The anxiety surrounding Covid 19 and the threat that hangs above all our shoulders continues to cause anxiety and fear. The lack of good governance and the cavalier attitude of governments doesn’t instil confidence and trust.
Born out of the feeling of helplessness and the sense of drowning, lack of control and helplessness, the parallels with drowning are ever constant in my mind.

Drowning – Not Drowning

Originally I painted a small painting ( I thought ) of a drowning woman. On second inspection the clothes and arms and water movement indicated she was not drowning at all, she was surviving , or drowning but on the up. This prompted me to want to paint a drowing figure to balance the ying and yang.


I could imagine what I wanted to paint but needed a visual aid to solidify the detail. An amazing photographer Elena Kalis from the Bahamas came to my rescue. She has an extensive portfolio of beautiful photographs, on the web, with somewhat were more quirky and dark. These appealed to me and provided the inspiration I needed. I contacted her for permission to reference her work. She got back to me and was delighted I wanted to develop my painting ideas from her photography.

Unfathomable – Not Drowning?

This final painting is ambiguous as to wether the figure is drowning or not, I feel she is not , but who knows, it’s like her life hangs in the balance. Like so many of us shielding, staying safe, taking every precaution to keep well and behave responsibly to keep others well. But for how long? Will the attention to detail slide? Craving companionship, human contact and touch will our guard slip?

The 30/30 Challenge

www.thirty.works – to produce 30 pieces of work over 30 days and not to miss a day.

The first 9 paintings
The following 6 a total of 15
The latest 3 a total of 18
This completes 21 works submitted.
The final nine pieces completing 30 works.


Anxiety driven, living in the moment.

Drowning – The feeling of sinking down in to the depths of the sea.

“Exploring the fragility and resilience of life. 30 works in 30 days, I have tapped into my emotional history and daily experiences.” All my work is viewed through “Altered glass” this gives a distorted reality. The distortion is the final effect.
Reality is changed by the viewer, reality is changed after the event. The act of remembering changes reality.

Altered Glass

To facilitate the idea of a dreamstate, and to offer the viewer a distorted view, I altered the surface of a pane of glass by covering it with varnish.

Altered Glass

One of my earliest memories is of lying very close to a window, I could feel the cold on my nose. I could see water rivulets running down the pane. It was dark outside, it was mysterious, but not frightening. It’s a very vivid memory and a recurring dream.

Unearthed Dream

it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it may be to create something the represented that idea and distorted the painting put behind it.

How much Gold?

My latest work was inspired by a recent visit to Perugia. I went to the Galleria Nationals with a good friend that is a world expert on icons and religious paintings Peter Murphy. It’s brilliant going to exhibitions with him because he’s a fountain of knowledge, amazingly enthusiastic, and fun!

We spent a good few hours going thorough each painting discussing techniques, judging skills laughing about funny noses… it was an afternoon well spent. I was particularly interested in the fabrics the backgrounds, the detail. I admired not only the pristine paintings but also the ones that showed ageing, decay and distress. It fired up my creative juices, I took a huge amount of pics for reference.
I wanted to paint my own icon, not in a pristine representational way but to paint the ageing process, the bits that are worn, the under colours showing through, the colours dissapearing.


New year new ideas….

Jackson incredible handmade paper.

I have rekindled my interest in Watercolour and I am enjoying painting in this medium again. I can’t thank my friend Jane for introducing me to two new artists that are impresarios in the field of watercolour.

  1. Blanche Odin : the beutiful french floral painter, what delicacy and expertise. Her skill in making roses look lifelike and yet dreamy, they are to die for.
  2. Wimslow Homer : the incredibly skilful American artist that paints with such fluid drawing, great figures, fabulous colours and incredible narrative. I look at his colour and know immediately what he uses and love the darks.

With these two artists as inspiration I have bought a ton of Jacksons handmade watercolour paper and am raring to go. Intitally I will be going back to my passion of painting Dartmoor, lets see where this new journey takes me.

2019 here we go!

I’m looking forward to getting in the studio again, I have loads of ideas just need to get working on them.

The Japanese theme is still uppermost in my mind and I have a whole load of photos to use as a resource.

I’m really looking forward to playing with the architectural and organic as well as a softer lighter colour palette.

The frame is integral!

A great debate ensued about whether to frame or not.

I found the perfect mount and went a and framed my

favourite piece. It was meant to be.

The End to a fab year!

We come to the end of 2018 a little tired, full of great experiences, ready for a break. Family Time! 

Our travels this year have taken to far off places, with opportunities to visit old friends and experience new cultures. I fell in love with Japan, loved every minute of the visit. I soaked up all the beauty, culture and enjoyed the people, the food and loved the many places we visited. 

While in Japan I saw and experienced so much I had no idea how that would process. How it would influence my own work.

My fondest memory was meeting an old friend in Tokyo on the very first day. Totally wiped out with excitement about the trip and the long journey I arranged to meet him on the day we arrived. I could hardly keep my eyes open with tiredness, Katsu and I met 25 years ago in Madison Wisconsin, USA, he was my brothers best man at his wedding.  Something clicked at that wedding,  we hardly spoke, but have always kept in touch.  So it was great for us to meet again in Tokyo.

Katsu took us to the National museum, a huge building full of the most beautiful and precious artefacts. So much to see, incredibly these ancient things influenced me the most, the soft gold screens and backgrounds, the delicacy of the landscapes. I was in awe of such skill and beauty. 

Katsu couldn’t have been more attentive or kinder he looked after us so well, took us to dinner, walked around a few mad streets and knew just when to depart after a whirlwind of culture and hospitality. 

This first experience, has influenced my own paintings so much. 

We continued our tour from one beautiful place to another, everything was new and beautiful. Seeing everything through the eyes of a teacher,  drawing and painting heightened my perception and almost engraved views and images in my brain storing them ready to be called upon when needed. I call it “ the creative soup.”

I really enjoyed exploring my ideas, it’s been a busy year with tight deadlines for exhibitions. I managed to squeeze it in between courses, I produced a good body of work, loved how it turned out, exhibited in London, and sold. 

I’m still excited about Japan, I have a many more ideas to work on, just waiting for 2019 and some time to paint! 

Gold Leaf …. Wow!

I’m trying to create textures using many different methods from layering paint causing textures with a palette knife, dropping thick paint on top, washing paint off, paint peeling away, paint running down the canvas…. amazingly haphazard and effective.

I needed to create light and texture, not with a contrasting colour but with the application of paper, I’ve been using gold leaf paper  it is incredibly delicate and great fun to use, I’m loving the effect.

Much of the mark making I produce is purposefully crude and naive. The use of the paper takes away control of  making a mark with a brush and learning how to apply this delicate paper effectively has been such fun.