Monday, 29 February 2016

Wake up.

Early Start   Oils on canvas board   8 x 8 inches 

Day two chasing skies.  Up early to catch the light over rolling fields.

Studio Musings...

I am loving my fresh clean pallete with room to mix colours.  This piece was created with Pthalo Blue, Permanent Rose, Lemon yellow and Burnt Sienna.
  Titanium White was used for the highlights with a touch of the other colours.

  I am trying to hold off using too much white as I work.  White tends to give a chalky appearence if used too much and for this painting the focus was on the clear colours of dawn.  The English landscape is quite soft in colour especially where I live on the East side so when there is a spectacular dawn or sunset the impact of colour is breathtaking.

No mountains to hinder the view, the East of England is a special place for this painter.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Chasing the sun.

Atmosphere of Light   Oils on canvas board   12 x 10 inches   

Lighting up time.  The big sky has a big impact over the land.

Studio Musings...

I couldn't stay away from skyscapes for long and after setting up
 a fresh unused palette it was a joy to have some clear colour for my brush.

My studio palette is a piece of glass with a sheet of white paper beneath.  I like the feel of the glass under the paint as I mix my colours.  Today it was fresh and clean without the contamination of previous colour mixes.  It isn't changed every day as some previous mixes are useful.  However, there comes a moment when the dried piles of crusty paint is a nuisance.  The blending parts become smaller and mixes can become muddy. 

Muddy paint can be sometimes be used for an under-painting and there are some beautiful greys.  But clear colour was the essence of this painting.  I wanted a glow over the piece.

Time for some housekeeping.  I think it shines.


I know some theorists have views/'rules' about the focal point of a painting being best on the Golden Mean positions.  This painting and it's creator have broken this rule big time as there, slap bang in the middle is my focal point!  Not an ideal place, some might say.

  My horizon line had kept moving as I worked.
  When I stood back from my easel I saw that I had let this happen. 

 Do I wipe it off and re-do it all?  Do I worry?

A definite no.  I think my piece can shout out in defiance...'I am as I am'. 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Rain on the way.

Summer Storm     Oils on canvas board   12 x 10 inches   

A cloud landscape study as a storm approaches.
Loosely abstracted to suggest mood and atmosphere.

Studio Musings...

This sky study seemed a large area to fill with clouds and I wondered if it might become too oppressive but as the dictionary states...close, hot and sultry...I think the scene depicts the day with little trouble.

Keeping the brush strokes loose and free,  I abstracted the ground to give importance to the sky.  I toiled over the clouds and at one point I thought it might be a 'wiper' so I left it overnight and roughed it up a little in the morning. 

 It came together better after a break and a drier surface.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Time zone.

Coastal Zone   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

A fresh look at the ebb tide coastline. 
 Muddy sand and shallow water pick up colours in this small study.

Studio Musings...

The coastline fascinates me and I paint my impression of it at every opportunity.

I decided to add pink and violet to the edge of the water to add an atmospheric touch.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

On track.

Ruts and Puddles   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

Along the back road to Spridlington I spotted these wonderful puddles in the tractor tracks.
They stopped me in my tracks too...I just had to paint them.

Studio Musings...

Sometimes it is pure luck of being in the right place at the right time to find a little gem to paint.  This may be a simple subject but I found it exciting as a possible piece.  The ruts made by the tractor wheels were quite deep so the rain filled puddles turned into mirrors.

Keeping my brush strokes loose and using quite a large brush I abstracted the scene.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Top Hats.

Headland Sentries   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches  

A small copse along the Wolds hedgeline. 
 These trees stand like sentries with red hats.

Studio Musings...

I enjoyed painting this small study to loosen up and relax in my work.

Hours earlier I had abandoned a larger 16 x 16 inch canvas as it was not getting any better.  The surface was becoming very textured after several attempts to 'improve' it and it did not look good.  It was time to reject it and begin another painting.

Holding on to what I call 'negative drains' makes me feel frustrated.
I had the satisfaction of watching it burn.  Onward and upward.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

New Year.

Flash of Spring   Oils on board   8 x 8 inches expressive view.

Studio Musings...

Strong brush strokes and scrubbing set the scene for this little abstract piece.
The paint was thin and transparent to give an idea of stems, branches and texture.

The yellow adds a solid part to represent sun and daffodils with a little blue sky. 
No fussing...just shapes and brush strokes.

Monday, 22 February 2016


No Rain Today   Oils on box canvas   16 x 16 inches   

Abstraction and nature...a happy day in summer

Studio Musings...

This painting has 'morphed' into an expressive abstract.  A study in colour and form with a slant on summer.   It took all day to paint and my imagination was in charge.

A different view...rotated once.  This painting may be viewed at any angle.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Safely gathered in..

