“I like to focus and keep my designs simple. For a picture to work it has to surprise me.”
On September 18th 2018 we packed the bare essentials into our new (to us) blue two year old Berlingo. These essentials included a record player, about 100 LPs, smart cutlery, white linen tablecloth, art books, a slow cooker, a large roasting tin, 10 white dinner plates, 10 wide soup plates, duvets and clothes for hot and cold weather, and about a million other things.
Also my vintage Ovaltine tin of oil pastels, my red and blue plastic Woolworths work box full of pencils, charcoal, Blu Tack, rubbers, craft knives, bulldog clips, several empty drawing books, two drawing boards and twelve wooden frames from Matelan.
We drove from Brighton to Dover, then Calais in France, through Switzerland and then Italy, arriving at our flat in Santa Croce in Venice on 22nd September.
Our plan was to unhurriedly get to know Venice, Berlin and Seville over the next eighteen months. They were all cities we had been to before and wanted to spend more time in.
I started drawing on the first day, from our vaporetto stop at San Stae (it is featured in the film Don’t Look Now.) I carried on drawing nearly every day for eighteen months.
When we came back in March 2020 I had about thirteen drawing books and several thick envelopes of oil pastel drawings.
I started to do small collages in our spare room back in Brighton - small because of limited space but I was also inspired by artists on Instagram doing small works.
Small does not mean quick. For me achieving images that surprised me and worked for me was sometimes like getting blood out of a stone. Luckily the lockdown days were long and empty.
I posted regularly on Instagram and earlier this year I had some images made into cards.
I like how they look. It seems like a neat way to progress with my art and for people to see what I do and make some purchases!