In 2008 I undertook a series of 60 drawings of Oxford for the Old Parsonage Hotel. The drawings are now on permanent display in the bedrooms of the hotel. They range in subject from the University’s dreaming spires to historic markers such as Martyrs Memorial and the Eagle and Child public house.
The pieces were developed over a period of nine months and each was created in situ using pastel and pigment. It was over this period of industrious drawing that I consolidated both my style and manner of working. My technique was essentially concerned with having a ‘lightness of touch’, born out of working intuitively and to a relaxed gentle rhythm. I drew on an old wooden easel and stored it in Exeter College, emerging each day rather awkwardly through the small entrance from the street. I would often work on two or three drawings of a particular subject at a time until I was fairly fluid in my expression of it. The more familiar the eye becomes to the subject the more license there is to work instinctively and from memory.
The University and city buildings offered endless drawing potential. To my joy Oxford has become a home of a different kind in the process, the lines and curves of the buildings are etched into my consciousness, and a sense of what they convey remains with me.