Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sienna glow.

                    Dune and Drift   Oils on canvas board   8 x 8 inches   ON HOLD

A sienna grey theme in this study of dunes in winter. 
 Snow still lies in small drifts covering the coastal grasses.  

Studio Musings...

I am feeling a definite winter theme in my work this week.  After I painted 'Wild Wolds' I wanted to return to the scene and paint a second piece.  Alas...things didn't quite work as the painting was on a different course as it morphed into a coastal study instead.

Rather than wipe over my work I let the painting evolve into what you see above.  

Mark-making is central to my work along with value.  Colour is also important but I have noticed a strength to my painting when I allow a range of values.  Not too many or the painting will become too close toned.  My darks in this piece are mixed with Phthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna and a touch of Permanent Rose.  I vary the amounts depending on how I want to depict the shadows and depth.  Coloured darks have life whereas black would be too dense.  The transparency of these colours give the luminosity I want.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Warming up.

                 Slow Thaw   Oil study on canvas board   8 x 10 inches 

Drifts in corners and near hedges but a thaw is on the way. 
 Shades of the fields are now showing with light on the deeper snowfall.

Studio Musings...

A strange thing happens when I begin a series...maybe that is why it is called a series.  I have so much fun painting the scene that my mind races on to another idea about the same place.  Sometimes it is to try another size or a different way to express my feelings.

I wonder if the great man Monet felt the same with his Haystacks? 
 If I am bold enough to ask this question about the Master.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Winter blankets.

                Night Comes   Oil study on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   SOLD

A covering of snow blankets the fields.  Nightfall and all is quiet and muffled
 with a comforting glow from the late evening sky.  

Studio Musings...

These winter scenes are inspired by photographs taken some years ago.  A small sketch of basic shapes was used as a reference but then the photograph was put away.  
 I wanted to give an abstract impression of the scene to capture light and essence of place.

  Painting daily has given me a wealth of experiences to share.  I am now into my second year of the Daily Paintworks challenge and I look forward to adding more images on this Blog.   Writing daily about my work has made me stop and think about my paintings.  When I am working I don't really think of anything as I am so wrapped up in the journey. Time can pass without me noticing and bedtime is often in the early morning hours. 

However, posting the images on-line needs me to talk about my art.  I try to give viewers an idea of what the piece means to me as well as something about the place and 
process.  I receive messages from around the world now and it is really encouraging. 

 Thank you to all my followers.

Thursday, 28 January 2016


                  Sun Setting   Oil study on canvas board   5 x 7 inches    

A patchwork quilt of colours as the sun sets over the Wolds.  
An abstracted impression of a wintery scene.

Studio Musings...

Keeping to my limited palette of Phthlo Blue, Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna and Lemon Yellow with some Titanium White I mixed these lyrical shades.  

The snow colours are quite different from the soft warm landscape colours 
of fields in summer.  These cool hues give an ethereal glow.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Walk on the wild side.

                   Wild Wolds   Oil study on canvas board  8 x 8 inches   SOLD

Winter on the Lincolnshire Wolds.  An abstracted view of the woods and fields.

Studio Musings...

For this study I used a limited palette of Phthalo Blue, Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna, Lemon Yellow and Titanium White.   I wanted a threatening grey,brown and blue sky which is reflected in the snow beneath.   Clumps of trees edge the undulating hillside and I scratched out a suggestion of trunks and branches.

I really got into the spirit of the scene and enjoyed every minute.  It came together well.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Without a paddle.

             Up the Creek   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

A sunny day and time for a paddle...the creek is shallow at ebb tide.  Lovely mud colours, violets, greens, umbers.  Sunlight on the cerulean water and warmth on the distant beach.

Studio Musings...

I cannot stay away from the coast for long before I get withdrawal symptoms.  I am so lucky to be able to visualise this scene from my studio.  I live in the heart of farmland so an imaginary  trip to the coast makes a change from the mud on the fields.  

These small studies are for sale unframed at a 'treat yourself' price.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Wintery night.

                  Winter Walk   Oil study on canvas board  7 x 5 inches   

An atmospheric oil study...walking on the dark side.  Hints of light on the horizon and frosty touches on the edge of the water.  I was interested in a study of low value tones.

 Keeping the sky soft and without texture, I used the same muted colours pulled down into the wet beach giving a sense of ebb tide which is the focus of the piece.  

