For me drawing is at the centre of all that I do. Looking, thinking, selecting, creating the right marks is an essential part of my art. I loved the life drawing studio under Norman Blamey at Chelsea - I think it was the only studio where one actually got constructive, sustained help and criticism. But at that time figurative art was not mainstream enough for me so I didn't make enough use of this studio. Leaving college, I went along to a few life classes at St Martins and later Brighton but it wasn't until I set up life drawing as a compulsory part of sixth form art at Friends' School that I really got down to trying to develop my own figure drawing. Each week I drew alongside the students - I learnt so much from them. I envied them their freedom and spontaneity and their unencumbered vision. But I worked hard and still do; I think that the struggle is beginning to pay off. I can now relax in the life studio and my mind becomes completely absorbed in looking and finding marks. The big pay off has been in how it has helped me with my other art. My fluency has improved and my willingness to experiment, despite some tragic outcomes, has lead to some much more successful work.