Sunday 28 July 2013


MY SKETCHBOOKS rarely get shown to anyone. For me it is too vulnerable and exposing an experience letting someone else leaf through my unfinished scribbles, personal expressions and thoughts, especially whilst I am there!

I wish I was one of those people who had shelves and shelves of their past sketchbooks and journals, labeled diligently on the spines by year, but I'm not. 

Many of my sketchbooks get abandoned halfway through and left for years at the bottom of a drawer, only to be filled with new scribbles of a (by then quite altered) style when I'm in want of empty pages. 

I'm disorganised and unmethodic in my sketchbookkeeping. Roughs for paintings are often barely more than my own untranslatable hieroglyphic lines.

Populating the pages mostly are the odd vagabonding outcasts of my imagination ...

... as well as Tom sleeping and Macha between expeditions.

I draw in pencil, pen, charcoal ...

I draw from life, whether my subjects are sitting across from me in a cafe or on a train or in the otherworld.

In old sketchbooks I enjoy finding things I'd forgotten I'd drawn

A while ago I made a resolution to draw something in my sketchbook every day. No matter whether or not I felt inspired I forced pen to paper and produced something even if it was rubbish, even if it was just a scribble. I kept this up for a good part of a year and looking back over these pages now, I am pleased with what came out then; the drawings feel like notes from a delicious ongoing conversation with the imaginal world in which I was immersed.

My drawings come and go when they please. Sometimes they get finished, sometimes barely begun.

Sometimes the characters I find peering out from the pages at me are at once familiar and surprising, as if I did not draw them, but might have met them once in a dream.

These drawings shown here are small glimpses of pages from my sketchbooks spanning several years, which I felt (only just) brave enough to show you.

Whilst digging through them, I unearthed some old drawings which I thought someone in the world might like to own. Some will be familiar to you, some have never been shown before. Roll up and grab them if you feel so moved...

Elsie - pencil - available to buy here
(I drew this one a few years ago whilst sitting on the street selling my work,
only to look up and see her walk past!)

The Fish Who Pulled the House - pencil - available to buy here

Greta - pencil - available to buy here

Hiding the Hedgehog - pencil - available to buy here

In the Leshy Forest 1 - pencil - available to buy here
(these two were published in the Tiny Pencil Forests issue)

In the Leshy Forest 2 - pencil - available to buy here
(these two were published in the Tiny Pencil Forests issue)
Joseph - pencil - available to buy here

Who the Owl Said - pencil - available to buy here

The Spoon-Eared Child - pencil - available to buy here

The Unbeknown - pencil - available to buy here

This post is for Priya Sebastian, a wonderful artist based in Bengaluru, India, who asked me some time ago if I would put up some pages from my sketchbooks. (Though her own are far more interesting.) Thanks to Priya for making me look through my old pages! 

Whilst we are on the subject of drawing... my good friend Nomi McLeod who makes beautiful, delicate, raw and magical drawings in pencil has opened an etsy shop - Air & Parchment - selling prints, cards and originals, where I urge you to scurry, forthwith!

And before I depart, I shall leave you with a small platter of links to a smattering of artists who draw like demons and whose work I follow with great admiration...

Hita Hirons (my sister in law)