Clive Hicks-Jenkins has a blog!

It’s true, he does. Well, O.K., he actually calls it a log — an artlog. Go visit.

What, you’re still here? Look, if you’ve been reading Via Negativa much at all this year, from the various comments he’s left you must already have some idea of the man’s generosity and way with words, not to mention his stunning artwork, as exemplified by the Tempations of Solitude paintings I wrote about. All three qualities are on display at his brand-new blog, which reproduces the contents of letters he’s been sending out to a few friends over the past eight days chronicling the progress of a major new work.

This ‘Artlog’ has been set up to provide a glimpse into my studio and the way in which I work. I’m kicking off with a day by day photographic diary of the current painting on my easel. (A bit of an experiment as I’ve never done this before, so bear with me.) The subject is Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds. The idea had been long gestating. I had a notion to conjure a more threatening mood than the usual bucolic approaches to the story. The key image that kept niggling at me was a violent maelstrom of birds with the saint at the heart of it. Almost as though he’s being mobbed. (Tippi Hedren comes to mind in Hitchcock’s The Birds.)

I’ve thought for a while that Clive should be blogging, and I’m glad he finally seems to agree. Since he was already an inveterate letter-writer, I didn’t think it would require too big a shift in his patterns, though granted, I am a shameless evangelist for this medium. It will be interesting to see how Clive uses it. Anyway, do go say hi and check out those birds!

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Love his black and white sketches!! It’s always nice to read an artist’s thoughts while looking at a particular work to appreciate it from a combined point of view. I personally prefer that because I will add my own interpretations anyways. Impossible to avoid that. So why lose out on the artist’s own thoughts as well.
    Also, it looks like his other site with the paintings also has a “Texts” section with a “Temptations Diary” sub-section where he seems to be doing something similar to blogging as well.


    1. Good call. Yes, I think that Diary is very blog-like and I presume was part of what led him to consider blogging.


  2. Thanks for the shout Dave. Very generous words. I’ll try and live up to your expectations, tough I fear you’ve set them rather high!


    1. Hey, even if you end up stopping after the completion of this painting or this series of paintings, it will still have been worthwhile, I think, and something you can link to in the same way you’ve included the “Temptations Diary,” as Arvind points out.


  3. Thanks Dave for the pointer! I remember your earlier mention and think his work is quite wonderful. I had a frisson of excitement over the owl – as you know, an owl woman has been in my own recent work. I wonder what influences may come from this.


    1. Yeah, I love the owl, too! I was just thinking of your blog, and the three or four other artists’ blogs I follow: each so differnt, but each in their way a model of what a personal blog could be. I wish all poet-bloggers were as generous as you artist-bloggers seem to be.


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