Neil Turner, a colleague and friend from my teaching days in Germany asked if I would like to construct an electric corrulute from a self-build kit he designed with a team of fellow enthusiasts. I really love string instruments and I’m sure kids would also love to make and play one of these. As it clearly has such great educational value and potential I said I would be very happy to give it a go. The following video made by my daughter Louisa gives you some idea of the process. The audio track playing in the background is the corrulute played through a Boss Katana Amp. It is amazing what you can make from a strip of wood and card. Great fun! Take a look at the website https://www.corrulute.uk for more information.

Ely Cathedral, Winter Evening Light

Photographers know that magical moment when the receding tide of daylight and Edison’s mechanical invention compete for ascendancy. A transient beauty momentarily holds sway in this daily exchange of energy. Ely Cathedral radiates a ‘spiritual’ intensity for believers and non-believers alike as a phalanx of street lamps are recruited as night sentinels, guiding the way.

Marcel Duchamp had a conceptual art piece called ‘Black Widow’, it was a play on the notion of windows and widows, Newnham College in Cambridge is no less surreal with their entry, ‘Autumn Window’. There is an optical illusion taking place here but I can’t quite decide how or why. I guess it has something to do with defeated expectations…we are accustomed to windows as architectural features within the context of a brick or concrete facade These are disembodied windows trapped in autumn undergrowth. The windows appear against a fluid, dissolving and decaying backdrop.

Capturing the vitality and richness of oil paint in acrylics is a challenge. Oil paints have a natural, organic quality that is generally absent from the synthetic neutrality of acrylic paints. The way to recreate the inherent liveliness and immediacy of oil is to make liberal use of different mediums and gels. In the final stages of a painting, I am still making compositional adjustments and decisions and I am prepared to carry out radical alterations if it isn’t working. And this is when acrylic paints are at their very best, they encourage and facilitate major revisions of the painting. They dry rapidly and have excellent opacity. Here, I have fragmented the image far too much and need to counterbalance the multitude of smaller shapes with large areas of flat colour.

I have used Golden Mediums Acrylic Glazing liquid alongside Jackson’s Fluid Gloss and Fluid Matt medium. Apart from extending the working time, they each contribute to the feel and look of the paint surface, breathing new life into the sometimes dry appearance of raw acrylic.

A painting inspired by the warmth and vibrancy of the Sun. For me, the shapes and colours of this work on hand made paper reflect the exuberance and optimism of Summer; the light, warmth and energy, the sheer delight in the here and now. Coiled, curved and spiralling geometric lines celebrate visual contrast and compositional harmony. The optical interplay of foreground and background space tricks the eye and intrigues the mind. I hope you like the finished piece.