I’m honoured to announce that I have been commissioned by Marchmont House to create a triptych of charcoal drawings for their collection. I’ll be on residency there in the Old Squash Court for the first two weeks of June, where I’ll begin working on some new pieces in my ‘Ghosts’ series, based on Marchmont trees.
Find more on the residency in this blog post.
I spent the first week in May on a residency at The Old Lock Up Gallery in my native Derbyshire. I moved to Scotland almost 30 years ago but still feel a pull to the trees and rocks of my childhood landscapes. It was good to be back.
Oak trees in charcoal
Before I travelled to Cromford, I gave myself a particular focus for the work and some practical constraints. I’ve learned that I’m most productive and creative when
It’s always a pleasure to share my enthusiasm for drawing with like-minded people but for last Saturday’s “Drawing in the trees’ workshop that pleasure was doubled by having my poetic collaborator Steve Smart along with me at Howden Park Centre. Nine delightful tree-loving folk braved some foul weather to come and find out more about drawing, trees and charcoal, and were also treated to a first hearing of some of Steve’s poems.
I’ll be writing more about how we’re working together in another post but in the meantime I highly recommend you head to his blog for a treat for your ears. What’s emerged for me so far is that we share the same interest in trees, woodland and landscape, which inspire us to create in our chosen mediums – he writes about the things I draw, I make drawings about the themes he writes about. I’m loving having that extra dimension to feed into my creative process.
So on Saturday we all worked intensely for the three hours and I suspect I tried to fit too much in – a common mistake of mine – there’s just so much to do!! Steve’s readings provided a welcome little oasis of reflection and he also managed to take some great photos of participants concentrating hard on their work, which he’s kindly let me share here.
Thanks to everyone who came along for being a great group prepared to get stuck right in – which makes my job so easy and very satisfying. I love seeing the results of a workshop, how each person’s work is so uniquely ‘theirs’ even though they are responding to the same subject, just like the poet and the artist…
Thanks to Steve Smart for the great workshop photos – here’s his blog about the day…
In my latest exhibition I present a collection of drawings which are the end products of my dialogues with trees.
Throughout their often very long lives, trees are engaged in a dialogue with their surroundings, with the ground they grow in, the prevailing weather, the other plants, animals and people that live alongside them. There are physical clues in their forms that provide a record of that dialogue.
Similarly, the process of drawing is one of dialogue – it is a record of the interaction between the artist and the subject, the eye and the tree, the hand, the paper and the mark making tool. As John Berger says, a drawing of a tree is not just a tree, but ‘a tree being looked at’. All my work has intense looking at its heart.
The exhibition preview is on Thursday 3rd November, then is open to the public from Friday 4th to Sunday 23rd April 2017.