Tag Archives: Kate Burton

Hot Cross Bunny and the psychology of colour

IMG_3425 Hot Cross Bunny

“Hot Cross Bunny”, single continuous line drawing painted in psychological colours. Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

In my posts I have said a lot about colour sequence and, along the way, talked about selecting appropriate ranges of colours for my drawings.  Here are some more colour comments, leading to the one about the bunny above.

I might consider that a yellow, red and brown range would be good for my horse. These have a similarity to its actual colours and give a warm and friendly feel which reflect the horse’s nature and temperament.

Fig 1.  Copy of IMG_5869 Horse complete, furst sequ

Colour Sequence on Single Continuous Line Drawing of horse. Mick Burton, Continuous Line Blog.

A strong harsh colour seemed to be best for my roaring lion and simple black and white achieved this.  In the mid 1960’s when I drew the lion, Bridget Riley had been doing many black and white hard edge pictures, and I did several of my animals in this colouring.  I feel that this worked best for the lion amongst my drawings.

016. 1967-9. Lion. Alternate shading, black.

Lion, single continuous line drawing with alternate shading in black and white. Mick Burton, continuous line Artist.

With my “Flame on the Sun” painting, the sort of anti magnetism represented by complementary red and green hopefully reflect the explosive violence required.

Flame on the Sun. Spherical continuous line. Mick Burton, 1972

Flame on the Sun. Spherical single continuous line drawing, with complementary reds and greens expressing explosive violence.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

For a more subtle result – my still life of a radish, apple, mushroom and flower heads – I used water colours to help to show the floppy translucent nature of the radish leaves.


Radish, apple, mushroom and flower heads still life. Water colour used to show floppy, translucent nature of radish leaves. Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Sometimes I find that I can use almost actual colours.  Here is a commission drawing, with the continuous line running through both robins and the branch.  I  was asked to do only a hint of pink on the Robins’ chests.  This is fine.  However, I had to have a go at a full colour result for myself.  The perky nature of robins is reflected pretty well, I think, by these “near” natural colours.

IMG_3417 (1) Best. Pair of Robins.

Pair of Robins, single continuous line drawing. Full near natural colour. Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

My yellow, green and blue sequence of colours fits well for “Nibbles”, a friendly rabbit who likes nothing more than eating her greens.

IMG_3498 Nibbles

“Nibbles”, single continuous line drawing.  The rabbit has a suitable range of colours to reflect contentment just eating her greens. Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

However, for a rabbit drawn with exactly the same single continuous line as for Nibbles, but who has a completely different temperament  –  RED, BLACK and WHITE fits the bill.

This is, of course, “Hot Cross Bunny” who lurks at the top of this post.  A real, full on, “Psycho”.

The two Rabbit paintings and the Pair of Robins accompanied several other of my pictures at the Harrogate and Nidderdale Art Club exhibition a week ago at Ripley Town Hall.

At the Preview Evening various prizes are awarded.  One was the annual prize presented at the Spring Exhibition by Sir Thomas Ingleby, the club’s patron, for his own personal choice for the best picture on show.  This was won by Julie Buckley for her “Black Labrador”.  

Sir Thomas also mentioned other pictures which caught his eye.  He said that he liked all the paintings by Mick Burton, but never thought that he would ever consider buying one called “Hot Cross Bunny”.

Here is a bit of background to the Rabbit paintings.  Nibbles and Hot Cross Bunny are based upon my daughter Kate’s rabbits, Harriet and Clover.

Harriet was friendly and cuddly and Clover might have been better named “Cleaver”.  We kept them both in the garage – in separate cages.

When we bought Clover, a lop eared rabbit, the breeder was saying how friendly and harmless the baby rabbit was.  I asked if it was related to an adult lop eared which had just tried to bite my finger off and the answer was “Yes, it’s the granny”.  We still bought Clover!

She was alright at first but later became very aggressive.  Every time we opened her cage for any reason, she would bite viciously.  We also realised that some one else would have to take care of the rabbits when we were on holiday.

Strangely, I found that if I put a hand on Clover’s head as soon as I opened the door she would stay still and relaxed as long as I kept the hand there.  With the other hand I could top up food and water or clean out the cage.  This worked for all of us.  Fortunately, our neighbour was delighted to be able to do this too and things were fine when we were away.

After Clover died and I had buried her in the garden, Kate prepared a wooden plaque and nailed it to the fence “Here lies Clover Burton the rabbit”.

An interesting consequence of keeping the rabbits was that straw from the bale became piled on the floor of the garage.  One day the straw was seen to be moving and we feared that we had rats and so I was deputed to check it out.  I found a nest of baby hedgehogs.






“BB” by Kate Burton, Glasgow filmmaker, at London Short Film Festival.


Poster For ‘BB’ Written and Directed by Kate Burton. Poster Design by Jen Davies

My daughter Kate has recently attended the London Short Film Festival where her latest film “BB” is showing.  The film was also selected by the Glasgow Short Film Festival and the Inverness Film Festival, and was nominated for Channel 4 innovation in storytelling award 2015.

The action starts with a bee buzzing around, the synopsis  reads “When Anna discovers an unwelcome intruder in her home she enlists the help of her mild mannered neighbour.  Frank enters into Anna’s strange and chaotic world and finds himself well removed from his comfort zone.  Amusingly awkward social challenges follow and an unlikely relationship is formed.”

The film was shot in Kate’s previous flat in Glasgow, and in the local area.  She was determined to make the film before she left.

