When we went for a walk along the canal the other week I looked over the bridge at the start and saw that there was a fishing competition going on in one direction. In the other direction there wasnt anyone, so we headed off on the deserted tow-path. As soon as we rounded the first bend, there they were. It was almost as if they had prepared a trap for the unwary.

The trouble with walking along the canal with a fishing competition, apart from losing the sense of solitude, is the fact that their long poles, which stretch right across the canal, can block your path when they pull them back and put more bait on the hook. Fortunately this branch only spread a mile down the canal and after that all was clear, quiet and unimpeded.

On the way back they repaid me for their intrusion with this view into the low winter sun. Let’s call it quits.

Other canal scenes are available on my website:


In the last blog I posted – the painting of Southport Beach- the principal reason why I went down there was to get some driftwood to complete a mobile. I liked the notion that the distressing of the wood is a product of the sea as are the fishes.

I started out by carving rough, archetypical fish forms out of the driftwood but gradually, as I proceeded with the project, I left it to the wood to convey the form – though on a couple I cut them in half and repositioned the ends to make better sense- well you do, dont you?

I am wondering whether to get another one and have 3 hangings a 2, 3 and 2 to better intermingle the forms – but now the wife is looking sceptically at them, so they might be reconsigned to the sea.

Sculptures and other artworks are available for sale on my website:



In my early teens there was an army surplus store called Malcom Mitchell’s  in my hometown where you could buy anything from large petrol cans to great coats and army boots. Everything was piled up to about ten feet high on either side of the shop, with a corridor running down the middle. If you wanted some boots a finger would be waived vaguely in a certain direction and you would scale the mound to find what you were after.

Occasionally, you would arrive to find the shop shut. A notice in the door stated: Gone Fishing with the Boys.

When we were in Brittany recently we were looking for the footpath and, taking a wrong turn, stumbled across these guys fishing on the rocks. I suddenly remembered the old shop and notice.  Ironically I needed the army boots to wear when digging lugworms to sell to the fishing shop for pocket money.

When I saw this scene I was taken by its energy, with the angular  rocks and restless sea along with the busy industry of the guys enjoying their pastime in the early morning sunshine.

Other paintings are available for sale on my website: