Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA

Portfolio: • Sketchbook Portraits

My sister contemplates the future on her birthday - March 20

In 2019 I put my sister on the spot by drawing her on the spot. It was Nancy’s 60th birthday.
The setting was a convalescent home in Kansas City — we were keeping Mum company in the dining room when I picked up a pen to make this sketch.

My sister died unexpectedly in May 2022, a year and two days after my mother’s passing in 2021.
It is impossible to put into words what this loss means to my family. My sister’s life touched the lives of so many others, humans and animals alike. We grieve her loss, but our gratitude for the gift of Nancy’s life is profound. May she rest in peace, and may eternal light shine upon her.

Fineliner pen, brush pens and paint marker pen in A6 sketchbook
14cm x 10.5cm

Emmental on toast before Tennis - November 2022

Emmental on toast before tennis — a bit of colour in my little A6 sketchbook. I caught Tony as he was leaning to read a page of his magazine, cheese toast in hand.

The sky over Windsor today is low and grey. Tony’s tennis kit is black, but somehow that purple pencil leapt into my hand.

12 November 2021 on the Windsor to London line

We were on the way to London to meet friends for lunch and take a second lingering look at the ING Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries, where my drawing Papered Over No. 3 is on show, in the very best of company, until 21 November.

I had lost my sketching mojo last year, but I have started carrying a little A6 sketchbook again. Being selected for this prestigious exhibition, and getting to know the work of more than 300 other artists in the show, has made all the difference.

Pen on Paper
20cm x 15cm

Kitchen sink sketch - April 2021

Ink in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook
13cm x 20cm

Afternoon nap in a rocking chair - October 2019

I drew this scene from life in October 2019. I was with my mother in the USA on one of my twice-a-year visits to be with family. That rocking chair dates from my mother's childhood, and my mother's elder sister Doris knitted the cream-colour woollen shawl.

Ink in A5 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook
19cm x 13cm

Relaxed afternoon - March 2019

March 2019

Fineliner pen, brush pens and white gel pen in A6 sketchbook
14cm x 10.5cm

Dozing on the sun porch - March 2019

March 2019

Graphite, finaliser pen and brush pens in A6 sketchbook
10cm x 12cm

Ola and Penny - March 2019

Memories of lively conversation in March 2016.

Fineliner pen, brush pen and white gel pen in A5 sketchbook
15cm x 10.5cm

B is for Bergère

Pen and ink in A6 sketchbook
27cm x 10.5cm