Helly Hansen Mt Maya Ramblers. We climbed a red hot mountain to draw our view but as soon as we’d finished our snacks the heavens opened and put an end to that. Real shame as the view was amazing. Getting the bus back down was a treat though I painted 10 watercolour birds per city to be given away at the paintings events. Kobe’s were Bluetits. Next stop Tokyo and the very cool H/H store in Harajuku. I absolutely love Tokyo Bullfinchs for Tokyo
Kamakura. A beautiful east coast city, i painted with Tombi (black kites) circling overhead. Coal tits, i had spotted some in the trees close to the store The next days activity was a hike through beautiful woodland and shrines with breathtaking views of the city and Yokohamma. We collected lots of wood, pandas and nuts And made lots of animals in a workshop, this is my daft crocodile. I was blown away by what people made, much like the whole trip to be honest.
Once again big thanks to Gas As Interface especially Yumi, Risa, Shin and the irrepressible Nori & big thanks to Atsu from H/H.
A lot of these photos are stolen, thanks to the takers.
Its took me a while to getting round to showing this project off, but now everything is officially out in Japan here is all of the graphics i designed for Helly Hansen. The graphics show a journey from the ocean to the mountain and what happens on the journey.
Waxwings in the rain
Like what we all flow back to the ocean
Thanks to all at Gas As Interface, Goldwin and Helly Hansen for everything…
Follow me on instagram at @mattsewell for lots of behind the scenes snapshots, inspirations and ephemera. I’m really enjoying posting bits and pieces of what makes me tick, especially excited about posting lots of pictures from my trip to Japan next week. Gutted gonna me missing watching the tour everyday though… GO WIGGO!
Of course you can always keep up to date with me on twitter here on @sewellspotnjot
It was my birthday last thursday, i took the day off and treated
myself to a few hours of spotting and jotting at Venus Pool. With
nothing much to report i set about drawing the scene in my sketchbook
when a unfamiliar, vintage noise stirred me from my etchings. Where lo and
behold my first ever cuckoo presented itself to me, a birthday cuckoo
with binoculars is a rare present indeed.
Why the suspicious look, Mrs Cuckoo? Her self-aggrandizing song is as
infamous as her dubious parenting method. She forces her young upon
unsuspecting parents by laying her large egg in the nest of a little
Warbler or Pipit, then clears off before the unwary host parents
return to their brood. They sit in hope, waiting for their enchanting
progeny to join them. So loved-up are the hosts at the arrival of
their first-born, they don’t realise that it’s a Cuckoo chick. The
little hosts try to appease the ravenous Brute, working night and day
to feed the ever-open, greedy mouth. Shockingly, while they are away
the expanding Cuckoo jettisons the true, unhatched family from the
nest. The golden child is waited upon solely, and grows to four times
the size of its foster parents, like a true parasite.
Aside from its brutal entrance into the world the Cuckoo is a vital
part of our landscape and national psyche, heralding the beginning of
summer, and should be welcomed into our lives with open arms.
It’s true what they say, one swallow does not make a summer, but a whole telephone wire full of these fellows chirping manically their conversational song does. But as soon as he is here and we’ve just got used to his delightful presence skipping over the hedgerows and skimming over the the river then he’s gone, leaving the old place a little bit duller. Like an old friend that returns for the summer, fills the whole room with love and laughter and before you know it has gone. Off again into the sun on another merry adventure. But you don’t want to clip his wings and make him stay against his wishes, that would be totally unjust of you and a terrible thing, but just a tiny, little bit more time would be lovely… But then again there is always next summer to look forward to… or please just take me with you.
We are having another Saturday morning of watercolour bird painting and book signing at Rough Trade East on the 9th from 11am.
Also come along and have a chance to win some original artwork by my good self.
Fancy some exclusive Manchester-created artwork adorning your home? The Printworks have teamed up with wagamama to give away contemporary bird sculptures designed and made by local artist Matt Sewell as part of wagamama’s art and eat campaign, a project designed to create a unique showcase for some of the UK’s most exciting emerging artists.
The lucky first prize winner will win all four wooden painted models in bright eye catching blues, yellows, oranges and reds, created by Sewell for the wagamama installation which flew into the Printworks restaurant last Autumn.
As well as the art work, there is also £50 wagamama vouchers to be won for both the winner and a lucky runner up to enjoy some tasty noodles, a fresh salad or some delicious side dishes. Matt Sewell’s work is the perfect combination of rural and psychedelic.
The Manchester based artist has also designed illustrations for the Guardian and the Observer. His creation for wagamama ‘art and eat’ included giant murals on the wall of the restaurant and featured the miniature birds in the display cabinet, which proved a huge hit in the Printworks.
