3 October 2021

The way it is Now

Oaks Open 2021

The Way it is Now

Open studio 2021

For my first open studio after lockdown I made a simple and speedy decision to show 'The Way it is Now'   choosing these small works using the criteria the past, the present and the future.

I had the ground prepared for two canvases, (not yet named Summers Day and Wait ) in early March 2020 and Inaccessible was unfinished when I went into isolation for 18 months.

At home I spent a lot of time looking at my old and twisted Wisteria tree, I made several drawings, pen and ink studies and walked.

Wisteria pen and ink

Returning to the studio I had a lot to consider after lockdown, I made a few quick ideas for a new painting based on interrupted verticals and horizontals.

Study 2021 acrylic on card

Concurrently deciding to use the previously unnamed but prepared canvases immediately. I had no initial expectations but needed to work in a very exploratory way. I wanted to be surprised.

Summers Day 


Questioning what is important to me now it was interesting how many questions and comments were asked about the two new paintings Summers Day and Inaccessible. Both of which stand outside my normal way of working.

These selected small works highlight a fragile system, exposing an interconnectedness of water, earth, space and my environment.


Discarded Shell

 List of works 

Specimen No 5  2013 (shell) in oak frame 17 x 12cm charcoal, acrylic, carbon pencil

Specimen No 6 2013 (shell) in oak frame 17 x 12cm charcoal, acrylic, carbon pencil

Curiosity No 5 2013 (bird skull ) 26 x 20cm pencil and graphite

Oaks Park Leaf Sep 21 14 x 19cm acrylic ink directly from ink dropper

Fallen Oak 2021 acrylic ink directly from dropper (image 18 x 21cm) 22 x 27 framed

Discarded Shell 2021 (found on rubbish heap in Wolverhampton, almost the furthest point from the sea) oil bar on paper 21 x 30cm

Sea Change  in vintage frame 23 x 29cm (image 18 x21)

Sea Change 2015 acrylic, plastic, ink wash - reclaimed frame (image size 29.5 x 20)

Inaccessible 2021 acrylic on card in reclaimed frame 35 x 24cm ( 21 x 14 image)

Summers Day 2021 25.5 x 25.5 acrylic on canvas

Wait 2021 25.5 x 25.5  acrylic on canvas

Blue Divide 2004 16.5 x 32.5 oil on board

Crosscurrent 1 2021 30 x 30cm framed,  acrylic ink and acrylic on paper

Crosscurrent 2 2021 (image 25.5 x 25.5)  30 x 30cm framed,  acrylic ink and acrylic on paper

Crosscurrent 3 2021 (image 25.5 x 25.5)  unframed acrylic ink and acrylic on paper

Repairing 2012 (image 35x25 cm) charcoal

Reclaimed - materials 2008 31 x 39cm mixed materials, charcoal, graphite

Reclaimed - Dovetail 2021

Switch -Reclaimed Series 2012 ( image 17.5 x 11cm ) cobblers wax and acrylic

Reclaimed  cobblers wax and acrylic in small black frame 


Unearthed 2010 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Restricted 2021 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Sea Change  2009 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board 

Switch iii May 2019 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Yield 2011 2019 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Nudge 2020  16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Forgotten series - Remaining 2017 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Unfolding 2017 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

1 October 2021

Moving into lockdown, looking back to the future.


Humbug 2021 oil on board

Reclaiming two offcuts of board I had put aside a few years ago, I notice there is something in these matching shapes that works, I recognise something there, like trying to recall a forgotten word. Changing them around I see a way to continue.
A simpleness in the symmetry emphasises their repeated form, these household materials appear almost naturalistic, creating a visual similarity to growth patterns in a shell, a chrysalis or maybe the traditional tetrahedral shape of a humbug.

I realise that this similarity is in the word humbug too. as a type of synesthesia, visually together but altered.

I also see how this comparison between natural process and waste products now relates to an earlier group of works.

In 2009, I made a series of small drawings around the idea of  'Ocean Crisis' after a return visit to Marloes cove in Wales. Concerned by the quantity of plastic debris I saw there, I took a twenty minute walk along the shore line collecting the plastic waste and later including it in a series.
Ocean Crisis 2009 and more recently in Sea Change.
I first saw Marloes cove in 1979 and had been absolutely amazed by its pure clean beauty, it was shocking to see the changes when returning in 2009.

I came across this Ladybird book at around the same time  

 Ladybird book 'The Story of Plastics' 1972

   'The Story of Plastics' looked at the beginning of how plastics were changing the world.
Now we are trying to find ways to remove ithem from our oceans

Sea Change 2015 -  acrylic, ink, plastic bag,  29.5 x 20cm