Well, what a week I’ve had! It started with being accepted for a weeks residency at Maelor Studio in Wales for April.Looking forward to this. It’s good to immerse yourself in a new environment and paint without the everyday interruptions of domestic life. Then a double-page feature in the local paper, Suffolk Free Press describing my artistic journey and hopefully, heralding my new venture of Art Workshops. But the icing on the cake was hearing from the Royal Academy that one of my two submissions has got through the massive 15000 entries to the final selection group.

And here it is

Could hardly believe my luck! This five-minute watercolour sketch made it through. While the bigger painting I’d lavished so much time on, didn’t. Obviously a case of less is more. Probably I stopped in time with the sketch. So hard to know when something is finished. It’s a question my art class ask all the time. So much easier to tell others than to recognise the magic moment in your own work.

Applications for the Workshops are worryingly slow but I shall stick with it and hope that by the next time, word will get around and I’ll have more takers. It’s something I really want to do. Increasingly I’m recognising the value of teaching. Not only to the students, but to myself. It forces me to analyse exactly how and what I’m doing with my own artwork which is so useful. I guess that was what I was supposed to be doing in my Reflective Journals on the MA course. So often the true value of life’s experiences only becomes clear after the event.

And this is the venue for the courses

And here is a painting I did a couple of years ago at the course venue – Stour River Centre, Sudbury Water Meadows.It’s a painters paradise.


It takes time for experiences to settle and to become truly a part of your existence; your modus operandi. Studying for my BA and then MA was a gruelling, exciting time. Just getting through it seemed to take up all my energy. There were many high points as well as some dreadful lows. Self-doubt dominated much of the course but somehow I got to the finishing line. Apart from the obvious benefit of meeting so many interesting people, I have the wonderful legacy of retaining several really good new friends, most of whom will, I’m sure, remain friends for the rest of my life. That alone is a huge bonus.

But what of the actual stuff I learnt? Much harder to pin down. Having been passionate about art all my life, there was much I had already come across but having to pick this rag-bag of knowledge apart and to apply a critical, analytical direction to my perception of that knowledge has altered forever, my approach to the subject. And consequently to my personal art practice.

I think I’ve gained confidence (at last) in my judgment of both my own art and the art that I look at in galleries.I know I will never achieve the goals I see in my mind but I feel a fresh urgency to pursue and to expand those goals.