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How do you solve a problem like drying work?

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So, in my little studio in Sandbach, the new series of work is underway and with oil paint taking a while to dry, even when used thinly, it is an issue when storing the work. So, after racking my brains (no pun intended!) I came up with an idea of a drying rack based on those I had seen in my school days. In my head I could see a wooden structure with a marble type contraption that held the paper in place.

Armed with a strip of wood, hooks, hangers and paint, I set to work. I can now say that I am very pleased with myself and have the photographs to prove it! Take particular note of the poster on the left. They were giving these out at the Saatchi Gallery in London last month.



























Once it’s gone, it’s gone

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On a damp and cold day in January, I was fortunate enough to experience a guided tour of the London Road fire station and Coroner’s court in Manchester city centre. The site is to be transformed into a hotel and apartments. In 1999 I visited the site as a possible venue for a group exhibition. At this time, the police cells were accessible but now the upper floors of the building are deemed unsafe. They have been left to rot during years of decision making and planning applications.

It’s fascinating when you realise the different reasons why people attend such tours. For me, it was to immerse myself in the degeneration and tired appearance of its interior; the peeling paint, wallpaper, once trodden floors and traces of forgotten generations. It is experiences like these which provide for me, excitement and enthusiasm and ultimately the ever expanding inspiration for my ever growing bodies of work.

London RoadLondon Road 2



Terra est inspiring

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After many failed attempts, I managed to visit the Vernon Mill open studios.

I was amazed by the vast range of art work being produced and in such an inspiring building. Lots of flaking paint, rust, layers, history all under one roof.

Once again, my reliable iPhone was on hand to capture some of the marvellous inspiration…..

I included my feet like David Hockney did, back in the day of his photomontages.

What lies above

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Still mesmerised by the environment of sunny Morecambe….

Whilst walking around, how often does the average person look up?

I never really looked ‘up’ until I was walking down Bold St in Liverpool c1994 when, by pure chance, I noticed the upper level of buildings. Surprised was not the word. Sheer beauty but not on eye level. Since then, I have always looked up, down, across, inside in order to see the ordinary become extraordinary.

This roof of a more or less derelict shopping arcade certainly will provide some inspiration to future work.

Inspiration is always around us

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Never rule out finding inspiration when you least expect.

Who knew this set of stairs could be so inspirational?

The textures and layers have been altered with the passing of time and the presence of human existence.

I can’t wait to explore these colours and arrangements.

London visit

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A recent visit to London involved an exciting look inside and journey to the top of the Mittal Orbit structure, which is the U.K’s tallest sculpture and proudly sits within the Olympic Park, Stratford.

After taking in the panoramic view of London town, the descent of the 455 steps began and I noticed the little holes in their surface which allowed a variety of tones and colours to peek through.

There is somewhat of an optical illusion occurring should you look at the images for long enough. What inspiration these steps will be to my future work !!


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