Perhaps it’s about feeling?

Along with thousands of others, over the isolation period, we took a weekly dose of Grayson Perry’s Art Club on Channel 4.  Thanks, Grayson and Philipa, it’s been a very welcome tonic. It was a little bit silly, it was a little bit odd… It was the last episode this week.

Art is about mixing it up!

Punctuating the episodes Grayson highlights some of the reasons why creating Art can be so important and relevant to people.

Mixing it up…

  • To find some truths about who we really are…
  • We have to be prepared to become vulnerable…
  • Art involves a relationship between the artist and the subject…
  • Art in whatever form you can snatch it… is a wonderful thing…
  • A place to find comfort, refuge and control…
  • You look with only your eyes… looking out through yourself…
  • Everyone has their own way of looking at the world…
  • Stop and notice the beautiful things… 

It’s about feeling. It’s about projecting our thoughts/feelings onto or into an object or image. Making an image or form via our thoughts and feelings. 

As a student, I recall reading Don McCullin ‘If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.’

As a student, when stuck creatively, we were taught to “Scamper” 

But as mentioned before; ‘theory, formula, and process might help move things along, but nothing will replace the passion and drive, the wanting, the desire, the searching, the angst, the belief, the love…’ of a person.

Perhaps, despite what we are told by realist deconstructivists et al, perhaps it’s about feeling after all! 

Listen to the noisy silence.


Image creation… it’s what I do.


I create images, products, sounds, movements, actions that might enhance our world, your product, a service or indeed an individual’s outlook.

If you need Artwork for print or screen, or Image creation or manipulation – I might be able to help!



Image creation… #photoshop #illustrator #print #publicity #retouch #optimisation #artwork



If you need Artwork for print or screen, or Image creation or manipulation – I might be able to help!

   My Flickr stream.      Small creative video projects also undertaken.


Still outside, it’s been some time…

Sometime around 1997, I wrote the piece below.  

‘We’re going outside and we may be some time’

I reflected back on it eight years ago. I wrote about trying to understand the idea of seeking pilgrimage, finding something significant, central to or ‘at the heart of’ a person’s worldview. A seeking to discover, understand, or be healed? A ‘quest’ for counsel or understanding.

But as I say in the writing, for all the ghosts, memories alone do not hold what I’m looking for. What am I looking for? I said to a Cornish friend recently “I miss the sea”, but do I? Yes, the sea can be a tonic “Coasts are liminal places – the edge of the known, opportunity… routes to somewhere…”  But what really are we all seeking? As we know, everything you ever want, everything you ever need is right in front of you. The greatest show is right here right now.


Taking me back to my Cornish roots again… I recently watched the much-acclaimed film ‘Bait’, created and directed by Cornishman Mark Jenkin. I was apprehensive as it’s had a lot of film-world applause. It’s not mainstream. It’s arguably art more than entertainment. But personally, I loved it. Not just the film itself, but the form and nature of the creation is resonant and leaves a lot of energy in the air. All good. 

Mark Jenkin said in an interview with Mark Kermode “…they’d become Cornish by being away {outside?}…” 

The film triggered ghosts and memories to come alive, but what to do with ghosts and memories?

I don’t know. Any ideas?


