Friday, 30 September 2016

Grey skies.

Out to sea on a grey day   Oils on Ampersand Gessobord 10 x 8 inches   £ 108   $ 140

June 2nd and the weather is changeable.
The dunes at Humberston make a great viewing platform.

Studio Musings...

I was in Grimsby in early June as one of three selectors of painting awards
for the North Lincolnshire Art Society's exhibition in Grimsby Minster.

After we had finished I drove to nearby Humberston Fitties, my childhood playground.
The day was very unseasonable for June but the skies were splendid.

Lots of texture, colours and breaks in the cloud for sun to give a welcome warmth.
The dunes make a good place to stand and look out over the mouth of the River Humber.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Wild and windy.

Windswept   Oils on Ampersand Gessobord   8 x 8 inches   SOLD

Free expression of a wild sea and shore.

Studio Musings...

I think I am gradually getting there with these new panels but it is a battle.
This painting began three times as different scenes.

I wasn't happy with any so the board was scraped down each time.
Very nearly clearing up and leaving it I gave myself one last try.

Using paper towel I picked up the oils and with gesturing quick strokes
 the idea of a wild seascape began to take shape.

I like it now and decided to leave well alone and come in for tea.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


A Lighter Touch   Oils on Ampersand Gessobord   8 x 8 inches  £ 99   $ 130

A lakeside landscape, abstracted for atmosphere.

Studio Musings...

I am late today with my blog.  Painting walls got in the way.

This is a continuation of practicing on these Ampersand panels.
Each time it feels challenging but I am getting used to the idea of placing the oils and leaving them without too much blending.  The brush strokes are all visible.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A wild day.

Road from Old Bolingbroke   Oils on Ampersand Gessobord
8 x 10 inches   SOLD

The Lincolnshire Wolds on a very rough day.
Sun highlights the harvested fields.
The journey home from a plein air painting day with friends.

Studio Musings...

The second of my adventures on the Ampersand board.
This time I prepared the support with Gesso and Polyfilla to give more 'tooth'.

This was a recipe I learned from artist Brian Ryder.

In a jar I put a tablespoon of Polyfilla powder, a table spoon of Gesso
and a mix of Acrylic paints to make a soft grey blue colour, added some water 
and then stirred well to a nice paintable consistency.

I applied a coat and left it to dry.

When dry the surface felt slightly rougher and at first the oils gripped and stayed in place.
As I progressed I found the paint began to slide around again a little but I realised my technique had to change with this type of support.  Lay it on and leave.

I think this painting is an impovement and I like the result.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Trent Valley.

Water Meadows   Oils on Ampersand Gessobord   8 x 10 inches   SOLD

The lush, green water meadows near
 the River Trent in Laneham, Nottinghamshire.

Studio Musings...

This is my first trial using a new board in my studio.
The Ampersand boards are very smooth and in my case, challenging.

I found the oils slid around making the whole process a bit of a battle.
After several wipe overs I got the knack of placing the paint and leaving it alone.

I have another 8 of these boards so if you are interested...
tune in to watch the progress.

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Waiting   Oils on canvas board   20 x 16 inches   

(Available on

Peace and harmony at the coast.  

Studio Musings...

My second abstracted relaxation piece.
More real than yesterday's work but still with a sense of freedom.

Dawn or dusk...the choice is yours.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Big picture.

All around us   Oils on canvas board   20 x 16 inches  

(Available on

A 'fantasy' landscape.

Studio Musings...

After a painting session of realist landscapes I like to relax with an abstract painting.
Larger formats give me the room to move the oils around.

After several attempts to get back in the mood I scraped back, flung the brush about and with a final sweep the curve near the top signalled the end.

The finished piece has a sense of moors, coast or the world.

Time to leave and let it dry.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Drama at sea.

Dawn Patrol   Oils on gessoed 140lb paper   

(Available on

Morning along the shore and drama in the sky.

Studio musings...

Paper is a lovely support for oil painting.
  The dimples in the paper hold a trace of paint when the oils are scraped back.

I used a one inch flat brush and a knife for the sky highlights.
Pulling the paint swiftly gives the ethereal look as it lightly blends the colours.  

Thursday, 22 September 2016


A Moment of Calm   Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches  £ 105   $ 140

Ebb tide in the bay, pink and violet sky.

Studio Musings...

One of the fun parts of painting is creating something from 'nothing'.
Nothing in front of me...just my imagination for company.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Night Light  Oils on board  9 x 12 inches  

(Available on

The moon highlights the edge of the field.

Studio Musings...

This painting was shown earlier in the year in two exhibitions.
I am now making it available for sale.  Unframed with free shipping.

The exciting part of this painting was abstracting and sculpting the oils for the light.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The edge.

Shoreline   Oils on board  4.5 x 12 inches   £ 42   $ 55

Out on the horizon the sun shines on the sandbank.

Studio Musings...

The second half of this panoramic view.  
Scrubbing oils on board is a satisfying process. 
 I like to make marks to give the impression of rocks, weed and pools.

It amazes me that a few rough, scrubby gestures say something about the shore.
I have a great job...

Monday, 19 September 2016

The longer view.

Far Out   Oils on board  4.5 x 12 inches   £ 42   $ 55

Across the bay...a longer view of the shore.

Studio Musings...

This abstracted little piece is one half of a long, narrow painting.
It was painted very quickly on a scrap piece of board to use up the oils on the palette.

I quite like the format.  The second half will be posted tomorrow.
The board isn't cut in half yet as I rather like the panoramic nature of the piece.

I can offer the whole picture or two separate views.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

High Noon.

Noon on the Dune   Oils on canvas board   12 x 10 inches   

(Available on

A hot day in September for my outing to Sandilands.

