As a Primary teacher, with a lot of years on Kindergarten, I drew all the pictures for my displays and worksheet as my career began before the clip art revolution. Being able to draw all sorts of people animals and birds- outlines and sketches became something I enjoyed when I couldn’t get to my art. I devised skill-based lessons around my artworks and created many original designs to celebrate events like cute bears in bunny suits for Easter. I used many as the starting point for craft lessons where we were developing fine motor skills. Students also liked to copy my work and develop their drawing skills.
Drawing animals initially grew out of my fascination with teddy bears and drawing them in ink. I love the intricacies of fur and creating the form into a recognisable shape through light and dark shading. I am fond of bears and find I am drawn to draw them even when I doodle whilst on a phone call. I love the mismatch of teddy bear and the grizzly that appear in multiple compositions over my lifetime.
As I moved into other media, I enjoyed capturing animals and birds in different places. I like the challenge of getting the realism and have worked to learn this skill by doing more and attending workshops with the artist Janet Matthews who is fabulous at creating her detailed animals and birds using coloured and graphite pencils.
I love the challenge of creating fur, feathers and wrinkles in the skin or scales. I am enjoying the challenge of drawing realist portraits of both people and their pets and familiarising myself with my subjects. Once again, I love to take photographs of them to use both as a reference and inspiration. Then they play in my imagination and sometimes appear in frivolous pursuits like reading, playing games or wearing strange apparel or just hiding their humourist personality by sitting sedately in a ‘normal’ position.