My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Thousand and One Carpet Cleaner and a five-dollar bill…

To conclude the weekly postings on the tools of my trade, let us take a look at my sketch bag.  I sewed the first one together forty-five years ago and I am now on Mark III.  They have all followed a similar pattern.  The main pocket is large enough to hold a 16” x 20” sketchbook, my stool and drawing board.  The smaller pockets hold my brush case, pallet, paints, tissues, water containers and water bottle.  We’ve walked hundreds of miles together and the carrying strap has worn out the shoulders of many of my shirts and jackets.

For many years the plastic bottle that held my water had originally contained One Thousand and One Carpet Cleaner.  The trade name was conspicuously printed on the side and many an onlooker must have thought the product to be the secret of my thunderous washes!

The sketching stool is also a Mark III, whereas my drawing board has been with me from very early days.   I hold the bottom of the board between my knees and the hinged leg supports the top.  You will notice that the leg has a little hinged extension.  This, along with different knee grips, enables me to hold the board at various angles so as to control washes.

Least I forget - one more essential item is contained in the second pocket from the left.  It’s a five-dollar bill (Eastern Caribbean Currency) to buy a cold beer!    


  1. Cold beer essential! I'm impressed that you sewed your own bag together. Obviously a man of many talents :)

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