Melanie Stokes

Starting a pooch portrait ..

Eyes, nose and ears – no two dogs are identical! Getting them into position is my starting point for a portrait, along with a loose indication of how their fur travels around these key features. Portraying the unique character of fur will take up the main journey time from beginnings to completion.

Sea Swimmer

We can always choose to put ourselves in loving relationship with our body, our longings and that which brings us joy. Brave and beautiful choices take this swimmer towards the cold bright April sea. This mono print results from a drawing I made on the battery rocks in Penzance where embracing self and sea has become an art form.

Old Friend

I was delighted to see this “old friend” last night – one of my own abstract oil paintings of Cape Cornwall – prominently displayed in my old friend T’s airy new beachside apartment!

Walking on the non-dominant side …

This is a student discovering that her non-dominant hand is creating a drawing of exquisite sensitivity compared to the drawing produced by her all-knowing “right” hand – producing lines trembling with life in contrast to the generic right-handed image of the flower she was studying. Why not try it yourself?

Two Blank Canvases

What could be more exciting? One metre square is my favourite size and format for the flying paint tango!! This pic was taken on my way back from The Art Shop in Chapel Street, Penzance, to my studio above the Exchange Gallery a few minutes’ walk away.

Gorgeous Spring weather

Out with my sketchbook, playing with the lines of wind-sculpted tree. Initially I assumed it was hawthorn and a closer inspection showed me my old friend Elder, the generous donor of my winter medicinal syrups, now back on the brink of fresh green foliage. Thank you Elder. 💚

Spring Elder

A good day at the office

Getting serious about my art practice clearly involves more than freestyle visual expression. Today it’s about deep diving into website decisions with the creative genius @ianbwild in our office for the day at (no dogs, no dishes..) #artistresidencepenzance

Why draw?

Drawing is never about copying, for me, it is about exploring feeling states with a humble and hungry curiosity to connect. To understand a little more of life through my own body.

Seagull Taking Off From A Rocky Ledge

Study – Bye Bye Castles

Scaling up to A3 with free flowing gouache. This is fun and irreverent, and I enjoyed this exploration of flight and movement arching over the static castle on the rock, St Michael’s Mount – imagining elements strong enough to take it down like a sandcastle!

Fly Free