Welcome Message

Thanks for stopping in! Please leave comments or links to your work in the box below the post.

Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

 Life is such a work in progress. Perspective is everything. Looking ahead, one thing is quite certain. It will rain, and things will grow. So here's a thought, printed in The Guardian in April of this year.
(Garden by Sam Willetts.)

So Happy New Year! Flowers are Inevitable. Voltaire in wellies. These are Happy Thoughts.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Marking Winter

Winter is here. The solstice was so short, I missed it. But we have snow! This is pleasant indeed. So Happy Winter, World! Here's to a festive season full of light!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Life is full of tissue.

This is a fact. Especially when small people have colds. Then there are tissues gathering and accumulating with something like organisation.
One of the reasons for my life-long obsession with trees is the idea of continual cycle. I like to return paper to trees, in a symbolic sort of way. I thought of putting tissues on the Christmas tree, but found it rather unattractive.
So here we have an exploration of tissue. It's a branching tree, but it's also a placenta form, with its filmy covering and vessels.
I like the idea of the placenta as a tree form providing gas exchange, nutrients and waste elimination. It also cloaks the foetus and itself from attack by the maternal immune system through the secretion of a small protein, neorokinin B. The same mechanism used by parasitic nematodes to evade detection by their host. Hmmm.
So this tissue paper has been remade into tissue. A tree of life. A nod to the link between earth and the heavens. Because trees hold the universe together...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Out of Darkness

The curious business of creatures developing in darkness was weighing me down a little when I first met this tree, with its interesting chamber.  I liked the 'creature' developing inside. It suggested the violence of birth, the tooth and claw survival of the form emerging within the tree cavity. At the same time, there's a sense of shelter, branches growing within the enclosure of the trunk. A tree within a tree.

These images are studies, portraits of landscape. My fascination comes down to an addiction to metaphor. 

And painting? Maybe it's the desire to create an illusion, through the alchemy of colour, and the ritual building of a surface. Most of a painting is never seen. Heavier colours support the light; the underside of the visible, a dark substructure. Maybe it's an effort to capture moments of illumination and connection, and learn the experience in the process of building and reshaping with paint. The transformation of a subject through the intent of the human alembic. Maybe it's about taking childish delight in making a mess, being playful. 

Drawing ideas out of darkness. This is amusing. Developing said ideas is where it gets interesting. Getting it right; well, that's something else again. Still working on that.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Snow is brilliant. 
For so very many reasons.
The world glistens, and looks briefly magical.
Tiny supercooled cloud droplets fall amongst us and life is transformed.
Everything slows down.
Beyond Our Control.
Hills are glass and full of adventure; snow is seriously distracting.
Light is reflected into the cold air and colours are sharpened.
I'd stand and look forever since losing all feeling in your extremities is so exhilarating.
Better to work faster.
 The world is quieter, but more unpredictable, because now it has
treacherous secrets beneath its shimmer.

Crystal aggregates at the mercy of gravity. Bring it on!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A Pygmalion Process

I recently had a short residency with Year 12 students, who were exploring statuary. As you can see from a couple of randomly selected photos, they're doing wonderful work! Thanks to their excellent teachers, provision is made for some time outside timetabled classes to create a final painting. And look at them go! Brilliant stuff. All the paintings are ambitious and dramatic, and students have stretched themselves in their use of colour. Looking forward to seeing these pieces finished and on display at the end of the year exhibition!