Sheep Shelter, Laneshawbridge Moor  Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches   

Night gathering on the Laneshawbridge Moors.  A reminder of a long weekend in this lovely place a few years ago.  We stayed at the Alma Inn with log fires, good food and company.

Studio Musings...

It is quite a comfortable feeling to be painting a landscape of snow when there is not any snow outside my window.  Spring beckons with snowdrops and other little gems in the garden.  I gave myself a reminder of what the uphill sheep farmers must be experiencing over winter.  This little shelter was across the fields from my bedroom window at the Inn.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

All glow..

Favourite Place   Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches  

Dawn over the ebb tide and stony beach. 
 The pools pick up the sun's light and give a stained glass appearance to the scene.

Studio Musings...

Viewers by now will know my liking for a little drama in my work.  By nature I do not see myself as dramatic person but I love it in my paintings and in my home.  Recently I painted all four walls in my sitting room black as I wanted a 'Gothic' theme. I am really happy with it. 

Part of being a painter is training my eye and inner voice to notice what is around me.  I hear my little voice telling me to study the colours and shapes in skies, over fields and around the shores.  It comes automatically now each time I am outside.

  Now I realise they must be burned into my mind as these colours and shapes appear in paintings created without anything in front of me.  Particularly in my abstract work.

Here is a painting called 'Shifting Sands'.  It was inspired by a visit to our Lincolnshire coast and I became interested in the erosion of the dunes and weathering over time.

Another painting is 'Passage of Time'...

Both paintings are 20 x 8 inches and can be displayed in both vertical and horontal format.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Amongst friends...

Edyth's Hornbeam   Oils on board   13 x 9 inches  

Lovingly planted 32 years ago, this Hornbeam was given to me as a sapling by my friend Edyth for our wild garden.  It shares the paddock with Birches, Hazels and Oaks.  
Autumn...and leaf fall provides a rich orange carpet

  Edyth would be surprised to see it must be 32 feet tall.

Studio Musings...

This simple study of branches and trunks was abstracted with expressive brush marks as I wanted a jumbled appearance with the emphasis on colour and shapes.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Nearly there.

Homeward Bound   Oils on gessoed watercolour paper  7 x 11 inches   ON HOLD

Winter on the Wolds and the dramatic sky beckons to return home.

Studio Musings...

Painting oils on paper is a delightful way to create an expressive skyscape.

The texture of the paper lends itself to mark-making and when
 gessoed is strong enough to withstand my scrubbing and sculpting.

Abstracted to give a sense of place rather than a detailed view,
I like to give the viewer an opportunity to make a personal interpretation of the subject.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Slippery slopes.

Apres Ski   Oils on canvas board   8 x 10 inches   

The slopes are nearly clear...a little snow remains.  The mountain relaxes after winter.

Studio Musings...

My afternoon was spent painting and well away from a mountain side. 
 This may not resemble a ski slope at all but winter sports are on my mind. The idea of hurtling downhill in the snow is not for me but our family love their winter holiday adventure.

This little painting is purely fictional and joins two other winter pieces this week.
  I love my winter adventure at my easel and am content to be inside,
 snug and warm with whippet and my imagination for company.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

New day...

Winter Estuary   Oils on board   8 x 10 inches   SOLD

Sunrise and the colours of dawn are reflected in the wet mud of the estuary.

Studio Musings...

This piece began a while ago as a seascape and was put aside as I was not happy with my work.  I found it this week and decided to re-work it into another scene.

I like the result and I like the colours too...especially the 'dark becoming light' sense of place.

Monday, 15 February 2016

We two.

Two's Company   Oils on canvas board   12 x 10 inches 

Big bales up on the Wolds.  A summer memory.

Studio Musings...

This painting has been in my studio since I painted it in January 2015.
 I wanted to keep it for a while before posting as I liked the loose abstracted style.
  It was one of the first paintings in my Daily Painting Challenge.
  I feel ready to let it go now.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Uphill climb.

Upland, North Moors   Oils on canvas board   10 x 8 inches   SOLD

A view uphill in late evening.
  A full moon shines on lying snow and some tracks down the moor.   

Studio Musings...

Painting at its best...lost in a world of make-believe.  Time passes un-noticed as I create another painting about the dark moors.  The garden goes un-tended but I am not troubled as there will be warmer weather soon to tempt me outside and make a start.

As I worked I noticed the diagonals like a zig-zag pattern and decided to leave them to depict the stone walls and tracks over this bleak moorland.  The place is Lancashire and is a reminder of my stay there one January a few years ago.  It snowed then and this fictional painting is really about my recollection of the occasion.  

Having time and inspiration to paint each day is a great blessing.  

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Cold Wolds.

Dark Moor   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches  

Up high on moorland it is frosty and clear.  An expressive evening scene.

Studio Musings...

A second visit to the winter moors and a crisp, cold climb looks inviting.  This subject is appealing to me at the moment and I have a third painting on the easel.