Sunday, 24 January 2016


             Storm over the Bank   Oil study on canvas board   6 x 6 inches   

Stormy skies interest me.  I like the texture and colours.  Not for me the bright postcard blue of a clear day...I want a little grey drama in my work.  This is the second study in my sandbanks series.   

Studio Musings...

Allowing my mind to wander with the brush following behind I can get carried away with ideas.  Not specific advance thought out ideas but ideas which sometimes come from 'happy accidents'.  This work had several accidents.

I may begin painting a sky with blue and then change to purple or dark grey.  In fact grey (or gray for some) is a wonderful colour.  It can make other colours 'pop' or settle some bright areas of a painting to give a 'resting place' for the viewer's eye. 

 It can be subtle or strong...there are many shades of grey.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Scrub with a brush.

                 Sandbank and Scrub   Oil study on board   5.5 x 7.5 inches   

A brush with the weather is the subject for this study.
  Plenty of texture in the sky and sand gets brushed down the bank.

Abstraction is fun.  This imaginary scene gets its reference from memories of
 the dune and sandbanks along the East coast of Lincolnshire.

Studio Musings...

 Many dunes have been swept away in storms and floods over the years.  Where I played as a child in Sandilands the high dunes between this little village and the town of Sutton-on-Sea were dramatically removed by the high tides in 1953.  I was 10 years old but my happy memories of the dunes linger still.  

The photograph below shows the 'Acre Gap at Sandilands' where massive waves came over the sand dunes and houses along the little cinder track to Sutton-on-Sea in 1953.

Photograph by Nottingham Guardian

After the 1953 floods a curved concrete barrier was built along the edge of the promenade at Sandilands with steps down to the beach.  For many years the high barrier protected the little beach huts which were re-built after the big storm.   However, during the storms of 2013, wind lifted sand up the beach in drifts, filling the curved barrier and covering the promenade.  Diggers were used to move tons of sand.  

Sand drifts on the promenade

Sand blown through the gaps in the line of beach chalets.

Photographs from BBC News and East Lindsey District Council

Friday, 22 January 2016

'Bloom where you are planted'...

                              Winter Creek   Oil study on canvas board   

An abstracted winter study.  A 'collage' of ideas to make a landscape.

Studio Musings...

'Bloom where you are planted' is something I relate to my painting life. I am planted in a county which has enough to keep me busy painting daily without travelling far.  

When I got over the need to paint reality the world opened up for me.  I realised I could use my stored memories, imagination or a collage of  ideas to create a painting.
  If I want to change a view there is nothing to stop me.  I can move trees or buildings, and add rivers, snow, or sunshine.  All without permission.

The painting above...'Winter Creek' is an example.  I began painting a creek I have seen on the coast about an hour away from home.   After a few wipe-overs I decided to let my mind and brush wander.  The colours are cool which gives the impression of winter.   I placed a few suggestions of distant trees, a glow on the horizon and some directional brush marks.  Finally, the highlights on the water made the image 'pop'. 

 A trip to the coast without leaving my studio.  

Thursday, 21 January 2016

All lit up.

                  Back Lights   Oils on canvas board   10 x 12 inches   

Muddled grasses beside an overgrown lake.  Autumn sun warms the seed heads which will soon attract the birds.   Back lit these fluffy reeds and ripened docks glow.

Studio Musings...

I try to tell the truth in my art but I always leave room for a little bending here and there.  Abstracting from nature gives me scope to express whatever I am feeling...
'being true to myself'.   

This means not worrying about pleasing other people and living by someone else's standards or rules.   I am still becoming myself (as a painter) and working at being true to this.  I am the only one who can do this...that is, I am the boss, in charge of my choices.

Finding my own way, sometimes I fall down, falter and even fail but this is alright.
Failures are good learning experiences. I can begin again.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Wellies and umbrella.

                 Wet Weather   Oils on canvas board   10 x 12 inches   ON HOLD

A stormy day and plenty of heavy clouds.  Occasional breaks in the sky allowed the sun to shine briefly on the wet fields and puddles.   This field is on the back lanes near Spridlington, Lincolnshire.  I couldn't resist these big puddles in the field entrance.

Studio Musings...

A simple scene can be as effective and interesting as one packed with detail.
I liked the curves of the water-filled ruts leading my eye over the field to the tree line, then up into the sky.  The clouds have a bright patch which adds texture.  

