Scottish coast

Scottish coast

These are some old fishing cottages on the coast. A beautiful place to draw.

Cove Harbour

Cove Harbour

This is the only place I will swim in the sea in Northumberland. The North Sea is too cold for me, but this harbour warms up in the sun, so if the tide is right and the sun is out, this is where I head to swim and draw.

The Harbour

The Harbour

This is the only place I will swim in the sea in Northumberland. The North Sea is too cold for me, but this harbour warms up in the sun, so if the tide is right and the sun is out, this is where I head to swim and draw.

Cove Harbour

Cove Harbour

It was raining when I drew this, I like how the ink split in the sky.

The Harbour

The Harbour

This is the only place I will swim in the sea in Northumberland. The North Sea is too cold for me, but this harbour warms up in the sun, so if the tide is right and the sun is out, this is where I head to swim and draw.

Berwick-upon-Tweed, The Old Bridge

Berwick-upon-Tweed, The Old Bridge

A very quick sketch on an incredibly windy day. Drawn from Berwick New Bridge, looking down on Berwick Old Bridge.

Berwick-upon-Tweed, The Guildhall

Berwick-upon-Tweed, The Guildhall

A quick sketch of Berwick Town Hall that I used as reference for the town hall in How o Hide a lion.

The Cabin

The Cabin

Venice

Venice

As sketch I did in Venice as research for Jo-Jo the Melon Donkey written by Michael Morpurgo.

The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum

This room features in my book, The Big Adventure of the Smalls.

While I was drawing, a man came to look over my shoulder, and said in a very surprised voice,
'That is actually very good.'
Why the shock? Because I am small and female? When this happens, and it happens often, I think of that passage in Jane Ayre:
'Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!'

My work space

My work space

My work space is usually cluttered, but does have some organisation in the mess! I have a big tidy up every time I finish a book.

Zuoz, Switzerland

Zuoz, Switzerland

I went to the village of Zuoz in Switzerland to research a book I was about to illustrate: Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, written by Michael Morpurgo. This is one of the sketches I did there.

Zuoz, Switzerland

Zuoz, Switzerland

I went to the village of Zuoz in Switzerland to research a book I was about to illustrate: Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, written by Michael Morpurgo. This is one of the sketches I did there.

Zuoz, Switzerland

Zuoz, Switzerland

I went to the village of Zuoz in Switzerland to research a book I was about to illustrate: Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, written by Michael Morpurgo. This is one of the sketches I did there.

I do my best drawing when I am uncomfortable or cold, or pressed for time. While doing this drawing I was on the icy winter ground in the middle of the night, with frozen blue fingers, feeling absolute awe at my surroundings. The sky was a blanket of twinkling stars and the village looked magical. All care about measuring and over-thinking was lost and I think this is the best drawing of the trip.

Shoes at Bowes Museum

Shoes at Bowes Museum

One of my favourite subjects to draw is old shoes. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but they make me feel sad.

Staindrop, County Durham

Staindrop, County Durham

I grew up in Staindrop, County Durham, this is a allotment near my house. I did this sketch about 25 years ago, and enjoy seeing that my line has hardly changed over the intervening years.

Staindrop, County Durham

Staindrop, County Durham

I grew up in Staindrop, County Durham, this is a allotment near my house. I did this sketch about 25 years ago, and enjoy seeing that my line has hardly changed over the intervening years.

My local graveyard

My local graveyard

This is one of my favourite places to draw. It has a view of the sea through the grave stones, and a salmon windvane.

My local graveyard

My local graveyard

This is one of my favourite places to draw. It has a view of the sea through the grave stones, and a salmon windvane.

Holy Island

Holy Island

Drawing in ma wellies.

The Southbank, London

The Southbank, London

I did this drawing in about 2008, just before we left London, our home for seventeen years, and move up to the Northumberland coast. I think of these drawings as a last good bye to London.

The London Eye

The London Eye

I did this drawing in about 2008, just before we left London, our home for seventeen years, and move up to the Northumberland coast. I think of these drawings as a last good bye to London.

Drawing from life

Drawing from life, on the ground, surrounded by my materials is my favourite thing to do. After doing this drawing I swam in the harbour- two of my favourite things!