January 12 2015

Back to work at college today. Numbers are good in the morning, but a bit thin in the afternoon. I probably didn't do enough reminding and we have started back a week earlier than usual, but lack of numbers is more than compensated for by the enthusiasm of those who have returned.

I'm off to Comberton tomorrow and hope that not too many have gone down with the flu and that the 'possibility' of snow is just that.

January 1st 2015

Happy new year to anyone who happens to stray here-and of course everyone else too. 2014 was another strange, 'trying to cram everything in year'. Perhaps they're all like that!

Apart from my little foray back into the music scene (see music section), a bout of being 'out of commission' back in the spring and the re-emergence of my 'book of paintings/ auto-biographical meanderings' project; it has been another year of mostly teaching, embellished with the odd painting commission.

After being pretty ill in the spring, I did have a little enforced time off for recuperation and navel gazing and, as a result of this, decided to cut back a little on the extra workshops I usually do in the summer and  I also ceased  putting myself under extra pressure  painting for galleries and greetings cards firms. It seemed like a big decision at the time, particularly as it included cancelling a fully booked course at  Farnecombe House, but I know it was the right one. I do however apologize to those who had booked early. It's just that my health was a little more important at the time. I did however, run  a day painting workshop at The Piesse of Piddle Hotel in the summer and several of my students also participated in an Autumn Arts and Crafts show there - and sold paintings and prints. Congratulations to them, but it does happen if you make the effort!

With regard to greetings card designs, I was very sorry to hear of the closure of 'The Robertson Collection'; a family run business for whom I have worked for over thirty years. It's very rare to find  such a friendly and artist- supportive business in the the current cut and thrust of competitive sales and marketing companies. Thank you to Elizabeth Robertson and her lovely team; probably last of a dying breed.

My book project did not hit its November deadline launch, due to printing overloads, but, if the force is with us, should happen this year. It was a particular disappointment for me as it would have solved a few of my 'what to get them' Christmas present problems, and saved me time shop trawling. I'm getting quite philosophical about things happening when the time is right.

I will try and update a little more often and when I have something to report - but you've heard that be before!



19 August  2014

...so much for a relaxing summer; what I had been intended as a  time for catching up with my own painting and creative pursuits, has gradually descended into a mixture of clearing out and redistributing the dusty relics and remnants of years gone by. This involved emptying the attic to allow for extra insulation; piling everything from there into other rooms and the garage and, bit by boring bit, deciding what to  do with it all. The fate of many of these unwanted, yet hard to throw away, items  at present still hangs in the balance, although I half expect many of them to end up back from whence they came. The whole miserable process has bought out a strong sense of deja-vu. I'm sure I mentioned this on my previous website!

Another thing that has affected my summer chill-out  plan, has been the 'chance' resurrection of the book project I abandoned some years back; basically the prospect of the printing and publication of a book of my paintings coupled with a  mini autobiography. There will be more on that later- if it materializes, but currently the plan is to get it out before Christmas - we will see....... in the meantime I'm searching for, and re -arranging images and text and re-writing a few bits to bring it up to date. I've also been at the college re-printing a few of my Pete's Project's books, including another chapter of additional projects.

Chance or destiny has also created another slight, yet absorbing, distraction that has involved dipping a trembling toe back into the choppy waters of acoustic music. I am currently writing, starting to perform and hoping to record some new, original material, with two very talented musician friends with whom, for whatever reason, I been thrown together. I don't really believe in coincidence and am intrigued that something else, so long abandoned, has come back in a strangely alluring fashion to take up further chunks of time, energy and creativity, but at the moment I'm really enjoying the challenge and the fun and hoping the energy levels hold out.

I will eventually write more on this in the music section..

This cartoon image of me (when I was much younger!) was drawn by my friend Kay McGowan.

This cartoon image of me (when I was much younger!) was drawn by my friend Kay McGowan.

24 July 2014

Sorry about the absence of the website.  Due to circumstances way beyond my control, the previous website took a one way trip into the ether, thanks to the collapse of the company that was hosting it who have disappeared off the planet, along with much of my web content.  Fortunately, my daughter, Jess Hemming,  has restored and redesigned  what you see before you.

Hope you like it and hopefully I will keep a little more up to date with my postings!