Memories of Brussels

   I am very lucky to have lived in many places across Europe, and I have fond memories of the time I spent in Brussels. Nowhere is quite like the capital of Belgium and the EU.  At first I lived in Jette, a suburb at the northern

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Arches of gold

A reliable meal on the Great Western Way Where chip shop meets burger bar Drive through all day The arches of gold The cartons of crimson Many a lunch-on-the-go to be sol

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Visit Swindon Open Studios 2017!

A trip to an artist’s studio is a chance to discover new ideas and techniques for making art. It’s also an opportunity to ask questions, to see things in a different way – perhaps you might connect with a familiar subject, or a work that speaks to

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Sketching at the National Gallery

     On the morning that I spent in the National Gallery, there were three of us working in front of Veronese’s paintings. In the middle of the room, a young painter had set up his easel to make an oil sketch – ‘Forgive me if I

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Not so much finish as ‘resolve’ a painting?

‘It’s not about finishing a painting, but bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion’ That’s what Mr Jones, our art teacher at school, used to tell us during our weekly critiques of each other’s work. I remember that phrase now as I look at three paintings in the

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Financial Efficiency

Olivia the curator had been working late. It was almost 10pm, and she was feeling exhausted. Only last week the leader of the council had asked for yet another valuation of the oil paintings, this time apparently for insurance purposes. She sighed, local government were unpredictable in

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Down the underground

Sun breaking through a chalky damp dawn, A particular smell, a certain greyish colour. Feeling lifted by the grandeur and perspective of heavyweight capital-city  buildings. The warmth of the Underground, Welcome on a cold day after the midday sun has faded. The clatter of carriages pulling in

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Mistakes

Mistakes are an important part of an artist’s training. No-one likes them, but every mark out of place or muddy colour does clarify something in the mind. You have to reassure yourself – the next painting will be better, and you will never stop learning – that’s

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Experimentation and consolidation

I confess that I am prone to starting far more projects than I am able to resolve. Once you stimulate creativity, it is hard to contain it – particularly if you are as restless as I am! In other words, I get lots and lots of ideas,

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On the way to Chepstow

Some people work on the train; others are happy just to sleep or to admire the view from the window. That morning I took the stopping train to Chepstow which also calls at Severn Tunnel Junction and Caldicot. There weren’t many on board, but I had chance

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