Blog Archive

Devices and desires

The first time I lived afloat was twenty five years ago, on a tiny gaff cutter, a mile upriver from my current mooring. Each summer I set sail with a crew and headed off down Channel to the West Country, the Scillies or Brittany, taking in festivals of sail along the way and trying, not continue reading »


How to catch creative ideas

It’s been an intensive time for teaching this last few months – watercolour courses, drawing workshops, demonstrations, small group sessions, in the studio or to art clubs – and the more I teach, the more I learn. Art techniques, like other creative skills, can weave you a net to catch ideas and inspirations. The better continue reading »


Less faffing, more focus…

I’m a slow learner. I think I’m just getting the hang of this creative malarkey at an age when others are beginning to wind down after a long and glorious career. On my headstone, please, I want the words ‘Damn! I was just getting the hang of it!’ Sometimes storms can be as productive as continue reading »


Bowlines before breakfast

My conversation with the signalman who answered the phone from the railway crossing was surreal – but it was late at night and he was probably bored. Me: Is it clear to take a car across? Him: Are there any animals involved? Me: That’s no way to talk about my friends! Him: Aren’t you the continue reading »


Endings, beginnings and the messy bit in the middle

I used to imagine that finishing a book meant typing the final full stop, leaning back in the chair with a sigh of satisfaction, walking to the post box with a large envelope and a spring in your step, pouring oneself a congratulatory drink then nipping out to buy something tasty to wear for the launch party.    Hmmm, not quite.  Well, not continue reading »