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I recently invited friends round for dinner, and they brought me a bunch of sunflowers. I hadn't seen any in a long time, and I was really struck by how bright and happy they looked, and it made me want to try to paint them.

I've been working in the studio with Natalia Spitale, trying out new media and techniques that I hadn't used before, designed to widen my ability and to loosen up my style a bit, as it had become a bit staid. I had usually painted from my own photos, but I wanted to move on to paint from life, but had no idea what to use until the flowers arrived.

The subject of inspiration and where it comes from is very interesting to me, and I know that it can sometimes be quite elusive, then other times almost overwhelming. I wonder if there is any correlation between ones outlook on life and what inspires us at any given time?

Anyway, here is where I'm at with my sunflowers so far

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