue. I would love to be this girl and wearing her cat costume.

Jane Sunbeam Childrens (31)



And now for some Cats…..


Mog and Daniel Smith
Mog…. who is guarding my Daniel Smith “dots”

Cats surround me at the moment, from this delicious little chap (Mog’s doppelganger) who sits at my desk keeping me company whilst I work, to the numerous ones that live around me, many of whom were happy to sit on their front lawns in the late Autumn sun whist I sketched them. Now, there is only one little cat that braves the cold,  sitting on the many sheds watching over his territory. I have always loved  drawing cats, and my favourite book is Andy Warhol’s Cats, Cats, Cats – a copy of which I have treasured for many years.

My copy of Andy Warhol – Cats, Cats, Cats

I myself have no cats, but have several “friends” I meet when out and about, and  do have my Mog – the perks of illustrating children’s books is that I simply have to buy the toys and the books. It’s all research….. honest!

So now to the stars of this post….. the cats themselves:

cat blue.png
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and some more cats….. (click for them to appear larger)

An inspiring trip to South Wales, and Sketching.

FeaturedAn inspiring trip to South Wales, and Sketching.

The year is marching on apace…..and now winter is certainly upon us. I am writing warmly curled up in my studio, watching the tree outside dance to the wind’s musical howl. But to backtrack a bit – last month we went to Wales for an inspiring break away. Our cottage was down a mile of track and up the side of a deep ravine. Whilst I was anticipating wonderful sketching daytrips, I did not expect our little cottage to be quite so inspirational…..

The view from our dining table, and late afternoon sketching at Whitesands
The view from our dining table, and late afternoon sketching at Whitesands wrapped up in two cardigans, a scarf, a poncho and a pair of fingerless gloves to keep out the cold.

Whitesands features regularly in my life as I follow the life of the delightfully wonderful Jackie Morris in her blog and other writings. Her work is full of the magic of Wales, but also otherworldly places and people. It was a bit of a pilgrimage (sadly she was away on tour) and I was lucky enough to see originals of her work and prints at Solva Woolen Mill. I was so excited and longed to stay forever. Sadly that was not allowed so I satisfied myself with a signed copy of her latest book Wild Swans, and a calendar. Not quite the same as original artwork, but just as beautiful!

Jackie Morris - Wild Swans
Jackie Morris – Wild Swans

On other days we explored the countryside and coastlines, and visited Laugharne, the home of Dylan Thomas for many years, and thanks to a good push up the hill from my husband, we got to see his writing shed (apparently smartened up now, as the walls were too yellow from his smoking). Nonetheless, it was still full of atmosphere, and I could imagine him walking straight in and pondering on another play for voices.

(Top) Dylan Thomas' Boat House, the view. (Middle and Bottom) Sketching materials and more sketches
(Top) Dylan Thomas’ Writing Shed, the view from his shed.
(Middle and Bottom) Sketching materials and more sketches

It was such an inspiring trip and I drew constantly each day…in a way that often the day to day does not allow. I was even so inspired by the new boots I found in St Davids, that I simply had to paint one of them…….

A Watermill, New Boot(s), A man looking for crabs in the river, and imaginative piece. I was certainly inspired.

And Finally…

Thankyou to all my visitors. I noticed some from North and Eastern America and Australia popping up, so “Hello” around the world.

Hello from me!
Hello from me! All wrapped up in the ever accompanying poncho!

Our Final show in London, and Kickstarter Campaign

Its getting nearer the end of our Masters now (I daren’t count the weeks to hand in, but inspiration has found me, so I am very excited indeed), and after the Hand in in January we have a show in London at the wonderful Candid Gallery (the downstairs gallery and is accessible, but please check with venue if you have any particular needs). The dates are Tuesday 9th Feb to Saturday 13th Feb 2016.

We are now starting to  raise money for the catalogue, and to help with the show, so a Kickstarter campaign has just been launched. The full-timers have been working very hard and produced this wonderful video showing the products you can get in return for supporting us and the campaign. Please visit and pledge – there are some amazing products on there:

My little bird features on it….. can you spot her?

Timid bird
Timid bird

Paris in Autumn

Two years ago I was lucky enough to go to Paris for a very special birthday. I had just started the Masters, and was rediscovering sketching. Now, with the fine tuning learnt from my many hours of drawing, and inspired by Beatrice Alemanga’s A Lion in Paris  I took the time to open the sketchbook filled with memories and revisit the very sketchy sketches. All were done in greyscale so as to focus on the image making, although at some point I do intend to use these sketches to create ones flooded with colour.

1 interior
2 Nearing the Tower
Nearing the Tower
3 Ever nearer
Ever Nearer

Looking Up to Look Down

Happiness is a Balloon
Up the Steps

And now for other unfinished sketches…….other sketchbook pages 5 hands are full