Monday, 30 October 2017

Making changes and other studio musings...

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

Taking Risks and other studio musings...

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

Offcuts, cropping and other studio musings...

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. 


Monday, 9 October 2017

'The Monday Blog'

The first of my weekly blog posts.

I have decided to downsize my daily blogging and post once a week instead.
I hope to post more about my studio and the work I am currently doing.

My work is also changing a little.
For the past three years I have painted a small piece
 daily to post in my online gallery at

I shall continue to do this but some of my time will be
 devoted to larger pieces which take longer to create.
If I can remember, I will post images of work in progress.

I like to paint both representational and abstract pieces.
Some of these will be kept in my studio for future exhibitions.

My online gallery pages at will continue to 
be filled with a selection of landscapes, seascapes and some abstracts.

I hope you like the weekly blog...
Please message if you have any comments.
I am always interested in hearing from you.

Studio Musings...

Three of a kind.


These paintings are currently on show in the Usher Gallery, Lincoln
as part of the Lincolnshire Artists' Society Autumn Exhibition.

A 'nearly new' piece...

Southerly Days  Oils on box canvas  16 x 16 inches   

This piece is a rework of a previous painting.
I left small purple and blue parts of the old image but most of the painting is new.  

I like to have a free, gestural action when making abstract work.
Painting quickly prevents tightening up and keeps the shapes loose.

The 2013 canvas went through several stages before reaching 'Southerly Days'

This is the first 'sketch' in paint...

Not what I really wanted so the piece moved on to...

'Lime and Purple'  2013

I kept the painting in my studio until this week when I decided to destroy it to make another.
 Destroy sounds harsh but I am happy to do this.  It is always exciting
to see another painting evolve and have a personality of its own.

Moving on is a natural part of my art career.
It keeps my work fresh.

See you next Monday. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Still here.

A day in the City  60 x 36 inches  Acrylic on canvas 

Shapes and colours around the town.

Studio Musings...

This painting was completed in 2007.
It hangs in my studio and might well stay there.

An artist friend saw it recently and asked why
 I haven't many others in a similar style.

She encouraged me to make more.
For the past few years I have concentrated on painting
smaller works. Mainly for posting online and shipping.

To complete a work this size takes longer but is quite satisfying.
Maybe time for a change...

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Past times.

Earth   48 x 36 inches  Acrylic on canvas  SOLD

Abstract painting about colour and texture.

Studio Musings..

This work was completed ten years ago and went to a new home.
I have always liked it and I am keen to make something similar.

Normally I don't copy work so I am sure anything
 I begin  will evolve into its own personality.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Pair 3.


'Marsh Light'  (top)
'Shore'  (lower)

Studio Musings...

The third pair to submit for showing at the LAS Winter Show 2017.

The abstract piece 'Shore' was painted for an exhibition in 2013 and 
'Marsh Light' was created this summer.  Until I was selecting the work
for this show I hadn't noticed the link between the two pieces.

They are both about the shore...'Marsh Light' is abstracted but still representational
and the lower abstract piece is about shapes and colour of land and sea.

It shows how my choice of palette is about the same for both pieces.
I like the soft greyed down colours.  
They remind me of our Lincolnshire coastline.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Pairs 2.


'Coast'  (Top)
'July Morning'  (below)

Studio Musings...

Following yesterday's post these two paintings are the second pair
to submit for the LAS 'Transitions' Winter Show at Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln.

Again, the works show a transition from abstracted to abstract.
As the reference is about colour there is a link between the two pieces. 

 The lower painting is abstracted but still resembles the shore at ebb tide.
  The abstract work above is about shapes and colour with the coast as a reference.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Pairs 1.


'Catching Shadows' (top)
'Stormborn'  (below)

Studio Musings...

In November there is a Lincolnshire Artists' Society Show
in Sam Scorer Gallery, 5 Drury Lane, Lincoln.

The theme is 'Transitions' and artworks are to be in pairs.
I have decided to submit mine as Reality and Beyond showing similar works
in abstracted and abstract versions of land and sea.  Here is number one.

I will show the second pair tomorrow.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


Shimmer  Oils on board 18 x 14 inches

Low tide and bright sunlight shimmers on standing water and sand.

Studio Musings...

I like this painting.  In fact, it has been hanging in my home for a year.
However, it is time to release it for a new owner.

In a hand-painted wood frame.

It is available on

Monday, 2 October 2017

Beneath and beyond.

Riverbed   Oils on gessoed watercolour paper  9 x 12 inches

Soft and gentle, shallow river.

Studio Musings...

When is a painting finished?
Some might say...never.
Or until it moves on to a new home.

This certainly merits some thought.
I have reworked many paintings over the years.

Often because I am bored with them but sometimes after a day or so
when I return to look I can see where changes could be made.

The painting above is under scrutiny.
I am reasonable happy with the tree line, river and foreground.

The sky is possibly going to be altered tomorrow.
I can paint it darker, change the colour or change it back again.

I will let you know.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

East Coast.

Marsh and Shore   Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches  

Pools and wet marsh grass at low tide.

Studio Musings...

Framing is very subjective.
Tastes vary and each person has a preference.

Sometimes I like to hand-finish my frames with oil paint using colours
 from the palette. This frame was in my studio and already painted.

When I placed it next to the painting it looked 'right'.
Here is the finished piece...