Sometimes in the garden stuff appears and then it is gone. The black edge gave this small clump a slightly sinister look.


Chatsworth(2) around the grounds

It was a slightly hazy day and not much drama with light and shadows but plenty of statues lending their own drama to the scene.  Most of the figures are Italian marble and would have originally been pure white.The marble is constantly being cleaned on the classical statues and in the most basic way with a toothbrush and water ( I am no expert but some conservation work is not as glamorous as it sounds!). Each statue takes eight hours or so to clean and they are not taken back to their original whiteness.

Sugaring occurs on the surface of marble which is that crumbly sort of look.177


This is half her head and her shoulder after toothbrush treatment!

Kitchen studio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI set up the easel in the kitchen for an hour the other afternoon. Some fruit on the worktop and brushes balanced near the toaster I managed four very speedy sketches on small square canvases.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Some fruit of my labours

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo a fruitful hour was had (enough already !)

Afterwards it was just a matter of clearing up and getting rid of the smell of white spirit. I then cooked some minted lamb chops which changed the kitchen back to its usual purpose. Amazing what can be created in a small space one rainy afternoon…………

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Pablo Picasso



This framed drawing that I did in 1992 sits gathering dust in amongst other framed stuff that gets no wall space.

It is my son at the age of two and I used three colours of charcoal pencil.

I thought at the time maybe I would show it and do more pictures like this but it was quite hard work and that is good if you are doing the picture of someone you know and want to capture. I think I must have reworked the eyes about three times til I got it just right. It’s always the eyes that seem to give a person that individual distinction. Well, usually anyway.


I suppose it would have been nice to have done a lot more portraits of the children as their faces changed and got older but I never got around to that somehow. (photos seemed a little more instant!)


So as it turns out this portrait was more or less a one off!

I like it because it is a rarity in that I actually sat down and focused and put some proper hard work into it,although usually I prefer to work a lttle more fluidly and the shoulder is a little narrow. ( I don’t think the paper was that good as it seems to wrinkling a little……..)

A (very) Sentimental Tale of a Rag Doll

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was four I was given a ragdoll. Stripey legs, round red cheeks, wool hair, purple gingham smock, blue stitched eyes.

My mother had seen some rag dolls at a house whilst babysitting for a friend and got the pattern to make them from her. She made two, one for me, one for my sister. My sister’s had yellow curly wool hair, mine had brown straight wool.

I think mostly this doll sat on my bed for years. I made it some bloomers trimmed with lace once that it still has. I gave it a knitted jacket. My sister scribbled on her dolls face with green ink and then it lived in the back of the wardrobe. Sometimes we gave them a tea party.

Then they were given less attention.

Mock O’grade art and I decided to feature this doll in my work.


A pencil drawing and a funny ink sketch that was not so great but I got a ‘B’ so not too bad.


I left home and was a student; the doll stayed at home.

But somehow I still have this doll. Whenever I finally got a place to live the doll seemed to be there,still dressed the same.

Now I have grown up children.

It’s still here, the doll, cheeks faded,cardigan lost,patched up feet.

I tried to chuck it in the bin a few years ago but after a morning and a half of leaving it in the wheelie bin I had to lift it out. It really did not feel right………..

This doll, a survivor,still around.