Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Re-Henge: Dragon Roots

Dragon Roots, ink on paper, 29 x 29 cm
The serpentine roots of the Avebury beeches, last seen in Henge, led me to imagine a mythical creature dozing on the bank. Has it become one with the trees and the earth, or is it just very well camoflaged?

Saturday, 14 July 2018


Henge, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm
What is a henge? In short, it is a prehistoric ring bank and ditch, with the ditch on the inside. The word is a backformation from Stonehenge - which doesn't actually have a henge! It's all a bit confusing, but what is certain is that the large earthwork that encircles Avebury (village and stone circles) is called a henge.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Prussia Cove cliffs

Prussia Cove Cliffs, oil on linen canvas, 46 x 55 cm
Prussia Cove is a secluded part of the south Cornish coast, with a turbulent history of wrecking and smuggling. Now, however, it is known for its natural beauty and an International Music Seminar. When the tide is in, the beach is all rocks, pebbles and rock pools. Here I have focussed on the cliffs, which had some reddish vegetation clinging to them. I don't know what it was, but I do like the extra colour, which drew my attention away from the sea back towards the land.

Prussia Cove Cliffs
oil on linen canvas, 46 x 55 cm

Friday, 1 June 2018

Blue and Gold

Blue and Gold, oil on canvas 46 x 55 cm
A reprise, of sorts, of 2016's Gold and Grey, this is a view from a local footpath. These distinctive trees are visible for miles around and are a welcome landmark as well as a favourite subject.

Blue and Gold
oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Red Wine and Apricots: a series of three oil paintings

These three paintings were made on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday of the long weekend just gone. I had my studio open as part of Open Studios West Berkshire and North Hampshire on all three days, and it seemed like a useful sort of thing to be doing in between visitors.

I was attracted to the glassy reflections and to the subtly varying colours of the bottle and its dark contents. I also enjoyed the contrast with the duller texture of the apricots and the book, which toned so seredipitously with the fruit.

Each painting is 33 x 41 cm and is executed on clear-gessoed natural linen in oil paint with a knife (more accurately, a selection of knives). Together, they tell a sort of story - a very ordinary story, of things being consumed - but they aren't necessarily intended to be a set. Despite that, I can't help but think of them as being the beginning, middle and end...

Read Wine and Apricots 1 (Beginning), oil on linen, 33 x 41 cm, £140

Red Wine and Apricots 2 (Middle), oil on linen, 33 x 41 cm, £140

Red Wine and Apricots (End), oil on linen, 33 x 41 cm, £140
Just in case you were wondering, the wine was a smooth but unremarkable Bordeaux, the book is Leonardo by Martin Kemp, and the apricots were - well, they were apricots, and they were very nice.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Sentinel: Danebury Hillfort

Sentinel, oil on linen, 70 x 50 cm
I've painted this beech tree before, but this time it is in leaf, and more of the lumps and bumps of the hillfort's earthworks are visible.

The tree stands, tall, proud and solitary, by the entrance to the fort (here, we are looking out of the fort). It made me think of a guardian or sentinel.

oil on linen, 70 x 50 cm
Painted 19 May 2018 in Open Studio