Pleasure of the Scribble

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Collect me if you wish?

Too disparate, can’t pinpoint a particular style, not easy for collectors. Well, I’m sure if all the works made by the previous centuries artists were inspected a greater variety of styles, subjects and experiments would be found among their ‘oeuvres’.

For the collector to show what they have invested in there has to be something for them and their audience, in whatever shape of form, to recognize, appreciate and applaud. To collect what in the first instance might seem an oddly eclectic selection could perhaps betray a wandering mind, ignorant taste or inefficacy of decision as opposed to breaking the mould and renewing the taste buds from time to time.

What I make expresses the moment of a creative thought to its execution and survival after a journey of discovery, deliberation, disappoinment, joy and learning.  The final outside forces of a market and subjective opinions at times add another colour to the works, their existence and at times longevity.

So it’s all too wide-ranging and after decades of putting brush,pen and whatever else to paper a particular style doesn’t seem obvious I’m told. In it’s variety the peculiar forms that are mine are themselves the so-called style that create my ‘oeuvre’. Not one who consciously makes ‘tree number 10’, or the ‘picky ink scribble’ from a well hammed-out series let alone ‘a portrait in the bold brush stroke’ genre again and again there will always be recurring factors to be found. Somewhat ‘chameleonesque’. To an extent everyone has a set of limits and interests which evolve in their working lifetime. Branding, market demographics, specific clients remain an interesting challenge for the unpigeonholable artist. The world is truly a wonderful oyster of delectable experiences all waiting to be experienced. Why limit the palette and skills at the risk and fear of becoming, according to the old adage,’…..master of none’. It’s all out there waiting for us to choose, enjoy and give back something fanatastic.

They don’t know what they’re missing….rather along the lines of I know what I like….awh dip the toe into something new. Perhaps not immediately but you never know how the buds of pleasure and delight will be pricked. You’d have embarked on a new, exciting and rewarding journey. Visit:

Current exhibition at:



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Like the builder

Some things, like people, take up your everyday life and then they move into a different sphere and their connection with you takes on a new form. My beloved painting of the Birds of Paradise, started in August last year was one of those. It evolved out of a desire to create an image of the attentive suitor in the form of a King of Saxony bird strutting his stuff to a potential mate and became a testimony to unexpected love and joy.

They’re in a forest and the feeling of being transported to the other side of the world was inadvertently inspired by the renowned painter William T Cooper from Newcastle, New South Wales who passed away last May. Having finished the picture I unexpectedly noticed a smiling face peep out from the rear of the forest which certainly warmed the cockles of my heart. According to a friend, such things are not accidental nor inadvertent. Lovely, the subconscious was working full time with some beautiful thoughts or was Mr Cooper there as well!.

In the composition I put in some other creatures to represent certain Feng Shui Day Master attributes. These give an inkling to the behaviour of certain individuals occupying my thoughts as I mix the oil paint colours and move the brush across the cotton. It has been a pleasure t0 create this and of course the canvas will be treasured by someone; the memory of making it going into the deep vault of what colours the present moment.

It’s a perch, a rich branch of wonders still to come.


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Zee take off tranquille

oyster beds

oyster beds

Atlantic coast

Atlantic coast


Millau Bridge

IMG_3061      IMG_0675

The first person I met at the Aèroclub du Limousin was Club Secretary Delphine Lemain. It was 2007 and the club was offering short flights with a training instructor to celebrate ‘Fêtes des Mères’, France’s Mother’s Day. What a great opportunity for this girl to get up in the air and start the ball rolling. As children my sister and I had often accompanied our parents, whenever they piloted their Beagle Pup from Blackbushe airfield to destinations around the UK and Europe. It was always an exciting outing having waited for what seemed ages on the tarmac for eventual take off and from time to time even Grandma flew with us on one of the summer sojourns during the holidays. This seemed the perfect moment to start on the journey of learning to fly. Finally I too would be able to experience pilots’ adventures as my parents had done some 40 years earlier.
The Aèroclub du Limousin, located next to the Bellegarde International Airport for Limoges, France, is run by a friendly and professional team catering to the needs of all manner of pilots arriving from many different parts of the globe. These range from enthusiastic teenagers making their first steps into the aeronautical world to retired professionals enjoying the lighter side of taking to the air. Sorties, in formation, to the Mediterranean islands or popping out to the Atlantic coast for an oyster lunch make up some of the elements of our airborne activities as well as the club’s regular charity work, feasts and holiday celebrations for members and their families.

