Monday, 25 December 2017

All Change

Good Morning on Christmas Day 

Welcome to my Monday Blog

More on the abstraction route..

This image is a re-work over an unwanted picture.
I used the previous surface as an underpainting.

It was not an easy session.
Several scrape downs and rub offs took place and I nearly lost it.

Then I got determined and decided to rough it around a bit.  

I lived with this image for a few days and might have
 called it finished but an urge to change the right bottom part took over. 

Return visit...

As often happens with a re-work, the changes didn't stop at the right side...
Oil was flying in all directions as I sculpted and scraped.

Now completely changed the new painting was left to rest overnight.
Next day I put it in a frame and assessed the situation.

I think it is time to call it 'cooked'.    No...that is not the title.

Return Visit   Oils on board  18 x 14 inches

Getting in closer...

Zooming in this is a small patch from lower centre

I am always fascinated by small details.
They are little abstracts in their own right.

Luscious oils sculpted by a knife.
This patch is about 2 square inches.
The textures are intriguing.

Colours from my box...

My palette for this work was a little different to my usual one.
I decided to use Ivory Black.  I am not afraid of black.
It can make some interesting mixes.

Lush greens emerge with Lemon Yellow and Indian Yellow.
Magenta and black make a rich plum hue.

Other colours made this picture...

Phthalo Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna
and Titanium White.

I wouldn't use black for shadows in a landscape.
I prefer to use colour mixes for that.

Colour mixing is a personal choice.
I like to experiment but nearly always forget to write the recipe down.
My work is intuitive, on the move and spontaneous.

If I stopped to take notes I would break the flow
 and maybe the magic would disappear. 

Until next Monday...

I wish you a warm and cosy Christmas.

Winter Wonderland  Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches

Thank you for visiting.


Monday, 18 December 2017

Abstraction and Beyond...

Good morning and welcome to my Monday Blog.

If you are a regular viewer you will be familiar with my love of abstraction.
  I am always looking for new ideas and here is one from this week's work.

Actually, it is part of a painting from my studio cupboard.

Norfolk Marshes  6 x 6 inches 


                                                 Detail from Norfolk Marshes                                                                      
                          This detail at the bottom of the canvas attracted my attention.
By cropping out the area and enlarging the image I now
 have an idea for painting an abstract on a large canvas.
I also enhanced the colours a little...

Here is another small study which could become the subject for a larger work.
It would need a large brush and some sweeping strokes to give gesture to the piece. 

Along the way   Oils on board  4 x 6 inches

New framing...

Weather on the Shore  Oils on canvas board 10 x 12 inches

My framer cut a cream mount/mat to give this painting some space.
An Ash frame is gentle on the eye for this Lincolnshire seascape.

On the wall...

On Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of seeing three of my paintings
hanging in the Sam Scorer Gallery, Drury Lane, Lincoln when
I attended the Preview of the Re-Union Exhibition.

This show is open to view 10am to 4pm until Friday 22 December.

My three paintings in off-white frames.

Last but not least...

My favourite painting of the week.

Dune and Drift   Oils on board  4 x 5 inches

A few weeks ago I showed you this little off-cut.
It has now been elevated to a front of house position.

My tiny landscape study is in a gold-coloured frame
 hanging on my sitting room wall.

I have asked my framer to make more of these frames...
they are just right for giving a sense of importance to a small picture.

Until next Monday...
Thank you for visiting

Monday, 11 December 2017

Battening down and warming up...

Good morning and welcome to my Monday blog.

This week the weather has changed and cold winds, ice and snow have arrived.
Time to batten down the hatches and keep warm.

My studio is a wooden cabin heated by a woodburning stove.
It is a hungry beast and needs stoking often to keep the temperature
suitable for painting.  I have moved my easels nearer to keep watch.

I use a variety of easels.  Freestanding and table versions.
A large old dining table is useful for my palette, table easels and other equipment.
I like several pieces of work in progress so I move from one to the other.

This prevents the temptation to begin fiddling with a 'difficult' one.
Turning my back on the work for a time means I look at it again with fresh eyes.

Over the past few weeks I have been working on small  8 inch square canvases.
Now it is time to change to something different as I like variety.
I believe it keeps my work fresh and spontaneous.

Here is the final one in this series...

Gold Sky   Oils on canvas  8 x 8 inches

I completed another small coastal study too...

Turning Tide  Oils on gessoed watercolour paper  6 x 6 inches
in a hand-painted wood frame.

It is a textured piece, with oils sculpted by brush and knife.
I love the luscious feeling as I work with the paint.

Close-up detail

More detail

Now for something completely different...

Lud's Doorway   Oils on gessoed watercolour paper
with cream mount and black frame measuring 10 x 12 inches.

Lud's Church is a cathedral-like place amongst the rocks
in the High Peak, Derbyshire/Staffordshire region.

Memories from a walking holiday there inspired this piece.
The light pours in through a gap in the rocks looking like a doorway.

