Drawings

Drawings are the start of all the other artistic activities I do. They are often made sitting in fields. Here are a couple of anecdotes….

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The lorry on the back of which I had perched all day travelling through Guinea Bissau with several African riders also on board, stopped at the border of Guinea Conakry. We were held up there for hours waiting to go through. All there was to see were a few shacks and border officials with rifles, the never-ending bush and numerous other lorries, cars and taxis, also waiting.

Thinking I might as well make a drawing, sat under a tree and settled down to draw. It depicted a scene of Africans squatting next to little bonfires they had lit to cook food, while goats and chickens wandered around, a very ordinary scene for Africa.

The drawing was coming along nicely, when one of the soldiers came up to watch from behind. After a while he told me to give him the drawing. He took it then with a cool, indifferent expression, tore it in half.
My disturbed protestations only procured the explanation that I was a spy and that my work should be destroyed.

Drawing: ‘Conakry Border Post.’ Confiscated January 1991.

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Having found a quiet lane that offered a good view of the Lincolnshire Wold, sat under a little umbrella that was strapped to my bike with string, which was also used to guy it to the ground to hold it in position. There was a little rain and had sat huddled to avoid water getting to the drawing book on my knee. It was the second day, occasionally a tractor went by - suddenly a man in a small white van zoomed up and screeched to a halt, obstructing my view and completely destroying my solitude.
Out of his van he pulled a huge, telescopic camera attached to a tripod.
“Have you seen the eagle?” He exclaimed with excitement. Apparently a young White Tailed Sea Eagle had flown down from Scotland and had settled around the fishponds in the vale below. Judging from his camaraderie, he must have assumed me to be fellow ‘birder’ but with a sketchpad.

Drawing: ‘After the Harvest, The Wolds’ September 2011.

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