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 26, 2016

The fates conspired against me

Today I was looking forward to an afternoon painting session with my inspirational model Annabelle. An area of disturbed weather had passed Dominica by and with it, my vacant mood from weeks passed. Everything bode well but as an afterthought I messaged Annabelle to bring an umbrella, just in case. No sooner were those words sent than a tropical downpour started and the session had to be cancelled.

I have nothing of mine to show for today but I recently came across this incredibly beautiful sculpture by Gustov Vigeland (1869 – 1943) a Norwegian sculptor who also designed the medal for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The enigma of arrival

I have taken the title of today’s post from V. S. Naipaul’s novel The Enigma of Arrival. The book has many interwoven themes; as one reviewer said: it is unlike any other book I know. On one level it speaks of the disillusionment of achieving one’s objectives. And this I can relate to on almost a day to day basis.

A couple of months ago my objective was to develop my work as a sculptor, specifically by way of my recent reclining figure and torso. Both pieces worked out better than I dared hope. But now, after arriving where I earlier wanted to be, I find my aspirations have forged ahead to yet another level.

While I struggle with that dilemma, here’s the finished plaster master cast of the torso.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Finding gold

I search in vain for the work of artists with a similar feeling for the figure to my own: those who attempt to de-euphemize society’s overt sexual connotations with nudity and to depict the human form in its primal state. They are few and far between, but occasionally I strike gold.

I found the work of the self-taught Spanish artist Nicoletta Tomas Caravia (1963 - ) by way of a link from one of my followers. He has this to say about his series of paintings titled “Lovers”, and from which today’s painting is taken:

To paint that love, that island of comfort, to paint the energy that moves us in that state of intoxication…I wanted a language of the body that would carry all the emotion of that dance of love, of carnality, which is that love from within, the drama of passion, that which irradiates and that which cannot be touched but only felt…I drank from many painters: Klimt, Schiele, Picasso, Gauguin and many others…I have taken something of value from each of them.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Portrait Demonstration

This year the University of the West Indies Dominica Open Campus is holding a Creative Arts Summer Program for children. My contribution was a portrait demonstration with one of the participants as my model.

I teach by demonstrating as it is the best way to learn. On one occasion I set up my stall before television cameras and an audience of two hundred. But whether I paint before a small group or a multitude, the risks are the same: can I make the magic work one more time!