Royal College of Physicians’ Medicinal Garden

I have been invited to draw the Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) as part of their celebration for the 500th anniversary of the Royal College of Physicians and the 400th anniversary of the college’s publication of Britain’s first pharmacopoeia, the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis (PL).  In 2018 they are planning to produce an illustrated reissue of the first PL, a Florilegium.  This will be launched at the College with an art exhibition in 2018. On my visit I was totally amazed by the building of the Royal College of Physicians – a Grade I listed building designed by renowned architect Sir Denys Lasdun …

Filming and flowers

I am collaborating with film maker Sam Weston to create an artist video.  We have filmed in my studio and at New Covent Garden.  I look forward to sharing it with you soon. Film Maker Sam Weston

Drawing in the rain

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig is like stepping into a Constable painting.   There is a house of elegant proportions, rolling emerald green grasses that leads the eye to a lake where six swans live.  The light is pure and whiter than I am used to in London.  When the sun is not hidden behind candy-floss clouds dramatic shadows appear on the landscape.  Standing in front of the steps leading to the house there is a sense that in some strange way time has paused. After the solitude of my day in the studio and exploring the grounds I look …

Romance In A Box

A few days before Valentines I visited New Covant Garden Flower Market in Nine Elms, London.  I have been meaning to go for years and was not disappointed.  I loved seeing flowers in a completely different context.  The flowers are in transit, ready to be bought by florists etc.  Individual  buds are wrapped carefully in celeophane and there are boxes of flowers as far as the eye can see.  I think this is the start of a new project.  The market is open from 4am – 9am weekdays.

Plein Air Marathon

I saw a notice in the window of Chelsea Framers a few months ago detailing The Plein Air Marathon.  I was not familiar with this French expression, which means “in the open air”.  Artists have long painted outdoors but in the mid 19th century working in natural light became particularly important to Impressionism.  The popularity of plein air increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paints in tubes.  I do not consider myself a painter and I like to work in my studio.  I therefore decided this marathon was not ideal for me. I broke away from the comfort …

Ballinglen Arts Foundation

I have returned from windswept County Mayo in Ireland where I was awarded a Fellowship from Ballinglen Arts Foundation.  I was given a wonderful studio with north facing windows and a characterful cottage.  I have always dreamt of time and space away from all distractions to focus entirely on my work.  At first I found this confronting.  However once I began drawing, exploring the area, meeting other artists and locals, I loved it! The harsh Atlantic winds sculpt the landscape.  Trees arch at unusual angles hanging on for dear life and the cliffs are monumental.  I began collecting plants and …