Sunday, September 13, 2020

Compressed Charcoal Videos for the Arts North West Micro Grant


These two videos show how I build up darkness with compressed charcoal and below is the finished drawing. Compressed charcoal is much darker and richer than ordinary charcoal and extremely messy so use newspaper or a drop cloth under your easel. It will also make your hands very black. If this could be a problem I suggest using a disposable rubber glove. The charcoal will wash off with soap and water but it takes a bit of scrubbing. 


Some artists use a mixture of compressed charcoal, charcoal pencil and graphite in their work in order to get really dark areas. I am still experimenting with cross hatching graphite into areas of compressed charcoal in a way that gets a believable blend, the drawings below show such a work in progress.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Videos of knead-able graphite.

Here are two videos I made of myself trying out a product called knead-able graphite. It is very messy but lots of fun. These were my first videos and I didn't think about actually talking about the product while I used it. The materials were purchased courtesy of a micro grant supplied by Arts North West.  


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Arts North West micro grant for a home-based residency.


In May this year I was the lucky recipient of a micro grant from Arts North West that enabled me to undertake a home-based residency exploring issues of loneliness and isolation generated by the Covid19 lock down. I have found it to be the most exhilarating experience and have  had a couple of extremely productive months. I have experimented with new materials and started working on a major theme revolving around Dante's dark and savage wood. 

I have made some mini videos of myself trying out the new drawing materials and aim to get these all posted to this blog over the next week or two to give people the time to see them without feeling they are being overwhelmed by the number of them. All of the videos have been posted to Facebook:

Creative New England also did an interview with me about the project which you can find here:

Here are some photos of the works in progress and some of the finished pieces.

Thank you Arts North West! 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Update Long Overdue

It is so long since I posted on my blog, I apologise. In my defence I can truly say I have been busy. I shall try to make up for it by posting some of my creations that I have finished over the last year.
This one is pen on paper, approx. 51cm x 71cm. It began as an old drawing I'd made for an 8 metre mural I was commissioned to paint at St Agnes Catholic College in Rooty Hill in 2002. I unearthed the drawing and thought it was too good to leave as a sketch. I have made a few additions to make it something completely different from the mural. I am currently working on the second panel of this piece.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What's new?

I posted the finished version of The Junk Shop on FaceBook but here it is as well! It was inspired by a visit to a magnificent junk shop in Walcha. It was a rainy, cold day and the huge old shop was gloomy. It was chock a block full of stuff.

The little girls in this picture have wandered off the street from the picture in my previous post and are now playing hide and seek.

Other news is that I have just had official word that my application to do an M Phil in Creative Practice at UNE has been successful. I will be writing a novel/novella using Jenny Wren, the dolls' dressmaker from Our Mutual Friend, as the main character. The genre? Crime!

So lots of writing and lots of drawing coming in the next year. I will try to keep progress documented on my blog!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

New Drawings

Yesterday I began a new drawing, it will probably be the beginning of a series, don't seem to be able to do many stand alone pictures. This one was inspired by an article my lovely literary agent, Isabel Atherton of Creative Authors, sent me, knowing I would love the work of Domenico Gnoli.

I had to start a drawing straight away. The influences are: Gnoli, of course, Edward Gorey, a long time favourite, as well as the brilliant Paula Rego and one of my first artist loves, Balthus.

Below are three examples of Gnoli's drawings.