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Today of all days was a good day to visit London. Out of the shock and horror of events on Wednesday emerged a palpable sense of solidarity, caring, love and hope. Walking through Trafalgar Square after my visit to the National and the Portrait Galleries I felt very close to tears. The atmosphere was so calm and everyone seemed to radiate confidence and kindness. Londoners refuse to be intimidated by the terrorists and were quietly carrying on with life….very moving.

The Howard Hodgkin exhibition at the Portrait gallery was popping with colour. Contrary to my expectations there was so much to learn about his thoughts on his work. Previously I had gleaned the impression that he often refused to explain or discuss his work but thanks to superb curation the theories behind his acclaimed figurative portraits were clear and concise. Metaphors for objects, locations and people became visible. I had to buy the book in order to research further into this. I’m sure it will be of such value to my struggles with my MA studies.

And thereby hangs another tale. Apologies to anyone who read my blog about my ‘new painting’ but it’s now abandoned/painted over already. I’ve been increasingly stressed about the subject of my work lately and after a tutorial at UOS followed by some wise conversations with my husband, I acknowledged that dwelling on the past… a difficult relationship with my mother and the sadness at the death of my brother was really getting to me. It’s easy to think you’ve moved on from damaging emotions but sometimes they run so deep that you’re not even aware that they are still adversely affecting your outlook. I’ve got to let them go and find another way. I believe that delving deeper into the rationale of Hodgkins approach to portraiture will help to lay some ghosts and to push my practice forward…not to mention the difficult Reflective Journal I have to write in tandem with painting practice!

So ….the painting of Dorset is on hold. I’m still going down there to paint in April but it’s such a beautiful location that I will find another angle to interpret. I must look to the future, or at least,live in the moment.