Thoughts on LA

LA revisited. The feeling of an old stomping ground, work place and home, combined with the association of parenthood. Sitting outside a cafe on Wilshire Blvd, sun on my back. Feels like total bliss. Music reminding of my kids. Tears. People all say hello. Plants grow in winter. City of interstice. Liminal spaces only seen when walking. I walk. Not many people do. I see so many extraordinary things when walking. LA must be the best place to urban walk. So many curious visual vignettes.

I had a dream a couple of months ago that a friend P and I met at a theatre in Brighton. Today he invited me to a Hollywood screening of our old friends. It was prophetic. The theatre was so similar and Hollywood Blvd a super similar street to that in my dream. Other details matched in bizarre ways..

Today i am going to an art supplier. E says to get an Uber but it’s only a ten minute walk. The loveliest climate and mostly flat. Bizarre really.. love her so much though…

Elizabeth and I met. She drove up from La Jolla. She is my soul sister. I love how we communicate, based on mutual and equal communication and heartfelt exchange of thoughts, pathos, depth, humour and honesty. We walked around Lake Hollywood and even saw a pack of coyotes coming down from the hills.

Today I am visiting a friend in Santa Monica. She came to the retreat in Spain. We said how much we missed the layers of history, romantic ruins and the old men sitting in rows along a street bench, spending time. Here people rush around with yoga mats to Starbucks in bright light and all the cars are shiny… The light is intoxicating as it is in Spain but the lack of history and culture feels sorely lacking. Perhaps today I am revisiting melancholy, but it’s okay. Still no suggestion or instruction of what to paint from Evie. I will just paint anyway.

Evie finally told me what she wants and we discussed options. Perhaps a Chinoiserie design on the fireplace in her therapy room. I also got a commission from clients in Switzerland so can work on that in the meantime.

This morning I walked to find a cafe and found a few pavements covered in graffiti so snapped them. Everyone is on computers in cafes so no one engages any more. It is a less friendly place than it used to be somehow. Still so many curious things to see when walking.

So lovely to stay with Brad and Evie and see all my old painting and murals.

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An Equal Stillness

An Equal Stillness. A painting in acrylic and gold, copper and silver leaf on canvas. A meditation on land and sea. For a forthcoming exhibition with fellow artist- painter Theresa Caruana. Dates and details to follow in the coming weeks. 💧

Painted listening to Bach, Debussy and the exuberant Vivaldi.

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Painting and music

My painting practice is almost always accompanied by music. Today it is the St Matthew Passion by Bach. Yesterday it was African Head Charge, especially Drums of Defiance. Mercurial me. 🙂
My beloved music carries me through life and helps me assimilate my emotional landscape. Music is transcendent, essential, cathartic, otherworldly, sacred. 🧡
Working on painting about the sea and land for a forthcoming exhibition.

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Freya’s Tears of Gold

May the tears you cried in 2019 water seeds you’re planting for 2020 🧡🧡

My painting Freya’s Tears of Gold is an homage to the painting by Anne Marie Zimmerman which in turn was an homage to Klimt.

Acrylic paint and gold and copper leaf on canvas.

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Falling in love with the Land

I met a man in deep midwinter who told me his first sexual experience was falling deep into mud resulting in orgasm. I was talking about the relationship with Land as the most visceral, profound and erotic a relationship we can have. After many years of being in love with the complex, beautiful, often difficult relationship between humans, I have realised that to love the land is the most pure form of loving.

There is the changing weather, which can alter the relationship, or remind us that it is not always an easy conversation. There is the staring out to sea, the contemplation of colour, mood, air, ground, waves or horizon. The sensual excitement of each subtle change in energy at each turning of a corner. The newness, or re-acquaintance with a known love of a land revisited. To love the land is a life-long affair. It is to see a mountain and its changing form, texture, colour, presence becomes so overwhelming in its enchantment. There is the open road and the exhilaration of change. The deliberate stopping to contemplate or commune with a vista or to feel the vastness, or behold a particular tree or abandoned building.

There is also the phenomenon of the flaneur. The city wanderer who is walking the urban land and mapping the psychogeography. Within this there is a wandering about, a seeing and being seen.

