Wednesday, 31 December 2014


St Melania

(383- 439)

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


Saturday, 13 December 2014


Virgin martyr and saint (283 - 304).

Sunday, 30 November 2014


Thursday, 27 November 2014


See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read -the funeral song be sung! - 
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young - 
A dirge for her, the doubly dead in that she died so young.

(Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Charles I

Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.
Charles was the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after his father inherited the English throne in 1603, he moved to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life.
Charles's decapitation was scheduled for Tuesday, 30 January 1649. Two of his children remained in England under the control of the Parliamentarians: Elizabeth and Henry. They were permitted to visit him on 29 January, and he bid them a tearful farewell. The following morning, he called for two shirts to prevent the cold weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have mistaken for fear:
"... the season is so sharp as probably may make me shake, which some observers may imagine proceeds from fear. I would have no such imputation."
Charles put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signalled the executioner when he was ready by stretching out his hands; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke.
On the day after the execution, the king's head was sewn back onto his body, which was then embalmed and placed in a lead coffin.
My own lineage from King James and my wife's bloodline from King Charles prompted the portrait (oil on canvas) which I have attempted to keep dignified and solemn as befits the subject.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Richard III

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Although in December 1154, Henry Plantagenet (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189) was generally recognised as the legitimate claimant to the throne,  St Bernard of Clairvaux is said to have predicted of Henry that "from the Devil he came, and to the Devil he will surely go." And so the Plantagenet line became known as the Devil's offspring.

Popular legends surrounding the Angevins suggested that they had corrupt or demonic origins. The chronicler Gerald of Wales is the key contemporaneous source for these stories, which often borrowed elements of the wider Melusine legend. For example, Gerald wrote in his De instructione principis of "a certain countess of Anjou" who rarely attended mass and one day flew away, never to be seen again. A similar story was attached to Eleanor of Aquitaine in the thirteenth century romance Richard Coeur-de-lion. Gerald also presents a list of sins committed by Geoffrey V and Henry II as further evidence of their "corrupt" origins. 

According to Gerald these legends were not always discouraged by the Angevins. Richard I was said to have often remarked of his family that they "come of the Devil, and to the Devil they would go." A similar statement is attributed to St Bernard regarding Henry II. Henry II's sons reportedly defended their frequent infighting by saying "Do not deprive us of our heritage; we cannot help acting like devils." The legends surrounding the Angevins grew into English folklore and led some historians to give them the epithet "The Devil's Brood."

Richard III's remains received burial without pomp. The original tomb is believed to have been destroyed during the Reformation, and the remains were lost for more than five centuries. In 2012, an archaeological excavation was conducted on a city council car park using ground-penetrating radar on the site once occupied by Greyfriars, Leicester. The University of Leicester confirmed on 4 February 2013 that the evidence pointed to a skeleton found in the excavation being that of Richard III. This conclusion was based on a combination of the results of radiocarbon dating, a comparison with contemporary reports of his appearance, and a comparison of his mitochondrial DNA with that of two matrilineal descendants of Richard III's eldest sister, Anne of York.

He was famously depicted by Shakespeare as "Crookback" and as a "poisonous bunch-back’d toad." This is seldom reflected in contemporary portraits of the Plantagenet King, but we know he did suffer from maladies such as spinal scoliosis. I have, therefore, tried to provide a sense of his deformity and mental anguish without actually painting a visible hump in my interpretation (oil on canvas) of him.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Alternate title: Three Robins plus Janet circa 1971.

Monday, 6 October 2014


Thursday, 2 October 2014


Monday, 29 September 2014


Uriel (אוּרִיאֵל "El/God is my Light," Auriel/Oriel (God is my Light) Standard Hebrew Uriʾel, Tiberian Hebrew ʾÛrîʾēl) is one of the archangels of post-Exilic Rabbinic tradition, and also of some Christian traditions, ie Anglo-Catholic, Eastern Orthodox.

