Friday 30 December 2022

30 12 2022

Still looks like St G is being tickled to death by a big kitten... 

and the Last supper dosnt bear thinking about. 

And the stuff I can't organise for the improved website and the photos I cant store elsewhere and the general frustration of life - well, it all made for interesting dreams.

Tuesday 27 December 2022

27 12 2022

 Got in a decent days slog yesterday, despite festivities - and totally screwed up. Need to reconnect with the ideas? 

Sunday 25 December 2022

25 12 2022

Bad photo of Last Orders :) but its cracking on. St George etc on hold, its too difficult. Actually everything I'm on is too difficult, but its all at that stage where it just has to be enacted and understood later. If at all.

Here's a Christmas deer on the floor of the Cafe du Pont.

Tuesday 20 December 2022

20 12 2022

Calling the boat one finished, which leaves only one of them unfinished... and this precious thang to hammer. It has already changed a lot since I took this snap, before lunch - 


Tuesday 13 December 2022

13 12 2022

 Rather pleased with this resolution of an image previously thought to be finished... will now move it out of the studio to avoid further fiddling.

Also pleased to find a weird paint in my stock - seem to be all out of any yellows so in desperation opened a tube called yellow glaze which is transparent and very like lemon curd. Smashed it all over everything that has been worrying me. 

Got a full studio day to repair the damage. Working with fancy glazes in artificial light really is collaborating with the darkness. Ha!

Thursday 8 December 2022

08 12 2022 Dex Wright

 Here's Dex Wright, taken from a photo with his co-workers The Grim Beepers.

And an interview:

The Sunday Underbelly Oct 2021 DEX WRIGHT unedited full interview by LCRFMLincoln | Mixcloud

I'd forgotten that flat Lincolnshire accent... but not his commitment to going against the flow. 

So: we met somewhere (??cant remember) when I held the Artescape Fellowship in 1991. Wherever it was we met, I invited him round. I knew which day he would turn up - two days afterwards was too keen, longer than three was too late - and when indeed he arrived as predicted (with a bunch of wild flowers) he was perturbed by my prediction. No doubt this influenced our relationship.

We were lovers, we were collaborators. I was some many years older than him, he 24, me 42, which seemed irrelevant. To whom might it be relevant? Well, there was the nasty moment when I though I might be pregnant - which is how I found out I was menopausal. We rarely spoke of these things though, painting and sculpture were our lingua franca. His life intruded from time to time; I was vegan, he was not only omnivore but shot birds on the family estate. His was the Little Lord of the village. People actually touched their forelocks when he passed. He lied to me a lot, no doubt thinking it was easier. He would leave me early on a Saturday morning to go to the shoot, saying something quite different: but then we'd bump into one of his friends and 'good days shooting' would be mentioned. I pretended not to notice. How could I expect to change him?

There were the little kindnesses too, he could be very empathic when not distressed. I recall an ear cuff he suddenly bought me (=money was always tight for us both) because he clocked I liked it. There was the meeting with the Queen Mother at the Hayward, totally accidental but impactive; we both painted the event. There was the little picture of us kissing, painted onto Elastoplast and stuck on a box - 

We passed the Christmas meal together in a resturant with his family, my introduction to them. His mother had been at the Slade and seemed fairly accepting; the father, a farmer, frankly curious without asking questions. Dex lived in the family home but had his own rooms so my coming and going was never remarked upon. We slept on a horsehair mattress. We ate mushrooms that grew on the lawn with eggs from the hens that pottered about. First time I'd taken an egg from under a hen...

He wore his dead grandfathers clothes, which were fairly smashing and of course beautifully made and in excellent condition. He derived comfort from them. He had been abused as a child by a distant family member and was all-but consumed with hatred for the man, spending a deal of time plotting murder. I tried to help him channel that into the work.

Outside of his place he was a disaster. I took him to London for a party, from which he absented himself. He disappeared - I wasn't worried. Until he turned up in the middle of the night having had to climb over the security fences, furious with me for not going to look for him. He might have killed himself, he said. This was taking in loco parentis too far, I figured, and on getting back to Lincoln we politely distanced ourselves from each other.

