art drawing painting

garden paintings, 2020

Just to let you know, I have added a page to my project pages on this website – for my garden paintings of earlier this year.

These mixed media drawings and paintings, looking close-in at very small growing things. They were made in my garden during the coronavirus lock-down here in Wales.

To put it simply, they are about drawing attention to ordinary things and opening up to momentary joys, and the feeling of being in love with the world.

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mindful photography

Today an online session with my arts group led by the photographer Ray Hobbs. Ray showed photos from his own home, photos of family pictures, objects, places. And encouraged us to walk around our home mindfully, and with a camera, looking at things around us. At the end we shared our photographs and stories. It was a very simple instruction, and seemed like a very small thing; but it was not so very small, and not so completely simple after all.

I took my own photos within a few feet of where I am sitting here – photos of the shelf, the table, under the table, outside the door. In the first, the wooden bricks my father made for me as my first toys, that have been with me from before memory starts; my brother’s small pop-up painting journal that arrived here a few months ago, via a Devonian chimney-sweep lady. In the second my books, the work I am doing right now. In the third my yellow bag, a gift from my mother. In the fourth my dog, working hard with me from her suitcase bed under the table. In the fifth, the music station outside my door that fills up the space at the top of the stairs.


a box for joys

a box for joys, made today and sent out in the post



I spent some time today reverse engineering little boxes of raisins ( I took the raisins out first). Before that, I’d also spent quite a while examining matchboxes in our massive new Home Bargains, and measuring them with my tape-measure, before rejecting them. I was quite careful about spreading infection, and I also needed some other things for the house, but I still felt a bit guilty about the global pandemic, and wondered how essential the work was. Many people were in each shop. I saw no-one else doing as I was doing, although many people were dithering, and looking like they were having a good day out. [And one woman was walking up and down holding a tablecloth in a packet and having a lengthy video call about it. Actually she reminded me of two women I once saw at the National Museum and Gallery for Wales in Cardiff. I had travelled 100 miles to see a painting of a cathedral by Constable that was on loan to the gallery, and which was indeed very impressive. They had also borrowed a few others, including a beautiful painting by Van Gogh. I was standing and looking and thinking about paintings, when two women came by with a stroller, saying something about ‘that would look nice in the living room on the wall behind the sofa’, which was a bit strange because Constable made very big paintings. So I was wondering about what kind of house they lived in, and I listened more as they walked across the room and out the other side, and I realised that they were actually talking about the wall-paper, and did not glance at any painting in the room. This was a very interesting and very grounding experience for me. I’m not exactly sure why the woman in the shop reminded me of the encounter, something about the intensity.]

The decision is a difficult one. Matchboxes are in many ways nicer. But raisin boxes are easier to make and have a certain charm…

art reflection

do one small thing

The work on my bench this evening. Back to small steps. Undefeated.