St. Kevin & the Blackbird


Nearly two years (January 24th specifically ) I started this small panel painting. Having been introduced to the saint through the Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ depictions of the holy man, I was then inspired by the late Seamus Heaney’s incredible poem of the saint and his feathered visitor ( Link : But for some reason the inspiration waned and I stashed this little panel away until only recently, picking it up again last December. I believe he is now complete.


St. Kevin and the Blackbird


oil on panel

12 by 12″

When I started this painting a few years back I also carved a plate of the saint from which this painting is inspired. I believe it is the first of what is now becoming a dual practice, making a painting then a print (or  the reverse).


I will now get back to a few other unfinished paintings; I always have far too many unfinished works, doodles and sketches of paintings I would like to make. Daunting at times. I am now enrolled in a life drawing class with the painter Jim Morphesis an artist I admire very much. Jim had awarded me a prize last summer for my painting Genesis and I was eager to thank him AND crash his course. Happy to say I have been added. So I am looking forward to that experience, a model at every class , always a luxury. Until next time, be well.

The Prodigal Painter

After  some time away (nearly two years) from this painting of St. Kevin , neglected and relegated to closets and storage  boxes , I have at last returned to it. And it seems to be painting itself. I’m calling it a night as the beasties are getting restless, but this is why I paint, those rare moments of paint gliding across the surface and all is well with the world.

I look forward to returning to this painting, I hope the magic continues.

Good night.


 St Kevin & the Blackbird

oil on panel

Blocking in Devils and Saints

The day was spent blocking in two small panels-I’ve discovered the joys of panels and feel it best suits my process. I have a large canvas in the wings, prepped and ready but for today devils and saints.


blocking in St.Kevin & the Blackbird

oil on panel

This is a small panel, only 12 by 12 inches, it is to be of St.Kevin and his blackboard. I’m basing it upon a relief print that I made last year . I’m enjoying my ability to stretch my wings so to speak with color; a sharp contrast to the print.


My second panel, also small, only 18 by 24 inches is inspired by my ongoing fascination with gnostic thought. I haven’t named the painting yet but it will  be something to do with the apotheosis of Sophia or gnosis. As usual I’m enjoying playing with little devil fellows.


The symbolism for this painting is based very loosely on an 18th cent print, I’m guessing Masonic in nature. It was wonderfully creepy in that way allegory often is. I need to locate a copy of it, but it entailed a nude women wearing a crenelated crown and holding chains that supported the  sun and the moon  all while standing upon a skull. I’ve made a few alterations stylistically but I’m happy with her. The snakes further symbols of wisdom. I dreamt of making this painting the other evening and my dream guide was insistent that she stand upon a black cloud. So black it will be.

Well  I must run and tend to other aspects of my life ( namely marketing, ugh) but until next time , be well,


St. Kevin and the Blackbird

Fresh off the Press: St. Kevin and the Blackbird


St. Kevin and the Blackbird

relief print on paper

12 by 12 inches

I have been intrigued with St. Kevin since having seen Clive Hicks-Jenkins  wonderful depictions of the long suffering saint.

Falling in love with Seamus Heaney’s poem St. Kevin and the Blackbird closed the deal.

I have been doodling this wonderful fellow ever since, what isn’t there to love?,  a pious man yet all too human,  stuck in his cramped hermitage, in conflict (or perhaps not) as to how to proceed in life, which path to take. Happily charity and compassion triumphs over self-interest.

 I was unfamiliar with this saint, perhaps he is an Anglican saint ; I do not  know, but I do know I am smitten.  I imagine a few more images of the fellow will pop now and then.

Until that time, take care and may St. Kevin bless you with patience and grace,