Almost publication day
Friday, 27 May 2022
There's so many things I have wanted to write about over time, but there have been so many demands on my time, and I have guarded my painting time fiercely. I'm working hard on the Book of Birds, with the fear that even though the deadline is so far away I have so much to do.
I'm going to write a piece about Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone for my daughter's Peregrination. As a young writer and artist…
Covers and other things.
Tuesday, 8 March 2022
The image above is how I feel at the moment. The thing I love about images is that they are more open to interpretation than words, which pin things harder to a page, sometimes.
I'm sorry it has been so long since the last update. There has been amazing progress on Feather, Leaf, which is now heading off to the press. And I have been so busy, working on this, The Accordion Books, The Book of…
Up Early, Thinking, Walking.
Friday, 17 December 2021
I woke in the dark today. In the night only the few brightest stars had pushed through the moon's brightness to become visible. Moonshadows still splintered the earth beneath the ash tree when we headed out, and down to the beach, to find the light. I was searching for endpapers and thinking and looking. On the tideline remnants of Icarus lay.
In time tide moved and beach grew, opening…
How time passes too swiftly
Sunday, 28 November 2021
So much happens each week, some things that I can share, others that must remain secret for a while longer. That is how my small corner of the world is. In the wider world also so much happens and so much uncertainty swirls around what might happen at Christmas and beyond and I do not wish to worry, only to live, and try to enjoy each moment. So, long overdue for an update, I will try not to miss…
Progress report ( for want of a better title); or sending foxes across the world.
Wednesday, 1 September 2021
It will soon be time for Alison to work on the design for Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone. In advance of this I wanted her to see and hold actual pieces from the book, and also to have in her hands an accordion book. I owe her hugely for all the design work she has been doing on various projects. I know she is paid for these things, but always feel that it is never enough. So, I wanted to make her pieces…
About many books, design, old paints and things.
Tuesday, 10 August 2021
This is the first update on the Accordion Books page, and I've copied it here because of the relevance of talk about design, Alison, Feather , Leaf etc. So, if you are one of the 164 who is supporting Accordion Books it may be familiar to you. It's really wonderful to have you here as early adopters of the newest of my ventures. I'm going to mirror this posting on the Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone page…
And the sun shines
Monday, 2 August 2021
It's quiet here. I can hear the sheep in the fields, insect buzz and birdsong. So many finches, it's beautiful. My studio is scented with white sage. And I am tired. Last week was a hard week, with much painting. There was some shaping of the Book of Birds, some writing, and much painting for two new projects. Both of these involve foxes. In a way perhaps the one grew from the other, which in turn…
Wednesday, 14 July 2021
Strange times we are living in and through. The rescheduled Unwinding retreat was cancelled due to covid restrictions, as was the book signing, but we had hired a big house in Dulverton, the amazing North Moor House, and Chris, Davina and I had loads of work to do, on films for Spellsongs and for a new project, coming soon with Unbound. So we tested ourselves and travelled to Northmoor.
Sunday, 13 June 2021
It's been very quiet here for a while, but that is because my focus, for now, is elsewhere. The manuscript for Feather, Leaf has been with John, my publisher, and he has edited and also restructured the end a little. Like many of my books it wasn't linear, can be shuffled, and between us we have been trying to gather together the leaves, bark, stones etc into the right order. Part of my work today…
Sunday, 9 May 2021
The past three weeks have been like stepping outside of time. The weeks running up to that revolved around working through the pain of an absess and having a tooth out. I have much to tell you. My focus will be on the good things, as always. (Also, tooth gone, pain now gone, after four weeks and too much antibiotics, thank you St Davids dentists for sorting this for me before I left home).
Finishing the book for the third time.
Sunday, 4 April 2021
Over the past few days I have dipped in and out of Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone. I wrote a final piece and it brought back to mind some of the why and the wherefor of making this writing in such a way.
Today I walked to the top of the hill, to think, to look, to visit the places where stones have been for almost a year. The lane to the top of the hill is still, warm, heavy scented with gorse…
Partnership, play, practice, painting.
Thursday, 25 March 2021
For spring Unbound and I have partnered with 'oh' magazine to see if this idea might work. Inside the beautiful pages of the magazine there are three spreads devoted to The Silent Unwinding. The first is a little about the book, and some prompts for what comes next. The next two spreads invite you to write, paint, draw in the magazine, as you would in The Silent Unwinding.
How to finish a book.
Thursday, 11 March 2021
I don't know how it works for other writers, but there are so many times with a book where I feel, 'right, that's it. All done'. I thought I was at the end of Feather, Leaf, but now I find a need for about another seven double spreads. So, time to make space again to get typewriters out, to think and to shape and to play. Meanwhile.....
I have been drawing foxes( practice for the Natural History…
A difficult week where much work was done.....
Saturday, 27 February 2021
There is much 'noise' around at the moment that steals the time that could be spent in making work, real work, but is also work. This week I have somehow managed to complete the writing ( I think) and compiling of, Feather, Leaf Bark & Stone. This, because of the curious analogue way I chose to make this work, involved much scanning.
