sketchbooks

When you draw something or somewhere, you REALLY see it.

Through drawing, you experience a place in a much deeper way’. You take the time to draw a breath, to smell and listen and feel a place, absorb it and then express it on the page.

I've lived overseas  for many years and love to travel. Wherever I go, I always carry my sketchbook.

And as Victoria Crowe says so eloquently, my sketchbook is my visual diary to experiment and explore and dream and imagine and it's just for me! Sometimes my drawings lead to larger paintings.

Often, just the experience of making the drawing, soaking up the atmosphere and capturing a memory is enough.

Here is a small selection of my sketchbooks.

Have a wander, and if you click onapictures, you see them with a black background, and it looks nicer.

IMG_6701
IMG_6701

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IMG_6864
IMG_6864

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IMG_6697
IMG_6697

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IMG_6701
IMG_6701

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Poland

October 2- 12, 2020

The aroma of pierogies and the quest for gravity-assisted adventures brought us to Krakow and the mostly downhill Dunajec Trail...

It was weorth having to quarantine when we returned home. Poland had been a Covid-19 acceptable "travel corridor" with Britain till the day we left!

France and Italy

Starting from the ferry crossing at New Haven, this sketchbook chronicles  2 road trips, one to Italy in 2018, and one to the south of France for a motorcycling adventure.

In late summer, 2018, I ran a week-long residential painting course at Caza Bezzia, a beautiful farm just outside Bardi, close to Parma, (where the ham and cheese come from. We even met the cows!) 

After the course, Richard and I drove to Bologna and on to Lucca, one of the most paintable cities in the world!

We journeyed home through Cinque Terre and back through France.

The following year, we drove to Tours and on to the Lot Valley for a week on motorbikes, glorious countryside and charming villages, coming home through Albi and Toulouse. And then a few sketches at home in brighton.

Au revoir a Ingleterre
Au revoir a Ingleterre

The white cliffs recede as we ferry out of New Haven at the start of our Italian adventure.

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First night ni France and a welcome cold beer
First night ni France and a welcome cold beer

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IMG_9716
IMG_9716

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Au revoir a Ingleterre
Au revoir a Ingleterre

The white cliffs recede as we ferry out of New Haven at the start of our Italian adventure.

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IMG_0937
IMG_0937

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IMG_0940
IMG_0940

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IMG_0924
IMG_0924

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IMG_0937
IMG_0937

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1/15

Morocco

A flying week in the Morocco, starting in Tangiers.

We stayed with a friend of our friend Rachel's and had a bit of an  inside invitation the bohemian expat life and cafe society of this wonderful coastal city. Every day around 11 am we'd go to Cafe Tingis, drink coffee with fascinating new friends, and I'd draw.

Later, we took the train to Fez, (which hit a cow en route) and returned via a place I must return, Chefchaouen.

The BLUEST town on earth, bluer than Johdpur!

So inspiring. I'd love to return, stay and PAINT!

Israel, Palestine & Jordan

A great advantage of living in the Kingdom of Bahrain for 8 years was the proximity to other parts of the middle east. I travelled to Israel and Jordan twice, and several times to Oman, Qatar and the Emirates.

Here are a few of my sketches, mainly from Jerusalem, one of my favourite cities in the world, and Bethlehem in the West Bank, and Petra in Jordan.

Petra
Petra

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Pencil sketch of Bedouin
Pencil sketch of Bedouin

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Banksy in Palestine
Banksy in Palestine

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Petra
Petra

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St Simon
St Simon

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Katourah
Katourah

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Voyage Voyage
Voyage Voyage

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St Simon
St Simon

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Aleppo

My friend, the French journalist, Francine Burlet and I travelled to Aleppo in 2010 to work on an article for “Voyage, Voyage” magazine, she to write the text and me to illustrate.

We had a GREAT time! We stayed in chic boutique hotels, ate delicious food, had great conversations with locals and marvelled at the ancient souq and magnificent citadel. The city was in World Cup frenzy and the only tensions were about football, and Brazil vs. South Africa. People were incredibly friendly and open, Christians and Muslims living side by side. My caption to the painting of the citadel was , “great place to sit and have a beer and watch the world go by”.

 These sketches were used in the publication.

Within a year the subject matter was irrevocably changed, much of it no longer exists and the people are gone. But where? I want to find a way but I don’t know how to begin to express my sorrow at the tragedy has befallen the wonderful people of Syria.

Click here to read the full article.