Exploring Art

In this section I shall periodically write down some thoughts about my art and how I am developing ideas for projects.

I shall be using the gallery called Inspiration to refer you to what has caught my attention while working on various projects. These will include photographs of pencil drawings and works which are very difficult to photograph, so please forgive me for the quality of these offerings!
22 April 2022

A4, archival ink. Well, this has been an interesting morning. A convoluted story short. As you know I find drawing and painting dancers fascinating and exciting. This morning I happened upon a reference that was a nice pose, by a non-dancer. There is nothing wrong with the pose at all. It has lots of detail and interest, but for me none of the life and energy I love. It is not surprising, but there is definitely a difference for an artist with what kind of reference is being used for art whether that is for figures, landscapes or other interests and themes. I need that inherent energy of a pose or move a dancer creates for me to respond in kind. I can see it in the resultant ink drawing from this morning. Ink is my excuse for a bit of freedom as ink is unforgiving, however, I could not find my usual energy in the pose.

As usual the weather is not kind to photography!

20 April 2022

Archival, watercolour on 31 x23cm paper. This has been inspired from something I saw a while ago and have just got to; accompanied by a bit of Anders Hillborg, 'Sirens'. It's been a strange few weeks, and all because of Covid 19 ....

7 April 2022

In addition to war, there is also the issue of how we are changing the climate. I created a 1/1 Monotype, which I have called As Time Slips Away, 70x50cm.

31 March 2022

I felt I needed to do a watercolour. This image caught my attention and I felt I should honour this lady by painting her portrait. Current events seem to be the recycling of all things that are bad in people. Archival, 31x23cm watercolour on paper.

10 February 2022

Archival, pencil on 20x20cm paper. I was inspired by Ed Watson and suitably aided by The Gesualdo Six cd Josquin's Legacy.

13 January 2022

Well, I don't quite know where time goes! The start of this year is a positive one with three of my linocut monoprints having been selected for exhibition - see Exhibition page - so here is hoping the year will continue in a similar way. Today's offering is on a theme which fits with some of the photographs in my archive. Archival, ink on 20x20cm.

1 December 2021

A4, Archival. A musing on a project. I am thinking about how to combine ideas and references, so this is a work in progress. However, I can not fail to be enthused about the beautiful shape created by Ed Watson. It is just fantastic and I relish the challenge in how to portray this to do it justice.

13 November 2021

A5, archival pencil. Today we have been to a 101 Years Birthday Party. The lady I have drawn is not related, but I do think that it is wise to listen to those that have been around for some time to get some perspective on things ....

2 November 2021

A4 archival pencil. I am braving posting this drawing today as the image does not do justice to the subtleties of the drawing. However, I am really pleased with how it shows the delicacy of movement and line of an artist and dancer, Ed Watson. The autumn light is wreaking havoc with photography.

8 October 2021

Today I was in the studio and was I working out a new monoprint. I was inspired to create a monotype. I have not printed a monotype in a while. This method enables a lovely freedom. Archival, 35x25cm, ink on printing paper.

1 October 2021

Archival, A5, ink and a bit of coloured pencil. It is now Inktober. As you know I draw with inks a lot. You may also appreciate that I am not one for finding it necessary to conform to the usual. I don't think I shall draw from a list of topics, nor every day, but I hope to be inspired to do some more inks. I shall also do my best not to make it so the heads get chopped off if the work is framed. I have seen one such at a large exhibition which made me smile in a wry way. There are certain things I do conform to ....

23 September 2021

I continue with my 'low key, low impact' art fighting against the torrent of social media friendly endeavours! Archival as always, pencil, coloured pencil on acid free 20x20cm paper. I may develop this and create another version. The possibilities are endless. Again this is from my small archive of references.

15 September 2021

Archival, pencil, on acid free 20x20cm paper. I felt compelled to do a drawing today and this particular image is an enduring one because we shall all age. I shall continue with my large oil tomorrow all being well.

