Sketching progress

It’s fascinating to put together a timeline of your work in one medium to give a sense of how you are progressing. This is particularly useful if you’re experiencing a creative block or negative thoughts about your ability. Below I’ve put together a timeline of my ‘cafe sketches’ over the past two years (oldest to […]

Abstracting the natural world

For my final set of emulsion prints for Wirksworth Festival this year I was looking for something a little more abstract than the existing set. Much as I’ve enjoyed slightly manipulating my own photographs in terms of colour and perspective it was now time to push things a little further. So in the triptych below […]

A Victorian find in Dovedale

I had a long run around Dovedale, Derbyshire last weekend. It’s a route I often do early in the morning and it keeps mostly to the hill tops and more remote valleys and gullies. It was a hot day and I was fairly dazed as I climbed up one of the last hills which is […]

THiNK submission

I had a good talk with the curator at the fantastic creative space THiNK in Nottingham a few months ago and she asked me to consider putting in for the summer open exhibition. It sounded like a great opportunity as the gallery gets good foot fall due to them hiring out their rooms for corporate […]

Emulsion transfer – a learning curve

I took it upon myself to perfect emulsion transfer of photocopied images onto canvas a few weeks ago. This is a technique we learnt at college and it immediately struck me as having great potential. I particularly like the way that the results are unpredictable, individual and have a nice retro aesthetic. However, previous attempts […]

Sheffield brutalism

We had a day trip to Sheffield which is easily accessible given the new station at Ilkeston. The weather was grey and overcast but as we were in search of urban decay and brutalism this enhanced the opportunities. Sheffield has not benefited from the level of regeneration of other northern cities but there does seem […]

Loughborough University degree show

We made the short hop to see the Fine Art degree show at Loughborough University and were not disappointed. Some of the work was quite breathtaking, particularly the painting and monotone mark making. Some of the pieces were huge in scale and it was easy to appreciate the time taken to produce them. I do […]

Trip to Galway and the Burren

A short break to Galway, Ireland was planned with a further foray on to the Burren. The Irish weather was kind and the contrast between the city and nature was stark. The challenge with urban photography in a place full of tourists is finding those shots that get underneath the skin of human existence. I […]

Long Eaton photoshoot

My son is a big fan of brutalist architecture so we spent an afternoon in Long Eaton trying to capture some shots of the urban environment in the fascinating back streets. Long Eaton has suffered economically but there is a rich history of manufacture and many of the buildings still reference the prosperous past. We […]

Creative mornings Derby – first event

Creative Mornings is a worldwide initiative for creative people to meet up and network over coffee and croissant and listen to a short talk on an aspect of creativity. Today a new chapter met for the first time in Derby so I went along to get to know the creative inhabitants of this city with […]

Van Gogh and McCullin at Tate Britain

We had a day visit to the new Vincent Van Gogh exhibition at Tate Britain that explored his time in England as well as his artistic influences and those he later influenced. On at the same time was a Don Cullin exhibition so after a strong coffee we rattled through that, and it was all […]

Format Festival 2019

The Format Festival that showcases international photography in and around Derby is always a fascinating event – not just the photographic work but also the venues which are used to host the various artists. This year new venues were on the trail, including the historical Tram Shed which had recently been renovated and is about […]

Hockney on the art of looking

I listened to a short interview with David Hockney on the tram in to college today ( As usual his analysis of art and our appreciation of the world around us was delivered with Yorkshire frankness and a wry smile. The quote that stuck with me is this one: Most people don’t look. They scan […]

A trip to Sri Lanka

A recent trip to Sri Lanka was enlightening in many ways. We took a clockwise route around the southern half of the country and stayed in cities, rain forest and high tea plantations. Art galleries were hard to find other than in trendy cafes so I took some time to find Buddhist temples. To be […]

Raised Beds curation

The opening of the Raised Beds event was a great experience with over 200 people attending and sampling the college-supplied wine. It was fascinating to see the work together for the first time and the feedback was fantastic. I think the public saw an interesting comparison with the Gilman work next door and many found […]

Raised Beds opening event

The opening event at the Nottingham College/Djanogly art gallery joint exhibition was a pleasure to be a part of. 28 fine art students were given the opportunity to exhibit in a major public space which a unique opportunity and thanks go to our tutor Tom Hackett for masterminding the event with the gallery. More than […]

Short sketches sometimes just work

A recent trip to London left me with 30 minutes to wait at St Pancras station so I sat underneath Paul Daly 2007 statue, Meeting Place and attempted a sketch. The foreshortening was very challenging but I blocked in the main shapes and build up the forms from there. As I started shading it just […]

Raised beds – Interrogating the Domestic

Raised Beds was a unique collaboration between Djanogly Art Gallery and FDA students at Nottingham College and was a response to the Harold Gilman exhibition currently on show in the main gallery. I chose to try my hand at painting, specifically acrylic. I’ve never really painted before so it was a steep learning curve, particularly […]