Why Blog?

– make it short.
– make it interesting
– be honest
– have good pictures

The Journey Home

The Journey Home The journey begins, it starts from within, Things that I need to know, The song of the bird, echoed in words, Flying for the need to fly, Thoughts endless in flight, day turns to night, Questions you ask your soul, Which way do I go, how fast is too slow, The journey…

Six days in The Lake District 25.7.17

We took a family holiday to the Lakes, and I took a resolution with me; Do some work everyday. Don’t overthink it, don’t worry, just do some work everyday. Get something down on paper. Think about what you’ve done when you get home. Let the work come first. This was a family holiday, so where…

The role of happiness 12.7.17

A good day on Stapeley on one of the lesser used paths with larks, insects humming and the smell of warm grass. Working outside in a lonely spot is bliss and I haven’t done it for too long. I’ve been doing some thinking – provoked by conversation, Matisse quotes, an article about Elisabeth Cummings and…

Helpful Direction 4.7.2017

Back to Aber, and a helpful tutorial after a couple of weeks of painting at home. Don’t change it. It’s fine. Good use of cool and warm colours to create depth. Like a Japanese painting. The careful shapes of the river create distance. Bring that back, keep going with this painting.  Has something like a…

Abstract drawings 21.6.2016

In my studio at Aber I have about 20 small paintings on the wall. I made them a few months ago by using up left over paint at the close of several studio day. They weren’t my main focus of those days at all – they were “don’t matter paintings” made with whatever paint was…

Old Maps and Shelve 21.6.17

Over the last few days we’ve taken walks down to Shelve Pool.

Shelve Pool was dug by Samuel More and stocked with fish around 1658, five years after the family acquired Shelve manor from Henry Lingen  [Discovering Shropshire’s History]

June tutorial

You want to run before you can walk
You have to find your language 
You have the tent spread out all around you you’re just looking for the tent poles
You need an object. 
You are painting your emotional response to the landscape 
It’s a slow process you have to accept it
Painting is a strange thing we don’t know where it comes from
Forget about Kandinsky, read Diebenkorn and Bridget Riley.
You have the facility. Look, this painting is good. And this one. 


I read a good FB post by Alice Sheridan today. 

There are technical issues too of course, but essentially I am investigating, exploring, assessing and editing my own responses – all the time.
You have to be brave, to push your approach, to risk ‘spoiling things’ but then do it anyway. It can be tiring, it can be exhilarating.
And when you finish a painting and put it on show, you are saying “here’s where my struggle ended up, this is where I let it rest”. Struggle is perhaps the wrong word as it’s a deeply enjoyable and satisfying process, but it’s certainly not an easy one!

Diebenkorn, politics.

I felt relief as I looked at his paintings and read about his life. I saw colour that I understand, roads, poles, wires, buildings, light, space, air, place – geometry, pattern, rhythm, harmony.

I was encouraged by his journey in and out of abstraction, and just generally encouraged. What’s good enough for a magnificent artist like Diebenkorn is more than good enough for me.

Greens and Blacks

When I am halfway there with a painting, it can occasionally be thrilling… But it happens very rarely; usually it’s agony… I go to great pains to mask the agony. But the struggle is there. It’s the invisible enemy. (Richard Diebenkorn)
Painting *is* hard. That’s why you like doing it.
Paint until something happens. It will, if you keep painting.
Don’t forget to see the successes within a painting. It’s not all about the failures.

Studio Day

On the train this morning I began to read Kandinsky’s Concerning The Spiritual In Art (1911).  It was very annoying indeed. There was too much categorizing people, too much explaining how artists are more sensitive than “the vulgar herds”. I thought I’d be reading about colour but I got distracted by wondering to what extent Theosophy…

Happiness is an abstract quality

“There is happiness in your work, in your mark making and your colours, and happiness is an abstract quality. It’s there, it’s you.” This comment was made to me by another MA student as we chatted outside the bank in Aberystwyth today. It was a helpful comment. It made me realise that abstraction isn’t some…