23 August 2021

As you can tell I am still loving my pencil drawings. I have some excellent references from several family beach trawl fishing expeditions. I wonder what else I can conjure up. I am calling this Net Income: Archival on 20x20cm acid free paper, pencil.

8 July 2021

It is interesting how the last year has accelerated the shift of exhibitions online as well as a mix of online and in a physical setting. It, of course, means that the work has to be able to withstand the internet as well as stand out on the internet. The result, in my view, is that this cuts out a swathe of work that is nuanced and delicate and promotes a narrower vision of art. I continue developing my work that is not aimed at the internet. Perhaps there are those who will bother to look at it, and appreciate it!

20 June 2021

The longest day is tomorrow! How time flies. It was a rainy day on Friday so I was inspired to do a portrait in pencil. A5, archival as usual. I am thinking about my next projects.

31 May 2021

This is a bit of a whimsy and proves I don't always get it right with regard to placement on paper when using ink.

7 May 2021

I could not resist the challenge of this dancer in such a beautiful shape! 20x20cm, archival, pencil.

5 May 2021

I have just delivered a framed monoprint for exhibition with the National Centre for Craft and Design this morning. It is quite exciting as it will be the first physical exhibition I am in for a long time, and because there have been refurbishments at the centre during lockdown. The NCCD will re-open on 17 May and the exhibition(s) will start. I feel a good trip out coming in a few weeks' time. In the meantime I carry on. I felt the latest ink portrait was apt: determination!

19 April 2021

Archival, pencil on 20x20cm paper. Well, today was the nearest I got to a live sitter for a long time. A fellow artist posted a 'Bad Hair Day' selfie which I could not resist! I asked if I could draw from the reference and this is the result. It has been approved.

12 April 2021

By the Pond 2020. Archival, oil on canvas, 60x80cm. The delight in sitting by the pond we built last year and being able to mull over things in general drinking in the view!

9 April 2021

Archival ink and pencil, A5. My response to yet more Harry Potter. I have also got a new colour of pencil lead to play with. There is another film to experience tonight! I like to explore ....

4 April 2021

I just can't keep away from my inks and what better excuse than a new pad! Archival ink, A5. I think I shall have some chocolate now, and perhaps a coffee.

24 March 2021

A drawing to keep my eye sharp. A5, archival pencil portrait. I am hoping to get to my printing tomorrow.

15 March 2021

Betty, 100. 30x40cm oil on canvas. This portrait is a result of some very interesting sessions. I do not normally go on about what inspires me or why I do things the way I do because I want people to look at my work with their own eyes and respond to the work uninfluenced by me. That is not to say that I will not answer questions, but for me art is how you respond to it.

I had a strange, small reference of Betty, sitting in her wheelchair behind a Perspex screen with a loudspeaker to her ear – which is good as she is very deaf. I suspect many would have replicated this perhaps sad image of isolation and confusion. However, it is perhaps because I know Betty this replication did not happen. Somehow Betty would not let me. She was, and still is, a strong and a very beautiful woman even in her confusion in dementia. She grew up in an era where you had to be strong and get on with things regardless of the difficulties.

For me the resulting portrait raised again the question of what a portrait is and what it is `supposed to be’. Many strive for `likeness’, and photographic replication. But is a portrait purely a very accurate replication of what you see? Is it not a result of the artist’s response to the sitter? Is it a response to the sitter at any given time perhaps influenced by what the artist feels in that moment, what music is playing, what external factors are at play in the immediate environs or world events, or even the commissioner of the portrait if there is one? All I can definitely say is that when I felt a little bit emotional looking at it I thought the portrait must be finished!

13 March 2021

I have had time to be in the studio this week so have experimented with paint and lino. All works are in progress, but I did this drawing as I love my inks and dancers. Archival ink A5.

28 February 2021

Here we are again, quite some time from the last update. The reason is the same as before, home-schooling! That is not to say I have not been doing art, but it has been sketches and some experiments. On Friday I did a portrait drawing in ink just to make sure my eyes are sharp for getting back into painting. Speaking of pens, I had a stash of ink pens and I put them in a safe place ....

