Awkward Yellow


acrylic on canvas
250 × 200mm

I added the “frame” to this painting yesterday. There is an awkwardness to this work, and the yellow is a bit full-on (if something can be a bit full-on).

Is it finished, is it complete? I am uncertain.

Is every element pulling its weight? What if I take one element away? What if I add something new?

Keen to push the work to places where I feel uncomfortable and uncertain – this is where things get interesting.

International Playboy

Here are a couple of John Baldessari things I enjoyed yesterday…

A Brief History of John Baldessari.
Narrated by Tom Waits. (5min 55sec)

And from an interview towards the end of another You Tube video:

Baldessari: Being an artist is also a life of sacrifice. You’re always, you know, having to give up something. I know that sounds romantic but you just have to get more and more focus, and the more you focus that means the more you have to exclude some things.

Interviewer: Like what?

Baldessari: Being an international playboy… Can’t do that anymore.



Work in progress

…I’ve just got to paint a monochrome.

The “black” consists of Paynes Grey, a splash of Red Oxide and a daub of Phthalo Green (Blue Shade), mixed into a Regular Gel (Semi-Gloss) medium.

I was taught on my foundation course not to use pure black. In doing so, you risk creating a dead hole in a painting, a pit from which the eye struggles to escape. Mixing a black avoids the pit, creates something more subtle, more mysterious and hopefully, more interesting.

Little Guy


Untitled (#25)
acrylic on canvas
200 × 250mm

Resisting the temptation of overworking, this little guy initially felt awkward to me. After living with it for a few days, I’m appreciating the composition, colours, and variety of this painting. It’s not perfect (whatever that is) but it’s feeling complete.

New Year, New Work



Both works:
acrylic on canvas
200 × 250mm

Happy New Year! And let’s start with something colourful, especially for those of you locked down in the Northern Hemisphere.

These recent works see me recycling selected paintings from my 52 Weeks 52 Colours project. At first I was reluctant to break up the series however, every artist reaches a point where old work needs to be destroyed or recycled. And let’s be frank, not every piece is worth keeping.

Feeling my way back into painting with these works I seem to be playing with different types of visual language – drawing, over painting, sanding and more.

Of the eleven surfaces I’ve got on the go, seven quite different works are in a state of completion (for now at least). There’s one work I’ve sanded back and left as is. The remaining three pieces will run their course before I stop, assess and work out what next.


I’ve just realised I’ve made no journal posts for a year. I’m going to blame my concussion, among other things. I did send out newsletters though - sign up if you’d like to join my mailing list