Saturday 26 December 2015

Falmouth Harbour: Cranes and masts

Falmouth Harbour: Cranes and Masts
Industry and leisure, side-by-side in Falmouth harbour, both reaching for the sky.

Acrylic and Molotow marker on canvas board, 12 x 10"

Friday 18 December 2015

Sketchbook Exchange 2016 (part 3b - the other two)

The theme is Texture, the sub-theme is Rough.
I posted my copyright-minefield-averted on Thursday. Here are the rest of my Rough contributions.
In keeping with the hands-read-texture idea... a textured hand.
Drawn in carbon pencil.

I'm pretty useless with all these skincare accoutrements, but people still buy me them.
Now I know why - so that I can draw them!

I hardly ever use hog brushes; I find them too rough...

(The bottle brush is a ringer - it's not hog and it's not meant for painting with, although I'm sure someone somewhere has tried it. It occurs to me that it looks a bit like a big mascara wand. Shudder. I once tried drawing with mascara. It was not the easiest of cosmetics to apply to paper...)

Media, clockwise from 9 o'clock:
Graphitint pencils with water (applied using the depicted hog filbert) and a hint of Molotow;
Sailor Fude de Mannen (Japanese calligraphy pen) filled with indigo calligraphy ink;
Uniball and Molotow;
Rotring Artpen.

Atlantic Surf

A winter seascape, waves crashing on the Cornish coast, colours that were there all along brought to the fore...

Oil on box canvas, 30 x 80 cm

Thursday 17 December 2015

Waiting (White Bordeaux)

The scenario: you're waiting for your significant other, but they've been delayed. You start the wine. They'll be here soon.

Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm

Rock Pools, Prussia Cove

Rock Pools
Prussia Cove, Cornwall
Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm

£250, framed

Sketchbook Exchange 2016 (part 3a)

The theme is still Texture, the sub-theme is Rough. The drawing in this post uses two of the pages that I have in this book; the circumstances surrounding it require a little more explanation than they might, and so I thought I'd post it on its own.

This two page spread borrows more than a little from popular culture. Copyrighted popular culture. So I wrote to the copyright holders...

And it was alright (it might have helped that I emphasised the not-for-profit element).

2000AD (owners of Judge Dredd, character) told me to include a long statement.
CBS Records (holders of the copyright to "Ruff Justice", 90's indie classic by Pop Will Eat Itself) told me to talk to Pop Will Eat Itself.
Pop Will Eat Itself said, thanks for telling us, here's how the credit should be.

Here's "Ruff Justice". Just so you know, if you didn't already. Warning: they swear a bit.

Friday 11 December 2015

Sketchbook Exchange 2016 (part 2)

This was a tricky one. The theme is still texture; the sub-theme is meaning.

I started off by thinking about how we read texture - primarily through our hands.
So I drew my hands. Note that it's mostly my left hand...

This was the last page that I drew, but the second page in sequence.
It occurred to me that texture is often used in simile,
so I had a bit of fun with some common phrases.

My husband suggested this one to me. Sometime during my lifetime (and his), these textured paving slabs have started to appear on the footpaths. There are ridged ones (whose main purpose seems to be to redirect the wheel of your road bike; quite why they are used on cycle paths I do not know), and there are these bumpy ones (the bumps are "truncated domes") that indicate the best place to cross the road; the texture, of course, is primarily intended for people with impaired sight.
This image is based on a crossing place close to my home. I used heavy body white acrylic to give the page some bumps (not very convincing truncated domes) and drew over the textured page with Molotow marker pens and Uniballs, including some explanatory text.  

The last of my pages in this book is an extension of the "tactile paving" idea.
This time, one hope that the primary users of the textured surface are able to see, because it is a road and the cobbled rumble strip / road hump / sleeping policeman is supposed to be for the benefit of the motorist. The macro-texture is intended to be felt through the vehicles wheels and should encourage the driver to slow down. Again, I used heavy body acrylic for the texture - spreading it thickly to make the road hump and incising it with the knife. There's a cheeky hint of a song drawing that refers to the 59th Street Bridge Song. "Slow down, you're going too fast... "

More Carnations

Two stylised 15 x 15 cm acrylics.

