Emma Howell

Upcoming Work: Project Crete

Emma Howell
29 August, 2017

Explorations in Studio


Can you believe that summer is almost over? The year anniversary of my Dad’s death is looming, the mornings are darker and cooler, and the leaves are just starting to think about changing their colours. Are you feeling disheartened about the end of summer, or are you super ready and excited for autumn?

Despite the fact that I think this year’s summer has gone by really quickly, I’m actually feeling pretty cool about it. Perhaps I feel this way because I have a holiday on the horizon..

At the end of September, my family and I are off for a long break to Crete, Greece. Naturally, I’m going to take full advantage out of this and lug my art supplies with me to do some serious fieldwork.

Over the last few weeks, you may have seen on my Instagram that I’ve been doing some extensive research and explorations of colour, marks and compositions. This is all in preparation for a new collection aiming to be released early in 2018 (most likely a bit later because there is a lot going on). It feels so invigorating to be busy- does that sound strange? I feel more energetic, more worthy and more alive. Those past months of nothingness have made me really appreciate being busy and having a mind that’s focused and on the ball 24/7.

So, all of this busyness in the studio is now going to transfer over to Crete in September, to make “Project Crete”.



This small project will be a stepping stone towards the evolution and development of the new collection (2018). It will be all about interpreting, gathering, documenting and experimenting. Across the 14 days, 14 artworks on spiral bound paper will be given life (and most likely a sketchbook of scribbles and a notebook of short essays). The blank paper will act as a sponge, soaking up the day just past- it’s colours, textures, sounds, smells and conversations.  After the 14 days, the works will represent adventures, meditation and creativity experienced in the beautiful Island of Crete. Again, like the Happy Santorini collection, this project will be dedicated to mental health awareness because as always, creating artwork is one of the many things I do to keep my mind happy.

Ideas and research



At the moment, there has been a lot of colour going on in my studio. I’ve been wanting to learn more about colour and get to know how and why we all see them differently. Why is it that the colour orange is linked to humour and also danger? and why is it that the colour green is known to represent envy/greed and also growth/vitality? It’s made me want to get in tune with the way I see colours, how they make me feel and which waves of the visual spectrum I am attracted/not attracted to. So, I’ve mixed up 14 recipes of my own colours, named them, written about them and documented them. They’re now coming with me to Crete.



  • Fluid acrylics, 30ml (variety of colours- don’t go mad)
  • Acrylic medium
  • Plastic jar for water- thanks to Pip and Nut
  • Daler Rowney spiral bound A5 paper
  • Soft pastels (limited colours)
  • Tin of pencils
  • Paintbrushes (variety of sizes)
  • A palette knife
  • 2 blank small sketchbooks
  • 1 blank small notebook
  • Fine liners and biros
  • SLR (and memory card)
  • Orange notebook full of secrets



I’m a lot more focused and energetic in the morning. So, after a quick workout, I’ll then get to work on the artwork that will reflect the day before. Who knows how long each artwork will take- I usually like to take my time working in layers with my works but obviously, I’m on holiday and intend to go out and about with my family. I also want to soak up the environment, the colours, the culture and the sounds- so, I need time for that! You’ll be able to follow along with my adventures in Crete on my Instagram. Please be aware that the artwork created will not be released until I return. I seriously need a holiday and my business brain needs to switch off, otherwise it will burn out!

The originals and prints of the “Project Crete” artworks will be available at my online store mid-October. 



Once our time in Crete comes to an end and all 14 artworks are complete, they will be coming back to my studio with me to be assessed. These works will then lead into further development of the new collection. If I’m super organised before we leave, my studio space and supplies will be all set up and ready for me to crack on with the new works straight away. Stay tuned because things are going to get interesting..


Thank you for reading. As always, if you’d like to get in touch, please message me here.




A note on inauthenticity and plagiarism-  I am trying to be as private as possible at the moment to protect my practice.  I’ve started to realise that when us artists show the ins and outs of our way of working and share all our ideas with our audiences on Instagram, some aspects of plagiarism can occur. Photographs of our works in progress or pages in our notebooks are not academic essays that are going to be screened and checked for plagiarism, so it’s easy for anybody to replicate ideas. I mean, sure- be inspired by others and experiment with different mediums seen on feeds, but when it comes to actually replicating words and artworks, surely it’s pushing the boundaries a bit too much? (What do you think?- let me know here). At the end of the day, there isn’t really much we can do but to just keep our heads down and focus on our own goals.