I use sketchbooks a lot, both to research ideas that I might use in my paintings or prints, or to visually develop my ideas further. I find sketchbooks are a ‘safe space’ where I can play with colour, try new subjects, experiment and make mistakes – all within the safety of a book! It doesn’t matter if things don’t work – I can just turn the page and try again.

Very often I find myself revisiting sketchbooks which I made years ago. I have realised that most visual ideas do not go out of date, and can often offer interesting possibilities many months or years after it was done. Sometimes if I find I do not have a lot of time, or am feeling directionless, I will spend some time working in a sketchbook – very often ideas will appear as I am working.

I have divided my sketchbooks up into various categories – I hope you enjoy looking at them, and if you look closely, you will probably see the germs of ideas that have later appeared in my finished work!