Sketchbook Freedom

At Open Studios visitors love to look through my sketchbooks. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love to sit quietly and open a book, especially an artists book.

Of course there are many different styles, from realistic beautifully rendered drawings to splashy expressive marks, but with the turn of each page we feel that we are getting closer to the artist and their true self.

When I am responding to a subject, on location, I know that I rarely stop to think about the placement of marks on the page, it is pure response to the subject. I am not worrying if will look right, or what a viewer might think. It is this collecting of the subject that evolves and develops and comes out in my bigger collage pieces.

For me, this is why my sketchbook are so important for allowing myself to free up open up many more possibilities. Over the years people have asked me how can they get away from the fear of the white page, or doing it right, or drawing from observation and not liking the results. Allowing ourselves to break free of that control and express what really interest us in the subject, or materials, is the way forward.

In my online course, Free Up Your Sketchbooks and Grow there are no realistic  drawings, no working from observation, no worrying about if you are doing the right thing or if it looks right. There are no strict instructions to follow step-by-step with identical results. You will not have a beautiful finished showcase sketchbook, but you will have an expressive working sketchbook, full of ideas and inspiration. 

In this course there are short, clear video demonstrations showing you how to develop your ideas. I demonstrate with my own concertina sketchbook throughout the course, developing, editing, composing and recomposing as I work through the lessons. Everyone’s sketchbook will be completely different as personal styles develop. 


In my own work, and on this course, we start with playful and exciting mark making. There are no rules, no goals to focus on and no limited ideas to work towards. We simply let the materials work – drawing tools, collage, acrylics and see what is revealed. It is in these marks that we look for the chance elements, the surprises and all the new possibilities to work in new directions, some previously unknown. There is no critical voice here, we respond in our own way, remaining open to new developments. As the book develops, this may very well move into a more realistic representation or abstraction, the choice is yours. I show examples of both directions.

At the end of the course you will have a book full of inspiring ideas which you can continue to work into or push in further directions.

For full information on all my courses please go to my website page

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