Nov 26

Long awaited painting.

My resistance finally broke down and I tackled a study done after a break of 18 months. This the second attempt; it's rough round the edges but it's been a struggle feeling a way back into managing thick paint. The actual sunflowers had long since expired, so I needed recourse to memory, pre-knowledge and imagination. Below the main image is a detail.


This is a detail:

Oct 14

Painting in a new home

Painting in a new home: Collection of Kate and Andrew Harrison.








Please have a look if you have time. I'd very much value your feedback - easiest to do via the link here.


We saw two hedgehogs

We saw two hedgehogs feeding side by side
And it wouldn't be our fault if they died.
They had been grunting through the summer night
Safe from traffic, we thought they'd be all right
In an island garden bordered by woods.
Each evening we fed them specialised food;
Put in a plastic box which was surplus.
And they went straight there first night, without fuss.
But far too nervous to come out in light.
Such has been their anthropogenic plight.
And the reasons for this bloody plight are
Modern farms, strimmers, poisons and the car.
And remember bonfires roast them alive
As one did a Guy on November Five.

North Devon, 12 October 2018



Sep 10

Epitaph for the badger. A new poem.

Epitaph for the Badger

A snarling dark shape in the depths of night,
Blundered into whilst on unknowing paths,
Reduces careless ignorance to fright;
In others, perhaps, causing mirthless laughs.

For sure, there are few to be had today,
Farmers and ministers have seen to that.
While hunts sabs and patrols, try as they may,...

... read more

Sep 4

A new exhibition

The exhibition with ceramicist Eilean Eland is currently on at the RHS Gardens, Rosemoor through September until October 7th. I'm showing some of my flower paintings; Eilean has her exciting organic inspired ceramics. We hope to see some of you there.


Aug 14

Bucks Mills Pebbles exhibition; Tricky private commission; New Poetry section; Literature about children; the 'thrill' of public speaking

I listened to advice (surprise, as it may be, I do sometimes) and Phil my excellent framer gave one of the pebble studies a bigger 'more generous' mount; I'd been told my original ones were "too mean". The two different versions are currently on show at the Burton at Bideford Gallery. Pop along if you can, admission free. Lots of really good art there (and I never say that lightly).

Both are available at a measly £145 despite difference in framing, but it's the art work that's important, isn't it?  I feel pleased with this series and also that I've broken new ground.  The remainder of the series will go in Recent Work soon - I'll send a note when that is done (a few test ones are actually up there now, have a look).



I've been occupied since May with a personal very difficult commission.  In fact it's a painting for a friend which I was most anxious to get 'right'.  It was difficult in the sense that it is small (A5), a nude figure and I needed to please both my friend and of course myself.  It turned out to be one of the hardest paintings I've ever done but I won't be able to show it  because it is private. 

It's not just this that has been weighing heavily on my mind it is my writing and conservation work too. I've published a few recent poems here and I'm finding a great release in poetry these days: enabling me to convey observations and reflections in a succinct form which is I hope both exciting and original.

I'm also finishing my third novel revelling in the fertile imagination of children.  Although stigmatised as 'children's books' they are actually novels about children.  So-called 'children's books' are the only books categorised by perceived readership not by content: a source of irritation and mystification.  I ask you, are 'Lord of the Flies', 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', 'His Dark Materials', 'Lord of the Rings', 'David Copperfield', 'A High Wind in Jamaica', to name just a few, 'children's books'?   I would say not; they are literature which feature children - not the same thing at all.  Maybe you could add your own titles here, and we could explore this subject again more fully.

On Saturday 18th I was in Exeter taking part in a very noisy public meeting and march through Exeter city centre.  You won't be surprised to know it was about the appalling Badger cull.  I've never before stood on a soapbox (in fact a public bench in a sort of 'Speakers' Corner) and addressed a crowd through a PA system.  I had 15 mins to summarise nearly 50 years of history) and think I did OK - but certainly no better; not sure that soapbox oratory is my thing.