Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Working Trip

I am about to take to the road on a working trip to France for a month.  The intention is to do a lot of work, big and small in all sorts of media so first off this is what I am taking...
It looks like a lot, well it is a lot but it all packs away into neat boxes in the van. 
First of all there is a pencil roll containing pastel pencils and a selection of inktense pencils.

A handy home made watercolour brush roll made from my painting apron, which is still usable as a painting apron.

A French easel full of oil paints and brushes, a bottle of white spirit and a spray can of fixative.

Tubs of gouache paint and my very old metal watercolour tin (which has seen many trips all over the world) A little roll of fancy tape and a small round tin full of conte sticks.

Two boxes of pastels from various makers.

 My tiny travel kit, miniature opinal knife pen, water-brush and pencil and antique watercolour box and the book that I am reading.
 A tin of pencils and pens, a small prochade box, a selection of oil pastels, a box of bulldog clips, gessoed boards for oil painting and several sketchbooks with different papers. A huge roll of watercolour paper, 1.2m x 30 m!
 Watercolours for bigger painting, the big watercolour drawing boards/easel are in the van already.
Here it all is packed up. I think I have thought of all eventualities plus I have a brilliant hat.  Next up will be the map of the proposed route.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On The Road

 A little moleskine sketchbooks worth of a road trip , up the A 30, onto the M5 to Gloucestershire
then back on the most lovely A39.    
I am obviously not filling a sketchbook page worse than texting while driving?
 Possibly about the same as far as danger goes.
  However I am not the driver, just the driven and I do enjoy road trips.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Read All About It!

 I am starting work on an exciting new project, my first two "how to" drawing and painting books.  So I am busily drawing and painting equipment and kit, bashed up, old, and much used things that I have, as well as pristine new things that I am road testing.
 It is fascinating trying to explain what to do to make a drawing or a painting.  It reminds me of trying to explain how to drive, or perhaps swim... what do you do first, think about it...I suppose putting on your swimming costume would be a good idea!
The next bit that has to happen is drawings and paintings in stages of development, I am finding remembering to stop and make a copy, photograph or scam of each stage very difficult indeed.  I get quite absorbed in whatever it is I am doing and have a tendency to carry on in a bit of another world until its finished.  However what I am seeing...more that anything else is that practice, doing it, making pictures just for the fun of it, is really, really, really, good.  Even for someone like me who rarely has a day without some form of drawing it makes such a difference, in such a short time.
Farmers Market, London. Dip pen and sepia ink.
I kind of wish that I could find the same enthusiasm for physical exercise, I haven't found that yet! So, until I do I shall be a chunky artist, very happily drawing away and trying to put a lot of it into words.  I shall post updates here and so you will know when the first two, "Urban Landscapes" and "People" are hot to trot!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tiny Gouache Paintings

Falmouth Cafe, Gouache 8 x 12 cm  or 3 x 4.5 inches
 Tiny gouache paintings, or gouacheletts, perhaps a study for bigger paintings.  These are a very good way of testing all sorts of things, composition, colour, can a subject maintain interest long enough to make it to a bigger canvas.
Sweet-peas, Gouache 8 x 12 cm or 3 x 4.5 inches
 Plus...I love doing them, tiny little jewel like paintings, precious miniatures. I have a thing for bonsai trees too, and dolls houses, and tiny tea sets, see there is a tiny cup in the painting above!  My house is full of minute ephemera.
Afternoon in Provence, Gouache 17 x 13 cm or 6.69 x 5.12 inches
Small is beautiful!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Sweet Peas

Sweet-Peas and Old Bottles
40 x 33 cm or 15.75 x 13 inches. oil on linen
Loving my Sweet-Peas at the moment, such a fleeting pleasure every summer. I am thoroughly enjoying painting some found still life around my house, The blue glass window sill, installed by my clever brother, provides great reflections!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Limited Edition Prints

Provencal Doorway, Limited Edition Print
giclee 38 x 26 cm or 15 x 10 inches

Prints, lovely prints, in an edition of only 50 and a good size, printed on Bockingford 190gsm Inkjet,mould made watercolour paper with certified archive ability and 100% archival inks. Each print is signed and numbered.  This size, unframed is £75 including postage and packing.  They are also available framed for £120.
Framed Print.
There are smaller prints as well, also limited to an edition of 50, 10 x 16 cm or 4 x 6.25inches, unframed £25 and framed £50.

These are all available from my web site as well as a shop on my facebook page.

