Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Another blast through Cardiff

It was wet, very wet, soaking wet in Cardiff today. I forced myself to get up very early to beat the traffic and I made it. When I left the city the traffic was manic. Along with a number of middle aged men I wandered through the racks of pyjamas and nightwear in Marks and Spencers. They were doing better than me at making choices. All the while the music blasted out "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir".  At 9am on a wet day in Cardiff there wasn't a lot of interest.
The staff in the stores were brilliant but even they, and the bright Christmas music, couldn't seem to put a smile on the face of the shoppers who ploughed through the rain trying to catch up on a hundred and one things to do before they could relax for Christmas.
Cardiff Market had pheasants and also a mixture of venison and wild boar for a pie. Now that put a smile on my face. This feels like Christmas!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

All the talk is of Christmas

I travelled by train to London last week through countryside heavy with frost - it was real Christmas card scenery. Now I'm back in Cardiff and with the holiday so close I know I am not going to get to the studio for some weeks. It hardly matters. We'll be in Wales for Christmas and Germany for New Year and thoughts of work are far away.

Monday, 10 December 2012


Frustrating day; traffic solid in the centre of the city and parking a nightmare. Big mistake to take the car to the studio this close to Christmas. I spent 5 hours trying to finish a painting, anxious to get it done before the holiday. When I left I thought it was OK but I want it to be more than that. It will be next week before I can get back to the studio and I keep thinking how good it would have felt to have had that moment of excitement this afternoon knowing that the painting had gone well. Instead I'm left dissatisfied and won't feel at ease until I'm able to work on it again.  

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Today on the radio they said it was the first day of winter. I think it started earlier; the trips to the studio have had me clutching my coat and scarf tightly to avoid the fierce wind. This morning you could see the frost but the sun was shining. I know from living in Finland not to trust the sunny bright days - they are often the coldest!
I'm reviewing the week whilst waiting for the Wales v Australia rugby match to start on TV.
I went to a party made up almost exclusively of painters I hadn't seen for a while. It was invigorating that all the talk was of painting. An oasis in the desert!
I continued work on a large canvas - one day so long that I arrived home later than planned and had to call into the Off-Licence to pick up some sustenance. The wine I like is from Beziers (Betty Blue country). It's the favourite of the wine store owner and his supplies are low. With apparently no possibility of getting more it's debatable as to who will finish the stocks first him or me.
A four hour lunch with a friend,another painter, came in the middle of the week. We discussed our inability to leave a canvas in what we call an embarrassing state which often leads to long hours spent in the studio until it had been made less awful.
All this talk of painting circles me during the week and I am left wondering what it's all about. It's hard, it's sometimes depressing - not being able to get it right; I question why I put myself through it and I have no answers except that I don't feel I have a choice. There is that one magical moment -that excitement, that frisson when I finish a painting and I feel it's right. But it doesn't last. I've already moved on to the next canvas.
The crowds in the Millennium Stadium are singing Delilah - time to go.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Ten months on.

It's ten months since I moved into the studio. The empty walls are now full and paintings stored in a friend's studio are finally here too. All my work under one roof. It feels good.

Friday, 9 November 2012

A quick blast through Cardiff.

I came out of my quiet, calm studio yesterday into the lunchtime traffic of people rushing past with fixed serious expressions, all intent on getting somewhere. A preacher in Queens Street told us " you go from one lover to another and still you're not happy" - I looked at the faces around me, was I the only one that heard that? I cut through Marks and Spencers to the food hall - they were playing Bob Dylan. I know the song well.

" Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe".

"How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?"

Were people surprised at the choice of music?  No-one was listening.

Later, taking a short cut through Howell's Department Store a young beautician stopped me to ask if I wanted my eyebrows threaded.
What a lovely place to live!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Links with the past.

Suddenly I am young again, living and working in Duncroft School in Staines Middlesex in the early 60's as a social work student on a practice placement. I remember my time there clearly but I never thought to hear the name Duncroft again. Now it's in the news because in the 1970's Jimmy Savile frequented the place and abused the girls there. To say it's disturbing doesn't come close to how I feel.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

My wish list.