Studio Musings...

I wanted to remember my birthday outing to the beach this week.
Not a lot of time for a painting today so a 20 minute session had to suffice.

Without too much of a plan I laid on the blue and then some dark green with a touch of red.
I scrubbed the paint onto the canvas and from nowhere came an image of dunes.

Going with the theme I abstracted, pushed oils around, scraped back a little and here it is.  
It looks hot...and it was.  The sunlit sand was golden, what more could I want? 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Trails and patterns.

Autumn Wolds   Oils on canvas board   10 x 12 inches   £ 105   $ 140

From the road to the coast.  The rolling Lincolnshire Wolds.

Studio Musings...

A larger study of the Wolds today.  A little more realism but not too much.

Keeping the work loose and concentrating on a sense of place I used just one brush.
A one inch flat.  My favourite.  No knife today, just marks made by soft bristles.

Autumn brings tapestry to the scene with a variety of shapes and colour.
Harvested stubble in the foreground, a fresh green meadow and newly ploughed earth.

I painted quickly and finished the piece in around one and a half hours.
Time to put down the brush and clean up...let it dry.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Trails of summer.

Gateway   Oils on canvas board  5 x 7 inches   £ 35   $ 50

Vapour trails over the Wolds.  A clear blue sky at the end of summer.

Studio Musings...

Landscape painting and an abstracted view of the Lincolnshire Wolds.
This painting was getting a little 'tight' and not what I really wanted.

Time to rough things up a little.  I put down my brush.
I reached for the knife..but not to cut anything into pieces.

A painting knife is excellent for sculpting the oils and scraping back.
On the palette a knife is good for picking up colours and blending.

A knife is good for picking up two or three colours and laying them on the canvas.
 Smoothing or spreading the colours allows them to lightly blend...not too much.

The little painting was getting lively.
Time to put it to dry before I killed it off.

Thursday, 15 September 2016


Lavender Track   Oils on canvas board   12 x 10 inches   

(Available on

Warm and sultry, evening comes to the lavender fields.

Studio Musings...

I love to create something from another piece of work.
This image 'Winter's Evening' was sitting in my studio just waiting to be changed.

From this to this

I liked the vertical format and most of the composition so I decided to keep that.
The main change was colour and a transition from winter to summer.

I used a one inch flat brush and did a little work with a knife to sculpt the oils.
My colours were Phthalo blue, Cerulean, Magenta, Cadmium orange hue, Lemon and white.

Recently I have liked using the orange mixed with blue to make an interesting green.
My colour palette is always kept to a minimum as I enjoy blending the paint.

The painting morphed into an evening landscape with lavender fields in mind.
Purely imaginary and a pleasure to work.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

First lights.

Sunrise   Oils on gessoed 140lb paper   10 x 12 inches  On Hold for Exhibition

A sunlit shore.  Early morning light.

Studio Musings...

A second painting which had a radical re-work. 
 This time I wanted to add more life to the scene.

It can be a risky business destroying parts of a painting to create a new piece.
However, there is no room for fear as the only way is to get on with it.

 I can easily ruin a painting by adding paint over paint and overworking it into mud.
This piece was scraped back several times before I saw some progress. 

Abstracted marks, paint skimmed across the surface and highlights from the sun
began to bring the painting to life.  No need to worry, a new work is born. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Watery places.

Ebb Tide   Oils on gessoed 140lb paper   10 x 12 inches   £ 105   $ 140

The outgoing tide exposes the mud in all its glory.

Studio Musings...

Not to everyone's taste, a vista of mud and marsh.
To my eye though, it feels quite lyrical in a watery way.

In this piece my aim was to give a sense of water skimming the surface.
Scraping back and pulling the oils down with a brush and knife adds texture.

Monday, 12 September 2016


Shore   Oils on board  8 x 12 inches  On Hold for Exhibition

Light catches the sandbank and pools at ebb tide.

Studio Musings...

My favourite place.  The vast beaches and marshes.

I used a previous painting for this piece. 
 Not too many changes but a little more texture and sparkle.

At one point I thought I had lost it and began to wish I had left it alone.
The only way out was to keep working...take some out, add more paint and be firm.

I like the result.  It was worth the effort.

Sunday, 11 September 2016


After Rain   Oils on gessoed 140lb paper   7.5 x 9.5 inches  On Hold for Exhibition

Tide and rain on East Coast marshes.

Studio Musings...

I think I am becoming an obsessive coastal painter.
Every visit is different, every day a new one for texture and colour.

These recent paintings are not 'plein air', but from memory.
A study in my mind.  

Or is it 'artistic licence'?

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Early morning.

Breaking Light   Oils on canvas board   10 x 12 inches   

A new day beckons...

Studio Musings...

Early morning and late evening create ethereal colours.
Painted quickly with a one inch brush I wanted to capture something of this sight.

It is strange how paintings seem to follow one another in a certain style or colour.
Maybe this has something to do with the oils on the palette rather than chance.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Low tide.

Estuary   Oils on canvas board   12 x 8 inches   

(Available on

Low tide and the light catches the standing pools of water.

Studio Musings...

This study is another impression of how I remember the place.
Moving paint around and making marks is my concern.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Summer storms.

Heavy Weather   oils on canvas board   10 x 12 inches   

(Available on

Driving home across the Fen the summer storm was spectacular.

Studio Musings...

I love to see stormy skies. 
 In fact, a plain bright blue sky does nothing for my imagination.

We drove along the top Burton Road near Lincoln and could see the storm brewing.
As we came downhill towards North Carlton the sky looked very dark.

I had my camera with me and took several photographs for reference.
This was early summer and it has taken me all this time to get the first study done.