My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Improvisations

My approach to painting is akin to that of a jazz musician. I work around a known theme, more often than not, the nude human form. As with a lover, my paintings are not meant to reveal all their secrets at the first glance. I paint 70% of the picture; the rest is up to you to interpret in whatever way you choose.

Today’s painting of Annabelle was completed in about the time it took Sarah Vaughan to develop similar subtle nuances in her recording of My Funny Valentine.





The detail illustrates how lines and washes respond if given freedom




Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Super awesome

My task as an artist is to arouse others, in the hope that they arouse me.

When excitement takes hold, the viewer’s response is usually couched in simple and direct language. I’ve had a conservative businessman confess that he was gob-smacked on first seeing my work. Wow is a frequent exclamation and a confession of love is a close second.

A couple of days ago when I suggested to one of my models the possibility of modelling for a piece of sculpture, her e-mailed response was, OMG that sounds super awesome. Yes, I’d love to do that.

For almost two years I’ve put sculpture on a slow back burner and kept my paintings up front on the fast burner. My water colours are spontaneous whereas a piece of sculpture takes months to come to fruition.

While I ponder over the super awesome possibility of returning to my work as a sculptor, I’ll leave you with a recent painting of Tashani.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Vagina don’t come cheap

A pitfall that I am anxious to avoid was summed up by the poet Dylan Thomas when he wrote: Somebody’s boring me. I think it’s me

My concern is not so much boring myself but boring those who view my work. After all, the nude is the nude is the nude, and there’s limit to the ways my models can stand, sit, recline or whatever.

A number of my models are accomplished poets and this evening some will be on stage for my friend Shawna’s poetry extravaganza, Lyrics under the Stars. It was from one of Shawna’s shows a couple of years ago that I take my title. It is Karmarsha’s brilliant poem that gives advice to young ladies and cautions young men. From that you might guess that this evening’s performances will be anything but boring.

If you think that I’m in danger of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, I’ll stop right there. But for once I’ll skip painting and illustrate this page with a photograph I took of the frying pan that cooked my daughter’s breakfast omelet a couple of mornings ago. 


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Groping towards the light

Most people grope in the dark but my groping is done in the light, with my eyes and mind wide open. 

What I am looking for are new ways to suggest the beauty of the nude. My task is made all the more difficult through two self-imposed limitations: first, working large format in watercolour and second, capturing my subject in a matter of minutes. The only way that I can break through to new ground is by covering a lot of ground: hence, painting after painting. The adage holds true: if it was any easier everyone would do it, if it was any more difficult no one would!

The fact that an ever increasing number of followers throughout the world stay with me, year in, year out, at least means that my attempts are not boring them to death.

The paintings below are from yesterday’s sessions, the first in the morning with Tashani, the second in the afternoon with Annabelle.  




Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Revolution in Human Beauty

The latest release from modelsociety.com carries these words by Lisa Everhart

All around the world a revolution is brewing, one born in the heart, carried forward by the longing of the human spirit in search of truth. The models, photographers and artists of Model Society are fueling this revolution of honoring the humanity of all people as intrinsically beautiful. Creative minds help us wake up from fear and prejudice as they compel us to look within and see ourselves in a new light. To the artist who dreams of a more beautiful world, there is no choice but to stand for what is right, good and unalienable.
We invite you to cast aside your fears and prejudices, opening your heart to the miraculous beauty of humanity. Reclaim your experience of human beauty. See yourself as a work of art, and join us in this revolution.
The vision of Model Society heralds a renaissance in the appreciation of the human figure.  True to the meaning and spirit of renaissance, it is a re-birth.  Centuries ago artists and sculptors paid homage to the beauty of the human form.
Today’s picture is of a relief on the balustrade round the Temple of Victory in Athens.  It dates from 408 BC and depicts one of the goddesses momentarily stooping to fasten a loosened sandal.  Although sadly mutilated, the figure that is revealed beneath gossamer drapery remains as sensual today as when it was conceived.