Wouldn't it be fantastic to have an assistant who could chauffeur me to to the studio, transport paintings to galleries, take pictures for framing, get me new supplies of paint and canvases and  provide me with endless cups of tea. I could go on but that would be a start....
Then I would be free to just paint.
What's brought this on? I have spent the last 10 days away from my easel moving paintings around. The last of my paintings stored in a friend's studio are now all in mine. All the paintings from my house that I'm not keeping in my personal collection are now in my studio. Then I took paintings to the gallery in St Davids, Pembrokeshire and Saturday lunchtime (not the best time) I took paintings to a gallery in the centre of Bath.
Finally back working in the studio and after only two days I'm surprised that I feel exhausted. Tomorrow I'll take a holiday.

Friday, 12 October 2012

An invasion of the kilts.

Today Cardiff was full of men in kilts. They spilled out of the pubs in the main street all gearing up for the football match when Scotland plays Wales this evening. In the event Wales won.
I called into the studio briefly but I've not done any painting this week. Instead I've spent most of the time meeting friends in the coffee shop or shifting paintings from one place to another.
Sunday should see this finished when I collect paintings from the gallery and a friend's studio. Thursday I take paintings down to St Davids Studio Gallery in Pembrokeshire.
Then I can get back to work!      

Sunday, 7 October 2012

One of the difficulties of a studio in the city.

It's always a bit of a lottery getting a space in the loading bay at the end of the Castle Arcade. With a car full of paintings to drop off or a load of paintings to collect it's anyone's guess if I'll actually be able to park. For a start there is only one approach. With both main streets in Cardiff only open to pedestrians the road I have to take sweeps past the civic centre and in competition with fierce traffic and numerous buses I have to spot the loading bay, see if there's space, position myself in the traffic and move swiftly into place. I get just one chance and if I miss it I have to do the whole circuit again. A bit like a Boeing 747 missing the runway and having to circle the airport one more time. It feels like that!

Friday, 5 October 2012

After the meal

Taking a photograph when a meal is over stores up memories for me. I have a great collection from both here and in France. I can remember each occasion, who was there but not always what we ate. The still life always attracts me - the random nature of it, the mix of colours and (although not in the case of this photo), the chaos and disorder which signals a good and long evening around the table.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Tomorrow is another day.

Tomorrow is Another Day. Oil on canvas

After a few days in London and a weekend of celebrations for my son's birthday it's easy to enjoy still being on holiday. How-ever, in a move to get myself back to work, I've arranged to take paintings to the St Davids Studio Gallery in West Wales next week. This means going to the studio in the next day or so to pack up those I plan to take. Once there I won't be able to resist picking up a palette knife to carry on where I left off. I am working on a large canvas and seeing it unfinished each time I briefly call into the studio is unsettling. Finishing it my next priority.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


The one thing about waiting for your body to recover from a virus is that it gives you the time to go on-line and look up the things that interest you. Today in a nostalgic mood I trawled through references to Pontypool. Some sad (I discovered that my old school closed some years ago), some sentimental (a photograph of the bridge by the canal where my sons would fish for frogspawn) and then what I was really looking for - Japan Ware for which Pontypool was known.
The black, beautifully decorated and highly lacqued trays and plates that I have seen are exotic and oddly out of place in a small South Wales valley where the main industries were coal and iron. It's the clever use of these resources that is so inspirational. By rolling the iron into thin sheets it could be moulded into objects. By extracting oils and varnishes from the coal the objects could be painted and lacquered. All this took place in the early 18th century and now is just history but I remember Japan Ware as a child. I didn't appreciate it then and now that I do, I have to go to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff to see it.   


Friday, 21 September 2012


I'm grounded with a stomach bug and hating it! Once I've stopped feeling sick there are jobs to be done. I need to send images of my paintings to two galleries - one in Bath and one in London. I also need to get back to work. In the meantime I'm watching old sitcoms on TV.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Parkfields Gallery

Ross On Wye Herefordshire

High on a sandstone cliff, overlooking a large loop in the beautiful River Wye is the historic market town of Ross-on-Wye.

I pass by Ross-on-Wye fairly often on my way to see family in Gloucester but it's a few years since I
spent time there. The view from the road is always spectacular with the river running alongside the town and the surrounding countryside is breathtaking. So I was more than pleased to get a call from a gallery in Ross-on-Wye a couple of weeks ago interested in my work and asking me to exhibit there next year.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


I buy most of my paint in Soho but white paint I need to get in litre tins and the only stockist is Atlantis in the east end of London. The crazy thing is that the paint is made in Cwmbran, 30 minutes drive from here and close to the village where I was born. Finally yesterday, after years of having to wait for the paint to arrive through the post from London, some clever negotiation on the part of a member of staff at Atlantis meant I was able to go and collect the paint from the factory. A small success but it will make life easier in the future.
It was a sentimental journey; I drove through streets I haven't seen since I was a teenager. On the way back I called at a fruit farm to buy damsons and by the end of the day I not only had my paint but freshly made pots of damson jam to store for the winter.

