One of the best things about being a designer is being able to connect with and collaborate with other creatives in realms very much 'adjacent' to interiors! One such creative who caught my eye on Instagram (which I seem to be spending increasing amounts of time on over lockdown....) is SJ Axelby.
She trained as a textile designer and has always loved painting in watercolour, creating expressive vignettes of botanicals and abstractions. We decided to see how she could turn her hand to illustrating some Susi Bellamy interiors - and I love the results!
SJ's preference for organic shapes and fluidity felt like a natural match for my designs. The colours come through the paint beautifully. SJ herself is from a long line of artists - her grandfather worked in the restoration of antiques, and her mother followed in his footsteps. Perhaps it was growing up around these paintings, the messy sinks and the shelves overflowing with ceramics and trinkets that continues to inspire her work to this day?
Over lockdown, SJ has been doing a #SketchADay challenge to keep her artistic impulses satisfied - I'm thinking I might try the same but with collage... If you're looking for some escapism, I would suggest scrolling through her portfolio of work. Each painting captures a quirky little scene: while they may not be familiar locales, they bring a sense of comfort and serenity. Something we are all craving right now.
Detail of Orange Feathered Oblong
Thrilled to collaborate with Susi, I love her bold and contemporary use of colour that fits well with my painterly style. Just a joy to paint!