Tuesday 8 December 2015


Oil on box canvas, 30 x 30 cm

A found still life from a (pair of) photograph(s). Not my usual modus operandi; I like to paint still life from life, but these bottles were in a disused mill in Cornwall, in the summer, and there wasn't time to do anything more than photograph them, especially as I was also interested in the old mill workings.

An unusual four tube palette, too - Phthalo Blue and Titanium White are old favourites, but Indian Red and Yellow-Green are new colours to me and I've been enjoying the voyage of discovery.

Friday 4 December 2015

Carnations in multitude

Carnations en masse, acrylic and Molotow on canvas,
I bought a big bunch of spray carnations for a commission (which is to be a gift and so I am not posting it until after it is given). Carnations last for weeks (well, quite a long time), so I'm determined to make the most of them...

Side, acrylic on canvas, 7x7cm

"White carnations suggest pure love and good luck [...] dark red represents deep love and affection. [...] Pink carnations carry the greatest significance, beginning with the belief that they first appeared on earth from the Virgin Mary's tears – making them the symbol of a mother's undying love."

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Pre-preview Review

I have seen the whole of the Basingstoke Project, and it is good. I speak not of my own work, but of the others'. Uncertainty and frustration may have plagued various members of the group at different times, but all five of us have pulled through and, indeed, pulled something rather magical out of the hat.

I can't show you pictures (not yet), but I can describe how...

... Adeliza has produced an intriguing series of oil portraits in her distinctive style. How to describe that style? Ornate, chaotic, elaborate, deliberate, often tending towards red...

... Brian has demonstrated how the simple medium of pen and ink can have depth, and wit, and enormous variety. He has pushed his illustrative style into new realms (in one case, quite literally!) for this exhibition.

... Elinor has produced some of the most striking images. Hard lines and curves, perfectly placed, shown to perfection in gleaming prints on aluminium.

... Rosemary has scoured Basingstoke for the bold shapes and brilliant colours that typify her work. Dark dryads and thrillingly vibrant fruit meet the sharp lines of modern architecture. Abstraction is never far away, but is only fully expressed in one work.

Watch this space over the next few days as we prepare our pictures (hmm, screwing fixings on and wrapping mounted prints in cellophane), write labels and compile catalogues, then install (on Friday) and celebrate the imminent opening with a private view... I'm not promising regular updates - I will be rather busy - but when I find the time I will try to keep you up-to-date.

The group Web site is

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Sketchbook Exchange 2016 (part 1)

Artists from West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios have started their 2016 sketchbook project. This time, we made our own sketchbooks, concertina-style.

I wasn't enamoured of the floppy card cover. Having been assigned the theme/subtheme Textures/Grain, I decided to use some things with grain to replace the card...
3mm beech-faced plywood, carved, with leather. Held together with nuts and bolts from an I-can't-believe-it's-not-Meccano toy and annotated with Molotow marker pens
There are only four pages per artist in these books, so I crammed several grainy things onto my first page:
Pine grain (Derwent Drawing), grains of rice and salt (Molotow), wheat (pen and ink, acrylic); sand (Molotow)
(It being a concertina, I thought I'd use the back of another page and put some grains there, to be seen through the knot holes. There are a few that can't be seen easily, too).

... and the next page was also home to several thoughts:

Wooden handle of hand chisel (Molotow), alabaster grain (watercolour and watercolour pencil); pointillist landscape, imaginary (Molotow)
But the last two pages were home to one idea. A fairly off-topic idea, inspired by the "grain" more than by the the "texture".
John Barleycorn, folk song, as sung by Traffic. Molotow and acrylic inks
It's a song drawing. They started in last year's sketchbook exchange project, and they've come back in this year's.

