The bluebells are just about over now. They were glorious this year and we tried to make the most of them. I did some 2-3 min sketches (using watersoluble graphite pencils) while ‘on the move’ with classes at Gelli Aur. It was a useful exercise as it allowed me to capture a fleeting expression of the scene that inspired me at the time without the added clutter of photographic detail. I worked up some of the sketches in watercolour, not using the photos I had also taken but trying to remember what was there and using my imagination also. Don’t get me wrong photos are invaluble but if your style is loose and impressionistic as I would like mine to be then working purely from photos can be very frustrating as they show everything and it’s hard to know what to miss out. In the field I think you instinctively focus on what is important to you- what the scene is saying to you personally at the time. All this gathered information I am sure will be useful when doing more finished paintings at a later date.