The nature wanderer is a quieter lover. As a mother who gives birth is left viscerally, psychologically and somatically altered, after this experience, no relationship is ever the same. I began my relationship with land after birthing. I had glimpsed the relationship many times before when stopping the car deep in the American desert and learning about warm winds, nothingness and stillness or on a warm rock in Crete looking out to sea. After the recovery of birth the world was altered. Nature was a giving back to myself. The gift of land. The gift of myself and of love.

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Winter Solstice

The land was alive today.

Or maybe it was me.

Aligned as earth’s energy sang its December song.

A walk around the apple orchards.

Bare winter trees offering their branches skywards.

An ancient landscape with vast oaks silhouetted against bright cold air.

Outstretched and stark against a silver, milk-white sky.

A curve in the road, up a tree lined hill.

What mystery and stories lie up those little lanes?

Stone, Ebony, Wittersham, Iden.  Names are like charms.

Moss on a tree trunk and wall.

A brave pink rosebud against a weathered red brick wall.

Yule lights shine out from depths of interiors.

No wind or rain.

Church bells chime a perfect note.




On the threshold.

A liminal space

Between the years.

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Blue Song

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La Manche

Painted the day before the election. A storm at sea.

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Beautiful Louisa, how can I write anything or enough, about today or about one so rarefied as you. Today we all said our collective farewell to you and tonight I have drunk a lot of wine, and have just returned from London and then the FILO where we met properly for the first time.

At your wake in Wimbledon, at your mother’s home, I was talking to Justin your lovely brother about you, and he said that you wanted your ashes scattered in the place in southern Greece by the sea and also in Hastings by the sea, and somewhere else but I can’t remember where. I want to rediscover Greece again. It’s been too long. Justin said that when you were gone you wanted to come back as an owl, and I have just been outside and heard so many owls calling from all sides, their gentle call.

I said ‘Hello Louisa’ and I started shaking from my feet through my body and then gently laughing and I felt we were laughing together, and the owls kept calling. The moon is in a full moon wane.. the Moonage Daydream..

It was the most beautiful gentle ceremony, and there was poetry read by Sally, a letter from Ruth about you, read by Sophie, a song written for you by our darling John Donaldson, your Mermaid poem, and readings from Peter and Larry and Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor, and ending on Bowie’s Moonage Daydream. Then the tears, and OH my goddess rock chick, jazz, classical and everything chick, Sophie spoke of the delicate miniatures you used to make, with your tender hand. You were an artist, a Goddess, and a true empath and I hugged so many people today. People who loved you so much as I did. I didn’t know so much. How you worked at Stringfellow’s when younger. Your connection to the Bloomsbury group, oh yes I did know and Vanessa’s Granddaughter Cressida was there. You were so humble, you did tell me about this, because you knew I loved that stuff, but only humbly spoke of it.

But the drive with Ellie and Rebecca, on the A21 and then the M25, and Clacket Lane services for coffee took an age, but we made it just in time to Putney Vale and drove through the vastness of Putney Vale, and when we saw all your belly dancing friends and all the colourful glittering costumes waiting outside, we knew it was your ceremony.

I am going outside again now to hear the owls.


Something Ellie wrote:

My despair of the general election results was put on hold to grieve the loss of a friend. I’ve noticed, that with grief also comes inspiration, because those we love do inspire so much in us. Louisa lived life so well, she rocked up to heavy rock concerts on her own in her flared jeans and would march right up to the front, half an ale in one hand and the other held up to the sky. She loved people so well, running up to them, crying their name and falling into their arms. I’m happy that those arms were sometimes mine.
Louisa instantly felt like family, like she was the missing link in something you never thought was missing in the first place but was so obvious once it arrived. My one regret is that I didn’t find her sooner. Three years simply wasn’t enough. I wished I had poured my heart out even more to her because I know that she would have understood – she always did. Not a bad word could ever be said about darling Louisa, she lived how she loved and she loved so well. I guess what I’m trying to say is we just need to keep trying and keep being kind to one another. If you can help, do. But if you can’t, be kind to yourself, because you are also important.
Rest in peace and power Louisa ❤️

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Above the sea today

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