From Sketch to Editioned Print

 I like to do a lot of very quick and varied pen drawings in my sketchbook – it’s a bit like limbering up. I also like to write lists of everything I’m seeing – sandcastles, seagulls, etc., to jog my memory later….

Here I’m looking at beach huts more carefully – these ones are in Wells-next-the-Sea in North Norfolk. I like to do lots of little vignettes in the hope that something stirs (an exciting idea rather than a yawn obviously).

Another sketchbook page but this one is of the beach huts in Cromer – I don’t want to spend much time on drawings at this stage as I don’t want to over-analyse what I’m doing and lose the spontaneity. Well, that’s my excuse…..

Once I’ve got the ideas fixed in my head I try a few thumbnail sketches – just playing around with composition and structure. I like this part – trying to bend the reality of what’s in front of me into what I see in my head…

Here is the working drawing, a combination of the thumbnails above, bottom left and top right. These beachhuts are in Cromer but there is no great curve around the bay as such and the railings are much closer to the huts. And if that viewpoint was real, I’d be standing in mid-air over the sand….

And finally here is the finished print, with added seagulls and abandoned toys – I’ve called it Indian Summer (33x34cms, linocut).

Waterlands Exhibition at Cambridge

My three new seaside prints, framed and ready to deliver this week to Cambridge Contemporary Art for their new exhibition ‘Waterlands – East Anglian Landscapes and Seascapes’.

On the left is Wishful Thinking, then in the middle is Indian Summer, and finally on the right is The Last To Leave. They are £295 framed (54x54cms) and £230 unframed (34x33cms).

The exhibition is on from 31st March – 22nd April 2012, and is open every day.

A Change in Direction

To start the New Year, I needed a fresh perspective on my life, not all of which takes place in London now. I spend a lot of time by the sea on the North Norfolk coast and exploring this very different environment will present me with exciting challenges, or so I tell myself…..
I’ve felt for a while that I needed to take a few risks with my subject matter and find a new direction. Sadly change is not really my thing – I’m a creature of habit and I need to be dragged kicking and screaming just to try out a different pub. So leaving my comfort zone/rut of the London transport as a subject, albeit temporarily, has been surprisingly stressful.
And to be honest, I’d like to keep my galleries happy – the trouble is that commercial galleries are very keen on sales (fair enough) and would prefer you to keep making the work that they took you on for and for which they have a ready market.
They don’t especially appreciate being told that “yes, I did used to paint very popular views of cats in baskets but now I’m only able to paint post-Apocalyptic landscapes.”
Ideally we wouldn’t need to sully ourselves with the filthy lucre and we’d just go where the Muse takes us but unfortunately we all have bills. And I would definitely like to continue paying my studio rent, buying new materials and generally carrying on with my happy working life.
So here’s to new experiments – not too radical and proceeding cautiously, of course – steady now….. 

                                                   Pages from my sketchbook.