Welcome to my Imaginarium!
My artwork explores the weird and wonderful life in our oceans.
I weave intricate pen and ink drawings abundant with details that offer something new to discover each time you look at them! A keen scuba diver, my artwork draws upon my experiences underwater.
My drawings explore an animal's physiology, environment and role in its ecosystem, and the interconnectedness of ecosystems and all life on Earth.
In the vast unknown realms of our world hidden under the waves, our imagination can really take flight. I bring together the micro and macro worlds of our oceans. Scale is an illusion, and I include playful, imaginative, sometimes surreal details.
Lots of detail inevitably takes lots of time; my largest projects take six to eight months to complete and my smaller drawings take a couple of weeks.
Current project - Humpback Whale
Started in February 2021, my current drawing in-progress is the largest drawing I have tackled to date ( (title tbc), on a drawing board measuring 2.2 x 1.2 metres. It depicts an ancient humpback whale with her calf.
As you look closer, a thousand tiny details reveal themselves; the individual animals making their home in the coral reefs that have established on her colossal body.
She is Gaia of the ocean. She is sanctuary for the life inhabiting the ecosystems and vibrant habitats she carries, kept safe from humanity's impact on the sea.
She is the mother and protector of the oceans of our world.
Before undertaking a drawing of this scale and complexity, I made a small plan of the composition and sketched the outline onto my drawing board. However, the ideas and details evolve as I work my way inch-by-inch across the drawing over a period of months (7 months at the time of writing).
I primarily work with fine-tipped pen (0.03mm) and ink to achieve the finest details. Unlike my previous drawings on paper, this piece is created on a gessoed board.
Gesso is a type of chalk paint that has been layered onto the board and then sanded down to a very fine grade.
Whereas paper is unforgiving, this surface allows me to smudge, sand, scratch, and render in new ways.
I have found myself moving away from exclusively using line work and introducing a classical drawing rendering technique. I've broken some rules I realised I had set myself and I am LOVING it!
The world’s humpback whale populations are making an extraordinary come back after being hunted almost to extinction by commercial whaling up until the mid-1980s.
However, the wildlife in our oceans faces a multitude of human threats – entanglement in fishing nets, rising sea temperatures, hunting, chemical, plastic and noise pollution, and poor fisheries management. There is still a long way to go.
The humpback whales recovery gives hope that the ocean can be restored. In this drawing, the humpback whale is that symbol of hope. Ocean life thrives; turtles congregate around flourishing coral gardens, a squadron of manta rays hitch a ride on the current and hammerhead sharks school in the shallows.
A recent review in the journal Nature suggests that if the oceans are protected now, marine life could start making a rebound within our lifetime. How wonderful to imagine… how wonderful to achieve.
Limited edition print release anticipated 1 November 2021
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