Thursday, 30 October 2014


I am working on a large canvas for my own home. I have large white walls, which I like very much but a space looking through an archway begs out for a painting.
I want to keep the canvas light with just shades of grey and some metallic. I had initially thought about a mandala or Buddha's head but decided they may be too fussy for the space. In the end a zen enso seemed to fit the bill. Something medatative, 
When I have worked on this kind of thing before I have used either a Chinese calligraphy brush or one I have made from horse hair. Neither of which are available on Gozo . A pigeon sat on my studio window sill preening itself and throwing feathers all over the floor. Aha , just what I needed.

 ... not quite as flexible as horse hair but gives a nice stroke.

As in other mixed media works I have glued layers onto the canvas to give texture over a gesso base. 

However my circle was not a single brush stroke, like a true enso but many, applied over and over again. Dipping the feather in paint and making the sweeping stroke and repeat..... I worked like this for about an hour and a half without stopping. I could have gone on longer as I was 'in the zone' with my strokes but a couple came into the studio and wanted to chat ! The distraction was not a problem just part of the day. I'll work on it again another time.

After the storms last week I found some nice bits of drift wood. I spent a morning sawing to size and glueing together pieces to make something large enough to work on. Using ideas and sketches from my note book I I got cracking this morning laying foundations.

An interesting bit of drift wood with a padlock still hanging on lends itself to something decorative.

Some gessoed fish waiting for the colour to be applied.

Saturday, 18 October 2014


 My plant dyed paper project incorporated the essence of Gozo. A little part of this island deeply embedded in the paper. I look forward to the rains bringing the earth alive again after the heat of the Summer so that I can start on some new work.
In the meantime I am working on a mixed media project. Elements of Gozo.  A series of small works on the same sized boards depicting, in rather abstract form, the elements that I feel describe the island best..

The parched earth of Summer

The fire in the beautiful sunsets

The fierce electrical storms 

The sea, within which this jewel of an island is held

....And the lush green of the hillsides when nourished by rain

A birthday treat and a picnic on the tiny island of Comino. We took a little boat over the water to the even smaller island sitting between Malta and Gozo. Much visited by day trippers, the famous Blue Lagoon is busy and sadly rather over done. So we took the boat further around the coast to the little bay of Santa Maria. The perfect place to spend the day lying on the sand on the edge of the water. Nothing to disturb the silence except the lapping of the waves. Glorious.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Birgu and Qbajjar

An early morning 7.30am ferry to catch the Birgu weekly market this week. It probably wasn't worth the effort despite the huge number of stalls. Sadly all selling exactly the same things, fruit and veg, cheap clothing and the odd mop. It seemed to be hugely popular with the locals but not really the bric a brac I was looking for. Maybe the Sunday market would have been better. was another chance to wander around the very lovely Birgu waterfront and marina.

The Grand Harbour

Storms brewing over the Citadel.

 Still no rain to speak of. It was all out to sea.

I am starting on a new project, a collaboration with the other artists at The Mill Room Gallery. A series of 5 canvases each using the five elements of Feng Shui as a theme, (long stoary....for another day). Water, Fire, Metal, Wood and Earth. We are all very different in our styles and it will be interesting to see how they turn out. There is a record launch held at The Mill Room at the end of the month so we have a few weeks to work on these. 
Inspired by the horizons and colours of this island my works will loosely be based on the strong horizontals and diagonals of the landscape. More on that soon.

A pot of gold somewhere out at sea ?

Small dog enjoying the cooler weather. Actually those rain clouds did amount to the heaviest down pour I have seen for some time. I was rushing around on the terrace last night at about 2.30am , rescuing tables and chairs from being blown down the road.
As I drove through the bay this morning the digger was busy putting the beach back and a posse of workers were clearing up the debris. Mountains of bamboo has been washed under and over the top of parked cars..... The start of the winter weather is with us.