Thursday, 31 March 2016

Todays artistic day..

Todays artist day began with opening up Barnoon Workshop for the 'Sculpture In A Day' course. I would have had photos but my phone had run out of power and I forgot to take my charger with me. Pictures later.....

We had lunch at Porthmeor Beach, a nice treat in the sunshine, a little bit chilly but gave us all a break from our sculptures. The day finished at 5pm and then I went on to give a guitar lesson as I do most Thursdays. I a while it is on to the St Ives Quiz league.

Below are three grid drawings I did last year. I will post the things I have been working on this week in the various stages, probably tomorrow.

Since sitting down to write todays blog entry I have found out not only has Ronnie Corbett the comedian died but also the extraordinary architect Zaha Hadid. Two big figures in my life for many reasons, one as the omni present comedy figure and the other a most forward thinking visionary not long since I heard her on Desert Island Discs. Interesting person but with a bit of rubbish music taste. RIP.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Little art drops started ...

Throughout last year I was leaving quite a lot of these drawn on stones and Sea pottery pieces around town and even out of St Ives. Today I left these for people to just pick up. They are all signed and there will be more on the way. I used to post them up on facebook. I am starting to only put them up here for a while so if there any blog readers in the St Ives area you might be able to work out some of the locations.

I have not exactly hidden them but sometimes it amazing how many people do not spot them although Tate St Ives staff seem to have a good eye for them and even the director has found at least one.

I will pass these spots later and see if they are still there and maybe I will drop a few more around today if I get the chance and if not tomorrow or the next day. I hope you find one if you are in town otherwise....

This is something I have done for a few years now and I have had some really nice messages back but I don't expect that to happen, however it is nice to hear also.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

More minimal

The drawing above actually has a title, I do not like to name most of my drawings if I can help because I don't want to make the person looking any hints to what it is all about. That is normally because they are just a pattern and don't pertain to anything on the other hand this one is called 'Two Pens Running Out'. I have this feeling that in our normal lives we don't often get a pen that really runs out. I used to use them and lose them but I like my pens to go as far as they can depending on the work.

Showing a more minimal streak to my work than I normally do, this and the one below are bleed throughs from the otherside and then added to. I know what I think they look like/resemble but I will try not to tell.

More drawing always to do and new ideas forming all the time looking back, looking forward, lots to do.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Wire drawing and next drawing thoughts

This morning I was involved in a 'Drawing with Wire' workshop at Barnoon led by my wife Zoe. It started with myself as model but not everyone drew me. Then a very concentrated remainder of the session with people 'drawing' with many different types of wire and above are just some of the results.
Everyone seemed to get a lot out of trying this new medium and managing at least two each.

Above is another progress report on my new mount board drawing, six days in now and just the outer dots to do, might even get it finished tonight. At this point in getting near to finishing I am now thinking of what I will do next, what to draw on for starters, what pens, whether it will riff of this one or go somewhere entirely different. At the present moment who knows.

I also had a first lesson with a new guitar pupil. It went well and I am assured of practise before the next lesson.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

It takes time.....

Above is one of the two drawings I am working on at the moment. It has taken quite a few sessions now but it is really getting to show itself now, it should be finished in the next day or two.

Below is the larger piece I am working on it is a completely different kettle of fish indeed. I always find it interesting the way the pens change as they get worn down in the process of thousands of dots. I also sometimes change the individual pens as I go along it happens through choice and by picking up the other pens by mistake. This shows in slightly different nib pattens and the amount of ink flowing through them. They all amount to a richness that I am very happy with but it is like they reveal themselves to me through the doing.

It is Easter Sunday and I am drawing at one end of our large dining table and my wife Zoe is painting at the other end, we have the ipod on which is playing a real mixture of our tunes from Mr Scruff, St Germain, Magazine, LTJ Bukem, Martyn Barker with Wild Willy Barrett's French Connection and many other delights. The weather outside is being very changeable and effecting the lighting condition. I have had one creme egg to join in with Easter. There is more painting and drawing to be done in this household.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter Saturday

Here is the daily update on the progress of this grid and dot drawing. I feel it is taking shape but I am thinking also that the outside of the grids should have black dots to the edge done, so a while to go.

Here is a grid/dot drawing of another type I did at the back end of last year.

This afternoon I helped make easter baskets at the workshop which was fun and distributed a lot of Barnoon Workshop posters and leaflets around town. Dinner is on the way and then if I am not too settled I should go to the private view at The Belgrave gallery in town. The new show is by Kate Nicholson.

Short update today because I am tired and still warming up as the weather has gone really cold.


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Progress and my day

If you look at my previous blog you can see day one of this drawing and here we have day two. From yesterday to today I have managed about 3 or so hours on it, so it might take another week at that speed and I also so have a larger drawing that I have not touched for days but hey life and work get in the way somewhat, unfortunately not making a living out of this yet.

