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, January 20, 2016

Freedom vs. constraint

If the medium of water colour could speak, it would surely say: for God’s sake, set me free! By its very nature water colour defies control.  A thunderous wash has a mind of its own and invariably runs run amok. This attribute attests to the saying, that a water colour can’t go right until it has gone wrong. Why then, do the vast majority of painters do their utmost to restrain the medium’s most valuable asset? Moreover, why do they paint from sterile photographic references, rather than life itself?

To illustrate the virtue of freedom, I have taken a detail from a painting I made over twenty years ago of the pregnant nude. My wife Denise was the model and the verse is from my poem The Colour Black.


                Bold washes from her shoulders run
                To trace the curve of her spine,
                Elsewhere they accumulate
                To hide a forested secret that’s mine.

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