Tuesday 27 December 2022


I stop by them in the car, photograph and draw them.  Later paint them. Drawn to them with “the sort of compulsion that derives from their physicality rather than any associations”1


Their meanness and implied indigence is prominent. Many are heartening neglected, ugly.

These are small scale scrawled marks on the landscape. Satisfying and enduring, preserved for function or former utility.

Another drive by painting: Llanygnog


Their composition is stone, breeze block, rusting corrugated tin.

Some have modern olive green steel roofs, a concession to trying to blend in. Windows without glass slowly shedding their paint. 


Close by an obligatory shipping container is pressed into service for who knows what.

On the road to St Clears: Sheds nestle next to a caravan


Dereliction in these parts means two of most things, at least: cars up on bricks, corrugated sheets, plastic buckets, wire, fencing posts, tyres (lots of). Close by half a car, three-quarters of a car, a shed a hutch, more posts. All subdued by grass, ivy, creepers and old man's beard. 


Oil drums (colours various) and the nearby gate is secured by blue bailer twine, acting as both hinge and latch.


Colour has a vital part to play in this agricultural tableaux. 

Every shade of grey you could mix, 

for the stone, concrete and skies overhead. 

Add Burnt Sienna for the rust, 

Turquoise or electric blue in the plastic detritus that on the ground in front. 

Lemon Yellow (hose pipes) 

Cadmium Orange (baler twine).

Lichen: shades from dark Hookers Green to the palest blue or a watery mustard yellow.

Late December Afternoon -  Brook Farm nr. Pendine



These buildings and their grounds are visually pungent. More satisfying than the mollycoddled  rural museum heritage-experience with entry fees and overgrown with signage.


1  Jonathan Meades from Pedro and Ricky Come Again Unbound Books 2021




Isolated glory: A barn near St Davids, Pembrokeshire

Sunday 18 December 2022


FLASHBACK  - earlier this year.

Whilst at college each day I passed a small portion of Saint David’s Park on the outskirts of Carmarthen. 

It always intrigued me and the other day I made a visit and took some photographs. Laying all these photographs into end and they were not many, it was easy to compose paintings. 

Seeing a photograph of the entrance of Disney's  ‘Magic Kingdom’ in Florida it was easy to translate the high camp Gothic of Disneyland into the Gothic of Saint David’s. And the colourways were perfect. 

Studying the architecture: It all late Victorian Gothic including, round the corner from here a remarkable chapel Grade II listed. It was built by the inmates for St David’s was the county asylum. 1865 – 2003  

St David’s now has a much neglected and is falling apart kind of place Disneyland on the other hand is over the top Gothic everything pink, gold, and blue, and is the place to have fun. 

Circa 1950s

I found a photograph of what St David’s used to look like when it was a mental hospital. Then I got to thinking about the Gothic and the idea of Disneyland popped into my head. 

St David's Hospital was a vast. A Victorian asylum set on a hilltop west of Carmarthen, overlooking the town and enjoying wide views over the Tywi Valley.