‘We’re going outside and we may be some time’
Twenty-five years I grew, nurtured on Cornwall and the Cornish manner, the Cornishness that is now part of me. I still day-dream, of a ‘T’ shirt that announces “I’m Cornish and proud of it…” …is that all I have to cling to? (I haven’t even got this day-dream of mine).
I spent a childhood full of Cornwall’s riches: pebbles a sand, fIzzypop in cans, wind and rain, tunnels, holes, alleys & bunkers, vast sun-scorched gorse torched views, I could see both coasts from our bathroom window.
Spirits of the sea always whisper to me, the loudest whispers I’ve ever heard. I’ve heard it in Leicestershire, Crewe and Nice, I saw a little red boat barely afloat.
I cried at the beauty surrounding me as the holidayers screamed and sizzled and I laughed. I sat alone at the end of the phone, I ran with the gang, at low tide, across St Ives Bay, on new years day. We drank and we sang and played in the band. Gran bought saffron buns at Sunday-school treat, and pasties and pasties and pasties. Slept in the snow on the rocks on Carn Brea, laughed at what nan a grandad would say (that’s not the grandad that died in the fishing boat accident). Ate winkles with pins and vinegar picked from Porthleven harbour, got filthy. Held on tight as the storm wind rips so hard it bites. Sat in a haystack in the sun and got covered in mites. I’ve lay for hours and been soaked up by the whole of Mounts Bay, on the clearest ever, hottest ever, hottest ever day. Walked home at midnight from to Camborne from Hayle, met a girl in Redruth and another in St Just, got drunk in Crantock, earnt a wage in St Ives ‘ saw a dream in St Austell, learnt some verbs in Fowey… grew towards man from boy in Cornwall… 
…only, they’re all memories.
I return and see the most rugged of faces smile and share the day like children returning to play, waves so worn from years of scorn, skies so blue they seem brand new. A scarred town refuses to frown, yet sings and raises its glasses, everywhere I look I see me and I see pasty smiles, rugby miles, unique Cornwall style saying this is us but we do say we.
I’ve moved away now, don’t know why, but I know I can’t go back. Jane’s not there, Craig’s gone, David’s moved off, So has Jon. Matthew’s in Manchester, Lisa’s in Suffolk, Richard’s in Cardiff, Kay’s in Bath, Lee is in Luton and Mark is in Crewe, and I’m in Leicester for something to do. Cornwall, in essence, has everything, God and the Devil are surely within. but it hasn’t got what I’m looking for. . . . what am I looking for?
I’m going outside and I may be some time…



Summer2My wife’s computer tells her, that a year ago today, we had a water fight in the back garden with the kids to keep cool!  Ah… summer!

It may not be hot and sticky and Aldi may not be piling up the Pimms alternatives – we may not be waxing the surfboard or de-crusting the barbecue grill – but it is still summer.

Yes, I do love an Andalusian summer, I love a Greek garlicky feta cheese grilled to perfection, and I love the bluest of blue skies; I was brought up with them in Mount’s Bay. But, I am a firm believer that; although our worldview has been enchanted with greener grass in the summer, and the lure of a better life when it’s sunny or sodden with supposed doom of a damp grey sky; life is still good.

Even if clouds obscure the scorching sun from view and a cold breeze is all we feel – we are alive, life can be good, and peace is but a breath away… #perspective #hopes #expectations. Yes, also there is the crap in life – it’s not fair – it truly is hard to understand – disease, injustice and ignorance is real, and there are nasty attitudes out there where people seemingly don’t give a fig for anyone but themselves.

Summer3I left an upbringing in Cornwall in the late 1992 and have always searched for a replacement for the Cornish ‘contentment’, the peace of a flat sea, the endless horizon of Mount’s bay, an alternative to the bluest blue sky that St. Ives nestles under. I have always sought a comforting alternative to the rugged Cornish summer, with hot granite, and fertile bracken, fish, ice-cream, sand, sea, and essential energy…
Since then, I have found similar in places like Cyprus, Nice, Thassos, La Rochelle, Andalucia, and even Tunisia and Lanzarote. But, I have also found this ‘peace’ in Crewe, Wales, Bradford and Leicester.

It’s not easy when so much of our culture points to what we must have, find or master next, to gain satisfaction. It really is not easy, when we have been con-scripted as consumers to at least take part in the game to survive.

Be it summer or not, the energies of life, and the glimpses of peace that we may have been fortunate to feel on our faces should be valued and carried with us. Everywhere you go, take a little weather with you – if you can.

On a different, but not entirely unrelated tack –  I have composed three artworks, fueled by my recent reflections of the ‘natural’, to put forward for a local summer display:

Have a great summer!



Abundant Life

I was grateful, to be asked in April, to think about the potential for an artwork to contribute to wall-space in a local church’s community space.

In Leicestershire, Birstall village’s Methodist Church buildings are used by many different groups, making them a valuable community space that sees all ages and a variety of activities. A foundation to the many activities and different lives that pass through the space, is an idea of Christian faith. The Christian faith can be multifaceted, the understandings within it can be diverse, but certain ideas are perhaps universal if we look past specific doctrines, ritual, and habits.


