Whilst reading the final drafts of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice it struck me how words, and in particularly poetry, when committed to paper can transmute over time to adapt to current situations and environments. Whereas some of the poems within the book where written many years ago, in some cases missing out on being included in Flowers by the Road, they seem more relevant to the times that we now find ourselves witnessing.
Take the title poem for example: initially created around a global theme of climate change and environmental disaster, who could have predicted that any season would be lost without sound.
There is a slight apprehension that The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is launched into a world where our futures are unknown and ill-defined. The reason for writing and publishing work is so that somewhere, someone may find it and gain something. What that something is remains unwritten, undiscovered, but without the artists, poets and musicians existing then there would be nothing left to explore. Imagine that.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
There are somethings I will never understand:
the secrets of the beehive; a dying sting;
the apiarist’s hand at the signal
of the last swarm guided from the under-land
where life peels away from the new colours
mixed on a rough-sawn palette;
a violent history that understood
the bitter-sweet taste of flowers.
Inside the butterfly collector
spears her latest catch;
euphemised in chloroform,
displayed in plastic on the door.
December once brought cold,
once brought the first frost,
rain, hardship and a hunger
for the bleak winters of old.
Outside the greyness suffocates ground,
deadens the call of birds
now left to winter it out.
Of all the seasons to be lost without sound.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice will be released on the 23 April as a special limited edition of 100 copies.
In April 2019, I was interviewed by Leslie Tate about some forthcoming projects, some of the things that inspire me and Marsden. The interview was recently published and you can read it by following the link below.
Read the interview
My debut poetry pamphlet, Flowers by the Road (Templar Poetry) is now available to order direct from the on-line book shop at Templar Poetry. Price includes free UK shipping.
The collection was a winning entry in Templar Poetry’s Portfolio Awards 2016.
To order a copy please follow this LINK
Flowers by the Road – 2017
A selection of new paintings will be released during October featuring scenes from both the Colne and Calder Valleys. More details very soon.
Two Houses by the Road
The Last House
Greengates is the fourth in a series of recent paintings exploring a more fluid approach utilising both oil and acrylic. The starting point for Greengates was an unloved oil landscape partially sanded back which provided an almost abstract texture to work on. Atmosphere and composition was then created quickly utilising acrylic and ink and finally enhanced by oil. The painting was finished with satin varnish.
The painting is framed and available for purchase at Enjoy Art Gallery based in Marsden. Other works in the series include: Pennine Sunset, Neighbour and Holiday Home all of which are currently available through my Artfinder shop.
And finally, inspiration this month comes from The Lumineers who recently played an amazing sold out show at the very excellent Albert Hall in Manchester (not to be confused with the Royal version).
The Lumineers – Ophelia
Brand new for 2016 – ‘Tile Art’. Images are created through a variety of processes using artist’s watercolour paint and finished with a coat of varnish. A selection of paintings are currently on display at Enjoy Art in Marsden near Huddersfield. I’ll be adding more to my Artfinder shop soon. Thanks for looking.
Beach Hut 2016
Night Swimming 2016
I’m very pleased to announce that November 2014 will see the release of a very limited number of original landscape oil paintings featuring the Yorkshire Pennines. Taking inspiration from the moors, the farms and, of course, the weather, each painting corresponds to a day of the week and considers themes of absence and loss.
In the Studio: Wednesday (sneak preview)
So as not to have to always listen to the wind and rain hitting the newly installed patio doors, I’ve been re-discovering the instrumental part to David Sylvian’s 1986 masterpiece Gone to Earth. Perfect studio music.