The book is now scanned, with each page in the order I feel…
Sunday, 14 February 2021
I would like to thank everyone who took part in this giveaway. I drew the winner, by random number selection and it is Jennifer Green. She's a printmaker it seems, from Cornwall, who lives in a similar landscape to my own, and uses watercolours. We've not met, but perhaps some time in teh future we will. And I hope she will work her own images into the book and share with us.
This has been…
Foxes in the Deep Deep Light
Saturday, 6 February 2021
There are ways to write updates for crowdfunding projects and ways to write blogposts, according to some folk. This posting will work against all the 'rules'. Which is the real way to write....
Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone is fully funded and growing. The manuscript has moved from my hands to John Mitchinson's and back again.
I asked John to send me a picture of him editing, but he sent…
Have a listen
Thursday, 4 February 2021
I was asked to do a Podcast for Scotland Outdoors a couple of weeks ago.
This is the result.
Have a listen. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p095w2ng
Spread the word.
More coming soon. I need to get to my drawing board. I love how they've put this together. Beautifully paced.
Working hard, thinking hard, hard times.
Friday, 8 January 2021
These are hard times. Hard to keep a focus on work when it seems that so much is threatened. So many people are suffering such huge loss. My friends who work in the NHS are struggling to keep heads above water. It's been almost a year now, of isolation. I really feel for musicians, whose lives are wrapped around performance. And meanwhile, in America.....
And I try to focus on the beautiful things…
Working, walking, stone, gold, light and rainbows.
Friday, 1 January 2021
It's growing dark. Rain is singing on the roof. The chimney sweep came, so I've a log fire burning, and soon I wish to sit beside it and read into the evening. The house is quiet with sleeping creatures.
I've been painting, working my way tentatively back into work. An idea has grown for a new pledge point as Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone shapeshifts towards completion. I am making small pieces…
The Evolution of a Book
Thursday, 31 December 2020
The special edition of The Unwinding is in the post at the moment, travelling to the winner of the draw. It will live in the Netherlands, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to have to fill in a customs slip for it as its journey will cross into our 'new' relationship with Europe.
These are hard times we are living through. I was supposed to be working next week with the Spellsongs group…
Something for Christmas
Saturday, 26 December 2020
As the storm rages outside here's something to listen to. Robert Macfarlane and I were invited on to Backlisted Podcast to talk about The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. I've had a wonderful few weeks lost in these five books that make up the sequence. Now the pocast is live. So get a cuppa and settle in by the fire, because, outside, the dark is rising.
For Christmas I was given a copy of Piranesi…
Monday, 21 December 2020
The best way for me to say thank you to all of you who have given your support to this book is to continue to work to make it the best it can be.
In the last week The Space Between has moved from 88% funded to 104%, ensuring publication.
This book is such an unusual creature. It doesn't contain the kind of images that I am recognized by. The words have become images. It is quiet, contemplative…
Some weeks are harder than others.
Saturday, 12 December 2020
This week has not been easy. Why? So many reasons, not least being the realisation of the permanence of death. It's always there. It doesn't go away. There is no re-run. Trying to work through a year of coming to terms with loss, well, it's hard. The weather inside my head this week has been a fierce, harsh storm, but through it all I have been moving slowly, trying ( and failing a bit) to be kind…
The organic growth of a book
Sunday, 8 November 2020
I am lucky enough to be working with a publisher who is open to the movement of a book. At the beginning of a project you present one thing, but in the making of it the book begins to change, turn in new directions. It's part of the joy of working with Unbound.
So, this book began with random typings onto gold leaf fragments, and now has moved to looking for other things on which to type. Including…
Finding peace in the spaces between
Monday, 26 October 2020
Days are spent in quiet reading by fireside, walking with dogs and painting. And thinking and playing. And while lockdown suits my soul I am well aware that it isn't the same for others. I've friends with shops who have stocked for half term only to find themselves closed. Solva Woollen Mill have copies of all my books in print, signed, as well as beautiful rugs and woollen items and also, oh my,…
Day to day: an invitation to join me, from a distance.
Saturday, 17 October 2020
For a while I wandered the land, but now I am home again. There's a peace to be found here. I'm settling to work, though still busy with events, mostly would around the launch of The Lost Spells in the UK and in USA. Our next event is with Ottawa International Writer's Festival, 25th October and will be at 2pm Canadian time which I think is 7 pm BST. Robert Macfarlane and I will be talking about…
Thursday, 24 September 2020
This time last year I was in Dulverton. My dad had just come out of hospital, but was frail. I was about to do an event with Number Seven to launch The House Without Windows. I was tired, worried, and had one painting left to do for The Unwinding.
Back in Dulverton again, because I was supposed to be doing an event with Robert Macfarlane in Dunster, for The Lost Spells, because I wanted to round…
Welcome to the Space Between.
Monday, 31 August 2020
How do we begin?
I wanted to make the first update today. Waking in the night, feeling good, then a dream of my father knocked me for six on second waking. Beautiful to feel so close. Sad to feel so far away, separated by death.
Outside the air was cold autumn, sharp, sun rising, birds singing. Light, bright, cats in the kitchen.
I'm away from home tomorrow and too many things to do…