Sunday, 19 November 2017


"What is your favourite subject, or favourite medium?" I'm asked. In truth, I don't have either - I flit from one to another, and the more art I do, the more I discover I want to do. So in stark contrast to the natural forms, birds and animals you've seen here recently, on Friday I attended a life drawing studio devoted to the theme of Decadence. The model brought props and costumes as you can see below, plus some books about Schiele as inspiration. It was great fun! And this is some of what I produced...

Friday, 17 November 2017

Did I mention Australia?

Oh, you didn't know I'd been to Aus recently? Let me tell you more. Or if you did, yep, I'm on about #ausinspiration again. I loved the strong / contorted / weird shapes of the plants, shrubs and trees in Australia. The surface roots of some tropical trees also fascinated me, so here's my pen and ink drawing inspired by them (and available from my online shop at, with photos below it showing how the picture progressed.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


I loved the shapes, colours and charisma of  the parrots, macaws, lorikeets, lories and cockatoos I encountered in Australia. I still haven't got round to a large painting of them, but in preparation I produced a colourful doodle of a couple of chaps I met at Maleny Bird World, and then a pen & ink drawing which I find hard to describe, but is called "Pandemonium" - the collective noun for parrots.
Being on a roll, I then embarked on a watercolour (now available from my online shop at

Monday, 13 November 2017


Spending time with my nephew in Australia was a learning experience in a number of ways. One thing I learnt and liked was the expression "big boy boots". So when I feel daunted by anything now, I tell myself to "put on my big boy boots" and get on with it! It's such a good phrase, that I just had to put pen to paper and draw my own big boy boots - as you can see.
Oh, and incidentally this (along with my other work) is available from my online shop at:

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Detecting a theme

Thinking my Caffi Wylfa visit was a positive way forward, a few days later I went to Booth Mansion, in Chester. My greeting cards are available there, however it's such a huge place that you have to look fairly hard to find them - when I was there, they were displayed on the grand piano in the café / restaurant.

But there's plenty more on offer too: handbags, specialty food products, art, chocolates, fluffy toys ...., plus tea, coffee, cakes, meals etc. So I took time out for a pot of tea and a sketch of just part of the ginormous coffee lounge.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Café society

Once I got past the jet lag, it was time for a cup of tea to get back to business. So I trotted across Chirk Aqueduct to deliver a stock of my greeting cards to Caffi Wylfa. If you don't already know this cafe, here's how it describes itself:

"Caffi Wylfa is a social enterprise run cafe on Castle Road, Chirk. The cafe is stylish and modern with a light and airy feel. We make a real effort to support and use local suppliers where possible and serve freshly made food using high quality ingredients, which are prepared with care and attention on site.
Our delicious range of food includes light lunches, hot and cold snacks, cakes and creams teas made with freshly baked scones, strawberry preserve and clotted cream.
Enjoy a freshly ground cup of coffee which is responsibly sourced, and stay connected - access the Internet through the free Wi-Fi system which is available to all our customers."

So I took the opportunity to do a sketch while enjoying a pot of tea  and a scone (lovely!).

The guy behind the counter with his back to me wasn't in a huff - he was cutting hefty pieces of cake for some hungry customers

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Jet lag

I got back from Australia and jumped straight back into my normal routine. This was a bit of a mistake! After a few days, I felt exhausted, so my sketching was initially largely confined to home, where the best subject in my view is Zuko.

 Pigment liner, Stabilo marker and white gel pen
 Pigment liner and Stabilo marker
 Pigment liner, Stabilo marker and white gel pen
Derwent Graphik Line Painter pens
 Pigment liner and Stabilo marker

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


I was glad to be reunited with my cat, Zuko. He wasn't too thrilled at first - anticipating the cat carrier perhaps? Or just spoilt at the cattery? Anyway, once home he decided he was happy and that evening cuddled up next to me and insisted on attention!

Monday, 6 November 2017

The urge to sketch

Having re-established my sketching habit, I am determined to maintain it now that I'm back in Britain. So I'm putting it in black and white:

Sunday, 5 November 2017

And finally...

Taking stock and reviewing.

And that's it, folks - the end of my longest ever holiday!