Monday, 10 September 2012


Click on images to enlarge.  

I have new neighbours across the Balcony from my studio. It's a co-working space based on a project in New York. People use the space to work, share ideas and arrange meetings. They pay a small daily sum. The wall space in the unit is impressive and when approached by the man who runs the project to hang some of my paintings there I agreed.

A week ago ITV Wales sent along cameras and a journalist to do an item on Indycube. It's showing on the TV in the next week or so. I will be watching with a critical eye - to see how the paintings look of course!  

Monday, 3 September 2012

Explaining why I do what I do.

Fine and Mellow. Oil on canvas.

I have agreed to talk to a local Arts Group next Spring about my work and painting technique. One of the things they will want to know is - how do I know when a painting is finished? It may not be enough to say "I just do" and to try to convey the absolute certainty of this emotion. In a recent interview with Ian McEwan I heard the interviewer ask the same question of him in relation to his writing. She quoted the painter Mark Rothco who said a painting was finished when he became emotionally disengaged from it. Sadly he became emotionally disengaged with everything eventually, including life. But I know what he means.

Thursday, 23 August 2012


New Day Dawning. Oil on canvas 2006

I get my love of colour from my parents. Both painters, the house was always full of colour. Orange velvet curtains in the dining room, bright ceramics everywhere and the walls full of paintings. Monochrome colours were not in their wardrobe. The best advice I ever had from my mother in choosing what colours to wear together - just look at nature.

I still look to nature and it doesn't disappoint. This time of the year it's the summer fruits that glow with intense colour. Last year I was admiring the apricots, the peaches and later in the summer, the plums and figs in the Sunday market in France. In Wales this year it's the redcurrants and blackberries that delight me.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

On a larger scale.

In a phone call my brother tells me he's having a very large canvas delivered. He has only one wall big enough to hang the finished painting. I'm thinking that I would like to do the same. I try to push aside all the practical implications. How will I get it up the stairs to my studio? How will I get it in the car to take it to the framers and then to the gallery? None of this seems important. I will get stretchers and canvas and construct the frame in the studio. I'll get fresh supplies of paint from London and if the resulting painting has to remain in the studio it hardly seems to matter. I am longing to do this and I can't think of anything else in the meantime.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Sunshine in August

August. Oil on canvas.  France 2003

It was very hot today and Cardiff was buzzing. The Millennium Stadium is hosting the Olympic Bronze Medal Football game this evening so a lot of the roads around the Stadium were closed and buses re-routed. No-one seemed to mind. A large screen in the centre of the city was showing the Olympic events and the pavement cafes were full of people enjoying the sun. As I came out of the studio into the main street a Hari Krishna procession passed by. For such a small city Cardiff packs it in.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


It's hot, I have been working in the studio and now I'm sittting watching the bees on the lavender bush. It could be France but instead I'm in my garden in Wales. I haven't spent the summer here for ten years or more and I'm loving it. I savour each and every thing - the walk through the Cardiff streets to the studio, the trip back on the train reading my book, shopping for the evening meal and sitting in the late sunshine in the garden. It's a rediscovery of all things good about August in Britain - I even welcome the rain. And then of course there's the London Olympics to follow!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Bastille Day

This morning I lay in bed nursing a mild dose of 'flu with the window open watching seagulls creating mayhem outside. It's a reminder that the sea is a stone's throw away and I don't walk to the pier nearly enough. For now it's enough to breathe in the fresh air. By the evening I'm already feeling better. There are fireworks coming from the sea-front - maybe it's a party celebration but I'd like to think it's someone marking Bastille Day.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


July. Oil on canvas

This was painted in France in 2004 and remains in my collection. I thought of it as I was getting ready to go to the studio. At the time I remember the sun blazing down out of a flawless blue sky. Today in Cardiff the sun is trying hard to get through the dark clouds but the garden is bursting with plants and everything looks fresh after the rain. It feels very good.

Saturday, 23 June 2012


Outside it's dry but wild with strong winds. I'm tempted to go for a walk along the sea-front but I'm working on a commission so I plan to go the studio for a few hours instead. Then it's back later for the football and the Spain and France game. Tomorrow is the big one when England play Italy.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rain, rain and more rain.

