The Sensual World

La Volupte 3

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The Scarlet Halo


The Scarlet Halo.    A painting on heavyweight paper.  Measures 30 cm by 40 cm.  12 inches by 16 inches.  In my Etsy shop.


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L’invitation au voyage. Several interpretations from the French.


L’invitation au voyage

Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur
D’aller là-bas vivre ensemble!
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble!
Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
Si mystérieux
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Des meubles luisants,
Polis par les ans,
Décoreraient notre chambre;
Les plus rares fleurs
Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l’ambre,
Les riches plafonds,
Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur orientale,
Tout y parlerait
À l’âme en secret
Sa douce langue natale.

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Vois sur ces canaux
Dormir ces vaisseaux
Dont l’humeur est vagabonde;
C’est pour assouvir
Ton moindre désir
Qu’ils viennent du bout du monde.
— Les soleils couchants
Revêtent les champs,
Les canaux, la ville entière,
D’hyacinthe et d’or;
Le monde s’endort
Dans une chaude lumière.

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Charles Baudelaire


Invitation to the Voyage

My child, my sister,
Think of the rapture
Of living together there!
Of loving at will,
Of loving till death,
In the land that is like you!
The misty sunlight
Of those cloudy skies
Has for my spirit the charms,
So mysterious,
Of your treacherous eyes,
Shining brightly through their tears.

There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

Gleaming furniture,
Polished by the years,
Will ornament our bedroom;
The rarest flowers
Mingling their fragrance
With the faint scent of amber,
The ornate ceilings,
The limpid mirrors,
The oriental splendor,
All would whisper there
Secretly to the soul
In its soft, native language.

There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

See on the canals
Those vessels sleeping.
Their mood is adventurous;
It’s to satisfy
Your slightest desire
That they come from the ends of the earth.
— The setting suns
Adorn the fields,
The canals, the whole city,
With hyacinth and gold;
The world falls asleep
In a warm glow of light.

There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)


Invitation to the Voyage

My daughter, my sister,
Consider the vista
Of living out there, you and I,
To love at our leisure,
Then, ending our pleasure,
In climes you resemble to die.
There the suns, rainy-wet,
Through clouds rise and set
With the selfsame enchantment to charm me
That my senses receive
From your eyes, that deceive,
When they shine through your tears to disarm me.

There’ll be nothing but beauty, wealth, pleasure,
With all things in order and measure.

With old treasures furnished,
By centuries burnished,
To gleam in the shade of our chamber,
While the rarest of flowers
Vaguely mix through the hours
Their own with the perfume of amber:
Each sumptuous ceiling,
Each mirror revealing
The wealth of the East, will be hung
So the part and the whole
May speak to the soul
In its native, indigenous tongue.

There’ll be nothing but beauty, wealth, pleasure,
With all things in order and measure.

On the channels and streams
See each vessel that dreams
In its whimsical vagabond way,
Since its for your least whim
The oceans they swim
From the ends of the night and the day.
The sun, going down, With its glory will crown
Canals, fields, and cities entire,
While the whole earth is rolled
In the jacinth and gold
Of its warming and radiant fire.

There’ll be nothing but beauty, wealth, pleasure
With all things in order and measure.

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)


Invitation to the Voyage

Think, would it not be
Sweet to live with me
All alone, my child, my love? —
Sleep together, share
All things, in that fair
Country you remind me of?
Charming in the dawn
There, the half-withdrawn
Drenched, mysterious sun appears
In the curdled skies,
Treacherous as your eyes
Shining from behind their tears.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

We should have a room
Never out of bloom:
Tables polished by the palm
Of the vanished hours
Should reflect rare flowers
In that amber-scented calm;
Ceilings richly wrought,
Mirrors deep as thought,
Walls with eastern splendor hung,
All should speak apart
To the homesick heart
In its own dear native tongue.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

See, their voyage past,
To their moorings fast,
On the still canals asleep,
These big ships; to bring
You some trifling thing
They have braved the furious deep.
— Now the sun goes down,
Tinting dyke and town,
Field, canal, all things in sight,
Hyacinth and gold;
All that we behold
Slumbers in its ruddy light.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1936)


Invitation to the Voyage

My child mistress/mother sister/dream
How acceptable all things would be
Were we to live in that land where
The slow and the long, short and the strong

