Sunday 29th July

A piece with winged beings, woman-like and deer-like, worried me so I turned it on its side and another face appeared, a green woman, in the mesh of the flight feathers. The green woman has gone now, two days later, but I am still not sure about this one. I feel the two aspects need to be contained in the same body somehow. I will work on it tomorrow.

This afternoon in the garden I potted on coriander seedlings, planted out mange tout seedlings, picked the last of this crop of broad beans and pulled up the old stringy plants. Their string ties holding them to bamboo were turned into complete knotty cats’ cradles by the sparrows who had fancied the string as nest material. They had routinely taken all our string garden ties so that Andrew’s wonderful pea support actually lost its top tier and had to be re-done.

I have put two dishes full of water on the large table in the garden where we eat. The female sparrows come to drink when we are sitting there eating or reading the paper. Last evening a racing pigeon came and drank her fill as we sat inches away from her. She was very beautiful.

In the studio this morning I worked on a piece about composite humans/animals. Together they form an arch, with a view through to a landscape suggested. Visiting the V&A a few months ago to research Indian miniature painting I saw exquisite little watercolours and gouaches. Sacred cows supported the cosmos on the tips of their horns.

Began a very small piece where a figure is lying on the back of a horse. A wash of water down the material ground immediately suggested a figure, and beneath her a very strong horse. I like working small and making very concentrated, powerful images with the minimum of means and scale. I like to find the most stripped down essential part of an impulse, gesture or relationship and I work hard to pare away anything superfluous. I don’t always succeed!

Early morning, natural spotlight of the sun.