Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Going to bed for winter and discovering Paul Nash

Dear Monty,

Now you have been put to bed for the Winter and the digital door to Longmeadow closed, and the dogs retreat to their beds and blankets, I have to look elsewhere for inspiration.

Fires and flames - Autumn burns here from yellows, reds, oranges - eventually to dry twigs.

I have just watched BBC4's War Artists - presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon - this episode was about the work of Paul Nash. Nash is a painter I have not investigated beyond a few of his wartime landscapes. I fell in love with his early and later pastoral landscapes - seen by me for the first time. Although not mentioned by Graham-Dixon, I could see the influence of Samuel Palmer and Blake in his work. I could also see cross fertilisation from Ben Nicholson - all artists I admire and am influenced by.

I identified with Graham Dixon's interpretation of Nash's work, particularly the idea of the endowment of spirituality into his unpeopled landscapes. They are statements of the spirit.

Today I see fire in the grasses above Pen-y-Cae and in my own garden.
I am fired up like a red hot kiln - ready to burn away the dross and refine my vision in plaster and paint - the landscape, garden and poems where feet have walked and where I have dreamed.

Have a good hibernation.


Sunday, 2 October 2016


Dear Monty,

I notice that gardening is being promoted as being good for both physical and mental health, now while I agree with this - I do think it should be pointed out to prospective garden makers - that it can also be fraught with anxiety.

My anxiety fluctuates like the seasons.

Yesterday the light was such that the structure of the garden - even a harmonious rhythm, spoke peace to my inner man, but today it seems to have gone ! How can that be?
Is light playing tricks with me?

Unlike you I do not have much flower colour in the garden, most of the colour is provided by leaves, and I suppose this may be the problem.

Nevertheless - how good it is when it does work - Yesterday was a moment of heaven.
I tried to capture it in a sketch and photograph - words cannot describe why I felt so at ease with it.