Die in the dance of being less than one another
In a perpetual summer of imageless desire.
Flagellated and forgotten suns
Drink in the step of my azure lost skies
And move to mysterylessness our chemical miseries
Within which the treadling eyes of indefiniteness
Are no more than the tears of the damned.
Take from my heart, a platinum measure
Free of solitude’s false grace
And awkward adolescent pleasures.
Here is the furniture
That caresses the dust of the years
And counts the wrinkled set into the brain
On fingers that have made their own doom.
Evil the eyes that look back at us in dreams,
Evil the touch of the deaths that have not loved us
Evil the sorrow which shelters itself from release
And the evils accumulate
Leaving us idle and alone
Though an Eastern splendor,
An Eastern hatred of the idea of loss
Eddies in the river of slime
That has not won us.
Hidden from the waves in still canals
We sit in a small boat that refuses
To set forth.
To satisfy need,
To accommodate our need of forever,
We sit in the boat
And wait for a clearer sky,
A more propitious moment to launch
While thinking of Cortez’
Miraculous slaughter of and victory over
The children of the sun.

— Will Schmitz


Invitation to a Journey

My sister, my dear
Consider how fair,
Together to live it would be!
Down yonder to fly
To love, till we die,
In the land which resembles thee.
Those suns that rise
‘Neath erratic skies,
— No charm could be like unto theirs —
So strange and divine,
Like those eyes of thine
Which glow in the midst of their tears.

There, all is order and loveliness,
Luxury, calm and voluptuousness.

The tables and chairs,
Polished bright by the years,
Would decorate sweetly our rooms,
And the rarest of flowers
Would twine round our bowers
And mingle their amber perfumes:
The ceilings arrayed,
And the mirrors inlaid,
This Eastern splendour among,
Would furtively steal
O’er our skuls, and appeal
With its tranquillous native tongue.

There, all is order and loveliness,
Luxury, calm and voluptuousness.

In the harbours, peep,
At the vessels asleep
(Their humour is always to roam),
Yet it is but to grant
Thy smallest want
From the ends of the earth that they come,
The sunsets beam
Upon meadow and stream,
And upon the city entire
‘Neath a violet crest,
The world sinks to rest,
Illumed by a golden fire.

There, all is order and loveliness,
Luxury, calm and voluptuousness.

— Cyril Scott, Baudelaire: The Flowers of Evil (London: Elkin Mathews, 1909)


The Invitation to the Voyage

How sweet, my own,
Could we live alone
Over beyond the sea!
To love and to die
In the land that’s akin to thee!
Where the suns which rise
In the watery skies
Weave soft spells over my sight,
As thy false eyes do
When they flicker through
Their tears with a dim, strange light.

There all is beauty and symmetry,
Pleasure and calm and luxury.

Years that have gone
Have polished and shone
The things that would fill our room;
The flowers most rare
Which scent the air
In the richly-ceiling’d gloom,
And the mirrors profound,
And the walls around
With Orient splendour hung,
To the soul would speak
Of things she doth seek
In her gentle native tongue.

There all is beauty and symmetry,
Pleasure and calm and luxury.

The canals are deep
Where the strange ships sleep
Far from the land of their birth;
To quench the fire
Of thy least desire
They have come from the ends of the earth.
The sunsets drown
Peaceful town
And meadow, and stagnant stream
In bistre and gold,
And the world enfold
In a warm and luminous dream.

There all is beauty and symmetry,
Pleasure and calm and luxury.

— Jack Collings Squire, Poems and Baudelaire Flowers (London: The New Age Press, Ltd, 1909)

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Blue Planet and Sea

A mixed media piece.  Acrylic paint, acrylic pens and decoupage on heavyweight paper.  Measure 30 cm by 40 cm.  In my Etsy shop: Planet and Sea

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Golden. Pink Gold Land.

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Not very Zen.

She had been feeling it for a long time.  She had been sitting on her sensuality, her essence for years.   Watching the news on the sofa,  going to bed early.

Sometimes they would have a party.   At the parties she would drink too much and go wild, and dance.

Sometimes they would walk together.  At those times she said ‘You remember That girl you met?   You fell in love with her for her adventurousness.   I’m beginning to feel desperate again, for movement and change.

She had the temerity to persist.

They traversed fields of conversation that went nowhere.

Resentment came and took a seat at the table.  Resentment was her companion.


