Sunday, 9 June 2019

Renaming a ship .. "The Blue Lady" could be renamed " La Semeuse Bleue"

La Semeuse - Stamp Collage by Rachel Markwick 
A few years ago I made a stamp collage ship using the iconic French stamp called "La Semeuse" or in English, "The Sower".  I used them to make the sails and my original vessel duly sailed off to a new home in Bologna, Italy.  Limited edition Prints are also available! 

  Subsequently, with a dearth of Blue "La Semeuse" stamps in my stock, a new ship emerged and was named "The Blue Lady". 
The Blue Lady - Stamp Collage by Rachel Markwick 
 She also found a new home in West Virginia, USA.  I have prints available, a framed version of which is currently on show in the National Waterways Museum, in Gloucester Docks.  She still goes by the name of The Blue Lady, but new owners of ships often rename them, so who knows, perhaps she could become "La Semeuse Bleue".

See more ships on my website

Friday, 7 June 2019

Flags of many nations - all made from stamps

We all love flags!  

  Here are a few which have been made up into canvas prints in a variety of sizes and have gone  as far away as Australia,New Zealand, USA,Canada and Japan, as well as closer to home!   Shown here are my LOVE version of the Union Jack,
Welsh flag, Stars and Stripes (USA),
Australian flag, Swiss flag and German flag, all made from the stamps of each country.

The largest I've had made was a Union Jack  100 x 60 cms but generally they are approximately 30 x 40 cms according to the format of the flag itself.They can also be produced as giclee prints. 

These are just a few of many I've made from stamps - others can be seen on    and I'm always happy to discuss commissions for more unusual flags such as one made in the colours of the Ugandan flag, including Ugandan stamps but also other themes from countries and subjects associated with the recipient. Possibilities are endless .. just ask! 

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Unframed Prints available

Voyages of Discovery, my exhibition of Stamp Collages at the National Waterways Museum continues on until September, and there has already  been a lot of interest in the ships which are the subjects of most of the pictures.on show.
Staff and visitors at the exhibition in the National Waterways Museum May 2019
  You can read the ships' stories on previous blog posts, and information is also available in the museum display.  During the summer months the museum is open every day from 10 - 5.
Pictures can  be supplied as unframed prints, and in various sizes. Print quality is excellent and colour is guaranteed fast for 70 years + although I may not be around by then to check on it!! Take a look at my website  to see all the pictures.   

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Tall Ships and tall stories at the Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester Docks this week-end

This week-end will see  magnificent tall ships sailing into Gloucester Docks for the bi-annual Tall Ships Festival.  Several have inspired stamp collages in past years, and I have 20 pictures on display now until September in the National Waterways Museum on the dockside, including a few or the  vessels that were here last time.  I'll be visiting the festival to see some newcomers, take some photos and hopefully eventually make some more pictures. La Malouine is back again this year, and features in one of my collages. I'm looking forward to seeing the Vilma, and the Grayhound as well as regular visitor the Matthew!

As well as the pictures on display on Floor No 2 of the National Waterways museum, you can read stories about the ships and other pictures, from previous blog posts, explaining how they came about, inspiration and interesting facts the ships and the stamps. I've also compiled two new  Stamp Search Quizzes for children( and adults).These have always gone down well in my own Open Studio.
This week-end, the entrance fee to the Tall Ships Festival also includes free entry to the National Waterways Museum and the tall ships visiting! 

Saturday, 18 May 2019

History on the High Street - Post Boxes

Since visiting the Postal Museum in London in April, I've taken more notice of the post boxes I come across on local walks. Several  special ones  are on display in the museum,  some with stories to tell and not all are red!
In my home town of Stroud on a  circular morning walk of about 3 miles, I came across no less than 6 post boxes and two were from the Victorian era, both of a slightly different design.   And there is a beautiful example of another Victorian Post Box, still in use,  right in front of the National Waterways Museum, where my latest  stamp collage exhibition is now on until 30th September of Floor No 2.
Post boxes also appear on stamps and not surprisingly I have used some in  collages, such as the Christmas robin design, which has a border of  Christmas postbox stamps.

There are still many post boxes dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria, as well as subsequent monarchs, and some are rarer than others. The postal museum has information about all these and trails leading to and from the museum also point out interesting post boxes such as the one near Holborn which is the only "Two Monarch" Postbox in the country as it has the ciphers of both Queen Victoria, and Edward VII on it.   Warning: looking for  post boxes can be addictive!


Monday, 13 May 2019

La Malouine will visit Gloucester Tall Ships festival as well as being in one of my stamp collages!

I'm pleased to see that La Malouine is returning this year to the Tall Ships Festival from 24th May!

She was the subject of one of my stamp  collages which will be on show in the Waterways Museum from Thursday 16th May along with many others on a maritime theme. Some are originals, some prints and cards will also be available to buy from the museum shop.

There is an admission charge to the Waterways museum but it does allow you to return as often as you like for a whole year and there's so much to see!  Check opening times for full details and costs. 

Sunday, 12 May 2019

England Winners 1966 .. and the Postal Museum is a Winner too!!

Union Jack stamp collage, including the 1966 4d World cup England Winners stamp 

On a recent trip to London, I visited the Postal Museum which was opened on 13th June 2017 by Princess Anne.   Entrance tickets are valid for a year, so I  hope to return again soon  to see what I  missed due to time constraints. Everyone was obviously enjoying the many imaginative displays  and the opportunity to go on the fabulous Mail Rail train under the the City.

The Mail Rail, which carried millions of letters every day across London opened in 1927, but closed in 2003.  Run by staff including former postal and railway workers  it makes for a great way to understand the workings of the system with  stops during   the journey for video presentations on the walls of the platforms where the trains would had their mail bags offloaded  for onward delivery.

Back in the museum itself, displays  took us back way beyond the issue of the Penny Black in 1840 to a time of horse drawn Mail Coaches when  the "postmen" carried pistols to defend themselves against Highwaymen. A  coach was  was once also attacked by an escaped lion!
Nostalgia also kicked in with the story of the issue of the World Cup Stamps in 1966, and the issue of the ENGLAND WINNERS  4d stamp after the winning goal was scored in the final on 30th July!
As the daughter of a stamp dealer,  I found the story particularly poignant, as were various other coincidences during my visit.  The guide  told me  that the stamps were first  released for sale at Trafalgar square post office at midnight on 18th August 1966.  I have several still .. and one appears on a Union Jack Stamp collage I created some time ago .  (Prints available to order).   The coincidences I refer to are that my dad's birthday was 13th June, and he was born in 1927 .. and he was there buying those stamps on 26th August 1966, sensing that they would make a good investment.  Maybe they weren't a great investment financially, as you can pick them up now for very little, but for me it is a great story to remember.I know my dad would  certainly have loved the Postal Museum, and with his knowledge of stamps and history,  would have been a great guide!