on the studio walls: part 1

My studio walls are densely papered with sketches that I’ve blu-tacked onto them over the years. Scraps flutter and seethe when the windows are open and the wind blows through. Projects once current lie under the many that came later, so the walls have become layered repositories of the raw materials used to produce myriad paintings, exhibitions and illustrations.

I rarely take anything down, but just add more over the top. Today I took a turn around the space with my camera, and snapped away. I found plenty that took me by surprise, dislodging memories of finished works long vanished out into the world. Nearly all of the drawings are small, no more than a few inches square, and each one was stuck to the wall at a time when it was needed as fuel for endeavour at the easel or work-table. Here are the young warriors and green knights, the bruised boys and their beasts, the enigmatic angels and the anchorites, the sideways-slipping still-lifes, the simplified landscapes and the cut-outs I sometimes make to try out new shapes or notions in compositions before committing to changes made with paint. They were never intended to be seen by anyone but me. They are my laboratory.

Gawain and the Green Knight

Study for the cover of Marly Youmans’ novel Val/Orson


Hervé and the wolf

My father

Peter Shaffer’s Equus

Marly Youmans’ Thaliad

Cut-out shapes


Landscape and building

Barnfield’s The Affectionate Shepherd

L’histoire du soldat

The beautiful boys


Part 2 follows soon

9 thoughts on “on the studio walls: part 1

  1. All these knights, can’t help it but I’m unable to stop considering Alice, I’d love you to ‘have a go’ at The White Knight.
    B xxx

    • Both Alice and Wonderland… together with its many denizens… are haunting my imagination a good deal right now, and images unbidden are unstoppably tumbling into my head.

      I have so many deadlines to hit this month… a book cover and a curated exhibition for which I have to produce a new piece of work, to name but two… that Mr Carroll’s creations are having to be bundled into a cupboard until I can quarry some time and a capacity to think straight again. (Wonderland has the effect of reflecting the known world back at me in the most intriguingly crooked manner, so that I just want to skip off and play/get lost in its labyrinthine byways.) I will return to the White Knight. He’s an engaging fellow, and he has been knocking at my door!

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