Her excitement was barely containable when she talked about possibilities.  She felt he constantly threw rocks under the wheels of her momentum.

Nineteen years together.

He was good and kind.

Ten or more years of longing to be heard, considered, seen.

They were polar opposites.  So strange that she had been unable to see this simplest of facts.

Painting and walking saved her.  And the love for her children.    She walked the earth to propel herself forward.  She painted images of desire, and painting gave her stillness.

He once told her she had socialised him.  Strange that.

She started to travel more and more.  Often alone.  Not far away she found a  land.  Hot, mysterious, rocky, earthy, sensual.  A land of dark secrets, powerful music and archways. Distances and mountains.  Light and space.  Dry air soothed her. Simplicity.  Up a mountain, painting in a simple rented place, making a fire at night, going to sleep at night to the sound of the fire crackling in the grate, feeling like a peasant woman.

She created work which enabled the traveling.

She had always been able to make things happen.

She decided to keep her own counsel and not to water it down by asking for advice.  Fuck that.

She occasionally thought she needed a counsellor or a life coach or something.

No she didn’t.  She needed to listen to her own advice, and she believed in magic.

She felt more expansive.  She knew that the contraction was maintained by staying.

Maybe they both deserved a new life.

She started to venture out at night.   It felt strange and exciting.

One day her best friend said to her: ‘You’re full of longing aren’t you?’

She thought ‘Thank goodness I am.  Hard as it may sometimes be, and it’s not very Zen, I would never be without it.’

She could have written The Book of Longing if Leonard Cohen hadn’t written it first.


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Moving Water

Moving Water

Moving Water.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy….
Don’t let others lead you..Trust your own knowing.
An original painting on canvas. 30 cm by 40 cm.
Varnished for protection. Signed by me.

A new painting of two lovers and a donkey.

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Hamsa, Blue and Orange

HAMSA orange and blue

Hamsa, new hand-painted Hamsa available in my Etsy shop.  Link above.

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Meditative Art

Meditative Art 2018.  Date to be confirmed.

12548888_1078398345514644_3105559129177573826_nMeditative Art.

For my next art retreat I will teaching how to paint a self-portrait as our symbolic / mystic-self.  I will be offering meditative, gentle guidance, setting intentions, using guided meditations, knowing the painting as a secular prayer. Painting modern iconography. Teaching my own techniques: the methods I use such as painting my birds, or other spirit animals, how to paint a face, a figure, light and shade, a symbolic landscape, glazing, colour washes, pattern, how to bring forms forward or push them back through glazes, using under-painting through abstracted techniques, adding white, or leaving white space, using words as under-painting too. Techniques such as glazing, dry brush work, stippling, acrylic pen-work, detailing, and stenciling. Working from my favourite themes: Iconography, Goddess archetypes, the Divine Feminine, Jungian archetypes, symbolism, mysticism, metaphysical art, shamanic and alchemical totems, sacred geometry, pattern, ornament, process and intuitive painting.
For me, there must always be the still-point. The point where you find the zone, where the painting is painting itself through you as the conduit. Or you come to a point where there is a deep meditation.  This is my intention in my art practice and in teaching.
Painting in the studio, walking in the Alpujarras mountains, visiting Granada, beautiful healthy food cooked by Steve for every meal, yoga most mornings with Steffi, guided meditations. All meals, materials, yoga and activities will be included in the cost.  Cost doesn’t include flights or car-hire. Transport to and from the cortijo can be arranged (extra cost.)  Again it will be in beautiful Cortijo Las Salinas in Andalucia. To register an interest, please use the contact form or email me:

Cost £950 (GBP)

Includes beautiful accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, all materials, art tuition, access to the art studio at any time, yoga, all meals, (emphasis is on nutrition and dietary requirements are catered to.)  Also includes a trip to Granada, guided walk in the mountains, dining together, access to all the facilities the cortijo has to offer:  swimming pool, honesty bar, a beautiful communal living room and kitchen, an outdoor Moroccan chill-out area.

Cost doesn’t include flights or car-hire.  Airport transfer to and from the cortijo can be arranged through our private driver (extra cost.)

It is advised that you take out your own travel insurance.

The nearest airports are Granada or Malaga.

Check out the website of the cortijo to see how beautiful it is:

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Fleurir. Les Beaux.

This gallery contains 3 photos.

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