16 Feb 2013


I have been adding more cards to my card shop page.  Some of the images have a story to tell...

I drew this a while ago, it was a commission for a lovely lady in Germany called Brigitta Lizinski who asked for an edition of 50 exlibris prints of the theme of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray.

I'll write about exlibris in another post but, briefly, an exlibris is a label of ownership pasted inside the front cover of a book.  This was something that started centuries ago when books were highly valued and was usually in the form of the owners coat of arms.  In later centuries the images became more pictorial and by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century they became a collectable thing in their own right.  A collector commissions artists to produce editions of prints, and whilst these are still sometimes pasted into books, there main function is to be exchanged with other collectors, thereby amassing a collection of miniature artwork.  Exchange meetings are held around the world and exchanging is fast and furious with some collectors owning many thousands of prints.

Back to Dorian Gray, Brigitta is a collector of exlibris with a literary theme and she has a love of Oscar Wilde.  I had to re-read the book to decide on the image I would use but it had to be the final scene, Gray, about to destroy what he had indeed become, thinking it would free him and wipe out the evil life he had led.

This drawing was for another exlibris for Brigitta.  I'd always intended drawing Merlin.  For many years I had loved the work of Alan Lee (long before his Lord of the Rings fame) and expecially his various depictions of Merlin.  I was very excited by this commission but disappointed that she wanted the scene to be at the end of his story when he becomes imprisoned for ever in a stone tomb.  I almost turned the commission down but I read several versions and realised that it could be seen as a true love story.  Although Merlin loved Nimue he would leave her alone for long periods, fed up with this she persuaded him to teach her his magic and then used it against him.  Merlin was so in love with Nimue that, knowing his fate, he followed her.  As he slept she circled him nine times with her wimple thus enchanting him to stay forever in that place where she would visit him often, and she did.  Some said he was imprisoned in a tree, others in a tower, I chose to show it as a place of his own making.

13 Feb 2013



When I was a child in Doncaster I hadn't seen snow, though there was a grey sludge that never lasted long.  When my parents visited Pickering to view the farm they intended buying they returned with a flask of white snow - it was April.  Our first winter at the farm we couldn't get to school for a week because of the snow drifts.  We didn't have a sledge but we had something much better, an enormous metal tea tray!

10 Feb 2013


Pencil 2.5" x 2.5"

I drew this last year, my very favourite flower.  I don’t think the snowdrops at my studio will be this far open for quite a while, but they are trying – sharp white spikes at the end of green shoots.   There are some little double ones fully out and I love them but they don’t have the slender elegance of the three petal ones.

I was accused of making invisible pencil lines.  I’d been doing some very delicate work using mainly 2H and 4H pencils.  Well I could see the lines but I thought it would be an interesting exercise to try something more graphic with a wide tonal range.   I’d also been thinking for a while about working on a smaller scale.  

I really enjoyed drawing the snowdrop and what started as a one off experiment became a series of ten pictures.  I used hard surface papers, Snowdrop was done on 300gsm Conqueror & Owl in Flight, which I put on and earlier post, is on Fabriano, pencils were 4H to 3B

I'm working on a fairly large scale at the moment but I'm planning some more small pictures, I have all sorts of images floating in and out of my mind, maybe in colour.

7 Feb 2013


I've added more cards to the CARD SHOP page.
There's lots more to add yet, about 40!

Must go to Birdgate Chocolatiers and check if they need any more, not exactly a chore.

2 Feb 2013


Little owl on
Little Owl in
Hollow Tree

I've just added two more owl cards to my CARD SHOP page.
I have a range of about 50 cards, I'll keep adding them so please come back and have a look.

Owls are one of my favourite subjects, the other being Hares.  I don't have any hare cards yet but hares have been the subject of my latest work, so I'll have cards of them soon.

I've been working in pastel, a medium I haven't used for quite a while and I'm really enjoying it. so far I've  finished a leveret waiting for it's mum as the sun goes down, an old hare sunbathing in a hollow, a watchful hare sitting upright and the hare on the drawing board at the moment is on a hare track, pausing for just a moment before it leaps off.

I think my next hare will have to be in the snow, a brown hare standing out on a pale backgound.