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North Devon Open Arts Show: Exhibition, Award and Talk (+ one new work): I went to the Museum of North Devon at Barnstaple for the preview of the 11th Annual Exhibition on January 21st where I have 6 paintings on show, and was surprised and delighted to receive an Award and small bursary for which I'm very grateful (may I now assume the moniker "Award-winning" and thus, it seems to me, join the main throng of creativity?).  The event and award is at the behest of the Barnstaple Museum, and it is to them principally, as Stella points out below, that I am indebted, and I am grateful to her for the opportunity to correct that.  It is to North Devon Arts that I am progammed to give a talk in March at The Broomhill Sculpture Park.

A friend gave me a superb bottle of Oban Malt whisky in exchange for a painting - which seems to me quite a good deal; he thought so too.

One new painting Witch Hazel Oil on canvas 40x40cm 3 (Witch Hazel) is on the website, click on the image here to see a larger reproduction.

New works and an exhibition  In the 11th North Devon Open Art Show at the Museum in Barnstaple there will be several paintings.  Details of the show are below.  Please note this includes an invitation to the PV; I'm told there is no need to RSVP, just turn up if you can!  And since this happens to be the day before my birthday you would be doubly welcome!

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On view will be a painting which revamps one originally done in 2001 and called 'As she awoke' - not yet on the website.

I’m also working on new paintings for my forthcoming exhibition ('The Constructed Female') later this year at The Plough Arts Centre. 

Below are examples (click on thumbnail to see larger image).

Black-eyed-up Oil on canvas 51x41cms 3       Re-gazed Oil on board 45x60cm 3     Portrait of November girl Oil on canvas 51x41cms 3    Portrait Jan13 2


Abstract thoughts have been occupying my mind lately and I thought to share some with you in the hope that you might do likewise.

Preparing for a day’s workshop on Thinking in the abstract for the Lundy Art Group in Appledore I confronted once again the old chestnut of what exactly is abstract art and where the boundary lies between this and figurative (or realism, if you prefer) painting. Maybe with the exception of some bizarre anal-retentive form of photo realism, ALL fine art is an abstraction of perceived reality. Painters and even many photographers select and edit all the time. It is merely a case of degrees.  Perhaps Rodin on his 172nd birthday would agree.

Philip Guston the great American expressionist towards the end of his life became increasingly infuriated with (‘pure’) abstraction and returned to a more figurative style. In a notebook found after his death in 1980, he said American abstract art is a lie, a sham, a cover-up for poverty of spirit..." He went on... 


Art for Life 2012 in aid of the Children's Hospice.  Please see Home page for details of event on the weekend of 29/30 September at The Plough Arts Centre.  I think they are hanging 7 paintings of mine.

In the next day or two I will add examples of new work here, including new Sweetpea studies and two tree trunk studies after 1980's sketchbooks.  I'll advise when these are up but in the meantime please have a look at the Art for Life website and come to the exhibition if you are nearby. 


Unhinged.  I'll leave you to decide if this applies to me or just to the diptych I entered for the Westward Ho! & Bideford Art Society's annual exhibition at the Burton Gallery in Bideford.  Quite possibly both you will decide.  A painting from a couple of years ago but I thought the two parts of 'Making It Up' - click on each picture below to go to larger representations and read a little about their origin - was something they might have liked.  It was not to be.

Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy... so ART TREK finished amidst the general gloom and despondency with which it began but to be fair there was the odd fine day too.  While not participating last year, my visitor numbers were slightly down on two years ago.  I think partly due to the general financial depression surrounding art lovers but that said, those who did turn up were fully engaged and stayed for lengthy periods, chatting and drinking tea or coffee or the fantastic elderflower cordial made by Mij.  The award to those who came farthest must I think go to