Letter to Monty on learning to fail

Dear Monty,

It is an odd thing that it takes so long to accept that failure is a good thing when making something, it is part of the gift of learning. Today I have been litter picking with mcsuk.org at Langland Bay, and taking poor photographs, but what a beautiful way to learn.

Life can be beautiful, even when removing plastic from our shoreline.

I am still trying to look at the world with an artists eye. I have started a portrait in watercolour without any under drawing. Painting without trying to make the portrait as a likeness, rather just looking at form and tones is supremely hard to do, I want to make a likeness, but the struggle makes me feel alive.


There is always more work to be done, I thank God for having eyes to see what we have around us.



  1. Well, I wouldn't call the photographs that you have put up "poor". In fact I really like the one of the girl because she is looking away and you have caught a good light on her face. Is the portrait of her? It certainly looks like it. You have caught her hair perfectly. I am very admiring of you going litter picking. That is a true social service.

    1. The photograph is of my son David talking to Eleanor Flaherty, I was using the aperture priority setting on the camera, and it focused on Eleanor, but it gives a dynamism to the picture. Eleanor is a photographer and filmmaker, and friend. She instigated the little group of artists that meet up to draw, paint, listen to music and converse. It is her portrait I am trying to tackle without trying to make a likeness. I hope to complete the watercolour soon, and maybe translate it to a textured plaster relief.

      Anyone can join in with litter picking, it makes for a great day out, and you are making a small difference at the same time.

      I am truly chuffed that you don't think my photographs are poor.


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