A look around the studio – April 2023

Leaf studies

Every now and again, a new and surprising strand of work emerges. Having spent the past couple of Autumns paying attention to the fallen leaves that get trampled and weather-beaten on pavements and pathways, at the beginning of this year I began to make watercolour paintings based on particular leaves. Working from collected leaves and photos taken in the studio, I am interested in exploring their distinctive forms and structures – trying to reveal something of their character and beauty. Some are close studies of individual leaves, some appear with more abstract elements drawn from lichen and other natural forms. These studies focus on the passage of time, the transitory nature of all things and the way in which a history is revealed in each leaf.

Observational studies

I continue to work from objects collected over many years. How they appear to shift and settle, shift and settle, as my eyes scan each facet and relationship. They are ‘still lives’ – though they are anything but ‘still.’ Perception and representation are active creative processes – always yielding new insights and perspectives.

Trees, rocks, landscape & architecture

Drawings continue to be made of trees – trying to evoke their character and presence – either in relation to landscape or to interesting buildings. Geological structures are an enduring interest revealing, as they do, the passage of time, erosion and weathering.

Lichen drawings & organic forms

My interest in the growth patterns and forms of lichens continues, along with observations of the tracks made by creatures. Marks made by beetles in tree bark, trails made by snails and even the paths made by humans in the landscape – sometimes over centuries – are visually interesting and meaningful.


Following a gap of two or three years, I have begun to add to this series of drawings that started in 2019. These new works employ watercolour and graphite using a variety of brushes, feathers and twigs. The Cantos continue to develop intuitively – one mark leading to another and another … my hope is that they are interesting in themselves, and as evocations of weather, movement, flowing forms meeting more static shapes … perhaps there are echoes of Daoist ideas about natural harmony, the interaction of yin and yang, the universe as endless motion.

Notebook studies


This series is concerned with chance distribution of pictorial elements and echoing of similar forms. Organic shapes and structures are counterbalanced by more geometric uprights and curves. There is a tension between indeterminate and determinate placing of forms.