Purely fictional but this little study takes its reference from earlier sketches.

It reminds me of a short holiday in Lancashire a few years ago. 
 We stayed in an inn up on the moors.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Up early..

Boontown Dawn   Oils on canvas board   8 x 10 inches  

In summer I woke early and walked down the lane in Broxholme. 
 This is what greeted me.  

Studio Musings...

I have painted this scene a few times but never on this size board.  I enjoyed the whole session and feel I captured something of this special moment.  There truly was this glow across the sky and over the fields giving the whole place an ethereal feeling.

Fifteen minutes later it had changed as the sun rose and the sky was filled with light.  Something had woken me...maybe it was meant to be.

A painter's paradise.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Ahoy there.

Sea View - Marsh & Sandbank   Oils on canvas board  8 x 8 inches    SOLD

Fresh and breezy...a February day on the East Coast.
 A break in the weather which has been grey and stormy this week.

Studio Musings...

One day I will take my little easel and paint here plein air but for now I shall return to my earlier paintings for a reference.  I can still get the feel of the place having seen it so many times.  It seems quite natural to do this and each time the image is a little different to the last.    This is the fun and magic of painting.  

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Right on track.

Back Field Track    Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches  ON HOLD  

Near the river is a track to a little farm. 
 I was interested in the puddles and piles of rust red leaves.  

Studio Musings...

Puddles are a delight for painters.  Like mirrors they sparkle with light. 
 Summer is very lush and green and quite often a difficult scene
 to paint but autumn shows the bones of the trees. 

After painting several small pieces a change to this 10x12 felt strange.
  It took a while to get used to the size.  Almost as if I had to learn to paint again.  

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Watch your step.

Ascending Light   Oils on canvas board   8 x 8 inches   

A massive post glacial landslip created this cleft in the rocks in a wood near Gradbach in Staffordshire.  I like the light falling on the steps which lead down to 'Lud's Church' at the bottom.   Moss gives the rocks a soft covering.

Studio Musings...

Keeping this loose yet depicting the rocks was an interesting exercise. 
 Light falls from the top of this deep cleft creating a dramatic entrance.
 On exit there is a sense of peace as the walker climbs up towards the light.

One day I will return to this lovely area.

 After displaying the painting on my studio cupboard I was captivated by the light at the top. 
I have changed the title for this piece from 'Stepping down to Lud's Church'. 
 I think 'Ascending Light' gives the painting a stronger focus.

Monday, 8 February 2016


              Snowlocked   Oil study on canvas board   10 x 12 inches   

Not many at the bus stop.  Dore, near Sheffield has a thick covering of snow.

(Painted from a friend's photograph).

Studio Musings...

I painted this about 2 years ago, put it aside and found it this week in a cupboard behind my painting equipment. It never got finished as other work became more pressing.  Now, I don't want to 'finish' it as there is a sense of the occasion in the simplicity. 
 Sometimes less is more.

It is easy to overwork a piece leading to disaster.
  A painter's challenge is putting it aside and leaving it alone.  

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Danger...deep water.

                 Marsh Edge   Oil study on canvas board   5 x 7 inches   

Tide water drops down into the creek at the marsh edge.  Deep when the tide turns and fills the pools again.  In the meantime there may be tiny crabs and shells to find.

Studio Musings...

A second art re-cycle takes place. 
 This study still has parts of the previous image as the smaller pools added interest.
  I love the lush sea grass at the edge of the mud and the dark nooks and crannies 
for tiny beasties to hide whilst the tide is out. 

The foreground pool leads into a creek which becomes very deep at high tide. The sea in the distance looks serene.   Enjoy the walk but beware.  Keep an eye on that water.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

  Darkness beckons.  

Winter Moor   Oil study on canvas  5 x 6 inches 

Darkness falls and the moor is quiet.  Ice on the pools and crisp underfoot.

Studio Musings...

I love the challenge of making something new out of something old.  Re-cycled art.

This was a little canvas waiting to be changed.  Underneath is a seascape which is now overgrown with moorland.  I thought I would leave parts exposed but in the end it was covered over.  Somehow the dark blue...a kind of indigo lent itself to becoming a bleak moor.  Abstracted and imaginative, here is the moor in winter.  Don't slip.

(Please forgive me...there is wet paint glare on the photo...I will re-do when dry)

Friday, 5 February 2016


Ebb Corner   Oils on canvas board   5 x 7 inches

Sheltered in the corner by breakwater and rocks the ebb tide reveals pools and drifts of sand.  Violet and peach in the sky and on land for this abstracted sketch.

Studio Musings...

Breakwaters make a sheltered place for sea watching.  Over the years they weather and wear away but these old soldiers remain and sand gets piled up beside them.

  Using up colours on my palette it was a fun study at the end of my painting day.
   Nothing wasted.