It’s not finished …


… I, however, am. While test-driving my Schminckes has been fun (well, some of the time), after a month of aimlessly dabbing at this one, I’ve decided I have bothered it enough. Time to move on to something new.

Thought(s) for the day


Whether it’s typical of works done in Inktense I can’t yet say, but neither a scan nor a digital photo seems able to capture what it is that I really like about my first full-colour drawing done with watersoluble ink pencils: its vibrancy and richness. So, I apologise for the washed-out, streaky image. But since life is too short to spend repeatedly scanning and snapping and uploading a 6×4″ drawing, you’ll have to take my word for it that these pansies, photographed yesterday morning and Inktensed directly from my laptop screen, are more appealing on paper than they are in pixels. This is 6×4″ on RWS watercolour paper. I also made use of 2 Pilot pens: a black pigment liner & a white marker.

The name “pansy” comes from the French pensée, meaning “thought”, and the flower itself has long been a symbol for freethinking and atheism. With their rich mix of mauves, reds, warm yellows and deep inky purples, they are also more gorgeous than I ever realised before stopping to look at them yesterday morning.

Still here


And so the artist emerges from hibernation, blinking and stretching and in need of a cup of tea.

The little piece on the right is 4×6″, in pen, watercolour and coloured pencil on paper. It’s based on a photo of dendrobium orchids.

Below, you can see the 3×3″ leather-bound sketchbook that I bought in Camden Market last month, and a montage of pages from it. This tiny book is encouraging me to fit in a scribble when I have a few minutes to spare, without stressing over the quality of the finished (or unfinished!) sketch. It’s precisely the kind of thing I should be doing more of in my regular hand*book journal, but ho hum, that just isn’t happening; and as opportunities to paint have been thin on the ground these past few weeks, at least the novelty of my little book has kept my sketching hand moving.

To quote Danny Gregory: “The drawings don’t matter. The drawing does.”



Freesias, purchased today and rendered in Caran d’Ache oil pastel, directly from life, over three very enjoyable hours. The support is leaf-green Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.

I’m reluctantly posting a digital pic rather than a scan, due, not only, to lack of access to our home network (the complexities of modern technology!), but also to the painting’s overall “bigness and largity” – to quote Fast Show weatherman Willi Wooliman.

I’ll let you know the dimensions when I have access to the scanner again; and I will post a scanned image, to show you just how much vibrancy is missing from this one. In the meantime, I just had to share it. I am incredibly excited to be painting again!

Blue is not the only colour


Surprise flowers arrived for me the other day, from a friend I haven’t heard from in months: 15 gorgeous dendrobium orchids, with a note thanking me for a favour I’d done her.

Managed a little oil pastel sketch of one or two of the blooms.

Eric Maisel’s book The Van Gogh Blues has a lot of wise things to say about the relationship between creativity and depression. Yesterday, three days after I opened its pages, I found my way back to the Thursday afternoon art sessions I’d abandoned this past month for a tangle of psychological reasons.

It’s been a good week.

Lilies on blue


My lilies are still keeping me pretty company after a week perched on the CD tower in my living room. I drew this from them yesterday on a watercolour postcard, and it’s already on its way to an artist friend, though she doesn’t know it yet.

Profipen, white gel pen & blue watercolour on Khadi handmade cotton rag paper on a watercolour postcard.

EDM #76: Draw some flowers


I bought a bunch of the most gorgeous white lilies for £2 at the Thursday market: seven blooms whose waxy sheen, juicy greenery and scent of fizzy lemonade said, “Take me home and have your wicked artistic way with me.” This sketch was done in Profipen and watercolour in my small hand*book journal.

I love to watch lilies as they awaken, yawning and stretching, their petals taking on those lovely flowing curves. I did this in a leisurely hour and three quarters, which makes it the closest thing to a painting-not-a-sketch that I’ve produced in over a year.

Caran d’Ache oil pastels & wax pastels in 12×9″ Daler-Rowney pastel pad.

Older Entries