Military shows bring in large numbers of visitors not to mention the enthusiastic welcome for the numerous annual air shows such as ‘LégenD’Air ‘. Both the old craft such as The Broussard and newer acrobatic planes are put through their paces for the crowd and the pilots and instructors are on hand to offer information and advice at one of the regular venues such as St Junien’s airfield, west of Limoges.
Talking of instructors; when I started the course my private pilot’s licence I was lucky enough to have been taught by the exceptional lady, Sue Virr. She was the first English speaking instructor in the Limousin region and her presence opened the door for many a pilot starting their new pursuit. One of her students, Stuart Morton, became an instructor himself and joined the Aèroclub du Limousin a few years ago; keeping the door open for English language instruction working in tandem with the French within the EASA framework. He handed the reins over to the enthusiastic Roger Sprague who currently complements the team of flight instructors available for those wishing to learn or update their skills or start a new career amidst the rolling hills of the soon to be renamed Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charente region.
The choice and availability of light aircraft make the whole process a delight to encounter. I am very lucky to have found this group and to have the opportunity of flying in the tranquil open skies and am even luckier to be part of an embracing flying membership. This working ‘family’, headed by a well-run committee has its wheels kept running smoothly, and of course always with a smile, by the said irreplaceable Delphine.
If you are interested in finding out more about flying and training please take a look at:

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He loved hairy chests

Many moons ago I exhibited regularly in The Hague with a gallery that nestled within the emporium ‘Het Huis van Arkel’ owned by Martin Richard. He was certainly one of life’s ‘bon viveurs’. Possessing a definite taste for the delicious things in life alongside having a fine nose for his’tasting evenings’ and art preferences; when you stepped inside you were welcomed into a fantasy, a world of gorgeous, high end indulgence, beauty and music. It was a delight for the senses when you had stepped off the granite pavement into the warm lushness .

For the invited artists he was the perfect host fronting a series of wonderful ‘vernissages’ for my exhibitions. Outside of the shop Martin enjoyed going to watch the dance spectacles at the city theatre. The performances, choreographed by an international group of lithe creatures were always a delight as was the wonder of those beauties coming to help him with the wine, artwork and clients during the day. All of them were the subject of many intriguing stories. On a regular basis the local cafés from the Denneweg would send in smoked salmon,  eggs and nibbles for Martin’s lunch as well as for the coterie there was always an impressive array of wine to be insistently swirled and discussed around the taste buds.

One year, Martin saw me putting up the ‘Pugilists, drawings in his gallery. A considerate although very particular man he insisted that he would have to have them immediately. Happy me. Happy him. He loved the fleshy, tattooed figures brimming with corpulent emotions and purpose! I had written an ode about these two ‘guerrieri pompose’ and copies of the verse were put behind the pictures when framed. As the shows and wine flowed by, as the customers and hangers on stepped through his gilded front door so the bigger secret was kept so very closely guarded. No one had a clue. He was a veritable ‘tragico guerriero’. The noble fashion lineage, the hirsute boyfriends, the pure bred dogs, the charitable causes, the art collection and good name in the town clouded the seemingly indefatigable waters of despair that he kept hidden.


Suffice to say, Martin decided to leave it all behind. I went up to the gallery at the end of 2011 to see post scattered by the front door. The elegant lady in the next door shoe shop was very kind when I enquired as to Martin’s whereabouts. Having asked if he was holidaying in Turkey again she told me he had gone to catch a train and with that the story of his suicide followed. Well he had certainly caught a train. To date no one is sure as to what made him take such a drastic step and his emporium has been recast as a new meeting place for those with palates of note. However, interestingly his art collection and art work store has disappeared. After much searching the black pit of silence pervades. Surprises always abound and perhaps one day the pugilists will turn up again with or without their secret ode to the folly of the painted facades. I certainly had a most interesting, fun and lucky time to have been able to work with Martin; pugilists or no guerrieri pompose.


