According to Aristotle ….

"....the aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

Starting with a blank canvas

I know that there are some artists who are absolutely intimidated by a blank, white canvas and feel compelled to wash over it with some kind of colour before they can make any kind of beginning. This has always seemed to me to be a strange situation, partly (I suppose) because often I start by creating a faint grid of…

What might have happened if …..?

Counterfactuals can be fun, as historians well know. What might have happened if …..? If some small difference in the course of events had happened, instead of what actually happened, how might history have been different? The classic historians’ topic for debate along these lines is, as you probably know, the question of what might have happened if Cleopatra had…

First the bad news ….

Today I finally grasped the nettle and began an overdue process of sorting, shredding and chucking-out accumulated clutter. After tackling some of the surplus paper in my financial records I turned my attention to the material I have built up over the years from the various life-drawing classes I have attended. There were several surprises, but two things stand out…

Prophetic art

I think that I ought to make it clear at the start that what I have in mind, by talking about art as having some kind of “prophetic” role, does not have to do with Nostradamus or anything like that. I have no expectation that artists have a gift of foresight. What I doing have in mind here is much…

On the side of the angels

When it comes to politics I tend to be an observer rather than a participant. I kicked that habit today. I stumbled across the video of a speech made in Parliament today by a Member named David Lamey. (It was actually sent to me by one of my former students, with whom I’m still in contact.) As an example of…

Pause for thought

I spent last night helping out in a refuge for the homeless (as I do from time to time.) It is an interesting venture, known as Inn Churches, and it involves local churches opening their premises during the worst of the winter months in order to provide shelter for those who might otherwise find themselves sleeping on the streets. This…

On the side of the angels

I guess that most of us rely fairly selectively on different communications media to gain our information and opinions. One of my favourites is the London Review of Books. It is a great deal less parochial than its title suggests, in that it certainly doesn’t only feed the interests of people living in London, and the range of material covered…

How to get your work exhibited

I had just returned from my weekly climbing session this afternoon, and was making myself a cup of tea, when the door bell rang. To my great surprise and pleasure the visitor was a friend I have known for many years. In fact, he and I were both involved in my first significant exhibiting venture in Bradford. John happened to…