Panther lady

The UK doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, but my mum is American, and so we had a little Thanksgiving dinner.

After dinner, my dad wanted to show me something he had recorded on the TV for me. It was a Jonathon Ross interview with Grace Jones.

When she made her entrance, all dressed in black, she was 100% fabulous as the audience applauded her. They were only seconds into the interview when Jones suddenly sprang up onto Ross's desk, snarling like a panther as she swiped at his face.

'Oh!' she cried as she settled back into her seat, laughing. 'My heart!'

'Well what about mine?' countered Ross. 'I nearly shat myself!'

What an inspiration she is. Endlessly creative, endlessly pushing the boundaries, always authentic.

I'll have some of whatever she's having.

Pearl

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A sticky situation

I'm not a collage artist.

But I found this old sketchbook while I was unpacking. It's filled with colours, textures and composition ideas from found objects, torn pages from magazines and scraps.

New ideas spring from playing around and experimenting.

I've seen some colour palettes here I'd like to explore in a painting idea... we'll see!

Pearl

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Drawing a line

It's been far too long since I've done any life drawing.

Drawing from a live human body is like going to the gym for artists. To be honest I don't really enjoy it. The concentration makes me tired and there's no room to use your imagination.

But, when I keep up the practice, the improvement in my own work is undeniable.

So I'm looking for a local class that will, hopefully, stretch me in the ways I am looking to be challenged.

The best classes I ever went to were when I signed up an evening course in drawing at a local college in London. Each week, the tutor would come up with more and more inventive ways to get you out of your comfort zone.

Exercises included, not taking your eyes off the model as you drew – no checking your work! Not lifting your pencil from the page – just one continuous line to get down all the information. But the best was when he handed out six-foot long bamboo poles with a teabag attached to the end. This was to be our drawing instrument.

This was all fantastic, because there was no way you could create a perfect drawing using these techniques. You were forced to forget about the outcome and just get really involved in the process of observing and making marks.

And when I went back to creating my own work, I couldn't believe how much depth and power my drawing had taken on.

It kind of goes to show – when you take some risks and get uncomfortable, you give yourself the opportunity to really experience something new.

Pearl

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