Revolution in Whispers


“Any child could paint that”

How many times have I heard this response to abstract art.

I love the fabled reply from Alan Davie – not if they tried.


Subsequent Layers


Oil paint takes a long time to dry. People ask how long does it take you to make a painting. Some say a painting is never finished. The truth is I will set a work aside to rest many times before I feel happy. And sometimes the happiness is only temporary…

Summer Works

“The eye sees only fronts, and the mind, on the whole, is satisfied with fronts. But intuition needs all-roundedness, and instinct needs insideness. The true imagination is forever coming round to the other side, to the back of presented appearance. “ David Bomberg

Every Painting Teaches Me Something


Bridge Over The Cam/ The Air On Our Face

I am reading The Goetheanum Cupola Motifs Of Rudolf Steiner: Paintings by Gerard Wagner translated and edited by Peter Stebbings. It was one of those wonderful finds whilst browsing the stacks at Cambridge University Library  There is an incredible chapter at the end of the book titled A Path Of Practice In Painting. In this chapter Gerard explains the years of experiments and practice undertaken with colour “to train one’s color feeling.” The process he explains is familiar to any artist who paints because they must: that mystical, transcendental feeling of ethereal flow.

“At the moment of appearing on the surface of the picture, they (colours) are actually at the end of their path.”

Apron Strings

C1A3D1F0-085F-41E3-A5CA-CE935E90C1F5Apron strings…such an emotive phrase that I wanted to share a little bit about what it means to me.

When my son was young we were given a book called “The Children’s Year” by Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton and Marye Rowling.  On the copyright page there is a quote from Rudolf Steiner where he talks about the importance of art and beauty, in the pictures of life that the child is exposed to. This view of childhood and family is idyllic and nostalgic.

In contrast to this, I am drawn to the images of childhood produced by Joan Eardley. There is one with the title Pat and Anne Samson, which I am totally fascinated by. You can sense the future women in these two children; there is such a strong sense of kinship…all that vitality and the thwarting.

And as I put on my artists’ apron to paint, all of my feelings are left in a tangle.

Postscript. After writing this I set about some research and it was not hard to find a story about Pat and Anne, the children in the Eardley painting. I love that Joan fed them treacle and cheese sandwiches.

Hydrangea Flower


I have been trying hard to keep my indoor hydrangea thriving. It is a very thirsty plant which apparently symbolises abundance, honest emotions and the development of a deeper understanding between two people. The desire to capture all that in paint is strong.

Absolutely loved the Gertrude Jekyll quote in the church garden at Caldecote…it was worth the muddy boots to wander out over the fields there.

“The first purpose of a garden is to be a place of quiet beauty such as will give delight to the eye and refreshment to the mind.”