See the Trees…..

Walk in the Rain…..

Hear the Birds…..

Stop along the Way…..

Smell the Flowers…..

and Trust the Universe……

my current project, another sculpure trail just starting; see blog


I wondered if I had about three blogs ongoing, that would cover all aspects of my artistic life. And all I did was update in a circular pattern! I wont do that. But this blog having been started kind of needs updating as things I do relate to it and things happen in the woods.

The Kent Wildlife Trusts programme of land management enteres into its final stages and they still ask me to do artworks and stuff for them….So I think I am still artist in residence…..I will always be an artist working in these woods.

I wanted to formally document a ‘Return to Painting’. This is interwoven with a public event called the ‘Wildart Drawing Day’. I am so pleased with the results.

‘Painting’ in the public realm. I love it.

But I struggle to see people giving it any validity at all in the current world of Public Art, one or two murals here and there over a period of 10-15 years. Digital images seem to have made it redundent in my world. New technologies have pre-ocupied artists and commissioners as progress marches forward.
Well I went backwards not forwards and did some painting specifically about one particular place, Thornden Wood. A site specific work if ever there was one, called ‘The Shelter Posts’. They are painted using clays and soils taken from the woods. I am so pleased with them and it has restored in me some kind of real validity for painting again after all these years. Painting as a medium I always felt was taken away from me by fashion and changing attitudes and my own ambiguity towards it, and inability to use it as a public realm medium. I love it.

We moved a piece of sculpture ‘The Bird of Prey’ or Raptor as it is also known. And I will have to make a totem post marking the Wildart Drawing Day, this is the fith post in the series and I just peeled the bark off the chosen post. I felt like I might be cutting the skin of a large fish or small whale.

This preparation, ie making paints from soil and felling specific trees and peeling the bark off, does feel very ceriomonial and ritualistic. Unlike any other public site specific works I have ever done before!

A Return to Painting see slide show link below.


Cultural Awards:

It is true this blog is never ending as it is not really about an event or a project, its about what informs the works, it is a model for other things, experiments, like a nursery for other more specific projects to develop and grow.

Recently I did start a return to painting and started making my own paints from different coloured clays and earths in the woods. I bought Kaolin, champagne chalk and something called alumina hydrate to mix with my home made pigments. These I got at a truly great shop. But of course things suddenly get busy and I think I will find myself working in a ruined Welsh Abbey instead….but what’s not to like about that eh?

Anyway the main reason for the post was to say ‘The Wildart Trail’ has been shortlisted in two catorgories as part of the Canturbury Cultural Awards.


The Wildart Trail

I thought this blog was finished when the year of sticks was complete. Now The Wildart Trail is complete (very nearly) its officially had the ribbon cut and this blog has a second ending! I dont think this blog will really ever end as I know these woods, near where I live will always inspire me. They inspired A walk with Cosmo, the Wildart Trail and this blog, so may be I will pick it up another time.

What I wondered was.. am I still artist in residence even though I soon will no longer get paid to be? I expect to continue to make work paid or unpaid inspired by these woods. If I call my self that then I am ar’nt I?

This has been the most inspirational project I have done for several years, a flag ship in my portfolio. And I have max of five photos to show you.

here is the link to the project blog though

It has been about co-construction this trail and thanks to the staff at Kent Wildlife Trust for their huge input and support.

and here some of the best bits.

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June Sticks

I have now completed my year long wool and sticks photographs. I started in July 10 and gone full circle creating 4 new sticks for each new month.

The month of june brings this blog to an end, but in some ways it is really the start of the Wildart Project in the woods. I will be spending a large part of the summer and autumn in there working with the Kent Wildlife Trust. We felled a particular shaped tree for an entrance feature this week and I forgot to video it coming down! I will continue blogging that project as it unfolds.

As for this blog; well I am tired and have had my foot down hard on the gas pedal for a long time now and the batteries have run low.

It is certainly not the end of my work in woods though and I have no doubt that I will continue to be inspired by them.

What I have realised about them is that I go there with my dog and I dont want to analize why they inspire me, I dont really want to write about what is good about them or collect data or whatever develop work about them. I just want to go there and think, look, walk my dog, whistle tunes and shut off from the every day. I place not really for sharing. Yeh I think and reflect, plot, scheme and plan, Daydreams and have conversations with myself but this is all stuff people do and I’m keeping it like that.

So that brings things to an end here. I have some pictures to show as well.


May Sticks

I was walking in the woods with my dog listening to ‘echos’ by Pink Floyd, I was immersed and felt small, lost and vulnerable.

Next was Enrico Morricone’s sort of orchestral sound tracks to a series of iconic western films. This music empowered me and I started feeling like these were my woods and I remembered reading the minutes of a meeting I was in a week or so ago. These stated the artist (me) was going to use the natural history relating to the area as the content for the artworks! The area in this case was a large property development even further north than the M25.

So in my last post I was saying that the woods had not really influenced my work to a great extent……well that was rubbish, wer’nt it. I’m building gardens in schools with wildlife trails and habitats, I’m emailing the Biodiversity and Countryside Officer and reading ecoligical plans for 2009-2019. I’m involved in conversations about indiginous species of plants and animals on a couple of projects and still trying to find the time to design those two large totem poles celebrating specific species to Thornden Wood! And this has nothing to do with working in the woods for a year then?

Sometimes I cant see the wood for the trees.