The Golden Forest

I’ve just returned from a short break to the Forest of Dean, a place I have mentioned many times before. It’s my ‘childhood happy place’ and somewhere that holds a lot of treasured memories. This years visit was particularly special as my partner and I went in celebration of our anniversary - 12 years together. It was also our last little getaway before our baby arrives in January. Not only was it special for those two reasons but also because the autumn colours were so vibrant this year; richer and deeper gold, orange and yellow hues than I’ve ever seen before. It felt as though the trees were really putting on a show for us, to make our escape even more precious.

Last years trip to the Forest of Dean inspired many drawings and was the catalyst for starting the woodland studies series which is ongoing and a project that I particularly enjoy working on. It seems a shame that I rarely work with colour nowadays as this time it wasn’t so much the tiny details of the woodland that captured my attention but the incredible copper colours. Perhaps this will signal a change in my practice, from intricate monochromatic drawings in pen to abstracted landscapes focused on colour? Only time will tell.

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I hope you enjoyed these photographs taken by my partner Craig Pendrill. The Forest of Dean is located in Gloucestershire on the English/Welsh border.

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From The Road

While on my travels I was surrounded by inspiration. Landscapes took my breath away, hours upon hours on buses afforded me time to mull over my experiences and a few tiny sketches on postcards were all I had in place of a studio practice. I'm not a great artist/traveller. When I'm travelling I'm doing just that, making my way from place to place, seeing all there is to offer, zooming around the sights. Making work while away doesn't come easily to me and it didn't when I was on my last big trip either. I made some postcards and drew a couple of sketches but that was it, in eleven months my pen had hardly touched the paper. There just wasn't always time or space, when there was time I'd draw but it would take such a long time to finish one postcard that I wasn't left with much finished work. When I returned home I decided that I really wanted to create a body of work inspired by my big trip, I wanted to make drawings from the tiny postcards and use photographs from the journey as a starting point for new sketches. In order to fuel the project I booked a slot in a local gallery so that I'd have an end goal, a place where I could bring everything together and show just how inspiring the journey was. 

 Pucon, Chile,   21cm x 14.9cm, pen on paper

Pucon, Chile, 21cm x 14.9cm, pen on paper

 Twisted Trees in Tierra del Fuego, 21cm x 14.9cm, pen on paper

Twisted Trees in Tierra del Fuego, 21cm x 14.9cm, pen on paper

The exhibition will be called From The Road, a nod to Jack Kerouac's On The Road  which I read not long before setting off in September 2016. I am in the middle of creating work for the show at the moment, I have several drawings already made which can be viewed on my website here. In viewing the drawings in real life I hope the viewer will see the detail that I have attempted to capture and the overall impression of the landscape when you stand back. Each time I create a piece I am transported back to the place where it is inspired by, be it standing on top of a pass looking out over snowcapped mountains or in a forest surrounded by trees, mud and mist. If you are local to Hampshire then I'd love for you to see the show in person, details are on the poster below which was kindly put together by Bea at Sheep Shed Gallery.

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If you enjoyed reading then please click the heart at the bottom, share or better still leave me a comment, I love reading them. ❤️