New Drawings

Stoodley drawing

york minster

I have been trying to stretch myself a bit with my drawing lately, so I have been looking at buildings and landscapes. These drawings are me figuring out how to describe these with just black ballpoint pen and ink; with a view to screen print them.  So no grey scale, just dashes!

Another back of my mind niggle is to try and bridge the gap between my paintings and screen prints-(which are very different much to my worrying), so I am hoping these will pacify that little voice.

Anyway I am working on one which I feel really happy with, so I will share that when I have finished. In the meantime these are the steps towards getting to grips with angles, perspective and shading!

Kingfisher cards

Lately I have been drawing lots and trying to get a range of cards together that I am happy with. This seems to take me a while; first I have to be happy with the drawing, then I have to hope my screenprint of said drawing works and then I have to be happy with the finished result, including choice of colour, paper etc….you get the picture.

And so here are my new Kingfisher cards (that I am actually pleased with)…phew, it feels nice to say that.

I start with drawing in biro…

kingfisher 1

kingfisher 2

kingfisher 3


Then screenprint them on recycled card…

kingfisher and moon card

kingfisher and sunshine card

kingfisher and yellow branch card

looking back kingfisher card

I have listed them in my shop if you want to have a gander !


Inspiration: Ginny Grayson

You might think a portrait painter is an unlikely inspiration for me, but I have been teaching lots of classes based on portraits and came across this beautiful work.

ginny grayson 1

Ginny Grason is an artist from New Zealand, now living in Melbourne. I always love the process of someone’s work being evident and the ghostly drawn lines tell the story of its making.

ginny 3

Sometimes it is the negative spaces; knowing when to leave parts out that makes a drawing breath.This is something I yet to master. Grayson does it beautifully.



Funnily enough I came across this Picasso quote today (other lesson planning):

” I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else”

I kind of like the idea of a drawing or painting having its own character to be discovered. When I paint I never have a clear image in mind. I really just have an idea of the mood I want it to have. I am often surprised by the look of a painting I make, but not the feel.

If you would like to see more of this beautiful work it is here.

In the meantime I am going to get my charcoal out, who knows what will appear..


Just after new year my friend Lisa and I took a jaunt to Edinburgh, it was my birthday and it was so nice to do something special. I studied my Illustration degree in Edinburgh but I haven’t been back for years. I was excited to see old haunts and new changes.

When we arrived Edinburgh was just as I remembered; low, bright winter sun and buildings that make you look up!



When I lived in Edinburgh I was pretty sketchbook obsessive and my favourite place to draw was the National Museum of Scotland. So this was our first stop ..



And guess what? I still enjoyed drawing there.





I think I might still be a sketchbook obsessive.

What places make you smile?

Mark making workshop

Last week I taught a mark-making workshop.We started off with very quick drawings of a still life set up. Drawing for 5 minutes, 3 and 1!


We drew with sticks, drew as though we were shading around an object and with white chalk on black paper.

I then introduced words to think of whilst drawing, the first was bold…So big brush strokes and large drawings were apt. I think using words can help encourage different and braver ways of mark making,when a word is the main focus the drawing can flow automatically.

mark make1

mark make blog3

The next word was frightened.

mark make frightI did gestural marks in charcoal and moved the charcoal around the page a lot.

mark make blog2

This was done by a student using a mix of sponging with different strengths of ink and also using a brush.

mark make4

This was drawn with a sponged paint brush, drawing with a stick and thin ink washes over the top. A lovely development of different marks.

I hope to hold more mark making workshops and I will have a new beginners drawing class starting in September, so lots more drawing to be done!

10 things about being a self employed creative

little acorns card

Last October with butterflies and a bit of faith I gave up my regular job as a gallery assistant to be a fully self employed artist and workshop teacher.

These are some of the things I have learnt so far.

1. That making art and having time to do so has given me much more joy than I ever imagined.

2. That some people will be incredibly supportive and encouraging when seeing someone follow their passion.What a difference that makes!

3. That some people will be a bit negative and that actually doesn’t make much of a difference at all long term.

4. Putting energy, (even things that seem insignificant) into a business makes it grow.

5. There are a lot of lovely creative people out there.

6. I feel I am only at the tip of the iceberg regarding social media but I already know it has enabled me to sell artwork, make connections and learn lots, (not just that I need to cut down on my cat picture output on instagram).

7.That lack of confidence has held me back and now each sale or class I achieve demonstrates that I should not have let it.

8.I can work hard.

9. Thinking time is really valuable.

10.It is really true what they say about practice makes perfect.. just having more time has improved my drawing so much.

Are you about to take a leap of faith? Do it!