Tour de France – Stage 7 – Revisited

Bonjour! It’s nearly July and for me, that means only one thing – Le Tour! This year is so different but July is nearly with us and I don’t see why we shouldn’t relive some memories and make some new ones.

The drawing here, I made on Saturday – by chance I found that Eurosport were replaying Stage 7 of the 2012 Tour – a phenomenal stage in every way. The landscape was outstanding and the climax to the stage was the killer climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, it was the stage that really showed us what was to come from Chris Froome and the Stage when Sir Bradley took his Yellow Jersey. Whatever controversies have followed since – I still remember and look back with huge excitement on this stage – it was a lovely day and especially for UK cycling fans like me.

Tour de France, Stage 7, Revisited, 45KM

So this picture made from the scenes at around 45km, shows that excitement that we enjoyed then and I for one, am going to miss for the next few weeks – the crowds doing daft things at the side of the road, the flags, the energy and the fabulous animal that is the peloton.

This is my drawing, made with my favourite media, pen and ink and watercolour on my favourite watercolour paper, 8in x 8in, 20cm x 20cm – have a great Tuesday!

Au revoir

Thursday #3 – Green aprons

Thanks to all our carers, doctors, nurses and key workers.

Green aprons, oil pastel by Maxine Dodd
Green aprons
Oil pastel and watercolour on paper,
40cm x 40cm / 16in x 16in

Keep going, keep well and stay safe 🌈

Hospital – 3

Now that lockdown measures are being eased, there is hope of a return to surgical operations recently cancelled due to the intense need of hospital resources and staff covering the pandemic.

My drawings here are based on a view of an operation taken from a recent BBC News item about this return. This is the source image, photographed from the TV.

Operation – Source image
BBC News 10:15pm

As ever, I was so struck by the intense, but calm concentration and also the character of the surgeons revealed by what is the smallest glimpse of their features.

The other striking element for me is the light we can see here. I can’t help myself, I see the light found in paintings by Caravaggio and Rembrandt, the intensity of colour and feeling, resonates from hundreds of years ago to the present day.

See the features on the faces to the top right in this painting by Caravaggio; only the top of the heads are in light, showing eyes and noses, just as the masks do with the surgeons.

The Taking of Christ
Caravaggio, 1602
National Gallery of Ireland

Here are my efforts in oil pastel, ink and water colour, a long way off the beauty of the photo and certainly the painting!

Maybe the photo says it best here? I will let you decide…

Operation #1
Oil pastel and watercolour study
16cm x 16cm (approx)
Operation #2
Oil pastel and watercolour study
16cm x 16cm (approx)

Thursday #2 – GP Surgery Nurse

GP Surgery Nurse
Watercolour, pen and ink
14cm x 25cm / 5.5in x 10in
Image size only, unframed

This is a Practice Nurse, glimpsed as she goes about her work, knocking on the door of a treatment room, before she enters, to see a patient, talk to a doctor, or a fellow colleague.

Thanks to all our carers, doctors, nurses and key workers.

Keep going, keep well and stay safe 🌈

Stage 21 – Still so many People and bikes!

cycling art, tour de france
Stage 21 – Still so many! People and bikes!

This drawing brings back lovely memories from last year’s Tour de France. It was a long, hard race as always – and as always, so many people are out to support and cheer the riders. This was at Stage 21 – the last ride of the race into Paris – and it was packed. Like many fans of this great race, I am glad to see that it will take place in the autumn – quite how the crowds will be managed is another question. I’m glad I only make drawings! Have a great weekend and keep safe whatever you’re doing 🙂

Original watercolour, pen and ink on paper
20cm x 20cm (8in x 8 in) image

Thursday #1 – ‘Resus is a high level PPE area’

The initiative to clap for carers officially came to a close last week – so I wanted to offer a gesture of support to everyone providing continued, dedicated service by publishing a picture on Thursdays at 8pm, the time we all came out to clap.

This image is a study drawing, made in oil pastel and ink, of doctors and nurses entering resus through the entrance doors, with printed signs – ‘Resus is a high level PPE area’.

All the issues around PPE in the UK brought to mind in a simple phrase.

With thanks to all who work on the frontline. Keep well 🌈

Resus is a high level PPE area, oil on pastel, 40cm x 40cm
‘Resus is a high level PPE area’

Hospital – 2

At the start of the Lockdown, the BBC were allowed to film the staff and patients at the Royal Free Hospital in London, a huge hospital that specialises in contagious diseases. The resulting footage was made into two special programmes called, ‘Hospital’ which were broadcast on Monday and Tuesday – Week 8 of Lockdown.  The drawings and paintings shown here are based on images from these films.

