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Drawing has always been a vital part of my life. Sketchbooks go with me when I travel,  I record things I see and they act as a visual diary. I don’t always draw with stitching in mind, but often when I see a particular landscape for example, I find myself selecting forms, colours, textures and so on that link to my passion for threads. My way of drawing has changed over the years, often quite free and bold some years ago it is now quite tightly controlled.

My mantra is ” I look, I draw, I select and I translate” It’s often what you leave out rather than what you put in that makes starting a textile easier. I use pencil, colours applied with watercolour, ink tense pens or gouache, then frequently add pastels, and final lines in pen, biro, or pencil.

Some sketchbook drawings follow for you to look at.

This drawing is from Goodwood in the South Downs UK and links directly to the small works I’ve been making since the beginning of the year

Goodwood sketch001

“Strata 2” looks at the landscape around Covarrubias in Central Spain, an area that has influenced my work greatly in recent years

EPSON scanner image

“Near Cepeda” is taken from the landscape in the Sierra Salmantina in Spain, distant mountains are patchworked with fields and vines

Near Cepeda001

This sketch detail in particular shows my use of pastels over wash.

EPSON scanner image

We are off to France shortly so maybe other ideas will start to infiltrate what I make, you never know.

For me, being there, where-ever I am is vital. I can’t stitch what I haven’t seen!