  • the value of community
  • the wonder of growth
  • the potential of interactions
  • the nurture of seeds
  • the beauty of all differing ages
  • the blooming of fruit
  • the essence of water
  • the strength of the cedar
  • the core value of parent and child,
  • the strength of light and dark
  • the power of colour and sensation

I worked on this artwork throughout May. Over that time it grew out of initial ideas, it changed, it needed reconsideration and significant reworking until the current final form was reached.

I came to Leicestershire in 1996. I initially found myself living in Birstall and indeed socialised on the fringe of the Birstall Methodist Church community. Over 20 years I moved in to Leicester and back out to Syston. I still recognise and I’m grateful for the part that Birstall and Birstall people have played in my life.

I find the sense of ‘the natural’ is strong in Birstall. Although Birstall sits on the edge of Leicester’s urban creep, it has its roots in the countryside surrounding it. The Grand Union Canal runs along the edge of the village with Watermead Country Park and lakes. The symbol of Birstall is a Cedar tree – a remarkable 350-year-old cedar tree, standing 100ft tall, can be found in Roman Road which was originally in the grounds of the now demolished Birstall Hall. Incidentally, the Cedar of Lebanon was an important foundational building and lifestyle material in many ancient communities. I notice that the central streets in Birstall are named Beechfiled, Firfield, Oakfield, Elmfield. We also have Poplar, Walnut, and Orchard.  These names, and various cultures in Birstall as well as many other English villages and towns, help to remind us of our essential natural roots in this world.

notebookMy artwork started with the idea that we are called to share in the ‘abundant life’ available to us. The piece attempts to celebrate the natural ‘way’ in and around us, as well as reflect on the idea of interaction within the world around us. Many people are seeking their place and a way forward amidst life’s confusions. The wisdom of age and the potential of youth, and all the stages in between are essential to making life work. Life comes alive when we commune in community with others. The natural growth from darkness to light is empowering. The journey from our past through hope to a fruitful future and recognition of the gift of ‘abundant life’, is what I hope we wish and pray for all.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The artwork is complete, and I hope for it to be delivered at some point in July.

‘Abundant Life’ Jules Richards, May 2016
Mixed digital composition.
Print reproduction, 906 x 1189mm, (2.9 x 3.9feet)




Night and Day.


And then, in the night, starts an underlying bass note,
not cello, nor violin, not instruments of any kind…
a sub-earthy roar in the air, distant yet looming.
Voices, animal, primal? No, bigger than that,
an otherworldly drone, multi-tonal yet singularly monstrous,
distant yet personally present, calling your names like it knows your fear.
Then the darkness cries and the drone is broken
by screaming tears of falling fingers.
Streams and running watery sounds hiss
and wash away the roar into a thousand fragments.
Whispers remain, a distant threat retreats into hollows unseen
and space remains in the emptiness.
Dark colourless sound almost silent
but the farthest hum can be felt
if you hold your breath, swallow, and listen…



A dawning… A cleansing breath
of the lightest strings and piano notes
lift a mist to reveal another breath, another breath,
and… another… the absence of noise, the presence of rhythm.
A hint of light seeps through, enlightening hope…
Direction, ambition, fresh hope and unity…
Knowledge, inspiration, spirit. Wide, wide possibility,
horizon, touch and sensation… chorus…
Glassy eyes widen and know acceptance.
Blended inclusion. Minutiae blossoms.
The joy of process, the chance of encounter,
and tastes of the treasured.
Percolating outward steps, towards the reception of sustained community.
Breeze, more than sound, graceful movement,
like the sound of the sea… breaths…


Again… a bit of what I do…

Again… this is what i do… (forgive me)


I collect and possibly create images …  don’t we all?        My Flickr stream.



2015-06-25 19.35.23-2
an east-midlands sky…

i do wonder do u …?

