Lewes Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night has always been hugely popular in Lewes. I have memories of going as a girl and wearing layers of clothing and hanging around with friends and family in the freezing cold. In recent years it’s certainly got alot warmer (and wetter) with more and more people visiting and taking part in the processions. If I can, I still love going along. It’s a great spectacle! Wonderful costumes, fireworks and atmosphere. A few years ago I shared a studio at Pastorale Antiques in the Cliffe. I was on the first floor so on November 5th I had a good view of Cliffe Bonfire Society assembling before joining the main procession. I missed Bonfire last year as I was in the Netherlands and  was reminiscing a little and ended up doing a couple of sketches. Then thought one of the drawings could work well as a linocut. So here it is! It’s printed on beautiful japanese paper which has a warm tone to it so it’s in keeping with the theme.

The print will be included in ‘FIRE! Art inspired by Bonfire Night’ an exhibition at Keizer Frames, Lewes, East Sussex from 20th October until 5th November. Please do visit if you’re in the neighbourhood. The print is also available from my website. Please email: rachel@rachelclarkart.com if interested.


Lewes Artwave

I will be taking part in Lewes Art Wave again this year! Please come along to venue 93 to see a selection of framed and unframed limited edition prints and drawings as well as notebooks, cards and my new screen printed ‘fishing boat’ tea towel (see below). Tea, coffee and cake will also be served.
Show dates:
Sat 18th, Sun 19th August
Sat 25th, Sun 26th August
Sat 1st and Sun 2nd September
Opening times:
10:30am – 4pm
(Closed Bank Holiday Monday 27th August)
I am at venue 93 on page 48 of the Artwave brochure which can be downloaded below or picked up at the Tourist office in Lewes (and other popular locations around town).

Summer time sketching

The weather has been amazing and so like many people I’ve been spending my spare time sitting by the pool and going to the seaside. There can be draw backs to sitting on a crowded beach but there are advantages too – lots of people to draw! Dog walkers, people chatting and children playing to name a few. I travelled light and used colour pencils.

New ‘Fishing boat and gulls’ tea towels

I have produced a new design ‘Fishing boat and gulls’ inspired by my drawings made on location at Hastings beach. My design has been hand screen printed in two colours onto 100% cotton tea towels. I’m really pleased with the quality of the cotton and the print. The tea towel measures 48cm x 78cm and there is also a handy loop for hanging.

If you’re interested in purchasing, please visit the Jerwood gallery shop in Hastings and/or The Avocet gallery in Rye.

Alternatively please follow the link here or email me.




Pelham House exhibition

I will be exhibiting a selection of limited edition prints at Pelham House bar gallery, Lewes. There will be framed prints on show as well as unframed prints and cards in the reception area. You are very welcome to come along.

The exhibition runs from Monday 18th December 2017 until Tuesday 23rd January 2018
Open every day: 9am – 9pm

The exhibition is free and there is full disabled access. 

Venue address and directions:
Pelham House, St Andrews Lane, Lewes BN7 1UW, UK

Any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:
Email: rachel@rachelclarkart.com

Lewes Artwave

I’m taking part in Lewes Artwave this year. You’re very welcome to visit to see my limited edition prints, paintings and drawings. There will also be a selection of cards and new notebooks hot off the press! Tea, coffee and cake will be served in the garden (weather permitting).  Lovely to get a mention on page 47 of the August edition of Viva Lewes. Artwave opens on Saturday (19th August) and takes place at the weekends until 3rd September.

For more information please follow this link:



Along with many local artists, I will also be taking part in Artist United at Fitzroy House, Lewes. Opens on Friday 18th August and runs until Sunday 20th with almost half of proceeds going to Lewes Football club.


Drawing in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city with so much to offer. Following a visit to the Jean Dubuffet exhibition at the Stedlijk museum I sat in the Rijks museum garden. The Rijks building is beautiful and houses an amazing collection of paintings including (my favourites) The Nightwatch by Rembrandt (1642) and The Little Street by Vermeer (1658). I enjoyed the sun and watched passersby and tried to capture the building and atmosphere in my A3 drawing pad.

