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 4, 2017

Begotten by despair, upon impossibility

The New Year heralds the start of a new piece of sculpture. Its origin dates back to a painting that I made at the speed of light as Annabelle rolled from one pose to another. At the time she was modelling for a half life-size reclining figure. This time around she’ll be modelling for a life-size figure.

To refresh your memory, here is the painting again. It is a tangle of lips, breasts, arms and hands that beg to be interpreted three dimensionally.


If art can be likened to love, the opening verses of Andrew Marvell’s poem The Definition of Love sum up the difficulties I face in turning my vision into reality.

            My love is of a birth as rare
            As ‘tis for object strange and high;
            It was begotten in despair
            Upon impossibility.

            Magnanimous despair alone
            Could show me so divine a thing
            Where feeble hope could ne’er have flown,
            But vainly flapp’d its tinsel wing.

In the weeks to come you can follow the work in progress. In the meantime, the picture below, along with faded photographic references of past work, are the measurements I need to set up my clay for the first modelling session.


The photographic references that I use to remind my model of the exact arrangement of a pose are another story. And that I will tell you about some other time.

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