Borgeois Twombly


Lapping sea
Lapping coffee
Slapping waves, shlurping sea – slamming caffeine.
Lopping swimmers in swelling sea.
Hopping yogis in silhouette.
Lapping waves, sipping thoughts, sifting coffee.
Floating torsos, bobbing limbs – echoes of whispers
Slap, lap, slap, lap…

Veiled sun and gossamer air.
Soft, soft, slap.
War ships on the horizon, all pointing in the same direction as the shower rains down to my right.

Coffee tang.
Yearning pang.
All anticipation on the raked, smooth sand.

Party time for Aquarians.

img_20190201_123305Party time for Aquarians

Party time for Aquarians.
We all gather at Lee’s.
I’ve made a cake in the shape of a jarre,
Someone else has brought cheese.

These are my french friends – older, and full of vim.
We “fait le bisous” and find out what’s new,
Hit the floor and dance the night through.

Hit repeat in two weeks time – this time in Brexiting Britain.

I miss being here with my mates far and near
but, frankly, it’s with Europe I’m smitten!

I’m an ex-pat. I straddle La Manche.
Not a migrant or refugee – no!
My white skin sees to that – but the words “ex” and “pat”
are wrong and make me feel low.

I am not a patriot. I am definitely still here
on a landmass without physical borders.
I work hard, pay my dues and go where I fancy
without fear of harassment or orders.

Party time for Aquarians –
we all gather at Lee’s.
We are of every colour and nationality here
and we dance and do as we please.


sea spume - 2

My muscles shorten me by a good two centimetres as they scrunch up tightly in an attempt to conserve warmth in the frigid apartment.

At midday, I glance up at the blue ribboned sky threading together the dark empty street – and see that now is time for the beach.

Rounding the corner, through the arch/frame – all is life and quickening.
White spume dashes off the rocks as the waves swell and roll ever higher onto the light bleached, sand.

A four-mast sailing boat pitches and dips a couple of hundred metres off shore and provides entertainment for the seasoned swimmers, forced to sit and watch this time.

I peel off the layers and join them on the stone bench, sun drenched.
Immediate heat targets tightness – the joints soften, open, and I lift my face to the solace and
order is restored.

European lunch.



Ha! Whilst recovering from la grippe and listening to endless discussion about whether to stay or go, I see that my lunch is on the side of Europe😊

French eggs, Italian pizza, English crockery, German egg cup – and the table comes from Spain!

We are better together, surely?


A jaunty dirk.

after appel

A jaunty dirk – full of promise and fecund – she strode up the hill to the sun and the constant sea.

Finally, the last vestige of who she was loosened itself and as she propelled bone and muscle forward along the familiar path, it sloughed off, pink and moist, to land in a gobbet of wobble. Damn! No plastic bag to pick it up.

She strode on – and turned to glimpse all that had been her – innocent, forming and still plumped, soak into the warm stone – and she regretted it for an instant.

She had been a good life.

Braced and knowing, she felt her revealed skin flap darkly around her new purpose.

Dry and loose, it still served to contain the wet interior of her ideas and beliefs – and it would serve until they too were wrung out and she was good for nothing except forking Rose with a spatula.


portrait in atelier - 1

Yes – to endless dancing.

Yes – to cold Champagne.

Yes – to a murmuration

Yes – to lowering storm clouds.

Yes – to soaring mountains.

Yes – to the beat.

Yes – to fun, love and ‘appy laughter.

Yes – to action.

Yes – to equality.

Yes – to becoming………

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)