But we kept in touch. I  got him an exhibition somewhere, small event but  a start. He turned up in Amsterdam for Biekes expo where he ran into Ian.  And after that every few years we'd touch base... when he lived in Spain with a Spanish girl, which didn't last; when he became a father. 

Recently I suggested he visited a councillor as his home life was shambolic. He said he'd had a go and they tried to put him on antipsychotics. 

 - And latterly I was to do an installation for 10 Digital Place... 

dreadfully heavy hearted at his death. 

Monday 5 December 2022

05 12 2022


Dex has died.... think he must have been 54. Just beginning, just getting recognition for his amazing work. So many memories; managed to finish these three death-boat pictures with him in mind. 

He died of covid complications, ie refusing to be jabbed and distancing himself from medics and drugs. I'm surprisingly angry with him.

What to do now with the installation we had prepared?? Wonder where he would have taken it... I was hunting for ways to animate it and failing, the pieces missed their lift to Lincoln. The show was for the end of this month. Perhaps the work - which was not slight, in terms of effort - can be used as a memorial in some way. Or perhaps I should bury it.
Dear man. There are many special memories. 

Friday 2 December 2022

02 12 2022

 Very full painty day yesterday; put away the last supper as far too gloopy and must dry - and returned to the little death boats which are easier to deal with now the shock and loss of (especially) Bernards death are passing. Unfortunately... this means tidying and destroying the bright lively freshness and arriving at a more formal Dante/Virgil thang which, lets face it, better artists have dealt to death.

Awake most of the night with dreams - loving and caring blind baby with no belly button, what??Going to go rational today: walk, shop, clean out parrots. 

Tuesday 29 November 2022

29 11 2022

Going where you are not comfortable is a v good way to learn - getting so much out of this, though may have to paint it all out. And its growing....

Very charmed by the thought that as Christianity has failed both as a state religion and a personal ethos, paganism is returning. The tree is worshiped rather than the man on it. And so on, many thoughts - mostly around the need to sacralise. 

Off to Carcassonne for the day, need to let the paint settle.

Friday 25 November 2022

25 11 2022

 Covering canvas seems to be all I'm good for - but the more gets covered the richer the possibilities. The Last Supper - or whatever it is - is shaping up, if slowly. The photos of it make me doubt my vocation. 

Tuesday 22 November 2022

22 11 2022

 Doc says my cough and breathless ness is a crise d'asthma and has given heavy doses of cortisone. You have to trust someone and for all he's a boy child he must have been trained so I'm complying. Which is me telling myself it's all right to feel this weird. Got to studio for 9.00am and had to stop at 10.00 knackered, despite this day is clear and entirely devoted to studio work. Coffee, lots of - and better luck later. Getting fed up with the meal I'm painting - let it be done, with all its flaws.

Saturday 19 November 2022

19 11 2022

reached the fiddly stage - actually finished or near as damn it. One of them anyway.

Friday 18 November 2022

18 11 2022

Still trying to sort the death/boat things - 

think one of the emerging Eves is finished -

and one isn't.

Actually working on another painting which I seem to have not photographed. Well, it's got a long way to go and is confusing me a lot. More on that as and when.


Wednesday 16 November 2022

16 11 2022

 Lost the day, effectively - lots of in-house activity and then the dead tulips yelled at me to be done, unfinished and took all the studio time. Can't think why, maybe they'll be useful one day. Doubt it. Might have another go tomorrow.

Putting off the big picture that I actually want to do, but is a bit scarey.

Sunday 13 November 2022

13 11 2022

 Got to Carcassonne yesterday - came back rejoicing, with 6 100 x 100 canvases and 3 80 x 80. Was thinking how long it'll take to gesso them properly but realised that that is part of the engagement with the canvas, must be done by me. 

Guests all gone, an oasis of time hoving up.

Friday 11 November 2022

11 11 2022

This little scene was over Bobs shoulder as I tried to snap him last night - last supper or what?? Charmed by it and its structure and can feel a new testament series arriving. Below, things I'm fiddling with. Backs gone so in corset, foot bandaged - I'm lucky some bits of me of working.
So; off to the sea-side today


Thursday 10 November 2022

10 11 2022


Marcus and Amilie have bought these two and will collect another 3 - Waiting for Chemo in a Time of Covid, Palais de Dance Macabre and War in Heaven. 

