Why take up painting? By the time they have reached their mid-forties, most people have eased the things that they can't do, or don't like doing, out of their life. For instance, I gave up tennis aged 43 and still feel a huge sense of relief that I will never have to humiliate myself on the tennis court again. So taking up painting at the age of 47 was, on the face of it, a mad thing to do. A blank canvas is incredibly intimidating. A canvas with some tentative blobs of colour on it is even worse. But when it goes well, I feel euphoric, very alive and hugely proud. I started painting in the Spring of 2003 when I began attending classes at Putney School of Art and Design. Mostly I work in oils but in 2011 I started taking pastel classes which I love - although never as much as oils. . . . . and gardening? Gardening is like painting - but very slowly and with even less control. Where it scores over painting is the way that you can leave a garden alone for weeks or months and the most extraordinary things happen because of independent forces. There are many different types of gardeners. Plantsmen, designers, creative types, nurturers, recluses. I would say that I'm an "I'd like something 3 ft tall and blue" type of gardener. I am forever putting plants where I'd like them to go, not where they want to go - and of course they don't thrive. I came to it quite late (about 3 years before painting), and I've added 'gardening' onto this website because I want to keep some kind of record of how the gardens I work with have evolved. It may be interesting - or it may not!