Monday, 20 November 2017

The Monday Blog

Hello and welcome to my blog.

I have been continuing my series of small canvases.
They are just right for a short painting session.

Sketch painting on a small canvas 8 x 8 inches is like playing scales on a piano.
It loosens up the 'painting muscle' in my head.

No fussing or fiddling is the best way and I often find the 
most acceptable pieces happen in the first 15 to 30 minutes.

  After this I am tempted to tighten up which usually means trouble
 leading to destruction.  Destruction sounds severe but by scraping off the
oils and rubbing down the canvas I can begin again.

Here is a little one drying... 'Still'  8 x 8 inches

I think I might have been thinking of wild ponds.

Close-up of 'Still'. 
 This highlights the marks, scratchings and luscious oils.

There are not many sketch books or preparatory drawings in my studio.
It isn't my style.  I rarely plan anything in a formal way preferring a 
spontaneous application.  This way I can let my imagination free.

However, I do look around my studio paintings for ideas.
Parts of a painting might stand out and give me an idea.

Some examples are here...

This is a section of 'Icy Wild'

I can see this enlarged as an abstracted landscape.

The whole painting of 'Icy Wild'

Another detail of a textured piece...

It would be fun trying this as a larger painting but I think
it could be difficult to repeat.  I sense it going its own way.

This one might be useful as an abstracted seascape.
It has a few energetic marks and plenty of calm places for the eye to rest.

This detail is about marks and colour.
It is actually in the same painting as the one above.

Here is the painting they both come from...

'Golden Coast'  40 x 30 inches  Oils on canvas.
Now available for a new home.

My new addition to the studio is a woodburner stove.
Previously I have had to bring all my art into the house each winter.

Lighting the stove each day helps the timber building to stay dry, warm and aired. 

Back to work now...until next Monday

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 13 November 2017

The Monday Blog

Hello and welcome to my blog

I shall begin with an overview of recent pieces of work.
These are hanging on the wall in my bedroom.

Displaying them here gives me an ideal viewing area
 to decide if they are finished or in need of more work.

Storm Clearing  Oils on gessoed watercolour paper

Low storm clouds are clearing and light breaks through.

This one is top right in the above photo.
It is in an ash frame with a cream mount.

Ebb Shore   Oils on gessoed watercolour paper
About the colours and textures on the shore in a warm light.

This work is also in an ash frame with a cream mount.
These paintings have a coat of re-touching varnish
for protection and can be framed without glass if preferred.

Framed by Graham Perkins at Forge Arts
These frames are a change from my usual choice.
I like the mount which draws the viewer in to the picture.

Visit for Graham's website.

New Work today...

Abstracted and in progress...Oils on canvas board  16 x 20 inches
My thoughts were about my wild garden in summer.

I began with a warm underpainting and blocked in colour and shapes.
Using a brush and palette knife I sculpted and scraped, rubbed off and
created an abstract view of the borders in my garden.

This was purely imaginary and open to change along the way.
I shall leave it to dry before teasing out a composition and overpainting.

It may have several changes before I am happy with the result.
Next week there will be photos of the progress.

My wild garden in November..

Late afternoon on Sunday12th November.
The photo was taken by my daughter as we walked in the paddock.
The autumn colours are still around and the light on fluffy
Rosebay Willowherb seed heads is inspiring.

There may be another abstracted painting this week.

On a final note...

Brodie, my studio assistant may look innocent enough but
this sweet Whippet stole a whole 6 inch freshly baked egg custard tart 
from the kitchen table a few minutes after his photo shoot!

Until next Monday...
Thank you for your visit.

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Monday Blog

Good morning and welcome to my blog.

I have had a busy week preparing 6 paintings for a forthcoming show.
My selection of 3 pairs of work highlights the transition from reality to beyond.

Each pair has one work which is abstracted but still has some reality.
The other piece is more abstract featuring shapes and colours of the place.

These will be part of the Lincolnshire Artists' Society
Winter Exhibition in Sam Scorer Gallery, Drury Lane, Lincoln.

The show called 'Transitions' begins on Tuesday 7 November until Sunday 19 November
Open from 10 am until 4 pm.

The small series...

       I am continuing my experiments
                                                   with the 8 x 8 inch canvases.


 Three more seascapes featuring the shore at low tide.

This seascape has been added to my gallery.

The Lincolnshire coastline is a favourite place for me to paint.
This piece was inspired by a walk near Humberston.

Light on sandbanks and the winding creek are visible at low tide.
They will soon be covered when the tide turns.

Oils on board 16 x 12 inches
in a hand-painted wood frame.

I have had this painting in my studio but it is 
time to let it become available for a new home.

A new piece this week...

I like to vary my work and this piece is an imaginative landscape.

It has a sense of mystery and wilderness.

Oils on canvas board 10 x 12 inches
in a hand-finished gold coloured frame.