This encouragement has seen me painting furiously since, or at least trying to finish the little ones about death that are lying about.

Can now afford some big canvases. Going shopping for them on Saturday.

Sunday 6 November 2022

06 11 2022

 Been dipping in and out. Trying to come to grips with what's been done and why. Quite captivated by a couple and again, don't know why. Lala. Rather occupied with arrival of guests and my own need for order, which has been drowning for a while. 

Wednesday 26 October 2022

26 10 2022

 genesis of Eve (hoho) coming on now I'm going away... 

Tuesday 25 October 2022

25 10 22

 After a weekend off, mostly, spent yesterday shopping and cooking for a dinner party (v pleasant)- today feel sandbagged, which is ridiculous after max 4 glasses of blanquette. No wine, no liquors. Didnt get to studio till 11.00, tidied the eve emerging pic., then stopped to bin all the prep drawings (kept a half-doz I like)  Now realise that Im at the coast tomorrow and at Cannes the day after til early next week. Guess the rest of today is clean up.

Whatever happened to alka seltzer, do they still make it? 

Saturday 22 October 2022

22 10 2022

 Some more finished than others... phone/camera working again and I'm giving up on death.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

18 10 2022

 Can't download photos as machine no longer recognises techniques after the last upgrade; just as well, as pix horrid. Flu jab this morning which has left me headachy and unstable; yes, I fell, so foot unbendable and hand puffy and sore. Bob gave me paracetamol which works. Got a bandage.  

It's such a beautiful day. Sunshine and heat. All I want to do is sit about weeping. Still working on death so not many laughs there. Feel out of it, on every level. 

The horrid pix do have a curious beauty in parts which I'm frightened of loosing, maybe thats why all this is so hard.

*Buried the chinese ink sticks - in large black pot on the balcony off my bedroom. In the middle. I'm noting this as I'm surely going to forget, as I forget everything else....

Saturday 8 October 2022

08 10 2022

 Teeth grinding day, as 5 perfectly interesting and original paintings have been prettified and rearranged to be consistent with my usual work - how did that happen, without me noticing? - and the drawings of yesterday afternoon still smell. Literally. Ground some Chinese ink sticks, pleased with density, smell disgusting; forced myself to use the stuff (ineffectually) and today they are still stinking - it's like tin and something putrefied. Overpainted in oil in the hope of something emerging and of course the smell being eradicated. Nope, to both.

???So the ink sticks came from a two-stick boxed set, painted and glitzed. Bought at vide grenier from the son of a dead artist. I sniffed them then and there was non of the fir smell that is usual with ink sticks but felt sorry for the son of the DA and bought them. Thought they were made using a new technique, maybe, the traditional one being well laborious. And time consuming. Now there's a thought - after scrapping together the fir-cone soot used to make the inks, it was buried. For years. Thats what I'II do with these things, bury them, in the hope they can be redeemed. If I can find a decent spot. 

Everything is taking too long. Everything is winding me up. Maybe I should do some long overdue housework.

Thursday 6 October 2022

06 10 2022


May have fiddled with the face a little before I finished this - signed and dated, it's worn me out. It's a witness statement so had to be done; pedantic, punctilious and other unattractive epithets.

Souls boats sailing along hoho. Went to the river at twilight to refresh my vision and there were pipistrelles, first I've seen for a very long time. Cheering.

Wednesday 5 October 2022

05 10 22


trit-trotting along... weather lovely if a bit blowy for having studio windows open, health decent, not a lot else to disturb... quelle plasir

Monday 3 October 2022

03 10 2022

 Back from Sete, where I did no work at all - rather stupidly, since boats abound there and that seems to be the base of my current theme. 

Good to change scene, see old friend Liz, get a distance on the current thinking. Yesterday was able to try some glazing on paint that has dried while I was away. Very happy that it did what I wanted.

