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I have recently started on a new series of works, somewhat larger than normal and inspired by my previous doodlings of strange insect like creatures and also my garden series. It is at a very early stage but it will be a mixture of collage, painting and drawing, focusing on some of the birds and other wildlife that I see every day through my kitchen windows.

As I sip my coffee in the morning I easily become transfixed by the wildlife that pays a visit to the garden. This includes foxes, squirrels, the odd neighbourhood cat and a myriad of birds. There have been a pair of magpies that have taken up residence and certainly dominate the garden. They tolerate me sitting outside on occasion but after a while, they clearly think enough is enough and start chortling very loud at me and pressure me into moving out of the vicinity. There are also a couple of pigeons whose soft cooing is frequently heard, which is just as well as they do appear to have their eye on coming inside. I am wary about having the sliding door open as they ever so quietly inch their way towards it and it is only their soft cooing that gives them away every time. They seem very non-aggressive birds and unlike the magpies, inhabit the space peacefully with all the other creatures. Meanwhile the magpies vehemently protect their territory and often chase the other birds (and squirrels) away. I have also witnessed them stealing my little tea-light candles in their metal casings which makes me very curious as to what else might be contained within their nest.

Then there are the little birds – they perhaps give me the biggest pleasure. My garden is so overgrown such that coal tits flit in and out of the foliage in a delightful manner and robins hover close by on low branches or perhaps on the edge of an outside chair. Robins really do seem like they want to engage with you and I do wish I knew what it was they were thinking. I can’t help but have a little chat with them when they come and visit.

In this very hot weather I have been sure to keep the birdbath filled with water as well as the little tea light lanterns I have hanging from the trees. The coal tits and others delight in these as they can drink and bathe in relative protection.

Thus the garden space and its habitants sits on the periphery of my everyday consciousness and imagination. It operates as a kind of background that floats in and out of focus. Whilst I haven’t progressed very far with this lastest series, I have prepared the painted ground on canvas which I display here. As one can see these backgrounds are themselves gestural and organic. They are created in a relatively random way, allowing time and chance and the layers of paint to do it thing.