Working Together

Hawthorn Cottage Industry

Vindolanda morning thumbChristina's paintings provide the source for our prints and greetings cards. We scan and print at our home in Allendale, Northumberland. We both work on producing and selling the cards through a number of shops and galleries.

Our collaboration works best when we have thought things through together properly. Our business meetings take place on walks around the valley, or at places like Talkin Tarn (see below). It really helps to focus the mind.

Since the recession hit, we have diversified into other areas. Christina has given up card making so I now do that. Still, she likes to fold and put together card, envelope and cello bag, so the mundane assembly work never goes away. I do a lot more printing for other artists and designing of websites. It gives Christina more time to paint, which is what she loves most.

Painting Al Fresco

The Riding SpringAlmost all of Christina's painting is completed at the location, from life. We make multiple trips to enable her to finish a painting. For this work we have had a variety of vehicles, including a VW Caravelle, which had a fold down seat for sleeping on. With a folding table and plenty of sockets to plug in my laptop and kettle, we could both work outdoors. We used this to travel all over the North of England, including Northumberland, Cumbria, Tees Valley and North Yorkshire. We have been as far as Northern France around Amiens as well as down through Southern England and up to the Scottish Borders. Now we have a much smaller VW Up!, which does not have room for Christina to work inside. Nor does it have room for sleeping in.

If the weather is fine Christina paints beside the car or in a field. If it is raining Christina wears a hat, or works from her studio.

View From Studio

Recently, we have turned one of the bedrooms into a studio for Christina to paint in. Now she has somewhere to leave canvases to dry and to experiment with new ideas, before going out to paint. The room also has lovely views along the Allen Valley towards Catton and across the Riding up to the horizon. Sometimes it seems as if the whole house is turned over to our work, especially when we have open studios events. We feel very fortunate to enjoy what we have here.