While The Book of Tobit is accepted as scriptural by the Roman Catholic Church, only reverence of the archangels mentioned in the recognised Catholic canon of scriptures, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, remain licit. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Oriental Orthodox Church, Uriel is commemorated together with the other archangels and angels with a feast day of the "Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers." In apocryphal, kabbalistic and occult works, Uriel has been confused with Urial. For Anglo-Catholics within the Anglican Communion, Uriel is an Archangel and also the Patron Saint of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The Anglo-Catholic intercessional prayer to Saint Uriel the Archangel is as follows:

Oh holy Saint Uriel, intercede for us that our hearts may burn with the fire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Assist us in co-operating with the graces of our confirmation that the gifts of the

Holy Spirit may bear much fruit in our souls.

Obtain for us the grace to use the sword of truth to pare away all that is not in conformity to the most adorable

Will of God in our lives, that we may fully participate in the army of the Church.


Tuesday, 23 September 2014


John William Coltrane, also known as 'Trane (23 September 1926 – 17 July 1967), is probably the most influential tenor saxophonist of the twentieth century. When I walked into Star Records, a tiny jazz record shop in Islington, in 1960 and bought a copy of Giant Steps I knew instantly that this was a sound heading in a direction that would change jazz forever. As his career progressed, 'Trane and his music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension, culminating in something unrecognisable to the bebop and hard bop styles that were his springboard earlier on. He entered what were distinctly avant-garde modes, and undoubtedly became a pioneer at the forefront of free jazz. And yet 'Trane was so very much more than that.

I wanted my portrait of 'Trane to depict the giant he became within modern jazz; also his spiritual journey.

"My goal is to live a truly religious life, and express it in my music. If you live it, when you play there's no problem because the music is part of the whole thing. To be a musician is really something. It goes very, very deep. My music is the spiritual expression of what I am - my faith, my knowledge, my being."
- John Coltrane

Monday, 22 September 2014

RA = 12h 00m 00s + longitude = 180°

RA = 12h 00m 00s + longitude = 180°

Saturday, 19 July 2014



(1944 ― 2003)

My dearest friend and colleague, Diana, who owned the print gallery in Highgate, gave incredible support to all my projects. Sadly, she is no longer with us, having been taken swiftly by cancer early in the new century, but she nonetheless lived to see me reach the promised place.



Second and third alternate impressions.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Childhood memories of gas lamps glowing
Dimly while distant hooves clip-clop 
On cobbles with the noise growing
Of rattling crates of milk on top

And the yodel of the milkman
As he dismounts his cart
Horse-drawn and then
The deliveries start.

Sunday, 13 July 2014


The final meal Jesus shared with His Apostles in Jerusalem before His crucifixion, death and resurrection.


Gerry Mulligan wrote and/or arranged six of the eleven tunes on the album Birth of the Cool. But it was Miles Davis who, as Gerry explained it "put the theories to work, called the rehearsals, hired the halls, and generally cracked the whip." Miles Davis nicknamed Gerry "Jeru," a name Gerry was very fond of. Although recorded in New York, this new sound became synonymous with the laid-back lifestyle of the West and became known as "West Coast Jazz."

When I was barely a teenager, a neighbour by the name of Tony Reakie honked a big horn nearby. Wiry as a pipe-cleaner, Tony could blow some winsome riffs on his baritone sax. Tony Reekie liked Gerry Mulligan and looked like the musician (who is pictured on the album cover at the foot of this page). I blew a tenor saxophone and eventually, much later, evolved to baritone. I now play both with equal enthusiasm, but have also more recently moved on to the bass saxophone as well. When I heard Tony riffing his Mulliganesque muses I felt an affinity. I stayed with jazz, occasionally returning to early rock, and enjoy everything from hard bop to more experimental and challenging avant-garde pieces. Though my instrument of choice has always been and shall remain the tenor sax (a vintage Selmer Mark VI being my absolute pride and joy), immense pleasure is given playing and performing on the larger horns.

My intention and hope is that my portrait in oils achieves some of the cool warmth of the man Jeru and his unique "West Coast Jazz" sound.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


Today is the Solemnity of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, 21 June 2014


Twin aspects and varying shades of Miss T (also known as Linda).

Friday, 13 June 2014


The Last Supper, a momentous historical moment for all Christians, witnessed a total of thirteen in attendance including, of course, Judas Iscariot whose betrayal led to Jesus Christ's act of Sacrifice in His crucifixion. Judas was the thirteeth to sit at the table and the first to leave. The day of the Crucixion was a Friday  believed by many to have been Friday the thirteenth.

