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Just caught up with Imagine, a BBC TV programme about Chris Olifili, The Caged Birds Song.  Absolutely delightful programme and very interesting to see Olifili’s watercolour images skillfully woven into a tapestry.    Tapestry is currently at The National Gallery – Chris Ofili, Weaving Magic.


20170717 Neptune’s Tears

I sort of see the way that I’m painting as kind of weaving.

My problem with this painting has been how to treat the edges of the object.  I think I’m beginning to work out what I need to do.




Neptune’s Tears

A good review of The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray by John Arnold writing for The Church Times.  Arnold precis the book precisely and accurately.

This is the most astonishing claim made in the book:

In October 2015 there was a public meeting in the small city of  Kassel in the state of Hesse.  Eight hundred immigrants were due to arrive the in the following days and concerned residents had a meeting to ask questions of their representatives.  As a video recording of the meeting shows, citizens were calm, polite but concerned. Then at a certain point their district president, one Walter Lubcke, calmly informs them that anybody who does not agree with the policy is ‘free to leave Germany’.” p.319 The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray.

Is it any wonder that there have been political backlashes when the populace is treated with such contempt by its leaders?

In considering my response to The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray I’ve been participating in some Implicit Association Tests.  Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control.


The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report.

Among the various tests that I have taken I’m really surprised by this result.  I was encouraged by my scientist father to study Geology.   I have always loved this subject and still do.  My understanding of science is that it is the closest thing that we have to the absolute truth.  It was quite a shock to discover than many people do not share this point of view.

Is my strong automatic association for Male with Sciences and Female with Liberal Arts due to nature or nurture?


I’m currently reading The Strange Death of Europe, Immigration, Identity and Islam by Douglas Murray.  Review will follow when I’ve finished reading the book.


Random Obsession


Hot, tired and grumpy. work in progress.


13th June 2017 Random Obsession, almost finished.

I visited MOMA Machynlleth last week where they were having a retrospective of Roger Cecil’s artworks.  I’d never heard of Roger Cecil before and what a treat this exhibition turned out to be.    Cecil was a loner who turned down a scholarship at the Royal College of Art because he wanted to do his own thing.  Peter Wakelin of the Guardian wrote an obituary after Cecil’s death on 22nd February 2015.  Cecil was a ‘painter’s painter’ and below is a slightly ‘out of focus’ photograph of one of his large canvases.


Roger Cecil

We paid a visit to Borth beach to see the bronze aged forest.  Unfortunately a recent storm had concealed most of the forest beneath a thick layer of sand but the were a few tree stumps showing through.


Bronze aged tree stump at Borth.

The tree stumps had been concealed beneath a  layer of peat beneath the beach.  A storm swept the peat away exposing the ancient stumps.  Other images show some of the stumps cleanly sawn.  Who did this?  Was it the Bronze age people who left the remains of a wooden walkway in the area?  There are some very good photographs on the walesonline website.


I’ve been experimenting with using my mini ipad as a drawing tool.  It’s a very blunt instrument with no finesse at all. Maybe that’s a good thing and my current painting is so fiddly and exacting.  My biggest problem was releasing these images from the icloud!

Evidently Hockney uses his finger to draw using his ipad.




22nd May 2017

What to do about the ‘edge’?