Silent howls.


Big week for Brexit apparently! Irish border issues stalling everything again because they have only been talking about this possibility for a thousand years and why is everyone so surprised??

Yawn city – except that real people are being forgotten as this behemouth rolls ever nearer the cliff. So many now being reduced to foodbanks, crutches and abuse.

I visited ye olde city of Chester recently.

Once a sought after networking centre for the Cheshire Set, it has swapped twin sets for charity shops and the nasal chatter in the nace (sic) tea shops for the rattle of coins in begging tins.

The Rows now house the homeless – Henry Moore sketches lined up in sleeping bags along the famous Elizabethan walkways as locals pass by looking resigned.

Nobody is listening and nobody cares. La la la la la…….

I paint silent howls and headless bodies in colours that trick people into looking.

As an artist, what else can I do?


Why I run Art Workshops


Why I run art workshops.

If I wanted bones to hang the flesh of my ideas on, they would be paintings.

The visual language used in composing. The constraints of a (usually) rectangular 2D surface – and the fight to calm the rational brain to find meaning in the abstract.
This is my job.

As an artist, I know that there is another dimension of being – in the spaces in-between.

When you know how to interpret these spaces, stuff happens. The spaces become the doors to perception and you are on the way to learning a new language.

Artists are people who have found the spaces and they work with and around them, both literally and metaphorically. They literally see the world differently as a result.
Light and shade, form and mass – and ephemeral stuff like dust are as concrete and necessary to an artist as food.

What are the spaces?

Gaps in-between a crowd on a platform. The shape of a table framed by a cup and a bowl. Light pouring through a window, framing hair. The distance between rocks in front of a horizon. Trees. The area underneath the chair……..

When someone is shown how to see differently, their world shifts slightly and nothing is quite the same again.

We live in a world where screens prevent us from lifting our heads and sniffing the air for possibility.
We are rendered passive by the veil of the screen. It condemns us to live in a passive state of expectation where personal responsibility is an anathema.

I facilitate workshops using art to create an environment for those who want to lift the veil!

The classes are real. Mess, failure, experimentation and collaboration are encouraged and if a piece of art is realised, that is a bonus.

As an artist, I grapple with material to tell stories obliquely.
As a teacher, I use art techniques to encourage personal development.

Please do not sign up if you want to “colour in”, if you expect “formulas” or if your idea of doing an art class is to pass a pleasant couple of hours, paintbrush in one hand, glass of wine in the other!

(Although – of course there is wine. Afterwards! Artists have to live after all!)
Nicola Powys

Nails don’t just land in tyres for no reason.


When Thor went to Mugello in a rented car, he was delayed because of a nail.

The nail pierced the front tyre, making it flap slurpily into the Autogrill car park.

Incensed, Thor roared for answers, paced the forecourt, shouted at Avis down the phone. Told them what they could do with their tinpot cars.

To no avail.

The bone was broken, the car immobile. Nothing to do but feast on coffee and foccaccia in the slicing heat and wait for somebody to do something.

Which they did, eventually – and finally, Thor hit the autostrada as though eagles were following him – blood and caffiene roaring around his eyes as he fixed his gaze on the white line and made up for lost time.

Later, having greeted his hosts and apologised for the lateness of the hour, he sat in the cool of the loggia, musing.

Nails don’t just land in tyres for no reason.


(Thanks Niel Gaiman)


How Artists listen.

Jazz player - Nice

The fourth poem observing summer on the Cote d’Azur:

I sat down on the blue chair to eat a red apple by the azur sea.

The wind blew the plaintive sax-sound through the sun and time slowed And slowed.

Moving on, I dropped the gold coin into the black box in thanks.

Later, I found a pink and yellow perfect dress – and because it was there I bought it, put it on, and returned to the blue chair to pay homage, in colour, to the sound of something half remembered:

Something white.



How artists see

The third poem celebrating a week in the heat on the Cote d’Azur.


Full of Prosecco I watch, dull,

As a young girl with long hair held down by Princess Leah headphones, does TaiChi on the sand in front of me.

She is thin, dressed in black and absorbed in the nature that surrounds her.

She thanks the warmth, the weight and the movement of life autour as she

Extends and contracts out to it and back into herself.

She is alive. She is alone.

I raise my glass.


How Artists play.

The second on a week of poems celebrating life in the heat of the cote d’Azur.

La Garoupe

50 minutes power walk to La Garoupe after the storm gave us all the will to live.

Greenery smashed, pots broken and shutters torn off their hinges. All destruction.

Before the new day.

Now the beach hums with noise and activity at 7.30 – and the sun has put my hat on.

Even the dull rap thump fits into this creation of luxurious leasure which will be served up to stupefied tourists for the rest of the day.


How artists roll.

The first of a poem a day for a week, capturing life in the heat on the Cote d’Azur.


The number 8 bus up the hill to Vallauris.

Air conditioned luxury.

The driver belts around the zigzag road throwing the group of carefully posed teens into each others space, ungainly.

This is not cool.

They casually hold tighter to the rails whilst continuing to text – only the odd glance from underneath lashes betraying how un-Instagram they feel right now.

Red nude on sail