Thursday, 29 December 2011

Exported to China!

Not me - my paintings. I am going truly INTERNATIONAL! But, I'm still skint :(

I met someone in Barcelona who wanted to try selling my sketches in China (how times are a changing). And, now I'm back very close to where this adventure began:

It's a China connection sort of thing.

When I get paid I go back to Barcelona again. I'm finding I have to travel to find work this way. It's been great. I've enjoyed all of it, however, however, however...

I'm getting a bit tired and missing my own bed, so it's time to settle and knuckle down. Create a more reliable/static/stationary income and existence. After all my walking I still love Granada most. I have a plan! A plan to create a new arts based business in the most economically disadvantaged part of Spain during crisis :D

It's a good plan mind. It bloody well needs to be!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

And, back to Costa Brava.

I'm back where I was in January. Not my plan at all. Just following work.

It is a part of Spain that fascinates me. I love it here even though I really wasn't expecting to. Completing murals for a small hotel, then back to Granada. I think.

From Costa Brava in January to...

Czech Republic

Plus the little bits like Monacco. All slowly and carefully. Nice trip!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Now it is hard work!

In Four years of walking and selling sketches, picking up work, today was the most difficult. It was sunny, all was good. 12 hours to cover the cost of my €12 bed!

Times are getting seriously tough. You see it on the street. More bag snatchers. Less art buyers :(

Saturday, 19 November 2011

I read a book once.

Hey! Didn't we all?

I forget the name of this book, but it was a bestseller, and a very good book. It painted vivid pictures in my mind of a very wet, grey and dismal Barcelona. It was about a secret library (amongst many other things). This is not Barcelona I thought. Barcelona is blue skies and sunshine.

Ever since reading that book, every time I have visited Barcelona it has been very wet, grey and dismal. Brainwashed by a single book from a sceret library of truth! It's not just me - the weather people believed it also.

I'm washed out once again by Barcelona :(

Rain is expensive. Very expensive.

Friday, 18 November 2011


I've been toing and froing between Barcelona and Sitges for a few weeks now. Work is good.

Here is a 'secret' about Sitges. The race track... see Google maps.

Many other 'secrets' about Sitges, but it doesn't need them, so they remain 'secrets'. Story is that this track was built for a Grand Prix back in the 40's. The workers who built the track didn't get paid, so they took the prize money. It's remained closed, but fully intact ever since.

I'm back in Barcelona where I actually saw the police catch a bag snatcher. They are actually beginning to deal with real crime instead of giving charity fund raising artists a hard time. Perhaps things are changing in this beautiful, but very wrong city?

Monday, 24 October 2011

On a lighter note...

It's very wet, very windy, and yet strangely mild. Warm even.

I'm still in Sitges. Still collecting good work. Staying now in a very 'charming' traditional guest house type place. I like it. Art all over the walls with a very homely feel.

End of another adventure. What to do now?

Well, 'start another adventure' is the only good answer I can come up with. I tend to go through some sort of emtional release at the end of all these trips. I was expecting it this time, but it didn't happen.

For anyone wondering...

The Death of Mr Baltisberger was a reference to this weekends Moto GP tradgedy. Bohuml Harabl is possibly my favourite writer of short stories. You need to find a good translation mind.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Death of Mr Baltisberger...

... and, other stories.

I don't know why I like Sitges. But, I do like it.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Day Facebook Killed the Web.

They've done it :(

Once upon a time in the net, you could find private places. Not anymore. There was net etiquette respected by all. Facebook have fucked that in the face.

I now delete my Facebook account.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


They're very fast aren't they.

Cutting a longish story shortish...

I'm back in Spain. Sitges - a place I always enjoy. Spent a few days working in Paris which was exceptionally good and booked an overnight train to Barcelona. At Sants station I decided to continue along the coast.

I have good work here. People are being very friendly. I always have fun here.

On a mission to get back to Granada, and then begin a new project in the Canary Islands for winter. May, or may not happen, but it's a plan.

Time with friends. Glorious weather. Spain is most definitely my home these days.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Dusseldorf - Koln.

A brief update.

Uslar. I enjoyed very much - great bunch of people (I will be in touch soon).

A fabulous Indian summer in Dusseldorf and Koln (not sure if they use that expression in German?). Fine weather. Good work. All is good. Staying for as long as I'm busy. But, I have to return to Granada soon.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Hannover and a small village called Uslar.

It's still raining.

I feel like I'm suffering summer withdrawal :D

Other that things are good and interesting. Really not sure of plans from here.