I then walked around aimlessly on the look out for a good spot. I like to find places that have a good vantage point so I can look down and draw. I do ask bar/cafe owners/ security at buildings sometimes if I can draw. In the Netherlands people don’t mince their words so I have had a few unfriendly ‘no’s however I’ve met many very friendly people who are happy to let me draw. One such person gave me access to the university library on the first floor overlooking the Spui. I drew the buildings, trams and tourists below trying not to rustle my bag and hoped my ink pens didn’t squeak too much.

Afterwards followed the canal and sketched the distinctive gabled houses. My pens were running out. But I liked the effect.

Germany – Saxony

I spent two weeks in Germany with family and had a wonderful time. The sun shone throughout the holiday (with the exception of one sudden downpour) We rented accommodation on campsites. The first was just outside Dresden so we travelled around the area. Highlights included Moritzburg with it’s beautiful fairytale castle. It was once a hunting lodge and there are many references. So many stags heads on the walls.  I did a number of drawings changing view points and perspective. Initially I sketched in my small moleskin and then got bigger. I was using pastels and watercolour and marker pens.

2 km down the road is the stunning Pheasant House. When I arrived it was late afternoon and it was closed (hence the closed shutters). Still a very pretty pink castle and I really liked the sculptures in the gardens.  The castle was named after the surrounding Little Pheasant Garden.

Nearby is Saxony’s only lighthouse. It’s tiny!

Spent some time relaxing on the campsite. I don’t think I’d ever drawn a caravan til now. So many different trees: Pines, spruces, beech and oak.

On another occasion we visited Domburg. In the blazing heat I sketched the gardens and pretty castles. Very picturesque and lots of amazing roses.

Also had a day trip to Prague which was a two hour drive from where we were staying. Always wanted to visit since I saw INXS’s Never Tear Us Apart video. Loved Michael Hutchence! Twenty years later I made it there. Clearly so much has changed since then. Spent most of the time walking around the city to get a feel for the city. So beautiful.  Once we had a break and a beer I took the opportunity to do a couple of small sketches of Charles Bridge (Karelsbrug) which was heaving with tourists when we crossed it.

Viva Lewes

Really enjoyed illustrating and designing the new May edition of Viva Lewes. Always enjoy browsing through the magazine and it’s had many great covers over the years. I was asked to design a cover to coincide with the opening of the new Depot cinema in Lewes. I was slightly apprehensive as the cinema was a building site when I had last visited and I usually prefer drawing on location. However when Katie at Viva emailed me a few photos of the building site and a few architectural drawings  I felt more confident and responded immediately with a couple of roughs. I then worked up our favourite and created linocuts for the main image an colour. I worked bigger than the magazine format which made it slightly easier to cut the image. Then scanned the linocut and made a few tweaks in Photoshop and hey presto the new cover!


Amsterdam Skyline

I had a lovely day on Saturday. On a previous visit with friends and family I’d visited Nemo (the brilliant Children’s Science museum) and The Sky Lounge. On this occasion I returned alone with my sketch books in tow. The Sky Lounge is close to Amsterdam central station and has a great view across Amsterdam towards St Nicholas church. I ordered a coffee ( Not cheap at 7 euros 50 a pop although you did get a couple of sweet bites including a tiny macaroon for that!) It wasn’t busy so I could easily select a spot and sketched looking out towards the city. I had bought my larger A3 book on this occasion and so glad I did as I ran out of pages with my A4. It made me stretch myself more as I generally feel more comfortable with the smaller format. When there is so much to see I tried to be selective, using more gestural marks and washes to indicate buildings. I liked all the high rise buildings in contrast to the old ones. After the visit to the Sky Lounge I strolled over to Nemo. It had certainly got a lot warmer since I arrived. I’ve a museum card and it’s great. I wish we had something similar in the UK . Pay 60 euros and you get into most museums and galleries in the Netherlands. Sometimes this includes unexpected places such as botanical gardens. I sat on the third floor by a window, plugged myself into my iPod and looked out across the bridges towards the central library and the eye catching Chinese restaurant. I struggled a bit with the bridge tbh and started and stopped a few drawings before settling on a composition. A fun day and I’ll definitely be returning.