'It's so hot in there, we can't take a drink with our kit on' - Staff on ICU, BBC 2's 'Hospital' - Sketch 1

‘It’s so hot in there, we can’t take a drink with our kit on’ – Staff on ICU, BBC 2’s ‘Hospital’ – Sketch 1

This trio of images were from the first programme where the healthcare nurses were able to film in the ICU, wearing chest cameras.  This particular scene took place with the words of the staff explaining how difficult it was to work whilst wearing the essential PPE.  

The basic complaint was the overpowering heat. How impossible it was even to take a drink whilst wearing their kit.

Staff were hot, and stressed. 

'It's so hot in there, we can't take a drink with our kit on' - Staff on ICU, BBC 2's 'Hospital' Sketch 2

‘It’s so hot in there, we can’t take a drink with our kit on’ – Staff on ICU, BBC 2’s ‘Hospital’ Sketch 2

These words are on first sketch. The second sketch shows figures only, just trying to get them right.

The final piece, essentially a full painting with watercolour, ink and gouache, shows the ward’s water dispenser in the distance – literally and metaphorically a long way off.

'It's so hot in there, we can't take a drink with our kit on' - Staff on ICU, BBC 2's 'Hospital'

‘It’s so hot in there, we can’t take a drink with our kit on’ – Staff on ICU, BBC 2’s ‘Hospital’

These drawings and paintings are my inadequate but heartfelt tribute to all healthcare workers and carers, for the NHS and care homes. 

They are all, quite simply, brilliant.

Thank you.

Stay safe and stay well


It’s hard to know where to begin… what a time it has been and will continue to be. Everything turned upside down. Tranquility where there was turmoil, confusion where there was certainty.

Royal Free Hospital – BBC 2

Every news bulletin brings a new story and a new facet to the crisis.

At the beginning of the year, my mum was admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary and subsequently the Glenfield Hospital.

Hospital – Study sheet 1

A helpless observer at her bedside, I watched the staff at work, at first in the Intensive Care Unit and later the recovery wards.

Hospital – Study sheet 1 – Detail, with newborn

The ICU staff were remarkable, as they calmly and methodically went through the process to stabilise her condition and to move her to the next stage of her recovery – which indeed they did.

Their work undertaken with great kindness, patience and gentle humour. Wonderful, lovely people and tender in years to my old eyes.

Hospital – Study sheet 1 – Detail

Sitting as a helpless observer, I felt my instinct to capture them working with my pen and watercolours. I couldn’t help myself… in my head I followed the lines, the colours and movement.

Of course it wasn’t possible, but the image of the doctors and nurses working together has been with me ever since.

Hospital – Study sheet 2

At the start of the Lockdown, the BBC made two programmes about the Royal Free Hospital in London, a huge hospital that specialises in contagious diseases.

Hospital – Study sheet 2 – Detail, Patient coming

The programmes follow members of staff and patients through the early days of the disease. The staff show the exact same qualities that I experienced with my mum at Leicester.

The programmes were shown this week. I began to draw and then cry as all the memories flooded back. I am still a helpless observer waiting and watching as they work so hard. I guess we all are.

Hospital – Study sheet 2 – Detail

The one thing I can do, we all can do is say ‘Thank you’ and pay tribute as much as we can.

Hospital, BBC 2 – Locking the cupboard

These are my drawings based on the programme as a small tribute to all healthcare workers and carers, who are just brilliant. Thank you!

Stay safe and stay well

Still life on kitchen table

I made these pictures in the kitchen, after arranging some of my Mum’s flowers in a vase on the kitchen table.

I liked the look of them against the white table top, so I decided to set up and draw them there.

The table top was soon cluttered with my water pots and paints, along with the fruit bowl which lives there anyway, which made a pattern in itself.

Still life on the kitchen table, with Mum’s flowers, my pots and paints and four little oranges

Then I tried another just concentrating on the flowers this time.

Still life with some of Mum’s flowers

The last one has the white space that I liked in the first place, but I think I prefer the clutter… I don’t know!

White space with Mum’s flowers

I took the photos while the pictures were still drying on their boards so they will look different when the tape is off… I may change my mind again!

The main thing I enjoyed, was to work spontaneously on a subject that stays perfectly still, which made a nice change from rushing around.

Seems that there is life in stillness…

Spring cleaning…

It’s been a while… but I’m getting ready. I recently came across these photos of two drawings I made in our garden…I am not quite sure where they are in my studio so it’s time for a little Spring cleaning, followed by some gardening and definitely pastel drawing outside… Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

The Answer, my friend…
Geraniums in terracotta

Sunshine inspiration…

In January, there is nothing better than reminders of sunny days. Looking through some of my pictures made in Mallorca brings back good memories and inspiration for the year ahead…can’t wait! Wishing you sunshine inspiration too…

Cycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaStage 1, Mallorca, Blue Skiescycling art, Mallorca

Happy New Year!

Wishing you the best for the year to come – have fun, health and happiness!

watercolour, pen and ink, frosty morning sunrise

Frosty morning sunrise