Uslar is a small market town about 100 KM south of Hannover. Beautiful countryside, but like almost all isolated rural towns in Europe today - industry is dying. Jobs are hard to find. Here, some people are trying to make good things happen in a postmodernist office block which used to be home to the local metal construction industry.

Photos will come later. I like it here, but I am missing the Andalucian weather.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Berlin is wet.

I'm stuck here. Weather has not helped, but it is a very difficult city to make money in.

Plan from here is to head towards Hannover (backwards again) to try and replenish funds before meeting up with some people in a small town to talk about more work. It's a project that interests me.

A sunny day yesterday followed by an almighty storm in the night. Today looks iffy.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Maybe I was being a little unfair to Belushi's/St Christopher's/Oasis, but I do NOT appreciate being rudly interupted whilst taking a shit in a room I have paid €55 for. The shower flooded also.

Actually, no - I'm not being unfair at all. Utter shyte.

Friday, 12 August 2011

My first major rant for a long time...

Belushi's, Oasis, St Christoper's - whatever they're calling themselves these days. The fact that they change their name so frequently says it all. Just don't people!

These guys are taking about €164 a night per room. That's a room shared by 8 with just *1 shower/toilet. As far as I can tell there is just one other toilet in the whole building.

I've just paid €55 for the smallest single room I have ever come across. WiFi doesn't work.

On the plus side - the staff are all very fucking lovelly.

Oasis/Belushi/St Christopher??? Not good. Not good at all.

*Actually, that's 1 shower/toilet between about 80 people. There is no bathroom in the dorms. Is this legal?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Huge, cheating train ride :)

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Vienna, Bratislava and a Strange Town in Deepest Darkest Slovakia.

I'm back in Vienna. It seems to have rained constantly for the past 10 days wherever I've been.

A break for a few days in a very beautiful place on the edge of a very strange town near Lucenec. Serious drinking which appears to have left me with a very painful absess on my gum. Feet are much improved.

Vienna is - exactly as you would expect - a stunning city for architectural sketching. I'm on a bit of an uphill mission to make enough cash to get me to Berlin from here. Bratislava was nice also, but much, much smaller.

Not sure how to cope with the rain. It's big, very wet, and very persistent.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Strasbourg. Another update...

I'm in Strasbourg - an exceptionally beautiful (and wet) city. My first rain since...ooooh... I don't know when. I have been extremely lucky with the weather.

From Nice I went by train backwards (again) to Marseille, then onto Lyon. I think I have finally conceded that there will be no more hiking on this trip. My ligaments need weeks, or months to recover.


No more 'qui va a pied'. I'm going to be using trains to work my way across Germany to Austria to Slovakia, then back to Germany (for work in Berlin). Not sure where I go from there.

Despite foot problems, this has been another fabulous adventure meeting many, many good people.

My cameras are both borked also. Photos will come when I've managed to buy a new camera. Paintings have sold for good causes without internet auctions, but hopefully new stuff will appear for auction online soon.

Not without problems, but fantastic fun! :)

Friday, 1 July 2011


An update...

I'm in Nice under strict instruction to rest my feet. I went across the border into Italy (San Remo) and then retreated back to France. Taking an enforced break from hiking and using trains to get to Strasbourg on Monday.

I'm also struggling to get ebay to work for auctioning paintings. I've been carrying this one around for some time now.

I've been posting more on web forums rather than here simply for a bit more interaction and feedback.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Siren Nº1

First painting up for auction for charity/good cause/NPO...whatever...

Ebay seems the obvious way to go, so I'll post a link here as soon as I remember my passwords and stuff, or something.

Painting comes with photo files of the 'wrok in progress'.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

My alternative ID :D

OK. For the not so faint hearted... you can follow my progress a bit more regularly on many web forums. My favourite is U75.

There is swearing and ugly stuff :D

I'm trying to keep my blog clean this time. U75 is where I vent my bile!!! They're good people who tolerate me on the whole.


Just to remind myself...

Self confidence building needed! I am quite good actually. Aren't I???

Monday, 30 May 2011

Arles. Sunday evening street life.

Just One reason why I am enjoying Arles very much - because everyone else enjoys the place!

Painting commeths!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

All of these gifts were left anonymously. I like them :)

Arles is still being extremely good. Beautiful days and beautiful nights.

Montpellier. A gift from a fellow permanent marker touting artist.

Beautiful Gifts.

This was Pau. I'm still in Arles getting very wrapped in the place.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Avignon - Arles.

Montpellier. Place de Comedie.

