Thursday, 25 June 2015

Swan House - diddy oil

This was a spur of the moment plein air. A tiny one - only 10 x 15 cm - and I only needed to walk across the road. So I came up with an impromptu minimal kit:

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Botallack Count Houses and Newbury Lock

Botallack Count Houses
Two more - rather watery in theme - line and washes. Both were done from photographs using dip pens, acylic inks (sepia and white) and watercolour.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

St. Nic's Art Exhibition

St. Nic's in Newbury is holding an art exhibition on Saturday 27th June, into which I will be putting several pieces. I am hoping to inclde this one, (the church tower does belong to St Nic's) if I can manage to get it framed in time!

Line and wash, approx 12 x 20 inches

Friday, 19 June 2015

The Only Way is Up

This isn't the whole picture; you'll find that further down this post, next to the unwashed line drawing. This climber was at Winspit in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, on the day that we were visiting the former quarry and cove during our summer holiday in Dorset. I took a photograph from a fair distance away; strong light and good fortune gave me a clear enough image to work from.


It's an abstract in acrylic. It might look like fireworks or flowers but it's neither, or both... or something else.

Acrylic on canvas, 23 x 30 cm

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Bicycle Dreams

Inspired by the sight of my imperial-wheeled tourer suspended upside down at the back of the shed. Is it the bike dreaming, or me?

Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 23 cm


Oil on linen canvas, 55 x 46 cm
Tuesday was gloriously sunny; a perfect day for painting pretty, disused barns ... and for getting just a little bit sunburnt in the process. Of course, I should have followed my friend's example and set up in the shade.

You can see what Rose made of her shady spot by clicking here.

While Rose and I were on site, the landowner arrived with a couple of other men to inspect the buildings and talk about plans.

The landowner parked his pickup truck behind me and my easel, and I felt obliged to enquire if our presence was a problem - it didn't seem to be - and to apologise for not having sought his permission for painting there. The response was a request for a sketch.

So, I returned yesterday (Wednesday) to make the sketch...

... which took a different viewpoint, and also included the interesting (and apparently stubbornly immobile) old trailer chassis.

Post Script: The sketch was well recieved

While Rose and I were on site, the owner of the property and some other people turned up to look at the barns and discuss a planning application related to the buildings.

The landlord parked his pickup truck right behind me and my easel. I felt obliged to enquire if our presence was a problem - it seemed not to be - and to apologise for not having asked permission first. The response was a request for a sketch.

So, I went back this afternoon and made a sketch...

... this time from a different perspective, and taking care to include the interesting (and apparently stubbornly static) old trailer chassis.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Double Cornet...

Cornet Rainbow; All That Jazz
both acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 cm

Two paintings, each with two views, of one cornet. All of them are from photographs, which is not ideal, but the cornet was rented and it went back when my son decided that he could oly cope with one instrument, and that guitar was that instrument. It was a lovely shiny cornet and I made a point of taking the photographs so that I might be able to paint it at a later date.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Mollusc Nebula

A small abstract that turned out to have a mussell shell hiding in it...

The painting was done as an experiment to try out wet-in-wet acrylic techniques, and because I decided I needed some cloudiness in my work.

Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 cm

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


Oil on canvas, 16 x 12"
I had a free sample pack of Winsor and Newton Artists oils. It had four little sachets of colour and a blending / shading medium. I decided to make a brush painting (partly so that I could make use of the medium, partly because the tiny amounts of paint in the sachets wouldn't last very long with a knife, and partly because I haven't used a brush with oils for around 15 years).

My subject was a photograph of a particularly fascinating bit of local downland. I took the picture last December; the low winter sun emphasises the folds of the earth beautifully.

The following images show my painting progress:

Intial roughing out in turpentine diluted paint (yesterday).

Blocking in the colours using the medium

Am I finished?All brushwork so far...

 No... the final image is scraped back a little using a colour shaper.

The colours were Phthalo Turquoise, Quinacridone Magenta and Green Gold. I didn't open the Winsor Violet. But they are all lovely colours. I'm particularly struck by Green Gold, which is completely new to me.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Enchanted Woods

This tree - in ancient woodland on the Pendarves estate in Cornwall - looked as if it might be enchanted even before I gave it the stained glass treatment. The central tree uses very nearly every colour of acrylic ink that I own, and the stained glass is retricted to three watercolours - phthalo blue, permanent rose and quinacridone gold.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Return of the Stained Glass Trees (3 pictures)

Hollow Light
Approx 9 x 10 inches, acrylic ink and watercolour on bamboo paper
 ... and this time they're packing watercolour.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Heisenberg 1

The first in a possible series of Quantum Abstracts, this refers to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which states (in far more cmplicated terms), that you can't know everything about a particle, and that the better you can pin down one property, the more elusive a complementary property will be.

The numerial suffix does refer to the possibility of more attempts to represent the Uncertainty Principle as an art work. You see, I am really not sure if this does the trick...

Heisenberg 1
Acrylic on canvas with acylic inks, 9 x 12"

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Urban Poppies

It was something of a surprise to encounter poppies growing through the block paving on the edge of the Sainsbury's roundabout in Newbury last week. It was a striking image, though, and I endeavoured to get a photograph, but the camera on my tablet camera wasn't quite up to the job. Nonetheless, I got  enough information to allow me to put this together.

It's painted with the Chinese knives again, with last minute assistance from a rigger brush.

Acrylic on canvas-covered board, 12 x 10".