I was honoured to be asked a while back to make a contribution to the Living Studioa free video series on the inspiring creative network by Jeanne Oliver. The whole philosophy of The Living Studio as Jeanne describes it is to have the chance to …

“watch technique and medium videos from some of your favorite artists.  The hope is that you will learn what practices different artists use to make their art a daily practice and how they create their studio wherever they go.”


Sketching outside has been something I have practised for years and years ever since my days at art college and now, more than ever it is a practice I hope to make a regular (perhaps weekly) habit as there is wealth of inspiration around the area I live.

So a couple of weeks ago, I took advantage of the winter sales and invested in a wind-proof jacket and some thermals (it is freezing here in the UK!) I have usually kept to museums, galleries and generally indoor sketching in the winter months up until now but I aim to get outdoors all year round from now on. There are just too many places to go and things to be inspired by to leave it to fair weather only.


Bundled up with many layers and the most simple of materials I took a short drive out to Alnmouth Estuary where there was hardly a soul to be seen on a mid-week afternoon in mid winter. Of course I have sketched in many places over the years and am used to sitting on cold stone and in uncomfortable positions but this was certainly even more challenging with the addition of trying to film myself sketching. I think a tripod might have helped! Note to self for next time.

If you would like to hear me chattering on about why I love sketching away from home and see a short video of me sketching in this new location then you can head over to the post which is here on the Living Studio Series. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Perhaps if I can figure out the practicalities there might be an ecourse on plein air art some time in the future – it is certainly a subject I would love to tackle in a course and also something I would like to feature even more in my retreats and in person teaching. There is a whole world of inspiration out there!

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