I'm in Arles being Vincent. I'm painting and picking up good work. Here for a few days at least. It's proving to be a bit special so far.

Avignon - meh!

Montpellier was fabulous. I will return.

Plan to stay here to finish commissioned work and save money to get to Nice whilst putting a painting (or, sketch) up here for auction. It's not been easy finding the time, space and ability to carry anymore than I am already carrying.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Pau - Carcassonne - Narbonne - Bezier - Montpellier.

No painting! Tomorrow.

Briefly, Pau was excellent. I really, really liked the place. Carcassonne; erm... met some nice people. Met some interesting people. Visisted a medeval city built circa 1870.

Narbonne. Pretty.

Bezier. Very interesting place. I liked it very much.

Montpellier. Well, I'm pretty sure I can make enough money here to get a painting online for auction to charity. But, beds are expensive. This has caught me out a bit in Southern France. Almost any city in Spain I could find a bed for €20, or less. Here it is double that.

Boring post. I've had minor complications I wouldn't want to talk too much about here :D But, finally I have time to paint.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Biarritz - Bayonne - Capbreton - Bayonne.

Sore feet. Very sore.

I've just done a brief tour of this corner of France. Biarritz - not really my sort of town, but well worth the visit.

Bayonne - I loved every minute there. Very friendly people. Relaxed, safe, chilled vibe about the place. Very much a single persons city. Single people approaching middle age. Not sure how to describe this without offending someone :D It still has a young feel and young fashion vibe, but it's a bit more mellow than other single people city type places.

A huge thank you for the invitation to dinner party and room for the night. Food was delicious, company was good conversation. Really enjoyed it and hope to meet you all again sometime.

Capbreton - again, very, very friendly people and relaxed, safe feel with miles and miles of golden beaches. A relatively contemporary place. Spread out with lots of space (never mind the beaches). Bicycle paths everywhere. Seems everyone who lives here has a bike. You need one.

How friendly is this place? Today started with a coffee invitation from a complete stranger. Then came a free beer from the bar I was working close to. Then came a free pack of tobacco with papers because some exceptionally kind person knew I had no cigarettes. Then came a shout from across the street as I walked past. Someone wanting to know if I had managed to sell sketches and an offer of more free cigarettes. Just kindness and empathy in abundance.

I'm having fun. Meeting great people. Seeing beautiful places. Next post will definitely be painting number One (Siren Nº1) up for auction for charity.

I'm heading back to Bayonne briefly, then onto Pao.

I have been getting the weather luck big time :)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Reflecta 230x USB DigiMicroscope.

I'm in Pamplona - a city a always enjoy very much. I like it here as much as I like Leon and Granada. I'm about to start walking. I am carrying far too much! Amongst the non-essentials I am taking with me is a Reflecta 230x USB DigiMicroscope. My favourite new toy. Here is a Pamplona Pansy at around 200x

Travel photography from a very different perspective.

Monday, 25 April 2011

The Secret Chinese - Madrid.

Finally moving in the right direction :)

Madrid is a city I know well and enjoy always. Top tip bfor travellers on a budget who enjoy good Chinese food: Go to the top end of Plaza España and look for this entrance to an underground carpark. It's much more than just a carpark, but you would never know.

Keep following the steps until you find the Chinese cafeteria. Delicious, good value food and a rather cool place to be seen it seems.

Madrid has a huge homeless population currently. The most street people I've ever seen in a city. Almost every redundant, dry corner is taken by a rough sleeper. I'm guessing many people have just arrived looking for summer work, but I know many are also permanently on the streets. Pretty sure some foreign tourists to Western Europe would be shocked to see this. The number of people even shocks me. Shouldn't be happening even during times of crisis.

Other than that I'm enjoying as ever.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Pigeon Catchers.

I've already told you how friendly Granada is. Today the local environmental were re-homing pigeons. It was all being filmed by national telly people. Which is a shame really, because I had questions I couldn't ask. Specifically; "how do you stop the pigeons homing back to the plaza?".

Being rather suspicious, sceptical and cynical I think the corn they feed the pigeons is 'special corn' that prevents them from returning anywhere other than pigeon heaven.

All this happened just 10 minutes ago. I bring you the news that really matters as it happens, when it happens before TVE even get to the editing suite and corrupt stuff with the PR people.

See! This is going to be good :)

1. Corden off the square before asking me to move.
2. Bait with corn.
3. Fire big net over pigeons.
4. Put them in box and take them to the rubbish dump.

