Colouring-in of a Ferris wheel.


When was the last time you earnestly used crayons and did some colouring-in?

Me, I must have been a kid.

While crayons require effort (smooth paper isn’t ideal for crayons - paper with a tooth is better), I’ve enjoyed colouring over the last week. Some colours go on easy; others offer a waxy transparent resistance. And there are the internal logic games at play; do I try to use every one of my 24 colours or limit myself to specific colours? It’s a fascinating process.

Different materials enable and require different solutions and ways of thinking. It’s easy to see how elements from these pictures could cross-pollinate other areas of my practice.

And yes, I’m pleased with the horizontal stripes in the background of the Ferris wheel – totally unexpected and somehow exciting.

Syllabus, sketchbooks and everything


Cafe cacophony

Drawings of two paracetamol and a list of colours.

Paracetamol and a list of colours

Drawings of a dog, a head with glasses, doodles, and small milk jug all interwoven.

Café drawings

Sketchbook drawings of simple figures in blue pencil.

Sketchbook drawings of simple figures.

“Bubblehead” drawings (figures in the style of Ivan Brunetti)

I’ve rediscovered my sketchbook after reading Lynda Barry and her book Syllabus.

As an experiment, I’m following some of the outlines for the classes she has taught over the year, including colouring using crayons and drawing figures based on Ivan Brunetti’s instructions on making a figure from simple shapes.

A significant part of her classes includes keeping a sketchbook. Barry has her students use a “composition book”. These books are cheap notebooks with equally cheap paper. Barry encourages her students to take them everywhere and add receipts, snippets of conversation, beer mats, doodles, to-do lists, notes, and anything and everything.

All the different aspects of a student’s world get captured, cross-pollinate, and well, that is when the unexpected starts to emerge…

What it is


Detail from What It Is by Lynda Barry.

Over the last week or so, I’ve enjoyed reading and doing the writing exercises in Lynda Barry’s book, “What It Is”.

In the exercises towards the end of the book, Barry takes the reader through a simple process of generating an image, orienting yourself within that image, and then writing from within the image in the present tense.

The exercise can easily be built upon and tweaked, for example: writing from someone else’s perspective from within your story rather than your own, writing in the 2nd person or 3rd person.

I’ve also made a word bag (which, as it sounds, is a bag of words). Random words from the bag are used as a catalyst in the writing exercises. At some point, I may create a bag of images. These, too, will be used to stimulate the writing process.

So far, I’m enjoying doing something creatively different, with some structure, and perhaps most importantly, doing something for no reason.

Two new drawings


dothink drawings

Some things from last week:

  • My studio schedule is erratic as I’ve yet to find my rhythm during this period of resting, reflecting, exploring and experimenting.
  • The wall opposite the windows is the best wall to take photos on.
  • Some shelves and a table for the studio would be useful.
  • I bought what looks like an intriguing book, “Do Build — How to make and lead a business the world needs” by Alan Moore (not that Alan Moore).
  • These trainers look interesting.
  • And I visited Glen Hayward’s exhibition at City Gallery.