Friday 30 October 2015

Pumpkins 3

Come tomorrow, the two big pumpkins will have been carved into suitably scary lanterns. Not sure what will happen to the little one. It won't make much soup by itself...

Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 30 cm


I probably won't decide where each 30x30cm painting will go in the final array until I hang it at Proteus, so here are (just a few of) the many possible combinatons. There are actually 40320 ways of arranging eight paintings. I don't think that I will try all of them.

The Baingstoke Project will be on display (with static Disjoints) from 16 to 26 November 2014 at Proteus Creation Space in Basingstoke (the venue is featured in one of the paintings).

Full exhibition details on the Artikinesis site:

Thursday 22 October 2015

Bring on the Dancing Horses (Carousel)

This is not the whole painting, although it is the focus of it. It's also the only photograph that I have managed to take of Carousel since completing it five days ago that isn't blurred. I blame the dull weather and lack of natural light.

Now, I know that Echo and the Bunnymen probably weren't singing about carousels on Brighton Pier but the song was a persistent earworm while I was painting this, so...

 I have no idea why there are cows in that video.

Farleigh Wallop!

Farleigh Wallop!, acrylic on board, 2 x 4 foot
This badly photographed painting is to be part of Artikinesis' Basingstoke Project (if there's room for it in the exhibition - it's a little on the large side).

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Holy Woodcut, Batman!

This is a woodcut of the Holy Ghost Catholic church in Basingstoke. It is part of a series of four woodcuts of Basingstoke churches made for the Artikinesis Basingstoke Project.

Before I started cutting into the wood, I drew the design on the block in pencil.

The uninked block, cut from a 30x30cm plywood square using hand chisels such as the one illustrated. Can you see the glaring mistake?

Saturday 3 October 2015

Picture This - with Apologies to Blondie

All I want is red, yellow and blue
A sight worth seeing, a vision of New(bury)
From atop a car park with a view, oh-oh
Town hall clock, chiming the hour
Sterling cables, the telecom tower
Corn Exchange, chimneys and roofs, oh yeah

All I want is a some paint on my pallet
An A3 remembrance of something more solid
All I want is a picture of New(bury)

Picture this... a day in October
Picture this... reasonable weather
Artists in town, wielding cameras and canvas
Is that someone painting the garage?
If you could only oh-oh
Picture this... with acrylic and knife
Picture this... a Victorian gas works

All I want is to tell you about
Picture This - the show at Ace Space
But I forgot to take my own camera
So to see what I painted
Find St. Nicholas Road where
Picture This - the show at Ace Space
Will be on... oh yeah.

Edit: Click here to see the pictures in a new blog post.

Thursday 1 October 2015

De Port's Kitchens

De Port's Kitchens,
oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm
Yesterday, three fifths of Artikinesis visited Basing House as part of our Basingstoke Project. I have visited this fascinating site several times, but always with children in tow; I have long had a hankering to paint there. Specifically, to paint the kitchen fireplaces in the ruins of the Norman Castle (built in the 12th Century by the de Port family).

Mini Pumpkins

Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 cm each
It's that time of year. Pumpkins and squashes are in the shops; some will get carved, some will get eaten, some will get painted... and its possible that some will get all three. These two mini pumpkins have managed one so far.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Exhibition at the Watermill Theatre (Inglenook restaurant)

West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios isn't just for May. There are things going on in the background all year round, including a series of exhibitions in and around Newbury. I have been very fortunate; my Cornwall exhibition is still up at the New Greenham Tandoori, and I have just installed some paintings (loosely themed around rocks) at the Inglenook restaurant at the Watermill Theatre in Bagnor.

The exhibition is on until early November; the production it coincides with is The Ladykillers.

Monday 21 September 2015

The unexpectedly difficult procurement of 30 cm square canvases.