Today I was lead in a clay class an taught a Mother and her two children to do pinch pots, slab work vessels and tiles, after that I went up Rosewall Hill with our friend Tree of Sky High Arts to get formium and fresh willow for an Easter Basket Weaving workshop. Then I delivered two separate guitar lessons.

Dinner eaten. Blog.

A large dot drawing.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Starting a new piece and other stuff.

I am not prone to showing works before they are finished or nearly finished but here we go. This time I thought I would show a just started one, maybe less than an hour in.

I do intend to publish updates of this one as progress is made, a grid and dot drawing with colour.

Today was quite eventful, I buffed up on some art and history of St Ives and then went for a meeting with Danny from the Cohort Hostel about them giving out information on courses at Barnoon Workshop which has quite a program coming up. Danny is a lovely fella with a good vision for the future of St Ives and more. He wants to extend the Barnoon Workshop entry on the cohort website.

I also delivered more work to Melanie at the UYS Gallery St Ives.

Since then I have given a guitar lesson and am now doing my daily blog.

I was shown these lovely Bernard Leach tiles that are in a hidden part of St Ives. I love them and want to share them with you.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Dilemma of decision and 150 thousand dots.

Here is one I have been working on for a few days now on some card I marbled a while ago then started to draw on. I am a few sessions in and don't know whether I should stop at this point or add more dots, hmmmmmmm.

Here is me with my recently finished drawing, delivering it to The Uys Gallery St Ives. `looking quite proud of myself.

Here is a high def image of said drawing on a rough calculation there are about 150 thousand dots on this one. I do hope people like it. I love it and it is now up for sale at £450 at the gallery. The two above photos were done by the lovely Jordan Jackson.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Start the week 4, sneaky peak

Here are another two from my dot on dot series that has been going on for a while now and may never stop. The bottom one took a bit more time for a small scale drawing but I am happy with both. The process for each one was a small set of rules and a choice of pens and away I went it took three sessions to finish them both, probably 8 or 9 hours in all.

Below is another teasing shot of one of two drawings I am working on, there is a quite a way to go on this one so don't expect to see the whole finished image soon.

Attended the 'Drop In And Draw' session this morning as usual and drew some 'real' things. I do enjoy it because it is so different from my normal practice and also as I have been regularly going I seem to be getting a style together and am drawing with more confidence than I was six months ago.

If you want to attend Drop in and Draw or see what else is on at Barnoon Workshop click on the address There is a lot on to suit all.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Hardly done a dot in the last two days but....

Here are two fairly recent drawings using layered dots I do like the effect of dot on dot. I am endlessly fascinated of how they play on the eye.

Last night I was invited to the preview of Shanty Baba's mini museum. It is in a very small room in his house in St Ives. It may well be a small but the content and meticulous creation is huge. It is full of charm and humour, the soundtrack and narration are a wonder to behold.
Find out more here

This morning I was involved with a plastic fusion workshop run by Zoe Eaton at The Island Centre St Ives as part of Jo Macintosh's Stitch St Ives weekend. Had a great morning meeting a few friends and helping turn plastic bags into a usable fabric.

I am now back working on the new big one.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Painting, Andrew Litten and wanting real art

Above and below are two examples of my process paintings, these were done with household paint tester pots using the lids as a printing device. I loved every minute spent doing these and might do more in the future and the series proved quite successful in terms of sales and admirers which doesn't always happen.

Below is another abstract painting I did in 2002/03, it was one of the first works I did on MDF. I was pretty happy with the result but at the time I had difficulty seeing how it would become a satisfying series for me so it remains a one off.

I was invited to pop into The Gallery by Paul Vibert, opposite the Guildhall today to see some of Andrew Litten's work with the possibility of meeting him because he was dropping off some new works, Paul thought I would enjoy the experience and see lots of work that would interest me. We had a good talk about a number of artists and also about a painting that had been done for his son Luke's new album. I also saw some works by Ian Dunlop who had been in The Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons.
A short time later bumped into Leo Walker and had a quick chat about maybe putting some art into a house. Previously we have had conversation about getting 'real' art into hotels and rental properties in and around St Ives. I have always been amazed by the rubbish some organisations will put in a hotel room to decorate it. Let us have some standards and get real art to show off our taste as a nation and also so some 'starving' artists get a little bit more income and places would be interesting.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Wallis, Clay, Private View plus.

Above and below are some pages from my recent grid sketchbook. These are a very good antidote to doing long dot drawings and lead to larger images too. I found that when doing them I wanted to be quite free and not to worry about anything being perfect. The ink bled through form the other side but I just didn't care. I just liked the effect and quick results.

