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After my initial burst of enthusiasm for Lido’s and wild swimming I was feeling stuck about my next move. Visits to new sites will now have to be postponed till next spring/summer. So what to do next. I made a few paintings using oil over some old canvases which were mainly in my favourite blue palette. See below.

Then what???? I resorted, perhaps uncharacteristically to some reading and research. I’m romping through Deacon’s Waterlog which is enticing me to embark on a UK tour but also reading about swimming in the UK in Roman times….an erudite treatise by a Cambridge professor plus two or three other tomes and online stuff. Then digging out my MA Reflective journal I came across some pertinent sentences by my tutors

‘you are concerned with the sensate nature of the body in its environment and how to communicate these feelings in painting’

‘you found ways of using the presence of the figure or more importantly the body to anchor spaces and landscapes’

…conveying a vibrancy and vitality let you engage in the way you painted as much as the subjects that you painted…The figures became an activation and a meaning’

These are all good points which precisely define and explain my way of working… so thank you Kimberley and Emily for putting into words and understanding what I am trying to achieve.

This diversion from a actual painting has also pushed me some way towards the next step. It has reminded me of the value of slowing down, thinking and researching about my work. A valuable lesson I learnt through doing the MA which at many times frustrated and puzzled me while I was in it but with the value of hindsight I found so valuable and life-changing. Who knows there might even be a doctorate in me one day!!!!