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I quite enjoyed painting the Garden Series of paintings.They were good fun!

The picture above is called The Artist's Garden. I painted it for a magazine article and photographed it in a step by step series of images for the readers to see how one of my paintings is developed and completed. There was a competition too, to count how many artist's work were included in the painting. Can you guess ? See if you can name the artists. Let me know. The fine figure of a man spread-eagled on the gate is myself in a portrayal of a very famous drawing. It was a very inventive phase that I went through creating the series. Sometimes in life you look back and think "Wow, how did I do that". I get the same feeling when I look back at some of the book covers I illustrated.

Now I'm older and more world-weary and my 20:20 vision has disappeared , I put on my glasses and it's a bit harder to create such detail. The work I do now is so different. I think it's like rock bands who go through different phases in their career. The fans still follow them, but sometimes you harken back to their early stuff. My fans still follow what I do, the only difference is, unlike rock groups, in my case, the personnel haven't changed!

As you can see above, I couldn't resist turning my logo into a piece of topiary.

The other picture, above is called The Blue Rose . Two magpies arguing over possession of the rose. It's about how much time we humans argue the toss over things and situations which are irrelevant and often don't exist.

The Garden is obviously a reference to the World and how how we inhabitants of planet Earth behave. Most of the pictures have a quirkiness to them, as in the painting shown above. The Dodos lead the wayis a humorous painting, but it actually deals with the serious topic of extinction. I love using topiary in these paintings. You can create such wonderful shapes.

Here's a chap who's got hold of a book called Topiary for beginners and decided to have a go ! Ivor Hollybush is his name and the title of the painting. I've got a set of ceramic flying ducks , they remind me of my childhood in Ardwick, Manchester.

Hilda Ogden famously had a set on her wall over the mantel-piece in Coronation Street. The joke being that one of them was always out of skew with the rest. They were and always have been a proud emblem of working-classness. 

The other picture is Free Worms. A procession of ducks coming down the road attracted to the sign for free worms. Little do they know that a cunning fox has set the trap and is about to pull the lever on the trap door and catch another one. As we all know , nothing is ever for free, there's always a catch !

The Plough Horse's Dream is about people's dreams and ambitions and sadly how many of us miss our mark. The old chap behind the plough dreams of finding a pot of gold, but he's in the wrong place and the plough horses dream of being free from the harness and flying, across the sky. I read a book once, called An acre of diamonds in our own back yard.

It was about how we go all round the world looking for riches, but very often thy are actually here, right where we are.

The other picture is called The Great Divide. A quirky look at the difference between rich and poor. A great wall separates the two.

During this time some of the book covers I was producing started to inherit the garden style. There's only so much topiary a person can cope with and eventually I moved away from this style.

The picture above is called Solitude. The woman's solitude is just about to be broken by the riders on the left, heading her way. She gets round it by turning them into peacocks !

We look at life from all sets of angles. I've been painting these sea shell paintings since I was a teenager. Different perspectives on the same topic We all have our theories. We all have our take on life. Each one of us has a unique existence. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the world of The Garden Series. They still make me smile. Sometimes we like to dress up! The chaps down below do too. But they are part of another section of my artistic career. They'll be back on another page soon.

No !............................ I don't go round dressed as a teddy bear !

Temping as it is !

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