Sometimes I Think I Am Going Mad

Sometimes I think I am going mad. I live for days in the mystery and tears of things so that the commonest object, the most familiar face- even my own- become ghostly, unreal, enigmatic. I get into an attitude of almost total scepticism, nescience, solipsism, in a world of dumb, sphinx-like things that cannot explain themselves. The discovery of how I am situated- a sentient being on a globe in space overshadows me. I wish I were just nothing.
W.N.P.Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man

Photograph taken in Mangostfield, Bristol, May 2018.


The World’s Secrets

He thought that the edge of the world was a day’s walk away, there where the cloud-breeding sky touched the horizon. He thought that when he got there he would find a deep pit and he would be able to look down into it and see the world’s secrets.
Adam Foulds, The Quickening Maze

Photograph taken in Churwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, November 2018.

It Is Over

How nice it would be to be dead if only we could know we were dead. That is what I hate, the not being able to turn round in the grave and to say It is over.
Edward Thomas

Photograph taken in Headingley, Leeds, November 2018.

Work In Progress

Here’s my current painting, as of last weekend. See past updates here. Progress is slow, but steady. When I take these reference photographs for future paintings, I must try and remember how long its actually going to take to render all these fallen leaves and bits of grass. I could just cut corners and do it as an ‘impressionist’ painting, but that feels like cheating to me. Like the song says, it’s got to be all or nothing.

When this is finished, it’ll be hung in our living room, alongside this one. Which means this painting:

‘Shadows In Eden’ will be for sale. If you’re interested and want to reserve it, email:


WYETH: the Life of Andrew Wyeth

I think one’s art goes as far and deep as one’s love goes. I see no reason for painting but that.
Andrew Wyeth

WYETH is a new film focussing on one of my favourite artists: Andrew Wyeth. Despite all the critical indifference to his paintings, Wyeth always stuck to his guns, and painted what he thought was important: his world, as he saw it, in a way that anyone could recognise and respond to. Time has proven that he was right to trust his instincts and ignore his detractors.

Every time I feel like I’m losing faith in what I’m doing, I look at one of my Wyeth art books, and all the clarity and sense of purpose I need is restored.

WYETH film trailer

Hope Springs Eternal (again)

My most recently completed painting – ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ (above) – is now framed and hanging in our living room:

We’re running out of wall space in our house for these things, so if anyone wants to buy one, there’s plenty available – see here.

All enquiries:

On The Banks Of The Rubicon

Sleep, the past, and wake, the future
     And walk out promptly through the open door;
But you, my coward doubts, may go on sleeping,
     You need not wake again – not any more.
The new year comes with bombs, it is too late
     to dose the dead with honourable intentions:
If you have honour to spare, employ it on the living;
     The dead are dead as nineteen thirty eight.
Sleep to the noise of running water
     To-morrow to be crossed, however deep;
This is no river of the dead or Lethe,
     To-night we sleep
on the banks of the rubicon – the die is cast;
     there will be time to audit
the accounts later, there will be sunlight later
     and  the equation will come out at last.
Louis MacNiece, Autumn Journal

Photograph taken in Vassals Park, Bristol, October 2018.

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