Head Up, Head Down

It’s a strange thing … I was mulling how the brilliance of Alexander Technique could be summed as ‘head up’, yet somehow it has given me the ability to keep my ‘head down’ and focus. Just get on with things.


Well the neck is a flexible mobile thing, so perhaps it is not so strange.


I was also mulling how being an artist is at the same time a lonely pursuit yet a place to find oneself and a connection with something greater and so never lonely.

At one or alone?

Or all one –  like the body.


Thoughts whilst walking waterfalls …


A waterfall is about constant flow, power, being in one’s power, being free to move yet in cold conditions a waterfall can freeze, unlike the sea which is about ebb and flow and much less likely to freeze.


I found my way into Alexander Technique because my neck froze, became immobile and painful. The best thing that could have happened in retrospect because it was an invitation to self discovery and the flow and gave me a second career and ‘backbone’ for my art.


My last exhibition was all about the sea, this one is about the river and waterfall … and both are giving me an opportunity to explore and merge my art and Alexander Technique thinking. Which one informs which?


A painting can be a bit like a waterfall. Go with it and it takes you into flow, its journey, listening for what to do, breathing and freeing yourself to it …

Judging the process is like hitting a rock, it is going to hurt …

Your thinking can hurt you or free you …

Let your neck be free and paint, flow with the tides of breath and inspiration …


Letting a painting take your energy over the waterfall into the unknown is like the metaphor sounds both scary – a potential neck tightening experience and exciting.


Why sit on the banks of a painting … be prepared to drown …

Why know what is going to happen next?


The Alexander Technique journey is a like that too – move out of the known into the unknown and into the flow …

Where is it going to take you?


Painting the first waterfall yesterday already feels like an invitation to further abstraction, from form to the formless.

Water flowing, paint moving, an invitation to let go more …

Head up to flow downstream …


I revisited the waterfall today and it is so interesting that even after one painting the relationship with the place has changed.

The image seen has altered, the noticing increasing …


One waterfall, renewing constantly … like the body


I am enjoying this new subject matter and have no idea where it is going to take me …

Just heading downstream …



Flow, Oil on Canvas, 100 x 150 cm


Upcoming exhibitions –


Edinburgh Festival

Glass and Thompson

4 Dundas Street



4th August – 5 October

Moray Arts Centre

Findhorn Foundation,


August 30 – October 4th


Romance of the Falls Exhibition

The Tollbooth

4 High Street


12 October – 12 November 2017

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