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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And I had but a single shirt and not a single care*…

* From the poem “The Joy of Being Poor” by Robert Service.

Poverty is all too often is the lot of the artist.  Curiously, and for no accountable reason, it is during financial hardship that an artist’s creative zeal is often at its best.  Favour us with comfort and we procrastinate. 

The year is 1972 and the place Southern Ireland.  Our home and my studio was a converted village school.  We survived on next to nothing.  Our only means of transport was a bicycle.  With a desire to see more of the country we set off on a two hundred mile walking tour, pushing our camping gear and my sketching bag before us on an old pram.  (The “we” at that time being my first wife Norma and our six-year-old daughter Diana.)  We lived on wild strawberries picked from the hedgerows...and I had but a single shirt and not a single care.

This is one of the paintings I made en route. 


  1. Love the painting, Roger.

    It was never quite like this for us, but we certainly couldn't afford to take a bus to town. We walked the ten mile round-trip and carried our groceries on our backs. I, too, had but a single shirt.

  2. What a remarkable career path you took and finished. The painting is nice to see from along the way. I can't imagine that kind of journey through life but I did struggle as a fine artist for many years; however, with my family of 5, I had a 9 to 5 job that paid the bills and kept us in a house and home.

  3. Roger, I like this piece a great deal.