The search for a new subject included the swim suits, robes of power, Celtic circles. Each complete, they did not show the way forward. Usually each painting, or series, seems magically to carry within it the germ of the next. But nothing happened.  So the search for something ‘new ‘was abandoned and I returned to my first inspiration – the Barbadian landscape, its trees, its plants, its patterns.

 Yet there was a difference. Instead of the real landscape, I went to my past paintings and drawings, long forgotten in my sketchbooks. Where before I’d spent hours drawing I now took photographs of the same spot. Often things had changed. Gullies and gardens were now overgrown and unrecognizable, farming methods changed the scene. For instance the gully near Sugar Hill has been flooded, presumably for irrigation, and although the royal palms trees amazingly survived, the tiny stream has gone. The painting that resulted, Returning Rainy Season is a mixture of the new watery reality and previous abstractions. This duality of realistic reflections and flat decoration is not resolved, another try is called for.

Each group reinterprets a past work except for group 1 where I painted some on the spot from the veranda at Martins Bay. This does not fit with the exhibition theme, but as they are recent, not shown work, they are included.  In group 2 the original drawings at Friendship plantation, never led to a painting.  Well I did one and cut it up. All that remains is Friendship Fragment. Yellow Hillaby and its sketch: Green Hillaby are new but reminiscent of what I couldn’t do 30 years ago. In producing Burnt Hillaby I remembered a film seen as a student, of a volcano erupting, wonderful colour and full of the life force. This contains neither, a dying world.

The 3 primary colours in one piece is an idea I’ve been exploring since 2006. In this exhibition each primary colour is a theme for a group. While blue and yellow spawn multiples,  blue 3 yellow 4,  only red is a single new work: ‘Red Coconut”, perhaps because many ideas were included in this single painting.  My favourite idea in Red Coconut is the green sun/coconut (green being the opposite colour of red). The composition was inspired by drawings leading to the two works shown from 1996 of the same motif. However, in Jasper Sea the colors are reversed with pink sea and yellow beach, not red. In the new work the trunk is more realistic, no longer just decorative triangles, so again we see the fight/balance between real and abstract in one image. It’s a worry to me that it does not succeed totally. This continual search for a successful personal outcome is what it seems to be about. All I can do is keep making, composing, and working. The path is chosen, but where it leads no-one knows.



Red coconut, 2012, acrylic, 36 x 48 inches


Long cold night, 2012, acrylic, 36 x 48"


Cold Night Collage, 2012, acrylic and collage,  12 x 16 inches


Returning Rainy Season Sketch, 2013, acrylic, 16 x 12 inches


View from Flower Forest,  2012, acrylic and burlap, 24 x 24 inches, private collection


Formal Trees and Buoy, 2013, acrylic, 18 x 24 inches


Reflected Moon between Trees , 2012, acrylic, 48 x 48 inches