A recovering Manx alcoholic has released a sketchbook which looks to celebrate the island’s biosphere.

Charlotte Lucas, who uses her maiden name ‘Charlotte Jane Henry’ for her artwork, has sketched a variety of scenery and Manx locations such as the Ayres and Nairbyl to form ‘The Manx Sketch Book’.

Next to each drawing is a description of the sketch, what it means to her personally and references to her personal life and past addiction.

Charlotte recently held an exhibition to display the sketches from the book at Archibald Knox in Onchan.

Speaking about the exhibition, she said: ‘It was epic! The event was supported by people who related to my theme for the book, which made it especially poignant.

‘Two professional DJ's, “Jumbled” and “C-Scape”, had put tracks together to especially complement the show. They are actually my sons, Quentin and Cedric Lucas, who visited for the event from Manchester and Northumberland. Cedric's set was titled “Manx Sketches”, and they both included my favourite musicians such as REM, Einaudi and Vampire Weekend.’

The Ayres
The Ayres (N/A)

Charlotte added that getting the sketchbook together initially took ‘a lot of work’. She said: ‘I enjoyed putting it together, but it took a lot of work as I needed to write my notes on the computer first to spell check them, then rewrite them in my own handwriting.

‘I worked closely with Cannell Print to reproduce my sketches as if they had been stuck into the final books. I also printed my etchings again for the sketchbook and the exhibition, using my new press bought with my Isle of Man Arts Council grant toward the book, for which I gratefully thank them.’

Charlotte began battling alcohol addiction when she was 19 after studying at art college.

She has struggled with addiction ever since, and claims that this was to the detriment of her family in the past.

She explained: ‘I did manage five and a half years of sobriety at one stage, but relapsed many times subsequently, ending up in police cells, Nobles Hospital, Victoria Road Prison and Jurby Prison for committing crimes through drunken behaviour.

Niarbyl (N/A)

‘My two boys and my husband Shane are still healing from all of this, understandably, which is why it meant so much to me that they came to support my exhibition. Having their company was wonderful.

‘On several occasions (last year in particular), I relapsed into binge drinking bottles of neat spirits for days. I believe this is because I had put a lot of pressure upon myself and lacked confidence in my work. Mercifully, my wonderful husband Shane called ambulances which undoubtably saved my life.

‘Creating the book kept me busy and focused most of the time. It gave me purpose and a distraction from alcohol.’

The Manx Sketch Book has been sponsored and funded by the Isle of Man Arts Council, and is now available for purchase at book stores across the island such as Bridge Bookshop and the Papered Nest in Port Erin, Studio 42 in Port St Mary, Rainbows End in Douglas and Onchan Post Office.