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No Title Gallery

Canapés under canvas

Canapés under canvas

Tucked away down a street where it feels as if time has stood still this Galerie Sans Titre presented itself as a shy box of jewels in the village of Rancon not far from Bellac. At about just over half an hour’s drive from the city of Limoges the old house of the artist Fred Yates stands next door to this super exhibition space tucked away in the middle of the Limousin countryside…. Lat. 46″7’48” Long 1″10’57”. I was invited to see a marvellous show of work by Debbie Waller expertly organised and curated by the gallery owner Rachel Sunman. The ‘vernissage’ was well attended notwithstanding the interest for the artwork but also for the magnificent canapes prepared by the artist.

Next month it’ll be my turn to turn on the heat and decorate this dream-like space with my oeuvres. Whilst keeping busy finishing the pictures and figuring out what to show the menu for those delicious nibbles is also requiring some efforts in the tasty skills section! It will certainly feel less dreamy as whilst writing this I mix the ultramarine blue for the final flourishes on the canvas and prepare to give a painting lesson tomorrow. Think an early night is on the cards.

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polystyerene donar kebab

A Donar Kebab, when offered, is a brief indulgence gratefully chomped through when on my travels. They’re not easy to track down at home and remind me of my youth for a brief moment. Yup, we all chase long lost delicious memories.

The pitta bread holding the delicious contents of the sliced spicy lamb complimented by the crispy fresh green and oniony salad plus seasoning begs my hands to bring it to my lips and bite!  Munch, munch, lovely, I’m transported into a brief trance by the overflowing tastes coursing around the mouth, whipped around by my tongue and then yes, swallow. Another bite and the meat and sharp salad rarely disappoint. What a delight.

So how is it that this pleasure is so rare? Because so often the dammed pitta bread cannot possibly hold the overspilling heavenly tasty contents. Because when a pitta bread is wildly slashed, the sliced meat stabbed into the bottom of the doughy envelope and topped with far too much crunchy salad with a crowning dribble of samurai sauce the final effect is a delicious morass impenetrable to the polite diner. Guess what, you then need a polystyrene box to hold the by now gloopy contents. Bring on the burger and forget a meal reminiscent of magical warm lands bursting with history and mystery.

Last night’s fight to open the much anticipated box, brought in from somewhere near Earl’s Court was a small effort in the world of the bomb disposal team. Carefully balancing and peeling the box open to avoid spilling the beetroot coloured sauce splodged over a mass of salad and meat slices protruding from a sad, butchered and by now folded, soggy pitta bread was less than successful. The Kebab, the very much looked forward to much munch turned into my battle of the trough.

Only because I had the polystyrene box did I manage to pick and nibble through what could have been a thing of beauty. The bread couldn’t do it’s job and the sauce covered table, clothes and face with a pinkness not unlike my blusher. I don’t mind eating like a peasant from time to time, as they’d say, fingers, licking, dripping and wiping but there was no bucolic or desert charm to this.

Why not as the classic Cornish Pasty, employ and understand the pitta bread function as the envelope, plate and lunchbox.

Seems quite simple and on top of that, no more polystyrene junk, less overheads and more pleasure for the customer. A paper bag and napkin, ahhh. Yes it’s nice to see what the bread is going to offer as prize. A peek of salad and dribble of sauce promising the tasty sliced meat is enough. The on the hoof gourmet’s Open Sesame. The anticipation creates the appetite and the overflow of the inconsiderately stuffed-in pile does exactly the opposite.

A smidgen more care for the Kebab and dressing it elegantly and functionally so we can all taste the wonderful hot offering brings on the promise of more delicious spicy munchy love.

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