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Work at the Gallery

Overlooking the Terrace
oil on linen
80 x 60 cm
The four new paintings that are with Beside The Wave, I am pleased with how spending more time painting is bringing benefits.  Practice, practice, practice is so important, I have got used to my head not switching off, seeing in paint must be a common ailment for artists!
Garden Table
oil on linen
40 x 60 cm
I have also been working on my web site and now have a "shop" section with limited edition prints, framed and unframed, for sale...go shopping!
Scots Pines at the Mouth of Frenchmans Creek
oil on linen 60 x 40 cm
Summer Morning Helford Passage
oil on linen 60 x 80 cm

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Cornish Boat Trip

 Instant sketches, about as fast as a camera, done from the boat as we sail up the river the other evening. These probably take under two minutes each, its more about looking and thinking in shapes.
 Leaving Helford River, these little cottages are at Helford Passage under some large Scots Pines, iconic Cornwall
 Its Wednesday evening and the 707's are about to race, they jockey about waiting for the start.
 There were two boats here but moving, us and them so the scale changed too fast but the shapes of the sails are interesting.
Looking back into the sun, sparkling water, the trees make solid shapes and the oyster boat is a shape in the white light.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Painting a Table

Garden Table, 40 x 60 cm oil on linen
Thought I would post up one of the new paintings that I have been working on plus, for added interest, some pictures of the stages of a painting I have got a bit obsessed with recording how paintings develop.  I find it is really helpful to analyse why and what decisions are made...
Its my garden table so painting it poses no difficulty with the usual problems, like the availability of cups of tea or glasses of wine as I paint!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

In The Frame

I love this bit, going to the framers to collect framed and ready to hang paintings. It is the final bit, the presentation, the signing off.  
Next time I see them they will be hanging on the gallery wall, looking all grown up!  In that respect they are a bit like your children, this is the moment when you see them in their first suit, or across a room and you suddenly realize that your little kid is grown and about to be flown.  That is kids but equally, the feeling is the same at this point with paintings, you see them as others might see them, and they look ok!  
They are off up to London with Beside The Wave who are opening a branch in Primrose Hill, 41 Chalcot Road, its very exciting!  Opens on Wednesday 13th May, if you are London based, pop in and say hello.

Monday, May 04, 2015

All the World's a Stage...

  1. "Through to the Dining Room"Oil on Linen 120 cm x 80 cm or 47.24 x 31.50 inches
A complex mixture of patterns, colours, textures and temperatures made this interesting for me. With such defined foreground, middle and background it reminded me of a stage set, which is often how I think of paintings.  As with a stage set my paintings are telling a tale.  This is a story of objects, found, gathered and collected, displayed with care and love and although it is not my living space it is one that I recognise, a family home.  This is the stage where the passion play is enacted and re-enacted and these are the props that are used to help tell the tale. As Mr Shakespear said:
  1. "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms..."

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Time to Experiment

I used to work with the figure a lot, in fact painting from life was my passion long before plein air, Gardens, Landscape or Interiors took hold.  As I now have time to experiment I am working on a series of "selfies." Self Portraits, its a way of taking yourself seriously, at least that's how it feels. A kind of honest examination of not only what you look like but a trawl through your emotional response to your world...its illuminating!
I wont post up anything until it is finished but here are a few details of some beginnings.

I love the drawing part of oil painting, actually I love all of it but the beginnings of a painting are always exciting.

There are rather a lot of exciting projects on the horizon which, when I can tell, I will.

Until this space!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Kitchen Chair

Oil on linen, 80 cm x 60 cm (or 31.50 inches x 23.62 inches)
Just taken this painting, along with a few others to the framers, I always love the moment when I see them framed, its the final finishing flourish.
This painting is my kitchen chair, its my chair, where I always sit, in my kitchen.  It is surrounded by love!  Photographs of my family throughout their lives, are speckled all over the walls, so that I can see them every day.  My favorite mug and bowl (Mary Rose Young) are on the table along with a little metal jug that is simple but very pleasing. There is usually a large jar of flowers, tulips here but often just a wild bunch.  Plus an open cookery book, I don't do much cooking but I love good food and am lucky enough to have my own live in chef, so I like to request delights for the table! So it has become a kind of self portrait, with out the self!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sunshine over Treath

Another big painting 120 cm x 150 cm, oil on canvas.  "Sunshine over Treath"
Treath is a little tiny collection of houses with a small grassy quay on the Helford.  This is the early afternoon of a hot day, the sort of day when the heat shimmers in the air and the water is glassy, sparkling and limpid. When you look into the sun and then can see everything etched on your closed eyelids like a strange negative. This is the view that I have spent many hours painting in all weathers, looking down the river which flows out to the sea.
This painting and the previous large one are now at the framers, being beautified before they make their way up to London with Beside The Wave to their new space in Primrose Hill.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Getting Organised

So here we go, picking up where I left off with a great big dollop of renewed enthusiasm and a big bank of knowledge. One of the first things that I am doing is installing ArtLook, having taken it on at the gallery as the best data base system that I have ever used I am very excited to now be able to use ArtLook for Artists.  I know already that it will be an invaluable tool for keeping track of what I am doing This is ArtLook  I am so impressed with it and am really enjoying cataloging my work.  It is an exciting time of big new developments.  I am not the only one moving forward, Beside The Wave are about to open in London in glorious Primrose Hill...very soon.

Lots of doors are opening, this one isn't finished yet, its on the easel, but I like an illustration!