Friday, 11 January 2019

Leaves 2009

This is the other drawing that has been put off for a number of months while I did my main paid work.  It's based on photos that I took in 2009 on an outing to a local park at the end of the summer.  It was an particularly enjoyable visit because it was the the first month after quitting teaching and every day just felt like freedom after the difficulties I'd been through during the previous 12 months (including crippling sciatica).

Leaves 2009, A5 pen and coloured pencil drawing (2019)

Monday, 7 January 2019

Acer 2

This latest drawing has been in the pipeline for a few months.  Extra work and then the Christmas period has meant that it is only now that I have been able to finish this piece.  There is another to follow this week that has simultaneously been in production.  Hopefully I can have a few productive months before my other job takes over during the late spring/summer months.

Acer 2, pen and pencil drawing, A4 (2019)

Tuesday, 9 October 2018


It's been a long time since I last posted here.  There has been lots going on, with house renovations, dealing with my late mum's affairs, marking, research work etc.  Things are starting to settle down so I thought it's time for a new drawing.  This one goes back to the botanical theme I looked at about 2 years ago.

Acer, pen and coloured pencil drawing, A4 (2018)

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Unspeakable Peace

What unspeakable peace?  Is it a walk in the woods listening to the birds sing?  Is it the stereotypical idea of peace and quiet that people understand?  I always thought (when I was a kid) that the religious idea of peace sounded boring.  What could be more boring that perfect peace I thought.  I disagree that perfect peace is boring yet how to get that across using words and language just doesn't work.  Even calling it peace falls completely short.  Anyway, most people who bother to read this won't have a clue what I'm on about.

Unspeakable Peace (blue) A4, blue pencil (2018)

Unspeakable peace, graphite pencil drawing, A4 (2018)

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Old Railway 1994

I have decided to return to an old theme I explored 7 years ago.  This theme was based on the old railway in West Didsbury, Manchester that had been disused since the late 1960s.  There were still remnants of the platform and where the tracks had been however it had become over run by nature with trees growing everywhere, fly tipped rubbish including armchairs and sofas and drug users needles lying around and about, particularly under the railway bridge.  We visited the old railway a few times in January and February 1994 and for me it was an escape from college to let my mind wander.  I have had an interesting relationship with art over the years, from wanting a career as an illustrator when I was a kid to hating almost every minute of art college.  Here I am now working as an artist in my own way.  My gran passed away a month after our last visit to the old railway so it's poignant from that point of view as well.

The old railway is now history.  It is a busy Metrolink station so all the trees, users needles lying around and old platforms are gone.  West Didsbury is a very different place to the one in 1994.

The Old Railway 1994, pen drawing, A2 (2018)

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Movement Downwards

I've spent the last few weeks attempting to create a painting that I can see in my mind yet at current I cannot get across very well on canvas.  I think I will return to this idea at a later date.  I have decided to paint over what I have done so far and turn it into another idea I've had in my mind.  I think this will be much more successful, but I'll assess that next month when it is finished. 

After giving up on the above painting (for the present) I decided to continue with the 'Movement Downwards' theme that I have been working on since September.  My latest painting in this theme is maybe more bold in colour to make it noticeable.  I think later in the year I might try this theme in a variety of colour schemes.  Might be interesting to see them altogether!

Movement Downwards, oil painting on canvas with swarovski gems 100cm x 100cm (2018)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Absence Of Suffering

I've been working for a while on the theme of movement downwards and there is still much more work to come under this theme.  My next painting will in fact belong to this theme.  This painting however belongs to the theme of absence of suffering.  Some may say that this refers to the Buddhist teachings about suffering and samsara (cycle of life and rebirth).  It doesn't actually relate to this concept of learning about suffering through many lives until one is freed from the cycle of life in order to achieve Nivana and extinction which is the ultimate release from suffering.  If anyone were to read that concept into this work that is fine for them, but absence of suffering for me is another way of trying to explain the concept of unspeakable pure peace.  There are peaceful moments in life such as sitting in a park in the sunshine or spending time reading or enjoying scenes from nature etc.  These 'peaceful' moments are always transient and never last.  They aren't absolute perfect peace.  Some people would say that pure peace doesn't exist and I would agree.  It doesn't exist in world.  I suppose true peace or peacefulness is an absence of suffering.

Absence Of Suffering, oil painting on canvas 61cm x 91cm (2018)