2018 Catch up – October

I fully embraced halloween this October, I was all about witches and scary stories, magic potions and familiars.

Well, that’s slightly misleading… the scary stories were all on tv and the witches and magic were only in my sketchbook. After the slightly overdramatic incident last halloween, no more pumpkin carving for me!

I managed to watch a whole 4 episodes of the scary Haunting of Hill House… mainly from behind a cushion, and only when it was daylight and I had company. I may be a complete wimp, but surely, only a silly person watches scary stuff in the dark on their own? I also started watching the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which isn’t particularly scary, but also not as fun as I thought it would be, so I’ve still got a few episodes to go!

So in my sketchbook, it was full-on spooky season.

Well, less spooky, more stylishly dressed witches enjoying some autumnal magic. I’m about as good at drawing scary as I am at watching it!

It’s all about the magic for me. I’ve always wanted magic powers, I’m still hopeful to get some one day, ideally telekinesis, because I think it would be incredibly helpful and not at all because I’m a bit lazy… or some form of natural magic – the ability to grow plants and flowers without them mysteriously dying, or maybe even talking to animals – I’m not sure how that would be useful, but it would be fun!

I digress…

I loved illustrating my potions witch. I very rarely add backgrounds or environments to my illustrations, but I really enjoyed adding the cute bottle collection and blood red candles, as well as the little owl familiar. My potions witch became my October illustration for my 2019 calendar and she was one of the first ones I decided on.

This illustration is based on Queenie from the Fantastic Beasts films. I love the 20s style and love watching a character that is so different to me, completely guided by her heart not her head. As soon as I sketched this, I knew I wanted to start thinking again about selling art prints. It was so exciting to eventually find the right paper, editing and printer combo and finally be able to add these to my etsy shop!

Most excitingly, in October I took to the skies! My 30th birthday present from my Mum and Step-Dad was a hot air balloon trip.

How gorgeous is my lovely Mum!

After (over an hour) helping set up the balloon, me and Mum hopped in and sat down for take off. By the time we were allowed to stand and look over the edge, we were meters above the ground and my waving Step-Dad was only just recognisable. When the burners were on, it was noisy with bursts of heat, it felt exciting and like a huge adventure, but as soon as they were off, it was so calm and peaceful as we floated across the flat and endless Norfolk landscape. It was so amazing.

I spotted my future house…

Well, I can dream…

We saw horses trotting across the studs and families of deer running across the fields, and after far too short a time, we scared a couple of owls out of the trees as we lowered for landing. Before the landing, we glided a few meters above an empty field, skimming over the stubble in the ground. We braced for landing, prepped that it could be a bit jarring and uncomfortable and we could topple over if we hit uneven ground, but being in Norfolk, we, of course, landed on the flattest field imaginable with a solid bump.

Finally, after a rather comical radio exchange, we had permission to land our already-landed balloon in the field and we hopped out to pack it all up, where my complete lack of any muscles really did make me a hindrance rather than a help! Seriously, there was an elderly lady that was more helpful than me, I really need to do something about my noodle arms…

And then, just like that, the adventure was all over.

What better ending could I ask for than a glass of champagne in a field at sunset!