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.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Three remarkable women…

This is my tribute to three remarkable women who have entered my life.

The first is Sheila Hyndman, a Virgin Island poet with the potential to move the world.  I first met Sheila when we took part in a radio panel discussion on the arts.  At that time, Sheila was still at High School.  In later years, I illustrated her volume of poems.  Sheila had a huge creative impact on my work.  As her mentor and fellow writer Jennie Wheatley said, “…you soared to heights unknown (and) what you garnered at those heights you brought to lesser mortals…”

The second is Jane Toye.  Jane was a thalidomide baby - the drug responsible for one of the biggest medical tragedies of modern times.  However, neither deformity nor disability could quell Jane’s humour, drive and jest for life.  We served on committees together.  Jane's diminutive size never stopped her from getting a word in edgeways and together we fought many a battle for the West Yorkshire town of Sowerby Bridge.

The third is Clara Baron.  When we first came to Dominica we purchased our fruit and vegetables from Clara’s market stall.  I have never known Clara not to have a wonderful smile on her face or laughter in her voice.  The smile was there even on the day when Denise and I visited her in hospital after she had her leg amputated due to diabetes.  Over the years, she became a firm friend and every week we’d talk over the phone.  My calls were meant to keep Clara’s spirits up, whereas in fact, she always turned the tables and kept my spirits up instead.  Clara was the most courageous and caring person I have ever known.

Sadly, all three of my good friends left this earth suddenly and all too soon:  Sheila in 1991, Jane in 2006 and Clara just yesterday.  I miss them all.

I never had chance to paint Jane or Clara, but here is a sketch I made of Sheila.

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