For Kai

photo: Alastair Grant

Kai arrived at The Rowley Gallery over 30 years ago, I can’t be sure of the exact date, but her name back then was Kathy. And to all who knew her in pre-Rowley days she always remained Kathy. But there was already another Cathy at The Rowley Gallery so she abbreviated her name to Ka. That was her Chinese name. But pronounced Kai, so that was how she spelt it thereafter. To avoid confusion. Continue reading “For Kai”

Frames of reference

In The Bleak Midwinter


A bright window packed with small beauties for these dark days, a fast-moving festive feast for the eyes. As works sell they will be replaced by more in an ongoing ever-changing pageant of delights.  Continue reading “In The Bleak Midwinter”

Frames of reference

Paradise

Panarea

paradise /ˈpær.ə.daɪs/ noun: The word “paradise” entered English from the French paradis, inherited from the Latin paradisus, from Greek parádeisos (παράδεισος), from an Old Iranian paridayda – “walled enclosure”. Paradise is the term for a place of timeless harmony; the abode of Adam and Eve before the Fall in the biblical account of the Creation; the Garden of Eden; a place or condition of great happiness where everything is exactly as you would like it to be; an ideal or idyllic place or state – synonyms: Utopia, fairyland, Shangri-La, heaven, nirvana, Arcadia. Paradise may also refer to the collection of holiday paintings by Will Smith displayed in The Rowley Gallery window. Continue reading “Paradise”

Frames of reference

Roselle & Saturnia

Heading south on the road from Siena to Grosseto last year, Sue snapped this photograph from our car as we sat in traffic, waiting to join the cypress avenue queuing in line above us on the horizon. The trees were lying in wait, ready to ambush us at the next junction. A crest of spikes. But with a gentle zigzagging we joined together like the interlocking teeth of a zip fastener and cruised in harmony down to the ancient site of Roselle. Continue reading “Roselle & Saturnia”

Frames of reference

Contemplating The Depths

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Our house swap this summer was to Grasse in the South of France. Grasse’s inland location allowed us to make forays into the mountains as well as get more easily to various beaches along the Côte d’Azur. Our favourite area was Théoule-sur-Mer with its orange rock pinnacles, white pebble coves with azure pools. Continue reading “Contemplating The Depths”

Frames of reference

Apocalypse Now (Or Maybe Tomorrow)

So we’re all looking forward (in no particular order) to Christmas, The Mayan ‘Apocalypse’ 21/12/12, The Euro Apocalypse / the imminent Bond Market collapse, the next high flying celebrity to crash and burn, the next Flood, the first nuclear war, escape to the Moon/Mars…. etc. And I was thinking how could a painter find any relevance with all this going on. But the internet is a wonderful thing for connecting anything to everything and a reminder that these type of events constantly recur, that the oldest themes in art are the best and that there’s nothing new under the sun. Continue reading “Apocalypse Now (Or Maybe Tomorrow)”

Frames of reference

At The Beach With Giotto (In Mind)

As a painter of beaches, when I saw the Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua I was struck by how much parts of it resemble pools of water with angels swimming about in them. The azure of the ceiling and pale cerulean and pinky golds of the chapel walls look to me like a deep plunge pool flanked by sandy cliffs. Continue reading “At The Beach With Giotto (In Mind)”

Frames of reference

A Taste Of Apocalypse

There’s been a lot in the media recently about 2012 being the year of apocalypse or some sort of catastrophic change predicted in the Mayan calendar. Last summer, instead of our usual holiday to Gozo where I paint my beach scenes, we house-swapped for three weeks in the French Pyrenean town of Quillan and discovered the neighbouring village of Bugarach. Property prices there have gone sky high after thousands of people flocked to the area believing the nearby mountain to be the only place on earth to be spared this ‘apocalypse’. Apparently in 2011, the local mayor began voicing fears to the international press that the small town would be overwhelmed by thousands of visitors in 2012, even suggesting he may call in the army. Continue reading “A Taste Of Apocalypse”

Frames of reference