My television debut forty-four years ago was on a programme called Today (Thames TV) which was transmitted on Friday the thirteenth. Numerous other events of personal significance have occurred down the years on a Friday the thirteenth. My depiction, therefore, is both an outer and inner reflected awareness of how this particular day resonates across the human psyche. The number twelve represents a chronological completeness of divine arrangement, eg twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock day, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ etc, whereas the number thirteen is considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. Hence my painting (oil on canvas) is irregular.

Sunday, 1 June 2014


Miles Dewey Davis III – musician, composer, arranger, producer, and band leader – was always in the right place at the right time.  Born in Alton, Illinois, and raised in East St Louis, where his father was a dentist, Miles was given his first trumpet at the age of thirteen.  A child prodigy, his mastery of the instrument accelerated as he came under the spell of older jazzmen Clark Terry, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and others.  He accepted admission to the Juilliard School in 1944, but it was a ruse to get to New York and join Bird and Diz.  Miles was eighteen. 

Within a year, he accomplished his goal.  He can be heard on sessions led by Bird (Charlie Parker) that were released on Savoy in 1945 (with Max Roach), 1946 (with Bud Powell), 1947 (with Duke Jordan and J.J. Johnson), and 1948 (with John Lewis).  In 1947, the Miles Davis All-Stars (with Bird, Roach, Lewis, and Nelson Boyd) made their debut on the Savoy label.  His years on 52nd Street during the last half of the 1940s brought him into the bop orbit of musicians whose legends he would share before he was twenty-five-years-old. 

At the turn of the next decade, as Miles led his first small groups, an asso­ci­a­tion with Gerry Mulligan and arranger Gil Evans ushered in The Birth of the Cool (Capitol), a movement that challenged the dominance of bebop and hard-bop. Miles’ subsequent record dates as leader in the early 1950s (on Blue Note and, next, Prestige) helped introduce Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Horace Silver, and Percy Heath, among many others, establishing Miles’ role as the premier jazz talent scout for the rest of his career. 
An historic set at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955 resulted in George Avakian signing Miles to Columbia Records, and led to the form­a­tion of his “first great quintet” featuring John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones (the Round About Midnight sessions).  Miles’ thirty years at Columbia was one of the longest exclusive signings in the history of jazz, and one that spanned at least a half-dozen distinct generations of changes in the music – virtually all of which were anticipated or led by Miles or his former sidemen. He died on 28 September 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure in Santa Monica, California, at the age of sixty-five.

In popular culture, not least of all jazz, Miles is the very essence of cool.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014


My own immersion in music, the arcane and indeed ecclesiasticism led to impressions of an understanding of time travel. Using a knowledge of the physics of chordal structures, and based on a new principle uncovered, involving musical frequencies, harmonic resonance and the relationship of these things with the astral plane, it is believed that a time machine was constructed which is claimed by its maker to have allowed photographs to be taken of the past. Such images were gained by an approach and perspective significantly removed from any dependance on s^2=x^2+y^2+z^2-ct^2 where s stands for space-time and a Lorentz transformation invariant, ie the distance has the same value for all inertial observers. That space and time are aspects of the same thing, and that matter and energy are also two aspects of the same thing (E=mc^2), is nonetheless invaluable to all potential builders of time machines. My canvas adopts the milk float of yesterday as the potential time machine, combined with a visual concept of space. Venice-based Father Ernetti incorporated rather more than theoretical physics into his calculations when inventing his time machine camera that could focus into the past or future and take pictures of events from the time visited. My career as a professional photographer, life-long involvement in music, and later embrace of ecclesiasticism made the Benedictine monk’s approach to time travel at once comprehensible and something I naturally felt empathetic toward. Whether it was, is, or ever could be a reality, is not something I would conjecture  ― for I have already experienced enough to know that all manner of things are possible.

Monday, 5 May 2014


Carmel revisited using mixed media, including original Sixties' portraiture taken at my studio using a plate camera and employing vintage methods. The female subject modelled for me circa 1967-1968.

Thursday, 1 May 2014


Title: The Artist as a Young Man circa 2013 (third impression).