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.

Monday, October 3, 2011


In his poem Freedom and Love Thomas Campbell lists the following impossibilities:

            Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
            Bind its odour to the lily,
            Bind the aspen ne’er to quiver,
            Then, bind love to last forever.

Between aspen and love, I might add:

Bind a two-year-old to sit still for two seconds.

This is what Jillian, the mother of Jaylah, my two-year-old sitter, Denise and I collectively failed to do this afternoon.  I can hear my life drawing students saying, “that’ll teach him”….he’s always telling us that you can’t expect the model to sit still!

I once demonstrated how draw from life in ten seconds.  Here’s how to do it in less than two!


  1. I seem to recall that you once managed to get Xan to sit still which I would have thought was the ultimate challenge for artists. Victorian photographers used to have metal braces they would use to hold potentially moving heads in place.

  2. I'm not sure that the words 'child' and 'still' really fit in the same sentence!

    I've just finished re-reading 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' (prompted by your post about street painting for the first time). It was as good as I remembered!

  3. You can see just how much they "move" when taking a "burst" of shots with the camera, so many different expressions within seconds. Nearly always bound to get a good one though using this method!