The TV people interviewed those watching. They didn't interview me. If they had I would have told them straight: "Pigeons have as much right as humans to be on this planet, but we must control them, or they will take over the World and end up controlling us!".

The news is unlikley to be as exciting, and as fresh as this piece on all posts I make, but I promise to do my best if people buy my paintings to raise money for charity.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Almost ready...

Granada is a trap. A very nice trap. Still my favourite city, and friendliest city I know. Think I leave tomorrow. I am itching to get moving.

I will be typing 'on the fly' to post here much of the time. I want to record eveything as I feel at the time. It will not always make nice reading!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

A very nice place to stay...

It's the 'me' themed hotel :)

I'm in Granada until Tuesday. Lots of work. More stuff to do. Start moving again Tuesday night. First painting to auction for charity will appear here before I hit the road. I'm going to do a set of 7 Sirens and sell them on ebay with the winning bidder paying the charity of their choice. We'll see how it goes???

Sunday, 27 March 2011

FFS! Unreliable WiFi!

A long post just disappeared. I'm busy. Busy, busy, busy :)

Long time since I updated. Busy. That's good, but, it's work :(

Monday, 14 March 2011


Before I went to Morocco I went to Melilla.

I loved it. There is the most surreal 8KM hike you can do from Melilla to Nador. Very, very difficult to accept that the world can change so much in such a short distance. From European style promenades to the apparent chaos, dust and rubbish of a Moroccan market. Across no-mans land. A very strange collection of holiday chalets, social clubs and military buildings shadowed by a border crossing perimeter fence, and onwards into a very different world. I'll come back to this another time. I spent hours taking photographs around border crossings. Fascinating places.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Africa seems to be on hold until autumn, so...

I'm doing a Euro adventure for the summer. From Granada to Estonia.

Same idea to sell paintings on the web to raise money for charity (winning bidder pays the charity of their choice) whilst accepting donations for sketches and prints to help cover my costs. I may make more than I need. This trip will be recorded as a business guide for anyone wanting to try and pay for their own art/travel holiday adventure.

I'm going to make it tough for myself just to show that it is possible with very little cash. Starting quite literally with nothing more than essential work tools: sketch book and pens, paints, camera to record stills and video, my favourite toy - A Reflecta 230x digimicroscope just for my own entertainment, notebook loaded with necessary software. About €500 in total, but the only real essential to get started is sketchbook and pens.

My only goal is to get to Estonia one way, or another covering my costs through art. Hopefully, people will buy paintings for charity also.

I'll record all that I can and, this time keep an open account on business details as well as recording all art work photographically, making videos etc. With all I learned from my Santiago de Compostela adventures I know how to make it work a bit more successfully this time. I hope!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Meanwhile, back in Granada...

Africa is on hold for a while.

Things to do etc...

Interesting short trip mind. Photos will come.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Africa :)

Been here for a couple of days now. Open plan sort of. Walking around until money runs out, or I get a call to work elsewhere.

Love it so far, but the skies have just turned a bit mental purple!

Photos will come.

I will also be putting paintings on ebay to auction for charity. Winning bidder chooses the charity.

Lose plan. As ever!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Costa Brava.

Costa Brava.

Costa Brava.

This is still Costa Brava.

Back in Granada I'm wondering what to do? Stay and finish work. Go on to Madrid. Morocco???

Not easy finding a cheap room here this time of year if you're not a foreign, female student.

South coast?

Monday, 21 February 2011

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Friday, 18 February 2011

Costa Brava

I'll keep posting Costa Brava photographs and words as and when. Now, I'm heading to Barcelona to get a night train to Granada. I shall record the TrenHotel in images and post here also.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Meanwhile back in the mountains of Catalunya...

It was still cold. Not this cold actually. This was a couple of weeks ago. Spring is coming!

Just a very short drive from Costa Brava you can explore mountain pueblo after mountain pueblo amongst beautiful natural parks. 'Come to the sea - Come to the Country' say the tourism people. Very beautiful here, but cold in the mountains early February.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Costa Brava.

Costa Brava. The Conventionally Beautiful.

I wasn't expecting to find a real live, living real siren!

Many corners of this coast surprised me.

Costa Brava

Costa Brava - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Except the ugly isn’t really ugly. Is it?
The photographs I post here will hopefully explain the way I see The Costa Brava. Explain what I see as a very misunderstood cultural phenomenon of 20th Century Spain – the sand, sea and sun boom of the Costas.
I explored the coast from Portbou close to the French border as far south as Sant Feliu de Guixols passing along wide open beaches, urbanisations, modern holiday complexes, quaint fishing villages (boring! Leave them to the English. They need real ales in real pirates bars with real fish and chips to be any good) and the many ‘unseen’ small towns that service the seasonal holiday industry.
Some of the photographs will hopefully portray conventional beauty. Some will probably offend the tourism industry! Some may just look mad to most. The mad will be my favourites.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Costa Brava

Costa Brava.

