Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Beach time!

Have been plenty of these gorgeous summer evenings on the beach with picnics galore and lots of swimming.

Summer bliss....

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Misty trip to the car boot

The mist was really thick in pockets. It was the coldest morning for ages!

Monday, 3 December 2012

December Brighton Sketchcrawl

Has a mini Brighton Sketchcrawl on 1st Dec.

Outside The Royal Pavillion is an ice rink. Is set up every year around Christmas.

We all met in the adjoining cafe and enjoyed watching the ice rink skaters from the warmth of a cafe! Luxury urban sketching!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A new focus for me & this blog

I have realised, what I love most is drawing on location. I am an obsessive observer and recorder, especially of things that would usually be considered too mundane. This type of drawing even has a term (which I have only recently discovered) "reportage".
I love drawing bits of my day, the everyday: the events, the glimpses, the eavesdropped conversations, the people on buses, the neighbourhood, the trees and the street corners.

So that is what I am going to focus on for the next month. Less words. More drawing. More celebration of the everyday. Some days a five minute drawing and some days a much longer study. Would like to say that is what I am going to do for the next year, but feel too tentative to commit to that right now.

Lets see how December goes!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Trip to The Tate Britain

Sunday train to London.

Went to London to meet up with my Mum and brother and we ended up going to Tate Britain. Have never been before and was amazed at the scale of this building.

We saw the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition, which was much larger than I expected. Had a huge amount of work on show (drawings, prints and textiles, as well as paintings) and I got to see loads of paintings that I had only seen in books before. Ophelia by Millais had quite a crowd admiring it. In fact, the whole exhibition was extremely busy considering it was such a sunny Sunday.

Then we had a stroll along the Thames in the last of the sunshine. I do love London! I love its history, scale, grandeur and the amazing mix of people. As I walked back to Victoria Station, I passed Westminster Abbey. It was Remembrance Sunday, so there was this most amazing display of thousands of tiny, unassuming crosses outside the Abbey. All the crosses were named with an individual's details and some had photos attached. Made you realised how many people had died fighting and was a very poignant display. Were still lots of veterans about, all wearing their medals.

Am going to London again next weekend, so am going to try to squeeze in more drawing time than just the journey!

Monday, 12 November 2012

November sketchcrawl, Brighton

A small group of us met at the new Cafe Coho on Queens Road, Brighton (very convenient for the train station!).

I drew the newsagent opposite. Is typical of a newsagents surrounding a station, selling everything from tourist postcards to bottles of wine.

Inspired me to draw some more of the shops along here. Lots of them are rather scruffy and typical of a transit area. But as there are plans afoot to redevelop this part of town, should capture before it all become too gentrified!

Monday, 27 February 2012

February Sketchcrawl, Brighton

Enjoyed another great Brighton Sketchcrawl on Saturday. Is aways such a nice gang of people there - some familiar faces, some new, but always friendly and chatty.

When we arrived, the pier was deserted, so was strange drawing all the rides (accompanied by loud disco music) with nobody around, apart from the ride operators. Soon though people did start to stroll by. The pier was pretty sociable drawing experience for me - lots of children asking to see what I was doing and quite a few elderly couples. Had a chat with a Belfast couple holidaying in Brighton for their golden wedding!

The Dolphin Derby (my favourite attraction as a child) seemed to attract waves of customers. Will make a point of going back there, as was so much to draw and you get these really interesting clusters of people.

Despite the February chill, I really loved drawing around the pier. There is such a huge amount to draw.

Onto 112 Church Street for pub lunch, then Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, where I drew a couple of exhibits.

The Vespa drawing prompted a couple of interesting conversations with older couples reminiscing about the mods and rockers in Brighton during the 1960's.

So after all that drawing, I retreated for a quick coffee and a spot of people watching.

Last stop was The Eagle pub for a post sketchcrawl drink. A great day!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Looking back at Christmas

Looking back over some Christmas drawings, now I have my new scanner.

Are all imperfect drawings, generally done very quickly and are rather messy, but I love the way they capture those moments so much more accurately than any photo.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Blogging via my phone

Am experimenting with blog posting via my phone. Seems like a fantastic idea - take a quick photo of a drawing, crop it and then post it. Love the spontaneity of it.

This is a page of my visual diary - snippets from my day. Spot the deliberate mistake in this one... Too much looking at typography and not spelling :)

Friday, 3 February 2012

I know I shouldn't moan....

I am a lucky person who has a million things to be grateful for.

But I am struggling with this ongoing, wintery lack of daylight and the abrupt temperature change. For weeks in the UK, we have all been saying "Isn't this mild weather amazing!" We have even sat outside having a coffee in JANUARY! That changed this week and the temperature dropped and a bitter wind appeared. So I have spent the past week walking around, feeling as if the skin was going to curl off my face and fantasising about whether it would ever be acceptable to wear a balaclava around town? Have concluded no, but do so wish it was yes, though as a full time spectacles wearer, I appreciate that extra element would make the look even more unsettling.