Joanne Thomson in the Kate's flat, featured in "BB", short film by Kate Burton, Glasgow, 2015..

Joanne Thomson in Kate’s flat, featured in “BB”, short film by Kate Burton, Glasgow filmmaker, 2015. Photograph by Helena Ohman

I asked Kate to give me the background to the film. 

“At the time I wrote the script I was living in a small one bedroom flat in a Victorian townhouse conversion in the west end of Glasgow.  The ceilings were high and there was a split level mezzanine where I worked and completed the script.

There was a huge rose garden opposite the flat and in the summer confused bumble bees would fly inside my flat and roll up into fuzzy balls on my window ledge.  This and many other elements of my surrounding environment fed into the content of the script.”

Kate Burton watches as David Liddell and Helen Ohman McCardle take a close up for "BB", a film by Kate Burton, Glasgow.

Kate Burton director, David Liddell cinematographer and Hannah Kelso assistant camera on the set of  “BB”, a film by Kate Burton, Glasgow. Photograph by Helena Ohman

“I knew the characters very well after a lengthy development time, but the story for the short came relatively fast and after two months writing, in between filmmaking jobs, I was finally ready to let other people read it.

‘BB’ is a character driven story capturing the awkwardness of first attractions.  It takes place mainly in one location.  I wanted the cinematography and style to reflect the simplicity of the story and I decided that I wanted to shoot in black and white to give a heightened feel, emphasising the unique lines of the interior space.  I was interested in long duration takes and capturing physical and theatrical comedy within the frame.  Some of my research references were Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ and ‘Manhattan’, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ by Blake Edwards and ‘Francis Ha’ by Noah Baumbach.”


Kate Burton, writer/director, on set of ‘BB’ 2015.

Ben Clifford and Joanne Thomson in "BB", as short film by Kate Burton, Glasgow, 2015.

Ben Clifford and Joanne Thomson in “BB”, by Kate Burton, Glasgow filmmaker, 2015. Still from film. 

One of Kate’s earlier films was “The Ice Plant”.  I thought that this was a strange title until she told me that it was about ice cubes and that her research led her to  Highland Ice Ltd, a factory in Aberdeen which makes ice cubes, which kindly agreed to let her film there.  She has a good photo of the film crew standing around in woolly hats and scarves.

ice plant still 04


The Ice Plant 2007.mov.01_02_35_04.Still010

Festivals showing “The Ice Plant” were – Edinburgh International, Glasgow International, Clemont Ferrand International, Seattle International Film Festival, preceding a feature presentation at the GFT Glasgow.

Current television period dramas “War and Peace” and “Dickensian”, featuring Tuppence Middleton, have reminded me of a film Kate made in 2010, “Ever Here I Be”, a 16 minute ‘Digicult’ Film, UK Film Council & Scottish Screen.  Shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival, Nashville International Film Festival, Palm Springs Short Film Festival , Portabello Film Festival London and Inverness Film Festival Scotland. 


Tuppence Middleton, Ever Here I Be, photograph by Janet Johnstone

Portfolio .056

Ever Here I Be Master - cow.mov.10_01_07_15.Still031

Ever Here I Be starred Tuppence Middleton and Christopher Simpson and was nominated for the Underwire ‘Best Female Character’ award 2012.

Kate was a talented artist from a very young age and it was a delight to watch her progress.

She went to Allerton Grange High School in Leeds, where Damien Hirst was a former pupil, and then completed a Foundation course in Fine Art at the Leeds College of Art and Design, where she increasingly studied film.  Kate then moved to Glasgow in 1999 to study Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art, during which she went on exchange to Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston to study filmmaking.

Kate graduated in 2002 and has written and directed a number of shorts, documentary and promotional films.  These include several commissions from Glasgow School of Art to make documentaries and promotional films for them.

Kate has a passion for film education and has taught filmmaking and screenwriting to children and young people for the past 8 years through Into Film, Project Ability Glasgow, Glasgow Film, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Glasgow Media Access Centre and Visible Fictions theatre Company.

Her website is  www.kateburtonfilm.com  which highlights all her main films.  You can watch many, such as “Mrs Pickering’s Music Cabinet”, 2015, where Helen McCook, Artisan Embroidery & Artist, has been requested to reproduce the lost textile screen to go into an original Rennie Mackintosh cabinet.

Kate is currently working on an outline for her first feature film script.


Association of Animal Artists Annual Competition Winner !

Mick Burton.  PANTHER (continuous line drawing).

I joined the Association of Animal Artists in November 2013 and have entered two of their exhibitions so far – at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire from December to February, which was for British animals and birds, and now their Annual Exhibition at Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham, Cheshire which runs from 11 April to 18 May 2014, for world wide species.

Julie Cross, the AAA Secretary and Exhibitions Co-ordinator has just informed me that my ‘Panther’ drawing has been awarded winner of the ‘Creative Creatures’ category in the annual competition.  She said that the judge, Andrew Beckett, liked all my work, particularly ‘Mayer’ the lion, but plumped for ‘Panther’ because of the apparent simplicity and pared-down nature of the image.

Joan and myself are delighted with the news.  Also my daughter Kate Burton, who is a professional artist and short film maker, has said that the ‘Panther’ is her favourite of my pictures. 

Here is ‘Mayer’ the Lion which I coloured in reds and browns 18 months ago, plus the poster for the current exhibition.

Lion in Continuous Line and Colour Sequence.  Mick Burton, 2012

Lion in Continuous Line and Colour Sequence. Mick Burton, 2012

AAA annual exhib Apr to May 2014.