Letter to Monty, living the life of a dog

Dear Monty,

I dip in to your Tweets from time to time, and I realise now that you see like a painter and that your garden and words are your paint. I have come to this conclusion because I have just finished reading 'Cezanne a life' by Alex Danchev.

Cezanne spent a lifetime searching, crafting and sculpting with paint. In comparison with him I am a dog !
I look for crumbs from the masters' table, the smallest of crumbs will do.

I am probably best when left to unthinking monotony - to the just get on with it that work provides - no time to think, by work I mean the salaried job.

 Drawing, painting and gardening all require reflection. Strange to call making art 'work' - it is toil, but delicious toil.

Cezanne could see something beyond the surface of life. There are two parts to man, the material and the spiritual.

It seems Prof Brian Cox can too :

"There is something special about life - something else, like an animating force or a soul or whatever you want to call it."

Cezanne had insight .."Today our sight is a little tired - abused by the memory of a thousand images.... we no longer see nature ; we see paintings over and over again. To see the work of God  ! That is what I apply myself to . "

I work and rework drawings and paintings, it used to be about forms and balance of forms, I struggle to recapture what I once could see with a clarity of vision. Perhaps this drawing of Toff the whippet is somewhere close to where I used to be.

This landscape is over done in comparison .

Back to the drawing board Monty.



  1. It might be that you're being a little hard on yourself Paul.
    It's not really about what you've been given, but what you do with what you've been given.
    Cezanne could not have done other than be a success. From what I know, he was blessed with a particular constellation of gifts that allowed him to express a 'viewpoint' that was out of the ordinary. That, in itself, doesn't make him a better man.
    There are millions of human beings blessed with no such gifts who die without acknowledgement. Are they any less? It's not for me to say, but I suspect God loves them just as much as any hero, celebrity or superstar.

    1. True words, absolutely true, there are so many gifted artists ,writers,photographers who are never applauded. I admire Cezanne because he was not applauded in his lifetie but doggedly carried on searching and painting.


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