Welcome to my blog!

Find out more about my illustrations and the things that inspire me.

(Christmas, 2009)  Angels and Archangels

‘Glittering angels transform the midwinter darkness and reflect the colours of Christmas.  Edinburgh Old Town illustrator, Emily Learmont takes us on an angelic flight of fantasy.’

My exhibition is at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh from 17th November 2009 – 23rd January, 2010.

Emily Lermont Illustration


Emily Lermont IllustrationVisitors of all ages come to the Scottish Storytelling Centre: so I’ve made embroidered angels’ wings and halos for the dressing-up box, and a selection of colouring-in sheets.  There’s a story wall where you can create your own ‘angelic tale,’ or write a poem upon a feather.  At the drop-in session, there are lots of art activities - and even some flute music. 



Emily Lermont Illustration


Emily Lermont IllustrationOne Saturday afternoon, I lead a workshop with storyteller, Bea Fergusson.  Bea tells an enchanting tale about an angel on top of Emily Lermont Illustrationa Christmas tree, using my angel puppet.  Next the group of children, parents and grandparents make collage angels that we hang from the Storytelling Court ceiling.  Then we make up more stories and tell them to each other in the Storytelling Bothy.  My favourite is about an angel called Shimmer …

Eventually, angels take over the Storytelling Centre.  We collect up all the cut-out, coloured-in angels and hang them in the window that overlooks the Royal Mile.

Emily Lermont Illustration

My exhibition has received good reviews in the Scotsman, the Evening News and the Metro.

I can’t resist sneaking into the Storytelling Centre from time to time to watch visitors react to my paintings, see children playing in the exhibition space, and count up how many Christmas cards I’ve sold.  During the Hogmanay festivities, there are visitors from all over the world.



Meanwhile, in the Old Town, it begins to snow …

Emily Learmont Illustration

Have you ever seen an angel?

Have you ever felt the flutter of their wings or heard their golden trumpets?

The ones that inspire me hover in the corners of Italian altarpieces.  Their robes are silken, their halos are jewelled and their feathers are brighter than a peacock’s.  They cartwheel among the stars.  They slumber on clouds.  And they fill our dreams with hope.

Emily Lermont Illustration

(October, 2009)  Finishing touches

Finishing touches … last minute changes … going to the framer’s … printing labels … designing a poster … ordering cards … sending out invitations …

(September, 2009)  Snowflake angel

Two small, circular paintings:  I’d like to paint a big version of ‘Three Ships’ – but I’m running out of time.

Here is my sketch:

Emily Lermont Illustration

(August, 2009)  Painting … painting …

I’m working hard for my exhibition now.  In summer, it stays light until almost eleven o’clock – so I can work really late.  I love listening to music while I paint: it helps me to switch off the worries in my head and loose myself in my imagination.  Time goes past quickly.  I never feel alone in my studio overlooking the Firth of Forth.  When I step out of my front door, I get swept along by the Edinburgh Festival. 

Sketches  (July, 2009)

Emily Lermont Illustration

Here are some thoughts about angels:

What are angels made of? 

Starlight and dust from a comet’s tail.

What do angels do? 

They flock together, singing. 

They play musical instruments. 

Emily Lermont Illustration

They juggle with planets. 

They help people.

How can you see an angel? 

You need a special telescope. 

Or you might glimpse one out of the corner of your eye …


(June, 2009)  Szopka

I’m working on a new illustration, combining two different ideas.  The first is from a Byzantine illuminated manuscript; the second is from a Polish Christmas tradition that my neighbour told me about. 

Emily Lermont Illustration

‘Szopki’ are made from shiny card and paraded at the feast of Epiphany.  Although they look like fairytale castles, they contain tiny nativity scenes.

(April, 2009)  Trip to London

At the Byzantium exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, I’m overwhelmed by glittering gold.  I love the enamels, the illuminated manuscripts, the micro-mosaics and the jewels.  My favourite is an icon of the Archangel Michael from San Marco in Venice.  

(March, 2009)  Archangel

I’ve finished the first illustration for my exhibition: an archangel.  It’s taken a long time to build up the washes of colour and to get the tonal balance right.  The best bit came last – painting the gold.  I had to hold my breath …

Here is my sketch:

Emily Learmont Illustration

Christmas in Umbria

Emily Lermont Illustration

Inside Don Francesco’s church there are pink stucco angels.  Poinsettias are on the altar, baby Jesus is in a manger and there’s a mechanical nativity scene.  When the Mass begins, the organ wheezes, a baby cries and a small dog comes in.  Afterwards everyone talks – everyone knows everyone – while outside, trees fade into the freezing fog and strings of lights glow.

We visit the Museo Diocesano in Cortona to see Fra Angelico’s ‘Annunciation’.  As we walk through the gallery, the Archangel Gabriel’s gilded wings seem to beat up and down.

Frescoes: delicate blue, rose and green.  Iridescent layers of plaster crumble and peel.  Saints with piercing eyes and haloed faces; firmaments of stars.

As we drive to Assisi, the Basilica shines in the morning sun.  Clouds wisp overhead, olive trees tremble silver-grey and Sunday bells ring out.

We walk the path to Gubbio through woods and snow-topped peaks.  And I dream of seeing an angel…

Emily Lermont Illustration

Emily Lermont Illustration