Carton #3
Carton #1

Carton #1

The anatomy of a cardboard box

In an exhibition of new drawings at Dunblane Museum Gallery, I explore the shapes, shadows and corners suggested by everyday packaging material.  This work is based on my interest in these discarded fragments of our contemporary life, and the associations and stories, not to mention the beautiful shapes and shadows, that I see in these objects.

I am experimenting with a particular approach to making art, consciously moving from concept to making and back again, as described by Donald Schon in his book “The Reflective Practitioner”.  The trigger in this case is a piece of packaging material that is quite architectural in nature.  This also picks up on my interest in and research into architectural space, and gives me a framework for the process.

I experimented with Schon’s ideas by shifting between by making drawings of the carton (from different angles, in different media and from different distances)  and pausing to reflect on what I was trying to say and  what was emerging, with reference to my personal reactions and to the work of other artists and writers. I thus tried to bridge the gap between ideas and making, and this is the purpose of the exhibition.  I have discovered that the drawing process gave me much more insight into ideas and that the ideas broadened the range of possibilities and gave me an on-going structure to work with.

 

“Dessiner des Chevaux” –   “Draw Horses in 15 Minutes”,  the  French edition

 In 2014 I was commissioned by Ilex Press to write and illustrate “Draw Horses in 15 Minutes”.  This is a great guide to learning to draw the complex subject of the horse, and gives many suggestions about finding your own style and creativity.  The book is now circulated worldwide by Octopus Press, and so far has been translated into Dutch and French.

 

Over the winter I continued my study of human life drawing and painting at the Continuing Education Department of the Glasgow School of Art.  The tutor for the class was Cynthia Bowles, and she was excellent.  For more information read my blog entry on the GSA site.

Writing the drawing book has inspired me to study anatomy more deeply, both human and equestrian.  Last July I spent a week at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford with tutors Sarah Simblet and Eleanor Crook.  This January I attended a weekend course in Edinburgh with Alan McGowan, and I am studying a part time course at Glasgow School of Art with Cynthia Bowles.  All these tutors have an impressive and profound knowledge of anatomy.

Draw Horses in 15 Minutes English Language edition

Early in 2014 I was commissioned to write a book “Draw Horses in 15 Minutes” for Ilex Press, London.  The book was published in June 2015 for distribution in UK, EU and USA.  The USA edition was published early in 2016 and the Dutch edition has just been published.  The first edition has been reprinted.

In 2014 I was invited to create new work for a solo exhibition at the prestigious Glasgow Art Club. 

In July 2014 my drawing “Tang Horse with Blanket” won the Norton Way Gallery Prize for Best Drawing in Exhibition at the Society of Equestrian Artists “Horse in Art” exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.