Diary

Other lives

It is hard sometimes to see any good in humans.  Listen to too much news and it can seem as if we do only harm, contaminating all we touch.  Echoes of King Midas, who, we are reminded by Aristotle, died of starvation – an ‘unforeseen consequence’ of his own vainglorious wish. At the moment I’m... Read more »

Re-connecting

Late in the summer of last year I had the great pleasure of re-connecting with my old tutor from Oxford – Nicholas Mann.  After a happy exchange of e-mails, towards the end of August, he and his charming family drove down to spend a day with me here in South Devon.  I remember pale sunshine,... Read more »

A very short film

There is nowhere quite like a studio.  This very short film of me in mine was made last week by my son Louis.

Time-wasting and other stories

In the mornings, before I go into the studio, Daisy and I walk.  About half way round our usual hour-long route is a steep meadow.  Strictly speaking a meadow is a field of grass ‘ shut up’ against cattle between March and June or July, mown and then grazed until the following spring. These days... Read more »

Obsession

I learned only today that the word obsession comes from the latin obsidere – to besiege. from ob (before) and sedeo (I sit) Working on a big drawing like this, for months on end, I am not sure which of us is under siege – who sits before whom? Perhaps the poet Li Bai understood: ‘We sit... Read more »

Moorhen for Helen

 All day today I have been working at the printshop …and thinking about Helen   A rare and lovely bird. When I last saw her, a week ago in the hospice, I had told her about finding a dead moorhen – ‘perfect, undamaged,’ I said.  ‘Oh, so quite damaged on the inside!’ She replied. She told me... Read more »

“….In everyone there sleeps    A sense of life lived according to love. To some it means the difference they could make    By loving others, but across most it sweeps As all they might have done had they been loved.    That nothing cures. “  Lines from Faith Healing by Philip Larkin – 

Primordial darkness

At its deepest level, any poetic utterance grows out of a desire to overcome loneliness, to share experience.  “Absence” Charcoal and Inks on Arches paper.  40″X 27″ approx For a long time – really since I started making paintings as a conscious adult – I’ve been troubled by notions of ‘self’ and of art as... Read more »

Autumn darkens

‘Gone’  Charcoals and watercolour on Arches paper. 13″ X 13″  In loneliness there is also some joy – autumn darkens. Buson (1776) Over the past weeks, as a result of the exhibition TREE at Beaux Arts in London, I have been asked several times if there is a ‘Japanese influence’ to my work.    Sadly, I... Read more »

Catalogue Essay

Most of this year has been spent working for an exhibition that will pay homage to one of the most beloved aspects of our landscape – the tree.  Patricia Singh of Beaux Arts London was very keen that Revd. Richard Davey – who has written several times on my work with great insight and sensitivity... Read more »