Saturday 11 November 2023
Friday 6 October 2023
This painting is inspired by Wallace Steven’s “Of Mere Being” and reflects my response to Steven’s evocation of the space of the mind beyond reason and thought. The poem has a number of visual images: a golden bird on a palm, bronze decor, fire fangled plumage, and the mysterious spaces in the mind beyond the last thought. I've juxtaposed a literal figurative image with abstract forms. It is a difficult painting to photograph:the actual painting is more subtle and luminous.
Wednesday 20 September 2023
This new circular painting of Peaceful Vajrapani explores stillness and movement. The figure is an embodiment of energy. For me wrathful Vajrapani correlates with Piti (rapture) in meditation: his energy bursting out and full of movement, and peaceful Vajrapani correlates with Sukha,(bliss) a fuller, more intense and more contained form of the energy symbolised by the figure. This painting is currently on display at the North London Buddhist Centre in an exhibition on the ground floor. The exhibition runs for a month.
28 years ago (1996) I made a life size painting of him after a vision in meditation the previous year where he came forward out of a visualised array of figures on a refuge tree, shining out like a blue sapphire, vivid and luminous and brighter than the other figures. This early version was painted during a stay in St Ives, Cornwall. The bright rainbow light reflecting off the sea found its way into the painting. The way I painted the figure and composed the piece owed a lot to the formal influences of Matisse and Patrick Heron.
Five years later (2001) I made another version of Peaceful Vajrapani where I was playing with the pictorial space in a different way, exploring the spatial paradox of painting a dark blue figure where, because the dark blue melts back into deep space the figure may not be immediately apparent. I was interested in the connection between pictorial space and the inner space of the mind. And I used a few pictorial devices to create the spatial effects in that version.
Friday 15 September 2023
This painting was inspired by solitary walks on Hampstead Heath tuning into the elemental energies of the landscape, tracking the ley lines and significant shapes.
It is an attempt to describe the Genus Loci: the spirit of the place.
There is a circle of trees on a raised mound where I like to imagine the Druids gathered in times past. It is not far from Boudicca’s Grave, a raised tree covered tumulus, thought to be Bronze Age, and a site for Druidic Solstice celebrations.
Memory is in the painting too, remembering spinneys and copses seen on travels through the West Country.
And I was thinking about cartography and how we map the world, and how the maps made for navigation differ from our personal experiences of following trails across the land.
The painting is on view for a month at the North London Buddhist Centre as part of a small exhibition of my artwork.
Tuesday 29 August 2023
Not there yet, still trying to find the right visual language for my magic city.
This first one is a really really tiny scribble in my sketchbook.
And here are two more experiments with marker pen and fineliner:
And here is another yin yang cosmic tree of life with the silver apples of the moon
Thursday 3 August 2023
Wednesday 5 July 2023
I continue to work intermittently on my Cosmos of Life series. This image was created to celebrate the summer solstice. It is a tree bearing golden apples against the background of the yin yang symbol.
Saturday 24 June 2023
Friday 16 June 2023
Seven songs of turquoise, rose quartz, peridot, topaz, red gold, emerald, and sapphire.
Chirrups, chirps, trills, warbles, croaks, twitters, tweets, calls, whistles, carols, rolls.
Wednesday 31 May 2023
Today I had an impulse to make a series of images of birdsong. Here is the first Birdsong painting, mixed media and collage on watercolour paper. The photograph does not capture all the subtleties, but gives an idea. There are no birds or musical notes as that would be far too literal.