Yesterday was hot and sunny; today the rain came back. I walked through Cardiff with the rain pouring down feeling incredibly happy. In the studio the canvas on the easel is full of colour. Images of the South of France fill my head, all stored away for such a day as today.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Back to work

I seem to have had a long break but it's gone pretty fast. A spell in London and then a holiday in Germany. In London I met up with my brother for lunch and we had a look at the galleries in Cork Street. I discovered the work of Anthony Fry which I loved. One gallery was showing Lynn Chadwick - his most beautifully crafted and elegant sculptures; I would love to own one.
Now it's time to get back to the studio to do some work. Tomorrow the forecast is rain so I won't be tempted into the garden to potter. Tomorrow - work. That's sorted!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


26 The Balcony, Castle Arcade is my studio address but to people passing by I am Jazz in Wales.
I like the previous tenant's sign, particularly since I'm fond of jazz, but it's probably time that I changed it.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


April. Oil on canvas

April showers have carried on into May and the garden looks fresh and very green. I have taken a break from the studio, catching up with friends, looking after the seedlings planted out in the cold-frame and generally pottering around. Now it's time to get back to work and I'm looking forward to it. I have new ideas for paintings and I'm impatient to get started.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cardiff Life Magazine

Cardiff Life Magazine has a full page image of one of the paintings on show at the Albany Gallery.
It's under "Objects of Desire" -  page 31

Try the link below.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

All the new paintings.

All the images are up on the gallery website ready for the opening on Friday.
The paintings are wrapped waiting to load into the car to deliver to the gallery tomorrow. It will be a relief to reclaim the space they're taking up.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

It's done.

Two small paintings are finished and have been drying over the last couple of days. Tomorrow they go to the framers. The invitations arrived at the gallery yesterday and I sent mine out this morning. All that's left is to label the paintings and wrap them ready for delivery on Sunday. My head is full of things to do so I've resorted to making lists.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday in the studio.

Five hours in the studio on a Sunday should mean the painting is now finished. I thought it was and went off for a bowl of soup at lunchtime in the coffee shop below the studio feeling calm and relaxed. Just before leaving for the day I took another look. It's not finished - how depressing! I've been here before. It will come right!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Almost ready.

I have been in the studio all afternoon working on the final painting for the show. Tomorrow I expect to finish it. All the other paintings are framed waiting to go to the gallery next weekend. Providing the work on this last painting goes well, I feel I have everything in hand.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Images of new paintings.

There's A Small Hotel. Oil on canvas

Summer In The City. Oil on canvas

Fine And Mellow. Oil on canvas

Past Midnight. Oil on canvas

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Images of Cardiff

The National Museum of Wales.

City Hall, Cardiff

On the way into work today I took some photographs of the civic centre where I had parked the car. This area is unchanged from the time I first came to Cardiff as a student. It was beautiful then and it still is!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Last day of March

I took some photographs of the Millennium Stadium as I walked to work this morning. It's a difficult thing to do because it sits in the heart of the city so there's no way to stand back to view it from a distance. Bits of it emerge suddenly and dramatically above buildings reminding you of it's presence. Three weeks ago we were among the crowd of 75,000 cheering Wales on to winning the Grand Slam. It seems a long time ago now but I dare say we'll be watching the DVD when it comes out later next month.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sunshine Day

Why go to the South of France when the sun is shining in Cardiff? It was idyllic weather today as I sat on the platform reading my book, waiting for the train to take me from Penarth to Cardiff. The short walk through the city centre to the studio was a delight and after completing a painting that had previously baffled me, I returned to Penarth in the late afternoon to sit in the garden and pick up my book to carry on reading.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

St Mary's Church Panteg

St Mary's Church Panteg.
From time to time I make the trip home, to the place where I was born. It's a journey of around 55 miles or so and in the past I travelled the route on a weekly basis but I have no family living here now. I go to visit the church to take flowers for my parents. This small church has been here since Norman times although a lot of the building was repaired by the Victorians. It nestles in a small hollow at the end of a narrow country lane surrounded by farmland. Panteg or Panteague as it's shown on old maps means "fair hollow" and it's an apt description. I was christened, confirmed and married here and it's an emotional journey each time I visit. This morning the sun was shining and the songs of the birds competed with the sound of singing coming from the morning service in the church. I could imagine my parents walking together across the fields to go to such a service. Nothing has changed here and that in itself is very comforting.

