capturing the ephemeral capturing the ephemeral

The theme for my recent paintings is capturing the ephemeral. I have used my lovely wild garden as my inspiration. To capture the ephemeral and hold the transience is almost an impossibility. I have to grasp that fragile moment and translate it into paint. So I am travelling around and through my garden, trying

to express the feelings of slipping and sliding on grass and mud, of pushing through trees, bushes and brambles, from dark to light. I have tried to capture moments of sparkle and clarity, mistiness, stillness, webs and nets of colour, diffusing into softness. I am making pathways in time and memory.

  • The painting of the young birch tree by the pond grew out of a series of quick studies, done almost daily, in the Autumn and Winter 2009-2010. These studies made me look at the garden in a completely different way from any garden paintings I had done previously. I began to capture that ephemeral moment. So this work became seminal to the development of the whole theme.
    Through the Wind
  • Rainy Weather
  • Stillness
  • Autumn
  • Spring
  • The little garden pond is a source of reflection, literally and deeply. I have stared into it for many years. It is a fantastic habitat for newts and frogs, snails, damsel flies and dragonflies and many beetles, water boatmen, spiders and larvae uncountable and often secret and unseen. It provides a watering hole for birds, hedgehogs, bats and other nocturnal visitors. The water’s ripples, reflections and secret depths have inspired the paintings.
    Pond Surface
  • Surface and Depth
  • Bright Day
  • Reflections
  • The garden is sheltered, but the prevailing South Westerly winds can cause havoc and the rarer North Easterly is bitterly cold. The trees dance and seem to breathe, trying to break their tethering and ride free. The wind is an elusive spirit for you do not see it. You only see its effect on trees, grass and clouds. So I’ve been trying to paint its ghostly presence as it floats, hovers and rushes through
    Winter Trees
  • Icy Wind
  • Trees in a Hurry
  • Updraught
  • The wind is an Emerald Ghost
  • These are paintings of heart stopping moments. For example at certain times of the year the Holly tree is caught in the moonlight. Its shiny leaves reflect and refract the light magically-impossible to capture. The winter garden is eerily silent, clothed in sparkling frost or snow-impossible to capture. The dawn chorus starts with a tweet and builds to a crescendo-impossible to capture.
    Winter Garden
  • Wolf Moon
  • Dawn Chorus
  • Last Flush

Sketch Book


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