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, February 24, 2011

I’ve got me left shoe on de right foot…

Here on Dominica we are coming up to Carnival.  At carnival six or seven years ago, one of the calypsos went something like this:

            I’ve got me left shoe on de right foot,
            I’ve got me buttons in de wrong hole,
            And me bucket, it got a hole.
            I’m working hard, both day and night,
            But nothing’s going right.

Those lyrics sum up the way I felt by the end of today. 

For the first time in years, I put painting the figure aside and attempted a landscape.  I packed my sketching bag and drove a mile or so to a hill that overlooks the village of Cochrane.  It is view that I have seen in passing a hundred times.  Cultivated land in the foreground, red roofs of the village in the middle distance and dramatic hills beyond.  

The subject was promising but painting is like playing the piano: to be good you have to practise every day.  After spending years perfecting the work of one composer, it takes time to get the hang of another.  In an instance, I was attempting to switch my pallet from subtle flesh tones to the colours of earth, trees, mountains and sky.  Not only that, my buttons were in the wrong hole.  The pocket of my sketch bag that should have contained tissues was empty and in another, tubes of colour were missing or had dried up.  The shade that I started under shifted, and in moving, I spilt the last of my water.  I was sadly out of tune and off key. 

Here is the unsatisfactory end result.  Yes, there is a hint of life here and there, but otherwise not my best.  To cap it all, my pick-up truck ran out of diesel on the way home!  Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.  


  1. I obviously don't have a well developed artistic eye, because I like this; especially the central section with the bold colours of the houses nestling between the stems of foreground foliage.