≡ Menu

The many woes of Parceling Clowns

scarecrows and horse

I’m presently drawing up sketches for a new, dare I say it, seminal work.  I’m being pulled back into the world of clowns. Did I ever leave it? I hear you say.

I’m thinking large and I’m thinking hotel lobbies. Famous hotel lobbies where people will arrange to meet ‘under the white clown painting’. I omitted to mention that these clowns will be attired mainly in white garments, with a splash perhaps of primary colour.

Their faces also white and heads bald except for two tufts of shaggy red hair just above each ear. Three clowns in the painting, perhaps two, but definitely no more than four. It’s going to be big but not big enough to accommodate four long limbed clowns.

I had the experience of painting a very large piece before, which I struggled to get out the studio door. Failing the door, you can always try a double window. The moral of the story is think before you paint, particularly when you’re going big.

Think transport, thinking framing, think suitable locations. Think suitable customers. They are out there and hopefully not living abroad. I don’t think I’d find an envelope that size.

I jest. I’d be happy to parcel it up with brown paper and white sting for sending overseas. While you’re waiting to see the new work, and remember it’s only in its gestation period, you can browse here and take your pick of what’s available. I promise the packaging will be secure if you’re looking from across the sea.


In the presence of Greatness..again


“To be in his presence as a friend or working as part of his team was one of the greatest privileges in my life”

Thus spoke the suited man at the funeral.

A tad of exaggeration there perhaps?  I wondered to myself.

Didn’t know the deceased personally, I was only there because I had to be. As usual I was just listening while other people spoke, nodding my head in agreement, like one of those noddy dogs you used to see on the back of car windows in the mid-eighties.

I wondered if his recently conferred widow would agree with the suited man’s estimation of her husband?  Especially when he threw his dirty socks on the ground or slurped his soup without remorse or sensitivity to those around him?

I was going to ask her but even I’m familiar with funeral protocol, and now simply was not the time for such questions.

Now if the deceased was a painting or a piece of music I could understand where the suited eulogist was coming from. We’ve all experienced that.  Walking into a room and seeing a work of art that takes our breath away. That draws us in and asks us questions we’d never know existed, not to mention the search for those answers. Music the same. When you just have to pull the car over and turn the radio up loud so that the piece can fill the stratosphere.

Or perhaps it just me and my lack of social skills? Particularly at funerals.

These are the moments that feed your own art making and compel you to follow suit. Recognising there’s something there and trying to make it manifest and being inevitably disappointed with the results, but compelled to try again. Because that’s what humans do. They always try again. Stubborn species really.

In that same stubborn spirit I present my paintings once more for your perusal and enjoyment and beseech your ultimate buying power.



Fallen rats and other such thoughts


Driving to work this morning there was a lot of debris on the road. Strong winds had pushed autumn to the pin of its collar and leaves were giving way in their droves.

Across the half lit road scuttled a rat. Its grey running flank half illumined in the dimmed headlights. I braced my shoulders for the inevitable impact betrayed only be a soft, barely perceptible, double clunk beneath the wheels. He was dead.

Milliseconds before I had been thinking of my dead parents buried in the graveyard to the right of this busy road. I was saying a prayer for them and the other close ancestors buried there beneath the same cloak of clay.

I threw the dead soul of the recently fallen rat into the pot of dearly departed. Was that a sin? Would the others be offended by a rodent?  I didn’t think they would. They were all earthy people, grounded in life as I presume in death, a rat would barely merit a second glance in former days as they went about their earthly chores. What of it.

As for the rat, I’m sorry I drove over him albeit not intentionally. Still that’s not much good to him now.  At least there was a blessing said at his passing. Each living thing deserves no less.

And will there be a painting?

Not really. Although I did toy with a reverse angle portrait of the approaching headlights from the rat’s point of view. His scurrying determined snout frozen forever in profile. But I don’t have the talent for such tasks. Besides who would hang it on their living room wall? Such paintings don’t match floral wallpaper no matter what palette you use.

We’ll just acknowledge his passing here and keep painting.

And keep selling, of course. Click the link and see where it takes you and have a lovely, rodent free day.




A stranded sailor in a bath-tub of a boat, obviously disconsolate, head turned down. The sun is rising in the sky and no shelter to be hand from its already scorching rays. Suddenly there is a ripple in the water to star side. He would look up if he had the energy too, if had the strength of will to turn his head. No need to, she has returned as she said she would. Perhaps there is hope after all. Or perhaps it’s just another illusion. A mirage brought on by hunger and thirst. He reasons that he is already dead and that despite appearances to the opposite, this bouncing on waves is not purely arbitrary. He is been taken in a particular direction that countless souls before him have taken before. She speaks and when she does its like the air is rarefied with the swell of thunder and songbirds. He understands her words but none of them make sense. He would look at her face but he’s afraid it may not be real. Journey continues.


