Lots happening……

March 23, 2009

April is going to be quite a month for me with work showing in a variety of locations.

Firstly, new pieces will be showing at the Gallerytop ‘Survey’ Exhibition that runs from 4th April through until the beginning of May.  The Gallery is at Rowsley, just on the doorstep of Chatsworth, a beautiful location.


Red : Texas  oil on canvas  2009

The following Saturday I have a solo show opening at Derby City Art Gallery and Museum.  Remembered Landscapes.  There will be a number of pieces that have been completed over the past year and a half, all of which have their starting point in landscapes, but vary from fairly representational through to extremely abstract.  The exhibition involves the input of two different community groups, the Derwent Art Group from Chaddesden and Year 10 pupils from Sinfin Community High School in Derby.

Over the past fortnight I have spent time with both groups engaging them in discussion and written responses to the pieces that will be on show at the Museum. I was blown away by some of the responses – especially those of the pupils at Sinfin. Their responses are included in the interpretation for the exhibition, come along and have a look and a read.

I also appear in this months Derbyshire Life magazine as their featured artist, Ashley Franklin came along to my studio in late February to interview me and take a few photos.

April also sees the initial performance of Heather Duncan and Birdfood at the Bonnington Theatre in Nottingham.  Birdfood are a young Jazz group, made up of final year students from the Conservatoire in Birmingham, a few months ago their double bass player contacted me and asked if I would be interested in painting my responses to their music.  We’ve had a rehearsal and it went well.  Goodness knows how it will go on the night, but there isn’t a right way or a wrong way…. hopefully the audience will enjoy both the music and the art.



March 2, 2009

Its been a wee while…..

In fact this is like starting afresh as the last post was October, and in that third of a year I have had some very high highs and a very large down.  The  down is just petering out now early March, having consumed me in early December.  Following the great high of completing the 2 pieces for a private commission at the end of November my Muse left me stranded…. All inspiration dried up and confidence went.  I recognise that these are fairly commonplace to most creative types – the artistic soul being an angst ridden self-doubting mess much of the time.  But this low was LOW.  I couldn’t paint through being too scared to try.  I worried so much about forthcoming commitments that I had already organised for the New Year that I couldn’t sleep, and therefore, could not summon up the confidence or energy to deal with these commitments.

So how is it that I am painting again now?

The love and support of a great man, and great friends who manage to guide me through and the care of a patient and understanding Doctor who has helped put things into perspective – sleep has been restored.

We can do anything, achieve our goals,  so long as we sleep.

I think that my problems are all created by one little word.  The word is “Yes”.  The more I say it the more worried I become about not delivering …  But, I feel incapable of saying “No” as I start to think I might not be asked again!!  “No” may cause offense.  Daft, I know.  So I have temporarily stopped saying yes – to everything- to be able to get a hold on the things that I need to deliver.

That has given me some space to put things into perspective.

I have this strange way of looking at the work that I do, and feel that paintings that are familiar to me must be familiar to others.  So ‘new’ work quickly – in my skewed way of thinking – becomes old work.  And there in lies my problem – of putting too much pressure on myself to meet these demands.  I feel like I have to constantly provide brand new, only-just-dry, work to the galleries that represent me and for any exhibitions that are forthcoming.

A good talk with my good friend and colleague Hannah Fox helped to quieten that – and I am now happily curating an exhibition of my work from the past two years for a spring/summer show at Derby City Art Gallery.

Before the exhibition is mounted at the gallery, I am running two workshops, one with school children from Sinfin Community School and one with the Derwent art Group.  These workshops are all about talking about and responding to Art.  The workshops with the two groups will be concluded by their written resposes to my paintings that make up the body of the exhibition and some of these responses will be displayed next to my paintings.

Another very exciting development is with a gifted young Jazz musician who is currently finishing his studies at the Conservatoire in Birmingham.  Tom Bunting approached me and asked if I would be interested in performing with him live on stage… painting to his improvised Jazz…


The idea has taken off and so far we have 3 definite gigs booked and two potential gigs…..

I’ll tell you more soon.


The above painting is one of the ones I have been working on since coming out of the gloom.  It is still wet, finished last week.

Dramatic Skies Over Pendle Oil on canvas 100 x 100cm

I grew up in the shadow of Pendle Hill and this is my first painting of it.