I’ve found a remote, but which one is it?

This drawing, made this afternoon in pen and ink in an A5 sketchbook, depicts a stack of five devices around which evenings chez Birtall are often wont to revolve. Before Judith and I were married last year we invested in white household blinds and entry-level projector, using which we intended to challenge the stamina of…

Thanks and Goodbye, Summer 2015

It’s mid-September and starting to feel distinctly chilly here. A fleece-lined shirt has been donned and the warm socks are out. The summer is fading to a vague memory, thoughts are turning to central heating and cocoa, and high street shops are trying to flog us Christmas. So… I thought it might be nice to…

The Fruit within the Husk

A satisfying day tidying up the garden yesterday, as its winter hiatus draws to a merciful close, threw up some unexpected delights in the shape of a handful of Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) husks. I find this plant and its flowers magical and have returned to draw and paint it at regular intervals over recent…

Art and Stress

I am sometimes surprised at the extent to which it is assumed that painting and drawing is a relaxing pastime. I generally find it quite the reverse. My brain often struggles to process the many simultaneous decisions that it is forced to make each moment working on a piece of artwork. I find this process…

Library with a View

Liverpool Central Library recently underwent a substantial refurbishment, during which it acquired a roof terrace boasting impressive views of the city. The vista takes in landmarks from St George’s Hall to the tops of the Liver Buildings. I visited the terrace for the first time yesterday, accompanied by my trusty A5 sketchbook and fine line…