In June when I attended the 2014 Patchings Art Festival, on the friday evening I was invited to dinner by a group of prestigious artists, some of whom I’d interviewed last year. During the meal they challenged me to attend Patchings next year (2015) not as a visitor, but as an artist with my own stand, and selling my own art creations.

Given that I’m between houses at the moment, and my studio is still packed away in boxes in storage there is no way that I would be able to produce enough work in my preferred medium of watercolour. However, as I’m currently taking The Complete Drawing and Painting Certificate Course with Cindy Wider I decided to rise to their challenge and agreed that I would be here next year, as an artist, and selling my drawings.

If you want to find out how you can have your name immortalised in a finished work of fine art with my Patchings Challenge 2015 then please read on.

Celebration of Discovery, Invention and Innovation

I have had time now to give this project some very serious consideration, and because of my background in IT, Information Security, Communications and technology, plus my interest in traditions, history, espionage, code breaking, pharmaceutical and technological developments through the ages, I’ve decided to entitle my project “Celebration of Discovery, Invention and Innovation”

The Eyes Have It

Francis Crick DNA Concept

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I am fascinated by the eyes of famous scientists, inventors and thought-leaders, because eyes are windows into the souls of those people who have changed the world in some way. My vision is to create huge hyper-realistic drawings of the eyes of people such as Turing, Crick and Watson, Charles Babbage, Bill Tutte, Tim Berners Lee, Thomas Edison, Marconi, Marie Curie to name but a few. I want these drawings to be absolutely huge, 6-7 feet square, highly detailed, with hugely contrasting tones from the darkest blacks to whitest whites, with the edges of the drawings melding into my artistic interpretation of their discoveries or inventions. I want these artworks to be so impressive and dominating that when someone stands before them they are immediately humbled by the greatness of what was going on in the mind behind those eyes, and feel the impact that these people’s discoveries or inventions have had to changing our world forever. See my concept image opposite for an idea of the kind of drawings I will be creating.

Bletchley Park, Code Breaking, and Retro-Tech

Bletchley Park Enigma Machine

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I also love retro technology, and in my network I have several connections with some of the people who work at Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing. I’m going to ask if they can open a few doors for me so I can take photographs of  Colossus, Enigma, and some of the early code breaking inventions and retro-tech computing devices on display in their museums as source material for my works. The photo’s I would like to take will be from unusual angles, and I will be paying particular attention to lighting in order to emphasise the various forms and textures of the objects.  I’ll also try to involve their media teams in my project because I’ll be sharing my journey through my social media channels, and what I’m doing will increase public awareness of their plight, and hopefully will help them to raise much needed funds that are desperately needed to conserve our valuable heritage.

Cambridge University Coat of Arms

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Cambridge University and Biomedical Campus

I’m very lucky to live near to the City of Cambridge and have many contacts in my network involved with the University of Cambridge, particularly within biopharmaceutical, medical research, and the brand new Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

 Home to 40 Nobel Laureates

Cambridge is responsible for over 40 Nobel Laureates, some of whom will feature in my work, and I’m hoping my contacts can help me source background stories, suitable hi-resolution images, and further subject matter.

Nobel Laureates of Cambridge

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You never know, but I might even be lucky enough to pick up a few sponsors, and have a few of my finished artworks purchased and hung on the walls of some of the world leading research organisations who reside in Cambridge.


I have already been approached by several art materials manufacturers who are looking to sponsor me for this project, and unfortunately at this stage I’m unable to reveal any specific information, so further details will be announced in due course.

One sponsor that I can openly discuss is Cindy Wider of Draw PJ. Many of my followers are already aware that I have never drawn before, and that I only started taking an online drawing course with Cindy in April this year. Cindy has volunteered to be my personal Art Tutor for this project and has kindly offered to help me develop and hone my drawing skills and my artistic style through her Personal Drawing Academy. Cindy is a well renowned professional artist and has kindly offered to take me under her wing to help me develop a rock solid plan and to personally coach me to ensure the success of my project.

Another sponsor I am proud to announce is Rory Gear. Rory is a very close personal friend of mine, and is also a life coach, business mentor, and a highly experienced project manager. Rory will be mentoring me through this project to its conclusion in June 2015, and also helping me organise and progress various other art projects and opportunities that arose from my visit to Patchings Art Festival a few weeks ago.

Social media and Open Studio – #Patch2015

I’m planning to work on this project very much in the public eye. Everything I do connected with this project will be shared through my various social media channels using the Hashtag #Patch2015 so you can all see how I’m progressing, and I sincerely hope that you will help me reach out to more people by sharing my updates with your followers too.

I think this is a great educational opportunity, especially for children, to find out more about science, discovery, invention, thought leadership, and the impact that these things have on the growth and development of our society and culture. I also hope to be able to work on some of my drawings at local art stores at weekends where possible, and I’ll also have an open studio (when I finally get to my new home!) which will be open to visitors. If you see me out there working on my drawings, please stop by to have a chat about the project and find how things are progressing.

Deadline countdown

I have to have everything ready for the Patchings Art Festival in June 2015

[ujicountdown id=”Patching Challenge 2015″ expire=”2015/06/04 00:00″ hide = “true”]

Next steps  – Please help me identify suitable subjects

I am now putting together a list of subjects and beginning to formulate the layout and composition for my finished drawings. I’m also looking for ideas on who to include, and this is where you can become involved in this project by helping me to identify suitable subjects by submitting your answers to the following three questions:

  1. Who is your favourite scientist, inventor, or thought-leader who has made a positive change to the world?
  2. What did they discover, invent or devise to achieve that change?
  3. What is the legacy of that change?

If your suggested subject is chosen, your name could be secretly hidden somewhere within my finished drawing of the subject you suggested. In the case of multiple suggestions of the same subject, three names will be chosen at random for inclusion instead.

Please share your answers using the reply box below, and feel free to submit as many ideas as you like, and good luck! – Thanks 🙂