Why would I paint?

Sitting on the tube
thinking why?
Why would I paint?

To me its not about pointing.
I am ‘humble
but in a bad way’.

And how?
I don’t have have the arrogance
to change the colour of life.

I would paint for the love of it.
Not the love of painting
but the love of life,
of people, of space.

The sound of an orange anorak
moving on a plaited Russian girl.
For the patterns on the steps.

My squeezing tiny space
between a metal box and a
a puffed jacket.

For the big tongued escalator,
the hands on the rails
hang on.. this is life.

The Hopper silver light reflected
on a bored face
in a Waterloo Grill.

The flash of a conversation
‘and I was like ‘what’
and he was like…’

To paint, for me, is to see
and to see is to take part.

I don’t make sculpture

My nails continue to grow.
I buy more toothpaste.
I make no sculpture.

January falls to February.
The sun opens blossoms even before March.
And I don’t make sculpture.

The sun rises onto our bed
saying morning
then minutes later sets on the sofa
saying night.

And with each day
I don’t touch clay.


I went and got myself lost.

I was swinging away merrily on my trapeze, I could do all sorts of tricks hanging from my strong tree with a sturdy branch for me. Apart from a temporary perch in London and Barcelona that tree had been home for 25 years.

Swing swing.
Swing swing.

Then a plan is hatched…exciting.
Love a plan.
Love a life plan.

Swing swing.

Pack up my still life tableaux’s, my shelves, my studio, my identity. Rip the images from the walls, rip down the walls and floors of our home, our handcrafted work live, (also on a shelf) Put them all into a skip.

Place the salvaged remains in boxes labelled with marker pen, ‘open now’ or ‘archive’. Put all the most precious memories of tiny bits into the wrong type of box so it smashes and spills your life over the inside of the hire van.

It’s only stuff.
I literally don’t care. Swing swing.

Let go of the trapeze.

Carol let go of the trapeze.


Can’t really see the trapeze the other side by the way?


Most of my life goes into storage. Move into my new space, a chapel, a different architect, a different sensibility, still cant see the other trapeze by the way? Deadlines don’t move so work surrounded by mess and boxes with no time for gravity.


Then this morning I think about the labels for my show, my upcoming solo show… in my new tree. The one I was SO excited about. The tree that I wrote all those things in. The tree where I made those paintings and sculptures.

I see that I was in fact here all the time.

There are strong trees in Llanigon and London. And I also see its not necessarily the tree that has to be strong.

Swing swing.
Swing swing.

Wether to paint mountains


6th February 2017

The writing seems to be in a poem form but I am not trying to be a poet here. Its just as it comes, in part shaped by the space at the edge of the paper. So in typing it out I have kept it similar, thats all. Some of it makes me cringe when I see it and my naive and basic understandings. It takes me a while to catch on*.  Most of it shouldn’t be shared but I have such a terrible memory and my mind scatters about so it gives me structure to have it written down, in print as it were. Formalised.


A4 Drawing Scan 36a –  Wether to paint mountains  – Later hands


A figure has certain rules.
A mountain not, its


A4 Drawing Scan 38 – Wether to paint mountains – foot drawings x2


This is not a casual discussion
these are not casual concerns.
It’s not about blackcurrant or damson.
It’s not a decision about toast
or the everyday.

These decisions are
worried, picked at.
They are buried by work but surface
given the tiniest of light.

A fracture, a glint
and they bubble ferociously.

They worry.



Is a valley more exciting than an instep?

A person,
a toe is specific
but there are rules.
It’s not just random shale
and fallen boulders.

I ache as I watch light
glide over a mountain.
Is it the light and the mountain,
or is it the feeling of the light
on the mountain?

My god this person is alive
and so true is it
that this person will
once not be.

Maybe that’s
the difference

The mountain will stay.
Its different everyday
but it will stay.

This foot will not.




So inevitably its about death…. of course.

Thats why its beautiful.
Thats why it makes you cry with the confusion.


A4 Drawing Scan 44 – Wether to paint mountains

Today I have found
a mountain in a foot
a rock in a hand
a valley’s flank
in a thigh.


A4 Drawing Scan 47 – Wether to paint mountains

So if it’s about showing people beauty.*
if they won’t see it line then maybe try colour.

deep maroon base, yellow bright red





*Edgar Degas

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”


*Dolly Parton

I’m a little bit slow to catch on

But when I do, I’m caught on