25 January 2021

Well, it has been a while! Christmas Holidays came and went. Then home-schooling came and is still here. I am fortunate not to mind and can do this, but it does mean there is not so much time for art. However, I dip in and out to make sure my eye is sharp. My addition today, well, it sums up what we all have to do at the moment, contort ourselves. Archival, A4, pencil

24 December 2020

I, like many others, have been inspired by Portrait Artist of the Week. Here is a piece inspired by Portrait Artist of the Year and Carlos Acosta. A4 Archival as always. Again, winter light hampers a good photograph!!

7 December 2020

During this time of not being able to plan exhibitions I have been taking the opportunity to take part in the weekly portrait sessions with Sky Arts Portrait of the Week on Sundays. It is always enjoyable and it does make you think about portraiture and art in general. I have included two different versions of a portrait. Is one 'more of a portrait' than the other? What makes a portrait? Number 1 is Jon Snow, oil on canvas and Number 2 is Lesley Garrett, pencil on paper.

27 November 2020

The light might be low and useless for taking good photographs of work,especially pencil drawings, but inspiration strikes with a reference that has produced this drawing and a mediocre photograph! I am continuing to be inspired by ballet dancers. This work is archival, pencil, 20x20cm.

18 November 2020

I could not resist doing this drawing of Fatima Pantoja. She was the artist who painted Baroness Floella Benjamin on Portrait Artist of the Week on Sunday 15 November. Wonderful artist. Pencil on 20x20cm paper. Archival as always. Light rubbish for photograph as always!

1 November 2020

FRAGMENTS IN TIME forms a part of a series of monoprints. each slightly different at each hand pressing as I do not use a press, nor strive for replication. I am in the process of developing more ideas for further pieces.

16 October 2020

Sometimes you just have to challenge yourself. Archival as always, ink on 23x30cm grey paper. The hands were what caught my attention. It has been bad light for a photograph ....

13 October 2020

I do like to vary my subjects and references. This one is of a dancer and I thought it was a good contrast to my ink drawing on 10 October. Again this is an archival work using ink on 23x30cm grey paper.

10 October 2020

I came across another excellent reference from Lisa Dales Photography. This time it's all about exuberance and enjoyment. How could I resist the challenge of another ink?

2 October 2020

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Archival work on 23x30cm grey paper.

23 September 2020

The portrait in watercolour is an interesting piece. As you know I love figurative work and am inspired by images that enable me to convey something beyond a copy. I feel I want to push further and get something other than replication of an image within my work. In this instance I felt there was an overlay of uncertainty and perhaps being out of her depth; not just a pretty picture. Image has today's date on it for your reference.

20 September 2020

This image of a Japanese figure just beckoned me to draw it. I thought I would experiment with a different colour and composition just to see what would happen. A quiet walk ....

I have added today's date to the image to which I am referring.

13 September 2020

I am delighted to be part of The National Centre for Crafts & Design Art Club online Exhibition (See Exhibitions Section for more details.) The place itself is well worth a visit. It’s a fantastic space and has thought-provoking and inspiring exhibitions.

The work that I chose to do for this exhibition was to encompass the theme Creative Healing. It is from this work that I share with you my inspiration from having done this work and thought about why I so enjoyed creating it. It was the quiet feeling of partnership that drew me into this image by Lisa Dales Photography. As I love to challenge myself I started straight in with the ink which is unforgiving if you make a mistake! See the result in Inspiration. I have put today's date on the image for reference.

5 September 2020

My website has changed format and I hope I shall be able to present me and my work in an informative way so I shall start with the following to set the scene!

I love generating movement in all my work be it literal or internal to the composition, and I am particularly enthralled by dancers. I love the challenge of creating thoughtful, thought-provoking and even beautiful work. Leonardo da Vinci’s work, particularly his drawings, has made a huge impression on me.