Until next Monday...
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 30 October 2017

The Monday Blog

Good morning from my studio.

Here is a look at the past week's work.
A new series is on the easel and there are already some changes...

Ridgeline   Oils on canvas  8 x 8 inches

This small canvas has had a change this week.
I liked the previous image but adventure got the better of me
and it has undergone some destruction and emerged as a new creation.

I think the re-worked painting has more life and energy.

(The title has been suggested by a follower on Instagram).

Here was the first image...

I added more to my collection of textured paintings.

Pause   Oils on canvas  8 x 8 inches

This painting is about the shore at ebb tide.
Oil paint has been applied thickly in parts and sculpted with a brush and knife.
I like the lush feeling of water and wet mud.

(Another choice of title from a follower on Instagram).

Creek   Oils on canvas  8 x 8 inches  

The shore at low tide with wet marsh, mud and sea water.
Little rivulets and creeks will fill again when the tide turns.

Marshland is full of life with bird visitors to feed when the mud is exposed.
Light shines on the wet grasses and soft mud.

Abstracted to give a sense of place and a hint of reality.

I shall continue my journey with these small canvases.
They will be placed in simple black float frames and kept for a future show.

Now it is back to work and more of these to paint.

Until next Monday...
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 23 October 2017

The Monday Blog

Taking Risks...

Risk-taking is an essential part of my painting life.
Being prepared to risk it all and often destroying the work as I make it 
means there is a sense of adventure and often an element of surprise.

I call my process 'Destruction-Creation'


On the left is the first part of a new work in oils and the 
right side image is the painting on the second day.

Below is the third day and the work is drying on the easel.
You can see how the work has gone from an idea about 'woodland'
to a wild place, abstracted with a sense of drama.

I have taken away the idea of woodland letting my imagination
take control to make a painting with atmosphere rather than close reality.

Painting 2

A second piece is drying on the easel...
shiny wet oils.

This piece also began as a 'woodland' but after several scrapes and
rubbing down it morphed into an abstracted landscape.
Another example of destruction-creation.
I might darken the left side to balance the composition.

A different size...

Last week I bought some small canvases 8 x 8 inches to use as practice pieces.
I decided to underpaint them with acrylic and let them dry in a warm place.
These small works are part of an exercise in texture.
I shall use brush and knife to sculpt the oils.

The underpainting will probably disappear once I begin using the oils.
I am not governed by these colours or shapes. I like freedom.

Here is the first piece.
Now heavily texured with oils.

Garnet Moor   Oils on stretched canvas  8 x 8 inches

A close up image of 'Garnet Moor'
I will probably sit it in a narrow edge black float frame.

The tools of my trade.

Some of the colours I am using for these current paintings.
I like to use any soft 'muddy' hues as I work.
Next to a brighter hue a soft grey can make the brighter one 'pop'.

The palette is just a piece of hardboard or MDF.  It never gets scaped down. 
I like the sense of continuity especially when making a series of paintings.
When it gets too crusty I get another.
Old paintings can make a useful palette.

Until next Monday...
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 16 October 2017

'The Monday Blog'

Dune and Drift  Oils on board  4x3 inches

This is an off-cut with a personality.
Rather than discard it I will ask my framer to make an 'important looking' frame.

I think Graham deserves another mention...
if you need a custom made frame his link is:

Studio Musings...

This week I have been experimenting with some photos,
 changing them from colour to black and white.
I would like to paint a landscape in monochrome using the photograph as a reference.

The values really stand out in this method and are a good exercise in tonal changes.
In fact, taking a photograph of a finished piece of work and changing
 it to black and white can also help with a critical analysis.

Paintings with strong tonal shifts can be dramatic and eye-catching.
However, not all paintings need this.  
Close toned paintings are easy on the eye and relaxing but care should
 be taken to have some tonal changes though or a piece can be boring.

Here are two photographs which are examples of tonal changes.


                        Still life in my kitchen                     Sudden storm over the Fen.

Both of these images would be useful exercises and I shall attempt to
paint them over the next week or two.  I will post images of their progress.

I have recently cropped a few pieces to fit some frames I had in my studio.
This little painting on board is an example of my abstracted work about
the shore at low tide.  I like the colours and marks depicting shallow water.

Shallows  Oils on board 6x4 inches

Shallows in an off-white hand painted wood frame
 made by Graham Perkins.

It shows how a small painting can still have a sense of place.

Available from

A return to abstract

Marshlight    Oils on canvas 8 x 20 inches  

The marshes are magical in my eyes...
I love putting my abstracted coastal thoughts into paint.

This slim piece has been on my easel for several weeks.
My abstracts often take a longer time to paint.

This one had several scrape downs and nearly finished in the bin.
However, not wanting to be beaten I kept working and eventually the
work came to life.  Now, I am happy with the results.
 I just need to paint the sides, position and fasten it in this float frame

Next Monday I hope to show you some more work.