Landscapes of mystery: Paintings and Poem

Here are two oil paintings that are currently in the studio being worked on (and a water colour study for one of them).  Both have evolved towards a dark, mysterious void at centre, perhaps inspired at some level by Arnold Bocklin's use of this motif.  A poem has also emerged out of this, and is included below.  

I have also now made a page for my other poems at

"Song Stone" Oil on Aluminium 

"Song Stone" Oil on Aluminium 

"Song Water" Oil on Linen 

"Song Water" Oil on Linen 

"Song Water" Watercolour 

"Song Water" Watercolour 


Song Water

Black, clear water

sings its depth.


Meteor shower of ripple-light licks the surface.

Skimming stones,

levitating for as long as they move

in an impossible dance above slow currents.

They dance above a song so slow we barely hear it -

Slower than molasses and transparent as deep space.


What does she sing?

A billion scores written in A, T, G, and C,

Remixed endlessly in a larger melody,

and counterpointed by edies of extinct body plans.

And each note sustained for its allotted time,

Then falling down into far silence of and ancient bed.


We look down into that slow darkness

and see ghosts of the great arcs of melody

in gestures fossilised into hard-coded neural paths,

in the tattooed lines of bloody clan motifs,

and the stories,

oh the self-same stories,

the repeated pantheon rippling across every new made heart.


Yet something in the glancing stones, in the gloriously jagged light

says She loves us more for our futile defiance,

for throwing off gravity in a desperate last leap from that surface.

With a half smile She whispers:

“Do not forget, mortal, that my cruelty

to a million generations

gave you eyes, hands and creative will.

You defy me with my blood-gifts,

therefore defy me but remember that you are no innocent in this song -

child of wild, dark currents

of burnt out stars

and a billion lost souls who burned to live on”