Early to rise

Warmth! Early to rise, I’m out in the garden when everything gets going. Spotting a snail curled around a spent daffodil leaf, I scurry for some paper and settle with my coffee. The snail, of course, is now travelling in a straight line but soon it’s on the curl again. When I was taught to draw moving people, I was told to be patient – that a pose would come around again – and so it can be with other creatures.

I have a love-hate relationship with my snails. They’ve just eaten my entire crop of chilli seedlings… but look at them! They’re fashiony little things, all pattern and whirl.

I’m sitting among the sage and in full sun, a little ginger bee comes along, busying itself around the flowers and around me.

I swear I can hear the allium flowers pinging open. Soon they’ll be full globes of sharp little petals but for now, there are spear-shaped buds still ready to pop.

Today, I’m drawing on some small pieces of textured watercolour paper that’s prised from its glued pad and a very special sheet of smooth paper, deckle edged on two sides. I feel a responsibility to my handed-down paper treasure – to do justice to it, by way of a salute to the artist whose material it was.

Ballpen, watercolour and fineliner on handed-down watercolour paper.

Rose sketches from this project are now available as greeting cards, from the Garden Museum shop in London and at Hackney Wick Underground.

On my Teemill shop: my rose collection of t-shirts and tote bags. 

What does our work sound like? The third episode of Studio Snack, my collaborative podcast with Narcis Sauleda, explores.