Please watch this hour long documentary Rivercide on the shameful state of our rivers. There's some shocking news in it which is hard to take, but it's really important we tackle this problem. Please sign this petition: https://riveractionuk.com/Campaigns/give-us-back-our-rivers/
This handsome team of rams are the driving force behind Orchid Meadow organic sheep farm that we back onto. They are a good looking bunch, but in all this hot weather they've taken to gathering in the shade of the trees just feet away from my studio. When I have the windows open in all this heat there's a permanent pungent, virile male, goaty smell in my workspace. And it's not coming from me. The boys also have a disconcertedly human cough that sounds like a 7ft bricklayer just clearing his throat. It makes me jump every time.……But we wouldn't want them any other way would we.
I'm in shock that my watercolour 'Antarctica, Waiting. An apology' has won Best in Show at the
Society of Graphic Fine Art
exhibition in the
, London. The selector, Philip Athill of
Abbott and Holder
kindly said "Atmosphere conveyed by beautiful nuanced understanding of washes". I am particularly pleased that the painting has been highlighted as the subject is of massive importance to me (and us). Here's an explanation:
I was lucky enough to go to Antartica. This view shows moulting juvenile penguins waiting for their parents to return and feed them just-caught krill. In recent years penguins that wouldn't have been suited to breeding on the Antarctica Peninsula are now nesting in large numbers due to warming temperatures.
The year before I visited more than a third of penguin chicks on the islands died of starvation. In the same area trawlers were ‘suction' harvesting krill, a tiny crustacean, for our increasing demand for omega 3 food supplements and fish farm food. Scientists believe that with less krill in the area, less food was available to the birds. Fewer surviving penguins means less prey for seals and orca.
These are the words written into the background of the painting:
If the predictions were right this sight, my first glimpse of frozen Antarctica, has completely changed. Even by 2020 the peninsula was 5.5˚ warmer than in the 1950s. I can't imagine what it's like now. I'm sorry, but there weren't enough of us willing to adapt our lives to prevent the planet heating up as it has. We stumbled on, voting for politicians who denied what was happening. Many of them wilfully blocked any change for decades, even though the evidence of the damage we were doing was clear. Millions of us turned a blind eye to our knowing destruction of Earth so that we could lead comfortable and profligate lives, even though we knew that you, in the future, would have to pay for our selfishness.
Many thanks to Daler Rowney for their sponsorship of the award. The show closes on Sunday July 11 at 1pm
It's a four year application process, which uses a lot of paint, but I am delighted to say I have been selected to become a member of the
Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
(RI). It has been a long-held ambition to join this amazing group founded in 1831. I feel inspired by the vote of confidence and hope I can keep up with the pace of the brilliantly-talented members whose work I so admire.
The final part of the process. It's always satisfying when you gather together a collection of works and see them framed. The paintings look quite different in their lovely Mount Art frames and it's interesting to see how, over the course of months, the paintings evolve.
Some sketches from my wanderings around town. They are an excuse to sit with a coffee and stare at people, buildings, my feet; anything really. I try and draw or paint every day and these are some of the results. A few of my sketchbook pages are now available from Folde Dorset which is a lovely shop recently opened at the top of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury. They have a brilliant selection of nature writing books too. Well worth a visit