Drawing and photography are central to my practice. Both make pressing - if sometimes fictitious - claims to the capture of lost moments.


In the garden

I never imagined I'd get so enamoured of the garden, fascinated by the daily changes, the way one lot of blooms dies off to give rise to another – all of it unplanned of course – so that the palette is constantly in flux. I'm drawn daily, so to speak, to sitting on the ground (sometimes on a towel if the grass is wet) with a sketchbook. Dog likes to keep me company and sometimes help.

Ink pen and brush markers in small Moleskine sketchbook.


I can't resist this

These are definitely not drawings. But I can't resist including them: in our garden, the last tulip and the first open rose, both taken today. 

Rough experiment


Rose and flowering chestnut

Acrylic paint and brush markers in Windsor and Newton sketchbook.

Following on yesterday's accidental experiment with gouache, I painted two sketchbook spreads with acrylic, the green one opaque, the sand-coloured one watery, but a little more substantial than a wash. The acrylic seals off the layer and makes it a bit resistant to the brush markers, which are anyhow a pretty rough tool. Makes for boldness rather than accuracy or delicacy. 


One thing after another

Brush markers and gouache in Windsor and Newton sketchbook.

I spilt some gouache on the page in my studio and tried to turn it to my advantage by roughly colouring the whole page and then drawing on top of this ground. There is always something disinhibiting about a ground that is already messy, where the pristine page can sometimes be daunting.

I am always intrigued, in looking at other people's sketchbooks, at signs of continuity or discontinuity, how one page follows another. Often, there will be something akin to an evolution, where a certain approach or material is used for a stretch of time and produces certain stylistic and technical results, then giving way to another. My sketchbooks never seem to record a continuous line of progress. I find myself chopping and changing a lot. If I've been working with brush markers for a few days, I want to go back to ink pen or to pencil crayon, or pencil and watercolour; more careful, delicate drawings follow rougher, more expressionistic or scribbly ones. For me, the sketchbook is as much about material experimentation as it is about observational drawing. 


Very quick again: a walk in the countryside

Pencil and pencil crayon in large sketchbook.

Ink pen, pencil and watercolour in big sketchbook

Pencil and pencil crayon in big sketchbook.

And because I can't capture the beauty of it... the blossom of the flowering chestnut tree (for Ea!)


Quick morning cuddle

Pencil in big sketchbook.

I think there won't be any more time to be at the computer today, we've got some friends coming from London for the rest of the bank holiday weekend. So a real quickie today.