We are well and truly in the depths of 2010 now and lots of people are wondering what I'm up to. The short answer is that I'm in the thick of production on my current fine art series The Royal Dozen. This is a series of male monarchs, mirroring the themes of my Queen series The Regal Twelve.
When I begin each artwork, I research the history of a character, their life and their flamboyancies. As my work is usually based on a narrative, it involves imagining characters who role-play within the drama of each piece.
I study the fashions and flavours of the historical period and consider the symbols that may help build each tail. I begin to build up a style, a theme, a scenario and I try to remain true to my own style and interpretation.
To keep myself sane, I try to document as much of this as I can, or my head may simply explode with ideas. I begin by drawing elements to help me design the costumes before jumping on my sewing machine and throwing my studio into a chaotic treasure trove of flocks and pearls.
My weapon of choice for this highly creative pre-production stage in the process is water colour pencil and ink. Here's a glimpse of some of the drawings that flavour the series that will consume me for the rest of this year.