Sunday, 22 February 2015

Wet garden and warm studio

Dear Monty,

Today is wet. We walked a wet walk through Craig-y-Nos country park this morning with a wet whippet. The studio converts to a drying room on such occasions. It is a room of small dimensions and is used as a storage area and a coat and boot drying room as well as a place for me to be creatively untidy. It is the second lightest room in the house - even on dull days. I have filled it with fading memories, they literally fade in the sunlight - they disappear as I disappear.

Wet room
Me as a chicken

Baby me and in the Mayor's office Concord NH
Not sure who she was but she is beautiful
Climbed this with many many others
Cat on a welsh blanket - our Pip
Old work
Young me
Big hats
Too wet for doing any work in the garden - I decided instead to start the process of making a new framed fresco which will be garden related. I am slightly nervous about this but nothing is gained by procrastination - so here it goes. It will be based on a photograph and memories of my last visit to The Veddw. It may take some time and a lot of struggles as I have not painted frescoes of a garden before, only a miniature canvas of Dyffryn Fernant.

Looking forward to the process.


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Ghosts and winter gardens

Dear Monty,

The garden wakes slowly. It looks good - has looked good throughout the winter. The balance seems right- the balance of evergreen to copper, brown and soft green.

My trip to heaven
Head on a pillow
Of soft green.

With Tudor England being in the minds of those who watch the BBC - with gardens of yews and barber poles - this coal tip garden could be Tudor - could be because my mind links now with childhood visits to Stratford on Avon - 'Comedy of Errors' and 'HenryV' - the wooden house of Shakespeare's birth and the forever beautiful Judi Dench.

Was the planting of poles in my garden a subconscious hark back to Tudor times ? No- it was just a device to draw the eye - now as it was then. There is nothing new under the sun.

Life expectancy in Tudor times was an average of 35 years. At 54 I would be an old man. The dusty oak interior the smell of wood and wood smoke still calls up a hidden memory of  lives lived richer but harder.


We fold our clothes at the end of the day
We fold up our lives in the woven fibres

We wear out shoes and elbows on pullovers
And we leave them behind like ghosts of ourselves

Here is the museum of my life
My socks tucked into a ball
My trousers folded on the chair
The books read
The paintings bought and made
The watch that marked the time that wore out both clothes and the body within them

Here is my life in words
A fragment of me.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015


In the 'Godless' valley
Steep sided
God-full men walked
Succumbing to the water
Tempted to its burning edge
White hot
Where witches and demons tread.