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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Better never than late


I paint in water colour directly from the live model - and that’s about as demanding as it can get.  I can only maintain the intense high that is needed for a little over one hour.  However, it takes me an hour beforehand to mentally brace myself for the ordeal that lies ahead.  And let me tell you, balancing one wet colour against another is an ordeal.

At the end of the preparatory one hour, I’m all keyed up and ready to go.  That is assuming my model has arrived on time! 

Being on time is important.  When my studio was in the England, the prompt arrival of my models was as good as a time check.  One of my UK models applied to join the armed forces and put my name down as a referee.  When the form arrived from the recruiting office I was at a loss as to how an artist’s model could qualify.  Then I had a brainwave and wrote: “If battle commences at 12.00 hours you can be assured she’ll be there on time!”

Alas, Dominicans are not the world’s best time keepers and many sessions end before they begin.  To save my frustration I tell my models, it’s better never than late.

Today’s abortive modelling session gave me time to complete repairs to a 75 year old mantle clock.  The clock was brought to my workshop some weeks ago.  Many parts were either missing or damaged and I almost gave it up as a bad job.  But clock-making is in my family’s blood and I doubt if my grandfather Enoch would have forgiven me if I had thrown in the towel.  Thanks to his spiritual guidance from the next world, aided and abetted by my father Albert alongside him, the clock is now ticking and chiming to perfection.

Incidentally, for the benefit of any clockmakers who might read this entry, I made a replacement pendulum-suspension-spring out of a Wilkinson Sword Edge razor blade.  I bet that’s never been done before!

Today’s picture shows the clock mechanism before work commenced.

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