This is an unusual work of mine in that all colour has been bleeded back. The ones that do make it through are muted reds, oranges and bluish purples, sullen in their splendid isolation. All is more considered and deliberate than other works which appear to have been dragged backwards through a paint shop.


Maybe that’s why its one of my favorites’. A large work, 30 inches by 40, it would fill a room where genteel conversations are keep to a minimum and sandwiches are served square not triangular. If you can meet those requirements, well then maybe you should consider making the work your own. It could be you that it’s calling out to.


Coffee House Shadows

De-café cappuccino, layer on the brown sugar and allow it to sink of its own accord. A shame to break up the frothy head with the stirrings of a spoon. Creation and destruction, creation and destruction. You can’t have one without the other.  Will it ever end?

Hopefully not too soon. The blank virginal white page of a moleskin sketch book has to be equally scarred if you want to create a sketch. You look for a suitable, ideally unsuspecting victim. There in the far corner, seated on a small chair is a man enraptured in his reading.

Legs crossed, headed bowed, he remained so still at one stage I wondered if he was asleep? He wasn’t. A page was slowly turned; pose only altered ever so slightly. Good. Hold it there.

Is this how peace keeping snipers feel when they are looking through large blown-up telescopic lenses? These are not suitable thoughts. When you are sketching most thoughts are unsuitable. It’s an easy way in for the ever present self critic.

Don’t give a voice to anything and then he, too, will have no voice. No piggy back thoughts or horses from Troy here, just the steady flow of ink from the nib of the pen. The page is becoming crowded with marks, but the sketch is complete.

Two, three minutes have past? I now have no choice but to sip my cappuccino. The sugar has sunk without trace. To stir it up will only stir the inner critic awake, but I have no choice. Creation and destruction. Creation and Destruction.

Hopefully the paintings here, will avoid destruction for the medium term, but you can never tell. Get them while the full moon of their stretched canvas is still in the ascendancy.


We have a problem..Moscow?

two souls
If you’re having a bad day spare a thought for the early Russian Cosmonauts, and indeed their America counterparts. But particularly the Russians. They seemed to take Murphy’s Law to heart in their pioneering space days

“Anything that could go wrong, goes wrong” – Murphy

Take for instance the first man to walk in space. Don’t ask me the year but we in the early 1960′s. The race is on and the Americans seem to have it in the bag except for a last minute technical fault – they pull the mission – too risky.

Not so the Russians, they send their people up if the rocket ignites!

The first man out in Space runs immediately into problems. After five minutes admiring the view, his space suit begins to inflate and he can’t get back in the chute back to the space craft. He doesn’t notify ground control because a fat lot of help they’ll be.

He decides to try and manually deflate his suit, successful, but now he is starving himself of oxygen. He manages to get back in the chute, head first and into the compression chamber.

Next the pressure in the cabin is totally out of whack and in real danger of combustion. Luckily for once, no sparks from the ship and they re-enter earth’s atmosphere safely.  Except they are hundreds of miles of course and land in the frozen wastes of outer Siberia.

Two freezing days later, they are eventually found and made to ski the 9 km back to the helicopter.

Once back in Moscow, the whole mission is declared an unqualified success and they are heroes! The Americans do the same mission two weeks later. But no one remembers second place.

I’m happy to remind you that these paintings here are still in first place and have not seen outer space – yet. That’s your job to take them there. Have a peaceful, trouble free day.


Dancing with Clowns

Clowns and Beauty

Dangerous place – the clowns annual dinner dance. Held in a remote hotel in a secret location, there is a strict dress code, as in anything goes. The louder the better. The more ostentatious the more dances you get and you choose the partner.

Trouble is a dance floor full of big shoes. There’s bound to be a lot of stepping on toes, some deliberately. Cutting in is frowned upon but steadily ignored, like most things in a clown’s life. Being unconventional is…well..Conventional. So how do you break the rules in such a society?

These are questions for another day, for the moment we just enjoy the dance. The chalked faces and bright garish colours. Some floating to inner waltzes, others insistent that the music is B-Bop, and then you’ll always have the amateur tango enthusiasts.

Ah, such is life, such is art. I’m glad I got it all down in one painting.  Not the easiest thing to do, and look at that guy butting in, when all a clown wants to do is dance with beauty.

Enjoy and if you’d like to buy, then tango (cringe!) over to here and you know what to do.


Add your email below to stay in touch and keep up to date with ...

  • All new paintings added for sale
  • The latest blog post straight to your inbox
  • Avail of free stuff and subscriber offers

Please add your first name then your email address and hit submit