British Summertime

British Summertime begins today only a blink of an eye since it was the first day of Spring.
The weather is going along with it and we have a weekend of sun and high temperatures. Cardiff was full of people in summer clothes sitting outside the bars in St Marys Street as I walked to the studio yesterday. When I left, the numbers had swelled and it started to feel very festive like last weekend - except the French had all gone home.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

First Day of Spring

First Day of Spring Oil on canvas

Yesterday it was the first day of Spring and I thought about this picture. It was painted in 2003 and sold soon after. Was the sun shining then? I think so. March is often a month of sunny days in Wales even if they are intermittent!
I am at home painting the sides of paintings, preparing them for framing. At the end of the week they will be ready. Some paintings are are still drying in the studio and will have to wait for a few weeks more. One canvas sits on the easel unfinished and it is this one that occupies my thoughts. Tomorrow I plan to return to the studio.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Rugby and painting.

I am getting ready for a house full this weekend, all gathering for the big match on Saturday. Not much painting done this week but I'm working my way through a list of things to do. I have moved paintings from storage in a friend's loft to my studio; organised the framing of new work which will begin next week and borrowed a tungsten lamp so that images can be taken this weekend of new paintings for the show.

Friday, 9 March 2012

West Wales

Today I drove west to Pembrokeshire to take paintings to the gallery at St Davids. It was a lost day in terms of painting in the studio but lunch with the owners in the gallery more than compensated. We have been friends for a long time now and these brief visits are always enjoyable. I had hoped to refresh my images of the Pembrokeshire countryside along the Welsh coast but a heavy mist obliterated almost everything. The occasional glimpse of yellow gorse was all there was to remind me of where I was.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The flags were out.

The flags were out on St Marys Street for St Davids Day. The morning started out grey and foggy and not at all promising. By lunchtime the sun was out and it felt like Spring. I missed the parade through the city; I was too busy working. (In truth, I didn't realise it was happening.)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Two years on.

It's two years since I started the blog. It followed an exhibition at the Albany Gallery and was an idea of my family who thought it would be good to see what I was up to particularly during my time in France. In fact they rarely look at it. Why would they when texts, e-mails and phone calls are more immediate ways of keeping in touch? It made me re-think the purpose of writing it at all.
Then I started to write it for myself, documenting the things that were happening around me and to me as I was working, knowing that these things would be reflected in my paintings. I had kept these images in my head but now I could note them down, look back on them and link them to various pieces of work.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Old Arcade

The Old Arcade, Cardiff

In the end there was really only one place to watch the match. The Old Arcade stands next to the covered Market in the centre of Cardiff and has been a pub since 1844. Yesterday it was crammed with people wearing red rugby shirts and holding pints of beer. The noise was deafening, the singing loud and everyone in the place sang the Welsh National Anthem along with the team at Twickenham. Even with all this solid support Wales almost didn't pull it off but nearing the end came the try and the the whole place erupted. So Wales have the Triple Crown and next month will meet France at the Millennium Stadium. I will be at the Stadium with my two sons to see it and I can't wait!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Millennium Stadium

My studio is in the Castle Quarter which also includes the Millennium Stadium. It's constantly in my sights as I walk to work - in fact it's very hard to miss. Wales play England tomorrow, not here but at Twickenham.
Cardiff will still be full of fans with every bar showing the match on TV. Big screens erected in the centre of Cardiff will show the game too. I am meeting up with a friend for lunch and with this amount of choice the question that's occupying my mind is - where's the best place to watch the match.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Rain and more rain.

St Marys Street, Cardiff.

Whilst all the forecasts promise high temperatures and sunshine for February - we have rain. But that's alright.
I walked to the studio yesterday in the rain and and on the way stopped to talk to a couple of people I know. Once in the studio it's the same ritual: radio on, fire on, paint overall on and then I consider the work from the previous day. All thoughts of rain forgotten it's always a surprise to emerge from the studio at the end of the day and find myself having to battle my way home through a blustering wind and heavy rain. I am still engrossed in the work I've just left so it doesn't seem important.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Back to work.

It's my first day back after a break in London where it felt like Spring. Now I wake up to rain and a cold morning, almost as if the last 10 days were spent in another country. Nevertheless I am anxious to get going and resume work on the canvas on the easel. I had a photograph on my phone which I studied during my stay away so I have ideas for where I take it next.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Taking a break.

