Don’t think too deeply or introspectively…. just paint….just live.


Reviewing the post I made after finishing my degree I’m struck by the fact that I’m still finding it hard to take my own advice to slow down. Life is so short; I have too much to achieve and worry that I will run out of time. So I rush. But I must live in the moment to avoid covering too much ground inadequately. One good painting would be worth a dozen mediocre attempts.

These two pages from my Australian sketchbook record reality. I simply can’t help myself doing this but hopefully, the magic begins when I give myself time to internalise these images and reinterpret them in a more abstract way, letting emotions and the paint take over.

Think I’ll try oils again which may allow a more contemplative approach.

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Moving house takes over your life but it’s done now. Here are my final two paintings from living out in the sticks. Soon I shall be enjoying urban life after a month in Australia. I hope to return, inspired by red dust and vast open skies! How will that combine with town landscapes, I wonder?



Looking back on the last year – I’m starting to feel quite optimistic. Sold another painting at the weekend – a long slow-burning lead from the very first exhibition I did, in Brick Lane, after Graduation. I’ve made 3 or 4 quite good sales so far and am less apprehensive about what this dreaded ‘networking’ thing.

My tutor, Jane Watt, when I expressed fears about networking, gave me some sound advice ‘just be open to opportunities and stop worrying’. Well she was so right. Simply enjoying what I do and connecting with people leads to such interesting ideas. So much in the pipeline now.

BUT important to keep on learning, researching, developing, being aware without thinking about exhibitions or sales. Just being true to making art.

Visited the Matisse Cut-outs last week – an old favourite but still inspiring. Discovered a new artist (new to me!) Albert Marquet – wonderfully simple, clean use of colour and brushstrokes. Loved painting the Norfolk Dunes so may revisit with theses two in mind.



Actually I’ve sold two recently….not that I’m cheering exactly. It’s slightly wierd parting with an object you’ve sweated blood over. Kind of miss them.

Was glad to sell the big one, River Stour.….200 x160 …..where was I going to put it if it didn’t sell ? I still have Antibes Suicide ….the same size, to sell …..any offers ? No I can’t quite let that one go yet.

The second sale was one I didn’t like at all so that was OK. But now I’m going to try to sell two which I feel mildly happy with. Do I really want to part with them ???? Not sure.

It’s a dilema.


Feb 17th. Simplify

Post- Degree. So many blind alleys.

Latest thoughts….simplify. Stop trying. Just BE in the moment. A cliche but hey… cliches are created by simple thruths arrived at by a multitude of minds.

Stop reading, and sometimes writing in contorted, pontificating, pompous art-speak language about future plans. Go back to Hockney’s matter of fact delivery; to Barthes’ poetic beautiful phraseology…. the only two people who can write fluently and well in their own inimitable styles.

Don’t make plans. Just respond …. paint, graphite, charcoal or whatever comes to hand, to life as I see it.

The results will be 90% bland rubbish but the 10% which will ‘work’ will be sufficient reward. The tranquility of not fulfilling expected criteria will be worth everything.