Sunday, 29 March 2020

A little extra

Hello again from 
Wild at Heart Studio & Garden

(Detail of my rescued painting)

Good evening...

 I hope you are all keeping safe and warm.  

Here is another post for my Blog friends.

This time I thought you might like to 

see the progress in my wild garden.

A few signs of spring are encouraging. 

  My young Tree Peony has some buds...

I call it the Pickering Peony.

It was a gift from the garden of my artist friends
Pamela and John Pickering.

And the pots near the back door are looking happy.  

Some weeks ago I began a 90 day challenge 

clearing brambles but I have lost count of the days now.

The brambles are still rampaging 

around my wild garden. 

When the North wind eases I shall be 

out again to continue digging out the roots. 


 The birds are busy gathering nesting 

material from my untidy borders.

   I leave all the last years growth until 

now so there are still plenty of seeds 

and insects in the dead heads. 

Leaf litter and dead stuff give the 

blackbirds and thrushes a ‘wormery’.

New projects...

Making a new ‘raised’ vegetable plot is my 

main job at present so I can keep it weed free.


 It is on a gravelled area I have constructed 

at the rear of my studio.     

I have found some old plastic pots and tubs 

in the sheds which will get 

a coat of mixed leftover emulsion paint.  

The new ‘Privy’ will soon have a coat of paint. 

  This little plot is quite sheltered and sunny.

  Bees are already visiting the Viburnum bushes.  

 There will be some bee and butterfly 

plants in some pots too.

   As the garden centres are now closed 

I shall be taking cuttings and bits of 

perennial roots from around the garden.   

The peat free compost has arrived...

My new trolley is a great help 

for transporting heavy sacks.

The vegetable seeds are on order.   



There is not a lot of painting going on in the studio 

but I did finish a picture yesterday which 

has been a jolly nuisance for weeks.   

It was worked and reworked and very nearly went 

to the potting shed (pre-bonfire storage).  

 But...after putting it aside and giving 

my brain chance to recover from trying too hard....

a small patch of light green casually 

placed yesterday has given me fresh hope.   

Here is the picture...

’Taking a less travelled path’.

  Oils and cold wax medium on 24x36 inch box canvas.

I shall be back soon...

Until next time,

Thank you for visiting

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Catching up

Time to gather my thoughts...


A small 10x10 inch painting on
Arches oil paper using palette leftovers.

Time to get things done...

During these changing days I am
catching up with jobs which have 
been put aside until now.

Things like painting the sides of canvases,
and cleaning squeegees and rollers.

The wild garden is also getting more attention
which is a good thing as the brambles
are beginning to extend their arms and legs. 

An overgrown cold frame has a healthy
crop of self sown foxgloves which 
will be fodder for the bumble bees.

Foxgloves making a good start

These will be pretty when they grow.
I shall scatter the seeds around the garden.

The 2020 art calendar has changed...

The art shows are cancelled during the
current pandemic so the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society 
is having a ‘virtual’ show instead.

Here are my submissions for selection.

‘Pass the red around’ 

 Oils on 36 x 36 inch box canvas

‘Meet me where the wild grass grows’

Oils on 36 x 36 inch box canvas

That’s all for now...
Thank you for visiting my Blog

‘Be happy’

Oils on Arches oil paper

10x10 inches

The wild pond life

To read my art story..
Click on the picture

Tuesday, 3 March 2020


I just read something...

“Plain canvases...have paint added...

and become something they were not“

(The Painter’s Keys - 3 March 2020)

These simple words made me think.

A blank canvas is just a blank.

An artist comes along and makes a mark.

Now the canvas has has a design.

It will never be the same as before.

Blank has gone.  

When another mark is made, 

it alters the dynamic of the design.

Every new mark has a consequence.

Here is an example...

This picture began as a simple

design in black and neutral colours.

More colour was added which changed

the whole narrative.

Each additional mark made me

change from intuitive to considered.

The painting was moving on,

changing with every mark.

Each mark, each colour has a bearing

on what happens next...

Nothing is the same now.  

I could return the canvas to blank white...

but this would have to be a thick coat of 

paint to cover up all the previous marks.

Then it would become a painting 

covering a previous painting.

It wouldn’t be the pure blank canvas.   

All this theory aside...

my job is to make a picture.

After all the previous mark-making

I decided to take away some of the 

previous marks to simplify my work.

The conversation has changed now.

Some parts are reduced to a whisper.  

Others are the yellow.

Here it is again in black and white...

as removing the colour makes

it much easier to see the values.

My picture is born.

It wasn’t here before.

Something has come from

something which was not.  

The plain canvas has had paint added,

and went on a journey to become something new.  

‘Unseen Journeys’

Oils and cold wax medium 

on 16 x 20 inch canvas

Thank you for reading my studio musings.

If you would like to visit the Painter’s Keys,

the website is:

That’s all for now from my studio,

to visit my own website,

click on this link.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Pushing the limits

No boundaries

For several months I have stored
a large square canvas in my studio.  

I was waiting for an appropriate time.
Or is that translated as procrastination?

This week I decided to make a start...

Detail from early stages...

My paint stocks are running low
but rather than waiting for an order to arrive, 
I used the available colours,
 squeezing tubes to get the last dregs.

More marks taking shape...

Larger pieces are worked on the 
floor and I turn the canvas round
 to get the oil on the surface.

Random marks were applied loosely 
without thinking too much about a plan.

I was aiming for some dark shapes
next to light ones, some hard edges,
areas of smudgy paint and a few 
scribbles and scratches.

It was painted over three days to allow 
the paint to ’set up’ a little before moving on.

My main concern was avoiding any
tinkering as I wanted an abstract picture
without reference to reality.  

Here is the painting...
still on the floor to dry.

I have titled it...

‘Crossing borders’

Oils and cold wax medium on 
100 x 100 cm box canvas 

That’s all for now,
until next time.

Thank you for visiting.