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 15, 2016

Where to start and when to finish

It is the beginning and the end of a painting that determines its worth. The start should set down a predominant line that arrests the artist and links the principal features. In today’s painting that line worked its way along Annabelle’s right arm, silhouetted her breasts and ran down her outstretched leg.

I made a good start but then forgot: it is not what you put into a painting but what you leave out! It was a sultry afternoon, my model had drifted to sleep and I was lulled into painting on and on. As a result, each additional brush stroke diminished, rather than added to, my initial vision.


Nevertheless, today’s painting came as a bonus. This afternoon’s session was really set aside for working on the sculpture of Annabelle’s reclining figure. After an hour, the sheer mental exhaustion placing one addition of clay against another caused me to call a halt. It was then that my model rolled over and the painting came about.

Work in progress on my reclining figure

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