Read on!

  • Rebecca-van-der-Putt

    All that remains

    This weekend was spent scattering the ashes of my best buddy Rebecca who died, aged 38, in January 2007. She asked that her ashes be scattered “at as many ancient monuments as possible”. We were concerned that while carrying out her dying wish, fragile neolithic archaeology should not be disturbed nor did we want to cause offence or be accused

    Read more
  • Robben Island

    A visit to Robben Island

    Guided tours of visitor attractions can be pretty ropey. They can feel like the guide is simply reading meaningless words from a script. This is definitely not so on the tour of Robben Island, which lies baking in sunshine 12kms off the coast of Cape Town in cold, shark-infested waters. We were there just three weeks ago (March 2007). It

    Read more
  • Remembering Rebecca

    Rebecca van der Putt, known to her friends as Bec or treaclechops, was my best mate. And now she’s gone, taken by cancer, aged only 38. I met her in 1991 when I started work at Oxford College of Further Education. We hit it off immediately. For more than 16 years I shared things with her that I have shared

    Read more
  • Velazquez at the National Gallery

    Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez (1599-1660) was one helluva painter. The exhibition of his paintings at the National Gallery that I went to yesterday tracks him from humble beginnings in Seville to his long career at court with King Philip VI and his time in Rome. Once Caravaggio (1571 -1610) had exploded like an exocet missile into the world

    Read more
  • The Green Man

    If I say 'green man' there's a damned good chance you'll think of a pub or an alien from Mars. But think again for a minute. Think of a woodland spirit and remember what was painted on that pub sign... In Europe, the leafy face of ...

    Read more
  • Callanish: the sky moves sideways

    Painting Callanish

    Callanish is a remarkable neolithic monument on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. It is a circle and avenues of stones which in plan form look like a huge celtic cross and was erected 5,000 years ago. Read more about it here. The stones work like a lunar (and to some extent solar) calendar and would have allowed

    Read more
  • Nick Harper: total eclipse of the son

    Nick Harper is the son of legendary singer-songwriter Roy Harper. He grew up surrounded by his Dad’s musical friends from some the Britain’s finest bands like The Who’s Keith Moon, and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. With a pedigree like this it’s hardly surprising to find that Nick is one of the most exciting and talented singer/songwriters

    Read more
  • Making a collagraph

    Making a collagraph

    A collagraph is a printed image made using a ‘plate’ crafted from collage materials such as paper, cardboard, glue, sand, fabric – indeed anything that produces a texture. Collagraphs produce a quite different from a painting, slightly three-dimensional and sometimes with unpredictable results. Often I get asked: ‘what is a collagraph? How do you make one?’ This blog explains. I

    Read more
  • Seek and ye shall find Jordan Valley dolmens

    Warning: This is quite a long weblog. However it is lavishly illustrated (a bit further down) for your viewing pleasure. All photos by Moth Clark. The River Jordan flows south out of Lake Tiberias 320kms to the Dead Sea, the lowest plac...

    Read more
  • Postcard from Nuenen – van Gogh in Nuenen

    The small town of Nuenen in the southern Netherlands is where Vincent van Gogh lived and worked from 1883-1885. On 1 January 2000 I went there to see three sites that Vincent knew and painted. Nuenen today is mostly middle class, with many residents commuting to the nearby city of Eindhoven. Boutiques and restaurants line its new shopping arcade. The

    Read more
  • Postcard from Drenthe – van Gogh in Drenthe

    Drenthe is a remote province in the far north east of the Netherlands. Vincent van Gogh went there in October 1883 in search of peace, inspirational landscapes and rural workers who he could paint to satisfy his craving to be a painter of peasants. He went to Nieuw-Amsterdam, a tiny village where he stayed for two months. He found the

    Read more
  • Hidden treasures

    In an age of celebrity, where people are famous for just being famo...

    Read more
  • Pink and perfect Petra

    Seeing is believing. The Rose Red City. The highlight of Jordan. Probably the highlight of the Middle East. Possibly the most fantastic place made by human beings in the world. I kid you not. It has all the features that make the jaw drop: vast scale, gr...

    Read more