Beach art.

Costa Brava.

I've decided to post these in single doses of a few a day.

The shot below is Nou Casino in Sant Feliu de Guixols.

A huge social space usually full of people playing card games, or dominoes. I spent much time here. The daily menu is excellent and very good value also.

Beyond what Wiki says about the place, I found Sant Feliu to be one of the most friendly, welcoming and happy towns I have ever visited!
The shot above is a bit out of season seedy seaside grunginess :)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Costa Brava.

This is a part of Spain I find fascinating for many reasons. I'm putting a photoessay type thing together now. About 50 photographs shot over a Two day hike along a 30KM stretch of coast yesterday and Friday.

One photograph for now. If free WiFi and batteries hold out, everything will be here this evening.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Barcelona :(

I posted this shot on a web forum sometime ago now. A single guy, a bit drunk, but harmless. He really didn't need this much attention. And, neither did the Police! Fuck shit policing in every way.


Cold this morning!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

What Happend to January?

Blimey! It's flying by.

I have finally found the time (and motivation) to read my entire blog. I've also edited much. There are no 'f' and 'c' words in the book proposal. There's also a fair bit that isn'y included here.

Right at the start I intended to blog everything, no matter how grim, bleak, or inconsequential it seemed at the time. However, some thing happend that I just didn't want to remember. Some of the people I met on the streets died. I watched one person overdose on heroin right in front of my eyes. Someone else was found suffocated in a clothes recycling bin. That is barely touching the surface of the darker side of street life. When you spend almost every passing hour of every passing day working on the streets you see it all. Everything. And, everything isn't all nice.

Then there was the physical abuse from some idiot Policia Local. Sitting on a bench one evening I was approached by 3 Policia Local who asked for my ID. I showed it to them - no problems. I wasn't doing anything which could be in anyway construed as suspicious. I was only polite. They then decided they wanted to search me. Took me into an alley and took it in turns to beat me around the head. That shook me up a great deal. What can you do other than just stand there and take it? Police with guns.

Despite the ugly experiences, there are many places I would like to revisit between hikes in Africa. There are also many places I have yet to see in Spain. One place is the coast of North Catalunya close to the French border. I will go this weekend. Then I will return to Laxe and Camelle in Galicia - possibly my favourite bit of coastal Spain. And, I will post photographs here!

I'm currently in a small village near a town called Vic about 100KM north of Barcelona. Wondering whether this is going to become my base, or whether elsewhere in Spain suits me more. I sort of fancy a base in Laxe/Camelle and a base in Granada, or Madrid, or Leon for city living. Photos of here...

Unusual to find a Saint James in a tiny village so far away from a recognised pilgrimage route, although Montserat is not too far away.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


People keep asking me 'where are the photographs?'. 'What sort of photography do you do?'.

Well, it's not holiday brochure photography. It's not street photography. There are many things it's not. Some people say it's photographs of nothing. If I had to describe it, I would say it's fine art documentary photography and ignore all the scoffs from the technocrats and those who simply deny that photography could ever be fine art. Personally, I agree with those who describe photography as 'The defining art form of the 20th Century'.

I could fill a few pages now with words. Instead, here's an old photograph taken in Torremolinos and a link to some more old photographs from London, Berlin and Spain.

Goddesses 13 & 14

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Goddess 17.

The theme is roughly following a timeline of religious evolution whilst exploring theories about ancient human migration routes.

Each painting represents a Goddess from a religious belief. A place I visited whilst walking pilgrimage routes. And, a conversation I had with someone I met along the way, or at the start, or at the end.

Goddess 16.

Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc...

Stops for no-one! Is that the date already?

The countryside of Catalunya is slow and sleepy this time of year. I am getting very restless.

Exhibition and book proposal to complete. I am looking for suitable exhibition venues in Spain, preferably in cities along the pilgrimage routes I walked.

17 Goddesses of Pilgrimage (Alternative Walking Routes to Santiago de Compostela) is a proposed book featuring paintings, sketches, photographs, maps and excerpts from my blog. Not exactly sure how to present the idea yet, but present it and sell it is what I intend to do.

I have been getting destracted by nothing. Time to get busy in this sleepy little hamlet.