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Just like my daughter, at heart I’m just a little kid playing with her crayons. Only mine are more expensive.

Poppies I & II – oil pastel on Daler Murano paper.

The Beguiling – wax pastel on Daler Murano paper.

For this last piece, I took an idea that June Walker has used so many times to beautiful effect: that of starting out with a few uplanned, doodled lines curving around the page, then seeing where they took me.

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Pattern

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I’m enjoying my experiments with different media in the small format of the Artist Trading Card. (Link included for those of you who’ve confessed you had not a clue what I was on about in previous entries!)

ATC Original: “Sacred Geometry”
3.5 x 2.5″
Gold leaf, watersoluble wax pastel, pen & spray varnish on cardstock

This one’s for a fellow member of the ATC exchange organized by Amy of the Creative Mom Podcast, in response to the September prompt: “Pattern”. I go all tingly at the idea of underlying patterns in nature, as in art. Though the mathematical accuracy of my own golden spiral would fail to withstand even a casual glance, I’m happy with the finished piece. Just hope the recipient is too!

Let’s get small

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I have entered the realm of the Artist Trading Card. Terrific fun!

“Como el Ave Fénix, renacemos de nuestras cenizas …”
(Like the Phoenix, we are reborn from our ashes)
ATC Original: “PHOENIX”
2.5 x 3.5″ (click on the image for a much-enlarged view)
Poster paint, gold leaf, watersoluble wax pastel & pen on cardstock

EDM #54: Not so much a sketch …

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… as a three-and-a-half-hour experiment. I had never attempted a portrait in oil pastels, and wanted to try one using a limited palette of four shades, similar to those which have worked well for me in several soft-pastel portraits.

I built up the image on warm-tinted Ingres paper in Neocolor II (wax pastels) and Neopastel (oil pastels), blending with fingers and kitchen towels. It’s about 8×5″. The highlights have scanned rather harshly, and I can see a couple of details I may be tempted to tweak; but I can’t help but be happy to see that little face on the page.

This is EDM Challenge #54: Draw someone you love.

My little girl.

SketchCrawl #14: Ely

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Anita Davies and Diane Mainzer joined me in Ely on Saturday 19 May for the 14th WorldWide SketchCrawl: one small city, three enthusiastic artists, five sunny (if breezy) hours, three bags full of sketchbooks – and several tons of cake!

We grabbed ourselves a coffee and a table outdoors, and I took up Anita’s challenge to sketch the corner of Starbucks coffee house. But whereas Anita has a weakness for sketching buildings, my sketches of buildings are merely weak. Bah.


Profipen across two pages of small hand*book journal.

Our second sketchstop was Palace Green, where we spread out a blanket on the grass and became quite the tourist attraction. A middle-aged woman, who had marched up to peer over my shoulder, uttered a deflated and somewhat contemptuous “Oh” on discovering that my sights were set, not on the ornate majesty of Ely cathedral, but on the whacking great brick of chocolate button marble cake in front of me. An American gentleman later ambled over and exclaimed, quite superfluously, “You’re drawing food!” I sketched until both the cake and my oil pastels started to melt. This is my #7 in the WetCanvas 100 Pastel Sketches Challenge.


Caran d’Ache oil pastel & wax pastel in 9×6″ Daler-Ingres pastel pad.

My late al fresco lunch of fried chicken wings found itself the subject of a final sketch (done rapidly, so please overlook the wonky ellipses). I’m counting this as EDM #87: Draw your lunch. Though very tasty, these were almost cold by the time I ate them. How I suffer for my art!


Pen & watercolour in small hand*book journal.

EDM #76: Draw some flowers

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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.

#116 Revisited

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I decided to revisit the challenge to Draw something green.

The Green Man springs up (if you’ll pardon the pun) in the mythologies of many cultures around the world. He is best known as a pagan symbol representing the spirit of nature, fertility and rebirth, which made him the perfect subject for the First of May, when I fitted in this 40-minute sketch.

This ceramic Green Man was a gift from my mother from a visit to Ely Cathedral a couple of years ago, and he sits above the pinboard in our kitchen. “The Green Man” is also the name of a pub a mile or so from where I grew up; it was the place my parents would take me for dinner on special occasions when I was a child. The last time we went there was in 2006, before Paul and I had our daughter (hey, as a fertility symbol, you can’t really knock him!).

I went to a Church of England primary school, in whose traditions Christianity and Paganism went hand in hand – though we weren’t encouraged to dwell on the pagan element …

Wax pastels and oil pastels in 6×9″ Daler Ingres pad.

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