The Proof and the Pudding

Saturday, 17th September 2005


The moment of truth: we're showing our friends Helen and John the first two sheets from Rough Patch. This is the first time anyone else has seen our efforts and, aside from Barbara, who has to face, on a daily basis, my angst and moodiness about every project I take on, Helen and John are generally the people I go to for encouragement, inspiration and advice.

helen and johnIt seems to be getting the seal of approval, at least to judge by how long they spend poring over the sheet, turning it around when they're halfway through to read the pages that are printed upside down (because of the way it will be folded to make the book).

We have all just sampled Barbara's stuffed peppers, vegetable crumble, trifle and a few glasses of red wine, so perhaps this isn't a fair test.

John, who started his career in the printing industry, examines the registration strip of colours at the edge of the sheet in great detail. I think he is impressed.

Helen, who had seen the rough version of Rough Patch a few months ago and encouraged me with my first faltering steps, says she can see that it now has a flow to it; it's not just a collection of drawings, it's now telling a story.


11th July 2005

Helen Thomas

Acrylic on paper
24cm x 69cm


helenField of Vision

Helen Thomas, like me, has been doing a lot of drawings in gardens recently, as well as drawing hedgerows and meadows but with very different results from my Rough Patch drawings. She shows us a couple of panoramic landscapes that she's just sold: swirling mosaics of colour; corners of countryside that draw you in and envelop you in a rhythmic modulation.

They have that feeling of organic, restless calm that you get from moving through untamed, natural places. Not unlike the restless natural charm of Helen herself.

Awakefield diaries

Fallow Period

As you'll know if you've read this diary for a while, John Welding is primarily a comic strip artist but he's taking a break from his Awakefield Diary at the moment, partly because of a big children's book commission that has come in but partly because he believes in 'fallow periods' where you rest and recover from your regular ongoing projects and gradually become inspired again and start to plan new approaches to and formats for your work. Next Page



John Welding Comix

Toasted Orange - paintings by Helen Thomas

Richard Bell,