For more information on the designer follow him at www.twitter.com/sewellspotnjot
I will be exhibiting giclee prints of the book artwork through-out the whole of May in Rough Trade East. There will be a small launch on Saturday morning May the 5th from 11am. With watercolour bird painting classes and a special Birdsong quiz with Cheryl Tipp from The British Library.
Many thanks to Sambrook’s Brewery with their support for these exhibitions.
Available cheep cheep (£6.80 at the time of typing) from Amazon here
Signed and drawn in copies are available in my shop now.
If you have a special request for a dedication or a particular bird drawn in there please email me.
I would like to say more about the book myself but soem lovely person did a great job in an Amazon review for me… Thanks Jennywren!!
This is a beautiful little book that perfectly captures and brings alive the characters of 52 of our most familiar feathered friends through quirky, creative but very well-observed watercolours accompanied by amusingly written paragraphs celebrating the antics and habits of our garden birds.
Please be aware that this is not intended to be an identification guide or a technical bird book – it is more of a loving creative tribute written and painted by an artist / bird enthusiast who is clearly enchanted by the everyday encounters with birds as much as the less usual sightings, and wants to share these little birdy moments that brighten up everyday life. It’s not a long read, but isn’t meant to be – it began life as a weekly highlight on a blog before being collected for publishing, however once read it continues to be a book to dip into at any time and enjoy the little snapshots of bird characters. Although pocket-sized, it’s a perfect art coffee table book too, my copy has pride of place!
All in all, it’s a lovely gift book for anyone who is into illustration, nature, birds, art or any of Matt Sewell’s other work, and will hopefully delight and amuse non-birdy-aware people as much as those who are more ornithologically inclined. I also hope that it’ll get people noticing the everyday birds around them more and that can only be a good thing for their conservation.
These Crown paint press ads that i worked on have been running in a lot of British national newspapers and home magazines for a few weeks now. I painted all of them and designed the words on the ‘male’ ad and half of the ‘neutral’ but Steph Baxter designed the words for the ‘female’ ad and half of the ‘neutral’ ones and i think they all turned out rather well. Really nice to be working again with BJL Ad Agency and Tim Ainsworth up in Manchester
I am honoured to reveal the three new wooden birds exclusive to the V&A Shop inspired by the Museum’s collection.
Playing on Sewell’s recent projects concerning British bird watching and his
personal passion for it, he was drawn to the V&A archives. Here he took inspiration
from William Morris’s furnishing textile Strawberry Thief, 1883 housed in the
textile collection, based on the infamous thrushes which frequently stole
strawberries from the kitchen garden of Morris’s countryside home. Little Owl and
Nuthatch were both spotted in the earliest hand coloured book of English birds,
The Natural History of Birds by Eleazar Albin published between 1731–8. Found in
the National Art Library, the title comprises 306 hand coloured etchings divided
into three volumes.
Each bird is handmade and painted by Sewell from reclaimed wood and FSC
accredited pine and comes in a hand printed nesting box customized for the V&A.
Available only at the V&A Shop or online here, here and a thieving thrush here
Definitely one of the most dashingly handsome of the garden visitors, he can easily give his cousin the Robin a run for his money. They are very much cut from the same cloth, but the Redstart ain’t half as bossy or nosey as the Robin. He just darts about singing with his lady-friend, flicking his beautiful orange tail. And what a lady she is, my word, by far the prettiest of all the female little birds. Spending any amount of time gazing upon this fair maiden is worth its weight in gold.
I have selected the tracks for the 10th in Caught By The Rivers series of ‘Birdsongs’ compilations. The download link will be sent out on Friday’s newsletter. To receive it make sure you’re signed up to their mailing list.
This was out a while back but thought i’d post up my interview as some people might wanna read my views on graffiti, street art and life in general. The mag is still available from here , it smells nice.
It’s almost as if they shouldn’t belong to the Crow family; sociable and generally vegetarian, Rooks are just out for a laugh really. With a clownish, daft face and a shaggy, dishevelled appearance, these croakers aren’t out to cause mischief like their cousins. In fact, when not in their rookery, they spend most of their time in fields not being scared by scarecrows (maybe if all the farmers got together and changed the name to ‘scarerooks’, that would work better). But farmers should just leave them alone as they eat as many pests and crop-eating bugs as they do seeds. Good old Rooks.
Like a faded Blue Tit who’s pulled his head out of a bottle of coal dust rather than milk, it’s easy to distinguish him from his brighter Titmouse cousins. Like Goldfinches the Coal Tit prefers to spend his time in great flocks, flitting between woodland, gardens and orchards, making for a gorgeous sight to behold – lucky us.
From the makers of Anorak comes Cagoule. I was honoured to have a selection of illustrations from my book to be featured in issue 1. Its an amazing magazine. Big thanks again to the lovely folks at Present Joys.