New work in my studio, in the garden, with poems…feminine group

I’ve been working quietly enjoying the sense of the the garden taking a long last  breath before the quietening of autumn. In the studio the light is lower through the windows, and I am listening again to Van Morrison’s great album No Guru, No Method, No Teacher. My little dog Frankie is still beneath my feet at my easel, although his illness is stronger now and each day is a precious gift for us to treasure.

I’ve been working slowly and steadily on a piece which took many days to show itself to me. There is a deep dark sea like field in which a child, an animal and a feminine figure are held. A womb of Earthiness, or space, or of consciousness. It is also a kind of gum, or jaw, of a celestial mouth:the feminine figure is held as a tooth about to emerge, a baby about to born, or a plant about to move from Earth to Air. She is crowning, as it is said of babies whose birth is imminent. So she is newborn and also wise woman – both at once.

Child      Newborn wise woman

In the garden there are still many flowers and it is a joy to walk there in the mornings with old Frankie as he potters. The light is low and bright, the tomatoes assuming so many voluptuous forms – I love them.

dahlia    tomatoes

tomato    Frankie


The group of artists and poets which I brought together a year ago is working towards a show at Newlyn Art Gallery as part of the Transition project, opening March 8th 2016 and running for a week. The show will be called Drawing down the Feminine. Our focus is on the sacred feminine…here are a few words I wrote recently about my response to the theme:

Drawing down… also The Feminine draws down, something about the Feminine being discrete, a living entity both within us and around us; high above, beneath our feet. That which holds, which draws in, which contains, which surrounds; which supports, which guides with a whisper; who knows about generative absence and the taking back of spent things…

One of my projects on Iona will be working with the poems of Ian Siddons-Heginworth. I’ve already begun tuning into them in my sketchbook.

Here are a few of my thoughts: the coolness of words, the distance of speech; words without scent or flavour, coolness, dampness or cycle implied. I cannot lie down on words, you do not hold me, give me impulses in my hips, but I can draw about your words

rising like vapour from the surface of God’s dream                   (this lovely phrase by Ian)