White House Arts Sketchbook workshop

Apr 27, 2014

whitehouse13 019I am running a ‘Sketchbook inspiration’ workshop at the White House Arts in Cambridge  email or call 01223 420018

17th and 18th May 10.00am-4.00pm £100 inc. materials, except sketch books
Sketchbooks are delightful, personal accounts of daily experiences, observations and daydreams. We take time to draw what is seen, imagined, remembered and felt. They help us to rediscover and engage in the joy that comes from drawing and sketching natural and manmade environments that surround us.
This course is suitable for those who love ‘sketch booking’, but need some fresh ideas or motivation. Also for those who love the idea, have bought the book, but it is still sitting on the shelf!
Observing our environment and everyday objects, also using text and found images, you will have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of techniques in order to develop your sketchbook pages. We will identify what inspires you, the best way to record it and how to respond creatively on your page. We will use a range of materials including pens, paints, collage, Please bring with you your sketchbooks full, half full and ready to go!


Apr 22, 2014

???????????????????????????????Back to my roots, sketching at Paull on the river Humber, last week in glorious Spring sunshine???????????????????????????????Old town, Hull. Rediscovering why I love the childhood sights and smells of timber, diesel, seaweed. sun baked rusty metal.. hull 035

hull 015

Cambridge Drawing Society

Apr 5, 2014

The Friday night private view  of the Drawing Society spring show is always a crowded buzzing event. For me, it marks the start of the warm weather and sunny cycling days, no gloves or hats! When I returned to the UK and moved to Cambridge, the society was the first place where I sold my work, so I always exhibit with them each Spring and Autumn.The standard of artwork has got better and better, it is great place to buy original work at a fair price.

Last night was no dissapointment, lots of new faces, sales and some really positive comments. I met two lovely ladies from Germany, a gallery owner from Devon and sold ‘Railings’ to a local lady – who is a collage fan and already owns a John Tordoff piece. If you are in Cambridge please do visit, the show is on all week at the Guildhall, Cambridge.


Railings and rooftops Marrakech

Railings and rooftops Marrakech


Drawing in Essaouira

Mar 21, 2014

Essaouira sketchbook

Here is my leporello sketchbook a week later. I spent my days walking and sketching, often at the same time. This forces me to capture the shapes and details spontaneously. Touches and dabs of watercolour add to the atmosphere.

I love the buzz of the harbour in Essaouira, there are always fishing boats being made, repaired, cleaned, coming and going with the night’s catch. All the boats are painted blue, the seagulls are huge, pristine white and full of fish entrails!

Essaouira sketchbook

Prepared surfaces for Morocco

Mar 7, 2014

Sketchbook pages prepared ready for working on ‘au plein air’ in the the crumbling streets of Essaouira in Morocco. I have layered photgraphs, tissue, newspapers,magazine pages, old letters and acrylic. All stuck with pva.

Here you can see modeling paste to give texture and section of my own photos. I am trying to limit myself to a few pages and one sketchbook but I do love the concertina book – called leporello,  I discovered this week. Great word. So two sketchbooks, and my old passport (now another sketchbook!)..that’s three then.


ess prep 010

Purely collage

Mar 3, 2014
The beautiful streets of Nice

The beautiful streets of Nice

Back streets, Porto Portugal

Back streets, Porto Portugal

Here are two collages that are purely pieces of paper – cut, ripped, and stuck. Amusantes Vanille is based in the south of France and Rua de Sao Joao is from a trip to Lisbon.

I am always on the look out for ‘bits of paper’ but with the introduction of more and more plastic packaging, paper is becoming harder to find.

One of my first collages of Paris started around the lovely, turquoise metro tickets (small, rectangular and made from cardboard) This collage was used for a full page feature in Time Out magazine.

I start scanning in the airport, tickets, labels, strong graphics – alas it is all a bit slick in the UK. Within one hour of landing in my destination city of Seville, Marakech, Havana I have usually collected a few unloved tatty tickets. Bill boards, especially ones with layers of posters, dusty curling and peeling are my next stop. These have the added excitement of finding hidden colours and graphics between the layers. For stamps, envelopes, hand written letters I usually search the flea markets and antique shops. The photographs I take whilst wandering and sketching.

Back in my studio I start my compositions with the slice of sky betweeen the buildings, then it is compose, recompose, balance, stick, peel, stick until a sense of unity is achieved.

Both collages available as giclee prints.                                                                                                                                                                        They are of a very high quality, every detail, crease, edge and shadow can be seen.

My Circus Sketchbook

Feb 24, 2014
Circus sketchbook

Circus sketchbook

In the Autumn I spent a couple of afternoons with Cambridge Community Circus. They are a really friendly group of all ages who come together to practice rope, trapeze, juggling and ribbon skills.

They are focused and the work is very intense, so of course the poses you see in my book are only held for a few seconds. It is a real challenge to draw, to translate the energy, focus, tension, balance and poise in the ‘acrobatics.’ I really had to look, look, look and just let my hand draw. I would sketch a leg and back from one pose and an arm and chest from another.

Please click on the link to see the full sketchbook on Youtube!

I am looking forward to working on this theme more in the near future.

Drawing people ‘au plein air’

Feb 10, 2014
The reality is that 99.9 percent of the people I’ve sketched while I’ve been out in public were oblivious to the fact I was sketching them, because they just weren’t alert to their surroundings. That’s the human condition. – See more at:
The reality is that 99.9 percent of the people I’ve sketched while I’ve been out in public were oblivious to the fact I was sketching them, because they just weren’t alert to their surroundings. That’s the human condition. – See more at:

I have always sketched people, at home and on my travels. This winter, with little travel planned, I naturally gravitated towards my local train station. This gave me people going about their business, too busy to notice me, too concearned about catching their train.

I position myself, often perched or leaning, and my ‘models’ enter my line of vision, they enter my drawing and they then have the choice to move on if they do not wish to be included. I love it when someone sits opposite me and stays quite happily – rarely do they ask to see the drawing as they often move on to catch their train. More often that not my models are so focused on their phone, game, music they pay very little attention to anyone else. Am I the only one still interested in people watching and listening to snippets of conversation?

The drawings above include a ticket collector – before permission was needed (BR informed me last month that I could draw on the platform but not their staff) french cafe ladies and my first sketching day in India. Slowly a crowd of men and children gathered to watch, the small boy kept his hand on my arm as they all chatted happily giving me advice and hot tea!

perfected the ninja cloak of invisibility

To help you ‘develop your cloak of invisibility’ here is a great article on drawing people in public by Roz Stendahl


The reality is that 99.9 percent of the people I’ve sketched while I’ve been out in public were oblivious to the fact I was sketching them, because they just weren’t alert to their surroundings. That’s the human condition. – See more at:
Premium Wordpress Themes by UFO Themes