I recall, at about 7 years-of-age, from my bedroom in west Cornwall, looking up out of my window at the sky.  I remember it as a significant moment where I perhaps first consciously pondered ‘stuff’. But as often is the case when in proper Cornwall, it was my perception of the ‘natural’ that I was in awe of.

I looked out again last night, 40 years on, at a similar sky, from our bedroom in north-east Leicestershire (“A cloud is a cathedral without belief”. Mark Strand). Again, nature enchants me both in its fruitfulness and its aimlessness.

Something eternally elusive about the immaterial mesmerism of life and a sense of biggerness.

It puzzles me that (it seems to me) the dominant forms of what is wonderful or beautiful is the ‘natural’ – Nature.

From traditional religion through modern-day spirituality and current mindful psychology, glory is found in our perception of the sunset, the bud, the delicate, and the magnificent, natural world.

Human efforts to build on nature’s tapestry can sparkle and excite but often they fade, or fail or are tainted with underlying pretension and oneupmanship.

Am I wrong? Generally, it seems ‘stuff’ (art & craft, song & dance) created to celebrate ‘goodness’, rarely involves human achievements and or activities?

Being-Alive-2If a spirit of go(o)d exists, empowering human goodness, why do we not more frequently see celebration of this?

  • Religions routinely celebrate all things beautiful, bright, resonant and mystical.
  • Infotainment celebrates “The Blue Planet” and “The Magical Forest”.
  • Visual Art celebrates our relationship with waterlilies, mountains, high seas, light, water and flesh.
  • Entertainment might play with the human condition and our constructs might have moments where a hysterical hand-clapping and synthetic mirth-laden joy cause ecstatic behaviour but more often than not “Beautiful Day” is followed by “how long must I sing this song?”.
  • ….perhaps it’s only in physical theatre and dance that we see celebration of human endeavour? I digress…

It seems to me we often focus on nature and the natural to see outside of ourselves…

As Emerson said, “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.”

Margaret Fuller writes of Thoreau “He says too constantly of Nature, ‘she is mine.’ She is not yours till you have been more hers.”

Beckett’s Hamm and Clov deliberate “Nature has forgotten us… There’s no more nature … “

I long to see more than nature but alas…  “Is it not time for my pain-killer?”


A few days later I find a hint of the type of thing i am thinking of…





Creative method…

Creative Art:

putting ‘stuff’ together in a new or another way, to resonate a novel or appropriate difference…
…to illuminate the familiar, to resurrect the lost, to prize grace out of joy, to make firm that that is in flux, to capture, weave or play with, to engage, disturb, entertain, please, refresh, challenge…

To be creative… living more openly, acting more honestly, and being more…

Stopping nonproductive behaviors is usually a first step in becoming more creative.

A lot has been and will be written about creativity, and it would be foolish to attempt to summarise it in a nutshell. Indeed, formula alone is not enough to guarantee results; ideally there might be feeling, emotion, logic, realisation, empathy, pain, belief, etc.
However, the creative’process’ can be a considered thing:
i. Preparation for… change
ii. Concentration and focus on… change
iii. Incubation and brewing of… change
iv. Illumination, Aha! elucidation of change
V. …verification and elaboration, developing change.

A useful idea developed in the 1970s by Robert Eberle is the acronym SCAMPER.
Eberle worked in education in the US, and studied creativity with children and teachers.
In essence it’s a creative tool that helps move you on when you might reach a blank.
SCAMPER is based on the idea that new creative work, is essentially a remix of something that is already exists.
S = Substitute (replace things with alternatives, e.g. objects, characters, media, etc.)
C = Combine (combine/blend objects or parts of objects, media, ideas, etc)
A = Adapt (borrow something from another context)
M = Magnify, Minify, Multiply (make some part larger, smaller or repeat it, enhance, distance)
P = Put to Other Uses (change the intended function of an object, a place, a character…)
E = Eliminate (remove elements or parts; cut something out; cut part of something away)
R = Rearrange/Reverse (move objects, characters, time, around. Invert, switch, pace, time etc)

But critically; theory, formula and process might help move things along, but nothing will replace the passion and drive, the wanting, the desire, the searching, the angst, the belief, the love… of the creative artist.