So to cheer me out of this state of moaning and groaning, I bought these bunches of daffs at the car boot for ONE POUND! They have filled the whole basement of the house with a sunny scent for days. I can almost imagine the clocks have changed.....

The drawings are as brash as the flowers and I like them even more for that. The daffs have to be the bargain of the week! Hurray for daffodils! Slices of sunshine in the Winter gloom!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Brighton SketchCrawl, 21 Jan 2012

At last, after a series of catastrophic IT issues: my computer dying, swiftly followed by the printer/scanner refusing to switch on, am back online.

These drawings were done on the latest Brighton SketchCrawl. Was brilliant fun - is always such a friendly, open group of people. And drawing on location, as part of a group, is such an inspiring and rewarding thing to do.

All these drawings were done in Brighton Toy Museum. Even though it is only 10 minutes walk from where I live, I had shamefully never been inside before. And it is amazing! A real drawing paradise. The cabinets are bursting with a huge selection of toys and model trains galore. Of course there were toys that I remember, so that made me feel rather ancient. Would really recommend it as a place to visit.

These punch and judy puppets came complete with a hangman and noose! They date from 1815 and were for a child puppeteer.

These dolls were part of a large cabinet dedicated to Japanese dolls. Some were very delicate and beautiful, others slightly more eerie with pencil drawn strands of hair and staring eyes...

We are going to organise the SketchCrawl once a month, rather than once a quarter. If anyone is interested in joining in, regularly or just occasionally, please join the Facebook group Brighton SketchCrawl, where we'll share future plans and of course, our drawings.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Outside Cafe Coho, Brighton

If you like coffee and haven't yet discovered Cafe Coho in Brighton, would definitely recommend it. Fantastic coffee and a friendly cafe.

We have been so lucky with all this mild weather, so have been enjoying sitting outside much longer than usual. This is the view from one of the Coho's outdoor tables.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Mr Fitness

Sunday morning started with a flat tyre, so went to the car boot on the bus. While we were waiting for the bus back, spotted this fella and called him Mr Fitness. Lets just say, I would be surprised if I saw him competing in next year's Olympics.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Thinking about Summer

Am suffering again with the Winter glooms. Seem to arrive every year with the change in hour and darker evenings. Have drastically increased my vitamin D intake and upped the exercise, but still like a dormouse, wanting to sleep my days away.

I loved this post on Harika about how in October we need to consciously look for colour amongst the grey.

So have been browsing through some summertime drawings. These were done in Pavillion Gardens, Brighton at the start of the Brighton Festival. Jake from Brighton Drawing came down with one of his Cabinets of Wonder and some willing models. Clear blue sky, coffee, great people and interesting location to draw - a near perfect hour or so.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

October Brighton Sketchcrawl

Some belated sharing of my Brighton Sketchcrawl drawings. Was a great day! The sun shone and as always, there was a fantastic bunch of people to go drawing with.

We started at the Palace Pier. I ran out of time there (as always!) - would have liked to draw some rides, but instead just did these 2 foreshore drawings.

We then wandered towards the Level, stopped for some lunch and ended up at the Victorian Extra Mural Cemetry.

It is the most amazing place - you could wander and draw for days there, as the site is much larger than I imagined and has a valley, woodland and wildflower meadow, as well as the most amazing monuments, graves and chapels. Was so lucky to have a lady join the sketchcrawl who knows an amazing amount about it, Moira McQueeney, and who generously gave me a short guided tour at the end of the sketchcrawl.

Will definitely go back there and it really did strike me chatting to Moira how important it is to preserve and publicise such a large and amazing green space in Brighton city centre.

You can see some more drawings and photos of the day on Jake Spicer's blog

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Suffolk 3

One of my favourite day trips was to Ipswich Tranport Museum.

Is run entirely by volunteers and is full of all sorts of vehicles - everything from a tram, to old buses and coaches, fire engines and even a relatively modern police car. The volunteers staffing the museum are fantastic - so enthusiastic and brimming with knowledge, is really infectious.

Would love to be an artist in residence at this type of place, drawing the exhibits and running workshops with visitors.

You can sit in loads of the exhibits - the children that were there loved that.

They also had a great collection of old enamel signs. Am a sucker for these - I love their colours and typography.

Definitely worth a visit!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Suffolk 2

One of my favourite spots was Orford. It reminded me a lot of Dale in Pembrokeshire, with lots of small sailing dinghies, a couple of pubs and a lovely expanse of water.

Is the sort of place where there isn't much going on, apart from the sailing, boat trips to the Orton Ness Nature Reserve and groups of children excitedly catching crabs off the quay. But I could easily idle away a couple of days there, just looking out at the the wide horizon.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


We spent a week in Suffolk in a cottage. We had never been to that part of the country before - silly really, given it isn't far from Brighton. The weather was pretty kind and we had a fun time exploring the Suffolk coast.

Here are a few pages from my journal of the trip.

I didn't manage to do any drawings with my newly purchased dip pen and inks, which was a shame., but we always seemed to be on the move. Would like to go back to some spots and just draw next time.