The questions and my answers:
Béliza and I first met and the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Barcelona and then again at last year's symposium in Paraty. I was very fortunate to spend a few days with her prior to the symposium exploring and sketching another Brazilian town, which was a great way to warm up for the intensive sketching that occurs at the symposiums.
How does Around the World Blog Hop work?
Every week someone is nominated to answer a few questions about their creative process, post those answers on the following Monday and nominate someone else to do the same.
This year is turning out to be a time of experimentation for me. I have been employed as an art tutor for the charity WEA and my first course this year is back at the homeless café Sanctus teaching Mixed Media. As this is not my area of expertise I have been experimenting with texture, collage etc.
Recently, I took a workshop in etching, which I haven't done since art college, and I can't wait to get back in the print workshop as my head is full of ideas. You can read about the workshop here.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I am a pen and ink artist specialising in drawings of buildings, landscapes, boats, portraits and more. Very few people work primarily in black and white like I do nor with the detail and interpretation that I bring to a subject.
This is an example, Al Minsefah Doorway, which is part of my popular Decay series drawings. More here: Decay Series.
Why do I create what I do?
I have always drawn and from an early age I was aware of a pen drawing of my grandmother's farm hung in my parents' house and I wanted to be able to copy it. It was at art college that I really focused on drawing with all types of ink pens. I mainly had to teach myself the techniques through reading art books and emulating artists I liked as the majority of my lecturers were painters. A college printing course, where I first learnt to etch and yearned to be the next Albrecht Dürer, was a great influence too, but at the time I found the process too slow and liked the relative immediacy of drawing with pen & ink better.
I choose subjects that appeal to me and themes have repeated throughout my career such as decaying buildings, wood and rocks, which all lend themselves well to the medium. Travel and culture is a big part of my life, and these are also reflected in my drawing subjects.
However, my world is not only black and white. As an urban sketcher, I often add watercolours to my on-location sketches.
I always have a sketchbook near me, although I do not sketch daily, I use it and my phone to record things that catch my eye, from the shadows on trees on a dogwalk to the interaction between people in a coffee shop. From those on-location sketches and/or photos I them compose a drawing, chosing the focal point, what's needed to give context, what to leave in, move position, or take out. Each drawing is not a copy of a single image but an amalgamation. For example,
Finally, I would like to nominate Kris Wiltse, www.drawingsfromlife.blogspot.com to post next Monday. Kris does amazing watercolour sketches and inspired me to sketch directly in paint as seen in my skaters here. Don't forget to pop over to see Béliza's post and others in this blog hop.