In some ways the still relate to my dots as I can think of each square being a bit akin to a pixel, maybe that is just my head and my explanation.

Today has been a very interesting one with two different classes. The first being and Alfred Wallis tour and paint. Here are some of the results, and finally the second was a clay workshop for a Hen do.

Got some more dots on the 'big one'. Today I will get less work done as I have an old school friend in town and it has been too long since we last met. We are off to a private view at The Porthminster Gallery for starters.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Dots, Barnoon Workshop, Alfred Wallis, Blackstar

Above is one of my monochrome series drawings, done on artists paper. I have no idea how many dots are on this one. It started out as quite a few areas done with dot shapes and then starting to go around them until all were joined up. I feel it gives a very organic pattern that looks like cell growth or lichen growing. I was very happy with the final image. It is for sale in the UYS Gallery St Ives at this moment.

Above and below are two more smaller drawings that both start in the same way but have a lot more minimal approach and have colour. So the images can look a bit similar they all grow in different ways.

My day today started with attending and help with a clay class at the Barnoon Workshop which was interesting and fun, in the middle I had a quick meeting with one of the St Ives September Festival members about putting our events in their booklet for the festival. We were only starting to confirm events for the festival yesterday and it looks like we at Barnoon will have a fairly full program.

Last evening I also did a couple of hours more on my large Blackstar and some work on a smaller 'circle piece that has been evolving on a thin bit of card that had a water and ink process used on it much like on old book but quite a bit brighter. Hopefully I shall have it finished quite soon.

I have also been re-reading my notes on Alfred Wallis as I have a small tour and talk tomorrow morning before the Alfred Wallis painting class.

Peace be with you all and try not to get too annoyed over the budget......

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Here are some drawings I did on some off cuts of cork tiles, I like the different looks I get from drawing on different materials each surface will take the inks. It always surprises me.

Over the last day or so I have been involved in sorting out my press release and accompanying images for the UYS Gallery, big thanks to Melanie at the Gallery. Also I have been working on a new smaller scale drawing and also work continues on a much bigger version of my Blackstar series which I will show when it is finished but I might be showing some curious snaps of it along the way but no whole pics. This blog was written whilst sitting in Cafe Art with a flat white.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Thinking whilst drawing....

Here are a few pics of the ceramic tiles I experimented with at the back end of last year, they are stoneware with a slip design followed by a clear glaze. It does reaffirm to me that many things can be 'wotnoted'.

When I am drawing I often listen to the radio, mainly 6Music which is a station I am so passionate about for many reasons. It did beggar belief some 6 years ago that it could have been got rid of by the powers that be but after a fabulous online campaign and a couple of demonstrations outside the beeb things changed and it was saved. I was happy to be a small part of this, making it to the second demo with my son and also writing the odd jingle for Andrew Collings one I made within 40 mins of his request.
When working I often have some private thinking time to which sometimes drifts into how many ideas I have for my drawings, also I fully realize that given another 100 years on this earth I do not have time to do them all but hey ho.....

Monday, 14 March 2016

New dot drawing and a grid

Above is a new drawing that has taken me nearly a week, the concept of this on was to do one in this series was to use repeat a shape with different colours with larger dots and the fill up the rest with the smaller dots. It took a sitting to do the larger shapes with letraset pro markers and the rest came together slowly working on it for two or three hours a night. Half way through it seemed to be progressing slowly and I almost got a little frustrated but with further work it started to all come together and was just a matter of applying myself. So hear it is on its first public outing.

Above is an A3 grid drawing that I started whilst giving one of my abstract drawing classes which I do periodically at The Barnoon Workshop St Ives. I used marker pens and a metallic silver pen. Sometimes when I want a break from drawing dots I go to grids, some of them are quick flowing works but this one due to it being bigger that a normal sketchbook size took a few hours. It felt like quite an exploration at the time as I suppose most of my works feel to me when I embark on working out what process. Some are about following a few simple rules however this one reqired lots of colour and pen decisions. I am happy with it too.

Sunday, 13 March 2016


Another aspect of my work over the last couple of years is that I have started 'remixing' as you might call it, above is the inside of the last brochure that the Tate St Ives were involved with for the Terry Frost centenary exhibition, although the show was not held in St Ives it was split between The Exchange in Penzance and The Newlyn Art Gallery.

Last summer I did a concept remix of the last Tate St Ives exhibition. I took a booklet when I first visited the exhibition and then when the booklet was fully dotted I returned it to the recycling post box after revisiting the show. As far as I know the remix was removed by someone at Tate St Ives but after that I know what happened to it. I do know a few people saw it as I got a few messages about it.

This was all documented by my son. All photos were allowed by the Tate so it wasn't a guerilla activity. I have not done any drawing today but did a couple of hours last night and there will be more later and hopefully a finished piece.