Just over two years ago I had the opportunity to return from the ‘wilderness’ of an ordinary life and enter the ‘wasteland’ of the ‘Full-time’ artist.  To make art again was as liberating as it was  difficult. The minefield of getting my practice back to a decent level was not so much an explosive experience, as a one of slash and burn. However, through the mentorship of a very close friend this journey is almost there and work begins to have substance and meaning.

So this week I await for yet more rejections from residencies and galleries, the e-mail silence is almost deafening to my failing hearing.  I’m beginning to become paranoid and think it is an age thing. (that’s a mid fifties crisis opportunity  by the way)  However the large exhibition gap in my CV from 1996 to 2013 might have a tad to do with it!  I have given up on Newcastle (a closed shop) and look deep into the distance of the other provinces. Wish me luck.  Song for the week: ‘Art’ by The Meters… go strut your stuff!!!!!!



As a pacifist I find this time of year very difficult.  There is much talk and art made around remembrance, but little for all the countless millions of civilians who have died as a result of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time during wars and conflicts.

I would like to remember them and their sacrifice.

This will be my last blog for a while.

Peace be with you.


Aller bonfire 2016.  Top build. Great spirit. Community working together. 42 foot high St Pauls with tower, London Bridge, River Thames and buildings. 4 Days hard graft. Funding £0. Absolute best burn yet. Super hot.  Great days.  For me, better spectacle and the true spirit of a bonfire burn compared to the ‘London Wicker Wonder’, but hey, I’m bias. Check out both on line and make your own mind up.


In 1929 my mother aged 9 visited the North East Coast Exhibition; one of 4 million visitors. Above is an image of the postcard she bought showing a view of the Arts Pavilion.  The exhibition cost around £7.7 million in todays money, more than the £5 million allocated for the 2018 Great Exhibition of the North, but let us hope it brings in a similar amount of visitors to this great region and is designed and presented with the same stature.  We can only wait and see!!!!  My mother posted this card to me in 1984. She used it to confirm the delivery of my portfolio to the Royal College of Art. I was skint at the time and couldn’t afford the fair to London!!!  To my surprize I was invited for an interview for the post grad printmaking course.  However, all I remember of the interview was a lot of questions concerning my home made clothes!!! Maybe I should have applied for the Fashion course instead..Ha! Ha!

The second image is a rough photo of the third stage of my new painting (the first from a triptych entitled ‘The Walls’) It has moved on quite significantly from the image I posted in my last blog.  It is getting there…long way to go however.  So much else to do!!!! Can’t get a good few days at it!  Off to the village of Aller this week to build a rather large bonfire.  My next blog will compare it to the wicker nonsense that was built on the river Thames.  The I’ll let you decide which was best!!

Below is a link to an interesting article by Michael Barke, reflecting on the North East Coast Exhibition of 1929…enjoy…




I have decided to leave an account concerning the process of making an artwork.  The artwork in this case is a triptych of three 120cm x 150cm acrylic paintings on canvas, entitled ‘The Walls’. The images above show the first and second stages of the initial painting from the triptych. The many of the elements in the painting have been taken from sketches, direct from photographs and occasionally from the imagination. I may put some of these alongside the next stage.  I have a broad idea concerning the structure of the painting/paintings, but elements may change or be removed as the work progresses.  Some of this can be seen if a comparison is made between the two images.  And that’s about it.  This is more a visual record than a written one.  However, this painting style suits me emotionally and I am really enjoying making this work. This cannot be said of some of my more recent creations.