Monday, 26 March 2018

Warming up.

Hello and welcome to my Monday Blog

Another calm day   (Work in progress) 

Oils on canvas  12 x 12 inches

Waiting for Spring to arrive.
  It seems to be taking a long time.  

Thinking of warmer weather prompted me to paint in warmer colours.

Yesterday I began work on some small 12 x 12 inch box canvases.
I painted over the white with a mix of acrylic cadmium yellow and cadmium red.
It made a lovely warm orange underpainting for my oils.

This is the first image but it might change before finishing.
I may lift the horizon so the sky is smaller as there are two similar
divisions of land and sky.  It will make a better composition when altered.

Then the shore would have the main role with the warm sky as supporting act.
In the next painting I have reversed the cast...

Small studies with personality

Another study with a warm acrylic base.

This time I used a little cold wax medium with my oils.
The idea was to depict a warm sky above an abstracted shore at low tide.

I like the lower horizon in this gives the sky more room.
This has the sky as the main role and the shore as support.

I try to remember my it land or sky?
Trying to do both can often be confusing to the viewer.

It has been some time since I used an orange underpainting.
Perhaps I should do this more often as I like the way it peeps through
when I scrape back the oils, adding warmth and interest to the land.

Before winter ends...

I must find a frame for this winter landscape.

Melting  Oils on canvas board 10 x 12 inches

I tried this light blue/green painted frame and left it for a few days.
Something did not seem right.  It appeared a little bland and 'flat'.

Using glazes of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna I applied several
thin coats to the frame until it became darker.   It now looks more at home.

It is interesting how the darker frame pushes the painting back.


The Nadin Group present their spring show in
Sam Scorer Gallery, 5 Drury Lane, Lincoln.

I shall be submitting two paintings for this show and hope they will be selected.

Wilder Shore  Oils on panel  20 x 16 inches

September   Oils on canvas board  12 x 10 inches

That's all for now...until next Monday.
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Embracing uncertainty.

Hello and welcome to my Monday Blog.

Last week I wrote about making aquaintances and mentioned an
artist named Nicholas Wilton in California whose Sunday Blog I now follow.

Nicholas mentions taking risks and embracing uncertainty when making
our art.  He believes it is an essential experience in a painting journey
to take chances rather than the easier safe route watching others.

This prompted me to experiment with an unfamiliar painting process.
I paint with oils and love the medium.  It gives me everything I want in my work.

So why would I bother trying something new?

The answer I will give is...nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Armed with enthusiasm and a new box of oil pastels I began working
on Wednesday evening.  My trial piece was to be an abstracted landscape.

After several attempts I had a pile of oily rags, messy hands and broken
pastels.  It was not looking good and well after midnight.

Eventually I had an image to show for my efforts and I will share it with you now.

'Night Heat'   Oil pastels on canvas board 10 x 12 inches


I have to be honest, I did not like this experience.
This will be my first and last time.

  You might be thinking I am too hasty and I should give myself time to improve.
That could be true and if I was excited by the mark-making I would continue.

I shared my photograph with others asking for their thoughts.
Some liked the colours but others felt the work didn't look like mine and I agree.
It lacks my painterly handwriting.

My oil paintings are mostly energetic and textured.
This pastel painting lacks the vitality I can usually feel as a work comes to life.

Return to old pastures...

A friend said  "...sometimes you need to go somewhere you don't like
to realise your own place is right for you".

Wet Marsh   Oils on stretched canvas  8 x 8 inches

My way of working...

A welcome return to the sculptural qualities of oils.

East Coast Mud Flats  Oils on canvas board 6 x 6 inches

I experienced the unfamiliar and embraced change.
Now it is back to my brushes and knife.  

All for now...until next Monday
Thank you for visiting. 



Monday, 12 March 2018


Hello and welcome to my Monday Blog

It was a week of scraped down paint from a canvas undergoing change.
Not wishing to waste the expensive oils I decided to use them for underpainting.