I'm off to London for a few days and I'm really excited at the thought of going to the Lucian Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The last time I saw his work it was at a retrospective he shared with Francis Bacon at the Fondation Maeght at Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the South of France. On that visit I also remember going to the Matisse chapel at Vence. I had been before and I have been since and I am always entranced with the place. I thought at the time how lucky to find the work of these British painters showing in this beautiful part of France.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

New paintings.

At last I feel I am getting somewhere. Two paintings finished and a new one on the easel. It's very disheartening working in a studio with no paintings on the walls, it imposes a pressure that is hard to shake off. But this is a start and it will get better with every painting I finish.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Red studio, red dining room.

The red studio is not that far removed from my red dining room. I'm taking a fresh look.
The Cézanne and Boncompain Ceramiques posters I have had with me a long time. The Cézanne exhibition in the Tate in 1996 created a lot of excitement at the time. The Boncompain poster was cellotaped to the door of a small bar in Antibes where I was having a last drink before the flight home. I was very disappointed to have missed the exhibition and as I left the barman removed the poster from the door and gave it to me.
The black and white poster I bought at an exhibition in Biot in the South of France. The photographer was there and signed it for me. This man had been friends with many of the post-war Paris painters who had inspired my work and I was in awe of him.
The Dubuffet poster from the Guggenheim which Alan brought back from his sabbatical in New York in 1973 hangs on the wall above the stairs.
Finally, the Giacometti which Stephen bought me when he was barely a teenager and is now due a new frame.

The Red Studio

Yesterday a painter friend told me I should keep the studio red. He reminded me of the Matisse painting "The Red Studio". Food for thought.

Brass monkey weather.

I've been dithering all morning feeling a bit of a wuss. The sky is full of snow and the forecast says it's coming. I've been sitting here wondering whether to go into the studio or not. It's a bit of a strange situation. I never know what the weather will be like when I emerge from the arcade at the end of the day. Heavy snow could mean that getting home will be tedious - what a dilemma!
I lived in Finland for a year - why am I worried about a bit of snow? When I reflect further I know what's stopping me - it's just too cold out there!
Anyway - it's starting to snow - decision made!

Sunday, 29 January 2012


January is nearly out and two paintings hover on the brink of either being finished or totally reworked. One I thought was finished bothers me each day. There's something I need to do and it's so simple but I can't just see it.
Towards the end of the week it rained incessantly and I was caught in heavy storms walking to and from the studio. Even that couldn't dampen my spirits.
Thursday I met up with a painter friend in the coffee shop below the studio and we spent a couple of hours catching up. This coffee place could be a great escape from work (if I let it) with large leather settees and armchairs, morning newspapers and good coffee. I can imagine it being the first port of call on my way in each morning. For now, with not one painting finished, I have to put this on hold and get my head down and work.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

First painting of 2012

It's always a relief to finish a painting after a period of inactivity. The trip back from France was closely followed by the search for the new studio. Then came the Christmas and New Year break in Germany. This meant that work had to be suspended for some time. Now I'm back, settled and working hard. I came back from the studio today very happy after completing the first painting of the year. When I go into the studio next the pressure won't be there.

Monday, 16 January 2012

My second week.

Work is slow as I get used to the routine of going to the new studio. I walk through the centre of Cardiff each day and that in itself feels strange; it's many years since I've worked here. The advantages of being in this studio are endless but I'm having to focus on work for the time being. I am setting aside all thoughts of decorating and furnishing my room. At present I exist with my easel, a table for my paints, a heater, a kettle and of course my radio. I've met some of my neighbours but all social activities are also on hold as I keep my head down to concentrate on work.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The red walls stay - for now!

I had my first day painting in the studio. The red will eventually go along with the shelves but for now I'm concentrating on work and the show at the Albany in April. It's a lovely studio and eventually it will look amazing but I have plenty of time in the Spring to transform it. For now
I'm going to enjoy the red!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Moving in.

I have the key. My easel and paints have been deposited along with all the essential things I need in the studio. These things sit in the middle of the room alongside two very large tins of paint. I come prepared for the job of turning dark red walls into white when suddenly I lose heart. It's going to take days and I want to get on with my work. I need a painter and decorator who will do it in a day so that's what I've decided to do. I'm sitting drinking tea contemplating the room. It will be good, I just need to have a little more patience!