studio

Moths

“…and in a moth’s life in the ditch’s low level sky by the glow of a flower in the clothes of a messenger maybe this wish whatever it is will simplify.” Alice Oswald  ~   In the two years since my last blog post I have had the enormous privilege of working with four seriously... Read more »

It takes a stout heart.

The end of the year and, for some reason, my mind turns to Cennini:  FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS FOR ANYONE WHO ENTERS THIS PROFESSION CHAPTER III You, therefore, who with lofty spirit are fired with this ambition, and are about to enter the profession, begin by decking yourselves with this attire:  Enthusiasm, Reverence, Obedience, and Constancy.  And... Read more »

Printmaking

There is something wonderful about printmaking.  Often thought of as the poor relation of painting, it is hard on the hands, messy, brain-tanglingly difficult, (you work in mirror image) and frequently frustrating but to those of us who love it …well there is nothing quite like it. However difficult it might be to explain why... Read more »

On not knowing what to do

This is my studio for the summer. In January I had the great good fortune to meet a man whose passion for art extends far beyond acquisition.  Over the years, he and his wife have quietly and consistently looked for creative ways to provide practical support for working artists. This place, on a hill in the... Read more »

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 »

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 »

on drawing and non-violence

One morning last week a friend called to say he had found a stoat in the lane.  He said it must have been hit by a car but was unmarked and would I like it to draw? Waiting for him to turn up with the creature, I noticed that I  knew nothing about stoats and had... Read more »