Out of the woods   Oils on gessoed watercolour paper 
with cream mount and black frame measuring 10 x 12 inches.

This imaginitive landscape was inspired by the woods and
 fields I see when walking near my home with Whippet Brodie.
Weather and changing seasons often feature in my work.

The mount/mat isolates the painting from the frame giving it a bold contrast. 
 They look nice hanging together.  I am happy with them.

Framing changes...

My framer Graham has decided to scale down
 his workload to concentrate on other commitments.
I would like to say thank you Graham.
I have been very pleased with all the frames you have
 made for me and I send you good wishes for your future.

That's all for now...the stove is calling.
 I hope you keep safe and warm.

Until next Monday...
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Shipping, housekeeping and other studio musings...

Hello and welcome to my Monday blog

This week I have shipped a larger framed painting to a new home.
I think this new owner will be quite busy unwrapping it.

Most of my online sales are small or medium sized
 pieces  which are fairly easy to pack and ship.
Masses of bubble wrap, cardboard and brown paper were used for this one
 but just to make sure I put the parcel into a thick plastic sack and sealed it all
 with copious amounts of sticky tape and 'fragile' tape.   It was a huge effort
 but I felt it was necessary to help the parcel arrive in one piece.  Phew!

Now I remember why I usually keep to smaller sizes.

Studio Housekeeping...

Winter is a good time for me to look around my studio and select paintings for sale.

I try not to get too attached to my paintings but some pieces are
 kept back for me to hang in my home and studio gallery. 
  Often an idea for a new piece can come from looking at them.

  I remember hearing the artist Fred Cuming RA  mentioning this in one of his DVDs. 
  He said one of the paintings around his studio can 'spawn' another.

Here are some examples from my collection...

          This is a detail from the centre of a larger piece called 'Mellow Mood'

This small area is interesting enough to translate into a new seascape.
I like the colours too.

The one below is a detail from my painting 'Winter Glow'.


This detail is from the upper left in the framed painting.
It has a feeling of a winter moorland.  I like the colours and shapes.
 Another possibility for a new landscape painting.

A third example is this detail from 'Sundown'.

Luscious oils sculpted with a flat brush.

The detail is from the right side of the framed painting.  I really like this one. 
 There is energy in the brush strokes and a sense of urgency about the piece.

The composition and tonal qualities are exciting and these
 little patches of abstraction will kickstart a flurry of painting activity.

There is a reason for showing you these images.
I have heard some painters saying they have difficulty getting 'inspiration'.

For anyone seeking inspiration I would suggest following Fred Cuming's
 advice and take a look at pieces they have already painted. 

  Inspiration might be right in front of them.

Surprise of the week...

Looking through my older paintings I turned one over 
and saw this on the back of my painting 'Mellow Mood'.
I had forgotten it was there having painted on the other side.

It is an old landscape painted over with rough gestural brush strokes.
The resulting image is nothing very inspiring until I zoomed in a little...

Suddenly there is something I can use.
I like it and think it could work.
I will try it.

Now it is time to get working.

Until next Monday...

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Re-unions and other studio musings...

Hello and welcome to my Monday blog.

For the last few days I have been preparing four paintings
for a group show in Sam Scorer Gallery, Drury Lane, Lincoln.

It is the called the 'Re-union Show' and is for 18 past exhibitors
 celebrating the Gallery...opening on 12th December for two weeks.

Choosing work for this show I decided to submit two landscapes
 and two seascapes of similar sizes and framing.

Here they are...available for a new home.

Sandmarsh  Oils on gessoed watercolour paper

Hedgerow  Oils on gessoed watercolour paper

Shore   Oils on board

Winter Fields  Oils on board

Keeping warm...

The weather is turning cooler in my studio so I light the woodburner
stove most days.  It makes a big difference and gives a cheery light.

I have a new arrived this week.
A Kindling Cracker designed by a young girl in New Zealand.

Here she is on the box...Ayla Hutchinson

   A cast iron chopper for firewood using a lump hammer
to knock the log down onto the 'blade'.


Safer than using an axe, this will be a great tool for a woodburning painter.
Now I have plenty of firewood for lighting the stove on cold mornings.

Meeting new friends...

I like to use the Internet to meet other painters and see their work.
Over the past few years I have made several painting friends 
around the world and I enjoy this way of being in an art community.

I have previously mentioned I enjoy watching Brian Rutenberg's YouTube videos.
If you are interested to see what he does with oil paint visit

Another favourite is Mitchell Albala.  
I like his subtle atmospheric oil paintings.
His blog is informative and full of useful painting tips.

Something I am currently studying is the technique of using
cold wax medium.  I have bought a small jar to experiment.
Mixing it with oils it looks quite exciting so this week I shall give it a try.

Here is a link to a site I found whilst exploring the web.

Before I go...

I would like to share a link to Kim VanDerHoek's blog.
She writes interesting notes about painting and the use of colour.

That's about it for this week...
I shall read some of these blogs now.

Until next Monday...

Thank you for visiting