term 4: the figure in a composition

in term 4 we had the lovely Alice to come and sit for us.

she sat like a calm blond  buddha in front of the “Guernica ” poster i got in Madrid and i for one was taken with the contrast of her blond goodness and the carnage behind her of wailing women and fractured forms.

some of us used this juxtaposition of contrasting motifs  in the works, to good effect.

she was very patient with us , a great model.

here are some of the works we produced…not all and there are some memorable examples that are not posted and for those who did not care to post their work

i send you these wise words form Janice Mason Steeves:

she is one of those creatures who do exist, a wise American, and she has a lovely blog which you can join . She and  Mary Popova who writes”Brain Pickings” another great blog have some wisdom worth reading.

Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book, Mindfulness for Beginners, identifies seven fundamental attitudes of mindfulness, all of which apply to painting. They are: non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go.


It’s so easy to judge ourselves every step of the way in painting whether we’re a beginning artist or a more advanced one. One of my recent students berated herself continuously for two and a half days of my three-day workshop. She was extremely frustrated that her work wasn’t going as she had planned, even though she’d only been painting for a year, and was new to the cold wax and oil process I was teaching. I urged her to be more gentle with herself but she seemed unable to stop.

Finally, on the third day, when she was totally frustrated and ready to listen, I suggested that she work very quickly, without thinking or judging, giving herself permission to make ‘bad’ work. I also recommended that she silently thank the work and the process for teaching her about painting.  Finally, she found some release. Whew! At last she was able to let go, and in the remaining few hours of the workshop, pumped up with renewed energy, she produced some exciting work.

“When there’s a crack in my mirror, I can’t see myself as I am––all I see is the crack. The crack tells me that there is something wrong with me, that I’m not enough and that this is how others see me too. It’s not a question of finding a better mirror. It’s about seeing beyond the crack. I am not, nor ever will be, perfect. But I don’t need to live for approval. I need to live for acceptance and joy in the unique, worthy, loveable, beautiful, sacred being that I am and to celebrate the same thing in others. That’s seeing beyond the crack. I’m learning to love my imperfections; in the end they make me who I am, in all my flawed glory.” Richard Wagamese from the book, Embers.



David Thomson

 Emilia Rubio

 Rowena Poole

 Rose Tomlinson


 Margaret Neill

    Delwyn  Jones

 Nurit Zurbery

Here are some of the great works we produced this term

I loved the works you produced…its what keeps me teaching…you find all sorts of glorious  solutions in paint to the exercises i put in front of you.

Have a very happy Christmas and i look forward to another splendid year with you all in 2018, starting in early February…”Being in the Landscape”




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