As I have 'grown' as a painter, I have learned not to overlook the 
mundane but capitalise on the light effects or unusual shapes.  

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Whatever the weather...

                       Stormy Day   Oils on canvas board   6 x 6 inches   ON HOLD

East Coast weather and ebb tide.   An abstracted study of the beach and streams.  The fleeting glimpses of sun on the sand and water's edge add a few highlights to the scene.

Studio Musings...

Being imaginative is part of me as a person.  I take advantage of this for creating simple studies based on what I remember and also how I want to depict a scene.  I am more interested in an atmospheric 'sense of place' than a realist photographic image.

I also use my reference photos and sketches for ideas when I am short of possible subjects.  There may be a part of the photo to crop and use or even change the colours, seasons and time of day.  The permutations are endless...all it takes is a little imagination.

  A painting doesn't have to be exact...experiment.

Monday, 18 January 2016


                  Mud Melancholy   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

            Mud flats, ebb tide, reflections and imagination.  One hour of pure enjoyment.

Studio Musings...

At the end of a painting session there is nothing more enjoyable for me than using up the oils with a small study as a painting exercise.  If that piece goes on to bring more enjoyment to viewers then I am doubly satisfied.  

 The colours in this piece are the same as my previous larger painting 'Marsh and Mud Flats' posted last Thursday.  Phthalo Blue, Permanent Rose and Hansa Yellow plus Titanium White...with maybe a thin scraping of Burnt Sienna nearly dried up on the palette.

When I first began painting I was tempted to buy lots of colours and had the joy of a child in a sweet shop.  My box was stuffed with them and brushes of all shapes and sizes.   After a while I realised for my Lincolnshire landscapes it wasn't necessary for me to go beyond a limited palette of Titanium White with 2 blues, 2 reds and 2 yellows (warm and cool). 
 As I experimented I found I could mix everything I really needed.  It is my own personal preference I hasten to add...other painters may have a totally different choice.

  I do keep a few other colours in reserve so I can vary my palette or add to it. 
 Often the painting guides me as I work.   I am not rigid with set rules.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Anyone for cricket?

                 By the Cricket Till    Oils on canvas board   7 x 5 inches   

The second study of this little stream called the Cricket Till.  I abstracted the image a little and used just three colours and white.  Phthalo Blue, Permanent Rose and Hansa Yellow. Not a scientific choice, the colours just happened to be on my palette from a previous piece.  

I have just found a reference on-line for Cricketer's Bridge which is about a mile away.  The name might have a connection with this little stream which flows beneath.  I shall dig into some local history.

Studio Musings...

Recently, a viewer asked about my paperwork which accompanies each painting when it is shipped to a new home.   I always enlose a Certificate of Authenticity which has a photograph of the work and my signature and also a Title label which is fastened to the back of the board.  If the work is on paper or card the label is left loose to be fastened on the back of the work when it is framed by the purchaser.  Paintings on paper/card also have an instruction sheet regarding framing enclosed in the parcel.  

Here are examples below of my COA and small Label...

Small label for attaching to the back of the framed work

Instruction/advice sheet for paintings on paper or card

Saturday, 16 January 2016


            Study by the Cricket Till   Oils on canvas board   7 x 5 inches   

The Cricket Till runs beside the River Till and is a small stream collecting water from the surrounding farmland.  This part is on my right as I walk up to the steep river bank.

Occasionally the water is covered with bright green duck weed and gives the appearance of a narrow path.  The sun was shining on the grass bank as it meandered to the right.

                                                            Studio Musings...

I was quite pleased with how my tonal study had progressed and intended letting it dry to add further colours to the red, blue and white.

However, I decided to begin another painting of the same scene and keep this study for posting on-line.   I rarely post a monochrome tonal study as a 'stand-alone' piece but I like the simplicity.  Tomorrow will show the addition of yellow to my limited palette.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Coat of many colours.

                              Out West   Oils on board  16 x 8 inches   

   Winter fields, snow bound with a wide sky full of sunset. The perfect excuse to paint.

Studio musings...

I love a little drama and this painting gives a sense of that.  It is a scene I often return to.  I love the broad brush sweeps and pats of colour placed with confidence.  'Lay it down and leave it' is a sensible suggestion for a painter...although it is not always easy to do.

