Saturday, 28 January 2017


I've reached a milestone starting sketchbook number 40 and I thought I would dedicate it to drawing portraits of my family over the years.  There are over 60 pages so I have plenty of scope to practise my drawing skills copying photos and trying to achieve a likeness.

It all starts with my Granny, Mae Gritten who I became very close to in her later years, but who sadly died when I was 18 and had just had my baby, Justine.  She was a great support to me as my Mum was very busy coping with the rest of the family as my father had died only the year before.  I remember going to her maisonette to wash and curl her hair every week and her telling me stories of her girlhood in Africa, how I wish now I could recall those tales!

Here is my Daddy, Arthur Clarence Priest, aged about 48, I'm not totally sure what year he was born but around 1907 I think.  He was quite a bit older than Mummy and had been married twice before he met her and already had two daughters from the second one.

Mummy was very beautiful as a young woman and I have several lovely professional photos taken at the time.  One of my reasons for starting this collection of portraits is to celebrate her centenary in 2019 as I would like to make a stitch patchwork of her family which I'm sure will take a couple of years to complete.

Mummy always hated this funny photo of herself aged 10, joking about the pudding bowl haircut!

Here I am aged nearly 5 as it says on the back and I already had my uncontrollable hair!

Jumping a few years to 1967 and this is my brother Christopher aged 17, he was tall, good looking  and quite athletic, being in his school swimming team.

Lastly today is my darling sister Rosi, sadly taken by cancer in 2003.  She was the cleverest of us, passing her exams with A grades and becoming a successful architect after studying at Sheffield university.