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 21, 2015


Shani is a Dominican who has distinguished herself in the field of ballet.  She first visited my studio seven years ago but her time overseas has meant that in recent years we lost touch.  Now she is home again and a week ago she telephoned out of interest in my search for models.  The upshot was that yesterday afternoon Shani came to my studio for her first modelling session. 

I have always envied the good fortune of Degas and Rodin in having ballet dances as models.  Now, from the next world, they must be envying me!

To begin with I suggested a relaxing reclining pose.  But for Shani reclining is out of character and towards the end of the session she suggested stretching exercises.  From that moment I was awestruck and challenged beyond anything in my fifty years of painting the figure.  I am now mentally preparing myself for our next session. 

In the meantime, here is my first five-minute sketch of Shani stretching for all she’s worth. 

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