This is what people seem to do when they have a website – they have a blog, by way of keeping in touch. This part, as with the rest of the site, will be updated as the urge takes me, as I have something I think will be of interest. Sometimes it will, of course, be art related and other times it will be to let you know about a car acquisition which you can pass on to someone if you wish, maybe even do someone a favour! My own interest in blogs was sharply accelerated in 2012 when my daughter and her partner went travelling in India and Nepal for three months and for 89 long days their blog was the only contact with family and friends. Thank goodness for blogs!

Where does the word “blog” come from? I blog, you blog, we blog – what on earth is it? We accept so many new words and phrases from the internet that sometimes we just have to stop and ask. Hands up all those who already knew the answer – it’s a derivative of web log. Glad we got that out of the way; now we can get back to the plot.

I’m currently trying  a couple of mixed media ideas – acrylic paint, acrylic inks, pastels and suchlike. If I’m happy with the results, you’ll be the first to know. If I’m not, you’ll also be the first to know, as much of this art subject is about failures, happy accidents, rescued work as well as successes. After all, Thomas Edison didn’t build Rome in a day, did he?

I’m also keen to explore the possibilities of monochrome work. I fell for a piece by Bill Hague last year, in acrylic and charcoal on canvas, measuring about 30″ by 18″ depicting trees in winter, with a setting sun peeping through the stark skeletons of leafless silhouettes – wonderful. As much as I loved it as a painting, I was struck by the possibility of incorporating the image into a “winter check” leaflet for the garage. Bill was amenable to the idea, his eyes lit up as money changed hands and I approached graphic designer Derek Williams at D.W. Design, who put the piece together. I’ll show the original painting and both sides of the leaflet when I can work out how to publish them on this page and then you can see how my fertile mind works. Not just a beautiful painting, but an opportunity of putting across a seasonal message in an individual way, which I’m glad to say, was well received. (By the way, if you haven’t checked your antifreeze already, take this as a timely reminder to do so, as the ravages of cold weather can play havoc with your bank account and I know as well as you do that you would far rather spend your hard – earned on paint or paintings. Do humankind a favour and have a good look at your tyres, too. You wouldn’t believe some of the horrors we see in our tyre bay.

Talking of tyres, quite a  few years ago a lady came into the tyre bay and asked if she could take some photos of our scrap tyre pile, about three hundred and odd tyres in all. Happy to oblige, I was fascinated to discover that she was an artist and was part way through a degree course. The tyre pics would form the basis of her degree show project. A few months later, she called into the garage to tell us she now had a B.A. to her name and that her tyre photographs had played a useful part in her achievement. In my world, I never take things for granted and I have occasionally wondered what sort of artwork she is doing now. In fact, I’ll try and find out and let you know. If you are reading this, tyre degree lady, please get in touch, or if anyone in her circle, no pun intended, can put her in contact with me, I’ll be delighted to hear from you.