Lock down has been a very mixed time for me. Ive appreciated working from home very much as its given me more time (my commute to the office is much shorter at the moment!), which Ive really appreciated.
Botanic art is an obsession of mine and these two images are my attempts at this discipline. Both are of flowers from my garden The forget-me-nots were flowering early in lock down and our boarders with filled with them, so cheerful in the sunshine that we had then. I was sorry that I started them as they are really fiddly to do, especially as they are painted at about life size – that will teach me! They are painted with Winsor & Newton watercolours on Stonehenge Aqua Hotpress watercolour paper.
This second painting I did a little later and is of Bluebells, also from my garden. This picture is also mainly watercolour but I have chosen to use graphite for some of the flowers. No reason really except that I thought it would make an interesting picture and, lets face it, I wanted to play with a recently acquired set of pencils!
I draw and paint as much as I can, often views while on holidays, sketches of hills, beaches and even caves, all of which have been out of reach for a while now. I guess you may understand this if you have absorbing hobbies but I feel that painting is an important part of looking after my mental health. The really detailed illustration work that I do needs hours and days of absolute concentration to avoid mistakes, there’s no room in my head for distraction by the stresses of the world while I do this. For me settling down to paint with some beautiful music in the background is heaven and at the moment, its a distraction from COVID-19.
Over the Christmas break, I have been doing some sorting and came across a really old sketch book. Sketch books and notebooks always bring back lovely memories. I’m looking forward to filling more pages this year. Happy new year!
In recent years I have developed a fascination for botanic art and the many very talented exponents of this technique. I have learned lots from day classes and books and spent many “happy” hours absorbed in trying to capture the details of leaves and flowers. I’m a total addict, although I confess, I more often use what I have learned in my fossil reconstructions than painting flowers!
I have been lucky enough to go caving with some lovely people and have visited many amazing caves around the world. Whilst caves are often a challenging place for making art, taking some time to sit quietly and sketch rewards by revealing grandeur and exquisite detail, in equal measure.
These images of Carboniferous plants were used as part of a pamphlet which I wrote for the South Wales Geologists’ Association. These were used at events to help children understand fossils that they find at out-reach events organised by the group
Ive been very lucky to have had the chance to travel as part of my work. Recently, this has included Singapore where I studied igneous rocks. An island between Singapore and Pulau Ubin – Pulau Sekudu made quite an impression on me with its pinkish granites and amazing shapes, sculpted by the tropical climate.