White on Viridian Sea Monster swim hat

Springtime Sea Monsters!

Soon it will be spring and the water will warm up. Yes it will. And so it occurred to me that my snowflake / Swimflakes swimming hat will be right out of season. With this in mind I thought I would design a more spring-like hat. Something green, with growing things. That was the plan… but it’s funny how things come out sometimes. Somehow what the design turned into was Sea Monsters, frolicking with an overabundance of springlike joy, no doubt. I am going to get these hats printed, and, like the ‘Swimflakes’ ones (which are now sold out but…

detail of gold leaf fragments

‘Cecily’, against Vobster Green

I have been painting… with real paint! This is the first swimmer painting that hasn’t been digital, but it’s been something I’ve been pondering for a while, whether to plunge into watercolour with the swimmers. So this isn’t a commission, just an experiment of my own. Actually it’s mostly gouache (watercolour with ‘body’, which makes it more opaque, in theory, though the actual pigments I am using here are mostly very translucent), and embellished with gold leaf. The idea of using gold leaf where the water sparkled was irresistible, but I think it did a little over-embellishing at the start…

‘Swimflakes’ swimming hats

I do love it when a piece of work turns out to be multi-purpose! And I also love it when ideas come together that never would have, had it not been for a complex journey of other ideas. Devils drinking tea in Hell is one of those examples, and another one is my new ‘Swimflakes’ swimming hats. Sprung from ponderings on what sort of wrapping paper would appeal to swimmers at Christmas because, frankly, I know a lot of swimmers and that in itself comes from my love of swimming outside, even when it is freezing. The hats, when I…

Vobster Quay's Glow Swim

The Glow Swim

Now I know, because I see the stats, that my sketchbook blog Cat-of-the-Day doesn’t get many views, and that’s a shame because this site, which gets a lot more views, has largely been about sales and exhibitions lately, and hardly any new art work… So, apologies if you are following both blogs, but I think I’m going to pop the occasional CotD sketch over here, too, so you know I do get a bit of work done, occasionally 😉 This is inspired by the unique and surreal Vobster Quay Glow Swim – 80 glowsticked heads, bobbing in a lake, everyone…

The Alternative Flower Fairies, a calendar for 1027

Two new calendars for 2017

My small and sometimes tidy studio is once more full of boxes: not only are there lots of Somerset Arts Week brochures ready to be distributed, I also have a few hundred calendars. So if you’d like to do your Christmas shopping early, now’s the time… An experiment last year more to please myself than anything – a calendar I produced of my growing collection of Swimming Drawings – turned out to be a runaway success. So this year I have produced a new one with the latest pick of swimming drawings. These include drawings of long summer swims in…

Design for Chillswim coniston end-to-end swim t-shirt

Coniston End-to-end 2016: the t-shirt

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, quietly pleased with myself: I was asked to do the back of the t-shirt design for Chillswim’s Coniston end-to-end swim – a lovely swim of about 5.25 miles, the full length of lake Coniston in Cumbria. I swam it last year and I’m swimming it again this year, only the difference is this time I don’t intend to wear a wetsuit. And so you can imagine I was a just a bit excited to be asked to create the design for the back of the t-shirt. The blue-background / orange tow-floats…

Clare & Friends, swimming in Portugal

Commissioned swimming portrait: Clara & friends

My swimming drawings – over on my Cat-of-the-day website – have led to a number of ‘swimming portraits that I’ve been asked to do – here is another one, Clara & Friends, in Portugal – a reminder of many happy swims together. This is a digital drawing, like (so far) all the swimming drawings. This was an entertaining drawing to do, but tricky: involving a certain amount of cheating with perspective. Fortunately, unlike the camera, the pencil, or stylus, can lie quite effectively. I have a little collection of swimming commissions here: https://nancyfarmer.wordpress.com/portfolio/swimming-commissions/ And meanwhile, my solo exhibition continues –…

Judith in The Battle of of Carlingford Lough, 2015

The Battle of Carlingford Lough

A commission I finished a few weeks ago: Judith Campbell emerging triumphant from “The Battle of of Carlingford Lough”. This was fun to draw, quite a bit more fun than the swim looks like it was at the time, though of course I imagine it’s fun to remember it now. An 8.5k swim worthy of immortalizing in a drawing! This is a digital drawing, drawn on a tablet, like most of my swimming drawings. If you haven’t seen these before – most of them reside in my other blog, the confusingly named Cat-of-the-Day.)

‘Hidden Depths’ at the Curzon Cinema, Clevedon, July 2016

An exhibition of art inspired by The Marine Lake at Clevedon I love the Marine Lake, it’s very special, and it’s the place where I first seriously got into open water swimming. From this sprang a spontaneous series of drawings about the nature of swimming outside, and so I’m delighted to have been asked to display some of these as part of an exhibition celebrating the Marine Lake. I’ve swum there for hours in the summer, and braved its icy waters in the winter; the lake and its visitors have been an engaging year-round subject. I shall be exhibiting alongside…

'Waterbabies' - digital drawing


I have been slacking, I admit, in updating my website lately, but this is because I have been actually getting on with some artwork. So it’s about time I showed you a picture or two. Here is a commission I did recently – one of a growing number of digital drawings I have done for people because they have seen my swimming drawings and asked me to draw them, or in this case, their daughters. Sometimes these commemorate certain events, in this casethe youngest daughter’s first experience of open water.