"Twisted Realism" A visual artist, creating moody black and white tonal drawings in charcoal, pastel and graphite. Inspired by the human figure, story telling and Europe.


What To Do Now?

I've just finished this inspirational trip and accumulated so much information 
about places that I love and feel some strange familiarity and connection too.

So what do I do now? 

What to do with all this stuff?

How do I maintain momentum?

As I travelled I not only maintained a blog about the journey, 
and took nearly 2000 photos, 
but I kept a journal, a written account of each day of the trip. 
I've always kept visual journals.

These journals, of which I now have 14 spanning 21 years, 
are a constant source of inspiration. 
They are not filled with finished art works, 
but words, doodles, cut-outs and pastings, ideas, thoughts and 
musings that have entered my being over time. 
It's like hoarding mental stuff that I can't afford to throw out, 
just in case I need it one day.

First book, Adelaide, 1990

Most recent book, number 14, 
started about a month ago, 
in Paris. 

Euro trip 2011, first entry
Paris-Lausanne train ticket
Prawns and Dali

So it's a little bit of overload at present and I'm not sure where to start.
And what's more,
the work I had hanging on my easel before I left is still there,
 and annoying the hell out of me. 
I can't reconcile it. It grates, it frustrates and played on my mind constantly as I travelled, 
because I knew I would have to come home and face it one day.

It's strange when you invest so much time in a piece of work, 
and it fails to "sing".
I've spoken to a number of people about this work,
to get some feedback and they tend to agree.
It's safe, too easy to read, and doesn't intrigue.
There is a lot more unpredictability and energy with my other pieces.

So that at least is my starting point.
I love the story telling/comic book/words aspect but need to find a new dynamism.

‘Valleydreams’ (114.5 x 76.5 cm) Charcoal, Pastel, Graphite on Paper

Lonely in Paris, I needed some clear air.
I sped through Normandie on a silent, smooth Gallic train, heading for fresh Atlantic breezes. 
As I approached Flers, I caught a glimpse of a handful of old farm buildings, boarded up and lying in a green valley that nestled beneath the shadows of large rolling hills. 
In that moment I was there. The artist, snuggled away in one of those ramshackle stone buildings for the evening. Beeswax candles, a small stove to make coffee on, a thick sleeping bag, some pens and my art book. A sanctuary I had quietly inhabited. Nobody would care. A place of solitude, peace and gentle thoughts to keep me company.
I marveled as the possibilities whizzed past the window of that train and were at once processed and entertained in a matter of seconds. 

Those moments haunted me in the days to follow.