My first sighting of the studios and their position right above the rocks and waves on this incredibly rugged wrecking coast took my breath away – what more inspiration could I need?      The opportunity to focus completely and to throw myself into my art with no distractions could not have come at a better time.

At the beginning of the second day though, I started to panic. Despite the studios themselves and their location exceeding even my wildest expectations, nothing was happening within me.  I’m not too sure exactly what I had been expecting – a lightning bolt or something? – but no, nothing…

This felt ridiculous – and to be fair I kept telling myself what everyone had been saying – not to expect anything and to just enjoy and ‘play’… In the end what I decided to do was work on a dog portrait bust that I’d already started.  Luckily that was the turning point – I never did get to work more on it.  As soon as I took the pressure away my creativity seemed to start bursting forward (phew). I’d taken loads of different materials with me so that I could go in any direction that took me.  I started sketching with charcoal and even wire and then started experimenting with papier-mache, wire mesh and plaster.

A number of forms started to emerge from all this, and a particular a wire sketch started to resonate with me.  In its broadest sense it’s a form that I’d previously been looking at but it started to take on a new life – there was something in the way the strands of wire harmonised and started to work with one another that grabbed my attention.

reverie – maquette and detail

After some tweeking and experimenting the wire sketch developed into a work in mixed media that I call ‘Reverie’.  You can see that it’s inspired by the female form but then there’s another element to it which I believe is my reaction to the sea…

The other work I developed was ‘Harmony’, again inspired by the female figure but the s-line profiles, St Ives blue colouring and organic core owe something to the sea and rocks.

harmony – front and side views

I took my bike with me and did the 30 mile round trip to St Ives via Zennor along the coast road a couple of times.  This, although arduous, was simply spectacular – the rugged tors to one side and the bright blue sea to the other – truly and unbelievably awesome and totally inspiring.  I also took my surfboard but this didn’t get a look in – other than the cycle rides I was totally drawn into the creative work.  If I wasn’t making something I sat mesmerised staring out to sea and watching as the drama unfolded – the sea and the sky here constantly change.

My stay at Brisons Veor was something of a turning point and a time in my life I shall never forget. An extract form my journal from the day I arrived says it all:

‘…a totally amazing place… so many colours, all hues of blue, grey and green with gorgeous white tipped foaming waves… the sky and the sea are constantly changing.’