Planning more of the same today.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

27 09 2022

 The truly great and remarkable Brian Catling has died; on top of Bernards death this is all too much. On the plus side, when the lump/pain started up again last night (=bigger, moved) I found I really didn't want to die until I'd finished two paintings I'm working on. Nice to have that passion back.

Both Brian and Bernard died after extensive cancer interventions, exhausted.

Monday 26 September 2022

26 09 2022

Finished three, like them - been working on them for sooooo long that I feel I've seen them before, as if they are copied from earlier work. This way lies madness.

Did a couple of hours drawing, using the dip pen from Lourdes I got in a vide grenier, and soaked chinese ink stick. Forgotten I had a facility; as soon as I remembered and became self-conscious, it left me. Enough done to inform the next paintings, with luck.


Sunday 25 September 2022

25 09 2022

 Last two nearly finished, bit of fiddling needed. Beginning to get a feel for the collection. Why should most/ a lot of cultures see the soul leaving on a boat? Sea and river based as most are, perhaps that's enough to explain it. Thinking of Arthur being towed out to Avalon as well as the rest. 

Off to Sete on Thursday for a couple of days, meeting old art colleague from London.. Last time I was there did various drawings which have come back to influence me in this series, oddly.  

Friday 23 September 2022

23 09 2022

 - not fast moving, these pictures. Perhaps the scale is wrong - they are much smaller than my usual size. Fiddly. Not moving well. Been channelling my inner John Bellany too, not my intention.

Started too early this morning as Mario volunteered to take my paintings for the show in Quillan, at 8.00am. I got up far too early, 5.00 ish - had a guest to wave goodbye to too - didn't really settle to the grindstone, then went out to a late lunch which confused me. 

Hey ho. Excuses becoming pathetic. 

Thursday 22 September 2022

22 09 2022

 Went out drawing with les filles yesterday and managed to do absolutely nothing. A record. And the death-knell to those events.  Today's excitement is that the show I was in has been cancelled :) Or at least, re-located to Quillan which makes it impossible for me. 

I dreamed of Loretta, who was staffing the doors of a big exhibition (like the arts fair at Olympia) and refusing to let people in. Nice to see her.

Tuesday 20 September 2022

20 09 2022

 Self-criticism and remorse the order of the day. And yesterday and possibly before; doubt vital but when is enough enough?

Thursday 15 September 2022

15 09 2022

 Managed to get some paints, none especially desirable, all necessary. Only Zinc white available locally - which experience has shown discolours after about 20 years - so I've been having fun mixing it with the existing dregs of Sennelier. Feels most alchemical.

Painted out the more ditzy elements of the ones I'm working on. Ca marche, ca marche...

Monday 12 September 2022

12 09 2022

Getting back into something like a rythm - what a bitch this year has been, it's a relief to think about being dead hoho

 and this is a pre-lapsarian evaluation, still refusing to get resolved but I continue to allege, getting there -

Sunday 11 September 2022

11 99 2022

Ticking along - three post-death pix on the go, all working well - until a head-cold got me. In bed now.

Amusing moment when I discovered that the reason I wasn't using black in my pix of dying was that I didn't have any. The place is stacked with tubes of paint and no black. Precious few yellows too, really must do a stocktake and restock soon... however, diligent searching among old paints revealed this ancient tube, unopened, which I could undo with pliers. Lovely paint. Think it was Kitajs since I had a stash from him when he left for the states. How weird it all is; still have brushes from Edward Seago, given to me by his partner Petie just after his death. Think I should be buried with my stash. Actually, would love to make a huge pile of it all and take a cast.


Thursday 8 September 2022

08 09 2022

 Finally definitively finished - started 2 more based on Bernards motif, that he abandoned before his death as being too narrative.

News of another friends death reached me yesterday... Tom, part of my extended family, going back, erm, to the early '70's.

Tuesday 6 September 2022

06 09 2022

 Feels like back to my early 20's - drawing, motif searching - in between times cleaning up which means things are surfacing, including the little motor I need to finish Dex's installation.   Painted out stuff, cleaned palette. Virtuous.


Bernard died this morning. 


Saturday 3 September 2022