Tuesday, 13 September 2016


This little scene is just outside the site I am on now. I walk along past this each time I leave the site. The water yesterday was so calm as I crossed the bridge I could watch the fish swim against the stream. Nature in all its wonder.

There is a young child on the site who seems to have caught the bug of being interested in all around him. He spends most time pointing at things on the ground and turning over stones. How I wish I could let him see the bird that is sitting about ten yards from me right now. It is sitting on a nest looking down at me its little eye catching the light.

The wonder of nature indeed.

This reminds me of another little boy. He was continually asking his mother all sorts of questions about the things that caught his interest. 

One day while in the garden he asked his mother where babies came from. The mother thinking he was too young to understand took a little seed from a flowerhead. She told him that her and his father had got a seed just like this and put it somewhere safe until he had grown.

The little lad seemed happy with that a moved on to another subject and the mother felt happy.

Later that day the young boy took a seed and hid it under a stone.

Two or three days later he returned to the stone and gently lifted it. A large black beetle crawled out from under it. The little boy looked at it and said, "Oh you are so ugly. If I was not your father I would stand on you."

The first lesson in the beauty of nature is to take our share of its ownership.

Have a good day, enjoy.

Monday, 12 September 2016


I did enjoy my stay in Paris. It was so lovely to meet up with friends from the years ago, lost and rebound never I hope to lose again. I had three hectic days of sightseeing and late night at the Palace of Versailles  fireworks music and fountains.

But how nice it is also to get back into the land, into the country. Today I walked along La Cher a river that passes through the little village I am now in. We walked through the village and up into the woods through a little path it would have been so easy to miss. It was beautiful so peaceful with just the birds and scents.

Back down through the ancient village and back along the river edge. There I saw a lovely picture worthy of any painting. A man in his little boat standing fishing and reflected on the mirror water.

So different from the story of the woman who came to my mind.

It was late spring and a woman was trying out her new boat. 

Try as hard as she could it just would not perform for her. It would not turn or move forward, no matter how hard she tried.

After trying for three days she decided to seek help. Using a pole she eventually got it along to the local boat yard.

She asked if they could solve her problem?

Workers determined everything was working fine. One of the workers put on his wet suit and dived to see if there was a problem underneath.

He very quickly came back to the surface spluttering and laughing.

Under the boat firmly in place was the launching trailer still attached.

Make sure before you start your day you carry no unnecessary burdens.

Have a good day.

Monday, 2 May 2016

What is the Salary?

Yesterday I was walking with a good friend. We were remembering when we left school and got our first ever jobs. My first job started the day after I left school. There thing for us no such  thing as a gap year wages had to be earned.

I had no interview for my first job. I went and met with the boss, he told me what was expected of me the hours I would be expected to work and so on.

Then as if almost a last thought he told me what my starting wage would be.

Now there is an expectation that the employee might have some input into the agreed salary and the interview might even include a section at the end for input by the prospective employee. This is a great step forward and good.

This reminded me of a true story I heard.

The interview had gone well and was nearing its end.

The Human Resources person asked the young engineer fresh out of university, she asked  "And what starting salary were you looking for?"
The Engineer said, "In the neighborhood of £45,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of five-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50 percent of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a nice Land Rover?"
The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"
And the interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it."

Have a great day.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


I have painted a few of these dog paintings never two looking the same. I have enjoyed using the many different colours to paint them,

It all began when my son bought a wonderful little dog with a great big personality. This made me think of him in terms of colours and not the all black dog he is. They have been very popular and have sold well for me. So grateful for this I did another one just two weeks ago and donated it to the Coniston mountain Rescue team. They put it on their website and asked for bids. it looks as if it will make them some much needed money. I hope the person who in the end gets it gets as much pleasure from it as I did painting it. 

Somebody got in touch saying could I not paint a happy dog. So this is my next dog challenge.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


I am sure everybody knows this painting, it is so very well known. Hands are very difficult to paint so I thought I would have a try at painting my version of Durer's hands. There is nothing wrong with learning from the masters, either in art or in thinking. I spend some time each day listening to the words of the greats of thought.

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will support you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated over and over, "No ... no ... no ... no."

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, long ago, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

There are some things that others do for you that no words can ever express your thankfulness. Artists are so fortunate that they can express there inner feelings in what they produce with their hands.