We love Lucy
A cottage garden and mini menagerie in the heart of Norfolk inspired magic and sparkle for an international high street store, writes ROWAN MANTELL
We meet artist Lucy Loveheart
TREES SHIMMER with jewel-like flowers and fruit, unicorns with gold and silver striped horns prance through meadows, skies are sprinkled with delicate stars, and tiny joyful people and birds float in enchanted landscapes.
Norfolk artist Lucy Loveheart has long been loved by the people who know her work from the children’s books she has illustrated and the paintings, posters, fabrics, ceramics and cards she creates.
Her fairytale style, creating naïve but exquisitely detailed dream-like palaces and gardens, complete with glitter and stickers, has won her commissions to produce artwork for Kew Gardens in London, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, and for organisations ranging from the Norfolk-based Fairyland Trust to Amnesty International.
Lucy arrived in Norfolk to study at the school of art, now Norwich University of the Arts, and after continuing to hone her talent at the Royal College of Art in London, returned to live and work in Wood Dalling, near Reepham.
It is here that she painted her beautiful cottage garden, which will now be seen by people all over the country as the inspiration for a series of pictures called Enchanted
Garden, and new ranges of Marks & Spencer products, launched this month. Lucy’s pictures of the garden feature on candles, bath and shower treats, wash-bags and tins, and her orchard, herb gardens and flowers have inspired new fragrances including pippin and pear, lavender and sage and rose petal and lily. For Christmas, her illustrations have even more sparkle, and the products are infused with festive scents including orange, clove and cardamom.
“Our garden surrounds the studio and our home, which is nestled in the heart of the country, down a long twisting lane, miles from anywhere,” said Lucy. “I had always dreamt of creating an arboreal garden with magical little rooms and secret passageways. However when we first moved here, our garden consisted of three open fields. A considerable amount of work was needed to make the dream come true. Patrick, my husband, immediately planted over 200 trees. For us the trees have become the stars of the show. For many years they were stumpy little bushes, but after a while, they evolved into fully grown trees and he started to make little paths and walkways between within them. It has been a long
Artist Lucy Loveheart