In the year or so that I have been keeping this blog, I have been given three awards, the most recent one just before Christmas – much to my shame, I haven’t followed them up, even though they have all given me much pleasure. To do justice to the generosity of the people who have nominated me I felt I needed more time to think about my response. So, now is the time to hand out some bouquets.

There are some bloggers who have a large following and get nominated very frequently, so I see they often ask for no more awards. I am planning to cheat a bit and not actually offer any awards, so that no-one needs to follow anything up, instead I will list some of the people who have inspired me since I began this journey, in the hope that more people will see their blogs and enjoy them as much as I have. I have gained far more from this journey than I ever expected, and have ‘met’ people who have become firm friends.

First, I should mention the people who nominated me – I follow them all and enjoy their take on their world. Many thanks to you all. First was Joseph Merrill, a photographer who works on his photos to take them into works that are sometimes like abstract paintings. His blog is called A Glimpse into my Work and is at

The next was Meticulous Mick, another photographer (I am surprised to find how many photographers I follow!) who captures the rich beauty of his native Ireland.

The third was Janina, another photographer who makes intense, intimate works which are deceptively simple.

Now, in no particular order are just some of the many people whose work continues to inspire me, make me think, surprise and delight me. – beautiful photos, drawings, paintings, whimsy, words and a close connection to the England I grew up in – delicate, ethereal photos of the natural world in Canada – incredibly detailed photo-realistic coloured pencil drawings with a personal touch that makes them unique – David does quirky, meticulous pen and ink drawings, sometimes with colour added – Veronica makes ceramics, female figures with a story to tell, and wonderful loose drawings – the life of Tim, a forester in California who draws, takes photos and has a wonderful calm, generous and humorous outlook on life – beautifully composed photos, mainly of domestic still life – Anita posts infrequently, but her work – large scale metal sculpture and delicate etchings – is beautiful – Susanne does glorious, loose, flowing drawings. – a mix of printmaking, ceramic and other three-dimensional work, lots of interesting experimentation – great draughtsmanship in charcoal – Jo makes minimal, loose, expressive watercolour paintings – intense, detailed drawings. Imagination working overtime! – Kate (mostly) paints botanical subjects, clean, accurate and elegant

There are many more artists I follow, this list could be very long! In general I have left out some who have thousands of followers as many people will already be familiar with their work, and tried to pick a variety who inspire me in different ways. Thank you to you all. I hope 2014 will be a wonderful, exciting, energetic and fulfilling year for us all.


Sketching from TV

In order to get practice at portrait sketching, it is best to find people who are unaware they are being drawn, and an easy way to do it is from the television. People who are being interviewed generally keep pretty much the same pose, sometimes for a decent amount of time. I keep a pen and sketchbook near the television and most of the time forget to pick it up, but every now and then get a good opportunity for a bit of drawing. Most often the people are politicians but the odd musician sometimes crops up. Below are Paul Keating, Treasurer and ultimately Prime Minister in the 1980s and 1990s, Kevin Rudd, also an ex-Prime Minister and Jakob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan and musician in his own right.