Fine Art Degree. Am in my third year. The final push!!! Enjoyed the workshops on various disciplines but now returning largely to my first love of painting. Using increased awareness of contextual and critical studies to inform what I do. As a mature student life is exhausting but exciting. No regrets. Only wish I’d started 20 years ago!!!



Before assessment – that is! Well I’ve almost finished the installation. Our technician Matt did a brilliant job setting it all up for me, then I started on the floor treatment. Will finish that tomorrow. Tried to video the installation but it just doesn’t work – too dark. You have to be in it.

Health & Safety issues occurred last night and today the mood was interesting. Although we were all pretty annoyed & dismayed about the issues it actually generated a really good atmosphere of ..’we’re all in this together so lets make it work despite the irritation’. Everyone seemed to be extra helpful and upbeat which was lovely.

I had a long chat with one of our tutors about painting yesterday, reflecting on how deep and subtle the influence of other painters affects work. She saw Turneresque bits in my Waterfront paintings. I did look at Turner during dissertation research. We talked about how some paintings take so long to resolve ( Antibes ) but then the next painting you do can be really quick because of the knowledge gained by the struggle of the last one.

We also discussed mediums. She prefers oils while I still love acrylics. We all find our preffered working methods I guess. I think I’m comfortable now with painting both abstract and semi-abstract as the two paintings here show. I feel that at this late stage I’m really on the verge of a more confident approach. I’m not saying I’m totally satisfied and I will continue to search for the elusive elements in painting but I’m edging closer all the time now. Like Hokasi said ‘ at 70 he started to improve and if he could live to 140 he might be a good painter…. or something like that …. I can’t remember the exact quote and am too tired to look it up.

Think I’ve done all I can now … just have to wait for the results now and first really enjoy the Show next Thursday.

It’s been an emotional journey and I’ve met some fascinating people, who I hope to keep in touch with; found out things about myself and I think even changed through things which have happened in both my private and college life. My constant self-doubt has somehow lessened a little. It’s been an amazing, life-changing experience.


Just had to add the image of the floor – my messy old painting space overlaid by the next occupants random white emulsion splashes made while she was painting some boards for her degree show display.

It could be a prehistoric monster and would make a good photo. I might get it enlarged.


Feels like I’m spending every waking moment at uni at the moment. Completed the hanging of paintings this morning and am NOT moving them again now whoever asks me to….finished !!

Just waiting for our busy technician to help me with the projectors now then I can put the floor down in the installation space and relax.


Well it’s here at last…the assessment followed by Degree Show.

I found it very difficult to choose what to put in. I generally work quite fast so had too many paintings and it took me a while to decide what worked best together.But reflecting critically on my work I began to see a pattern; a progression towards a more abstract style was emerging. One large painting in particular had the beginnings of an abstract image and I suddenly saw how it could be resolved. Over the weekend it came together and is now almost a key piece in my arrangement. I’m almost pleased with it.

I realised that I have developed a palette of colours too,which always occur….mostly shades of blue which can be a bit overwhelming but the small highlights of red seem to stop it all sliding downhill I hope.

Still working on the hanging of paintings but this one is a definite. It doesn’t reproduce very well on the blog though.


Inspired by watching Amanda’s video about her Dad, I’m adding just one more entry to my blog. Thought I’d finished it yesterday.

I’m kind of looking forward to the Degree Show, but also have that sinking, scared feeling about it too. I’m thinking about how lucky the younger students are to have proud parents coming to see what they’ve achieved. I so wish my Dad could be there. I inherited my love of art from him. He taught me to draw, first took me to the Tate Gallery; took me to the entrance exam at Hornsey School of Art when I was 12 years old. He was my inspiration, my safety net, my rock throughout his life. I still miss him so much. He would have been so proud of me on June 6th.

He also taught me to swim !!!

When I look at the two family photos here it’s still almost impossible to believe that I’m the only one left in my original family. I still can’t quite come to terms with this fact.

I realise that both my dissertation subject and much of my painting practice relates to loss and death. Although I have been so happy to have, seemingly, been accepted by my younger fellow-students, I can’t avoid the realisation that their burgeoning lives and careers will statistically last further into the future than mine. This is a bittersweet thought.

Even though I have made some progress with my painting and have begun to achieve a degree of understanding about abstracting… I am what I am or what I have become during my experience of life. So many influences and life-events have shaped me and my art. I should, perhaps, stop fighting those influences and produce whatever art I am capable of. My self-belief has always been a barrier. To this day I do not believe that my art is anything special. I’m just someone who can draw & paint a bit. I wish it could be different but I don’t think it ever will be. However I shall continue to try to reach unreachable goals.


I really wasn’t sure about publishing this post but finally decided that it is about the context of my art so it’s in. We are all subconsciously influenced by our own life experiences and can’t escape them permeating our art to some degree.