So, I'm partway through a series of (many) 12" or 30 cm square box canvases showing disconnected bits of a town (Basingstoke, where else?), and I run out of canvases. I'm not making them, and Hobbycraft don't have 'em on special offer, so they're too expensive. Off I go to eBay. First order of six never turns up. Refunded without comment by the vendor. Second order turns up yesterday but they are too big - six 40 x 40 cm box canvases. Lovely, but wrong.

I'm waiting for the vendor to respond. Kind of hoping to be told that I can keep the 40 x 40's ...

Friday 18 September 2015

Cigarette Break

Lino print, 20 x 15 cm
I don't condone smoking in the slightest, but these two characters appeared outside a building on a business park while I was drawing the building and what could I do but include them? They spent a long time smoking their cigarettes - I was able to "zoom in" and sketch them on their own.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

More Lino

Top: two prints of the Devil's Den near Marlborough, in reverse (from an ink sketch made on site); one on brown card with white hybrid acrylic (pen) added to highlight the sky.
Bottom left: exercising racehorse, from painting
Bottom right: the Lizard lighthouse, from sketch

Thursday 10 September 2015

Linoleum Castle

This is a lino cut based on an old painting of mine. It's of Donnington Castle, near Newbury. It's back to front, but still looks rather dramatic.

Lino cuts and block printing (I'm going to try wood cuts at some point) are a novelty for me. I did some lino cut printing once at school when I was 15, and that's it for previous experience.

I bought myself a self-contained kit from Fred Aldous, and I've very much enjoyed using up the two small bits of lino in it. Needless to say, there is more lino on order...

Saturday 5 September 2015

Across the Beach

This is a composite of several photographs taken on Portreath beach in December 2012, and painted largely during the last day or two of my Hampshire Open Studio run this year. I mentally enhanced the colours between photographic reference and painted picture, and deliberately left a few areas of natural-coloured linen canvas unpainted.

Across the Beach, oil on canvas, 100 x 65 cm

exclusive of post and packaging

Doubly Disjointed

Passing the Ghost
Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 cm

Joice's Yard,

On artikinesis
Yellow and Blue
Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 cm

Crown Heights
(from the Anvil car park),

On artikinesis

Two little squares of two bits of Basingstoke. My plan is to make a square number of these square paintings (4, 9, 16 or even 25... ) to be part of artikinesis's Basingstoke Project.

The series - the piece as a whole - is to be called Disjointed in reference to the isolation of each image and the way in which we (or at least, I) build up a mental picture of a big town: a series of  places that we know how to get to from our starting point, but do not necessarily know how to get from one to the other. Hence, the places are disjointed.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Wayside Wheel

Wayside Wheel, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm
This (above) is the painting that I did on Sunday, the second day of Hampshire Open Studios 2015.

And this (below) is my source. Along with a bit of memory and imagination...

Monday 24 August 2015

Waverley Window

Last Tuesday, Rose and I visited Waverley Abbey in Surrey, and painted en plein air at the ruins. This is my painting (tidied up slightly in the studio).

 Oil on canvas, 41 x 33 cm

Cross-posted with Artikinesis

The Merry Maidens

This was painted in the Open Studio, from sketches and photographs, on Saturday 22 August.

It shows the Merry Maidens, a stone circle in Penwith, Cornwall, that we visited the week beforehand.

Oil on canvas, 40 x 80 cm

Sunday 23 August 2015

Monday 17 August 2015

Hampshire Open Studios

This weekend, I will be opening my studio as part of Hampshire Open Studios. I will be open 10am to 5pm both days, and again the following weekend and bank holiday.

Friday 7 August 2015

Song Book

The full set.

I am considering getting posters printed of some of them.

Safe as Houses

I selected Elvis Costello's "Indoor Fireworks" as a contrast to the 1812 - a large scale, dramatic piece often used to score large scale, daramatic outdoor fireworks displays. Costello's song is a small scale, singer-songwriter song, about the approaching end of a passionate relationship.
But dont think for a moment, dear
That we will ever be through...
It's the last of my 25 pages. The Song Book is done.

Wednesday 5 August 2015