My story

Clients: Patagonia, George Fisher, Macys, Libertine, Zulilly, Walmart, BBC, Leisure Painter Magazine.
Licensed: Art Licensing Inc.

I am a British Artist and Illustrator. Liverpool born and living in a canal side cottage in West Yorkshire with my two dogs, Sam & Ellie and two cats, Milly & Monty. I have lived in the hamlet of Hawksclough – very apt considering my love for birds, in Mytholmroyd (home of poet laureate, Ted Hughes) for several years and I have loved every creative moment. The studio is above the house, in a loft conversion, I have two skylight windows which are permanently open so I can hear the wildlife around me, the scuttle of birds along the rooftop and see the blue skies filled with tree branches. The Yorkshire countryside does have a wealth of animal and bird life that is a constant inspiration for my work as well as the sparrows that live in the bush at the bottom of my garden. When I am not painting, you will find me; at the allotment; walking in the hills with the dogs or in France.

For the past 33 years, since training in Liverpool Art College, I have continued my art practice, as well as working professionally within the arts, in both publication and re-painting. Working in commercial areas such as gifts, jewellery, pottery & editorial and Licensed on products, Worldwide. In 2014 the Tour de France came through the village and I created several illustrations to coincide with the big event, this gave my work large exposure World-wide and led me to work on more illustrative pieces on my favourite subject, nature and birds. The past couple of years, I have ran workshops for watercolour enthusiasts and beginners, from my own home however, my home was flooded in 2016 so I made the decision of ending the courses but the future is looking bright.

Over recent months, I have written articles for Leisure Painter Magazine about my painting processes and demonstrations. More recently I have been working on larger scale projects for Patagonia, creating their window illustrations and working alongside the very creative visual merchandiser, Sue Storer who is always a joy to work with. I have produced two large maps of my area, Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale, created for the community, which you can see in the village and the surrounding areas both as large banners and soon to be brochures. I love working on larger scale projects like this as I find it an enjoyable creative challenge. You can see me painting the George Fisher window in Keswick, here: michellecampbellart.com/projects

I primarily work in watercolour, ink pen and gouache with a dabble of pastel pencils on Saunders Waterford watercolour paper from St Cuthberts Mill.

Each day, I post a ‘Tweet of the day’ on twitter – a different bird everyday. You can see my latest news over on my blog.

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Maps

I have designed two maps for the community; Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale. VBA asked me if they can print a large version of the Mytholmroyd map so they can hang it up in the village, while work is being done to make the village flood free. I have worked with the Co-operative and the Mytholmroyd map has been reproduced as a leaflet which is distributed in the village store.

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Hare and Hounds Country Inn

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The Hare and Hounds Country Inn is located on Lane Ends, Wadsworth HX7 8TN above Hebden Bridge. Known locally as the Lane Ends, the inn has been serving fine ales for over 150 years.

While searching for a house in the area, I chose to stay here, one because it is dog friendly and two, they make a scrumptious vegetarian breakfast. The Hare and Hounds is located on the edge of the moors, each room has a view of magnificent scenery across the Pennines, the quietness and abundance of wildlife makes you feel you are part of a Bronte’ story.

During my stay, venturing out very early with the dogs was a must, I would walk over the moors to watch the sunrise, before exploring Wadsworth on foot. After a home-cooked dinner (from the menu) I would sit on the large terrace overlooking the valley to watch the sunset, while listening to the chickens (the girls) and rare breed pigs which you can see from the side of the terrace before retiring indoors to listen to the landlord, David’s jokes and varied choice of great music.

The walls of the Inn are decorated with paintings, photographs and prints by local artists and in 2015 I was asked to display my paintings which I continue to sell on a regular basis, giving a percentage of the proceeds to local charities, particularly Calder Valley Search and Rescue.

In late December 2016 the Inn arranged a charity evening to raise money for flood relief after the Boxing Day floods which devastated the Calder Valley. An auction was held of paintings and photographs which were donated by local people, a raffle and live music from Lee Southall (formerly of Liverpool based band The Coral), raising a whopping £3002.

For me, the Inn is the perfect place to stay, built 900 feet above sea level on the edge of the Calderdale Way, five bedrooms to choose from (all en suite and includes free wi-fi) and with panoramic views from every window, open fires, serving Timothy Taylor ales, delicious home-cooked food, easy access to local attractions, including an easy walk into Hebden Bridge, the home of independent retailers, Mytholmroyd (where I live) the birthplace of Ted Hughes, Heptonstall where Sylvia Plath is buried, one mile to the route of the 2014 Tour de France and a 20 minute drive to Haworth, home of the Bronte’ sisters, excellent rail links to Leeds, Manchester and York and a bus service that will drop you off outside, what more could you ask for.

The owners, Jeanette and David are a welcoming couple, making you feel at home as soon as you walk through the door.

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Patagonia

I am working with Patagonia, illustrating their shop windows, including the George Fisher window in Keswick.

For each window, I am given a brief, I start with an idea (of course) and a hand drawn sketch, then the sketch is scanned and I add touches in photoshop which is then emailed over to Patagonia for approval, ocassionnally there will be some editing involved until we agree on the design.

When the design has been agreed, I travel to the destination (normally by public transport, my preferred way of travelling because I love the quirky characters you meet along the way – NOT the screaming kids though!) along with my rucksack full of chalk pens, paints, brushes, rollers and clothes of course, depending on the window size and complexity of the design it can take up to three days to complete. The George Fisher shop in Keswick normally takes me two and half days. I have worked alongside Visual merchandiser, Sue Storer who is wonderful and funny to work with oh and the team at Fisher’s, they are all young, lively and fun to be around, which always makes the job easier.

After three days away I come home and collapse!
Each window is hand painted using Zig Posterman chalk pens and Winsor & Newton acrylics.

You can see me live painting by clicking here. The timelapse video was made by the wonderful and lovely, Tony Stephenson.

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