It all began back in 1983…

JL 1983I’d promised myself that I wasn’t going to delve into my old Art suitcase but curiosity got the better of me and when I opened it I found this little gem. It’s a piece of quarter inch plywood about eight inches by four inches, smeared with poly-filler and then scratched into while still wet.

I remember the day I made this clearly; Carol and I were youth workers and we took a group of disabled children to Chatsworth Park in Derbyshire for an art taster day. This activity was one of several we facilitated but the kids particularly enjoyed the tactile element – some used their fingers to make their painting..

Historically this art work is very poignant for me because it shows me that the idea for my cartoon strip J.L. was in my mind two years before I began to draw it. For those readers who haven’t seen that cartoon strip and would like to just click on the link below (or above) where I am uploading the stories.

10 thoughts on “It all began back in 1983…

    • Yes I did this painting in 1983 sitting in Chatsworth Park. Strangely it was at a time when I was heavily into Vincent Van Gogh and studied him in depth – I couldn’t read enough about him, I was absolutely enthralled by him. I remember visiting the National Gallery in London to see his sunflowers painting and leaning over the ropes to touch it- I got roasting by the security guards. The painting was about four inches thick in paint where he had kept building up the flowers. Beautiful.


      • We had/have several of his in the LA Art Museum. I love looking at his work so much. The colors he used are all my favorites, especially burnt umber! The first painting I bought my daughter for her room was his Irises, she loved it. Don’t know why, but I always want to put a U in his name. My grandfather was Prussian, maybe a reason??


        • You have a very lucky daughter Gator Woman and I hope she loves the man and his work as much as you (or I) do. I went to Amsterdam to see the Van Gogh museum but sadly ran out of time because I became so absorbed and humbled in the Anne Frank museum but I will go again….one day.


  1. We lived in Chatsworth, Ca. for 6 years. Loved it.
    Then moved over the Hill into Simi Valley for 20+
    We knew we were going to be happy there when we went to Mc D’s to eat while trying decide if this was to be our home and got in line behind 2 horses~
    I’ll bet yours is just as nice~


    • Sounds like a great way of life; I’m surprised McD had anything left after a pair of horses had been fed. Chatsworth, Derbyshire, is also very beautiful. It’s very aristocratic, a bit like Downton with the stately manor and gardens and land full of lakes and rivers. Certainly the place to go in summer for a very English picnic 🙂


      • Had always wondered what its namesake in England was like. Was sure it was glorious. Simi Valley was serene and country when we moved in and very quiet. But then it grew up.


        • I hadn’t heard of Simi Valley though if I ever do go west I’ll look out for it 🙂 Chatsworth UK is country seat of the Duke of Devonshire and they have a pretty lovely website; many people marry there. It’s about 40 minutes drive from me and very inspirational for an artist


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