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Sketchbooks – beware!! A place where ideas can die.  A brainstorm on the brainstorm device.

I as many artists do hold sketchbooks in an almost sacred high regard. They are intimately personal, show workings, ideas – good and bad, notes and miscellany…some so personal that they are out of bounds to all viewers other than to the hand that created them.

So inestimably useful in the genesis of new ideas and pushing existing ones – and entire practices on, a sketchbook is an incredibly powerful tool – in my opinion even more so as an essentially ancient device in a world which is becoming evermore electronic and technologically advanced.

But beware! A sketchbook to an avid user can also be where ideas are stored safely away- only to be hidden by the proceeding page and another slightly different idea laid down. As a melting point type of artist who works instinctively and intuitively every single one of these drawings subliminally inform all future works but for real focussed work I think one must be careful not to leave these drawings in the vaults of history and to eternal redundancy.

Quite often I work in an essentially spontaneous manner – cultivating ideas and stealing time to do so as and when I can during my working day, this results in a sometimes fragmented and fractured mass of drawings accumulating that I try to look through as often as possible so as to glean as many of the developments relevant to my work at the time as I can. Sometimes this trawling helps and sometimes I have to look at the problem on the page before with fresh eyes but the sketchbook is an invaluable and reassuring resource that underpins my practice.

No matter what type of art (or anything for that matter) you indulge in I can guarantee the use – even light use of a sketchbook will inform, develop – and enrich whatever is you are trying to achieve, they can be the most brutal advocates of a quick creative death for any idea tested on the exposed page but also hold the strange power of resurrection to sometimes doomed ideas from many moons before.

In short, if you haven’t already – get sketching!

Thank you as always for reading


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Over the last year or so my practice has evolved more deeply than I thought it would in this time span, my resolve has become granite like and the passion for my work has exploded beyond almost manageable proportions.  I think about what I am doing constantly and feel distracted by the thought of what I am doing, what has been – and what could be.

I consider myself very privileged to feel like this about something within my life (people aside)…but there is a downside.  A downside maybe that is being forced into an ever sharper focus as the evolution of my work deepens and my thoughts are drawn ever stronger into what I am doing, a constant self inflicted pressure to work.  I guess it is partly a discipline that I have imparted upon myself and partly my conscience for some lost years of creativity.  Whatever the thought process behind my daily rituals it is sometimes tiring, I sat in my studio this evening and found it difficult to concentrate, a futile attempt to add meaningful progress to work already in the process of coming to life.

I think this is one inherent problem that anyone who practices part time has to deal with – and it’s hard at times, not to keep going – but to be able to stop.  I apologise for venting my frustrations so openly but looking at work that is part realised and being too tired to add to it…is deeply unsatisfactory.

I have been toying with the idea of going part time with my day job and concentrating more fully on my endeavours – now more than ever.

A profoundly frustrated artist thanks you as always for reading.


So things have been very busy recently in the Belton studio.  Whilst it has been business as usual in regards to working as intensely as my working life permits me I have also put on my first solo exhibition.  It is currently being held at The Snug bar and café in Leigh on sea, Essex (to be taken down on Friday) so if you’re in the area please pop in and see what I’m all about.

The private view was held on Friday 28th and I have to say I could not believe how many people came (I think it was around 70), I was blown away – even more so to then sell eight works that night.

I absolutely loved organising, hanging and having my work displayed for all to see (as opposed to being stored away in a plan chest in my studio), it also taught me an awful lot about exhibiting my work.  The relationship between the frame and the work itself – how they interact together, how the framing can change the appearance of the drawing.  lessons learnt and experienced gained, whilst I am very happy with how things looked I will also do things differently next time round.  another interesting thing I noticed is that when hanging the drawings (21 in total) thy were grouped, re-grouped and shuffled again on the floor to attain a sense of flow to the exhibition and in that I noticed how some work is naturally better grouped with others and the common themes running through my practice – it almost stated the obvious visually but helped me to see in an almost flow chart state the differences in certain elements of what I do – this I loved.

I felt confident about what I have done and found myself able to fluently talk to people about what I do, how they see it and the associations people were making – please do not mistake this for a boast, it is simply that I usually work in solitude so this is all very new to me and I am pleased with how natural it all felt.  I guess I must of underestimated just how much I think about what I do.

This experience has enlivened an already raging passion for what I do and am feeling the starvation of an artist exploding with ideas waiting to be devoured.

Thank you as always for reading.


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