  Temptation is often hovering nearby whispering
 ' just a little adjustment...go on, you can do it '

From bitter experience I can confirm that 'a little adjustment' can sometimes be a disaster.

However, the word 'can' is important as some adjustments are beneficial.  The trick lies in knowing when.  Standing back and looking at a painting helps to see where changes or corrections might make the difference.  Looking back through a mirror, placing the work upside down or a taking thumbnail photograph can help to spot this.

There is a useful book by Greg Albert ' The Simple Secret to Better Painting'.
   Greg says there is one simple rule to follow...  'Never make any two intervals the same'.

This can cover every element in a painting...composition, shape, colour, and tonal value. 

Going back to putting down a juicy, broad brush stroke and leaving it....
 One stroke can tell so much and the work of my favourite landscape painter 
the late Edward Seago ( 1910 - 1974 ) is an excellent example.

  Interested readers can find his paintings on

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Plenty of it.

          Marsh and Mud Flats   Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches   

I love mud.  As a child I played with mud, moulding it into shapes and pies.  Mud is plentiful along the East coast in estuaries, river banks and silted marshland.  The colours are wonderful...violet, blue, pink, taupe, greys and browns.  Such rich pickings for a painter.

Sweeping brush strokes and abstraction create a sense of place. 

Studio musings...

 This painting is a re-work over another rejected piece.  When the surface is smooth without lumps and bumps I am happy to do this. Sanding down and scraping with a scalpel can help too but it doesn't always work.  If in doubt...I throw it out.

Smooth is important as I have been disappointed in the past when old lines and lumpy parts show.  For example, in the sky.  Ground level is not so critical as textural marks can hide any rough parts and even add interest to the piece.   It is very painful when a promising image is ruined by inappropriate marks.  Trust me...I have the scars.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Over we go.

                              Dune Walk   Oils on board   5 x 7  inches   On Hold

Sandy tracks along the dunes with grasses and scrubby bushes.  We have to clamber up the slope to get a view of the sea.  Will there be enough dry beach for our walk? 

 This scene is pure imagination and painted at the end of my studio session just for fun.

                        Imaginative painting brings freedom...a time to play with ideas.  

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Picnic time.

                       Day Out    Oils on canvas board   7 x 5 inches   

Memories of a holiday with my daughter on the Yorkshire coast.  It was several years ago but I can still remember our 80 mile cycle ride and camping adventure.  We visited several bays along the way and clambered down the cliff paths to empty hidden beaches pretending we were the only ones in the world to find them.   

Monday, 11 January 2016

Long hot summer.

           Track past the Wheatfield   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

Walking with Whippet along the track to the river I pass the side of a wheatfield.  The ripened corn glows in the warmth of the sun and the trees in full leaf shade us from the wind.  At the end of this track the way turns left through a large copse before reaching the river bank.  Buzzards fly here and I can hear their mewing cries above me.

Studio musings...

Viewers may have seen this track before as I frequently paint the scene.  I like to study the changing seasons noting the shapes and colours in the fields.  Full leaf cover can be a challenge for painting but there are many colours and tonal exercises to be tried.

Winter brings new shapes and I always look forward to the bare branches.  The tips have a violet pink tinge when in sunlight...a promise of the new spring growth.

I shall take my camera and get a few reference photographs.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Colour paths.

                      Night Watch   Oils on canvas   4.5 x 6.5  inches   

A loosely painted sky and beach gives an impression of the place. 
 Pulling the white down suggests reflections at the edge of the water.  

I like the tones and colours in this study.  It could be a reference for a larger abstract.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Hilltop view.

                 Heath Path   Oils on canvas board   10 x 12 inches  

This piece has its origins in 'Heather and Heath' pictured below
... a 4 x 6 inch study in my studio.  I think 'Heath Path' is finished but as it sits in my studio I can see parts I would like to change.  Mmm...wait and see Anne.  No rush.

I didn't want to create a clone as 'Heath Path' has a different appearance 
but the new one could be from the same landscape. 

 In fact, this is a ficticious landscape from my imagination. 

Studio musings...

 I have studied the landscape with a painter's eye for several years and I am sure it becomes second nature to mentally visualise it when I work.  Part of the delight of painting is making some marks and suddenly realising it re-kindles a memory of a first seen delight.  
This response is what inspires me.

Heather and Heath