Daubers Trip Feb 2017

So for me it seems everything needs a reason to be, a reason to do.

Although the time away from the studio unsettles me, I allow myself ‘painting holidays’, but I still angst about them being a ‘waste of my time’.

But looking at my Tenby attempts to respond to all that sea and sand, although they didn’t capture the seagulls, the warm breeze and sun as I sat on cold morning sand they did make me think of colour. They made me look. They made me look at colour and learn. And while learning their can be no angst there. That is not a waste of my time.

So when we daubers meet for another painting holiday, when they come up to Wales to paint landscape in 2 degrees and a northern friend, the lazy wind, blows from the north east, from Yorkshire, I decided I want to paint ‘my figures’.

I knew if I was going to start the sculpture for my 25 Year Show next month I needed to immerse myself in form. As discovered in the life drawing class on the monday, an elbow, a thy could be my landscape.

So we painted and ate and talked, and painted and ate and talked…it goes like this. The rhythm. Its really very good. The daubers left, having commitments in Bristol and I remained cramped over my little table, the fire crackled and the dog snored and as the eastern breeze took hold, bringing white snow and sleet, here was my opportunity to play with colours. All over the place was colour. Yellows from Barcelona, oranges from Loas and this blue green that seem to come from nowhere.

Then, out on my bike, the white winter sun exposed blue and purple hills and I realised that the landscape is the colour. Llanigon Green at home out the window and on my bike ride, Herefordshire Blue, Whitney White on the bridge over the river Wye who was the deepest dark blue purple.

So yes to looking, yes to walking, even yes to painting holidays, and yes to Laos because they all appear in my work. And most of all I need to chill out about it, as Graham says, ‘it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you don’t give yourself a hard time about it!’



The logistics manager.

There have been tensions in the camp this week.

The logistics manager has got very angry with the sculptor.
The sculptor has been ignoring the logistics manager.

The pr lady is impatient to show the new work off
but she is waiting on the photographer,
as is the person who updates the website.

The accounts department is struggling to cope
under the hours they have been allotted.
The person who orders the materials is getting anxious.

The writer who seems to be always allowed to do what she wants
and has now taken up precious time
so the finisher/polisher/packer
will have to work the weekend.

The finisher/polisher/packer is now miffed.

The painter is sulking.
Someone let her see the light,
she managed to open the door,
just a crack.

Look! Look!
Its really very exciting through there…
very exiting indeed.

But here comes the logistics manager.

No. No. No.
One week is all you get my dear,
come back my dear.
Your time will come.

But she has broken her promise.


So the painter is sulking.
In fact the painter is very upset indeed
and tears well up in her eyes as she tells the writer.

The draftsman is more patient, she knows the sculptor cant work without her.
She is waiting for her day.
For monday life drawing class,
all day,
she hopes.

If she is allowed to go.

But the logistics manager is not sure at the moment.

The logistics manager probably won’t let her
and then the draftsman will also be sulking.
And next week she will mess it up for the sculptor,
on purpose.
Just to strengthen her case.

The sculptor is the most challenging for the logistics manager to control.
Because she cant manage without her.
“But this is the most important thing” she shouts.

She turns her back on the logistic manager.
She can feel the logistics manager’s eyes boring into her back.

But the sun is on the sculptor’s side.
It’s also strong.
It shines hot light on the clay forms.
Who can blame the sculptor for moving into that light
to play with the darks and lights of the silky clay.

Fundamentally it’s the events organiser fault.
She got a bit excited because its her 25th year.
She has booked a lot of things.
Quite big things.

Eventually, by thursday,
the only person who can solve the quarrel,
the upset, the swollen eyes…
is the social secretary.

She organises a few beers for the whole team.
The CEO swans in, takes the credit
even though it was the social secretary’s idea.
But the CEO does pay for the drinks
and the accountant doesn’t mind the expense.

They all laugh at and with each other,
they respect each other.
And on friday they wake up happy.

They are all resolved that
this is just how it is running a small business
on your own.
And they all get on with the job
a little less fractured.

1st morning back Jan 16th 2017

Oh drawing I have missed you.
You are the best of who I am.
You are kind,
not short, not irritated.

Without you I am wanting
but with you I can see.

Without you I am anxious
but when I slip back
between your sheets
I am at peace.

Your relentless lessons
have taught me to be humble,
without flare. With you today
I will learn again.

Without you I am a vacuum
filled only with self doubt,
insecurities and need.

You are difficult, for sure,
but with you I see beauty
and in form finding, a quiet.

In age you see the history,
the girl and the woman.

In attitude
you see fragility.

You search for the truth.
You are inquisitive.
Sometimes you conceal
but you never lie.

Approached with caution,
with respect
and you are a true and
honest friend.

I am yours.

Be mine
and drawing
please don’t ever leave me.


Talking about drawing. A4 Drawing Unspecified 1st morning Jan 2017

Slipping back into your velvety graphic
I feel a peace.



Talking about drawing. A4 Drawing Unspecified 1st morning Jan 2017

Blue water, coral and sparkling fish
can not compete with your calm.

Lapping azure cannot
ease me like your lines.


Talking about drawing. A4 Drawing Unspecified 1st morning Jan 2017

Only by seeking the truth
will you reward.
Style, fakeness, cleverness
is punished.



Talking about drawing. A4 Drawing Unspecified 1st morning Jan 2017

I am held by your tranquility
and suspended
I am calm.


A4 Drawing No.12 Jan 2017

In your practice I see
beauty. I am kind
not short, not irritated.


A4 Drawing No.13 Jan 2017

Naked she sits.

I have the privilege
to see her truth,
the truth drawing shows me, life.

Muscles of a life lived
through time sits
still here with us
as we learn
from her form.

Privileged we are
to have this time
to learn from life.


A4 Drawing No.13 Jan 2017

I am a drawer
not a snorkeler
not a deep sea diver
or cliff top rider.

I am a viewer
a looker.
Not a doer.

A4 Drawing No.15 Jan 2017

How could I have been so stupid to leave your lessons, to empty my head of all but anxieties.
Thank you for staying.
I will not leave you again.


4 Drawing No.16 Jan 2017

With you I am
who I am now,
here, not who I
could or should
or want to be.


A4 Drawing No.18 Jan 2017
A4D18 Jan17

The peace you give
has to be earnt,
has to be taught
from time with you.

It can not be bought
can not be faked.

You are generous
but take you for granted
you are cruel.

It’s a beautiful
but not straightforward

For me the immediacy in front
of life can not be

Lack of courage, laziness
is punished.


A4 Drawing No.17 Jan 2017
Truth is rewarded


No politics or religion at the table please.

Pick pick, the farage kite
tears soft underbelly
from an upturned
sheep too gorged
to stand.

Blood red puddings
pills on a white tablecloth.
It pools in silver spoons
as much as it drips from formica.

Pick pick. Lie

Lie. Until the red guts of
‘well you’re out’
come spilling out.

And redcurrent clots
and stains Ikea’s pure bright worktop
and walls of elephants breath
and chalky downs.

Pick pick, tear.


My sweet ‘england lost
‘forever friend’.
Clotted, blood red pudding.
You have a bitter taste today.