Cathryn’s cake and Dylan’s plate


It’s been a painting-free day, which is a rare occurrence for me in this run-up to the exhibition. And so today I present not anything from the easel, but the gorgeous simnel cake made for us by our lovely neighbour Cathryn, topped not on this occasion with the traditional eleven marzipan balls representing the apostles (minus Judas), but covered with a scallop-edged blanket of marzipan and a scattering of candied primroses. I have to tell you that it’s quite as delicious as it looks! I photographed it on another work-of-art, my favourite Dylan Bowen plate with a glaze like burnt toffee and a lick of vanilla-coloured slip.

Happy Easter.

Colour at Tegfryn

The past months have seen me working seven-days-a-week at the easel in preparation for my forthcoming exhibition at Oriel Tegfryn. As Winter has given way to Spring, light and colour have flooded my work. Here’s a cache of details from some of the paintings.

Telling Tales: new narrative works from Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Tegfryn Gallery/Oriel Tegfryn

Menai Bridge


Opens May 10th

See the work that will be in Telling Tales, HERE

‘Saint Kevin and the Blackbird’s Nest’

Completed  18/04/14

Saint Kevin and the Blackbird’s Nest 
Acrylic on gessoed panel. 60 x 81 cm. 2014

Lots of sgraffito here, used to enliven the the surface of the painting and add sparkle to the trees and bushes. As I’ve always loved painting water, the river has been a particular pleasure to work on. (It’s the river Wye, running past Catchmay’s Court at Llandogo, home of The Old Stile Press and our friends Nicolas and Frances.)

This marks my return to the subject of Saint Kevin after a long absence. Seamus Heaney’s poem has for many years been the source of inspiration for my work on the theme, and indeed I’ve made enough paintings to merit a whole Kevin and the Blackbird section in the Artlog archive. (Check it out in the ‘Topics’ box at top right.)

Kevin and the Blackbird’s Nest will be in:

Telling Tales: new narrative works from Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Tegfryn Gallery/Oriel Tegfryn

Menai Bridge


Opens May 10th

a ‘good friday’ morning stroll around the garden

I love the garden best when the turf paths are freshly mown…

… and the herbaceous beds are a riot of greens punctuated with the singing blue of grape-hyacinths.

Next to the lawn, this shady path…

…leads to a bank massed with just-about-to-flower lily-of-the-valley.

Most of the ornamental cherries have peaked and dropped their blossom, though this ‘eating’ cherry has just reached its glorious best.

The Solomon’s seal is about to flower…

… as is the wild lilac.

Ours is a garden that wears Spring well.



Lovage and creeping-Jenny.


face crazy

I can’t stop drawing faces at the moment, a sort-of-obsession. I guess I’m ‘Face Crazy’! The studio floor is strewn with dozens of them, drawn and discarded. Drifts of faces wafting about with the dust-bunnies. This sheet of faces is lying on a table where I can pause to doodle another one every time I pass. Where will it all end? (I think that’s definitely my friend Victor Beiramar Diniz at top right!)

the saint’s landscape

Day seven, and the appearance of some sheep.

The landscape draws on work I did for the cover image for the second volume of The Old Stile Press Bibliography. Below Catchmays Court a gate leads from the garden through a hedge and into a field where balsamic poplars line the river bank, and sheep picturesquely graze. It seems the most perfect setting for this saint-in-the-making who turned his back on the world, an anchorite meditating in the wilderness. (But a slightly tamed wilderness here, with gates and fences.)

I’m cock-a-hoop that the great Ronnie Burkett popped by my Facebook page and clicked a ‘like’ on today’s Saint Kevin and the Blackbird image. I’ve admired his puppet artistry for so long. The man is a genius.