Recent Thoughts

Watching the grey pink smoke lifting from the blazing flares, I became very aware of the fluorescent yellow gilet labelled “Pages of the Sea” I was wearing. On November 11th 2018, I was one of the invited artists asked to draw in the sand, a portrait of Kenneth W. Grigson 1895 – 1918 on the East Looe Beach in the presence of hundreds of onlookers. That stands out as a unique experience and a considered use of my artistic skills whilst working with others albeit of a very transient nature.
In contrast, another work which I achieved of a very different nature was the commission of a nine foot granite Celtic Cross for the millennium celebrations at Newquay, Cornwall. Again, a natural material, granite, it will stand proud on the headland for years, perhaps centuries to come. My enjoyment and understanding of art were developed in my youth. Thanks to family friends, teachers and the active support from parents, I won drawing and painting prizes at the National Eisteddfod of Wales and a foreign holiday prize won on a painting competition via the Eagle comic.
Needless to say, Art College, Exeter was the next destination from which developed a number of distinct aspects of my career; continued study, teaching and administration and my own practice, set alongside a continued love of landscape and the enjoyment of walking, so various long distant walks have been enjoyed e.the Pembokeshire Coast Path and the Coast to Coast. Continued study was at a variety of locations, i.e. Manchester, London, Nova Scotia and Falmouth, with various qualifications and finally a Master degree in the History of Modern Art and Design. However as close friends will tell you, my endless curiosity and research continues.
Teaching and administration was in a variety of sectors from primary to further and higher education including H.M.Prisons, always enjoying the joy and bewilderment as the secrets of using the elements of mood,form,content and process were unlocked for each individual. As a result I have worked and studied alongside some outstanding individuals and practitioners.
Four in particular come to mind; John Uzzel Edwards I met while still at Grammar School. He was already a ‘struggling artist’but was quite prepared to have mutt, trail him as we explored the industrial landscape with our noses deep in our sketchbooks and our fingers stained by ink from our pens. Exeter College of Art was a place where I met Peter Lanyon, mischievous, sparkling of eye and an unorthodox of view point, a delight to cross ideas with. Michael Kidner, the ‘systems’ artist was in a similar vein if not a little more intellectual, challenging and disruptive.
Ian Simpson I met through my involvement with the N.S.E.A.D. I served on various committees. He was at the time the Principal of St.Martins School of Art. An outstanding author and collaborator eventually he was to become the founder of that most democratic of learning establishments, The Open College of the Arts. Daily I think of his enthusiasm, joy and universal love of art and design, education for all and above all his sheer humanity.
As you can guess my practice has waxed and waned throughout my working life, however it grew mostly after the late eighties, so that I was able to develop my work- largely painting and drawing and exhibit widely.

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