These small 8 x 8 inch canvases were ideal for the job.
I spread the blue paint over the surface and added darker green to give some variety.

Another pile of paint was purple red.  Using a knife I spread this on top.
With just a few marks I had made the beginnings of some seascapes.

Another canvas, 16 x 16 inches was also used for my recycling.

Some of the blue green paint was mixed with cold wax medium.
I spread some over the dry surface and scraped it back a little.

The image has a mysterious feeling.

Making places...

My small canvases were left to dry and then I began teasing out an
 abstracted land/seascape.  Using a brush, knife and a little cold wax I kept the 
marks loose and free.   Some scraping back revealed the underpainting in places. 

I finished three...the fourth was a disaster!
However, I rubbed it down and will rework it later.

I am preparing these small pieces for an Art Market at the end of June.

This piece had some Venetian Red added for impact.

Blues and purples emerged as I scraped.

Some light Cobalt blue was swept across this surface.

Making acquaintances...

One of my favourite relaxations is finding other artists around the world.
I search the web for painters.  This week I found Nicholas Wilton.

He lives and paints in California and has a Sunday blog.
His work is abstract mostly on a large scale using oils and cold wax.

If you are interested, his web address is

That's all for now...Until next Monday
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Capturing the moment.

Hello and welcome to my Monday Blog.

I am not concerned with painting the moment literally 
but my work is still inspired by what I see around me.

'Capturing the moment' however, is an important part of my painting life.
It could be something about what the moment meant for me; like a
glimpse of my feelings or a flash of inspiration as I make marks.

 Most of my paintings evolve spontaneously as I work and capturing
 the elusive moment can often be a struggle as I wrestle with paint on canvas.

When struggle happens I usually keep working through it to reach a
conclusion but occasionally I have to admit defeat and begin again.

When everything goes wrong...

Below is a photograph of a recent painting in my studio.
I wasn't happy with it so I decided to 'finish' the work.

In other words I felt I hadn't quite captured the moment. 

Big mistake.  It was one of those times when everything went wrong.
Instead of adding colour, my mixing on the palette became mud.

As you can see below...

This photograph shows a thick layer of red-brown mud covering the canvas.
The only part untouched is top left.

  It was time to stop as this painting was not going forward.
 I left the canvas on the easel overnight.

A new day and new ideas...

Today I brushed solvent onto the canvas to soften the oil paint.
 I scraped most of the mud away with a knife and finished off with rags.
The canvas was soon dry enough to add some colour.

Working with knife and brush I began to bring the painting
 back to life taking care not to repeat the muddy version.
  I wanted to leave parts of the first painting to show through as a 
reminder of my journey.  It would be a story of struggle and escape.

I have posted the two images below to see the differences.
Apart from the colours I think the new one has more strength.

The canvas can also be viewed two ways which adds variety.
It looks quite different in a landscape format.

Either way...I think I have captured my moment.

 'To capture a moment' 

Oils on box canvas  24 x 36 inches

    More senses...

I try to give a sense of space and place when I paint.
It is easy to give an impression of space on a large canvas
but it can also work with a small one like this 'seascape' on my easel.

This small board measures 10 x 12 inches.

There is a high horizon and it could depict a shore at low tide.
The paint is thickly applied and sculpted with a knife.
My aim was to create a sense of place and space.

The 'impression of seeing'...

To view my progress I step backwards to see how the painting looks from a distance.  
Working close up is never seen quite the same as when standing back.
Visually, my work changes for me as I move away from the easel.

We cannot view close up and far away at the same time.
It can be like looking at two pieces of work.

Another way of 'seeing' is to take a photograph of the work.
I can often see which parts to change if it looks unbalanced.

Or using a mirror to view the painting over my shoulder
which gives me a different impression of seeing.

As it is nearly midnight I will close before Tuesday arrives.

Until next Monday...

Thank you for visiting