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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Selling my soul or my skill…

For over forty years, when push came to shove, I shouldered my sketch bag and headed to the streets to sketch away my very soul in order to make ends meet.

However, this time around, on returning to the Caribbean six years ago, I decided that it would be my skill as an engineer, rather than my soul as an artist, that would save the day.  And so it has.  My machine shop has kept the wolf from the door and I have welcomed the challenges that have tested my engineering skills and ingenuity.    

But the downside is this.  The street scene from the North of England that I featured a couple of days ago and today’s street scene from the Caribbean, were painted at times when my sketch bag was the only means of survival.  In other words, I had no alternative but to get out there and paint. 

Yes, it’s hard to sell your soul, especially for a pittance, but the best in art is born from the soul.  Maybe the time has come to oil down my lathes and milling machines and return to the pavement.


  1. Could you not find a balance between the two extremes? Do a bit of both?

    I love your pavement artwork. It is so full of energy; vibrant and alive!

  2. Yes, do you still need to keep the wolf from the door? Is there a way to keep the lathe ticking over, so to speak, whilst still getting out there with your sketch bag more often. As in so many things it may come down to a compromise.