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On your marks.....

This is my first blog for a very long time. I am responding to suggestions of you wanting to hear more of the story behind my work and my journey - resources - inspirations - media and tools. I'd love to share this with you.

Ultimately the creation of a drawing or painting is a series of marks on a surface so that's where I am starting. What the marks are made with and on and why and how etc.

So where do I start - how do I make the first mark?

The first mark may well be predetermined by my choice of subject. Take these flowers:

Compositionally I immediately loved the curly eucalyptus at the top of the bunch of flowers and could see an interesting line down to the curly handle then to the straight vase and around the vase to the other handle. This composes this piece with three circles in a triangle. That's the start: that is what I saw - that is where I started. The rest, in this painting, is detail.

Emotionally I was drawn to this subject because my daughter sent me these flowers for Mother's day. That's special and I wanted to record that. The flowers are beautiful - they smell amazing - the studio is filled with scent; the flowers are filled with love and I want to capture that. There is an urgency as they wont last.

Practically I had this planned. I had cleared the studio the night before and stapled this paper to the wall. I had finished an Oil painting and just wanted it clearer. I wanted to draw not paint. I had thought about that.

Time. So now I know what and where and when and why I am going to embark on this - I have made the time for it and honestly I wake in the night wondering how!! Perhaps it is forming in my mind through the night. I really get excited!

Materials. Inspired by some work by Rob Unett I had seen, I had ordered green paper from John Purcell paper suppliers. I knew I wanted a deep green and ordered this large Hanhnemuehle Bugra paper. I was not entirely sure what I was ordering but I like to experiment with new materials and I have a passion for paper. Some paper I could just frame with nothing on it. I get so excited when it arrives - clean - cut - deckled - hot - rough - cotton rag - tinted - onion - gravure - weaves - oh my there is a whole world there!!!

Medium. Something Bright and poppy. Something juicy and colourful. Something with depth and some texture - aha! how about my wonderful new box of Sennelier oil pastels? Well let's give it a go.

At this point it is a responsive a journey. I push in to the base of the stalks in the vase to feel the density and then out to the delicacy of the petals and intricate layering. This painting has gone to James at Meltone framers and will be given a frame of black and pink and gold. I am excited to collect it next month.

I would love any feedback about this blog or it's content. Feel free to email me at and sign up below for future updates / shows / workshops .

Thank you,


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Life drawing weekend opportunity

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17th December I can offer an opportunity to work with me drawing and painting from a female model at Bath Artist Studios in Bath. There will be limited spaces to allow exper


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