Family Circle - the Christmas biscuits are done. This wasn't particularly a picture for sharing, but then this morning a good friend wrote to me with her thoughts on sketching, and an analysis of what it actually is. This sparked off thoughts of my own. For me, my sketchbook is my book of ideas, and this little drawing, done with whatever came to hand - a purple biro and a charcoal-coloured Inktense pencil - represents exactly what sketching is for me - thoughts about line and texture, shapes and shadows and my appreciative response to what I see, like a quick off-the-cuff remark to a friend – ooh, look at that lovely biscuit pack, it’s a work of art in itself, it’s like a little city with underground passages, spiral staircases - and there’s a knight clanking through dressed in full armour.” It then becomes an idea, perhaps linked with something else, for a bigger work of art. Sometimes, completely different sketches, when sat next to one another in the sketchbook, suddenly start to interact and two very different views or starting points merge in my mind to form a new idea – the sketchbook is a book full of ideas. Sometimes it is the technically poor, scribbliest hastiest jottings that are the spark for the most beautiful paintings. I suppose also sketches are what you do when the pressures of life give you no time to paint. Sketching fulfils a need to try to express the inexpressible.