Dancing Partner

Dancing Partner

Another New Studio

Started to move forward by framing some pictures, the first image ‘Jamie’s Flowers’ was longlisted for the Jackson’s Art Prize.

Dancing Partner

Jamie’s Flowers in C-View

Red Garden 5 in C-View

The second, ‘Red garden 5’ is probably not quite finished yet. I have a small VR environment for the Red Gardens,

It just takes the garden using a 3d background from Google maps and walks through to a 3d exhibition of the existing sculptures and back through portals to the red version.

I took some screen shots while I was in it and used one of them to start a new drawing.

dancing partner

Screenshot from VR

Red Garden 6 17/04/24

Red Garden 6 22/04/24

And these next iterations show it on the 22nd at different stages.

Red Garden 6 22/04/24

After this I did a lot of thinking about where the end point for this work is and I’ve looked again at the theory around the ‘geranium project’ and the inherent dualistic approach I took there. I haven’t resolved that as yet but I ought to for the course I’m currently studying 

Red Garden 6 24/04/24

I worked the surface over more on the 24th, this is the stage where every drawing begins to lose something I think. I also made a small drawing on paper prepared with gesso after a discussion with Terry Chipp who has the studio above me at C-View.

Red Tree 24/04/24

I also spent an inordinate amount of time looking at this scene in the studio.

Studio 24/04/24

The ‘Dancing Tree’ sculpture is crying out for a dancing partner.

dancing partner

Red Garden 6 26/04/24

On the 26th I spent some time recovering the big drawing ‘Red Garden 6’ and added a small amount to the red tree

Red Tree 26/04/24

Finally I spent some time building the base for the dancing partner.

Studio 26/04/24 ‘Dancing Partner’ WIP

I’ve managed to keep up with 30works30days and made this short video of the 2nd second of each submission

Reason vs Motivation

Reason vs Motivation

Another New Studio

On the Open weekend I had twenty visitors on the Saturday and two on the Sunday, I can’t complain because I sold a painting.

I’ve called this post Reason vs Motivation as a step towards an explanation of my current practice. When I was talking to people at the open studio the film elicited some comments about its elegiac quality, which tied into my thinking through Eliot’s ‘deception of the Thrush’. Given that gardens in Christian thought are always the garden of Eden and consequently serve as a metaphor for the loss of innocence, the reference to my own garden uses it as trigger for the desire to reclaim something lost. The something lost is lost “in” innocence rather than being innocence. The problem with the past is that memory and nostalgia render it different to the degree that what you desire from the past isn’t what it was in the past, and the suggestion that it can be reclaimed is doubly erroneous as you yourself are the major difference that prevents its return. This is of course entirely obvious and is not the reason that the work is made but is probably the motivation for it being made. I’m still trying to articulate this properly and perhaps that’s the wrong thing to do as nothing kills creation for me quicker than having a reason to do it. I think it becomes contingent when it has that kind of rationale attached. It has to remain poetry rather than prose.

Since the open studio I carried on with the drawing of the photograph made by Jamie Bubb 

Reason vs Motivation

jb-flowers one

Making the image darker and darker.

jb_flowers one

This was the state of play on the 7th December, and started another drawing from the same source.

jb_flowers two

This was the second drawing on the 7th December.

jb_flowers two

And this is it on the 8th December.

jb_flowers one

The first drawing was darkened considerably by the 11th.

jb_flowers two

More detailed was added to the second drawing by the 11th.

Reason vs Motivation

three trees sculpture 15th December

On the 15th December I returned to the big sculpture and added white paint. Initially I’d thought of painting spots where I wanted to piece holes but when I started I decided that I should just paint the gaps between branches, or an idea of them.


As I waiting for that to dry I drew a pigeon.

I made a small cardboard maquette to explore the three trees as separate elements on the 18th December.

adjusted the low section of the model on the 21st December.

three trees maquette 19122023

On the 19th December I built a cardboard maquette developed from sketchbook drawings of the new big sculpture and then on the 21st I painted it red.

studio 21st December

The polycam scan of the thin red maquette.

Reason vs Motivation

A few days after the open studio weekend and before I got really stuck in the mud mentally I wrote a further piece in my journal.

The question hovering above all art is ‘What is it about?’. These days there are labels so that you know immediately, or at least you get a clue that helps you make sense of the piece. Personally the question is always ‘Why did you make this?’. Because the act of making is the act of translating a desire into a realisation (or does the translation create the work?). The work starts with an idea that changes through application, an act of both compromise and development, and is presented, mutated, at the end. My response is ‘that’s kind of what I meant’. I […] think that there is a well of experience, belief, prejudice and angst stirred with study, planning and effort that the work springs from.

It doen’t really make it any clearer.

Wading Through Mud

Wading Through Mud

(Another New Studio)

This has been a busy couple of weeks since my last post (link to post) with work on the NHS Barnsley project which is progressing but will be the subject of another post when it’s completed.

Distractions aside I continued to work on the large drawing I’d started but didn’t post last time out.

Wading Through Mud

Large Rose 11/08/23

Then (11th August) it looked like this, there evidence of some changes in the centre at the bottom but it doesn’t work, too structured and neither one thing nor the other.

WAding Through Mud

Large Rose 14/08/23

So I decided it needed some stronger blogs at the top right and some on the left and below to draw it together. This is the state of play on 14th August.

Wading Through Mud

Large Rose 18/08/23

I decided to move everything up a bit and strengthen the overall force of the circular composition. This is after the 18th August.

Wading Through Mud

Large Rose 25/08/23

I needed to think about it for a while and I worked on the UKSPF project while I did that but felt like it had no presence so I attacked it with white paint and this is what it looks like on the 25th August. It hasn’t changed since but illustrates how you can work your arse off and things will still go wrong.

So I’ve left that for a while, who knows how long, Howard Hodgkin  used to turn his paintings to the wall for two or more years so I’m not going to be in any hurry.

I have a desire to get much simpler with the physical work – I’m also trying to get back to the world building in VR – so I started to work on a new drawing of apples I have in the studio. I see this as part of a sketchbook with AR elements that will include the birdsnest, and drawings of my Doc Martens and the garden at Tickhill Road.

Wading Through Mud

Two Apples 29/08/23

The first drawing is just the apples on a sheet of white paper and I thought it interesting how the colour balance changed when I added the shadowed wall next to the window.

Wading Through Mud

Two Apples 29/08/23

I’ve completed the UKSPF project bar the publication, the images can be seen in this post “Not Building”  the video is a quick run through of how it works. I might reduce the size of the videos as much as I can.


I’ve continued to draw every day;

The August drawings can be seen here

and the July images here

There is a link to the previous month’s Gallery on each page.

The drawings are posted to Twitter and Instagram each day.