Someone in the village saw my church lino cut and asked me to do a house portrait for Sarah’s birthday. Lino-cuts take forever, and we had a time constraint, so I thought about creating the lovely cut-feel by using rubber stamps for the windows and doing some naive flowers as one would have to do in a lino cut.
Sarah and her husband are renovating The Old Post Office in the village, and it was an ideal opportunity to try out my ideas of stylising a house, playing with the decorative features (that roof line and the brick patterns) and having fun with the plants.
Because it was a post office, serrated the edge to suggest a stamp, using my Japanese drill and making 2mm holes in a line, then cutting through them. I also like combining lettering and images and chose to do stencil lettering (a la Tom Philip c.1980) Stencil lettering is slightly industrial and is neutral with no affectations. It is a great design-feature because it is about the pattern that the letters make as well as the message. Calligraphy would have given a very different feel and not been edgy enough. My ‘modern’ Italic style is too sophisticated for this sort of work.
I think that working with buildings and lettering is a great combination. In a piece like this you can make all the flowers bloom at the same time (like the roses and the wisteria). My next mission is the East Hendred Village Shop and then perhaps the pre-school. We have such a wealth of lovely buildings in our Oxfordshire villages.
Congratulations Sarah on your birthday and hope that this will be a wonderful year, in which The Old Post Office reaches completion. Thank you for letting me show my drawing.